I remember – vaguely – when Glock first came to America, and the geniuses in the “popular media” told us they were terrorist weapons able to pass through an airport metal detector, because of their plastic construction. Of course, this was total BS. All Glocks use a solid metal slide and while the frame is mostly plastic, it is injection molded with metal parts for critical areas in the mold – and thus in the frame.The “handle” or grip section of a Glock IS plastic, and feels a bit clunky and fragile compared to a REAL pistol – like a 1911 – but even some 1911 manufacturers use polymer frames these days.
Not that I have anything much against plastic, mind you. I paid my bills working in plastics research for over 20 years, and before that did some time in plant QC labs and operations. When I ran offshore fishing charters, it was mostly in a boats made of FRP – fiberglass reinforced plastic, or fiberglass. I even have a couple of “specialty” rifle stocks made of plastics. Normally, though, I like my firearms to be metal and wood in construction. As much as I had heard about Glocks before trying one myself, the one thing that was ABSOLUTELY true is that they are UGLY! Once we get past that, they are actually a well thought out firearm. There are fewer parts in a Glock by far than a 1911, and field stripping is amazingly simple, with zero need of tools. All that is required to remove the slide is to pull it back just a bit (but not enough to cock the pistol), push down on the slide release, and push it off the front of the rails. Glocks have higher magazine capacity than similar pistols – the double stack mags for the G20 hold 15 rounds.
The G20 10mm Glock ships with a 17# or 18# recoil spring. Some have no trouble with theirs, others blame any troubles with the pistol on a spring that is too weak for the cartridge. Without a doubt, a stronger spring will help the slide function properly with the recoil of the 10mm, and should reduce “felt” recoil to the shooter. I have both a 22# spring on order for my G20, and a stainless steel recoil rod to replace the plastic one that came in the pistol.
UPDATE! Replaced the stock recoil spring with a 22# unit that came as a package with the SS guide rod. There is a noticeable difference in felt recoil – less – and the action seems to work “better”. I am not yet ready to try the “Heavy” 10mm loads again, but shooting factory 180gr FMJ from Remington that I measured at 1144 fps, and some 170gr JHP from PMC that surprised me by clocking over 1300 fps, feed, function and firing were perfect.
Accessories are many for Glocks. I have an optics mount on order that attaches to the frame and allows the slide to function beneath, as well as sitting high enough for use of the open sights. My plan is to mount a 2.5 x 7 T/C pistol scope with a lighted reticle to maximize hunting accuracy. Speaking of open sights, I will be replacing the stock plastic sights with night sights fairly soon, I’m sure.
There are a few other small and inexpensive aftermarket parts I obtained that I will well recommend. One is the plug that fits in the opening of the hollow grip section to close off the bottom. Glock believes there are “no flies” on their pistols, and I don’t want any dirt daubers making a nest in mine!
Because they do not have a hammer, Glocks are sometimes referred to as “double action” pistols – which is not true, because the slide must be “racked” to cock the pistol – either by hand for the first shot, or by the action of the firearm for succeeding shots. If you just insert a magazine without manually working the slide, and pull the trigger, nothing will happen. I have heard people say different, but they are wrong. With a true double action, pulling the trigger both cocks and fires the gun. Glock refers to their design as a “safe-action” pistol. In this I think they are wrong, also. The Glock touts it’s 2 “internal” safeties, but the only sort of external safety is incorporated into the trigger. The trigger cannot be pulled without pulling the safety with it, which is the problem. This safety is overcome simply by pulling the trigger, which to me is no more safe than having no safety at all! Supposedly, a Glock will not fire if dropped or beat on – although there are reports to the contrary, but the trigger guard must be kept protected – as by a proper holster – at all times, because it would be ever so easy to pull that little trigger lock and the trigger by accident. My 1911 has a strong MANUAL safety that locks the hammer, slide and firing pin, as well as the grip safety which blocks the gun from firing if it is not completely and properly depressed. It also has the hammer, and if a tie down strap on the holster passes between the hammer and firing pin, it would keep the pistol from firing even if the hammer dropped.
I told my Glock loving buddy I was going to fashion some sort of block that would keep the trigger – and thus it’s safety – from being pulled until I wanted it to be pulled, but instead I found such a device already on the market – and sold by Glock dealers. The Safe-T-Blok is a piece of black plastic shaped perfectly to snap in place behind the trigger, when it is in there, the trigger cannot be pulled, the slide cannot be worked – so the pistol cannot fire. When the operator wants to shoot, it is simple to push the Safe-T-Blok out with the trigger finger first. I plan to drill small holes in mine, and maybe the trigger guard, to tie it off with a piece of line so it doesn’t get lost when I have to shoot in a hurry. OR, you can send your Glock to a certain custom gunsmith and he will actually install a manual safety similar to that on a 1911.
After I ordered the scope mount for my G20 it dawned on me that it might be a bit of a problem racking the slide by hand – then I found The “Charging Handle” by Brass Stacker. It is a pull handle that attaches to the rear slide serrations by tightening a set screw and allows the operator to pull straight back on the slide for initial cocking. Besides being invaluable with a scope mount, this attachment is also great for those with weak or injured hands or wrists. In the world of 1911 pistols, we often read about special, over-size rear sights that can be used to rack the slide if your hand is injured in a gunfight. While I hope most of us will never be in that situation, this charging handle would be much more effective, and especially compared against the standard Glock sights – which are plastic. I guess you could also hook it on any sort of strongly attached projection and pull the slide back, also. Still, the best tactic in a case like that would be to change magazines with at least one round left, in which case all you need to do is pull the trigger and let the pistol do the cocking and loading.
It should be noted my “test” Glock is a Gen 3 – the Gen 4 version of the G20 was not out when I purchased mine. There are a few changes to the Gen 4 some potential buyers might want to investigate. For one, the standard grip is slimmer, with different backstraps that can be easily changed to best fit your hand (providing the smallest is not too big!).
With the 6″ Glock “Hunter” barrel in place, I am only waiting on the scope mount to arrive to have a “Sho-Nuff” hunting pistol in a 10mm!
First “range test” with the 6″ Glock barrel – still with open sights, shooting American Eagle 180gr Full Metal Jacket factory loads had function in feeding and firing showing perfect. After “ranging” with the first 3 shots to see where the longer barrel was shooting, I fired 5 rounds that were touching from a rest at 15 yards. These shots were a little high at that range, which is fine,as I hope to be making shots farther than that at hogs. There was also a notable reduction in recoil with the stainless guide rod and 22# recoil spring.
Next step is to work up a load with 200 gr Nosler Jacketed hollow Points to try to match Jeff Cooper’s original goal of a 200gr bullet at 1200 fps. I also manually fed several rounds each of the Double tap 230gr and Buffalo Bore 220gr loads, and they fed fine. Maybe when I reach a good comfort level with the pistol, I’ll try shooting these again, and hope for better results than with the aftermarket barrel.