Perfecting the Glock


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

March 14th, 2011


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XS Sight Systems "Standard Dot" Express sights.



Burned-out tritium sights (left) compared to new XS sights (right).



Grinding out the old front sight nut.



XS sight installation tool is included with sights.



Installing the new XS sights.



DPM mechanical recoil reduction guide rod system.



The Glock semi-automatic pistol design has been around for about twenty-eight years now, and imported into the US for almost twenty-six years. The Glock has received vast popularity, winning law enforcement contracts in the US against some very stiff competition. The Glock pistols are popular because they work, are easy to shoot, relatively light, and easily affordable by most who desire to own one. Glock pistols are not pretty. They are cold and impersonal. I have never seen one that was lavishly engraved, nor case-hardened, nor embellished with ornate gold. The Glock is not a handgun at which most of us would stare in admiration as we would a single-action Colt revolver, nor would we drop lots of cash with the custom gunsmith as we would with a 1911 semi-auto. Yet the Glock is still as popular as most any handgun can get. Glock has for many years advertised their weapons as “Glock Perfection”, which is a good advertising slogan, I suppose. However, as good as it is, the Glock is not perfect, at least not for me.

Perfection can be defined as perfectly meeting one’s needs, and for some, maybe the Glock is perfect as is. However, if your Glock is kept for personal defense, then there are a few things which will make that pistol better-suited to the task. If you desire a fighting pistol that can be as effective at night as it is in bright daylight, then the Glock can use improvement. If a trigger more likened to that on a combat 1911 is better-suited for your needs, then the Glock trigger needs improvement. If you want a smoother-shooting, softer-recoiling Glock, then there is a fix for that as well. With any pistol currently being manufactured, I can think of improvements for all of them. Improvements that are not absolutely essential to the weapon‘s function, but improvements that make the pistol a better fighting weapon. Here, we are looking at the Glock, because it is one of the most popular pistols in production, and already being a very good fighting weapon, it is also a pistol that is worthy of improvement.

I think that the Glock, to perfect it for my needs, can use four modifications: Better trigger, night sights, laser sight, and recoil spring/guide rod system. As stated, the Glock works pretty well right out of the box, but needs a bit of tweaking to make it a better fighting pistol.

For this project, I selected a well-used, but still in great condition first-generation Glock 17; the basic, full-sized 9mm that started Glock’s popularity in the US. This one is a police trade-in, and the Trijicon night sights had faded completely out, at least for my eyes. I picked up this Glock 17 at a low price at Tennessee Gun Country in Clarksville, Tennessee, which by the way, is a great place to buy guns. The folks are knowledgeable, have a great selection, and the prices on both new and used guns are very fair. Anyway, when I spotted this old Glock on the shelf, I knew it was the perfect candidate for some upgrades.

I find the Glock trigger to be a bit ‘mushy”, for lack of a better term. It works, but I like a bit lighter pull, and also like an overtravel stop. For this, I installed a Ghost Rocket connector. Installation is simple, and Ghost has other connectors that are true drop-in units, but the Ghost Rocket has an overtravel stop. It must be fitted to the pistol, but is very simple to do, and Ghost Inc. has excellent detailed instructions on their website. On mine, I used the Dave Spaulding cut, and the result is an improved Glock trigger. It does not feel like a finely-tuned match-grade 1911 trigger, but it has a much better feel than that of a box-stock Glock. The Ghost Rocket trigger is reasonably-priced, easy to install, and a good low-cost way to improve the trigger feel on a Glock pistol.

Next up, I needed to replace the faded sights on the Glock 17, so a call to XS Sights had a set of their Standard Dot Tritium Express sights on the way. The front sight of this set is similar to their Big Dot, but just a bit smaller. The wide V rear combined with the dot up front gets on target very quickly. This style of sight is not the best for punching tiny groups on paper, but for social work, they are extremely fast to get on target, and work very well in all lighting conditions. Just place that dot on the target and press the trigger. It is a very fast sighting system, and works well on this Glock.

As much as I like tritium sights on a fighting handgun, I want every edge that I can get. Quoting Charlie McNeese of Gunsite Academy, “If you are fighting fair, your tactics suck”. Don’t fight fairly, fight to win. Gunfighting is not a game. If you are a law-abiding citizen, and find yourself in a gunfight, you are there because it was forced upon you. Win it, and use any edge that you can get to do so. Most gunfights take place at close range and in low light. Close range and low light should be a large part of your training and practice. In such conditions, a Crimson Trace laser helps me to hit the target faster and with more precision. We are always told to concentrate upon the front sight, and let the rear sight and target blur in our sight picture. That works great on the range, facing off squarely against a paper or steel target. However, and this is just my opinion with nothing scientific to back it up, if facing a predator hell-bent upon sticking an eight-inch blade into your rib cage, your entire focus will be upon the threat. A laser sight puts the sight on the target, exactly where your focus will be. I have talked in depth with police officers and others who have survived gunfights. They all tell me that they never even saw their gun sights, but were looking only at the threat. I believe that is exactly what will happen with ninety-nine percent of us in a real-life gunfight. That is the reason that all my fighting pistols wear Crimson Trace lasers. It puts the sight and the target on the same focal plane. Also, a good laser will let you accurately and swiftly hit your target without bringing the weapon to eye level. That can be very important in a high-stress, close-range encounter. There might not be time to bring the weapon up to your line of sight, or you might be in an awkward position, such as firing sideways out of a car window, or if you have been knocked to the ground. Anyway, I can think of several reasons to have a good laser sight on the weapon, and no reason at all to not have one. The Crimson Trace Lasergrip for the Glock is very quick and simple to install, and comes with everything needed to do so. Installation takes a couple of minutes, if you are slow, and another minute or two to get it sighted in.

Lastly, to perfect my Glock, I added a DPM recoil-reducing guide rod and spring system. The DPM is a multiple-spring system, and it just makes the Glock run smoother, faster, and cushions the slide as it slams to the rear, working like a buffer. I have used these rods for years on my Glock and S&W M&P pistols. The DPM system is a good one, and Glock has now introduced a similar guide rod/spring system on their newest Generation 4 pistols.

These small, simple upgrades make the Glock run better, run smoother, and make it a much better fighting pistol. The box-stock Glock is a good weapon, but adding these enhancements brings the pistol closer to perfection.

For the location of a Glock dealer near you, click on the DEALER LOCATOR at

To order Glock pistols online, go to or

Check out the upgrades added here online at,,, and

Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.


Crimson Trace Lasergrip.



The Crimson Trace Lasergrip is easy to adjust for point-of-impact.





Ghost Rocket connector (right) compared to stock Glock connector, before and after making the cut.