Photo Credit: Steve Coulston
The room was crowded and loud. The party had been underway for a while now and men and women were living it up, talking, drinking and laughing. Bored with small talk I walked across the room. As I made my way to the other side a well-dressed man walked up to me. He had a smile on his face, blue jeans, sport coat and was carrying a leather satchel. We knew each other. We exchanged pleasantries, however due to the loud music and lively conversations, we would be hard pressed to carry on a conversation without yelling at one another. He motioned to his left and I followed him down a crowded hallway. He tested a few doors, found one that was unlocked and opened it. Following him in, we appeared to be in a small storage room. I closed the door which reduced the noise of the party to a dull roar. The man had his back to me. He turned toward me while at the same time taking his hand out of his satchel. That’s when I noticed the gun in his left hand. This was going to get interesting.
It was mid-January 2015. I was in Las Vegas for SHOT Show, the annual pilgrimage for all gun industry and media folk. The man was a friend of mine by the name of David Pavlick. Dave is former SF and one of the founders of Arsenal Democracy based out of Freeport, Florida. The gun in his hand was a Glock 19. He was smiling. "Check this out", he said. He handed me the pistol. I made sure the pistol was clear and examined it. The pistol was one of their Blackside Pistols, then a prototype. 1 of 15 if I recall correctly.
He went over the features of the pistol. It was simple. The frame had been contoured by removing the finger grooves. The checking from the factory had been sanded down and the frame micro stippled. The texture felt almost like sticky satin if that makes sense. The trigger guard had been undercut to allow for a higher grip on the pistol. The slide had the top edges chamfered down. This modification drew the shooters eyes to the Trijicon HD sights that rode in place of the cheap plastic Glock sights. The slide had also been cut with patent pending "Blackside Cuts." These cuts appeared at first to be skater’s tape slapped on the slide, however that couldn’t have been further from the truth. The cuts removed material from the slide. Then, a proprietary material was laid in the recess and the slide was Cerekoted. The process is hush-hush, however it made for a very useful way to charge and press check the weapon. Nice little blaster. So nice, I ended up getting one. But I digress…
"Feel that trigger." Dave said. Pressing the trigger it broke clean with little to no take up. Damn. The reset was exceptional. While I haven’t shot every single Glock trigger on the market I have played with quite a few. None of them up to that point had ever broke like that. The geometry of the trigger was angular, having a stealth like appearance. Aesthetically breaking the mold when it comes to triggers, but it felt good. I sat there for a few minutes dry firing the pistol over and over into the corner of the room. It felt great and I told Dave so. Like the Blackside, the trigger was also a prototype. He called it the "SWiTCH." I handed the pistol back to him. We stood there going over the pistol and its features. We BSed some more then left the cramped room and stepped back into the crowded hall.
As the years passed, I would occasionally follow up with Dave regarding the trigger. Arsenal Democracy went through a rough patch personnel wise and the project was put on hold but it never disappeared. It sounds strange, but every time I shot a striker fired pistol, Glock or otherwise, I would think of that trigger. It sounds a bit sappy, but it is true. Even though it was a prototype, it was still the best feeling trigger I had yet to come across. Again, I haven’t come close to shooing them all, but from what I had been exposed to, this one stood out. I’d be out at the range and someone would let me shoot their tricked out Glock with high speed trigger. "Bad ass, right?" They would say. "Man, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet." I would think.
Fast forward to SHOT Show 2017. Like every year, it is crazy busy. It is full of appointments, social engagements, interviews, product tests and the like. Even though it lasts a week, I have always found it impossible to get to every booth and see everyone I would like. I always have good intentions, but inevitably, something has to give. I ran into Dave on the convention floor, ironically next to one of his competitors. We caught up on life and vowed to make sure to get together before the show ended. Sure enough the week was winding down and we had yet to set a time. We had decided to meet at a local party. The party had been a bust. Nut to butt, loud and hotter than hell. We lasted a whopping 45 seconds before we left. Lame. I picked up my mobile and texted:
SC: Party was a no-go.
DP: Fack. Any Suites around?
SC: Not sure. We are already on our way out.
[There was a pause]
DP: Getting a penthouse.
DP: Wait one
DP: Making an AD Party.
DP: Let’s make our own scene.
SC: Roger that.
Less than an hour later I was standing in a swanky penthouse with Dave and a few other good guys looking at an assortment of firearm awesomeness. We discussed each at length and I recorded the conversation with my mobile for posterity sake. Dave covered a lot, however it was the SWiTCH Trigger that was the highlight for me. Ironically it was the smallest item on the table, but it was also the most obtainable from a consumer standpoint. I hadn’t known what SWiTCH stood for when I handled the prototype back in 2015. It is an acronym for Simplified Weapon Integrated Trigger-Combat/Hard Use. That is a mouth full. It also only has two positions. ON and OFF. Nothing in between. The name suited the trigger well. SWiTCH works. There were a few examples uninstalled, laying loose on the table as well as two that were installed in a couple Glocks. Dave would later say with enthusiasm, "The SWiTCH works with errrrthang!" and would later clarify that "errrthang" constitutes Glock 17/22/31/34/35 19/23/32 20/21 26/27 and 43. Also can be had in Gen 1-3 and 4 unless noted otherwise. Not too shabby.
Arsenal Democracy states:
The AD SWiTCH is arguably the most over engineered Glock trigger in existence. 6 operations between CNC and Wire EDM machines, an oil impregnated bronze bushing, zero adjustment necessary and a safety mechanism designed to be stronger and safer than OEM. The Patent Pending SWiTCH only has two positions, ON and OFF. Using mechanical advantage and completely redesigned geometry, the Patent Pending SWiTCH gives the operator the best trigger pull possible without any of the guesswork.
Drop in Replacement Kit:
- Trigger Body
- Trigger Bar
- Ejector Block w/Ejector
- Enhanced Connector
- Trigger Return Spring
- Firing Pin Safety w/Spring
The above claims are impressive. The end product needs to speak for itself and at first glance it did. Even after molesting the SWiTCH all night long I left the hotel in the early am hours wanting more. Nasty.
When I got home after the SHOT Show week I ordered a SWiTCH for my G19 Blackside. Mine was an earlier version of the Blackside that was about three years old. It didn’t have a SWiTCH installed as they weren’t available at the time. Once it came and I had it installed the entire feel of my EDC changed. For the better I might add. The previous trigger I had was a factory trigger Dave had reworked when I originally got the pistol. It was a nice trigger but not on the same level of the SWiTCH. The feel of the later trigger is still heads and tails above anything I have used. On the range, the trigger worked as expected delivering crisp shots with quick resets. The SWiTCH breaks at a nice 4.5 lbs. The angular shape of the trigger is almost sharp on the edges. It’s not, but it lets you know if you finger isn’t placed properly on the trigger. That is the point. It actually encourages proper finger placement. It’s overbuilt and feels extremely solid and is exceptionally smooth.
I made a point on my first outing to bring along a few Glocks with various triggers. Nothing too complicated. Shoot the SWiTCH for a few hundred rounds then switch it up to another trigger. (no pun intended). Moving over to another manufacturer (whom I respect and whose trigger is one I enjoy, I might add) only amplified the experience. It felt heavy and less crisp. Those were words I wouldn’t have used prior to shooting a Glock equipped with a SWiTCH. But it was true. It wasn’t that the other trigger was bad. It wasn’t at all. In fact it was probably my favorite production Glock trigger up to that point. No more.
When I got back I went to the safe and pulled out a stock G26 and sent it across the country to Arsenal Democracy. Mission: Convert it into their G26 Commander with SWiTCH trigger. In a month or so I had it back in my hot little hands. As of this writing my time on the Commander is limited so I will save that overview for another day, but the common denominator between my Blackside and the Commander is the trigger. One day I plan to get a G43 and send that in for the AD Low Pro treatment with SWiTCH. It will be my "wife’s gun". You’re welcome, babe. I like the trigger that much.
As of this writing I am still breaking in the triggers on both pistols. So far, so good. Only time will tell how they will hold up but from what I can tell and what I know about Dave and AD I have full confidence they will do just fine. And if there are any issues, I am confident AD will stand behind their product. Over time I will most likely make the switch to the… errr… SWiTCH in most of my Glocks. "Why?" you ask? Shoot one and answer that question for yourself.
* The views and opinions expressed on this web site are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Guns & Tactics Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.