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Best Five Upgrades To A Glock Pistol

Far be it from me to tell a Glock owner what to do with his or her gun.

The sheer fervor that the great majority of Glock owners have for their pistols is such that any attempts at recommendations, advice or instruction can be received with equal amounts of both hostility or acceptance. Read any Glock-based blog, message board or Facebook post and you can marvel at the sheer volume of feedback—both negative and positive—on any subject involving the firearm.

So, of course, I’m about to suggest to you that there are 5 upgrades to a Glock that are more popular, recommended and suggested than any others. Despite the fact that these suggestions come from talks at local and national competitions, feedback from police officers, professional shooters and 20+ years of personal shooting experience, still I hesitate… But here goes.

Upgrade your trigger with new springs

1. Upgrade Your Glock Trigger With New Springs

Some have complained that the out-of-the-box factory Glock has a heavy, “mushy” trigger that needs time to work through the prominent drag and smooth out over time. But why wait? By replacing the 3 major springs in your pistol—trigger spring, firing pin safety spring and the striker spring to the “competition” versions of the same will reduce your trigger pull by as much as a pound, smooth the pull, and put extra power into the trigger return. Feel the difference in pull and watch as the trigger rides your finger back forward into position like it was glued to you.

Since we’re mentioning springs, it’s also worth your time and effort to replace the magazine springs with the extra-power variety as well. Nothing like reliable feeding of ammunition to brighten your day.

Replace the barrel with one that can accommodate lead bullets

2. Replace The Glock Barrel With One That Can Accommodate Lead Bullets

Glock factory barrels have polygonal rifling. If you don’t know what this means then don’t worry about it unless you decide to shoot lead bullets from your pistol. Shooting lead through poylgon rifling can cause excess leading (lead deposits in the barrel) and should be avoided. If you do want to shoot lead (or any kind of bullet for that matter), and you want to do it accurately, then a match grade barrel replacement with “standard” rifling is what you need. Match grade quality will also provide you with little extras like a highly polished feed ramp and a cut target crown. Definitely a winning choice all around.

Tactical rear sight replacement

3. Tactical Rear Sight Replacement

While the usefulness and functionality of the factory Glock rear sight can be easily adapted by just about any shooter, the majority of serious users tend to gravitate toward a more classic 3-dot configuration (as opposed to the “U” shaped rear sight) and with such a change comes a staggering amount of options from tritium night sights to fiber optic. Beyond the 3-dot also affords you the opportunity to put in ghost rings and of course, the option for mounted red-dot sights that can either remove the necessity for a front sight completely or alloy a shooter to co-witness both red-dot and an open sight setup at the same time. While #3 in our list of to-do’s, this is usually the first upgrade that a shooter considers with an out-of-the-box Glock.

Extended Slide release

4. Extended Slide Release

Let’s face it, your beloved Glock has an awful slide release.
It’s true and we can stop making excuses for it. The factory slide release “button” is little more than a metal shaving off the factory floor glued onto the release lever. Replace it with one of the many configurations available and save your thumb and thumbnail the agony of scraping a thin curl of polymer off the side of the gun while trying to engage it. This replacement is worth 1000 times its weight in gold.

Grip Improvements

5. Grip Improvements

While there’s nothing really wrong with the grip texturing of the factory Glock, especially with the later Gen 4 models, still we can find a little room for improvement. Grip extenders, enhancers, slip-on handalls, and even specialized grip “tape” (not really tape) is sold to firm up the hold on your plasti-pistol. It’s not that the pistol is going to fly out of your hand without this upgrade, but instead they offer up a feeling of purchase and security on your grip of the gun. Feeling more confident in your grip is one of the core fundamentals of shooting and this upgrade will help with your mastery of this skill.

While there exists an endless array of after-market upgrades available for just about any handgun on the market, the Glock legions find that starting with these most popular five is the best way to begin any customization efforts of the pistol series. Some purists believe that factory is how the pistol was intended to be used and stick to that with stubborn defiance, but unless you are simply a collector hoping for some resale value in the future, a real shooter will take advantage of some or all of these masterful ideas to make your Glock the best that it can be for shooting right now.

Check out our Alien Gear Holsters for Glock Pistols

Take a look at our previous article: Handgun modifications - Tactical or Practical

Richard Bogath

About The Author


Richard Bogath is an NRA certified firearms instructor, certified hunter instructor, youth league pistol coach, professional hunting guide, published author, writer for several online publications about firearms, blogger, lecturer and proud dad. When not performing any of these fun activities, he is a successful e-commerce business consultant.