This is a two-part series on the Basic 4 “must do” enhancements any Glock owner should make to a factory Glock. In Part 1, we will cover the background on the Glock and lay the foundation for the enhancements to be discussed in Part Two.
In this article, we provide some background about the benefit of the Glock pistol over other pistols, as well as discuss some inherent weaknesses and deficiencies in the Glock pistol. This will lay the foundation for discussing the enhancements we propose.
As previously mentioned in the video series, I originally was not a Glock fan. I became a fan, though, after realizing that the Glock pistol is actually a weapon platform, rather than just a pistol.
So what do I mean?
Glock made a very valuable and strategic move as a company. Most gun companies attempt to keep parts and construction proprietary. Glock, instead, seems to have fostered an environment of innovation around the base pistol. As a result, the marketplace for aftermarket add-ons and parts for the Glock pistol is vast. In fact, when I first started Glock gunsmithing, I literally got lost in trying to find “what’s what”. Nearly every part on the Glock pistol has an alternative, including the frames, slides, etc. – that are normally proprietary to a vendor (btw, kudos to Glock for this!).
A vast marketplace of add-ons and parts for the Glock would be meaningless if it were not for the fact that a Glock pistol is “stupid simple” to gunsmith. You can practically take a Glock pistol fully apart with two tools – a Glock armorer tool (which costs $20) and a small blade screwdriver. Even more important, Glock has essentially made every part to be “drop in”. With a Glock, (unlike many other pistols) you do not have to fit any parts – you simply buy it and drop it in!
Now let’s get to the “platform” equation (I know all of you hate math!):
vast marketplace of parts + ease of gunsmithing = weapon platform!!
Essentially in a Glock pistol you have any configuration you may, can, or will want. Want a competition pistol? Buy this set of parts and install. Want a short-barreled rifle (yes a rifle), buy these parts and install… a weapons platform.
While the Glock pistol is highly recommended by TheGaGG.com, out-of-the-box, it has some general weaknesses that make a “stock” pistol rather mediocre, at best. I, personally, find that a new Glock pistol shoots poorly for me. As I will discuss in detail, the key weaknesses in the pistol are as follows:
- Trigger – The stock trigger on a Glock is, at best, atrocious. The Glock site specifies that the stock trigger on its guns are approximately 5.5 lbs. Horse hockey! I own over 10 Glocks, and with each one I check the trigger pull right out of the box. I have consistently found the triggers to be greater than 6 lbs., and several have been close to 7+ lbs. Even more disturbing, I consistently find an early “hitch” in most of the triggers that creates a very chaotic trigger pull. If you know the Glock inner workings, you know that hitch is principally caused by the firing pin safety or the firing pin spring becoming engaged as the root cause to this issue. I have yet to find a consistent pattern of one predominating over the other.
- Sights – While not as significant of an issue as the trigger, the basic Glock sights represent an issue for most shooters. The principal issue I find with the Glock sights is that they are too “busy”. The white front and white back makes quick contrast difficult in stress situations. Shooting is enhanced when there is contrast between the front and back sight. This is most often accomplished by either a black back sight or with two different colors used in the front and back sights.
- Grip – Gripping the Glock has always been a constant battle for my hands. It must be for others as well, since the grip is one part that Glock has consistently made changes to across all generations. For me, the shape of the gun is different from how I originally developed my shooting skills, thus creating an initial basic grip difference. Combine that with my big hands, and the fact that Glocks are purposely built for nearly every sized hand in the marketplace, well, it makes me feel like Sasquatch hugging a string bean. It is also clear that Glock has not completely “figured out” the texture of its grips, since (again) this is something it consistently changes.
- Magazine release – I feel this has been a component I consistently struggle to engage with ease on a Glock. Again, with the 4th generation Glocks, some improvements have been made, but generally it is a bit small and too recessed.
Some may argue that my list should include the slide release, or even go as far to say the slide release is a bigger issue than the magazine release. I would argue in terms of sequence – the magazine release is more important. You won’t have any need to release the slide if you can’t put in a fresh magazine!
While not any one of these weaknesses make the Glock horrible, (the trigger comes close!) taken altogether, they combine to make the basic Glock a pistol with limits. Note, we find that nearly every gun, except for custom-built guns, has a similar set of base weaknesses. This is not unique to Glock. Understand, we are not trying to bash Glocks…so Glock zealots, please, relax! Remember. we love Glocks!
In Part 2 of this series, we will present a set of options for addressing these 4 weaknesses in a new Glock. Our options will identify paths to correction for both the basic (limited gunsmithing skills) and advanced (DIY gunsmith) Glock owners.