GLOCK brand pistols are some of the most popular and reliable pistols on the market. A completely standard GLOCK will be sufficient for most shooters, but you might want to go beyond the average shooter. To narrow the margin of error in your performance, there are several aspects of the GLOCK pistol that you can upgrade.
The aftermarket of GLOCK pistols is massive and can be confusing. You can essentially replace every single part of the GLOCK pistol to modify its performance. However, all parts are not created equal in terms of performance impact. The three parts which impact the GLOCK pistol’s performance most are sights, trigger, and barrel.
The sights and trigger are used every time the pistol is operated, while the barrel is used only during live fire. So, if you are only going to upgrade a few parts on your GLOCK, these are the parts you should consider. The first upgrade should be to replace the factory sights. The standard plastic sights are not as durable as other options, and if you're not going to fully upgrade to a pistol optic, you will want better sights.
Since low-light scenarios are prevalent in the real world, night sights are a good option to replace the GLOCK’s standard sights. GLOCK offers Bold sights by Ameriglo for several of its Gen 5 pistols (G17, G19, G26, G34). Ameriglo also provides aftermarket sights, both front and rear, so you can acquire a full set or mix and match with your preferred front and rear sight combination.
To zero in your pistol, the height of the front and rear sights need to be accounted for. Additionally, some sights are designed for specific ammunition to achieve a particular point of aim and impact. For most sight offerings, the front sight's elevation is only adjusted by getting a different height sight or removing material yourself. If you're uncomfortable doing this, then get a set of paired sights.
Any sight modification should go toward improving your accuracy and ability to pick up the sights in a variety of atmospheric conditions. This is why red dots have become more popular, with two of the current, most popular options being the DeltaPoint Pro and Trijicon RMR.
After replacing the sights, the next upgrade you may consider is the trigger. Stock GLOCK triggers are very heavy compared to others, especially in the competition world. This can be overcome by changing the connector, generally down to a 6 to 3 lb trigger pull. Additionally, you can swap out the trigger shoe and get a flat-faced trigger. Flat-faced triggers change the trigger’s geometry and modify performance while allowing for a quick return to factory parts if the results aren't to your liking.
Switching to a flat-faced trigger will help with trigger pre-travel, and the up-take before the resistance of the trigger is felt. This creates a crisp trigger break.
One of the problems with some aftermarket trigger sets is how they modify the internals of GLOCKs. Manufacturers who do not use OEM parts tend to circumvent GLOCK pistols’ internal safeties, turning a normally drop-safe gun into a non-drop-safe gun. These circumvented safeties can also cause other problems like slam fires.
A lot of the trigger problems of stock GLOCK triggers can be solved with some light polishing of the internal by the end-user with something like a cotton swab. Additionally, an NY1/- connector will help with trigger performance.
If this swap helps you practice the fundamentals or lessens your margin of error under stress and you want to squeeze even more accuracy out of your pistol, you might also consider swapping out the barrel.
Most quality factory barrels are accurate enough, generally getting 2.5-inch groups at 25 yards. But some people have progressed to the point that they can't get any more out of a stock barrel, or the barrel may have a deformity. If this is the case, switching to a better quality GLOCK barrel might be in order.
It should be noted that the quality of ammunition will impact the accuracy of a barrel. Barrels are designed with a specific ammunition in mind. Some barrels are better at chewing through low quality ammunition, while others require very specific loadings to get the best result. Additionally, the range you will be shooting at should inform your barrel choice.
If you're going to shoot quality, 147-grain ammunition, a KKM barrel is probably going to be the best option. If not, S3F Solutions is a good option for cheaper ammunition within 25 yards. Another option is a Zev barrel, which tends to be better at longer ranges.
Novice shooters often buy pistol add-ons to increase performance, but the truth is that your skill level is just as important as your equipment. If your base skillset needs improvement, it’s best to start with some more practice. On the other hand, more experienced shooters know precisely what’s lacking in their current firearm, and therefore are in the best position to swap parts based on their needs. If you fall into the second category, it’s best to start with the three parts we reviewed today: the sights, trigger, and barrel.
If you’re ready to “pull the trigger” on replacing parts on your GLOCK pistol, we have a massive inventory of firearm replacement parts and will surely be able to meet your specific needs.