Glock-ology: Basic 4 “Must Do” Enhancements Part 2


In Part One, of this two-part series, we discussed some basic weaknesses and flaws in the Glock pistol. Like all production pistols, the Glock pistol is serviceable out of the box, but in order to make one shoot well, enhancements are required. In this article, we will discuss suggested enhancements related to the weaknesses previously covered in Part One. For most of the enhancements, we present alternatives that require no (or limited) gunsmithing skills, as well as alternatives for those readers who are comfortable with gunsmithing their own Glock.

Basic Enhancements

Trigger

In Part One, we described how the standard Glock trigger has a fairly heavy and often “rough” trigger pull. The two possibilities for improving the trigger are replacing the entire trigger/trigger harness or replacing components of the trigger harness and striker assembly.

If you have limited gunsmithing skills, then your best bet would be to install a drop-in trigger replacement, such as the Apex, Zev or Pyramid.  Any of these drop-in trigger replacements are well-proven and provide really clean and crisp trigger pulls. The downsides to these replacements are they are quite expensive, and you get the “trigger feel” that the vendor provides. This is the result of not replacing the factory striker assembly springs which influence the trigger pull. It would be worth the effort to learn a little about your Glock and some DIY methods (listed below).

If you possess the acumen to gunsmith your own, personal Glock, then just replace the connector and springs (trigger, safety, firing pin). By DIY, you are able to achieve the trigger feel you want, rather than “settling” for the trigger feel that a drop-in gives you.  Our recommendations are the Ghost Edge connector and the Ghost Complete Spring kits.  With minimal gunsmithing skills, you can give your Glock a clean, crisp 3.5 ish lb trigger – no more mid-pull hitch and the trigger breaks crisp.

If you DIY, we recommend you replace the springs one at a time. Glocks are a bit sensitive to spring changes, and the lower weight springs can occasionally stack-up to produce a non-serviceable trigger.

Sights

Sights are a matter of preference for any shooter. We recommend you gather your gun friends, take a look at their sight set-ups, and see what your eye likes best. The following are some general recommendations to assist you in “wading” through the myriad of sight choices:

  • If your Glock is strictly intended to be a self-defense gun (or CQB tactical gun), we highly recommend the Trijicon HD Night Sight. This sight has some great characteristics: the front sight can’t be missed, it is high contrast, and it can be used in complete darkness. If you can’t shoot with this sight, you need to give up!
  • Unless you need full darkness while shooting, we have found that most shooters do better with a solid black rear sight. Most shooters find that back sight markings (lines, dots, etc.) tend to make the eye defocus from the correct front sight oriented sight picture.
  • Generally, Warren Tactical and Dawson Precision both offer an extensive combination of sight sets. One option is the Sevigny back sight, from Warren Tactical. This sight is very clean and comes with a choice of black blade, tritium, and fiber optic front sights that provides you a wide variety of choices in both front sight height and width. Dawson Precision includes an adjustable back sight with black blade, tritium and fiber option front sight options.

Changing the sights on a Glock is a two-part process: remove/replace the front sight, and remove/replace the rear sight. The front sight is fairly easy to remove, whereas the rear sight is more complicated.

Regardless of your gunsmithing skills, we recommend you invest in a $20 front sight tool. This tool is required to remove and change your front sight, and is something every Glock owner should possess. As part of normal maintenance, the front sight should be checked and tightened periodically – this can only be done with a front sight tool.

A sight pushing tool is recommended in the replacement of a Glock rear sight – unfortunately, this tool can be expensive. The rear sight can be removed by using a punch to “beat out” the rear sight.  Note:  beating out the rear sight leaves you with the dilemma of having to “beat in” the new sight, and this removal/replacement can result in marring of the gun or sight.  Having seen mixed results, we generally do not recommend this approach to the removal of rear sights.

Whether you have gunsmithing skills or not, anyone should be able to change the front sight using a front sight tool. Be aware that if you do not purchase a front/rear sight pair, you may need to ensure that the height and width of your front sight is appropriate for the rear sight – Dawson Precision has an effective calculator that allows you to figure this out!

If you have limited gunsmithing skills,  you do not want to invest $100 in a sight pusher, nor do you want to risk any damage to your sight or gun, you can use a Sharpie marker to simply black-out the Glock rear sight to create a better contrast. Personally, I have found that the Glock rear sight, once blacked-out, is a serviceable sight.

If you do have gunsmithing skills, are able to invest in a sight pusher, and/or are willing to take it to a gunsmith, then try out the rear sights as indicated above. If you are willing to invest in a sight pusher, our recommendation is this one from Maryland Gun Works.

Grip

Follow these two steps in order to improve the grip on a Glock:

  • Change the grip size by adding a different sized backstrap. Generation 4 owners receive 3 sizes of backstraps as part of the product that they purchased. Prior to Generation 4, you may have to purchase a backstrap like the Grip Force Backstrap or the ones sold in the Glockstore. All backstraps simply require a Glock armorer tool or a punch for installation.
  • Change the texture of the grip by texturing.  While Generation 4 Glocks have made improvements to the texture of the grips, you may want to shoot your Generation 4 Glock prior to texturing. Either texturing option (as noted below) is permanent or semi-permanent – so be 100% sure before you decide! I find that my hands sweat too much, in various conditions, and that I must add some additional texture.

Changing the backstrap can be completed even if you do not possess any gunsmithing skills. Find the backstrap that suits your hand the best and put it on the grip – worst case is to just easily remove the backstrap and the grip is returned to its original state.

For the shooter with limited gunsmithing skills, changing the texture can be accomplished in two ways:

  1. Buy a pair of football receiver gloves (the sticky ones ), place the gloves on, and shoot with them.
  2. Find/buy some 3M grip tape, the type used on flooring areas that are prone to becoming slippery – this type of tape, also, comes in different “roughness”.  Take the tape and place pieces on your grip in order to add texture.  Note:  adding tape increases the grip size, so if you have large hands as I do, you can actually make your grip a little fatter this way.

For the shooter with gunsmithing skills and/or is willing to pay for gunsmithing, stippling can be added to your grip for permanent enhancement. There are many videos online that can be used for DIY stippling, but I encourage you to find someone locally or an online vendor (who is experienced) to provide this service. Everyone I have come across who has DIY’ed it, said they wished they had just paid someone (who was experienced) to do the stippling – it is a lot of work, especially if you do not have the professional tools.

Magazine Release

Unfortunately, this is the one item on this list you can not really find an easy work-around. You will need to take your gun to a gunsmith if you are not willing to learn how to DIY. If you are not going to pay to change out the magazine release,  and/or lack the gunsmithing skills, buy a Generation 4 Glock – this magazine release is passable.

In order to really “fix” the magazine release issue, you will need to learn how to fully disassemble the frame of a Glock and access the magazine release assembly and spring – if not, you will need to take it to a gunsmith to do this for you. There are many choices and options for extended magazine releases, but be careful to ensure that you choose the release that is appropriate for the model (17, 22, 23…) and generation (3, 4…) Glock you own. Releases vary greatly by both model and generation. We have found the teardrop design is optimal for our shooting purposes, but you may find differently. If possible, try out some guns with modified magazine releases to find out which one suits you. The goal is to be able to activate the magazine release without changing your grip.

Wrap Up

Here at TheGaGG.com, we love Glocks!  In spite of our “love”, we clearly see the weaknesses of the factory Glock and have made clear recommendations to our readers on how to address these – even if the reader possesses limited gunsmithing skills.  We highly recommend any new Glock be given a make-over (see chart and suggestions below) to allow the gun to shoot to its full potential.

No Gunsmithing DIY Gunsmith Pay Gunsmith
Parts:

  • Drop-in trigger – $150 – $250
  • Front sight – $50 – $100
  • Backstrap (Gen 3 only) – $25
  • Don’t texture
  • Magazine release (buy a Gen 4) – $0

Tools:

  • Front sight tool – $20
  • Armorer tool or punch – $20

Total:

Low – $240*

High – $415*

*Majority of cost is in the drop-in trigger part

Parts:

  • Ghost Edge Connector – $25
  • Ghost Spring Kit – $10
  • Front/back sight kit – $80 – $150
  • Backstrap (Gen 3 only) – $25
  • Skid tape – $5
  • Magazine release – $15 – $30

Tools:

  • Front sight tool – $20
  • Armorer tool or punch – $20
  • Sight pusher – $27 – $150

Total:

Low – $205

High – $435*

*Majority of cost is tools, the other part is in a higher end sight set

Parts:

  • Parts should be +/- 20% of other part costs
  • Probably better to go with connector/spring combo versus drop-in (IMHO)
  • Add stippling grip – $60 – $100

Tools:

  • Front sight tool – $20*
  • Armorer tool or punch – $20*

Gunsmithing:

  • 1.5 hours – $100**

Total:

Low – $360

High – $528

*You should own these anyway!

** Based on an approx $75/hr rate

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