GLOCK tuning – Part 1: what does the aftermarket offer for the legendary polymer gun in 2021?

Aids and tools for tuning the GLOCK.
The market offers numerous aids and tools that help in the disassembly of GLOCKs: one of these is the Mag Wrench from Truglo (right), which helps remove magazine floors by pressing the metal pin into the corresponding opening on the magazine floor and then sliding
off the floor plate.

With several million pistols sold and the fifth production generation now on the market, GLOCK pistols are now among the best-selling handguns in the world. Released as an army firearm in the 1980s, with its polymer grip frame it continues to prove itself today as the law enforcement gun of choice in many police forces worldwide. Sports shooters and hunters also like the inexpensive Austrian GLOCK. Although the regular full-size models are not match pistols, they are used by many shooters – in the IPSC Production Class. The GLOCK is less suitable for static target disciplines because its equipment and especially the trigger simply do not fit so well here. The now large tuning scene and aftermarket for GLOCKs, however, offers the possibility to optimize almost any pistol for the tactical, dynamic or static range. In addition to the pure desire for improvement, many people are simply driven by the passion for DYI. After all, guys who have already been tinkering with model airplanes or electric trains will also enjoy the simple GLOCK design and the many drop-in, click and screw parts of the aftermarket. 

In principle, a GLOCK gun of any generation can be tuned. But tuners especially recommend the Gen3 models – as do Dirk Frey (Waffenwelt) and Rolf B. Fischlein (RBF). Both gentlemen have many years of experience with their companies in modifying the Austrian pistols. Besides the fact that the Gen3 frame simply offers more material, there is also a very simple argument in favor of this model: the aftermarket offers the most choice here. Tuners tend to give the Gen4 models a wide berth, as technical problems arose here, especially with early models, and many tuning parts did not fit. "With the Gen5 models, GLOCK is on a better path again!", says Dirk Frey from Waffenwelt. The tuning market is in any case huge. Almost for every assembly there are alternatives on the market. Particularly useful for many shooters and also not so expensive are a new trigger assembly and new sights.


Removed ZEV brand trigger with a GLOCK pistol.
There are numerous suppliers on the market that specialize in complete trigger kits. The ZEV Pro Trigger (unpackaged) includes a new trigger shoe including safety blade as well as the complete linkage. The high-quality Fulcrum Trigger (right) comes with an additional titanium striker specifically for it.

Trigger tuning is a common and probably one of the most necessary tuning measures, at least if you want to be sporty with your GLOCK. Although you won't get the same performance out of the safe-action trigger as you would out of a single-action match pistol, its characteristics and weight can be noticeably improved. The simplest way is the so-called "25-cent trigger job". Here, the contact surfaces of the trigger linkage – where frictional forces occur – are polished to reduce mechanical friction. But at most, this improves the trigger's characteristics, not the trigger weight, since the spring weights are not changed. That's why many tuners also direct their attention directly to the springs, because replacing them can noticeably reduce the trigger pull weight.

A selection of replacement springs for the GLOCK.
GLOCK aftermarket odds and ends (from top left): safety spring, striker spring, trigger spring, connector, striker, pins, connector, slide lock and striker safety plunger with associated spring.

Waffenwelt offers a tuning spring kit from ZEV in its catalog which is supposed to lower the trigger pull weight considerably for a small amount of money. In addition to the connector, the striker spring, the trigger spring and the safety spring are also replaced (the trigger spring is not replaced on the Gen5). However, Dirk Frey recommends always relying on one supplier when replacing springs and not pairing springs from different aftermarket companies on one trigger. The aftermarket is huge in the spring sector and should offer everyone a viable solution. In addition to ZEV, companies like Ghost, Taran Tactical, and Wolff can be listed here. RBF International also offers trigger kits for GLOCKs. The aftermarket offers complete kits (Lone Wolf, Apex Tactical, ZEV, ...), especially in the case of the more complex trigger tuning, which includes adjustable triggers with aluminum shoes and partially finished parts. Thus, on the European market the full ZEV Fulcrum trigger kit including a titanium striker can sometimes go over the counter at around 450 euros.


Various tuning sights for GLOCK pistols.
Sights (from left): compact sights with fiber optic front sight from Truglo, adjustable rear sight sets from specialist LPA, HiViz rear sight
with interchangeable light-collecting rods, Supressor Sight Set from Ameriglo for use with suppressors.

One of the easiest ways to upgrade your pistol, and probably one of the most useful, might be to fit it with new sights. The factory rear sight with its white-outlined rectangular notch can only be drifted laterally, and the interaction with the rugged, wide front sight ensures the thinnest of light gaps. The choice of the appropriate sights depends largely on the desired application: if the shooter wants to compete in dynamic disciplines or if the gun is needed for self-protection, tactical sights make sense. These usually have a low overall height. This makes them easy to holster. And their geometry is trimmed for rapid target acquisition. There are also mixed types, which include an adjustable rear sight and create a balancing act between carry and competition needs. In the tactical arena, manufacturers include Dawson Precision, Warren Tactical and Taran Tactical Innovations, to name a few.

Likewise, the aftermarket offers fully adjustable match sights (LPA Sights), as well as sights designed for poor visibility conditions with colored fiber optic or tritium inserts (Truglo, Hiviz, Novak). Even for the GLOCK MOS models introduced not so long ago with their OR adapter plates, the market already offers an additional innovation: the tuners at RBF International have developed their own solution for placing larger match rear sights further forward on the slide. For this purpose, they specially mill a dovetail into the material of the regular MOS cover plate. This allows the shooter to always choose between a red dot and their fully adjustable match sights, and to quickly and easily change plates as needed.

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