Wilson Combat Beretta Ultimate Action Tune Review
This is copied and edited from a thread I posted on 1911Addicts.com and BerettaForum.net so please forgive any grammatical weirdness as I repost something originally written several months ago.
There’s a lot of information out there about WC’s Action Tune and what it entails, the problem is it’s not exactly overly specific. Hopefully this helps answers some questions and maybe save someone some money.
Part 1 – Specs and Review
First we need to clarify some terms:
1: What is Wilson’s Action Tune?
To quote Wilson Combat Rep “The Action Tune is a polishing of main action parts and spring selection. Hammer engagement surface, SEAR engagement surface, hammer strut, springs.”
2: What is Wilson’s ‘Ultimate’ Action Tune?
It’s a package of parts for sale on their site. Per their website:
So one is something that’s done to your gun and one is just something you buy. Here’s where I screwed up. To quote Wilson Combat Rep again from a thread where the Action Tune and new, at the time, trigger bar were being discussed:
“If you order a 92G from us we cannot install the action bar during the action tune-just the standard action tune with factory parts and aftermarket hammer spring. You would have to send the gun back for the action bar.”
Between that post and that since WC lists “Ultimate Action Tune” on their website I mistakenly assumed that if you sent a Beretta in for the Action Tune that it automatically came with the trigger bar. Which made sense in my head because the Action Tune is $140 whereas to purchase the Ultimate Action Tune parts is $80. Oops. So at this point I have two Beretta’s, a 92G Brigadier Tactical and a 96G Special Duty, both with the Action Tune. In my mind the Action Tune was worth it if it came with the trigger bar, but for just polishing parts and lowering the springs made me question its value. How much of a difference does their polishing make verse just swapping the springs?
What is the WC trigger bar supposed to do?
To again quote Wilson Combat Rep:
“The enhanced trigger bar is a part we make that can reduce overtravel and enhance ignition with light springs. It has to be fitted by a gunsmith.”
and in another post:
“For a match/target gun you can reduce trigger overtravel and increase the amount the hammercams to the rear so it can improve your trigger feel a bit.”
After realizing my guns didn’t have the trigger bar I reached out to Tressa at Wilson to address the issue. I was admittedly ticked at the time I emailed her but I keep it to the specific issues. Part of that being there are only two places listed on Wilson’s websites that say “Action Tune”, one under the Beretta customization section where it’s listed as an option to have done to your gun, two under the sales section listed as Ultimate Action Tune. I made my case that it was easy to assume based on the information listed and lack of information that should have been included. She agreed to work with my on a resolution and I shipped the pistols back for the trigger bar.
Side note about Tressa: She has been fantastic to work with during this whole process. I really can’t say enough good things about her.
I received my pistols back from WC and anxiously grabbed the pistols and dry fired each. They felt different but heavier, not what I was expecting. I grabbed my trigger pull gauge to see if it was just my imagination. Here are my pre- and post-Action Tune numbers:
96G-SD – Stock
Double Action: 11# 3oz
Single Action: 5# 10oz
96G-SD – Post-Action Tune (Just polishing and springs, no trigger bar)
Double Action: 7# 6oz
Single Action 3# 13oz (A 1# 13oz decrease)
96G-SD Post-Ultimate Action Tune (Trigger bar added)
Double Action: Didn’t measure
Single Action: 4# 5oz (An 8 oz increase)
92G-BT – Post-Action Tune (Polishing and springs)
Single Action: 3# 3oz
92G-BT – Post-Ultimate Action Tune (Trigger bar)
Single Action: 3# 10oz (A 7 oz increase)
So by this point I’m getting pretty grumpy. I wanted to improve my trigger, not make it heavier. I knew Tressa would take care of me so I dropped her a quick email explaining the above information. She immediately got back to me and asked me to ship them back, on their dime, and she would have their ‘Beretta guy’ go over the pistols.
I received a call from Jared their Beretta smith, a great guy to talk to. The short of the conversation is that it appears the WC trigger bar adds an extra 8 ounces/half pound to the trigger pull. Bummer. He said he’d fit a new trigger bar in each pistol and ship them back. I got the pistols back and both pistols trigger pull weights had increased around 3 oz. I suppose the fitting of the part affects the pull weight.
What about the feel?
In Double Action there is a wall now. Using a slow, smooth, steady pull you’ll find that just before the trigger breaks you reach the stop/wall. A little more pressure and it breaks. Best I can relate it to, with my limited pistol experience, is to compare it to a Glock. Trigger rolls, stop, breaks. It makes the trigger very predictable in Double Action if you’re trying to shoot for precision.
In Single Action it does reduce over-travel. Not much more to be said. I’ve pulled the WC trigger bar out of the 92G and installed the factory bar, in part to feel the difference and plus I wanted to be able to compare it to the 96G. I’m not inclined to reinstall it though. I don’t particularity mind the difference in feel but not at the increase in weight.
Part 2: Pictures of Action Tune polishing
For those who want to know exactly which area of the parts are polished during an Action Tune I’ve taken these pictures. Due to their polished nature, my use of a cellphone camera, and my lack of skill, these were the best I could do on pictures but I’ve tried to highlight the polished areas.
Part 3: Updates and Corrections on Part 1
I’ve been fighting to get this trigger “perfect” and finally have it done. I’ve been communicating with Tressa at Wilson Combat trying to figure out why my pistol weights have been so askew. She, as always, has been very patient with me and great to work with. But overall I had gotten nowhere except increasingly frustrated. I decided to detail strip my pistol, clean and lube it thoroughly and hopefully it magically get’s better. Well, turns out it did.
I reassembled the pistol using the WC trigger bar but without the grips and tested the trigger. It was a wonderful 3# 7oz, so magic really does exist. I decided to throw the grips on and I was done for the afternoon. I installed VZ/Wilson Ultra Thin grips and dry fired it a couple of times but it suddenly felt heavy. I grabbed the trigger gauge and it was now 4# 3oz. It turns out the grips are rubbing on the trigger bar thereby adding weight. The tighter the grips the more the weight increases. Guess magic isn’t real after all.
Trigger bar showing the rub spot
Hiding behind the grips
Notice the bottom area of the trigger bar cutout and how it curves upward. That area is what rubs.
92G Brigadier Tactical
3# 3oz – single action
Post-Ultimate Action Tune (with WC trigger bar)
3# 7oz – single action, plus a reduction in over-travel and a more predictable break
With this new information I retract my previous statement of not being a fan of the trigger bar and I would get it done on another pistol.
Part 4: Resolution
I finally got around to modifying the grips. I had been running it with the right side grip screws just on tight enough to not fall out while firing and I would generously lube where the trigger bar rubbed the grips. Today I broke out the sandpaper and grabbed the set that had the most pronounced rub marks.
Here is post-sanding, the grips on the left are stock and the right has been sanded.
Even with the lube and loose grip screws sanding them down made a big difference in the trigger feel. I encourage any Beretta owners to check your right side grips for rub marks. Tight grips that rub can cause well over a pound increase to your trigger and affect the smoothness of the pull.