Practical Glock Modifications – Which upgrades make sense?
Whether you are into cars, computers, woodworking, snowmachines, or whatever, the list of upgrades, modifications, and doodads you can purchase can seem endless. Glocks are no different. Do you follow the purist mentality and leave it absolutely bone-stock? Do you buy every part imaginable making your ‘Glock’ into a conglomeration of upgrades? So far, I’ve found that somewhere in between can be a very happy medium, and here are a list of some simple and practical Glock modifications that can help you out.
It can be very easy to get caught up in the mods game. New products surface almost daily and it’s easy to want to try things out, which can be perfectly fine. Before I made these changes, I wanted to know that changing parts and spending money would actually be beneficial to me. To figure out what doesn’t work, you have to get the gun out of the safe, and start using it. The Redback One basic pistol course was a perfect opportunity to see what held up and what fell short. A few items to begin my practical Glock modifications were readily apparent.
The first upgrade would be an extended slide release. This upgrade is two-fold for us southpaws. To lock the slide back to perform a malfunction clearance, for example, the shooter must sweep the trigger finger upwards, engaging the catch into the groove in the slide. Without the extended slide release lever, I had to put a considerable amount of inward force to engage the lever into the slide. This $15 part makes it WORLDS easier. The second part of this is releasing the slide after a magazine change. Right handed shooters have the option of strong hand thumb, weak hand thumb, and a slingshot. Us lefties only have slingshot and coming up with the middle finger of the support hand to disengage the lever. The extended release also elongates and moves the lever rearward, which is also an improvement for shooters. This is a no-brainer upgrade that most people could benefit from.
After roughly 900 rounds downrange over two days, it was apparent that the magazine release on the Glock was digging into my left middle finger. The length of it isn’t really an issue, but the sharp 90 degree edges are. I was first unsure if the Vickers extended magazine release by Tango Down would work because it stuck out so far. Because of the beveled edges, the new release felt way better and the extended length was an added nicety that I wasn’t’ sure was going to work out.
Often times I find myself adding small items to an internet order because it either doesn’t change the shipping price or it gets me over a free shipping minimum. The extended slide lock lever fell into that category. Needed? Likely not. A nice little upgrade? Surprisingly, yes! Often times it’s the ‘little things’ that make life easier and having more ‘meat’ on the lever to aid in field-stripping is a welcome detail. This lever can also aid as a more positive indexing point versus the stock Glock part.
I hadn’t intended to include any other modifications/upgrades when putting this article together but we definitely had a late-comer that has promise. During the last pistol class that I attended, another shooter was gracious enough to let me try his Grip Force Adapter after I had seen one installed on his Glock. Having seen these before, I was skeptical at how much this bit of plastic would aid in recoil control and target indexing. I installed the adapter for the second day of the two-day course and almost immediately saw the benefits. It is fairly hard to convey in words what the adapter does, but I can say that it works! Being plastic, these adapters can be user modified if you prefer a smoother texture, stippling or whatever.
Lastly, and arguably most important of the practical Glock modifications, would be the sights. Glock plastic sights are often referred to as only a protector for the dovetail until an appropriate set of sights can be installed. I feel they are useable, but once I swapped, I’ll never go back. The sights that I purchased and have fallen in love with are the Redback One Combat Pistol Sights. These feature serrations to reduce glare, combat durability (Glock plastic fails miserably here), a tritium vial in the .125” narrower front sight post, and a squared off .156” width rear notch. When you first install the sights when you are used to a set of stock sights, it feels that the small front post is lost in the rear notch, but once you shoot the sights, you can see the beauty behind these. Shooting more accurately at distance and gaining a faster sight picture are a few of the benefits of this upgraded sight set. They definitely aren’t cheap, but shooting your Glock faster and more accurately is definitely worth the price. After all, that’s what we are training toward, anyway. I have purchased likely over a dozen of these for myself and others who I’ve recommended them to, and will likely purchase more to replace my other ‘upgraded’ sights that I now find inferior. Purchase these sets through Redback One’s Pro Shop!
All of these upgrades can be user-installed (sights may need to be installed at your local gun shop if you don’t have the tools), which brings me to my last ‘must have’ for Glock owners. Ptooma productions publishes The Complete Glock Reference Guide which will teach you all the ins and outs of your firearm and also how to detail strip, replace parts, and correctly reassemble your pistol. Short of the sights, the total cost to upgrade these parts, including the manual, is quite a bit less than $100. If you decide to give any of these a shot, let me know what you decided on. Have you made other practical Glock modifications? I’d like to hear what you’ve done to your Glock to make it better for you!