Certainly the Glock isn’t perfect, even if that is their slogan. Perfection is a very subjective thing, calling on one to interpret the item and find all of it’s qualities to be perfect. As we know, Glock has some qualities that don’t suit everyone. I find many people complaining about grip angle, looks, the trigger, and so forth. If Glock was perfect, these things wouldn’t be an issue for people. So, Glock simply is not perfect; however, it is one fine machine for it’s intended purpose.
Gaston Glock designed the pistol for military use, and it’s very popular with several militaries around the world. However, our very political process of picking new equipment for our own military has left the Glock in second place. Never the less, our own army of law enforcement agencies and officers have been persuaded into the Glock platform for various reasons. Initially people were afraid of a gun without a safety, even if it was no different from the revolvers of yesteryear. Now the Glock is heralded as one of the most reliable handguns ever made.
Even though the Glock is perfect to some, there is this ever persistent need to customize the Glock and to make it ones own. This need is basic human nature. We try and be different to show off we aren’t just some no name in the crowd. But what we do with our guns can sometimes affect their reliability, even if we don’t realize it at first.
Being a Glock armorer and a firearm instructor I’ve seen a few issues with Glock hanguns, and I’ve seen some just run like a top. What I find interesting are the people who buy a Glock because it’s going to run no matter the conditions, yet they start modifying parts that directly affect the reliability of the gun. Changing springs to clean up the trigger is probably the biggest modification that causes issues with the guns. After market guide rods that are metal, reduced power firing pin and/or recoil springs. These all can cause reliability issues. Maybe you won’t see it today with your brand new top of the line factory ammo, but start shooting marginal reloads, or cheap/military ammo from other countries and you’ll see issues. Light primer strikes, FTF/FTE, and so forth. These are all user induced problems in their quest to make the gun that’s already perfect, perfect.
So, why is Glock perfect if it’s not? It’s perfect in that it does it’s intended role with near 100% reliability. Many people, including myself, would trust a new-in-box unfired Glock with their lives without testing it first. Of course I shoot all my guns extensively before trusting them, but if there was one gun that I had to choose that was new to work the first time I pulled the trigger, it would be a Glock.
Of course I modify my Glocks too. What sort of gunnie would I be if I didn’t do some modifications myself? First off, I use the 3.5lbs connector. I find that this, along with some careful polishing of certain parts, allows for a very smooth trigger pull without the factory “stacking” effect. I also use the extended magazine release, aftermarket night sights, grip plug, and on my none RTF2 models I use grip tape or the grip decals. If I was running any Gen4 Glocks I would not use the grip tape.
The one item that could cause an issue is the grip plug that goes into the empty channel near the magazine well. This was designed to allow debris and water to drain from the pistol, which is particularly important in cold climates where the pistol will get wet inside. You don’t want a large ice cube forming inside of your handgun. However living in California, I certainly don’t fear having anything freeze inside of my gun.
All of my modifications keep the gun 100% reliable, but simply add to it’s function. Certainly I don’t need any of these items, but I find them useful in the way that I shoot. To me, the Glock with these changes, is the perfect gun for 99% of the scenarios I’ve run through my head. This doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy shooting my 1911′s, because I do very much. But they do not follow the same reliability patterns as my Glocks.