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Glock people - Help me understand

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Azrael256, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. Azrael256

    Azrael256 Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    As a preface, I'm a 1911 guy. I like it, I shoot well with it, so it's my choice. Personal preference, you might say.

    So, the other day, I was visiting a friend's house, and in the course of cleaning several guns, he asked me to clean his duty weapon. It's a Glock... 17, I think. 9mm with a pair of 15-ish round magazines. He got me the book, I read the instructions and stripped it down, and went to scrubbing.

    I got it spotless with no problem, but in examining the pistol, I started to wonder about a few things. There is really very little metal to the pistol. Of course, the slide and company is steel (I assume, I didn't look that closely), but the internals struck me as very light for the job they're doing. All these little stamped (I think) parts and tiny springs... well, I wonder just how effective they are. Do they really last, and do the (in my opinion) tiny frame rails continue to fit properly with wear? Also, what's the deal on the guide rod? I can hear the recoil spring scraping against it when I work the slide. Gah! It's such an awful sound. And why a flat coil spring? Is it superior in some way to a round coil spring?

    Also, I thought it was unbelieveably light. My 1911 has some flip to it, but wouldn't a pistol this light be difficult to control? I've seen Glock shooters do very well with their pistols, but it seems like something that light would be difficult to shoot well.

    Who designed those finger grooves? They looked like they were molded into the frame, and they're uncomfortable in my hands and his. What's up with fixed ergonomics like that? Are they supposed to feel funny but just work right when you shoot it?

    The frame itself, if you'll pardon the characterization, feels like a toy gun. Actually, fully assembled it feels rather like a toy. That doesn't change my approach to it as a weapon, but does it feel strange forever, or is that something you get used to? Also, what genius came up with the open void behind the mag well? I'm guessing it's there to reduce weight while still keeping the grip the desired shape, but jeez, I found all kinds of grime in there. It was chock full of lint from being carried all the time, and it was a bit of a pain to clean it all out.

    The really nagging question I have is one of tastes. On my 1911, I have upgraded parts for quality, adapted or replaced parts according to my taste, and have done what I like to make my pistol personalized. I didn't really notice anything you could do to a Glock to improve or personalize it. I know it has fewer controls than the 1911, but what can you do to change it into a personal weapon instead of a cookie-cutter service pistol?

    Now, there were some things I really liked. It took only a few drops of oil to lube it according to the instructions. One bottle of CLP will last a lifetime, even if it feels like it's insufficiently lubed. I also found it remarkably easy to conceal. It's ugly as homemade soap, but the shape of it does disappear nicely in my buddy's concealment holster. It was really quite comfortable, too. Disassembly was VERY easy, and there wasn't any danger of putting a recoil spring cap through a window. The magazine spring felt consistent all the way through loading. The magazines themselves had a good solid feel to them. Most 1911 magazines feel a little rickety even if they're decent quality.

    So, help me out here. What's the big deal about these guns?
  2. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Mentor

    Dec 24, 2002
    Southwestern Ohio
    Utter reliability seems to be the main seller. It's like the Energizer bunny, it keeps going and going. ;)
  3. Biker

    Biker Mentor

    Mar 10, 2005
    My Glock 23 has gone 'bang' everytime I've pulled the trigger for over 16,000 rounds now with little to no maintainance. Due to the grip angle, it 'points' very natuarally for me. I own three other Glocks and I've yet to experience a malfunction. What more can you ask for?
    I'd rather have a plain looking faithful wife than a 'knockout' who may fail me when the chips are down.:)
  4. Shipwreck

    Shipwreck Senior Member

    Mar 6, 2005
    U can get a $4 plug to fit that open hole behind the grip - it's called a Jentra plug, but there are a few different kinda and shapes.

    years ago, lasers were being attached to the trigger guard, and they would put some of the electronic parts in that space, along with the battery.
  5. Ankeny

    Ankeny Senior Member

    Jun 27, 2003
    I am a 1911/2011 kind of guy. As an active competitior, in some years I'll shoot 50,000 rounds through 1911 and 2011 style pistols. I carry a Glock 26. Light weight, high capacity, nuts reliable, extremely accurate...

    HSMITH Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    1911 guy here too, but I have a small group of Glocks around.

    Reliability over many many tens of thousands of rounds is what has sold a lot of us on the Glocks. They just don't quit. The parts DO look small and I wondered how they would hold up too at first. My only guess is that the fire control parts are engineered very well and that they are actually overbuilt for what is needed. Trigger return springs are all I have ever heard of actually breaking in a Glock fire control group, and that has been extrememly rare.

    I think you hit on one of the reasons they are so reliable, the magazines are extremely good quality and insanely durable. Even the springs in the mags seem to last forever.

    As far as upgrading it to make it better or personal, that is where people run into trouble. The gun doesn't need it, and the only Glocks I have seem malfunction with good ammunition and maintenance have been modified. If we can leave them alone for the most part they just keep ticking.
  7. FullMetalJacket

    FullMetalJacket New Member

    Jan 17, 2006
    BANG! Everytime, so far.
  8. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Senior Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Missoula, Montana
    The Glock is pretty adaptable. You can get aftermarket guide rods in tungsten and stainless, captive or free, and change spring weights to suit your preferences. You can get triggers from 3.5 to the heaviest NY2, which I believe is about 12 pounds. Stock is ~5.5 and took me very little time to get used to it. Aftermarket sights are readily available, you can get frame work done to make it fit better and find slip on grips from DecalGrips and Brooks Tactical as well as Hogue. Barrels can be bought from Jarvis, BarSto, and KKM in different lengths to suit your needs. Extended mag and slide releases are available and the pistol is so simple a punch is really all the is needed to detail strip it--I think all said and done it has like 33 peices total.

    I have a Glock 20. That is a 10mm Auto. The load I am using now pushes a 180 gr Gold Dot out at 1300 fps. My brother has a Springfield MilSpec. He put an Ed Brown ambi safety and a Wilson Combat Shok-Buff kit in it. The loads he is using push a 230 gr Gold Dot at 950 fps. The Glock's grip angle takes some getting used to. And some people prefer the Gen 2.5 cause it doesn't have the finger grooves of the Gen 3 Glocks. But I find the Glock sits very well in my hand, and points naturally. My long fingers get along well with the finger grooves. The pistol's design gives it a lower bore axis than the 1911. The Glock 20 was designed from the ground up as a 10mm Auto so it's slide mass and recoil spring is ample for the task. I find the pistol to be much more comfortable to shoot than my brother's Mil Spec. The bore axis combined with the recoil characteristics of the polymer and the wider grip deposits recoil forces over a larger part of the hand. Whereas the beavertail on the 1911 bites the web of my hand, the Glock bucks and settles nicely right back on target with absolutely no discomfort for me. I could run Double Tap through it all day and not be any the worse for wear--and neither would the pistol. Plus the superb shooting characteristics of the Glock combine with a very short trigger reset to make rapid strings much easier for me with the Glock than the 1911. So the Glock is lighter, but even with mine being more powerful than the 1911, it is also more comfortable to shoot and has a much higher magazine capacity. The metal treatment is first rate, operation is simple and straight forward with no controls to bumble and a single trigger pull from bang to slide lock--the pistol only sets you back ~$500 NIB so can afford to shoot it, pick out what you don't like about it, and fix it for less than the cost of most Kimbers and higher end Springfields. I think the Glock is one of, if not the, best fighting pistols available anywhere for any price.
  9. pax

    pax Mentor

    Dec 24, 2002
    Washington state
    I hear a lot of people gripe about Glock finger grooves, but I've never been able to figure out why. I guess I must be about the only person on the planet that finds the finger grooves absolutely perfect for my hands.

    BTW, the G26 is my first love. That little pistol does everything I ask of her.

  10. ChuckB

    ChuckB Member

    Jan 19, 2003
    N.E. Illinois
    pax- I guess I'm the other guy. My two year old G19 feels very comfortable in my hand.

    "As far as upgrading it to make it better or personal, that is where people run into trouble. The gun doesn't need it, and the only Glocks I have seem malfunction with good ammunition and maintenance have been modified. If we can leave them alone for the most part they just keep ticking."

    ...that sounds a lot like 1911's, too. A lot of 1911 owners just can't leave well enough alone, and create accurate, unreliable guns.

  11. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Elder

    Jan 1, 2003
    DFW Area
    WARNING! BEFORE reading farther, please read the disclaimer at the end of the post.

    They work well. They're easy to clean. They run even when almost completely dry (of lube). They last a very long time. They're very easy to work on.

    The internal parts are durable. The trigger return springs will break, but not much else.

    The frame rails are very durable. In fact, even out of the batch of guns with improperly bent rails very few actually failed before Glock replaced all the affected the frames. They're not so small either--they're actually a good bit bigger than the rails on my H&K USP full size. ;)

    Muzzle flip & recoil are not bad, although some folks say that they can tell the difference in behavior as the mag empties and the weight of the gun changes (I can't). The low bore axis helps with this, as does the flex in the frame.

    I don't care much for the finger-grooves, but they don't bother me. You can find the 2nd gen guns (no finger-grooves) floating around if the grooves really bother you.

    The void in the magwell can be plugged with one of various products that all do the job well. I've not heard of leaving it open causing any problems though.

    Some folks customize their Glocks. I think it kind of defeats the idea of the gun. Still, a surprising amount can be done to personalize/customize one. I have other guns that I consider to be more range toys that I have put some work & money into customizing/personalizing. I see the Glocks fitting more of a tool role than a toy role (in spite of how the frame may feel to some) ;).

    I like the idea that if I use this tool to defend my life, I won't be sweating bullets about my "baby" rusting and collecting dents in the evidence room. If I never get it back it's still served its purpose and I can buy another just like it.
  12. Crue4

    Crue4 New Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    Glocks = Dependable... probably the most important aspect of a "protection" gun..

    I don't like the feel or the look... but they are what they are and that is effective, efficient, and dependable.

    I chose the XD, and saved some money for ammo...
  13. Harold Mayo

    Harold Mayo Participating Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Hutchinson, Kansas
    Y'know, I love Glocks but I've never understood the claims of utter reliability. I've also never seen any 1911's choke like some people claim. As a matter of fact, in all of the shooting that I've done personally and seen done over the years, it's been Glocks that have choked the most.

    I don't know if it's an issue of maintenance or training or a combination or something else entirely, but I've only had two guns EVER have any problems. One, a Springfield Lightweight Compact, just needed a new extractor. The other, a BLS-9, has yet to be fixed.

    Glocks are popular because they're cheap as handguns go and pretty good all the way around otherwise. Easy to accessorize (1911's may be more of a Barbie-gun but it's cheaper and easier to trick out a Glock). Cheap (yeah, I know I already said it, but more people would have a custom 1911 if they cost $400 to $500).
  14. gunfan

    gunfan Active Member

    Jan 4, 2004
    Western U.S.A
    I chose the Glock 20.

    It is the only Glock that I have, and will likeley be the only Glock that I will EVER have. It fires the most versatile autopistol cartridge extant, and shoots it very well.

    It is performing "nightstand duty" as we speak. That speaks for itself. Enough said.

  15. stevelyn

    stevelyn Senior Member

    Mar 9, 2003
    Fairbanksan in Aleutian Hell
    I like it for its simplicity, hell and back reliability, light weight and trigger.

    However, regardless of why I like it, you'll never understand completely until you shoot one.

    Go ahead. You've already fondled it intimately.:evil: You might as well go all the way and shoot it.:D
  16. ikko909

    ikko909 New Member

    Jan 4, 2006
    14° 35' N latitude 120° 59' E longitude
    Glock= reliability and simplicity
  17. harrydog

    harrydog Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    Glocks have a reputation for being utterly reliable and they are for the most part, although there are people who have problems with them and they do sometimes break, just like anything mechanical. I owned 3 of them in the past and was happy with them at the time but have since moved on to other guns that I like much better.
    If I ever decide to buy another polymer-framed gun, it most likely won't be a Glock, because I think there are better choices out there. That's just my opinion.
    Glock was the first to be commercially successful with polymer guns in this country and they got a huge lead over everyone else in terms of name recognition and reputation. That's one reason why they're so popular. But I really think there are some better designs out there. For example I'd buy a Springfield XD before I'd buy another Glock. I wouldn't try to convince a Glock lover to buy something else though.
    Lots of people love Glocks and lots of people hate them. The bottom line is, they're good guns, but whether or not you like them is mostly a matter of taste.
  18. Onmilo

    Onmilo Mentor

    Jul 26, 2004
    Finger grooves,,,,
    The finger grooves were incorporated into the frame design to win points so Glock could meet the criteria to import the small Glock 26 and Glock 27 pistols into the USA.

    They still can't import the .380 acp Glock except for law enforcement or military sales because the caliber and size do not provide enough points on the BATFE import regulations to make it allowable.

    Since parts of the same mould fixtures are used in casting all of the frame sizes, it just made sense of economy to add the finger grooves to the larger frames.

    Like them or hate them, this is why they are there.
  19. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Senior Elder

    Dec 24, 2002
    Finger Grooves

    Finger grooves may, or may not be useful, depending on how they fit your fingers. In my case they usually don't and for that reason I avoid them on any handgun. Given that different folks have different sized hands I would think that manufacturers would either leave them off or make them optional.

    A correct grip is important to marksmanship, and if the shape of the handle forces one to take a contorted one the grooves are obviously counterproductive. Before you get grooved stocks be sure they fit your hand. What they do for someone else is a moot point.
  20. middy

    middy Participating Member

    Mar 26, 2004
    The "peaks" of the finger grooves are solid plastic. It's no big deal to break them off with a wood rasp, sand the grip smooth, and stretch a bike inner-tube or something over it... who cares? It's not a Barbie-gun.

    I know some of you like to play dress-up with your pistols, but I prefer to just shoot mine. :neener:

    I'll take internal parts stamped from honest rolled steel over MIM crap any day. Sure you can find quality, machined steel parts for your 1911, buy them, pay your gunsmith to get them working properly, test them, maybe pay another gunsmith to try again... or you could just buy something reliable out of the box. What is it, only $1500 for a "real" 1911 unless you can find old parts and fit them yourself?

    I love the 1911, don't get me wrong. I wish I could afford a good one, but I don't trust cast or MIM parts, and I don't have the tools or the skills to build my own. So, I carry a Glock.

    A Glock is like a CD to the 1911's LP. Sure the LP has better sound quality, if your system is good enough to show the difference, and you have a really nice turntable and needle, and all your vinyl is pristine. The CD, you just pop it in and it sounds good, light scratches don't matter, and the laser doesn't wear out.


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