For Personal Defense, You Don’t Want A Custom Glock

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Custom Gloc
Keanu Reeves training for the movie John Wick 2 with his Taran Tactical Innovations Combat Master Glock G34. (Photo by Taran Butler)

A custom Glock is only a gun-parts order away. But despite the wealth of aftermarket upgrades, ones meant for defense might be best left stock.

Why You Don't Want To Customize Your Self-Defense Glock:

  • Even something as simple as a Cerakote can change the specific tolerances of the pistol.
  • There are the potential legal pitfalls of using a Glock with custom parts.
  • While most aftermarket parts are high quality, there are instances of them failing.

Glock has gotten so big, Glock isn’t “just Glock.” An entire cottage industry has spawned off of Glock. There are dozens of companies that make aftermarket custom parts and accessories, with new ones sprouting up all the time. At least a dozen companies make custom Glocks for you to purchase, or you can send in your Glock and armorers will work their custom “magic.” And then there’s the relatively new, but fast-growing segment of PCCs – that’s Pistol Caliber Carbine – many of which are based off Glock magazines. Some even incorporate your Glock pistol into the carbine.

Glock Reference Guide
This post is an excerpt from Glock Reference Guide, 2nd Edition available at GunDigestStore.com.

In this day and age of the “Insta-gun,” it seems everyone with a camera or smartphone loves posting photos on Instagram of their customized guns with all OEM parts replaced with parts purchased for looks, first, and reliability/functionality, second. “Tacti-cool” as they call it. This is fine for competition Glocks, or casual shooting Glocks; but for me, all of my “go-to” and carry guns are pretty much stock. Those fighting guns are the guns I stake my life on, and I’m not concerned how those guns look, I’m only concerned how they perform. I’ll upgrade sights to aftermarket, but that’s about it. Glock makes each part with a very specific tolerance, and with very specific metals and polymers. Metals are hardened to a specific hardness, and are given a specific treatment/coating. Even something as simple as giving it a Cerakote can change the tolerances, even if just by a bit.

Then there is the argument about legal issues with custom parts. Does a light-pull trigger get used against you in the instance where you need to defend yourself? I’ve read some smart people who have argued from both sides; and I’ve also read some “Internet lawyers” argue both sides, as well. Who’s right?

It’s just not worth it, and that’s why I go plain-Jane stock on my fighting Glocks.

Learn More: Glock Reviews You Need To Read

But for my non-carry guns, that’s a different story. I like cool-looking guns as much as the next guy, and I’m not saying there’s not a time and place for cool-looking guns. While I keep all of my fighting guns mostly stock, I do have my fun guns that I modify with flashy, custom parts. Those guns are first and foremost shooters, but I enjoy having them look good, too. Those are not guns I depend on for my personal defense, so if one of those has a problem at the range due to a custom part, no big deal, I can fix it.

I also want to clarify, I’m in no way reporting or implying that most of these aftermarket parts aren’t high quality. I’m sure 99.9 percent of the time they function perfectly. However, as any Glock armorer can attest, if a Glock does break or have problems, a high percentage of the time it’s non-Glock aftermarket parts, or someone has altered a Glock OEM part (like buffing down parts to make them smoother, for a better trigger pull, which, again, changes tolerances). I’m the same way with all of my self/home-defense guns. My home-defense AR15s, for example, those all have triggers and parts designed for ruggedness. I don’t put competition triggers on them, it’s always a “combat” trigger or I keep the government trigger on it. Government triggers never break. But I have had fancy, cool-looking triggers break.

Are there likely to be a parts breakage or problems for the average shooter? No. Aftermarket parts made by reputable companies have been thoroughly tested, and tested again. The average shooter doesn’t put enough rounds down range through his or her Glock for it ever to be an issue.


Learn More About Glock Options

Editor's Note:This post is an excerpt from Glock Reference Guide, 2nd Edition available at GunDigestStore.com.


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