Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Is the Glock the new 1911?

Several years back on one of the various gun forums, while debating / discussing the pros & cons of the 1911 and making a comparison to of course, Glock; someone said some such thing about Brownells being the worse enemy of the 1911, that might have actually been me. In yet another discussion one of the same detractors of the 1911 had the following regarding Glock

There isn't a cottage industry of aftermarket parts for Glocks (and others) because there is no NEED for one - the parts that these guns come with work, and don't need to be replaced...

No cottage industry of parts? S3F, Ghost, TangoDown to show a few of the names in the Glock parts arena

 Fast forward a few years to the present and one can't throw a rock in any direction without hitting a customized Glock with a veritable slew of aftermarket parts.

Custom slides, extractors, ejectors, barrels, mag catches, slide stops, mag wells, base pads sights, guide rods and at last half a doze different trigger upgrades from Apex, SSVi, Agency Arms etc.

Right now there is a thread on titled "LL's "Almost Guaranteed to Work fixes for Gen4 Glock 9mm issues"

And of course most of use remember the Gen 4 Glock 19 recoil spring issue....

All that being said, it is plain to see that the Glock is closely catching the 1911 in terms of capability for the end user to really get the most out of their gun, OR screw it up so bad that a Glock won't work and also that the reputation for rock solid reliability out of the box is no longer a sure thing. 

Glock 1911 Photoshop from Shot Show Past

 Back near the end of the winter my wife was sending a new Gen 4 Glock 19 off to Boresight Soloutions that I decided that for ease of logistics I'd blow the dust off of my Bowie Tactical Glock 17 with Short Grip mod. It just makes life easier to be able to grab a box of Glock 19 mags and a batch of 9mm and go to the range without having to get my mags, her mags etc. 

This pistol had also been equipped with an RMR and I was wanting to get a regular slide to replace it.

I was soon looking at the cottage industry of aftermarket parts for Glocks and was looking for a Lone Wolf Distributors slide with no such luck. Rumor has it that they are in between slide vendors at the moment and supply is limited if not flat out gone.  I ended up hitting gun broker and purchased a "new" OEM take-off nickel-boron 3rd Gen upper (complete) for a pretty good price. 

Along this time I was also wanting to remove the gunsmithed bits from the pistol as to have a COTS (Commercial, Off the Shelf) handgun that I could better self maintain without the need of a gunsmith. That's where the all might Glock really shines, right? The ability to just drop in parts and go? Yeah, maybe Glock is getting a little too close to the 1911.

Right off the bat I had some issues. I had removed the gunsmithed parts and installed a Tyr trigger/trigger bar from SSVi, a Lone Wolf 3.5lbs connector, and went ahead and replaced the trigger spring while I was in there. Initial dry-fire told me I had the makings for a very serious problem. Approximately three out of every ten cycles the striker would lose tension during trigger reset. If you are not familiar with how a Glock works, I'll really quick and simple just state that the cycling of the slide partially cocks the striker mechanism, as the trigger was getting let back out, that partially cocked striker was becoming a not-cocked striker. Using my original slide as control group I determined that the problem was IN the slide, everything in the frame was working as it should. I eventually narrowed down the issue to a defective striker assembly. I have kept the assembly, but have not trouble shot it further. I just replaced the whole assembly. Nothing appears visually out of sorts with the bad unit. Finally my gun seemed to be working again. Range trips were few and far between as it wasn't yet spring but I had the opportunity to send the gun out with the Mrs and had her and a friend run a few rounds though it to check function and sight alignment of the Tru-Glo TFX Pro sights I had also installed.

So the good news was that the sights we on, the bad news was that the gun wouldn't run. When cycling the slide, you could hear it just sounded different, I had attributed this to the nickel boron coating of the slide and barrel but it turns out that not only did my slide have a bum striker assembly, it also had a bogus recoil spring. Again, nothing visually "wrong" with the unit and it had the appropriate markings, but again using a known good spring from my original slide and the gun cycled regularly at the next range trip. Some more springs from Glockmeister and I was good to go.

Glocks are fine pistols, and there surely is a need to perfect Glock perfection. For me this comes pretty close.

Gen 2 Glock 17 with Bowie Tactical grip chop and

texture with a NiB slide and TFX Pro sights and SSVi Tyr Trigger

The gun carriers very well, with the changes in Glock's slide coating over the years, they don't have quite the same corrosion resistance they once did and my body's chemistry can eat some guns. The Tyr trigger is a nice touch and combined with the parts from LWD makes for a nice shooting pistol without the "trigger bounce" common with Glocks. It has a little different feel than an Apex and so far I like it it a lot.

More info regarding this pistol and the previous MRDS equipped slide will be forth coming.

This is just one story of a funky Glock that was fixed up in part thanks to the aftermarket industry. While I used a OEM recoil spring and striker assembly, I didn't have to and if Glock continues to have some of the issues they are, we might be better off with aftermarket parts. Will Glock eclipse the 1911 in terms of aftermarket support? Maybe. Will factory Glocks continue to exhibit some quirky behavior, I surely hope not. All I know is that there will never be the grip options for a Glock that a 1911 has....

Or will that change as well?

Boresight Solutions Signature package Gen4 Glock 19

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