Custom VP & P320 Triggers: The YGF

I realize this post will be somewhat controversial, but I was asked for an honest opinion. The reader wanted to know, “who is the best “custom shop” for HK VP9 and SIG P320 triggers?”

My answer as of July, 2016? They all suck.

To explain why I answer this way it is important to understand who I am speaking with. Most American pistol owners will tell themselves, and me, that brand X or model Y of pistol Z is primarily to be used for self defense.


Oh really?

So…Mr. “Self Defense” is eschewing long established models and brands of firearms and instead choosing a relatively new and untested gun. Note, as I type, I can already predict the volume of hate-mail filling my inbox. Why? I’m not sure. Thus far I am describing myself since I carry a VP9. So no reason to get of “self-defense-y” yet. But let’s continue. You’ll get your chance.

“Mr. Self Defense” has decided that the stock box features of the SIG and HK striker pistols are so good, that the “risk vs reward” calculus still works out in his favor and actually carries one. But now, he wishes to tempt fate even more by delving into unproven, and untested custom trigger work. On two pistols that are KNOWN for having FANTASTIC triggers out of the box.

So what’s really going on here?

The truth: most civilian gun owners don’t actually buy or carry firearms for self defense. They buy them because it’s their right or they simply like them. I mean…sure…they all say it’s for, “Self Defense” and I’m 100% sure they all mean it from the bottom of their patriotic, gun-loving, hearts. But it’s actually a lie and I can prove it.

Imagine a scenario where it is literally your job to protect someone and his family. Not you and yours. But him and his. The principal actually writes you a check every couple of weeks for your services. Why? Because there is a need. Now imagine after “an incident” having to explain not only a pistol with very little service history, but you compounded that with a unproven trigger modification, that crapped out at the moment of truth.

Who’s fault is that? If you are a sniveling, weaselly, lawyer type always looking to pass the buck and blame others for everything that goes wrong in life; you might point your “self defense” finger back at the custom trigger maker. And it may very well be a judge, jury and low-rent gun forum agrees with you. But I don’t.


I think you are either a liar or a piece of shit. You abdicated your fiduciary responsibility to the hypothetical-principal by intentionally putting “him and his” into a position of being a guinea pig. So…if you are reading this and thinking you wouldn’t do that to your principal, why on Earth would you even remotely consider doing that to yourself?

When it comes to the SIG P320 and the HK VP pistols, everything is too knew. It’s too untested. We don’t know what we don’t know. But even the most storied gun brands of today went through generational iterations, upgrades, recalls and lessons learned to earn the reputations they have today. Those brands are literally standing on the foundation of 30+ years in service and millions upon millions of rounds fired.

HK VP9 5 empty mags. You really only need 2.

My Personal HK VP9. The trigger job currently consists of thousands upon thousands of trigger-pulls. Nothing else.

The Sig P320 and the HK VP series? Not so much.

Look, I currently carry and run a HK VP9. If the FBI had picked the SIG P320, I would have been compelled to acquire one for compatibility and training purposes. But I’m not kidding myself or my readers. Two years deep into the VP9 with thousands and thousands of rounds through it, I am not prepared to “sign-off” on it as a proven weapon, yet. Same for the P320, even if the FBI had adopted it! Sure, every day someone like me shoots and carries one of these guns, we are farther down the road towards “Good to Go”.

Full custom belongs on the track. Not the street.

Full custom belongs on the track. Not the street.

But as of July of 2016? Not yet.

So…with all of that out of the way, I can now answer the initial question. Which model / make / custom shop trigger job do I recommend for the SIG P320 and HK VP series of handguns? My answer is easy: The YGF.

Not familiar with that brand? No worries. It is also known as the, “You Go First” sucker.



“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”

Marky Mark

Marky Mark

Writer at
Writer for Co-Host of the John1911 Podcast. Video content provider for John1911-TV.

Areas of focus: Defense and National Security, Modern Light Weapons, Analysis of the Geo-political / Military Relationship in the Context of Strategic Goals.
Marky Mark

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  • Mikial

    Good article and common sense. To be honest with you . . . and this will probably piss some people off, but the need for customization in order to make an out-of-the-box gun something you can stake your life on is one of the reasons I don’t go for a 1911 as a carry gun. That and ammo capacity, but that’s another topic. 1911’s are great guns and my wife and I each own one, but they are famous for all the customization folks can do on them to make them better. Brownells has a massive catalog with nothing but parts for 1911s. To me, all that is just more things to fail at a critical moment, like when you and the bad guy are both drawing down on each other. As you may know from my other posts, I carry a G21 that I’ve carried since 2001. I did go so far as to have the trigger pull reduced to 4 pounds when I was shooting USPSA a lot, but that was in 2003 and it has never failed in many thousands of rounds through it in the subsequent 13 years so I think it’s good to go. My wife prefers an out-of-the-box Beretta 92 that she shoots weekly because she feels she can rely on it when she needs it. Both proven designs.

    • There is a big difference between putting in a drop-in Glock trigger that has been proven for over 30 years and being the first guy filing on VP9 stuff.

      And I agree with you on 1911’s and I carried one professionally for 12 years.


      • Skyviking

        I learned a lot from Armand while TDY w/the BP to Temecula, CA late ’77. Stayed in Fallbrook and met him at our favorite restaurant. Spent the next 6 months off-duty time taking apart 1911s and putting the parts in cigar boxes, interspersed w/shooting coyotes that came onto the property with his ’17 Enfield benchrest rifle in 6mm Rem.w/24x or 36x Unert scope (‘yotes made the mistake of killing one of Irene’s poodles and she declared war on them. He built 3 guns for me, and I was talked out of each one for heady amounts of cash that I wish i had passed on.

        • Dude…..


          I was reading your comment already thinking, “He needs to send me pics”. Then you said…talked out of each.



  • Brennen Munro

    Hmmm… The P30 is older than the VP9, but since I am EDCing the P30sk it puts me right back to the head of the line in being a “tester” of new tech! For me I was looking at their long history with hammer fired pistols, and the known quality of their products when I decided to carry my choice. I am also real big on avoidance, so I do not usually find myself in situations that can go south. But if I do, I am confident that my gear will see me through and if not, then it has been one hell of a wild ride to this point!


    • Not as much as your think. Striker SIG and HK guns are literally new designs. Not tried an true. And…is the VP or 320 really warranting a trigger job ANYWAY?

      I mean seriously.


  • Skyviking

    Well, I have carried 1911s and a P35 in harm’s way for quite a bit of my LE career. All were customized by top smiths of the day (Armand Swenson, Jim Hoag for 1911 work, and Austin Behlert and Wayne Novak for my Brownings. None ever failed me. When armchair bureaucrats decreed we carry DA pistols or wheelguns, I carried SIGs, Glocks, and even a S&W 4506 at one point.(the spare 4506 survived a 100’+ fall out of a UH60. w/only a scratch on the grips – landed in a cactus patch instead of the rocks- when someone in the back decided to move my helmet bag.). Now that I am semi-retired, I pocket-carry a G43 or a Walther PPS, depending on the pants I am wearing. The Walther is the better-handling pistola, but the G43 is smaller. My holster gun is a Vickers G19 with a SureFire XC-1 carried APIW in a holster from Haley Strategic. In today’s world, having 47 124-gr. Federal HST’s on hand is pretty comforting. Especially if i can hand off my BUG w/spare mag to my Raven son or wife. If I can fight my/our way to my vehicle, I’ll have the Heavy Artillery: 4,000+ lbs. of Honda Ridgeline truck (w/more ammo) to get the Heck out of Dodge and run over any bad guy in my way.

    • Big difference standing on the shoulders of Swenson, Liebenburg, Austin or Wayne 30 to 40 years later. And being the first guy to take an india stone to a mim-part in your SIG.

      They have their place. And the future is bright.

      But before the Wright Brothers got us to 747 land, a lot of dudes jumped to their death. A lot. And we don’t name AF bases after dead losers.


  • Ok. Straight up. Every time I look at the pic of the driver flying through the air, I get the heebie-jeebies!

    And I wrote the damn article!



  • Skyviking

    Not to worry, Mark. I still have my Hoag 1911 and the 9mmP/9×23 Combat Commander he did for me – plus a monochrome Pachmayr Combat Special – on a Combat Commander… They give my Wilson Combat pistolas and lone Nighthawk something to talk about in the safe – or on the road to Gunsite…