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Aftermarket Updates Every Glock Owner Needs

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There really does seem to be a strange love/hate relationship between gun nuts and Glocks. For some reason, the brand is either avoided like a Christmas fruitcake, or it’s canonized into the “gospel” of all that is wonderful about handguns.

As for me, I do like Glocks for their sheer simplicity and reliability. If I can’t trust a handgun to take a round from magazine to impact every time I pull that trigger, then that weapon remains steadfastly, a safe queen. It’s true, Glocks certainly aren’t the most beautiful handguns on the market. But then, that’s probably going to be the last thing on my mind in a lethally defensive situation.

That’s why I’ll conceal carry a Glock 10 times out of 10. Hey, I’d rather live with an unattractive, plain-looking handgun, then have a homicide detective commenting on how my 1911’s custom grips are pretty sweet: “But too bad the poor guy’s safety is still on.”

However, I will say that Glocks are not totally exempt from imperfection. In fact, there are a few aftermarket updates that I’d suggest for Glock owners, even if there are only three of practical importance.

No. 3 – Extended Slide Stop Release

One of my smaller pet peeves about Glock weapons is that they possess strange ergonomics. In one sense, they feel a little awkward in the hands. Yet by the same token, their ergos are ingeniously designed — that is, if the proper high-and-tight grip and isosceles stance is being practiced.

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After handling more than a few Glocks, however, I have noticed that they all seem to have a factory slide-stop release that feels more difficult to manipulate than picking a dime up off the floor while wearing mittens. The cool part is that Glock knows this and offers an aftermarket solution (for those of us cursed with perpetual mitten-like dexterity and short fingers).

Replace your current slide release with the extended one, and you’ll feel better in no time.

It’s like chicken noodle soup for the sidearm.

No. 2 – Aftermarket Sights

This issue is usually one of preference, because I’ve met more than a few Glock carriers who are completely happy with their factory sights. However, if you’ve been shooting for decades with other pistols using the usual dot configuration, then it’s understandable why Glock’s factory sights could cause annoyance.

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If you’re simply more partial to dots instead of boxes, then feel free to change out those sights for something that makes you more comfortable. Lone Wolf offers convincingly good aftermarket Glock sights, as well as glow-in-the-dark tritium sights for your casual evening shootouts.

However, if you do purchase tritium sights, then you should know that they tend to accumulate accuracy-damaging dirt, and the tritium glow tends to slowly degenerate within just a few years. Other than that, night sights can provide just another advantage if you’re forced into a tactical engagement after daylight hours.

No. 1 – Trigger Pull Upgrade

Admittedly, this is an issue that I’ve held against my own Glock for a few years. Even though I’ve put hundreds of rounds down range with the gun, I have always felt like my 19’s trigger pull weight was heavy enough to generate concern about possibly throwing off a crucial shot.

So in order to put those nightmares to rest, I decided to purchase a ZEV Tech trigger upgrade kit. They even claim to bring that five-pound pull down to about three, while not diminishing the weight of the spring itself. It was an easy win for me.

And since it’s a mod that you can purchase on Brownells for less than $10, then this attempt is well worth it (especially if you suffer from dreams where you try to shoot the velociraptor, but you just can’t seem to pull that darn trigger hard enough to squeeze off a round into the reptilian beastie).

It’s a Glock … So Let’s Not Get Too Crazy People

Some of these mods will require above-average knowledge of the weapon in order to get them done, so there is a chance that you might need to take your baby to the local certified Glock armorer. However, if you do have a rather extensive knowledge of gunsmithing (or of Glocks in general), then you might be able to get by with this guide: Glock Armorer’s Manual.

It is true that there are plenty of other aftermarket mods (even aesthetic ones, believe it or not.) Nevertheless, let’s not sacrifice the gun’s simplicity in the name of upgrading just to upgrade. At the end of the day, it’s an all-round great gun.

So let’s not get too crazy people; it’s Glock that we’re talking about here.

What aftermarket updates would you add to a Glock? Share your thoughts in the section below:


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  1. If you’re going to go through the trouble of changing out the sights, then you should spend the extra money for tritium sights. That will allow you to shoot accurately in low light situations, when many crimes occur. Tritium sights are radioactive and glow in the dark. This makes them much more visible than even the fiber-optic ones. The difference could be life-or-death.

    • I have pondered the tritium sights from Trijicon, but after talking with several industry professionals and a few police officers I have come to the conclusion that you are better off spending that money on a flashlight. If the lighting is so low that you can’t use the factory sights the chances are you cannot see your intended target clearly. Would not want to injure or kill someone, then get in court and not be able to accurately describe them, saying something like “just saw a silhouette outline” is not gonna get you points with a jury in a self defense shooting. If you cannot see your target clearly, and most importantly what is behind them, then its best not to pull the trigger unless your life depends on it. But be prepared for the police investigators and prosecutor to tear you a new one for shooting in the dark.

  2. I came late to the “Glock Party” never thinking that a “plastic” framed gun would EVER be THE law enforcement standard it has become. I stand corrected.
    I have replaced the stock sights on all of my Glock pistols at present, with Tru-Glo’s Tritium Fiber Optic sights which work WELL for my eyes, night or day. I love them. Easy for me to pick out in a hurry.
    I also have placed Pachmayr grip cloves on all of the Glocks in my inventory, because I found out early in my l(past) law enforcement career, my hands got sweaty when I had to pistol-point a felon-in-progress. That habit has never left me, so I now have no naked Glocks.
    Yes, Glock pistols ARE ugly, with few redeeming features other than they just plain are reliable and work. Do I carry other hand guns? from time to time yes. Most of the time, for serious work, a Glock is on my hip with reloads on the opposite. I’ve not succumbed to different barrels, or other accouterments that many people find to their liking. Not my style and that is OK. Everyone can find what suits them best, be it a Glock or any other brand or a revolver. Whatever works best and fits YOU best, by all means, be legally armed. It’s not only your right, it just might save your life,, or the lives of your loved ones.

  3. I left the factory sights on my 19, but I did install a Lasermax guide rod laser. It’s not that I am a bad shot, it took a little while but I became a pretty reliable shot even with my short chubby fingers. I just like the extra added security of knowing that if I can’t find my glasses in the dark, or I am awakened and just a little disoriented, I am going to be able to hit what my laser is pointing at.

    • Another advantage of a Laser, is simply this, If I saw a Laser dot on my body I would retreat. The best way to win a gunfight is to not be in one.

  4. For the Gen 4 users like myself, a Pearce Grip Plug to fill the hole when using a backstrap. I had a lot of trouble with the factory slide lock, too small for me. Changing it out for the extended one is a piece of cake and really worth the effort. Only other recommended upgrade that is optional is the guide rod, a steel one is better for those that will be practicing at the range a lot, not that there is anything wrong with the plastic one from the factory, but the fact that it is plastic makes me nervous about long term use. Only cosmetic thing I did was to use some bright red nail polish to color the front sight for contrast purposes. Takes one drop of red and really helps when you are trying to line up the white box rear sight with a red front sight. I keep a bottle of red nail polish on my workbench and do this with all my firearms!

  5. I installed the Glock adjustable rear sights, just to insure accuracy, and a Hy-Viz front sight, and that helps me to focus on the front sight, as you’re supposed to do.
    I installed a ‘Ghost 3.5’ trigger assembly, and to make sure that I could maintain grip, simple ‘skate board’ tape on the grips.
    This is a “Gen 1″ model 17, a former ‘police trade in”, so I can’t account for how many rounds were fired out of it before I got it, but I KNOW that I’ve fired over 8,000 rounds through it since acquisition in 2004, and it has NEVER missed a beat!
    I joined USPSA competitive shooting, then, and had to ‘develop a load that would make ‘major power’ in USPSA, since all factory 9mm ammunition won’t make ‘major power’. I have been religiously shooting 147gr CAST LEAD, and jacketed 147gr bullets, and it has NEVER had an issue with lead in the barrel, CONTRARY to what may have been reported!
    I’m still loading the bullets with 147gr cast (cast with Lee bullet molds), 15% antimony/tin content, 85% lead, and either Sierra or Hornady 147gr JHP, at around 1100fps!
    Funny how such an ‘ugly’ firearm can be so reliable!
    By the way, after 2.5 years of USPSA competition, in the ‘production’ class, I was able to save up for my Kimber Stainless Target II, .45acp, and competed another 3.5 years in the ‘limited 10’ (10 round magazine) class, but that’s a discussion for another day.
    I still shoot the Gen 1 model 17, when I can pry it away from my wife! It’s her favorite firearm, and pretty effective with it!

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