Glock pistols have attained legendary status in the firearms industry for their utter reliability and toughness, even in the worst of conditions. This reputation has helped make the pistols one of the most popular and recognized firearms on the planet. Thousands are currently in use with multiple law enforcement agencies, militaries, and civilian shooters that use them for recreation and self-defense. The exacting tolerances used to manufacture them also make them easy to modify as many aftermarket parts are simply drop in components. So often when I see firearm upgrade videos though, the modifications are usually extensive and well beyond most budgets. We thought it’d be fun then to do a video that focused on easy modifications a person could do to their pistol with a more reasonable budget. So armed with $100 I started perusing the local gunshops and online to find the parts and pieces that I’d need to modify my bone stock Glock 34 Gen4 to ready it for competition. Now, the modifications won’t change the outside appearance much but they should enhance the pistol’s accuracy, functionality, and ergonomics without harming reliability.
Where To Begin …
One of the first things to get replaced on a Glock pistol are the sights, and this situation was no different. Since this was going to be used in competition I wanted a set of sights that would offer a better sight picture, have good contrast against targets, be more durable than the OEM sights. There are of course a ton of Glock pistol sight options, however since I was on a budget I decided to go with a set of Warren Tactical blacked out steel sights. The sights have a wider rear notch with a thinner front blade that creates an easy to pick up sight picture against paper and steel targets, perfect for a competition application. Glock sights can be easily replaced with a punch and hammer for the rear sight, but a Glock front sight tool will be required for the small hex screw that’s used. Some companies will provide a front sight tool but don’t count on it, it’s best to buy one to have just in case, they can be pretty inexpensive.
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Much has also been said about the feel of a Glock trigger and the ergonomics of the pistol grip or the lack thereof depending on whom you ask. Out of the box they aren’t bad but there is room for improvement if you are going to use the pistol for competition. Luckily there’s a fix for each. Now, with a budget of $100 replacing the entire trigger mechanism was out of the question but with a little tuning and the strategic replacement of some components, the trigger can be made more serviceable. Often called the “$.25 Trigger Job”, this simply involves polishing areas of the Glock trigger bar, safety plunger, and striker with Flitz metal polish to help smooth out the feel of the trigger. The addition of a 3.5# connector and a heavier trigger pull spring can also help to improve the feel of the trigger, although it will only have a nominal effect on the trigger pull weight. These parts are very easy to replace using a 3/32 punch to remove the Glock pins necessary to remove the internal components. From there it’s simply a plug and play process of taking off the stock Glock parts and putting the new ones back in their place.
To help maintain a positive grip on the pistol in all conditions I take a section of bicycle inner tube and pull it down over the pistol grip to give it some tackiness when my hands are slippery. Alternatives to the inner tube method are skate board tape or stippling the grip, however stippling is permanent so if you do want to go that route, practice first before doing the actual pistol.
The Gen4 Glock pistols distinguish themselves from the previous generations in that they have replaceable back straps that can help tailor the feel of the pistol to the individual shooter. When I first shot my new G34 Gen4 without any modification I have to say that it felt great in my hand but I kept unintentionally holding the slide stop down. This resulted in the slide staying forward after the last round was fired, which isn’t ideal. The reason was that without a back strap in place the distance from the back of the pistol grip to the front was reduced just such that my thumb could rest on the slide stop. If I used the medium beavertail grip that came with the pistol, it would solve the problem of my thumb hitting the slide stop. The unintentional consequence, however, was that the increased distance from back to front forced me to break my grip more than I’d like to hit the magazine release during a slide lock reload. The solution was to cut the medium beaver tail grip down so that it pushed the web of my hand out farther but kept the dimensions just right so that I didn’t have to awkwardly break my grip. This also creates a more straight back strap similar to a 1911 that fits the hand wonderfully when combined with the rubberized grip. The back straps are easily cut down with a Dremel tool and the length will depend on the model of the pistol and shooter’s preference, but it’s a worthwhile modification in my book.
All of these modifications can be done easily at home with very few tools required in about two hours. Below I have a breakdown of the parts that I used and where you can find them.
- Warren Tactical Sight Set: $59.95 http://www.midwayusa.com/product/548043/warren-tactical-sight-set-glock-17-19-22-23-24-34-35-plain-tactical-rear-serrated-front-steel-matte
- Zev Technologies Glock Trigger Pull Spring: $3.30 http://www.midwayusa.com/product/611080/zev-technologies-competition-trigger-spring-glock-all-models
- Lone Wolf Distributors 3.5# Connector: $8.95 http://www.midwayusa.com/product/358424/lone-wolf-connector-glock-all-models-3-1-2-lb
- Glock OEM Extended Magazine Release (Gen4): $3.99 http://www.midwayusa.com/product/946894/glock-extended-magazine-release-glock-17-19-22-23-24-25-26-27-28-31-32-33-34-35-37-38-39-gen-4-reversible-polymer-black
- Pearce Grip Glock Gen 4 Grip Plug: $5.99 (Varies By Location) http://www.brownells.com/handgun-parts/grip-parts/grip-plugs/grip-frame-insert-for-glock–prod22520.aspx
- Universal Bicycle Inner Tube: $3.88
So what do all these modifications add up to? Well, check out the accompanying video to see for yourself. There were definite improvements that I saw in the pistol’s performance when I shot the pistol both before and after modifications using the same drills and ammunition. Out of the box, a Glock pistol is pretty good and with a little bit of an investment in time and money it can be made even better as you can see.
To purchase a Glock 34 on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=glock%20G34.