Trust your life to a conversion barrel???


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silversport
August 30, 2010, 06:49 PM
I'm curious what you all think about this...would you trust your life to a pistol with a conversion barrel???

I am a bit of an older guy...I learned to shoot .22 in the Boy Scouts during the 1960's as well as courses at the "Y"...living near Chicago, Illinois you can imagine that later this was frowned upon where I grew up but Dad was in the Military and we were taught respect for firearms and that we should join the NRA...

Growing up and later buying my first firearms we were taught to only use the caliber for which your gun was made...this caused a bit of confusion when I joined a PD and purchased my Colt Python in .357 Magnum but was told to stoke it with .38+P (at least it was the Chicago/FBI/St. Louis and everybody else load)...

Still later, if I wanted a 9MM...I bought a 9MM...if I wanted the same pistol in another caliber...I bought another one in that caliber...

Today things are much different...technologies and new companies have come out with conversion barrels to convert your this pistol into a that pistol...it goes against what I was taught but an old dog can learn new tricks can't he???

I have a GLOCK 23 in .40S&W...in the past, I owned a GLOCK 27 in .40S&W and bought the GLOCK barrel so I could shoot .357SiG as well...didn't really care for the snappiness of the 357 in the G27 so I mostly used the .40...but then I was never before really a .40 fan...

After selling off that set up, and finding myself GLOCKless on a stake out with an officer in another town we got to talking about firearms...he's a good old boy so there was more gun talk than some of the advice of the experts talk I hear from some of the newer guys today...(You know what I mean...expert advice from someone who hasn't walked the walk...but does listen when he goes to the gun shops)...

...Well our conversation got to me being GLOCKless and he having a GLOCK that a co worker was supposed to buy (see the "expert" I mentioned above) for a great price...ANIB but it is an OD green frame (who cares says I)...well after another week and the expert didn't buy, my buddy calls me up and offers the kind of price you don't say "no" to...so I bought it...

The GLOCK 23 is light to carry (relatively) and packs a nice cartridge but I'm still no lover of the .40S&W round...after reading too much on the "errornet" I get the bug to try one of these other make conversion barrels (Storm Lake in my case) to convert this GLOCK 23 .40 to a GLOCK "19" 9MM... (two more rounds and a bit lighter still...hmmm)

...but then reading more I see where people with experience say...nice for the range but don't bet your life on one of these...I'm thinking that aftermarket barrels are used by many AND Storm Lake has a great reputation...so...I ask you here...

Would you trust your life to an aftermarket barrel...of course after you find that it can feed your chosen cartridge and that you see no hiccups at the range...

Thanks for any experience or thoughts you care to share...

Bill

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Nushif
August 30, 2010, 07:01 PM
...it goes against what I was taught but an old dog can learn new tricks can't he???

Pretty much says it right there. Can *you* trust your life to your firearm? 8)

bigfatdave
August 30, 2010, 07:29 PM
Would you trust your life to an aftermarket barrel...of course after you find that it can feed your chosen cartridge and that you see no hiccups at the range...

Assuming it proves reliable AND that it is a step down (meaning the gun is now over-engineered to shoot the new round):
sure, why not?

silversport
August 30, 2010, 08:51 PM
I hear you and there is wisdom in your words but how do you explain pistols like the 1911 format that can be ALL aftermarket...with some parts improving the original pistol you started with (I did NOT say improves JMB's design...I would NEVER say that :D)
Bill

wally
August 30, 2010, 09:15 PM
I would not for the following reason. If you only change the barrel you are using a slide, extractor and ejector sized for the larger .40S&W case so the odds of extraction/ejection failures go up.

Compare to bottom of the .40S&W case to the bottom of the 9mm case and note how much slop there is when the 9mm is against the breech face and under the extractor.

9mmepiphany
August 30, 2010, 10:03 PM
While I would trust a G23 converted from .40 to 357 Sig, the 9mm conversion barrel is a whole different ball game. Using a thicker barrel to properly position the 9mm case for the striker isn't a big thing, the the difference in extractor purchase would concern me.

If I didn't want to but another gun, but wanted to shoot 9mm, I'd get a whole 9mm upper for my G23 frame

silversport
August 30, 2010, 10:10 PM
thanks and good information here to be chewed on...if I need a dedicated 9mm GLOCK for self defense, I'll pick up a G19 instead...thanks
Bill

silversport
August 30, 2010, 10:49 PM
thanks guys...I have a neat range toy...I'll stick with guns made for the caliber I want to shoot...'preciate the help.
Bill

bds
August 31, 2010, 02:03 AM
Would you trust your life to an aftermarket barrel...of course after you find that it can feed your chosen cartridge and that you see no hiccups at the range...
My 1911 match was factory only of the frame and slide, everything else was aftermarket (mostly Wilson Combat) and I would bet my life on it.

I would trust my life on MY 40-9 Lone Wolf conversion barrels in my G22/G27 to shoot 9mm as I have done so tens of thousands of rounds. I consider these conversion barrels "battle tested" as they fed/extracted factory and MY reloads reliably. I use G17 mags in my G22 to shoot 9mm, but my G27 feeds fine using factory G27 mags. My extractors are factory.

If you want absolute feed/extraction reliability, use factory G19 mags and replace the extractor with a G19 unit.

Of course, YMMV - so, put some mileage on your conversion barrel to see how well it performs after 10K-20K rounds. If it is reliable after 10K-20K+, would you call it reliable?

killchain
August 31, 2010, 02:08 AM
I use conversion kits for training only. If it's brass tacks, I will fire what the handgun I use is supposed to fire.

And quit capitalizing Glock. That's the same as me saying ARMY when I'm talking to a Marine. :P

Sapper771
August 31, 2010, 06:00 AM
The only experience I have with the conversion barrels is with my G22 and a Lone Wolf 9mm conversion barrel.

My G22 had some feed/ejection issues with the conversion barrel. I did some research online and read where some required a G17 trigger housing, extractor, and spring load bearing. I jumped online and ordered the parts. After I installed them, the G22 ran fine using G17 magazines.

I still would not trust it for carry, but it is great for range use. After I decided that I was going to dedicate my training/carrying time to using 9mm Glocks, I bought a G17, G19, and a G26. My G22 with 9mm conversion "kit" is now staying at my cabin in the mountains.

I was going to recommend looking for a G19 upper to put on your G23 frame, but after you spend the money for slide , barrel, and parts....Like you said, your better off just buying a G19 and being done with it.

Good Luck with your future G19.

gofastman
August 31, 2010, 11:38 AM
here is my $.02 about conversion barrels, mine is a 10mm to .40 LWD unit but I'll share anyway:
My conversion barrel SUCKED when I first got it, properly chambered the round maybe 5% of the time.

I sent it back and there gunsmith did something to it, not exactly sure what because it looks the same, but now it has worked 100% for more than 300 rounds,
even when intentionally limpwristed. It also appears to work perfect with my 20# recoil spring.
I would even go as far as saying its reliable enough for carry, but I see no reason to downgrade to a .40 Short and Weak, other than for practice.

anyway, if it doesn't function 100% out of the gate call up LWD and ask whats up.
Now I can get it to stovepipe/jam if I throw in the new 22# recoil spring and "limpwrist" it by holding it with just my thumb and middle finger, but that is somewhat of an extreme example and I personally don't think of it as a malfunction.

MTMilitiaman
August 31, 2010, 12:08 PM
My Glock 20 has never been as reliable as it is now with the SS guide rod, 20 pound ISMI spring, and KKM Precision barrel. So yes, I absolutely trust my life to a conversion barrel.

pcwirepro
August 31, 2010, 12:51 PM
I have conversions in my G22 and G33. Both have mags made for their intended caliber.
Never has either one of them FTF, FTE or any other failure. The trajectory of the spent brass is nice in that it practically lands on my head making it easy to collect. Not that spend brass matters in a SD situation.

That said, yes, I would trust my life with the LWD barrels.

Double Naught Spy
August 31, 2010, 02:32 PM
I have conversions in my G22 and G33. Both have mags made for their intended caliber.
Never has either one of them FTF, FTE or any other failure.

A buddy of mine has conversions for his Glocks as well and everything works great so long as you get the right mag with the right ammo and the right barrel all in the same gun, it works fine. .40 won't feet into a 9mm barrel, but 9mm will feed into a .40 barrel and fire, just not very well.

silversport
August 31, 2010, 02:42 PM
remember I am specifically talking about the conversion from .40 to 9MM...new barrels from trusted sources as well as 10MM/.40/.357SiG all can have the same breach face...I didn't count on the breach face issue going from the slightly larger (1MM) breach face on the .40 to the 9MM...
Bill

9mmepiphany
August 31, 2010, 03:15 PM
The breach face is pretty close, it depends on how hard you run you gun.

As an example, the S&W M&P9 and M&P40 use the same breach face and extractor. Folks discovered this when they started having feeding problems when running the 9mm in competition...you have to remember that the M&P, as opposed to the Glock, was originally designed around the .40

Lvl21nerd
August 31, 2010, 05:59 PM
seems to me that if one refuses to use a conversion setup, he/she has just discovered a great excuse for owning more guns :D

Vimes74
September 1, 2010, 12:16 AM
silversport, Just some anecdotal evidence for you. I have a glock 23 in which I use the lone wolf conversion barrel and original glock 19 mags (everything else is stock). It's my favorite gun and participates almost every range trip. I've probably put 3-4k rounds of 9mm with exactly one stovepipe. Several other shooters (some novice) have shot it in this configuration as well with no problems. The one stovepipe was with brown bear ammo, possibly under powered. Regardless, any weapon can have a feed issue and one should be prepared to deal with it.

All other things being equal, I would of course prefer to have the original caliber the for which the gun was intended and this is how I carry it. But I would feel plenty comfortable with the 9mm conversion barrel in if I had it setup that way. I think a lot of the people that knock this type of configuration have not tried it, or at least not with a glock which seems especially amenable to conversions.

docnyt
September 1, 2010, 12:41 AM
I have a LW .40 to 9 mm barrel for my Glock 27. It has fed all the 9 mm ammo I've tried so far - RWS, Federal, Winchester WB, Ranger and NATO, Hornady JHP, Monarch, etc. without fail. I would trust it in this configuration as much as the original .40

I also bought G19 mags but didn't think of trying the G27 mags to feed 9 mm.

killchain
September 1, 2010, 01:29 AM
seems to me that if one refuses to use a conversion setup, he/she has just discovered a great excuse for owning more guns :D
Yes, I got my conversion kit because I wanted a new pistol but didn't feel like I needed a new one.

I won't lie. :)

357sigRog
September 1, 2010, 03:19 AM
Yes I do, for the set up I have. I have a Glock 33 and I have a Lone Wolfe 4.02 inch 40 cal. barrel for it, and it works flawlessly.

Full Metal Jacket
September 1, 2010, 03:27 AM
While I would trust a G23 converted from .40 to 357 Sig, the 9mm conversion barrel is a whole different ball game. Using a thicker barrel to properly position the 9mm case for the striker isn't a big thing, the the difference in extractor purchase would concern me.

extractors can be changed from 9 to 40, and vise versa, between glock 40's and 9's. i know because glock incorrectly sent me a 40cal extractor for my g19.

you can change all the small parts you like, but the breechface will still be machined for the original caliber, so you'll never have the same inherent reliability with caliber conversions (40 to 9). save it for the range, if you must do it.

GLOOB
September 1, 2010, 04:48 AM
Actually, changing the extractor doesn't really make much difference. Even if you put in the 9mm extractor, it's only 1 half of the equation. The extractor clamps over the rim, but it also pushes the cartridge to the far side of the breech, which is oversized in this case.

So while feeding, rounds could have the tendency to hit left-of-center on the ramp. And extraction and ejection should be compromised, in theory.

But I agree the GLOCK 40-9mm conversion that I have is very reliable, despite all this. And there's maybe 1 thing that might be superior. I bet you can let the breech and extractor get much dirtier before having malfuntions, because of that extra space! :)

Full Metal Jacket
September 1, 2010, 04:53 AM
Actually, changing the extractor doesn't really make much difference. Even if you put in the 9mm extractor, it's only 1 half of the equation. The extractor clamps over the rim, but it also pushes the cartridge to the far side of the breech, which is oversized in this case.

that's what my post above you says lol

silversport
September 1, 2010, 08:06 AM
good stuff...I gotta get this set up to the range...
Bill

9mmepiphany
September 1, 2010, 01:08 PM
And there's maybe 1 thing that might be superior. I bet you can let the breech and extractor get much dirtier before having malfuntions, because of that extra space!
A silver lining in every cloud...I hadn't thought of that ;)

gb6491
September 2, 2010, 01:22 AM
remember I am specifically talking about the conversion from .40 to 9MM...new barrels from trusted sources as well as 10MM/.40/.357SiG all can have the same breach face...I didn't count on the breach face issue going from the slightly larger (1MM) breach face on the .40 to the 9MM...
Bill
I have quite a few rounds downrange using a LW40-9 conversion barrel in my G27. I had two failures to feed with Wolff ammo (both in the same magazine worth of ammo); that was early on with the conversion and I haven't had a problem with it since. In regards to the breech face size issue, there's still a lot of tension on the extractor (see link below) and the .40 cal ejector seems to work without issue (I acquired a complete G26 top end a while back and have had no reason to change ejectors when using it).

Extractor tension: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pb8E6k1d4Do

Regards,
Greg

silversport
September 2, 2010, 08:04 AM
thank you very much for that video and for your response...
Bill

ET
September 2, 2010, 12:18 PM
I use conversion kits for training only. If it's brass tacks, I will fire what the handgun I use is supposed to fire.

And quit capitalizing Glock. That's the same as me saying ARMY when I'm talking to a Marine. :P

There is a big difference between a conversion barrel & a conversion kit. I use a 357sig conversion barrel in my Glock27 to use it as a 357sig. It is a drop-in barrel, not a kit. It is 100% reilable. I also have an Advantage Arms Glock conversion kit to make it a 22. It replaces the slide, barrel, etc. I only use the bottom assembly of the Glock handgun. No, I wouldn't trust my life to a Glock conversion kit. Yes, I do trust my life to an after market Glock conversion barrel. Any Questions? (Like why do I capitalize Glock or anything?)

Sky
September 2, 2010, 01:15 PM
G23C with the wolf 9mm barrel and 9mm mags has not failed me but have not burned more than 200 rounds so far. Agree mags/barrel match you should have no problem. Trust my life; hot Starbucks if that's all I got? Yes I know I missed the point!

silversport
September 18, 2010, 10:50 PM
well...I got to shoot the Glock 23 wanna be Glock 19 today...over 200 rounds of 9MM...both Speer Golt Dot, 124GR hollow point and Lawman 124GR FMJ...not one hiccup...not in slow single shot nor quick or rapid fire...first slow and deliberate round through the bull made me smile...I think I could trust my life to this...I have others but this one will work too...good luck with your choice and thanks for the input...much appreciated.
Bill

bds
September 18, 2010, 11:12 PM
I love happy endings.

Enjoy your Glock(s) Bill! :D

silversport
September 19, 2010, 10:43 AM
thanks for the feedback and encouragement...
Bill

ET
September 19, 2010, 01:07 PM
remember I am specifically talking about the conversion from .40 to 9MM...new barrels from trusted sources as well as 10MM/.40/.357SiG all can have the same breach face...I didn't count on the breach face issue going from the slightly larger (1MM) breach face on the .40 to the 9MM...
Bill

I didn't address the 40-9 conversion barrel in my first response, so here goes...

I have used a Lone Wolf 40-9 conversion barrel & the factory 9mm mags in my Glock 27 for 6 months now. I practice at the range with 9mm because it is so much cheaper than the 357sig that I'm running as my CC ammo. I have never experienced one single ftf with it in the 9mm, 40s&w or 357sig setup. I've read a lot of glowing reports about the conversions not only here but on other forums that ask the same question. These barrels work extremely well. I would trust my glock, with a conversion barrel, more than some other brands with the factory barrels installed. But that's just me.

silversport
September 23, 2010, 07:56 AM
you have summed up my admittedly limited experience (200 plus rounds so far) with my conversion barrel...thanks for your posting...
Bill

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