Convertible Glock

 

by Tony Boggus

photography by Tony Boggus

April 16th, 2007

 

 

 

I am a revolver dude. I shot my first revolver, a Smith & Wesson Chief's Special, when I was still wearing training pants. That shaped my handgun preference way back then. I continue to shoot revolvers today, some 35 or so year later. For concealed carry, for hunting, and for IPSC matches I use revolvers.

That said, I have an open mind and picked up a Glock not long ago to use when I wanted to step out a little for matches. I found a good deal on a used Glock 24, the long barreled 40 S&W. Well, I started doing a little reading and investigating and found a couple of places that made all sorts of after market parts for Glocks.

One thing that interested me was after market drop in barrels. It is no secret that Glocks have rifling that doesnít work well with cast bullets. They are said to lead to the point that chamber pressures rise and guns have been blown up, within a very limited number of rounds. I shoot a lot of cast bullets to keep cost down, reduce wear on the gun, and for other reasons. So the drop in barrels with conventional cut rifling was very interesting to me. Another plus of these barrels is that they are made to fully support the chamber, another well known idiosyncrasy of Glocks.

So I did a lot of reading and research and decided to give Lone Wolf Distributors' barrels a go. Their drop in replacement 40 S&W barrel is $99.95+ shipping, which is pretty reasonable for a good barrel. So a phone call was made and a CC number given, and within a few days I had my new barrel. Installing it was as simple as field stripping the gun, a little oil here and there and putting the gun back together with the new barrel in it. It was, as advertised, truly drop in.

It functioned by hand perfectly.

It was off to the range for the real test. Glocks have a reputation of working no matter what, clean or dirty and with all sorts of ammo. And with an autoloader if it doesnít run it is a paperweight, so this is the main thing I wanted to make sure of. I didnít want to have a gun that jammed all the time. Well I am pleased to report that my gun runs just as well with the Lone Wolf barrel as it did before with the factory barrel with every type of ammo used. Then I compared accuracy with this barrel to the factory barrel. The accuracy was noticeably better with the Lone Wolf barrel and hit to the same point of aim.

With the success of this barrel and a bit more research I found Lone Wolf also made conversion barrels for Glocks. For my Glock 24 they make barrels in 9mm and 357 Sig. I thought a 9mm would be a fun conversion...IF it worked. I fired off an email to Lone Wolf asking what was involved, and what else would be needed. I was informed that that only thing needed would be some 9mm mags. I was told I may have to drop down to a 15# recoil spring if I was planning on shooting subsonic ammo. Not a problem, as I had already installed a 15# spring. So again a phone call was made and my 9mm barrel was inbound.

My local dealer didnít have any 9mm mags so I had to order some but I was not willing to wait. I was pleased to find that 40S&W 10rnd mags would work with 9mm so it was off to the range. Now, I was willing to allow it a few feeding problems because I didnít have the proper mags. I just wanted to see how it would shoot. And shoot it did, and even fed just fine with the incorrect mags.

For a fair comparison I used Atlanta Arms and Ammo ammunition for all tests. It is very popular with Competition shooters locally and the ammo used by Team Glock and the AMU (Army Marksmanship Unit).

I started with the factory Glock 40 S&W as a starting point and comparison of POI (point of impact), function, and accuracy.

It shot a bit low and left. In fairness my gun was zeroed with the Lone Wolf 40S&W barrel, which I changed to next, so that should explain the difference in POI. With that combination I shot the best group. I allowed myself the flyer from a cold clean barrel, the first shot dropped a little low. Then again it could be my poor shooting. The same load was used for the 40 barrel; Atlanta Arms and Ammo 180gr FMJ.

Then I switched to the Lone Wolf 9mm barrel and subsonic 147gr JHP ammo. I again allowed myself the first shot from the cold clean barrel that dropped low. I shot the second best group. That group was just a bit high but very close to center. The same sight adjustment would and does work well. Switching to 115gr standard velocity load, the POI was 2Ē low at 15 yards and a little to the left. The size of the group opened up a little but 4 of 5 shots were less than 2Ē.

My gun is set up with fixed night sights so I made no attempt to adjust them for each ammo/barrel combination, but with all four combinations the current POI is usable. This is something I find interesting and handy.

I will admit to a couple of failures to eject with the subsonic 9mm ammo. I think switching to a 13# recoil spring would correct that problem. I had no feeding problems with any of the other full power loadings.

I highly recommend these barrels. The 9mm-40S&W conversion makes for a nice option for cheap, low recoil, practice.

Check out Lone Wolf Distributors' products here: http://www.lonewolfdist.com.

Tony Boggus

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Click pictures for a larger version.

 

Lone Wolf Distributors' conversion makes the Glock a "two-caliber gun".

 

 

 

 

 

 

Factory Glock barrel was reasonably accurate.

 

 

Lone Wolf 9mm-40 barrel, 115-grain AAA load.

 

 

Lone Wolf 9mm-40 barrel, 147-grain sub-sonic AAA load.

 

 

Lone Wolf .40 S&W barrel, 180-grain AAA load.