Regular readers of the blog know that I have been carrying a Glock 19 Gen 4 for a few years now. I started my combat Tupperware collection with a Glock 19 Gen 3 back in 2009, but eventually bought a Gen 4, hoping that the slightly shorter trigger reach and reduced grip dimensions would alleviate problems that I had with my original Glock. The Gen 4 was better, but still fell short, leaving me with painful calluses and blisters from prolonged training. My main gripe with the Glock has always been the crappy ergonomics that just don’t fit my hand. Having said that, I still think that the Glock is one of the best choices out there and I still carry mine daily. The Glock has a low bore axis, consistent trigger pull, no extraneous safeties, is reliable to a fault, and enjoys a wealth of available aftermarket and accessory support.
Despite Glock’s insistence of being the embodiment of “perfection,” many find the stock pistols to be lacking in a few specific areas. Looking at any custom Glock often reveals a trinity of common modifications that significantly improve the pistol for duty or concealed carry. These modifications most often alter the grip, sights, and trigger. Recently, I decided to modify, or as Dave Spaulding says, “enhance” my EDC Glock 19. In doing so, I wanted to keep my modifications relatively minimalist and simple. The more time I spend around weapons, the more I value simplicity in their use.
In this and the next few posts, I’m going to discuss the modifications I’ve made to my pistol in my quest to create an ideal “minimalist” enhanced concealed carry gun. In a world where slide mounted red dot sights, compensators, and magazine wells are becoming increasingly common, I think the characterization of my modifications as being “minimalist” is appropriate.
In this first installment, I specifically want to discuss the fix for my biggest complaint about the Glock: the grip. This is also the most significant alteration to the pistol that I’ve incorporated. I held off doing this for a long time, for a variety of reasons, some better than others. I was reluctant to permanently alter the serialized part of my gun, and expense was a concern. Despite the fact that I bought two new guns in search of something better, I still came to the conclusion that the grip of the Glock was just something that I needed to deal with, calluses, blisters, and medical tape wraps all. I finally changed my mind. After all, on almost any other pistol, a variety of different replacement grips are commonly available. I’ve changed out the grips on both my 1911 and Sig P220, as well as the the grips on revolvers and other guns.
After reading my gripes about the Glock grip in my review of the Sig P320C, the owner of Gun Grip Customs in Jacksonville, NC reached out to me on our Facebook page. After looking at pictures of his work on his website, I finally decided to take the plunge and send my frame to him for his Level I package which he describes as being the “less is more” approach. Alex’s work is refined and truly offers a functional improvement at an excellent price point. He stippled my grip 360°, removed the finger humps (they never really bothered me, but none of my other pistols have them), undercut and polished underneath the trigger guard, and stippled the forward index points where the thumbs rest in a thumbs forward grip. This sounds like a lot, but when you start to look at some of the more involved grip modification packages available out there, it’s really not all that drastic. My Glock definitely fits my hand better now, and is much more enjoyable to shoot for extended periods.
The stippling definitely improves my grip on the gun, but is not so aggressive as to be abrasive. It is slightly uncomfortable when carried against bare skin all day, but I usually wear an undershirt sandwiched between the grip and my abdomen, so that is not an issue for me. Although I always thought that the Glock’s finger grooves meshed with my fingers well, I find the grip sans grooves to be even better. Having the trigger guard undercut and polished went a long way toward improving the comfort of the gun. If I were going to do nothing else to alter the grip of the Glock, I would still do that. The forward index point stippling provides tactile indexes for both the support hand thumb as well as the trigger finger in register. This particular modification package really has everything that I would do myself if I had the guts to take a dremel and iron to my grip. For me, it was far easier and more reliable to entrust the work to a professional.
If you’ve been considering having your Glock grip modified, I can recommend Gun Grip Customs without reservation. I give this unsolicited endorsement as nothing more than a very satisfied paying customer. I had my pistol back within a week, and Alex kept me up to speed with his progress at all times, certainly more than was expected. If I decide to send off any of my other polymer pistols, he will get my repeat business. Check out the Gun Grip Customs website to see more of his work, or you can follow Gun Grip Customs on Facebook or Instagram.
In the next installment of this series, I’m going to discuss where my odyssey in choosing replacement sights has led me. Stay tuned!