Editor’s Note: The following is a post by Mark Kakkuri, a nationally published freelance writer who covers guns and gear, 2nd Amendment issues and the outdoors. His writing and photography have appeared in many firearms-related publications, including the USCCA’s Concealed Carry Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @markkakkuri.
Read Mark’s previous articles in this “Top Five” series:
- Top Five Backup Guns
- Top Five Security Measures to Take While Traveling Unarmed
- Top Five Revolver Myths
- Top Five Types of Revolver Grips
- Top Five Questions I Get as a Gun Owner
There’s nothing like a new Glock, right out of the factory box: reliable, accurate, awesome. In fact, the only thing better — in certain circumstances — is an old Glock with key enhancements.
The “certain circumstances” that make it better are these: It’s my Glock and I want to prove that a gun that was described as “perfection” in the company’s marketing actually isn’t. It can be further perfected…or at least brought closer to my kind of perfect.
Granted, choosing the perfect handgun is a very subjective matter. Perfect for me might not be perfect for you. Further, customizing a single handgun might make it better for me but not for you. Regardless, here are my top five Glock enhancements — changes I’ve made to my Model 19 that have stood the test of time.
1. Home Stippling
If you’re willing to void the warranty on your gun and perhaps risk making a mistake that could render your gun inoperable or even dangerous, a home stippling job will prove you’re either a lunatic or a gifted artist and engineer. I’ve stippled the stocks on my Model 19 no less than three times using a hot soldering iron with a variety of tips. I’m not claiming artist or engineer status, but, so far, I’ve improved purchase and the gun still works like it did from the factory.
If you’re OK with the risk, it’s a fun project. Just field strip your empty gun, heat up a soldering iron and work under a bright task light. Gently press the hot tip of the soldering iron into the polymer for about one second — the plastic will instantly form a dimple. Pull away and continue along an edge or line marked by blue painter’s tape. When complete, gently sand away the plastic “hairs” and you’re done. Unless you want to try a different pattern or feel.
2. Heavy Tungsten Guide Rod
Now that I’ve got a better grip on my gun, the next step is to see if I can further improve its shootability by adding weight. The Model 19 is not a heavy gun by any stretch so, by adding a Heavy Tungsten Guide Rod — available for $49.95 from GlockStore.com — I’ll be tripling the weight of the factory guide rod to 59.29 grams. This is a drop-in part, replaced via a simple field strip. And frankly, the Heavy Tungsten Guide Rod feels far more robust than the factory guide rod. It fits perfectly, doesn’t appreciably change the feel of the slide movement and is otherwise invisible to the user.
When shooting, there’s a noticeable improvement: The muzzle flip — what little there is with a 9mm — reduces even more and you’re back on target in an instant. After years of shooting my Model 19 with this part installed, I’ve never had a single problem and never had any desire to switch back.
3. Apex Action Enhancement Red Trigger & Gen 3 Trigger Bar for Glock
With my Glock 19 so grippable and more shootable, the next natural replacement item is the stock trigger and trigger bar. Here a field strip and detail strip are needed as well as some careful insertion of the new parts. It’s a more complex operation but very doable. Operation is still the same: Squeeze the trigger and the gun will fire.
Apex says your results will include the following:
• Direct drop-in replacement of factory polymer trigger
• Reduces trigger overtravel and reset distance
• Smooth uptake and reset
• Crisp trigger break
• Center mounted pivoting safety maintains factory safety values
It’s true. They’re all happening with this $104.95 part. If you’re not keen on the red color of the trigger, other colors are available.
4. Apex Safety Plunger
The Apex trigger upgrade is good but gets even better when you pair it with the Apex Safety Plunger. This $17.95 part replaces the Glock factory safety plunger but requires additional detail stripping to make it happen. Again, complex but doable. Now the new trigger bar is interacting with a new safety plunger and the combo simply results in a much smoother action. In thousands of rounds fired, I’ve only got more proof that these systems work as well, if not better, than their factory counterparts.
5. Customizations by Robar
At this point, I’ve made about $173 in customizations to my Glock 19 that make it more perfect for me. I’m not into spending additional money on one gun when that money could be used to buy another gun or ammo or other accessories, but in the case of the Glock, it’s been such a great gun that it’s worth it. I think.
So, it’s off to Robar to make it truly unique. We’re talking forward cocking serrations ($145), bullnose front of slide ($85), a gunmetal gray finish with NP3 internals, including a barrel ($160) and, just for good measure, having Robar engrave their Semper Vinco logo on the right side of the pistol slide ($50). That’s $440 to pretty much guarantee that this Glock 19 is good-looking, functional and one-of-a-kind. We can argue all day long about how truly necessary any of these might have been — especially the Robar logo — but it’s my gun and I think it’s pretty cool.
The only other changes I’ve made to my Model 19 include adding an Arachnigrip to the rear of the slide and replacing the factory sights with night sights. I’ve been through a few different makes, but the current set is XS Big Dot. More on other accessories and night sights in a future article…
What are your favorite Glock enhancements? Or, what gun is truly perfect for you right out of the factory?
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