The Glock. Whether you love them or hate them, they’re entering territory once reserved for the 1911. There are many Glock modifications out there these days.
Over the course of using the platform, I’ve found a few things just make the experience better. Now, I know you boys have been sold on Glock Perfection. I don’t believe anything is perfect, no matter how much I like it.
Let’s try our hand at perfecting perfection.
Concerns With Glock Modifications
People have somewhat of a fear of making modifications to their pistol. Stories abound of people ruining their gun with a dremel or a file. Good news, friends.
The best thing about modifying the Glock pistol is that there’s zero fitting.
At least, there’s zero fitting if you do things the way I do them. Glock has made their pistols to the standard of military work – parts interchangeability is a big deal. The 1911 used to be like this around 80 years ago.
All you’re going to need to make the modifications I recommend in this post is a hammer and a pin punch. That’s all.
Now, don’t worry, you’re not going to be hammering these small parts. The hammer and pin punch are just to get the gun apart.
Here’s a quick video where I display these parts, as well as breaking down the gun.
Glock Modifications – Barrel Replacements
Stock Glock barrels have polygonal rifling. This is supposed to be good for providing a better gas seal or something. You know what they’re not good for?
Shooting cast lead bullets.
By replacing the barrel with one that has conventional rifling, you can fire a wider variety of projectiles from your gun. Most of these barrels also feature fully supported chambers.
Whether or not your Glock is at risk of a KABOOM is an issue for another day. Suffice to say that a replacement barrel adds to the versatility of the gun.
What’s more, you can purchase conversion barrels that allow you to fire other calibers. As a general rule, you can convert DOWN.
If you have a .40 S&W Glock, you can convert it to fire .357 Sig and 9mm. You can’t convert a 9mm to a .40 S&W as far as I know. The .45 Auto Glocks can be converted to the widest variety of calibers.
Glock Modifications – Magazine Extensions
My recommendation to folks is always to get a subcompact or compact Glock, never the full size. The reason for this is that you can always extend a smaller gun, but you can’t downsize a full size gun.
If you prefer to use the subcompact, like me, then you’re going to want a Pierce Grip extender. It adds a few rounds to the magazine, but that’s not the reason you want it. You want it because it gives you a full handle on the gun.
The gripping surface of the gun then becomes similar to a compact, but with a smaller footprint and different grip angle.
How does the subcompact have a different grip angle? Because the “hump” at the butt of the gun contacts your hand in a different location. This setup is the best for my hand.
Magazine extensions are cheap, play around with a few of them until you find the one that’s right for you. The added ammunition is just icing on the cake.
Glock Modifications – Takedown Lever
To field strip a Glock, you have to pull down the takedown lever while depressing the trigger (obviously, while the gun is unloaded).
This is damned hard to do because only a little of the lever is extending past the frame. It’s a small metal rectangle sitting in the frame of the gun, with just the edge protruding.
With an extended takedown lever, the lever is trapezoidal instead of rectangular.
That gives you a larger surface to pull when taking down the gun, without making it too large to holster. It also doesn’t add enough mass to alter the firing cycle of the gun.
While this modification doesn’t change the function of the gun, it makes maintenance a lot easier.
Glock Modifications – Slide Lock Lever
The stock Glock slide lock lever is an afterthought. It’s a flat piece of metal on the side of the gun. You can’t find it by feel until you’ve ingrained enough muscle memory.
A slightly extended slide lock lever is the cure for this problem. There are many models available.
You don’t have to use the one I like, if you’re modification-phobic. Glock makes a usable extended slide lock lever for their competition models. Why they don’t put it on all their pistols is a mystery to me.
All you need is a slightly extended lever that gives you enough of a surface to reliably contact it at speed.
Glock Modifications – Magazine Release
The magazine release is functional as is, but can be improved upon. Many shooters use the large frame Glock magazine release (from the .45 and 10mm models) on the standard frame (9mm, .40, .357 Sig, .45 GAP) and call it good.
I prefer to use an ever so slightly extended and contoured magazine release. Just like with the slide lock lever, you can use Glock parts or aftermarket and there isn’t much of a difference.
One word of warning, however. If you get a magazine release that is over-extended, you run the risk of accidentally dropping the magazine.
Setting your pistol down on a flat surface then picking it back up with no magazine isn’t a good experience. Neither is accidentally engaging the magazine release when firing.
I’ve found that it’s better to change the geometry of the magazine release “button” than to simply extend it. These are inexpensive parts, so experiment a bit to see what design works best for you.
Glock Modifications – Trigger Connector
Here’s where we start to really panic the modification-phobics.
First off, a lighter trigger connector doesn’t technically reduce the “weight” of your trigger pull. It changes the point in the trigger pull at which the trigger breaks. This affects the reset of your trigger.
The perception of a lighter trigger makes the difference you’re looking for. If memory serves, there are 3 Glock-made connectors.
One is the standard 5.5 lb connector that comes standard. Then there’s the 8 lb connector some poor Police Officers get stuck with because their supervisors are terrified of liability lawsuits. Finally, we come to the 3.5 lb connector that comes standard on the competition models.
My shooting with a Glock is at its best with the competition connector. There is a bit of take-up on the trigger, but the break just feels cleaner to me. It eliminates much of the “mushy-ness” that the standard 5.5 lb connector is known for.
Now, concerning liability with these lighter connectors…
You are at no greater liability when using a 3.5 lb connector in your Glock 19 than you would be if you’d used a Glock 34. What’s more, if you don’t go advertising the fact that your connector is lighter, I don’t see how anyone would know about it.
It doesn’t look any different than the standard connector, it just has a minus stamped into it. Chances are good that if you get into a self defense shooting, they’re not going to disassemble your gun down to small parts and inspect it.
My Glock Modifications and Perception
Let’s face it friends, people who aren’t gun people are generally terrified of firearms. Ignorance induces fear and paranoia. There is no way around this.
If you modify your gun to look like a race gun, complete with scope and magwell and slam pads, a jury of your peers will take that as a sign you were looking for trouble.
The Glock Modifications I recommend are all substance over style. They do not significantly alter the appearance of the firearm, to the point that only a Glock enthusiast would be able to tell it was modified at all.
You don’t have to worry about looking like a scary storm trooper mall ninja if you actually have to use your carry gun for its intended purpose. You could simply say, “I carry this because that’s what the police here use. It gets them home safely, so I assumed it would do the same for me.”
The fact that you have slightly modified the gun to be more user friendly does not change the nature of the firearm. It does not change it into a short barreled rifle. It doesn’t change the role the gun plays in your self defense training.
All these modifications are for is to enhance the experience of owning and training with your firearm.
This does not, and actually should not, cost you a lot of money. The barrel swap is optional, the rest of these items cost less than $100 total on a $500 pistol.
When set up the way I’ve outlined, your $600 or $700 pistol in your trained hands will easily outperform many $1000 guns.