Trigger shoe installation and modification
by Chandler Bates III
The Kel-Tec trigger shoe accessory is almost a requirement to improve the trigger pull. Unfortunately, it has a propensity for falling off when installed casually. Also, the trigger shoe must be removed from the trigger every time you remove the frame from the grip. This is burdensome.
Here is what I did to permanently install my trigger shoe so it would never fall off. This requires enlarging the opening in the bottom of the grip above the trigger to allow the frame to be removed from the grip without removing the trigger shoe. I feel this modification should be done after polishing the trigger axis and the trigger bar because this may affect trigger travel and the positioning of the trigger shoe.
Please read this through all the way a couple of times before starting. Unload the gun and remove ammunition from the area where you are working. You will need to have the slide on the gun whenever you are checking trigger pull. You can leave the frame pins out during this work, but you will have to release and reinstall the hammer spring a number of times (see "Hammer Spring Tool" elsewhere in TecWerks).
Although this mod is really pretty simple, go slowly. It should take you about an hour. Do not permanently attach the trigger shoe until the very last step. Check off each step. [Optional steps are in brackets.]
You will need the following [optional] tools:
[You may have a little free travel of your trigger before the trigger bar contacts the hammer. This happens especially if you work a little on the trigger bar/hammer interface and remove/polish a tiny bit of material from the trigger bar exactly where it contacts the hammer. This can shorten your trigger pull, just a little. You can install the trigger shoe so it will take up this slack.
- Sharp scribe (a pin may do)
- tiny drill bit
- hand files
- Dremel tool
- Blue Loc-Tite
- [aluminum black]
- Trigger shoe & Allen wrench
- Hammer spring tool
With the gun fully assembled, pull the trigger rearward to its "contact point" with the hammer. Position the shoe on the trigger so the top of the actually contacts the grip. This can keep the trigger from traveling all the way forward if you do not open up the grip immediately above and in front of the trigger shoe. This will eliminate your "take up".
Be precise, because if the trigger does not travel far enough forward, it will not reset. Then you could be in big trouble. Of course, you could always remove some material from the top of the shoe later, or open the grip above the front of the shoe so the trigger will travel all the way forward.]
1. With the gun fully assembled, remove the two Allen screws from the right side of the trigger shoe. Position the shoe on the trigger where you want it, perhaps using a dab of silicone to stabilize it. The Allen screws will not hold the trigger shoe on unless they set into the trigger a little. When the trigger shoe is exactly where you want it, use a pin poked through the screw holes to mark the location of the Allen screws on the trigger. Do not damage the delicate Allen screw threads in the shoe.
2. Remove the trigger shoe from the trigger. With a tiny drill bit or Dremel accessory, BY HAND drill small indentations in the trigger that will allow the Allen screws to really set into the trigger. The trigger is polymer, so it is relatively soft. It will grab a drill bit and suck it in real quick if you do this with even a slow speed electric drill. Guess how I know? Do not drill too large or deep a hole.
[At this point I contoured the trigger shoe with my Dremel to fit my finger better. It curved too much at the bottom, so I removed some material to straighten it out some. You will have to use some "aluminum black", a felt pen type product available at many gun stores, to restore the color if you remove material.]
3. Reattach the shoe to the trigger using only the Allen screws. Now scribe the grip to know
exactly where your trigger shoe rides under the grip. This will be the line to guide you in enlarging the grip for the trigger to pass through. Remove the trigger shoe; disassemble the gun including the frame from the grip. Reattach the trigger shoe temporarily.
4. Enlarging the grip opening: The grip is really quite soft and thin in the area you will be enlarging. You can use a Dremel, but be careful. You will melt the plastic about as much as you cut. Plus, if it gets away from you, you can cut too big a hole. It is really not too tough to use a few different hand files if you have an assortment of small ones. I bought a set at a gun show--flats, triangle, round, for about $5. Your local hardware store probably has some.
Working from inside the grip, even though your scribed line is on the outside, carefully enlarge the opening on the sides up to your scribed line, and a little extra toward the rear. Make rounded "corners", rather than sharp angles, to avoid having the grip crack from a corner. Keep inserting the frame and trigger/shoe into the grip until
everything works correctly. Smooth any sharp edges as a last step.
5. With everything just the way you want it, fully assemble the weapon. Permanently install the trigger shoe. Have the Allen screws started in the shoe. Working quickly, apply a little drop of blue Loc-Tite to each screw. Then use a couple of drops of nail glue to attach the shoe to the trigger and quickly turn in the screws. Wipe any excess Loc-Tite or glue away immediately.
6. As with any modifications, dry fire your gun with a dummy round to test it, then live fire it before you holster it and bet your life on it. The trigger shoe and trigger assembly polishing will turn this $220 bargain into a more accurate and pleasant shooting gun that can compete with anything similar on the market.