GLOCK pistols are some of the most popular guns on the market. They are known for their reliability and versatility, and due to their popularity they have a ton of aftermarket support and different options to make them more fun to shoot, to enhance their functionality for different applications, or to create a unique look for the firearm. Different people have their different reasons for selecting different upgrades, but fortunately the wide availability of these kinds of pieces mean there’s something for everyone.
Let’s take a look at some of popular and easy-to-implement upgrades available for most models of GLOCK pistols:
Upgrading your barrel is a simple way to add a little bling and can make a big difference in performance. There are several aspects of barrels that companies have changed in their aftermarket parts that can enhance the performance and versatility of the gun.
One of the main reasons many people purchase an aftermarket barrel is simple aesthetics. Being able to update the color and give your GLOCK a unique look is enough for a lot of people who are just trying to add something different to their collection.
Threading is another reason many people purchase after market barrels. If you’re planning to suppress or compensate your gun then having a threaded barrel is a given. There are a lot of options available for threading, and most companies that produce aftermarket barrels will have threaded versions of their most popular models.
Polished feedramps are all about ensuring the gun reliably feeds whatever ammunition you put into it. The legendary reliability of GLOCKs is one of the main reasons most people purchase them, but adding a polished feed ramp can improve how the gun functions with a wide variety of ammunition and add a level of reassurance to an already trustworthy platform.
It’s also worth noting, when talking about aftermarket barrels, that the rifling in OEM GLOCKs does not allow for use of cast lead ammunition. For people who want to use this type of ammo, they can purchase aftermarket barrels featuring different types of rifling that allow for use of these rounds.
Examples of GLOCK Barrel Upgrades:
- Zev Technologies Optimized Match Grade G17 Gen 5 Barrel
- Grey Ghost Precision Glock 19 Gen 5 Barrel - Black Nitride
- Killer Innovations Glock 26 Threaded Velocity Barrel
- Agency Arms Glock 17 Syndicate Threaded Barrel - Gold TiN
- L2D Combat Precision Match Glock 19 Barrel - Fluted Threaded
Aftermarket GLOCK slides provide a lot of different upgrades – some more practical, some more fun. One of the biggest draws for many enthusiasts purchasing aftermarket GLOCK slides is the pure aesthetics. You can get slides in different colors and with different cuts to add a personal and bright touch to the ubiquitous GLOCK.
One of the reasons a lot of people start looking at aftermarket slides is that they want to mount a red dot sight. There are a lot of different red dot sights on the market, however only a few popular footprints that can help narrow down the selection of your slide. There is a large availability of slides with different red dot sight mounts, so it’s easy to find something that has the look you want and will work for the sight you want.
A lot of slides upgrade the fitment and firing ports as well, to improve accuracy and ejection. You can also get slides with different coatings that increase corrosion resistance or lubrication properties. Most of them are easily installed drop in parts that can quickly and easily transform your GLOCK into something that looks unique and shoots even better.
Examples of GLOCK Slide Upgrades:
- True Precision Glock 43 Stripped Slide w/ RMSc Cut
- Lantac Razorback Windowed GEN 4 GLOCK 19 SLIDE - Stripped
- Agency Arms Glock 19 Gen 3 Urban Combat Stripped Slide w/ AOS - DLC
- Faxon Firearms G19 Patriot Slide w/ RMR Optic Cut - DLC
- CR Precision Glock 19 "OG" Stripped Slide - Black
Trigger upgrades are an easy way to make shooting your gun a more pleasant experience. There are a lot of options that will make your trigger pull lighter and give you a more positive reset. Part of picking trigger weights is knowing what your gun is going to be used for – there are heavier triggers with very crisp, clean pulls for concealed carry or duty use, and lighter, more performance-based triggers for competition or range time.
Another good reason for changing out your trigger could be as simple as you don’t like the shape. Different trigger profiles are more comfortable for different people, some prefer the modified trigger safeties in aftermarket selection, or want to opt for a more flat-faced trigger if they find the curve of the stock GLOCK trigger uncomfortable.
When it comes to aesthetics, which let’s be honest is a big reason a lot of people opt for these upgrades, swapping out the trigger can add a splash of color. It’s a really good way to make a smaller statement or bring the color scheme of a firearm together.
For most people, however, they’re just looking to clean up the stock trigger pull. Most aftermarket triggers will have a smoother trigger pull and a more positive reset.
Examples of GLOCK Trigger Upgrades:
- Zev Technolgies Fulcrum Adjustable Drop-In Kit Trigger 9mm Gen 4 - Curved
- Agency Arms Glock Drop In Trigger
- CMC Triggers 9MM Glock Gen 5 Flat Trigger
- Killer Innovations Glock Gen 1-4 Velocity Trigger
- Zev Technologies PRO Trigger Bar Kit Glock - Flat Blk/Blk
The first thing most GLOCK owners do when they get a new gun is upgrade their sights. Stock GLOCK sights don’t present most people’s favored sight picture. Fortunately, there are a lot of different aftermarket options available for different applications and different preferences.
There are two different option for upgrading a pistol’s sights: Iron sights or red dot sights. They have different purposes and people have different opinions about which they prefer, but both are options to mount on a GLOCK pistols.
For iron sights, upgrades might be to help extend the sight picture higher to mount a suppressor, so the shooter can pick a sight picture that works better for them, or for a brighter or more visible sight picture for faster sight picture acquisition and low light shooting. Upgrading iron sights requires a sight tool and, for many less experienced gun owners, is going to be best done by a gunsmith. Most local shops will have someone who can professionally swap out your GLOCK sights for your preferred set.
Red dot sights are another good option for quick sight acquisition and low light shooting. They’re easier to use than iron sights but somewhat bulkier for a concealed carry option. One thing to note is that you have to make sure your slide is properly milled to accept the footprint of the red dot sight you are looking to purchase. One easy way to do this, if you don’t purchase one of the factory GLOCKs that is set up for it, is to purchase an aftermarket slide that is set up for the site you want.
Examples of GLOCK Iron Sight Upgrades:
- Rainier Arms Glock Fiber Optic Sight Set
- Night Fision Glock (COSTA LUDUS) Tritium Night Sight Set - (Non-MOS)
- Devil Dog Concepts CHARPS Glock Combat Pistol Sight Set – Low
- Dead Air / KNS Precision SwitchSight Folding Pistol Sights – Glock
- 10-8 Glock Rear Sight .140
Examples of GLOCK Red Dot Sight Upgrades:
- Trijicon RMR Sight Adjustable - 3.25 MOA Red Dot TYPE 2
- Trijicon RMR Sight Adjustable - 6.5 MOA Red Dot TYPE 2
- Riton Optics X3 Tactix MPRD Micro Red Dot
Compensators mitigate the gases coming out of your barrel so your gun shoots flatter, allowing for quicker and easier follow up shots. Compensators are great for all types of shooters, from new shooters who are looking to develop good habits without having to fight high recoil, people who are just at the range having a good time and want to be able to get on-target shots off quickly, or competitors looking for an advantage (double check the rules of your competition before adding a compensator to your gun – they’re not legal in all sports or all divisions!).
Regardless of the reason you’re choosing the compensate your GLOCK, the most important thing to pay attention to when purchasing a compensator is how it installs on your barrel. Most will require a threaded barrel, which you can get either as a factory part or as an aftermarket upgrade. Most 9mm GLOCK barrels will be threaded to 1/2x28, as will most compensators, it’s just prudent to double check that your parts will work together.
Examples of GLOCK Compensator Upgrades:
- Legion Precision 9mm Pistol Compensator - Black Anodize
- ARC Division Arc Sparc Glock Gen 5 9mm Compensator
- Strike Industries Gen 4 Mass Driver Comp
- Killer Innovations Velocity Glock Compensator - Gen 5
- Tyrant Designs T-Comp Glock Compensator Gen 4
BONUS – Magazine
As a bonus, you can purchase aftermarket magazines for your GLOCK as well. For competitors or others running hard-use handguns, a big draw of aftermarket magazines is improved basepads. If you are dropping your magazines from your gun onto hard surfaces frequently the plastic, factory basepads can crack and eventually fail.
A probably more popular reason to purchase aftermarket magazine is increased capacity. There are GLOCK magazines on the market that can hold upwards of 30 rounds. This means fewer mag changes on the range and can make for a more enjoyable shooting experience. In some cases you can just purchase magazine basepads and extensions and upgrade your existing magazines.
If you do purchase aftermarket magazines for a carry or duty pistol it’s important to run them on the range to ensure they function well before relying on them, the same is true if you upgrade the capacity of an existing magazine. Sometimes feeding issues can occur and you won’t be able to tell until you get the magazine out on the range.