I have long maintained that a Glock pistol is not “perfection,” as Glock claims, but it is the prefect pistol hobby kit. Every Glock pistol I purchase (I own many) immediately goes through a mild modification process to address issues of personal fit, comfort, and performance. This process is nearly identical across all of the different Glock models and I do not put any rounds through my Glocks until they’ve undergone these modifications.
The new Glock 48 I recently purchased will serve here as the subject for describing my standard Glock modification process.
There are three areas that I reshape on a Glock pistol (as noted in the hero-image above), using a barrel sander on my Dremel.
- The forward area of the frame where my support hand thumb rests (both sides)
- The transition from the bottom/side of the trigger guard to the grip (both sides)
- The underside of the trigger guard
One of my preferred grip-leverage points on a pistol is the forward area of the frame, where my support-hand thumb rests. If properly shaped and grippy, it provides a useful leverage point for mitigating muzzle rise when firing. What is required is to use the barrel sander to remove a small wedge of material starting at the top edge of the frame to create an angled shelf. Once stippled, it allows my support-hand thumb good purchase and effective control.
I find it quite uncomfortable to shoot any stock Glock pistol due to the malformed and abrupt angles and transition where the trigger guard joins the grip. Whoever it was at Glock who decided that was a good way to design that area was entirely wrong. I take the barrel sander to the 90-degree edge, flattening it, and to the underside of the trigger-guard-to-grip union. The result is a very comfortable contour that makes the Glock fit my hand like a glove.
The last place to address is the underside of the trigger guard, where I remove a rounded area to provide an index point for my support-hand index finger. This is something of an optional modification, but that few millimeters of rise helps keep my hands as high as possible on the gun. Also, once stippled, that little notch provides a point of security that helps a slight bit to keep my hands in place on the gun as the recoil impulse works to shake my grip loose. The location varies from model to model; on a G19 it sits pretty much in the center of the trigger guard. On this G48, it is well forward.
I believe that all polymer pistols used as defensive weapons must be stippled. With precious few exceptions, every polymer frame will become as slippery as a fish when your hands are wet from sweat or rain, or bloody from defensive wounds. Stippling works well to mitigate the issues and to greatly improve security during firing and manipulations.
The first step is typically to remove the texturing on both sides of the grip. Glock’s Gen 4 and Gen 5 texture can be directly stippled, but I don’t like how the result looks. So once removed, I use a pencil to sketch the outline of my stippled area. Then I take my soldering iron and completely define the outline. Once all of the necessary areas are stipple-outlined, I begin filling in the body of the stippling. My preferred technique is to use a sharp tip soldering iron and make small, shallow stipples. Larger, deeper stipples work just fine, but the aesthetics are not quite as nice when you’re done. It’s function, not form, that we’re after here so I don’t care overmuch about aesthetics, but there’s no need to make something ugly.
The results of the shaping and stippling is a glove-match frame grip that is very comfortable and very grippy.
Glock sights on a defensive pistol must be replaced. The stock sights are just fine for use, but since they’re made of plastic, they’re not up to the punishment that gunfighting and continual training may require of them. So I replace with good iron sights.
My choice of replacement sights has for years been the Truglo TFX Pro set. They’re good for both day and night and have good physical properties for durability and one-handed manipulations. However, there are some light conditions and target texture/colorations that tend to render these sights a bit difficult to pick up (especially for my old-man eyes). So given this mild deficiency I’ve recently tended toward the Trijicon HD XR set for my Glocks. That’s what I used on this G48. The rear is blacked out and textured with points of Tritium. The front sight is very narrow and in addition to a Tritium dot has a large, BRIGHT fluorescent orange ring. The result is a very effective sight picture that is easy to pick up immediately no matter the lighting or background.
I confess that I prefer a flat trigger shoe on my pistols. I don’t mind the curvature front-to-back, but Glock’s rounded/bladed trigger shoe is problematic for me. I prefer a flat rest for my finger as it helps me remember to press straight back rather than off to one side.
Because of this preference I often replace the trigger shoe & bar with some aftermarket product. My fave replacement is the McNally trigger, as it has a polymer shoe that will not destroy your frame, like many aftermarket aluminum-shoe models (it’s the safety tab that does the damage). As for an aluminum option that does not damage the frame, the FACTR trigger shoe/bar works very nicely. I can recommend nothing other than these 2 products for trigger replacement on a Glock. For my G48 here, I installed a McNally trigger. Love it.
Because I’m using Shield Arms’ 15-round magazines made for this G48, it is required that I replace the mag catch with a metal one that will not be damaged by the metal magazines. I opted for the Shield Arms model. Works great.
That’s it. That my modification process for all my Glock pistols and the specifics for what I did with my new Glock 48 shown here. I am really enjoying my new G48 and I’m giving it a couple months to convince me that it should replace my longtime-EDC G19. Time will tell if it fits the bill there, but I do enjoy training with this new one. Fits me like a glove.
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