Connector Comparison Test
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  1. #1
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    Connector Comparison Test

    The variety of connectors available for Glock pistols has always interested me, especially when I began to install them regularly and I noticed the variations in cost and claims for performance. A routine theme with aftermarket connectors is that they will reduce trigger pull, often claiming a “3.5 lb trigger pull”.

    After I installed a tested a few connectors, I began to question my ability because I was not seeing results that came close to the manufacturers’ claims. None of the triggers measured 3.5 pounds after I installed the connectors. It had to be something I was doing wrong, I reasoned.

    To get to the bottom of this question I devised a comparison test, where I would measure the average trigger pull after installing a connector. Today I completed the first iteration of the test: here are the details and results.

    The test was done with an unfired, brand-new Glock G21SF pistol. This is a newly manufactured Gen3 pistol with a Gen4-style trigger bar (P/N 4256-1), an unmarked connector, and a trigger mechanism housing with an ejector marked 8196-2. I did not even clean the gun: I just took it out of the box and put it on the vise block shown in the photo below.

    The vise block was designed for .40 and 9mm Glocks, so the .45 ACP G21SF did not fit it well. I had to push against the back of the pistol with my right hand to steady it on the block while I pulled the trigger with the gauge in my left hand. This was not at all hard to do, and I made sure that the pistol was steady in the vise block before pulling the trigger.

    The connectors I tested were:
    1. Glock standard connector as delivered in the G21SF
    2. Glock "-" Connector
    3. GlockTriggers Performance connector 3.5#
    4. Lone Wolf Distributors 3.5# connector
    5. Zev Tech V3 Race connector
    6. Scherer 3.5# connector

    After I installed a connector in the gun, I applied a drop of FP-10 lubricant to the place where the connector meets the trigger bar, and to the side of the trigger bar where it contacts the frame.

    The connectors were all in new condition, exactly as received from the suppliers. I installed them, one by one, ran the tests, and recorded the data, which you will see at the end of this post.

    The test was be very simple: mount the Glock in a vise block to hold it steady, with the connector installed operate the slide and pull the trigger 20 times with a Lyman(R) electronic Trigger Pull Gauge, recording each reading individually. I then calculate the average of the 20 pull weights, along with standard deviation (just for the heck of it) using a Microsoft Excel worksheet.

    The trigger was be pulled by pulling Lyman gauge directly against the middle of the face of the trigger and straight back. In order to get this to work consistently I had to replace the plastic roller on the trigger gauge with a wooden “finger tip” that I ground out of a piece of maple. It isn’t pretty, but it fits over the trigger and centers itself, it pulls the trigger safety back, and it does not touch the frame at all when it is in position to pull the trigger back to the “break”.

    Here is the pistol in the vise block:

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    Here is the modified trigger pull gauge engaging the trigger:

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    Name:  Wooden Finger.jpg
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    Here are the connectors as they were tested:

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    Here is the summary of the results. Details are available in an attached .pdf file.

    Make Model Avg Pull Pounds Std Dev
    (20 pulls)
    Retail Price Source
    Glock 5.5 lb "standard" 7.392 0.645 $4.50 Glockmeister
    Lone Wolf Distributors LWD Connector 3.5 lb 5.791 0.240 $14.95 Lone Wolf Distributors
    Glock 4.5 lb "minus" 5.580 0.305 $25.00 Glockmeister
    GlockTriggers 3.5# Performance Connector 5.570 0.245 $27.95 GlockTriggers*
    Scherer 3.5 lb trigger pull connector 5.559 0.152 $9.99 MidwayUSA
    Zev Tech V3 Race Connector 5.377 0.225 $15.00 GlockWorx
    * No longer sold as an individual part apparently, now included in kits.

    The term “Std Dev” is an abbreviation for Standard Deviation, which means the following according to Wikipedia:
    “In statistics and probability theory, standard deviation (represented by the symbol sigma, σ) shows how much variation or "dispersion" exists from the average (mean, or expected value). A low standard deviation indicates that the data points tend to be very close to the mean, whereas high standard deviation indicates that the data points are spread out over a large range of values.”

    I included standard deviation of the measured pulls (in pounds) to demonstrate the consistency of the test results, meaning basically how close the measurement strings were. You can see this for yourself by looking at the test result details in the attached file. I will admit that the somewhat lumpy first test, using the Glock standard connector, probably has a higher standard deviation due to operator error: I probably did it myself. Things improved dramatically after that first test as you can see. If it wasn’t operator error, it might have been due to the fact that the gun was brand new, and what we see in the results was the effect of the first part of break-in.

    Conclusions:

    I cannot say with certainty that all of my conclusions will apply for all models of Glock pistols. I expect to see different results with a Gen4 pistol, and I plan to follow this test with a Gen4 G17 as soon as I get some fresh parts.

    1. The standard trigger pull of a G21SF is about 7.4 pounds.
    2. Any of the connectors tested will immediately reduce the trigger pull from between 1.6 to 2 pounds, with no other changes made to the gun.
    3. No connector that I tested will yield a 3.5# trigger pull by itself. Further changes need to be made to the gun.

    I think I will stop right there with the conclusions to see what questions arise from this test.

    Chris

    Connector Test Results OEM.pdf
    Last edited by cohland; 09-17-2012 at 03:09 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Chris, first I commend you on an excellent thorough test of all the connectors. I believe your test only goes to prove what us Armorers have known for quite some time now. There is NO "drop in" 3.5# connector. I have been doing Glock actions for years now and there is NO magic pill, NO snake oil, NO lightened super-duper connector that will do the job all by it's self. And you have also shown what I have seen as well for years; the 5.5# factory trigger is also not a standard. Now all that said I will admit that the Gen 3 and especially Gen 4 Glocks just aren't the same as earlier models. Can these models be brought down to 3.5# trigger pulls? ABSOLUTELY, but it takes some time and work. I have been in contact with a spring manufacturer and if their schedule allows we are going to start looking at several variables. Things as simple as the number of turns, but then going into tensil strength, and wire diameter in various tensil strengths as well. Your test I personally believe goes to show the caliper of craftsman and gunsmith you are and I also think it goes to show why Glock.Pro is THE Glock forum for the true Glock owners.
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    Looks to me like the Scherer performs as well or better than any of them at the lowest price! Interesting ... looks like you pay a premium for the name of the product (as is true with many things ).

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    Thank you, Chris! Excellent job on the connector test! Very thorough... This is an amazing amount of work, and we appreciate it... very helpful information. I'm going to "stick" this thread, also...

    Interesting to see that some of your individual pulls with the Lyman gauge are as erratic as mine... I originally had an RCBS trigger pull gauge, but bought a Lyman digital gauge because I thought it would be more accurate. I have gone back to using the RCBS gauge as it is more consistent...

    Trigger manufacturers seem to use the lowest position on the trigger to get their measurements... better leverage yields lower pull weights... which provides better advertising of course...

    Found it interesting that your standard deviation got respectively smaller with each test... I'm assuming that the order you published the test in the .pdf file is the order you conducted them in. Wonder if you got more proficient as the test carried on. Might be interesting to change the order next time.

    Did you manually test any of these connectors? Curious if any of them felt noticeably different... Break points, etc...

    Still plan on testing out the Zev Tech v4 race connector? I've heard that they are a big improvement over their v3 connector... Hadn't heard about the polished version until you mentioned it, though...
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  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by __jb View Post
    ..Interesting to see that some of your individual pulls with the Lyman gauge are as erratic as mine... I originally had an RCBS trigger pull gauge, but bought a Lyman digital gauge because I thought it would be more accurate. I have gone back to using the RCBS gauge as it is more consistent...

    Trigger manufacturers seem to use the lowest position on the trigger to get their measurements... better leverage yields lower pull weights... which provides better advertising of course...

    Found it interesting that your standard deviation got respectively smaller with each test... I'm assuming that the order you published the test in the .pdf file is the order you conducted them in. Wonder if you got more proficient as the test carried on. Might be interesting to change the order next time.

    Did you manually test any of these connectors? Curious if any of them felt noticeably different... Break points, etc...

    Still plan on testing out the Zev Tech v4 race connector? I've heard that they are a big improvement over their v3 connector... Hadn't heard about the polished version until you mentioned it, though...
    You are most welcome, and thanks for the kind words, but to keep this in perspective I think spent about three hours on the whole thing, including the pictures. I'm retired, it's fun. Keeps me out of gun stores.

    The main reason for using the Lyman instead of the RCBS gauge was the digital readout. I can interpret the RCBS markings differently, but it's hard to mis-read numbers. Also, I think the digital gauge is very sensitive, so it looks erratic when it's really just doing its job very well. It's twitchy by nature.

    The order of the data presented was the order of the test, but I don't think that standard deviation really improved that much. I tried to include a graph from Excel, but it wouldn't display correctly, so here's a list of the Std Dev values in the order of the test:

    .645, .240, .305, .245, .152, .225

    Other than the big jump down from the Glock 5.5 test (.645), it looks pretty realistic to me, but it's hard to tell with a sample this small.

    I did not manually test any of the connectors, I tried to keep this as objective as possible.

    As for the Zev Tech v4? I will take their word for it, because their connector did yield the best results, and I would rather spend the $20 (including shipping) on some more primers. If somebody wants to loan me a Zev Tech v4, I will test it, of course.

    Chris
    Last edited by cohland; 09-18-2012 at 08:54 AM.
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  7. #6
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    Awesome work as always. I can't click reputation for you as much as I would like. It makes me spread it around first. LOL
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  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLaw View Post
    Awesome work as always. I can't click reputation for you as much as I would like. It makes me spread it around first. LOL
    Thanks for the thought, anyway!

    Chris
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    It would be interesting to test several samples of each connector for consistency. Also, in several different guns.

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    Thanks for the effort Chris!
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLaw View Post
    Awesome work as always. I can't click reputation for you as much as I would like. It makes me spread it around first. LOL
    Same here. I keep mashing that sheriff's star on Chris' posts and nothing happens

    Thanks for a great thread, Chris!

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