Out With the Old and In With the New

 

Many years have passed since I purchased my first carry gun, a used Generation 2 Glock 19. The previous owner had gotten the slide refinished a matte electroless nickel (said to be hard chrome according to the fella behind the gun shop counter) which made it stand out in a sea of black handguns in the display case. The Gen 2’s lack of finger grooves appealed to me since the finger grooves on the “new” Gen 3’s didn’t fit me that well and who needs a fancy rail on the front to carry a light when weapon mounted lights hadn’t really caught on yet.

This gun went with me everywhere. Camping, Hunting, Fly Fishing, late nights in rough neighborhoods while working as a locksmith, local practical shooting matches, it could do it all. Sure I had other guns, but none of them could match the concealability and light weight  of my trusty G19 while still being large enough to shoot with precision. With its smooth action and unique looks there have been several occasions where other guys at the range made offers in attempts to buy it. All of which I politely declined.

It was worn, shiny on the corners, scratched, and dinged with each blemish telling a story of its journey. The tritium night sights have faded to a faint glow and can only be seen in the darkest conditions. I knew it was about time to retire this old piece of equipment but it felt like putting down an old dog.

With the release of each Generation of Glock handgun I just could not justify purchasing a replacement. Each new release was proceeded with such hype about how great they would be but when I got them in my hands although they were nice and some of the improvements were exciting they weren’t “better enough” to replace my trusty G19.

In late 2018 rumors started to circulate the Glock Inc was going to showcase something that peeked my interest at SHOT Show 2019. The story was that they where going to release a compact handgun with the thickness and slide dimensions of a G43 and grip length of a G19 and another with the same frame and a longer slide that is closer to the dimensions of a G19. Both new models boasting a magazine capacity of 10+1. My primary objection to the G43 from the beginning was its limited capacity so these new offerings were something to look into.

As it turns out the rumors where true and on January 2nd 2019 Glock Inc. announced the two new additions to their product line. The Glock 43X and Glock 48

A few days after its release upon reading the specs for both guns I made a decision and picked up my new blaster, The Glock 43X.

I chose the G43X simply because it was shorter and fit into the G43 leather that I already owned from my previous test drive. I didn’t see a distinct advantage in having a longer slide on a CCDW gun.  After getting my hands on this pistol my initial impressions where quite positive. I found the silver PVD coating to be very aesthetically pleasing and the front cocking serrations are handy for the requisite press check. The grip length being similar to the G19 was very comfortable and albeit considerably slimmer than the grip of a G19 it filled my hand adequately for a positive shooting grip giving the control under recoil of a much larger gun.

As with every Glock handgun the sights and trigger needed to be addressed. The sights that came on this gun are the plastic rear with a white “goal post” outline and white dot front that are standard fare for most Glocks from the factory. The trigger pull was tolerable but longer and heavier than I would prefer.

Before its first trip to the range I installed a black serrated Vickers Elite Battle Sight rear and Snag Free Tritium front sight from Wilson Combat resulting in a much more clear, functional, and precise sight picture. Purchasing this gun with the intent that it would fill the role of my EDC gun the steel construction of these Wilson Combat sights gave me much more confidence in their durability over the plastic counter parts that were supplied.

Next on the list was the trigger. Soon after the release of the G43X and G48 it was announced that the G43 Cary Trigger System from Glocktriggers.com is compatible with these new models making it the obvious choice of replacement trigger.  With the G43 Trigger System being assembled using OEM parts and springs I could rest assured there would be no compromise in reliability. After a simple drop in installation the trigger pull was instantly much better. The break was crisp and considerably lighter than the factory trigger. With the reduced pre-travel modification of the G43 “RP” trigger it removed a great deal of the take-up experienced during the initiation of the trigger press as compared to the stock trigger. The difference in quality of the trigger pull after installation was a drastic improvement.

Carried securely in a Bravo Concealment holster, the light weight and slim dimensions of the G43X make it a dream to wear all day. With a capacity of 10+1 and a spare magazine I don’t feel that I am at a disadvantage like I do with the lower capacity G43 or J-Frame revolvers.

All and all I’m very pleased with my purchase and believe that this little gun, with its upgraded sights and trigger, will find itself on my hip more often than many of the handguns at my disposal. As for my old trusty Glock 19, I suppose it can just retire to a padded top shelf in the safe… for now.

 

 

Ken Hackathorn’s Thoughts on Glock Handguns

Ken Hackathorn and Glocktriggers’ Adam Hjermenrud at a class in Ohio.

Ken Hackathorn gives us an insight on his history with Glock handguns along with his opinions on modifications to the platform.

Ken writes,

Upon pressure from Pete Kokalis, then small arms editor for ‘Soldier of Fortune’ magazine I got my first Glock 17 pistol in early 1986. I have to admit that I was not very impressed with it, and never thought it would become popular. Today it is the world standard for service pistol use. Annual production numbers of Glocks dwarf all other manufactures’.  I  have been somewhat vested in the small arms training business for over 40 years. I have witnessed the rise in popularity of the Glock product line to the point that it is the leading pistol design in the 21st  Century. Lots of other companies have entered the polymer service pistol market, and while many of these designs are very fine pistols……none remotely threaten the  sales of Glock world wide.

I have always believed that an instructor should use the same weapon that the students are using. So, I have become very comfortable with either a G17 or 19 in my holster. A self defense handgun must be reliable. Here is where the Glock 9X19mm pistols really excel over all other designs.  I have trained a few folks using Glocks in my day, and one the observations I have made is that if a Glock does malfunction, it is probably the fastest and easiest pistol to clear. Generally an immediate action drill (tap-rack-bang) will get the Glock back into action with most common feed way failures.

Assuming your pistol is reliable, the only critical requirements to using it well is the need for good sights and a trigger you can manage well. Sadly the Glocks first marketed had plastic sights that were not very rugged and were easily damaged. The selection of aftermarket sights is quite vast with many really good sight combinations available. Years ago I talked Rick Callahan of Ameriglo sights to make a set of sights that met my needs. His ‘Hack’ sights remain one of his best sellers. Latest Gen5 Glocks (the best Glocks ever made) are now available with Ameriglo ‘Bold or Agent’ sights. They are superb. All the ‘cool kids’ have embraced the mini red dot pistol sights. Fads come and go……I think the red dot sight for pistols is the wave of the future. But, when you add up the pluses of current designs with minuses, I’m not ready to wade into that swamp just yet.

Ken Hackathorn’s Signature trigger system available exclusively at GlockTriggers.com

Besides good sights, you need a good trigger. With a Glock, the trigger has always been a good and bad  marriage. Most of the good shooters I know have learned the Glock trigger pretty well. I see many folks run the Glock with skill levels that are outstanding. I have run Glocks from every Generation. Gen 1 Glocks actually had pretty good triggers and if you had been a double action revolver shooter, the first G17’s were easy to transition to. Gen 4 Glocks in my experience were the worse trigger pulls…which is what led me to Jeff Wilson and GlockTriggers.com. Using factory stock parts, he came up with a trigger system that was tuned to perfection and produced a really good trigger. Jeff’s right hand man Adam Hjermenrud is a magician with Glock triggers and their trigger systems are what I use and recommend.

In the last few years I have started to see more problems with Glocks than ever before. First was the issue of the Gen4 pistols. Fortunately Glock has corrected most of the faults that the Gen4 possessed. None the less, my personal experience with Gen4 Glocks has left me cold. The new Gen5 Glocks are to the other extreme, they are the best Glocks I have ever used and recommend over all others. The operator error that is most prevalent is the practice of installing a light striker spring to get a light trigger pull. Don’t do it unless your gun is only used as a paper punch and you use only Federal primers. Even then don’t be surprised if you get an occasional click instead of a bang.

Of all the things that I have experienced and observed that caused issue with the Glock design is the fact that for many shooters (myself included) when wearing gloves it is common to not get the trigger safety lever fully depressed and not be able to fire the gun. Sometimes you can kind of muscle your way through the trigger pull, but the hit will generally be not what you want. While I don’t suffer this problem when not wearing gloves, combine cold hands and gloves and the first shot can be an issue. Seems to be a problem whether you use a standard or flat style Glock pistol trigger. Kind of like getting the grip safety on a 1911 pistol depressed when in a hurry.  Getting a really good grip on the pistol when first grasping the pistol in the holster seems to really help, but cold hands and gloves often times will compromise this function. Again more of an operator error than gun oriented flaw, but it does continue to haunt me and many other shooters I see trying to run the gun with gloves.

I look at much of the ‘custom touches’ currently being done to Glock pistols with amusement. I get the fact that for many folks this look is ‘cool’. But I do not want extra holes and slots in my slide. The one in the front and the one on the top seem to be enough for me.

Until the next time, good shooting and stay safe.

Vogel vs Edge Competition Trigger

5 Reasons to Upgrade Your Glock Trigger

5 Reasons to Upgrade Your Glock Trigger

 

Glock handguns do not deliver the precision of a Swiss timepiece.

You might expect more from a firearm that is one of the top selling handguns in the world and used by the majority of U.S. law enforcement agencies. Let’s explore the advantages of upgrading your factory trigger to a GlockTriggers custom trigger system.

 

Control

Most Glock factory metal trigger parts are manufactured using a process called stamping. This process yields parts with edges that would only be expected if an angry beaver had created them. The jagged edges and contact surfaces cause the parts to skip and drag, producing an unpredictable feel with erratic tension throughout the trigger pull.

 

Using GlockTriggers’ proprietary process, the rough edges are refined. The result is highly polished surfaces that glide freely and produce an immediate noticeable improvement in the smoothness and consistency of the trigger pull.

 

Speed

Glock factory parts produce a long take-up, mushy break and an excessive amount of over-travel. This is less than optimal when a situation calls for speed.

Many of the GlockTriggers models, such as Skimmer, Edge and G43 RP, feature our proprietary pre-travel reduction modification. This eliminates nearly half of the take-up experienced at the beginning of the trigger pull.  Our Vogel and Edge competition models include an adjustable overtravel stop, which shortens the reset and allows for faster follow-up shots.

 

Accuracy

Accuracy is the ability to perform a task consistently and precisely. When shooting for accuracy, you strive to create the smallest group possible on the target. Your trigger must function in the same way each time it is pressed.

GlockTriggers smooth take-up, crisp break and travel reduction modification assist the operator in reducing pre-shot muzzle movement. The factory trigger’s inconsistent long travel can rob the most experienced shooter of their optimal potential for accuracy.

 

Safety

The “Safe Action System” of Glock handguns is one factor that launched them to their legendary status in the industry. “The Other Guys” manufacture aluminum parts using features and specs that focus more on marketing than on maintaining the original Glock trigger design.

GlockTriggers systems are built with 100% OEM (factory) parts.  The utilization of factory parts in ALL of our trigger systems ensures proper function and reliability. We test every individual trigger in a Glock pistol to ensure that all safeties function as intended.

 

Usability

What good is it to own a firearm that is no fun to shoot? The most often heard complaint about Glocks is that the triggers are spongy, creepy and not operator friendly.

Our customers report that upgrading to a GlockTriggers custom trigger system has boosted confidence in their shooting ability, has helped to improve their marksmanship and they now enjoy their range time more than ever.