Firearms

Setting up a Glock for Concealed Carry

Glock 19

A little while ago, I wrote an article on why I choose to carry the GLOCK 19 over all other concealed carry pistols. It’s a fantastic little gun, but can still be improved, and I’m not very good at leaving good enough alone when I can spend a little more money to make a gun even better! The GLOCK is so good from the factory that I had to think carefully about my modifications, because I don’t want to make the gun worse instead of better. Here are some areas I’ve addressed with my personal GLOCK 19, which you might consider as well. I am even going to admit that in one area, I screwed it up and went BACK to the stock Glock part.

Sights: Ditch Plastic, Go Steel

Ameriglo Night Sights for Glock 19
Ameriglo night sights for GLOCK 19–these are the ones I use

If the Glock has an Achilles’ Heel from the factory, it is the plastic sights. The stock front sight features a white dot and the rear sight a U-shaped white outline which shooters have dubbed the “ball in a bucket” sight picture. Ball in a bucket is simple and works pretty well, but the plastic construction is unfortunate. If you are just shooting your Glock at the range and it never sees any work from a holster, you might do fine leaving it alone. Those of us who carry our Glocks and practice drawing from concealment will soon find the front sight wearing down from scraping against the inside of the holster on the draw and while re-holstering. Worse are the stories of sudden failures where the front sight breaks off entirely, leaving the shooter with a flat slide and nothing to aim with. That may be an internet fish story, I’ve never actually seen that happen with my own eyes, but why chance it? It is my opinion that night sights on a carry gun can be a big benefit, so I went with a full set from Ameriglo. The front dot is your standard green tritium night sight, and the rear dots are amber colored. The amber ones are not as bright, so in low light my dominant eye finds the front sight quickly, and it really stands out. In daytime, I ignore the dots and focus on the shape of the front sight. Because Ameriglo sights are made of milled steel and use tritium inserts from Trijicon, I have complete confidence that they will last. Honorable mention goes to the XS “Big Dot,” which sacrifices precision in favor of an even faster sight picture. My friend Brad swears by his and I can’t fault his reasoning for putting them on his Glock. Lastly, skip the “ghost ring” style sights unless you have tried them and really like them for some reason. Peep sights work great on my AR15, where my eye is extremely close to the rear ring. On a pistol, I didn’t see any advantage to them and boy were they weird to look through after years of shooting with standard pistol sights. At least I was willing to try them.

Trigger: A Step Too Far

Ghost Connector
This Ghost 3.5lb connector is a fine product, but it combined poorly with my existing trigger job.

The first thing I did with my Glock’s trigger was to carefully polish the engagement areas where metal rubs against metal as the trigger is pulled. This is often called the 25-cent trigger job because you’ll use up twenty five cents worth of polishing materials to do it, assuming you already have them lying around. I was a gunsmith before I came to work for Cheaper Than Dirt!, so for me this sort of thing is second nature. First timers will want to be cautious. Make sure that you are polishing metal and not removing metal, you do not want to change any of the engagement angles or the amount of surface area. The idea is to have the same effect as if the gun had fired thousands of rounds and all those parts had rubbed each other smooth over time. That’s all. After polishing the internals my trigger was wonderfully smooth to pull, with a predictable reset that I could feel “click” when the trigger was ready to be pulled again. I should have left it alone there. However, another shooting buddy has a Glock with a Ghost, Inc. 3.5-pound connector installed. It was also a very nice trigger, so I installed one of those too. I thought the combination of my polishing job and the lighter trigger pull could make for an amazing trigger. Folks, this is why we test out each modification with live fire. I’ve trained myself through thousands of repetitions to feel for the Glock’s trigger reset, which is one of the strong points of its firing system. Firing the gun for the first time with the Ghost connector installed went something like this: I would pull this butter-smooth, now very light trigger, and then find the reset, and as soon as the reset clicked the trigger would pull again instantly. As I found myself “milking” the trigger this way, I bump-fired the Glock like a YouTube redneck with a Slide-Fire stock shooting up free ammo. Yee haw! Sure, it was fun to have a Glock dumping off ammo at about 600 rounds a minute as the trigger wiggled back and forth on its reset–yay, a poor man’s Glock 18 machine pistol! However, this is a serious concealed carry gun, not a toy, and the point of having a good trigger is to maximize my control over that gun as I save my own life or someone else’s. A trigger that gives me less control of the gun is nothing but a liability. I removed the Ghost connector, and reinstalled the factory 5.5 pound connector.

Slide Stop And Magazine Release: Vickers Tactical For Subtle Improvements

Vickers Slide Stop
The Vickers slide stop resembles the factory piece, but it’s a worthy upgrade.

I like the idea of an extended magazine release to make my reloads faster, but I dislike the factory extended mag release that Glock puts on their big models 34 and 35. It has sharp edges and can scratch up the palm of my left hand as the gun recoils. For a low-round count range session, I can tolerate it, but just barely. Vickers Tactical has a better solution. Their mag release extends just a bit more than the factory piece, not too much. It is nicely rounded to prevent scraping on your hands or being accidentally hit. For me its perfect, I still have to shift the gun in my hand just a little bit on the reload to mash down on the mag release, but not nearly as much as with the stock unit that hardly sticks out from the frame at all.  I also have a Vickers slide stop installed. We carry the Glock  extended slide stop, which again comes installed on the 34 and 35, but I prefer the Vickers. Like the extended mag release, the Vickers slide stop makes subtle changes. Overall it is the same shape as the factory slide stop, but is made of thicker metal, with a bit of a ridge on top and strong serrations underneath. I’ve trained myself over the years to normally avoid the slide stop completely when shooting with both hands– I manipulate the entire slide instead. However, it is still handy to be able to use the slide stop as a slide release with a thumb or trigger finger if I’m shooting one handed. Its also easier to lock the slide open using the Vickers slide stop. Are these parts really necessary? Heck no. Thousands of  Glock shooters do just fine without them, and the changes they make to how I shoot are pretty minimal. However, they do optimize the gun and make it just a bit easier to manipulate. They are inexpensive parts and haven’t hurt the Glock’s reliability.

GLOCK 19 Handgun
CTD Mike’s GLOCK 19 with Ameriglo sights, Vickers Slide Stop and Mag Release

Modifications I Won’t Do

There are a few Glock mods that I am not going to do. I’m not going to swap out any of the internal slide parts. When you dry fire a Glock you get a strange sproing! feeling that some people don’t like. Sometimes folks will swap out strikers and striker springs for aftermarket bits to “fix” that. The problem is that these parts are intended for competition guns and high end shooters. These folks are trying to decrease lock time and do other high-end trickery, and they are willing to pay a bit of a reliability penalty to make magic at the 3-gun match. The titanium strikers and aftermarket springs can cause occasional misfires. On a concealed carry gun, I’m not going to take that chance. I’m a mere mortal and lock time makes no practical difference to me, so all the slide internals are stock and left alone. In fact, all the internals on the gun are factory Glock, I just polished a few areas to help the trigger. Reliability comes first, and I will not do any modification that I think will hurt reliability even in the slightest bit. Another modification I don’t need is the “grip reduction” where folks trim and stipple their polymer frames with heat guns. This pretty much ruins the resale value of the gun (not that I ever plan to sell mine) and for me it’s totally unnecessary, as the Glock 19 fits my hands wonderfully as it is.

A Modification I Might Do

There is not much else to do to the Glock that I haven’t already done. One thing I am considering doing is replacing the standard plastic guide rod with a steel one when the time comes for me to replace the recoil spring. There are a few scary stories about the plastic guide rod breaking. On the other hand, many thousands of Glocks shoot flawlessly with the factory plastic ones and old springs that are beyond their service life. I’m going to do some research on the aftermarket guide rods and whether they have any effect on reliability before I plunk down the bucks for one. This is what I recommend for each of you to do as well–before you modify your concealed carry firearm, do as much research as you can with a mind towards enhancing reliability first and foremost. After you’ve installed the part or done the modification, rigorously test the gun again to make sure nothing has changed for the worse before you start trusting that gun with your life again!

Train hard, and be safe out there.

Tell us about any modifications you’ve made to your GLOCK in the comment section.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (81)

  1. Vickers slide stop, mag release, and mag base plates. Trijicon night sights. Apex flat face trigger. Polished factory internals. Functional and reliable.

  2. I use 2 setups on my Glock 17. One for range shooting and one for personal defense.
    PD I put a tungsten guide rod. Strength and weight at the barrel end. Provides better balance and less recoil. Pyramid Trigger System, but kept stock Trigger connector weight. Titanium Safety Plunger less friction in, harder surface for less wear and tear. All else stock.
    Range: I swap out barrel for Double Diamond Stainless steel better accuracy largely because of it having traditional rifling and tighter tolerance in the barrel. Titanium striker.
    These are all drop in parts that can be changed on the fly.

    1. Just curious but, if you are more accurate with the double Diamond stainless barrel, why aren’t you using that in your personal defense setup? Is range accuracy really more important than your life?

  3. I have been seeing lots of negative reviews on the G27. Personally I thought it looked like a pretty sturdy gun. Is this gun known to have a lot of problems?

  4. I will only speak to glock here, as the string appears to be re Glock. I also own s and w products, revolver and autoloader, beretta, browning and remington.

    I own a G19 gen4, G26 gen4 in 9mm and a G30 in .45 ACP.

    Mods to my EDC, the G26 include stainless guide rod w dual captured recoil spring, extended slide lock (as opposed to slide stop) for quicker field strip,grip plug, Pierce +2 mag extension baseplate and a ghost 4.5 connector. Mods to the other two weapons listed are similar, except on the 30, its a tungston guide rod, and no grip plug is available. The 30 also has a factory Glock 4.5 pound connector. Smooth as silk and better so far than the ghost Trijicon green night sights on all. Zorn Holsters kydex Skinny Rig iwb holster with 20 degree cant option for all as well. Added the med beavertail to the 26, as it brings that grip to approx same dimensions as the 30 w/out mods. I personally would not carry anything lighter than a 4.5 pull for EDC. Retired 3 yrs ago after 33 yrs in law enforcement / court investigation. These setups work perfectly for me . . . G30 disappears in skinny rig iwb, even in shorts and tshirt.

    Regards,

  5. Gary; Thanks for the input. Does the Apex Trigger make a lot of difference? I will be testing the SD40VE on Thursday, but have pretty much decided that if it doesn’t really impress me, I will go with a Glock 23.
    Will test fire the M&P before buying anything. I get same grouping with the 23 as I do with my 22, and it feels just as comfortable. The Glock is my first choice for EDC.

  6. As far as the SD 40 VE; save your money. I generally like S&W for almost anything. However, I have never seen an SD 40 VE with a decent trigger. And, what is worse is that as long as you have any of the original trigger parts, it will never be decent. If your going to get an S&W semi-auto, get an M&P.

  7. Yes, the Clip-Dray works and that is the only thing I have done to my baby Glock (Model 27). I also use a Kydex paddle holster for occasional outside wear the Clip-Draw works fine with that holster.

  8. I’m a firm believer in keeping your equipment as uniform as possible. My Glocks all have the same feel and trigger pull.

    You just helped me make up my mind. I have been toying with the idea of purchasing an SD40VE with Apex Trigger . I have test fired it a couple times and just don’t have that “warm fuzzy feeling” even though the price is right. I have fired the Glock 23 Gen 4 and it is as perfect a fit as my Glock 22 Gen4, so why go to anything else??!! I generally shoot my own ammo; 165 grain with HP38 powder. Very comfortable.

  9. Hey “R”, dude! Give decaf a try…you seem to have a serious anger issue. Not sure you should even be carrying a weapon…that would include a rock!

    The only modification I’ve ever done to any of mine is to change the sights. Not because the stock sights are a problem, just old eyes don’t pick them up as quick as they once did. Mine are all outfitted with AmeriGlo night sights. My G19 has Green rear and Square Orange front…no trouble point and shoot with those bad boys.
    My G17 and G34 have “Ghost Sights” on the rear with the same Square Orange Fronts.

    Many have made mention of the fact in a real gun fight, there’s not going to be a lot of aiming, so the “Ghost Sights” would be of little advantage. However I really like them for combat drills. You can really “pick-up” your targets a lot quicker as well as being able to shoot effective longer range with them.

    I’m a firm believer in keeping your equipment as uniform as possible. My Glocks all have the same feel and trigger pull (except the G34, it’s lighter) it aids me in being hit targets consistently no matter which weapon I choose.

  10. I don’t know what is wrong with you guys. Is it just to simple for you, People think if you don’t have 3 or 4 things you have to do before you can fire it ,its not worth having? Well I will tell you 1 thing , I have a gen 3 glock 22 and it goes boom every time I pull the trigger and it hits everything I aim at what more could you ask for?

  11. I have carried many of guns,and have bought and sold just as many. I grew up in a law enforcement family in the days of revolvers and the occasional 1911. That said I have owned many autos from different manufacturers and still do. But when it comes to plastic guns their are only two I rely on my current Glock a 30s or S&W M&P I carry every day. I have owned a Glock since they first came out and have never had a problem and for modifications sights and trigger is all I ever done. They are the Timex of guns

  12. Started carrying the glock26 gen4 very happy out of the box. My additions so far include
    MIC holster, for IWB or pocket carry
    Grip tape for skin side for comfort
    Pierce ext for pinkie on 10rd mag
    Pierce ext baseplate adding 2 rounds
    Ext sleeve to install on Glock 19 mag
    Added the duck bill med backstrap
    13 Hornaday critical defense rounds

    The MIC holster is kidex very slim
    Overall very happy and so is my wife

  13. This may be a repeat comment, however a modification that only costs 15.00 is the precision slide lock.
    While my glock 23 was shooting decent groups with both reloads and factory ammo. I expected better. The extended slide lock is thicker and made from machined steel vs. stamped. This extra lock up tightened the groups and provides a greater confidence in the gun. Installation takes less than 5 minutes ti install.
    Not advertising for a particular company, you can find the part at the glock store.
    I do have a full length metal guide rod, did not see an advantage.

  14. It makes me laugh when people wsh glock. There’s a reason why 80% of police and military in the world use these guns. I’m a huge 1911 fan but I do carry a glock alot because they always function. I have pistols that cost 10 times more than a glock and jam right out of the box. I think people should shoot whatever they are comfortable with and perform the best with. As far as the “glock are garbage comment”… everyone is entitled to their opinion and the person that made that statement is probably one of the people that gets smoked at the range.

  15. Nice article. I agree with the writers choice of mods 100%. No matter what gun you choose to carry, your choice of mods will either improve the quality and reliability of the weapon OR make it an expensive piece of crap. If you’re considering the Ghost Connector…don’t. I tried one on a Ruger SR40 (along with an aftermarket striker spring) and it actually caused the gun to burst-fire every few rounds. Sounds cool, but it wasn’t. Trijicon night sights (green front, orange rear) have been, by far, the best investment that I’ve made for my EDC. I am among the ‘Glock Haters’ though. Not really so much hate, more of a distaste. They are reliable. The Glock I owned went bang every time I pulled the trigger. But, that’s all there was to like about it. Not very accurate, top heavy, magazine floorplates want to snag on everything, and just downright ugly. I chose a Springfield XD9 for the nightstand, and a Ruger SR9c for concealed carry. But, these guns were chosen after years of extensive research and testing by myself to find the firearms that work best for me in certain situations. Glock just doesn’t do it for me. And I am a firm believer in ‘to each his own’. However, if you are new to firearms and are looking for a good place to start; check out S&W. I’ve owned several S&W, and even their SD series (which I’d steer clear of) have been as reliable as the Glock. Note: I sold the Glock .45 and the S&W SD40VE, simply because I found better weapons.

  16. I have a Glock Gen4 Model 23, I could not put the night sights on it, so I ordered a light with lazer that slides and clips on, the light will stay on or strobe, also while using the lazer site. I had to order the LA Glock holster to carry it with the attachments. The light has a glass crusher on the front. I have found this setup nice.

  17. I have several hand guns, including a Springfield XD 9 Sub compact, a Baby Desert Eagle 9 MM, a couple .380’s, a Ruger LC9, and I may pick up an SD 40 VE if the price is right. My favorite weapon is by far my Glock Model 22 Gen 4 .40 caliber. 1000’s of rounds fired, no issues of any kind.
    Weapons listed above offer the same reliabilty, however, what sets the Glock apart is the fact it “fits”me perfectly! Excellent results when I “point and shoot” and accuracy when aiming is incredible.

    Most any weapon in the $400 – $700 price range is going to be reliable firearm. It becomes a case of what “features” you like or dislike.

    Just because you don’t like the “features” of a Glock, doesn’t make it less than the high quality, dependable firearm that it is.

    As Tommy Lee Jones said in US Marshals, “Get A Glock”!!

  18. Its really going to be interesting to see the comments you will get on that post. Pistols, like everything else, will be liked by some and not by others and Glocks are no exception. When they first came out, I wanted nothing to do with them. I am a deputy who has carried one for 15 years and love it. My model 22 goes bang every time, hits where I point it, and saved my life 13 years ago. I have two Sigs, a Colt, a Charter Arms, 2 Rugers and a couple more and like them all — but my everyday, off duty carry is a Model 27 Glock. You have obviously never used one or you would know that they are not top heavy so good luck with that rock.

  19. Mr “R” I think I would rather you use a rock too considering the main two safeties are your brain and your finger and if the safety on the trigger on top of those, which makes at least three total, isn’t enough then, yes, I totally agree that you are better off with a rock. Only problem with that is the rock has absolutely zero safeties on it. Do you trust it?

  20. I am sick and tired of hearing great Flocks are, far as I am concerned, Glock are a peace of garbage; they are overrated. I would carry that piece of garbage. Every one rant and raves on how great they are; BULL, it has no safety what so ever. That little thing on the trigger “IS NOT A SAFETY” , There is no way you will ever convince me of that. Also, a plastic frame and metal slide; that piece of garbage is top heavy with no balance to it. I know what you are going to tell me, you are going too tell me about all of the torture test that have been preformed, SO STINKING WHAT, BIG DEAL. SHUT UP ABOUT; I’M SICK AND TIRED HEARING ABOUT IT. I rather throw a ROCK than OWN A glock!

    1. Wow, you really hate Glocks. I have a 17 and a 42 that are two of my most reliable and accurate pistols. Why do people have such a problem with them?

    2. There are documented reports from LA County Sheriffs Dept. that trying to manipulate the safety, decockers on the Beretta 92-F have resulted in deputies death’s.
      Check with NYPD the largest PD in the nation and see how many death’s have been because of their weapon, the Glock 19?

    3. Gosh, R, I can’t recall when I’ve read such a thoughtful, intelligent statement regarding Glocks (or anything else for that matter).

      Oh, wait, yes I do. Instead of trying to emulate a whiny, spoil, little boy having a temper tantrum and shaking his head while plugging his ears with his fingers and a yelling “No, no, no, no, no, no!”, how about making an effort at self improvement. Put down your comic book or Hustler magazine, read something that will improve your command of the English language and strive for self-improvement rather than self-abusement!

      Remember: Ignorance can be cured, but stupid is forever.

  21. Why release the mag with your right hand? The left hand thumb is already at or near the mag release, just use the left thumb, it is faster also.
    Just cup the bottom of the mag with the other left fingers and drop it with the thumb.

    Try it, you’ll like it.

  22. Glock 20 & 29, yes for concealed carry, Lone Wolf barrels, 3.5 lb trigger on both, tirjecon low profile sights,
    Yes Richard Colloway, I recently retired after 33 years from Law Enforcement.

  23. I think you’re missing the point. A paid attorney will stop at nothing to make someone using their firearm in self-defense look like a loose cannon. Even if it means singling out an extended mag release, slide cover plate that says “One Shot, One Kill”, etc. I’ve never known anyone to shoot better with an extended mag or slide release, personalized accessories, etc. It sounds to me like you want to be argumentive and try to “flex” your abilities as a marksman. I’m a USMC a combat veteran and I’m far more humble than you are. Have you ever held a job in security, law enforcement, criminal justice, corrections, etc.?

    1. Richard, your comment does not say who it was directed to. If it was to me, let me know and I will respond.

  24. The concerns about court are overrated. As is all the extra crap everyone wants to add to their pistols. I have added one item to my Glocks — a Clip-Draw clip that allows me to carry IWB without a holster. I sometimes use a Kydex outside the waistband paddle holster but mostly use just the Clip-Draw. Works great, no bulk, comfortable, etc. If you can shoot you do not need all the extra stuff. If you can’t, it won’t help.

    1. Carrying a glock without a holster is asking to ND through your leg mate, I’d be careful

    2. Just curious if those clip ons work well, I’ve been debating getting one for my gen 4 g23… Which by the way shoots great out of the box…. Not a single round outside the “kill zone” true I may carry a S&W Mp shield but my glock is my nightstand go to or if the threat is great my keltec plr 16

  25. Thank you, this info is very helpful. I have considered and rejected all of the above modification options for my Glock 30S. It is still 100% stock. As my Drill Sergeant used to say, “Works fine, lasts a long time.” I may yet buy a light for the rail, to free up my off hand at night when the alarm goes off.

  26. I’d have to agree on the disconnect . I put a 3.5 in mine and it did give a nice trigger but didn’t feel comfortable with it for carry. About the only things I do are . Add night sights , Heavy trigger spring ( gives a nice reset and drops the pull a fraction ) and stainless guide rod . Ive seen the plastic break in a IDPA match and the guy struggled to clear the weapon. Keep the gun clean and train . You will get comfortable with the weapon and wont need to do any improvements above what I stated. As far as changing springs I like the reset of the heavy trigger spring and I like the stainless guide rods . Springs are maintenance items and should be changed if you train with the gun a lot . keep it clean and change springs every year or 2 and you will be fine .

  27. Also, a grip reductions IS well worth the money, If the Glock doesn’t fit your hand properly! I didn’t need this with my Glock 19, but the Glock 21 was just to darn big for my hands to hold onto. I sent it off to Robar Industries, had a grip reduction done on the back strap, and medium stippling done to the sides. When I got it back, it felt like and entirely different gun, fit my hand much better, and allowed me to shoot it with ease and tightened up my groups. I’m just saying, one size doesn’t always fit, especially with a Glock.

  28. My opinion, invest in a crimson trace laser sight. Easy to install and to sight in. Speeds up your response time immensely. Yes, you still need to practice and be able to shoot with your regular iron sights on top of the slide, but a laser sight is well worth the investment!

  29. Hi Mike, A few things I wanted to do to my Glock G27 and G22 Gen 4’s was to replace the plastic guide rod and spring. Also, plug that hole at the bottom where the magazine is so dust doesn’t get in.. I seen many guide rods break on Rugers. So I gave Glock a call and of course they said not to change ANYTHING. AS for as the plug on the open part of the grip, I was told that was there for a reason, It was the to let out pressure and should not be plugged up. I just might add the Amarillo night sights as you suggested. If I can see them at all in daylight or am I just using the outline of them. Any input to the above would be very helpful. Thanks. Sincerely, Louis

  30. A major issue, to me at least, is one of legality. If you ever need to use your weapon in self defense any modifications to the stock gun WILL be used against you in court, and you will end up in court.

    1. Very true! Your opposition in court will likely be as ignorant about guns as Nancy Pelosi, Diane Feinstein, Hillary Clinton, and the other gun control ass clowns. I once read a story about a police officer who went to court regarding a shooting. After the officer’s actions were justified, the plaintiff’s attorney brought up the fact that the officer was using a Pachmyr grip sleeve on his service weapon. Those damn Pachmyr grips can instantly turn a model citizen into a trigger-happy killer. <– sarcasm

    2. Joel
      True in theory but in reality any competent defense lawyer will be able to move around the issues.
      I have only seen one case that the modifications really mattered and they were significant modifications that in deed suggested that the shooter was in deed a gun “nut” and not a citizen defending himself.
      Like the old story goes “just because I am paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t following me”

  31. Trigger job is a must for me – I want both my pistols and long guns to have same trigger pull. As for trying to modify the trigger myself is a big no-no (and the author proves my point). Stick with known good aftermarket Glock trigger mods.

    The next is to put in a metal guide rod (yep I am one of those guys who’s stock guide rod broke on a range). Sure it took about 5K or so rounds to get there but it happened none the less.

    That’s my 2 cents.

  32. Mike, for a carry gun you can use one of two different Ghost 3.5 pound connectors without a problem. You need to also change the trigger spring to a NY number 1. This will get you back to about 5.5 pounds, but a much shorter reset. There is a drop-in 3.5 pound connector (like the one in your article), and there is one with an over-travel stop. The over-travel stop must be fitted. For your “metal” guide rod, consider a LaserMax guide rod laser. I put that and Novak fiber optic sights on my Glock 23. Another mod I made to my 23 is I got rid of the European-style slide stop, and replaced it with an actual slide release. It is an actual Glock factory part that some US police departments specify, but isn’t available in guns sent through normal distribution channels.

  33. I carry a Glock on duty as a police officer and carry a Model 27 off duty. I use either a Kydex paddle holster or, most often, a Clip-Draw without a holster. The Clip-Draw remains on the pistol and does not interfere with a holster.

    Modifications? Never. JD is dead on — for the distance this pistol will be used in 98% of the time, you could take the sights off completely as no one will be using sights. Save your money.

    1. Miles – I agree with your relative distance comments, however given stats that still illustrate the number of missed shots (even at close range), there’s value to adding a crimson trace laser and/or sights such as the Snake Eyes by Dead Ringer. I say that because if the option is me going down because I can’t fire to defend myself because of what’s behind my intended target, then I need to ensure a quick sighting for center mass. As a LEO, you’re trained to fire to protect yourself, but there are plenty of instances wherein errant rounds have hit an unintended target. Many CC holders are not LEOs and can’t afford the legal grief for errant hits to unintended targets – I wouldn’t dismiss the value of these ad-ons for many. IMO

    2. Bob, you are right. I over simplified in my comment. I was just overwhelmed by the number of mods suggested. I do have a laser sight on another of my pistols and think that in addition to its sighting assistance, its deterrent factor makes it worth the money. As for replacing the stock sights, I just do not believe it is worth it because in a true fight, it is mostly point and shoot. Truly aimed shots are rare in a real gun fight.

  34. Tritium sights are nice, I’ve used the ones mentioned in the article on my Glock 19. However a few years back I had a chance to handle a friend’s Glock 21. The first thing I noticed were these long sights, much longer than any I had seen before, longer being lengthwise down the slide. Nice and rounded they pulled perfectly from a holster. However, my biggest shock came when actually looking through the sights. They practically glowed in the middle of the day. Turns out they were TFO sights which take the use of Tritium to a whole ‘nother level. Attach a bit of fiber optics to the Ameriglo sites and you get a set of sights that will “glow” under any circumstances. During the day the fiber captures the natural light causing the sights to “glow” green, during low light the Tritium becomes more pronounced, thus glowing in the dark. My opinion is that no matter what the lighting situation is, I want to be able to see my sights. TFO sights are the perfect solution. I own a G21, G19, G30S, and a G42…yes the little tiny .380. All in Gen 4, all have TFOs, including the 42.

  35. I have a Glockenspiel 19C that I carry quite often. I also changed the front sight to a Trijicon and rear sight is a steel 10-8 sight. Because I have very small hands, my good friend Ben at BoreSight Solutions did a full grip reduction and stippling job. (He also did the sight replacement and trigger polishing). I could soak my hands in WD40 and the stippling will keep that gun firmly in my palms. If you have smaller hands or just want a better grip, contact Ben at BoreSightsolutions.com and tell him David H sent you!

  36. All interesting comments about practical Glock carry, overlooking perhaps one big question: namely, whether or not to carry with a chambered round. I realize this is not a hardware issue per se, but it’s probably the most fundamental to self defense, especially for a gun without an external safety. There are pros and cons to each choice. The obvious pro is drawing a pistol that’s immediately ready to fire. The obvious con is having to administrative handle that same pistol. Which will you do most often on a given day? How many times do you have to gear-down and gear-up, discreetly, when entering and leaving a “no gun zone”? Glocks are great (I have two for carry) but their reputation as AD/ND queens is well-deserved. To stay out of that unfortunate club, deciding what condition you’ll use for carry–then practicing religiously the procedures and techniques required to do it safely and effectively will pay big dividends. The best safety and survival device is still between the ears.

    1. Wagonmaster – your point is valid. I have however, always carried with a chambered round; when your life is on the line, taking the time to rack the slide is probably not a viable option. My IWB holsters vary based on my attire AND like you suggest, I routinely practice clearing my clothes to ensure a clean draw from the correct holster that keeps my finger off the trigger – I can’t imagine counting the hours over the last 24 years (with an unloaded piece of course). You speak of Glock’s reputation for AD – only valid if not properly prepared. There are equally as many reports about semi-auto mishaps, when the SHTF and the user fails to manually release the safety when needed because fear took over and shut down an inadequate autonomic response – and that can be equally as deadly. Bottom line – know you weapon and practice like crazy so you know what the hell you’re doing if ever needed.

  37. I own two Glocks, Models 20 & 29, both chambered in 10mm. Since the 10mm is a high-pressure, hard-recoiling round, I have chosen to install aluminum guide rods with heavier recoil springs. If you shoot a caliber with +P ammo (45ACP, 9mm etc.) I would recommend the same modification for your Glock! It is not an expensive modification and the installation is totally “drop in” and quick! Also very important, don’t forget a good set of 3-dot night sights. Other than these mods, leave the gun alone and do not change anything else! Brings to mind an old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”!!!

  38. keep it all stock, there is no problem with the sights or anything else. these writers tend to forget what this is all about. when the sheesh hits the fan, it’s going to be a gut shot or a 3 bang at 1 yard most likely. maybe you will have to club him with the grip, who knows? it’s not going to be about sights i can guarantee. if you shoot somebody from that far away, it’s murder not self defense. the glock sights are perfectly fine for me. i can hit anything i need to with them. or maybe i’m just a better shot than some. and the glock trigger is fine for me, it reminds me of a revolver trigger, i can stage it and then release. but that’s just me, cause i grew up on revolvers. old timey i guess.

  39. Just curious, I have always been taught that you NEVER do any modifications to a weapon used for self defense. Civil lawyers will eat you alive. I’ve always gone by, purchase the features that you want on your pistol when you buy it. Keep it stock.

  40. My 21c has a guide rod that is a laser. Lasermax. I’m quite happy with it even tho the accuracy is not always perfect. I know it’s there, in a pitch dark situation it will put me in the neighborhood. The slide release was switched out to provide a switch.

  41. On my Glock 30 45 acp, I went with the stainless steel guide rod and spring plus added the Lone Wolf extended, ported barrel. Made a world of difference ! Double taps are easy and accurate and this subcompact 45 now is very polite. The Lone Wolf barrel still feeds any ammunition I feed it. Money well spent !

  42. There’s no reason to change anything on a Glock 19 except putting on a set of night sights. Extended slide stop lever? No reputable school I can think of still teaches the use of the slide stop. I’ve never used one. Extended mag release? Again, why? So it’s easier to accidentally drop the mag when wearing gloves or under stress? Also before you stipple or add grip tape etc remember that surface is going to rub your side all day long. I run a Glock 19 with ameriglos and a crimson trace laser. The laser is mostly unnecessary but allows more versatility as far as your body positioning.

  43. I love that you said ameriglo night sights and then put up a picture of trijicons. Trijicons are the best. Mandatory change to every glock I buy. Always.

  44. I carry a Glock 23 on duty and it has a Hartz compensator installed. The Hartz compensator is a stainless steel guide rod that is hollow and filled with a stainless steel ball bearing and mercury. This work real good in keeping the muzzle from rising do to recoil. Too bad the government has outlawed the use of mercury and they are not made anymore. I would like one of these for each of my other pistols.

  45. I’ve had a similar, though less extreme, experience with my G19. I bought it lightly used at a local store/range and did the $0.25 polish job. I also installed a Ghost, Inc. 3.5# connector, hoping to produce a good piece for IDPA and Steel matches, and for CC. Unfortunately, I didn’t shoot it enough pre-modification to establish a good performance baseline.

    It has worked OK for matches, but the gun is ruined for CC. I occasionally have unintentional double-taps at the range, I presume for the same reason described in the article. I’ve also had a significant number of stovepipes during range work. For these two reasons, I can’t CC this gun.

    I still have the factory connector and plan to reinstall it. I don’t know if it will have any effect on reducing stovepipes (possibly limp-wrist grip?), but the unintentional discharges have got to be stopped.

    For now, I use my factory-stock H&K USP for CC. That gun is almost unbelievably reliable: after thousands of rounds of ammo of varying quality, I’ve never had any malfunction of any kind. None. Put any ammo in it, squeeze the trigger, it goes bang, clears the chamber and loads the next round. Every time, without fail! It’s spooky.

  46. I love the optics of the XS Big Dot, but I already have a Crimson Trace on my G19. Anyone have an opinion re pros/cons of pairing up the Big Dot w/ the laser?

    1. I too have the Crimson Trace LG-619 laser on my G19 (it’s rear activated by your palm when you wrap your hand on the grip). I’ve also swapped out the factory sites in favor of the Snake Eyes sights by Dead Ringer. The G19 is my standard CC and I’ve had it for 24 years w/o any issues.

  47. I’ve been carrying a Glock 23 for the past 15 years. I’ve tried others but have always gone back to it. The best pistol money can buy. It’s a little strange for new gun owners to carry being there is no external safety, but if you can just trust the gun you will be fine and know you have a great reliable gun to protect yourself….

  48. I think an extended slide lock lever is mandatory! The sights come next, I broke a plastic sight on my model 27. If you want to personalize your gun, custom slide plates and mag plates are cool, but have nothing to do with function. I do wonder, I am thinking about a Lone Wolf 3.5# connector, if you do NOT polish the action, would it be an improvement to switch out the connector? I bought my 21 right when they came out in 1990, so it is a gen 2 Glock, and I bought my 27 right when they came out, around 1998 I think, it’s a gen 3. I am happy with the grips on each, for me, at least, no need to grind them or add skateboard tape or anything.

  49. Something to consider on carry weapons is if you are forced to use the weapon in self defense or defense of a 3rd person, any modifications makes you the final manufacturer of that weapon. For the most part lawyers don’t know squat about firearms and you may find your improvements used against you in court.

  50. Did you know that the glock pistol is the number one choice of Al Queida? Right out of the box…….no modifications at all. They all carry Blocks. With the exception of all those virgins, the seem to be pretty smart in their choice on weapons/

  51. There are sound legal reason for NOT modifying your Glock with modification to trigger pull, etc. In the unfortunate event of your arrest (and there is a good possibility that this would occur) after a shooting incident while you were defending yourself and in fear for your or another victims life or limb, if the DA wants to pursue charges against you, you could lose in court if the DA takes advantage of the fact that your modifications caused an accidental kill or injury of the perp. In any event, it will cost you a small fortune to hire an attorney for your defense in the hopes that you will win at trial. In my opinion, it’s not worth the risk for my concealed carry. Massad Ayoob in his book “The Gun Digest Book of Concealed Carry” commented on this:

    The problem with the light trigger pull is the false allegation of an accidental discharge. Here’s the situation I’ve seen play out over and over again in both civil and criminal cases over the years. Good guy shoots bad guy. Publicity-hungry prosecutor or money-hungry plaintiff’s lawyer needs a scapegoat to grab political or financial profit. This attorney fabricates a case of accidental discharge due to recklessly cocking hammer and creating hair trigger (or carrying pistol that would always fire with “hair trigger”). This BS allegation is dignified in court as the accuser’s “theory of the case.” Without this frail hook on which to hang the bogus case, it probably would have gone away. Instead, the shooter who fired in self-defense goes through a nightmarish (and nightmarishly expensive) ordeal.”

    Ayoob, Massad (2008-08-25). The Gun Digest Book Of Concealed Carry (Kindle Locations 1912-1918). F+W Media, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

    1. This is is such a bs gun myth. How can you be charged for accidentally shooting someone that you meant to shoot? It makes no sense. Stop spreading false information.

  52. Despite widespread shortages, I have a NIB G19 headed my way! Do you have any updates on upgrading the guide rod?
    Thanks
    DJ

  53. There are four things I do to every Glock I buy. First, as you did, I change out the sights. I prefer Heinie Straight Eights with tritium.

    The second thing I do is change out the slide catch with the Glock extended catch.

    The third thing I do is install a custom slide release from TR Graham.

    The fourth thing I do is either have the grip stippled, or apply grip tape.

    Those are the things I always do. If the Glock model I acquire doesn’t already have the 5.5 lb. connector, I install one. I don’t like the mushy feel of the 3.5 lb. connector.

    Andy

  54. SayUncle has the best advice of the day: Don’t goober up your Glock.

    Buy Glock. Buy ammo. Buy holster. Mix as appropriate for training, practice and carry. Don’t mess with it.

    If you want a great value, buy a goober’d Glock that someone is pissed with, take it to the nearest Glock armorer and have them replace all the aftermarket shenanigans with factory parts. You will own a like-new Glock and a pile of goofy titanium/carbide/nickle/nitride deutritus. I have purchased 3 Glocks from shows from dissatisfied owners for in the $300 price range. Cost to fix, $20-50. Reliability after fix: Same as a new Glock, i.e., asymptotically close to 100%.

  55. Got the XS big dot sights on my G23C and i agree with your buddy they are great. Still getting used to them though so hitting the bullseye is not as easy as it was with the factory sights. Also i have the tungsten guide rod installed and can tell no difference at all between the factory plastic rod. Functions flawlessy. Makes me think i should have gone with the steel rod but now i guess i can say “neener i have tungsten” like i see on the forums sometimes. I love CTD and would have its babies.

  56. Mike, I have a stainless steel guide rod on my Glock 23 and have never had one issue with reliability with this setup. I would also recommend a Buffertech recoil buffer. It has no effect on performance, but if it increases service life like they claim, it’s worth the ten bucks.

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