A couple of years ago, I wrote a four post series on useful modifications to the Glock pistol. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve considered deleting that series, simply because such modifications are highly subjective. I hesitate to even do gear reviews anymore, simply because of this fact. However, I still think it’s possible to separate the wheat from the chaff on some subjects. Recently, Robert wrote about his thoughts and experiences on creating a “Gunfighter’s Pistol.” Along those same lines, here is what I carried for the past year… my own version of a “Gunfighter’s Pistol,” if you will.
In full disclosure, I am in the process of transitioning to a new EDC pistol. More to follow on the new gun later this week.
When you notice a trend among industry professionals such as Tom and Lynn Givens, Mike Pannone, John Johnston, and Melody Lauer, you should probably take note. I refer to the fact that all endorse and carry pistols worked over by Ben Simonson’s Boresight Solutions. Tom Givens is on record saying that Simonson is the “best of the best” among the current crop of plastic surgeons. With all due respect to the many artisans who have offered up their skills and interpretations of polymer modification, I’m inclined to agree with Tom.
My dislike of the stock Glock frame is well known to long time readers of the blog. The gun just does not fit my hand all that well. I first scratched my grip modification itch by sending my Glock 19 Gen 4 frame out to Gun Grip Customs. Alex Diaz is a talented craftsman, and I was very pleased with the result, but as of yet, I don’t think he does grip reductions. And fundamentally, I think the stock Glock is just a bit too big in the wrong areas for my hands. Thus, late last year, taking advantage of a special shipping deal, I sent my neglected G19 Gen 3 out to Boresight Solutions for their Duty Series package.
The Duty Series is Boresight’s economical option to get a Glock frame configured correctly without a long wait for custom work. There are a few choices to make in terms of grip reduction and features, but it’s largely a predetermined package that covers all the bases. The Duty Series modifications are performed by employees of Boresight, while Signature Series modifications are done by Ben himself. The price and wait time for a Signature Series is commensurate with this fact. Recently, Boresight has also introduced a very affordable Competition Series package of enhancements.
When I was ready to submit my order, I found that I had selected features that were almost identical to what Tom Givens specifies for his guns. I didn’t really do this on purpose, it just sort of fell into place like that. As always, I favor a minimalist approach, so I declined a lot of available options. However, I did choose the maximum grip reduction, what Boresight refers to as a “Level 2” package.
What amazed me about the ordering process was the fact that within 10 minutes of placing my order online, I received a personal phone call from Ben Simonson confirming that I was getting what I wanted and that I understood all the modifications. Now that’s customer service! Several weeks later, I had the result in hand.
A Gunfighter’s Pistol?
With my praises of Boresight Solutions out of the way, let me return to the concept of optimizing the Glock pistol for concealed carry and/or duty. First of all, why Glock? Robert has written an excellent post on this very subject that can be read by following this link. The short version is that the Glock pistol is ubiquitous, reliable, and has unparalleled aftermarket support whether you look at holsters, sights, or modification services.
Using my Boresight Glock 19 as a prototypical example, I want to revisit the subject of actually perfecting the Glock pistol, in regards to the most common and most beneficial modifications. Bear in mind, all of this is highly subjective, and may require some experimentation on the part of the end user.
I hesitate to say much at all here, as this is very subjective and dependent on one’s eyesight. Ultimately, if one can shoot well, I’m not convinced that the sights make all that much difference. However, if I were forced to recommend one set of sights for the Glock, it would be the Defoor sights offered by Ameriglo. This is because they do everything well. What I mean is that when accuracy counts (at distance), the sights deliver. Up close and at speed, sight picture is less critical. Night sights are nice, but it is highly contested whether they are really necessary. I can name off numerous industry professionals who have BTDT that don’t use night sights on their guns. YMMV. If your Glock still has factory plastic sights, please change them out for something more robust. Beyond that, choose something that works for your eyes and your predominant environment, and carry on. That may be anything ranging from a set of plain steel sights to a slide mounted RDS. You do you.
If you shoot the stock Glock well and like it, rock on! If, however, you suffer from “Glock knuckle” and slide bite in high round count situations, then I can heartily advise having some plastic surgery done. Again, if forced to make recommendations, and if you don’t need a grip reduction, then Alex Diaz at Gun Grip Customs does phenomenal work. As noted above, both Robert and I own fine examples of his work. If you do need a grip reduction and have the coin, then Boresight Solutions just may be your huckleberry. I waited a long time to send my gun off to Boresight, and I now regret that. While there is a lot that goes into shooting a pistol well, you shouldn’t feel like you are constantly fighting your equipment. Buy once, cry once, as the old saying goes.
For a variety of reasons, and as Robert has done, I have settled on OEM parts. I have changed out all my Glock triggers to the smooth trigger shoe that comes on the G17 and Glock competition guns. Everything in my pistol’s trigger group is OEM. Thus, on forensic analysis, trigger weight and travel will all be within factory specifications. The other more important benefit is that all factory safeties remain intact. In the last class I took with Mike Pannone, he was very specific about respecting the historical design intent of the striker fired mechanism. He pointed out that the striker fired triggers were designed to replace double action triggers, thus, the inherent travel and weight of the trigger in such guns. Many aftermarket triggers for the Glock neglect this fact and disable safety mechanisms in the pistol by decreasing trigger travel distance. I have played with a few aftermarket flat faced triggers, and have generally liked them, but not enough to commit to them long term. If you want such a trigger, both the Overwatch Precision and SSVI Tyr triggers maintain all stock safeties. The new Vickers Tactical trigger shoe looks promising as well, but I haven’t bought one to try out yet. Also worth noting, Boresight Solutions offers the Apex Tactical trigger as an upgrade in their pistol modification packages. Given my experience with Boresight, that’s a hell of an endorsement.
The only other things I’ve changed out on my Glocks are the slide stop and magazine release. I’ve got smaller hands, and extended versions make pistol manipulations easier for me and haven’t caused me any problems in literally thousands of rounds. My specific choice are the Vickers Tactical versions offered by Tango Down. This applies primarily to my Gen 3 gun. On my Gen 4’s, I tried the Vickers Tactical magazine release and ultimately went back to the OEM factory part. I should also mention that I’ve installed a Striker Control Device from Tau Development Group in my Boresight Glock. I’ve already addressed the SCD in a detailed review.
That about covers what I think is important for an EDC Glock. This is my opinion only, and worth exactly what you paid for it. I don’t really care what you do to your gun as long as it’s reliable and works for you. You do you.
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