1) Why don’t Glock pistols have an external safety?
A: The Glock pistol was designed without an external safety to make drawing and firing the pistol quicker and easier. It does have 3 internal safeties that prevent the gun from firing accidentally. In short, the Glock pistol simply will not fire unless the trigger is fully depressed.
2) How many sizes of the Glock pistol are available?
A: There are four sizes of the Glock pistol.
Competition – Full size frame (5.5 inches OAH) and 5.3 inch barrel.
Standard – Full size frame (5.5 inches OAH) and 4.5 inch barrel.
Compact – Shorter grip frame (5 inches OAH) and 4 inch barrel.
Sub-compact – Smallest frame (4.2 inches OAH) and 3.5 inch barrel.
The competition model is only available in 9mm and .40 caliber.
3) What calibers are Glock pistols available in?
A: Glock pistols can be found in these popular calibers; 9x19mm, .40 S&W, .357 SIG, .45 ACP, .45 GAP and 10mm Auto. Not all models are available in all calibers. Two .380 AUTO models are available in Europe, but are not imported into the U.S.
4) Can I lighten the trigger pull of my Glock pistol?
A: Yes. Aftermarket springs are available to lighten the trigger pull on a Glock. This can also be achieved by combining different trigger connectors and springs available from Glock.
5) I have a Glock .40 caliber. Can I convert it to a different caliber?
A: You can convert your .40 caliber Glock to .357 SIG by simply installing a new barrel. A 9mm conversion barrel is also available from Lone Wolf Distributors. You would need to purchase some 9mm magazines also. J. A. Ciener makes .22LR conversion kits for the G17 and G19.
6) I have a first generation Glock 19. Will the later generations of magazines work in it?
A: Yes. Newer generation magazines will work in older generation guns.
7) Can I fire lead bullets through my Glock?
A: Glock handguns have hexagonal rifling (octagonal in the .45 caliber models). Instead of cut lands and grooves like conventional rifling, the bore has six (eight in .45) flat sides that grip the bullet as it moves through the barrel. This design is tighter than conventional rifling and lead bullets, because they are softer than copper, tend to leave deposits that foul the bore. Therefore, it is not recommended that you shoot lead bullets in a factory Glock barrel. There are several companies that make aftermarket barrels for Glock pistols that have conventional rifling. You can safely shoot lead bullets through these barrels.
8) Is it true that I can clean my Glock in the dishwasher?
A: The frame of the Glock pistol is a polymer compound and the slide is finished in a corrosion-resistant coating. In theory, you could clean your Glock in the dishwasher but it is not recommended or necessary. Clean your Glock as you would any other handgun, with approved gun cleaning solvents and lubricants, after each session at the range.
9) What are the differences in the 3 generations of Glock pistols?
A: First Generation – Plain front strap and no accessory rail.
Second Generation – Checkered front strap and no accessory rail.
Third Generation – Finger grooved and checkered front strap with accessory rail on dust cover.
10) Are there aftermarket barrels available for my Glock?
A: Yes, several companies produce aftermarket barrels for Glock pistols including but not limited to: Lone Wolf, Bar-Sto and KKM Precision.
11) Can I mount a scope to my Glock?
A: Yes. A couple of companies manufacture scope mounts that attach to the pistol’s frame. This gives the shooter a rail to mount optics to and some allow the use of the original sights.
12) What does SF stand for in the Glock 21SF?
A: SF stands for Short Frame. Glock took the G21 grip and made it smaller in diameter to fit a wider variety of hands more comfortably. They also added an ambidextrous safety and a true Picatinny rail to the frame.
13) I have heard that the Glock pistol can be modified to shoot underwater. Is this true?
A: While Glock does make special firing pin spring cups for marine use, it is not recommended that you shoot any firearm underwater. The pressure created by the water in the barrel could cause a catastrophic failure of the gun, including blowing it up. The shooter risks serious injury also.
14) What is a New York trigger?
A: The New York trigger has a heavier trigger pull that was designed for law enforcement use. The name comes from when the New York Police Department transitioned from the double action revolvers its officers had been carrying to the Glock pistol. To make the transition easier for veteran officers, it was requested that Glock design a trigger pull that closely resembled the longer, heavier trigger pull of a double action revolver. This became the New York trigger. The pull weight is usually around 7-8 pounds and has the same even (non-stacking) long pull of a DA revolver. The trigger pull can be further increased to around 10 pounds by replacing the NY trigger spring with a NY Extra trigger spring.
15) I have several magazines for my Glock. Some will drop free when the magazine release is pushed and some won’t. Why is this?
A: There are 2 basic styles of Glock magazines. These are the non fully metal-lined, non-drop free and the fully metal-lined drop-free. Military and law enforcement in Europe think differently about magazines dropping free from a gun than we do in the U.S. They believe that retaining the magazine for reuse and not dropping a magazine that still has rounds in it is more important than a quick reload. The early generation Glock magazines were not fully metal-lined and were designed to swell slightly when loaded. This forced the shooter to pull the magazine free from the gun. U.S. law enforcement and civilian shooters prefer their magazines to drop out of the gun when the magazine released is depressed, so Glock updated their magazines to being fully metal-lined. This prevented the magazine from swelling when loaded and allowed it to drop free when depressing the magazine release.
16) Are the sub-compact Glocks available with the frame accessory rail?
A: No. The dust cover of the sub-compact Glocks is too small for an accessory rail.
17) I see that there are Glock pistols available in .45 AUTO and .45 GAP. Are these the same?
A: They are not the same. The .45 AUTO, actually .45ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol), was designed in the early 1900’s for the M1911 pistol. The .45 GAP (Glock Automatic Pistol) was introduced in 2002 by Glock so they could package the power of a .45 caliber round in a gun with a smaller grip. Both rounds fire the same diameter bullets at comparable velocities, but are not interchangeable because the GAP cartridge is shorter.
18) Can I dry fire my Glock pistol?
A: Yes, it is perfectly safe to dry fire a Glock pistol.
19) Can I manually reset my Glock trigger (pull it forward) while dry firing without harming the action?
A: No. The proper method of resetting the trigger after dry firing is to manually cycle the slide. Attempting to reset the trigger manually could result in damage to one or more of the trigger components.
The Glock has had many evolutionary changes over the past 28 years, with the major model changes identified as “Generations”. Glock is currently releasing its fourth generation pistols all along its model line.
The 1st Generation Glock, as it came to be known, was introduced to the US market in 1984. The Glock pistols continued their rise in status and production with very few changes.
Glock did switch to a captive recoil spring fairly early in the pistols life and at one point the serial number became stamped on imbedded steel plates in the pistol’s dustcover.
In 1988 Glock added checkering on the front and back straps on all its models. In 1990, the locking block was enlarged and an additional cross pin was added on the non 9mm caliber models.
In 1998 Glock changed the frame substantially. An accessory rail was added, officially known as the “Universal Glock Rail”. Thumb rests and finger grooves were added, the extractor was changed to also function as a loaded chamber indicator and the OD color was added to the lineup.
In 2002 all 17, 19 and 34 models started using the larger locking block and additional cross pin to simplify production.
In 2009 at SHOT Glock introduced the Model 22 RTF2 with a pyramid grip texture and scalloped slide serrations. It is still considered a 3rd generation gun. Glock produced the RTF2 in models 17, 19, 22, 23 and 23C. Around mid-2010 Glock dropped the crescent shaped slide serrations and started using the standard slide serrations on the RTF2 models. As of January 2011 the RTF2 Model Glocks were available only to Law Enforcement.
In January 2010 Glock debuted the latest and greatest version of the Glock Safe Action Pistol. The big changes are a smaller grip circumference with add on backstraps, a captive dual spring recoil assembly, a truncated pyramid grip texture and a larger, reversible magazine release.
These changes are accompanied by smaller changes in the barrel, slide, trigger bar, trigger housing, the deletion of cutout on the front of the grip for magazine removal, and the additional notch on the magazines for left-handed magazine release.
Glock continues to maintain their presence as one of the world’s handgun manufacturers with their continuing innovation and cutting edge technology. Though often imitated and copied, Glock continues to outperform and remains one of the most popular brands of handguns today.The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!’s blog, “The Shooter’s Log,” is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!