When CZ first unveiled the P10C they marketed it with, “Improving on Perfection.” Anyone that’s been shooting for even a short time understands that Glock’s motto has always been “Glock Perfection.” With this line from CZ they were clearly challenging Glock’s position as the most popular choice for striker fired handguns. While this was quite the lofty claim I would have to agree that there are a lot of things the P10C does better than the Glock out of the box. To avoid getting mired in a debate over which striker fired gun is best these days, and honestly any striker fired gun from a reputable manufacturer will serve you well, let’s focus on the one aspect that CZ definitely failed to beat Glock in, their magazine release.
For all the great features the P10C offers shooters the magazine release is not one of them. It’s an ambidextrous release that is borderline terrible due to how stiff it is to function. While it’s not impossible to use and is functional, it’s extraordinary stiffness is painful to use when attempting to eject a magazine. It’s almost like going for a run with a small stone in your shoe, your body may be perfectly healthy and alert, but that tiny stone is going to be all you feel or think about while you’re running. At the time of this writing CZ has changed from their original ambidextrous magazine release to a more traditional single-sided but reversible mag release. The original ambidextrous release is the focus of this article, and to be quite blunt it’s terrible. It functions, I’ve never had a failure of it to work, but it is incredibly stiff to use. With a loaded mag it becomes almost a forced conscious effort to press painfully hard enough to get the magazine to drop free. For a long time I’ve heard of many suggestions on how to negate this issue, most of them involving thousands of repeated uses of the magazine release or removing the release and polishing it to eliminate the stiffness. I have heard plenty of stories of that working to fix the issue, but what if you don’t have the tools or lack the ability to do this yourself?
If you’re like me and you don’t have the tools for polishing and other adjustments then Apex Tactical has the perfect solution. Apex offers single-sided mag releases for left or right-handed shooters in both tactical and competition lengths. For the review I received the tactical mag release for my P10C and still cannot believe the difference it makes. Installation is incredibly easy, a simple punch and needle nose pliers are all you need for the swap. I had thought a video demonstration of the install would need to be created, but Apex has a clear and simple installation guide listed on their website here.
I am not mechanically inclined and I had a two year old trying to help the process. Normally I’d expect this swap to take less than two minutes, for me with the helpful guidance of my oldest son it was more of a ten minute process. With the swap done the effect is a completely different feel. The Apex mag release is only slightly longer, .080″ to be exact, but it has an improved angle and rougher texture, all of which make a noticeable difference in working the release. The release is a night and day difference in ease of use compared to the stock part. Even with a fully loaded mag with a +5 extension it still releases far easier than it ever did before the upgrade.
I had envisioned putting this magazine release through a lengthy period of use and abuse, but after discussing the testing procedures Apex conducted, and with the few hundred cycles of the release that I conducted, I’m pretty impressed. In testing Apex conducted a total of 73,000 test cycles of the release. With a cycle being the magazine seating and then being released they did 18,000 cycles with a fully loaded magazine and 55,000 cycles with an empty mag. I was informed that works out to 5 cycles a day, every day, for 40 years. In those 73,000 cycles of the magazine release they did not experience a single hiccup or issue. That goes far beyond any testing procedure I had planned or time for.
This is one small part to change, but in the overall scheme of things its often the small things that can make or break an experience. Previously every dry fire or range day with this gun would bring irritation that such a solid pistol was handicapped by a terrible mag release. With the Apex upgrade the release functions as it should have in the first place. At $49.95 it is not the cheapest option for improving your magazine release, but personally I think it is the best option. While I’m sure there are plenty of guys out there happy to save $50 and polish the original release themselves, this is another terrific way to fix the stiffness issue, while getting the additional changes Apex made to improve the release. If you have one of the early P10C models with the ambidextrous release, give Apex a look if you’re experiencing any of the issues like I was, it might just be the best way to remove that small stone from your shoe.
Cost: 4/5- The only complaint some may have is paying $50 for a magazine release. While I understand the quality machining and R&D put into this product wasn’t free, I know many looking for a release are going to have an initial struggle with the cost.
Functionality: 5/5- Overall this swap exceeded the expectations I had for the difference the release would make. Apex did a perfect job developing this product.
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