A Roundup of Glockery from KD4

Kyle Defoor has been posting some interesting Glock stuff lately, good and less good. Some of this applies to Glocks alone, but some of it can be extrapolated to other pistols and even other firearm types.

The Well Accessorized G19

Here’s an interesting rig: Aimpoint Micro T2 in a Balor mount and light on a G19 with the red-dot-ready slide. In this image it has a Streamlight TLR-1 and a stock Glock barrel, but he also runs it with a Gemtech barrel and suppressor. By the time the suppressor is on it, why a G19 and not a 17? Thing’s a horse pistol. Mind you, it’s a horse pistol set up for not-too-loud rapid work, mostly indoors. For most users, G17 and G19 is a distinction without a difference; the 19’s a bit more concealable, if you’re not going to accessorize it to near-carbine size. (If you’re in ICE, though, the 19 is forbidden fruit).

g19-aimpoint

Asked about what it took to get the mount to fit with the T2, KD4 replied, “a little grinding.” Otherwise, the G19 is fairly stock, with some stippling, but few of the common modifications (no extended slide stop or mag release, for example).

Maybe Centered != Zeroed

Unlike many (most?) pistol users, he’s a big believe in sighting in the pistol, and adjusting the sights to zero the pistol, rather than just live with the factory sight installation or use a mechanical-zero method or centering, or some kind of boresighting approach. That sometimes means your “fixed” sights won’t be centered when they’re fixed appropriately. As he puts it with hashtag poetry: #notcentered #shootsstraight.

off-center-glock-sight

It’s all about accuracy. Any Glock or modern service pistol has more innate precision than the guys shooting it, but for that precision to be accuracy it has to shoot to point of aim. Many people think, “at pistol ranges, so what if i’m off a few inches/centimeters? Minute of bad guy is minute of bad guy.” Look at it this way: you are better off having accuracy you don’t need, than needing accuracy you don’t have.

This is especially true when you consider how combat itself will degrade your accuracy. It is much harder to shoot straight when your heart rate rises to allegro and beyond.

The Dreaded Glock “Face-Off”

Then, the bad. Kyle hadn’t seen this before, but others have, and it’s been an occasional subject on forums like pistol-training, glock forum and glock-talk. Yes, if you dry-fire a Glock a whole lot you can get some pretty weird failure modes, like the whole freaking breechface coming off. 

glock-face-off-kd4

In case you’re not up on Glock topography and immediately up on what you’re seeing, the upper half of the picture is looking aft from off the front side of the slide, and you can see a truncated-conical divot has been dry-fired clean out of the breech of the pistol. The lower half is the divot. These happen from time to time in heavily dry-fired Glock firearms, and the way to forestall them is to use dummy rounds or snap-caps for dry-firing so that the striker (or firing pin) stops in the “primer” substitute, not by slamming its shoulders into the back of the thin breech face. Snap caps have several other benefits, but Glock users should probably just get a SIRT trainer which removes the necessity to cycle the whole slide to get a trigger reset.

Glocks, like AKs, are extremely reliable and durable, which leads to a general perception that they’re indestructible. That’s not a correct perception, as they’re not (neither are AKs). They’re just more tolerant of abuse and neglect than most of their competitors, which is certainly something.

33 thoughts on “A Roundup of Glockery from KD4

  1. Tierlieb

    I have not seen a serious shooter with sights not adjusted. Maybe easier availability of guns makes the average American shooter worse than in a country where you have to be serious about guns to have one, but even on the few beginner’s courses taken in the US, I have not seen that at either.

    The use of the T2 (or any other micro red dot with a tube) is interesting, though. I think by now every serious shooter that tried out the typical pistol mounted red dot has experienced the benefits (long distance and precision shots) and disadvantages (lost time on quick shots due to searching the dot).

    The tube allegedly alleviates problems finding the dot, so: Nice. The only issue I see is that the T2 is much heavier than the common RMRs or Docter sights and the mount only adds more to that. A directly mounted Docter III weights about as much as the material removed when milling the slide. This, on the other hand, is a lot of weight added to the slide, though probably still within design tolerances.

    Using a dummy for dry-firing with a Glock is a problem, though, since you’re either going to be practicing a weird half-rack technique to reset the trigger without ejecting a dummy or going tap-rack-bang and picking up the round. A solution I’ve seen is a plastic dummy that was ground off on top so did not get ejected. Or a dummy without a rim, which is simple since the rims tend to snap off on most of the plastic ones after a while.

    And yes, my Glock sights all are skewed to one side, too. Not aesthetically pleasing, but they sit on Glocks after all…

    1. LSWCHP

      I have never fired a handgun that shot precisely to my point of aim out of the box. Everybody sees the sights differently due to the idiosyncrasies of the human eye, and some degree of sight adjustability is essential IMHO.

      1. Hognose Post author

        I have found that, as the contract specifies and the manufacturer claims, Beretta M9s are in fact adjusted to POA with NATO ball when new. I am not sure this is done with the commercial 92FS — I have one, and it shoots to POA, but it could be dumb luck (you can’t learn anything broad from a sample with an n of 1).

        Ditto my original Pre-B CZ when I got it in the 1980s (it now rests in honorable retirement). Change ammo, change POA, of course.

    2. Hognose Post author

      Indeed, some of the commenters on KD4’s instagram were asking whether he had any trouble cycling with the Aimpoint. He says no. A Micro T1/T2 is a hell of a lot smaller than my M68, but as you point out a lot bigger than the standard kinds of pistol RDS.

      The Docter is practically unnoticeable. They replaced the iron sights that were on top of the guys’ ACOGs. I kept my ACOG like that because the gun is a historic (i.e. duplicating my Afghanistan 02-03 gun) build.

      I’ve never found a really good way to concealed carry a suppressed pistol except for shoulder holsters. Most of the ranges here will not allow you to draw from a shoulder or crossdraw holster. (The ones that let you draw at all). This is driven in part by insurance and in part by copying rules from gun racing games. On the other hand, I’ve never been asked to show a stamp for one of my NFA weapons. I’ve been asked if I had one and told, “OK, no, we don’t need to see it” once.

      Good idea on the rimless snap cap. Be a good 3DP project. You could print the snap caps and the rod to knock ’em out at the same time!

      Re: beauty and Glocks. I’ve always thought of Glocks as Bauhaus comes to the firearm.

      1. Tierlieb

        > I’ve never found a really good way to concealed carry a suppressed pistol except for shoulder holsters.
        >
        Neither did I. I think that

        > Most of the ranges here will not allow you to draw from a shoulder or crossdraw holster.
        >
        One of the reasons I train alone ;-)
        Maybe you could point out that SASS allows people to crossdraw. They force you to turn so that your muzzle is pointed towards the target. Doesn’t help with traditional shoulder holsters, though, but I assume that one designed for use with a silencer aligns the gun vertically and is at least open halfway, so you could draw without pointing the gun backwards and not covering yourself?

        > Good idea on the rimless snap cap. Be a good 3DP project. You could print the snap caps and the rod to knock ’em out at the same time!
        >
        Good point about printing the rod on top of that. If it sticks out the muzzle, it could also double as a safety flag. Someone could probably make some money off that idea. I myself simply use a wooden dowel that fits the chamber and push it out with a long nail.

        > Re: beauty and Glocks. I’ve always thought of Glocks as Bauhaus comes to the firearm.
        >
        Nicely put. Except for the unnecessary finger groves, which would make Mies von der Rohe shout “less is more” from his grave.

  2. Al T.

    Know a guy who dry fired a Glock till it broke just like that.

    As for zeroing a blaster, always good to zero your serious blaster with anti-personnel ammo as point of impact can vary a rather surprising amount. One of my 9mms likes 124 grain JHPs, not as happy with 147s. Esay solution, 124 for that one, 147 for other ones.

  3. LSWCHP

    Jeez, that’s kinda disconcerting because I dry fire a lot with all my guns, including my Walther PPQ which is similar to a Glock.

    I’ve always used snap caps in my revolvers but it looks like I need some for my 9mm guns as well.

    1. Al T.

      Dude I know dry fired a LOT – small business owner, could (and did) dry fire at work when business was slow.

      Oh, for those folks adjusting your sights, FORS. Front Opposite, Rear the Same. Point of impact high, front sight needs to be lower or rear sight higher.

    2. Tam

      LSWCHP,

      Jeez, that’s kinda disconcerting because I dry fire a lot with all my guns, including my Walther PPQ which is similar to a Glock.

      That’s the kind of breakage that occurs after years of dedicated dry practice, half an hour or more a day.

          1. Hognose Post author

            Not that level, I think. I suspect these guys that are busting them have hundreds of thousands of dry fires, maybe millions — several hundred a day.

  4. Raoul Duke

    Hog, ref. the reasoning for using the G19, vs. the G17, do a little searching the pistol forums for the term “Roland Special”. Talk about a horse pistol… :)

    1. Tierlieb

      So the argument is shorter slide travel? Interesting. I think I’ve beaten the locking time of my Glocks only about two or three times in my life. But maybe the comp will help. Gotta try this for fun *starts searching for a M14x1 9mm comp in Germany*

      And yes, I am aware that there is probably no practical reason for this. You have to give the bad guys some time to collapse after all ;-)

      Side note: I thought it was a mis-typed “Rowland special”. But then I thought a “horse pistol” was for shooting horses, not shooting from horses.

      1. Hognose Post author

        There is a pistol for shooting horses, an update of the WWII Welrod made by the Swiss firm Brugger & Thomet (or is it Brügger? I’ve never heard the name out loud).

        1. Tierlieb

          Okay, I should have said “one-shot-stopping a charging horses”, because there are few other purposes for the .460 Rowland (I’m kidding, of course) and I’ll admit a certain love affair with the similarly stupid-but-fun .45 Super. ^^

          Interesting detail: Our friends from B&T called their Wellrod update “VP9” for Veterinärspistole, which might be why H&K called their gun SFP9 instead of VP9 in German-speaking countries.

          And yes, the B&T people I met at IWA pronounced the “ü” as they should, while still managing to butcher the German language as much as only the Swiss can ;-)

          1. Tierlieb

            > I thought Brügger & Thomet renamed themselves to just B&T a few years ago?
            >
            Right, they did. Seems everyone enjoys ignoring that. Well, people like trying to pronounce Hecker & Koch instead of just saying HK so that might be expected ;-).

            I tried to figure out when that rebranding happened, but did not find anything. But Mr. Thomet is not even mentioned on their page any more. He’s only referred to as “a former partner”.

  5. Raoul Duke

    As far as dry-firing the breech face right out of a Glock, I would be overcome with joy if a student were to suffer that malfunction. It hasn’t happened to me ye.

    1. Hognose Post author

      One of the stories online is of a small PD whose armorer reported that of 45 or so .40 Glocks, two had this happen. I think the department gun guys were rather pleased with the two officers in the case.

  6. looserounds.com

    I have never owned a pistol meant for anything other than being a collectors item or historical piece that I didn’t zero.

    I was not aware a glock would fall apart from dry firing. Interesting, The gun you have to pull the trigger, the trigger with the “safety” on it, to take apart. That gun can come part from dry firing, I am glad so many people are thrilled with glocks. I however will never carry one if I have another choice. I like nothing about them.

    1. Timothy

      You would have to disassemble your glock something on the order of 20,000 times for it to die from that. Mind you I’ve heard of some people killing multiple glocks from dry-fire. One of the best shooters I know is working on killing his 4th. It’s definitely an issue but it’s not something that strikes me as a real show-stopper.

  7. Tim, '80s Mech Guy

    I’d like to hear an estimate on how many cycles were on that Glock. Any stressed part that is thin and surface hardened is going to go eventually, AR bolts are known to break at the cam pin hole for the same reason. I broke the slide on a rental gen one 17 many moons ago, clean break in the middle of the ejection port. Ran another hundred rounds trying to figure out why center of mass hold was suddenly producing a nice group in the right elbow on a B-27. That gun had an untold number of rounds through it, many of which were lead bullets or other non recomended types. I dropped it off on monday and picked it up with the slide replaced and the innards updated on Wednesday morning.

  8. looserounds.com

    On an unrelated to glocks note, I just recently learned Defoor was one of the SEALs on top of that mounting in Operation Anaconda. Shows how out of touch I am I guess. I was reading about the Air Force and the attempt to give the Airman who died up there a Medal Of Honor. This of course led me to Not A Good Day To Die and then to some other things.

    1. DSM

      TSgt Chapman was the CCT member up there. If anyone deserves the Medal for that day it would be him. Cunningham was the PJ killed as the fight got worse and that hit close to home. He had come down to the shop for help with his M4/M203 prior to deployment. I couldn’t remember if they had an in-house CATM troop assigned but it wasn’t but maybe a month or so later when we heard he didn’t make it. Sharp guy, real friendly. Talked for a few minutes, hooked him up and went back to work.

  9. 10x25mm

    Left handers always have to zero new handguns. I know this. Why I don’t purchase handguns with fixed sights for serious use [like S&W snubbies]. Too much work trying to adjust a reload or fiddle the barrel clocking to get then to shoot to point of aim.

    1. Jordan

      I’ve practiced shooting left handed a little bit and everything was hitting to the right of where i was aiming. I just assumed it was the result of terrible technique from never practicing with my left hand. Is it normal for the point of impact to change just from switching hands?

      1. bloke_from_ohio

        When you shot left handed you probably still unconsciously used your right eye more than your left.

        I do the same in reverse since I am left eye dominant but right handed.

      2. 10x25mm

        My experience as a left master eyed left hander is that handguns shoot towards the palm side of your shooting hand. Shoot left handed and the bullet’s point of impact will be to the right. Shoot right handed and the bullet’s point of impact will be to the left. This effect is pronounced and even using a blinder on my left eye when shooting right handed, the bullets still print to the left.
        This effect increases with recoil and twist rate, but decreases with grip grasping force (and two handed holds). Lightweight revolvers are by far the worst, specifically my Taurus Titanium 415 in .41 Magnum, but even the modest S&W Model 60 experiences a noticeable impact shift from hand to hand. The effect is modest in substantial .22lr automatics like the Ruger and High Standard target models.
        I have been able to minimize the effect somewhat by choking up on the trigger a bit when shooting right handed. Instead of centering the pad of my right index finger distal phalange on the centerline of the trigger, I center the joint between the distal and first intermediate phalange on the centerline of the trigger and curl it around the far side of the trigger. This give the shooter a little extra leverage to control the handgun while it is recoiling.

    2. Tierlieb

      I consider myself a good shooter with a hell of a lot of expensive training and I sometimes claim to be a teacher of sorts. So please understand that I ask the following question only reluctantly, because I am probably supposed to know this:

      > Left handers always have to zero new handguns

      > Is it normal for the point of impact to change just from switching hands?

      So I wonder: Is that so?

      I always thought that people “seeing” sights differently was bullshit. I thought aiming was simply physics.
      I thought there are some factors that where idiosyncrasies exaggerate problems:
      – If your eye is not exactly behind the sights, you’ll see one side of the rear sight. Depending on lighting, this might trick you into thinking the front sight is centered, because you consider that slice of the side to be part of the rear sight silhouette.
      – If you shoot with two eyes open, eye dominance turns out to be trickier than usually taught (eye dominance is not binary, plus tiredness and body positioning mess with it)
      – Dunning-Kruger. Especially if you are an experienced shooter doing something new or unusual (which, for everyone, is shooting weak hand only. And yes, it is called weak hand, not “other hand”, “other good hand” or “support hand” or any of that framing bullshit).

      There is also the school of thought that acknowledges these problems (iirc, Kyle Lamb lets you take one 10rd group standing, one kneeling and one prone, all shot quite fast, and then adjust the gun for the average deviation), but that is not because the sights need to be adjusted because of some weird optical law. It is just that people are not as good as they think.

      As an example: I know every given day, if I start left-handed, I will swear that my Glock sights are off. And I will be sure that it is not as simple as me jerking the trigger, because the group is as small as with a normal grip. Just about 2 inches to the right from where it is supposed to be. But I also know that if I concentrate and talk myself through Cooper’s surprise break, I will start producing a bunch of flyers that are actually where they are supposed to be.

      But I have encountered a lot of factory sights that were off for everyone. I even have an AK with a front sight that is canted so much it cannot be adjusted exactly. A lot of companies do not care where their test group is, only that it is small (got a Sig Sauer with a nice grouping provided by the manufacturer, but 1.5 inches off).

      TL;DR: Not convinced that people really “see” sights differently and need to tune them for themselves.

      1. bloke_from_ohio

        I have somewhat monocular vision due to an extremely mild form of strabismus. I never have to worry about seeing a double sight picture when I shoot both eyes open with a pistol. I have read about it, and had instructor mentioned it. My brain completely ignores the other image of the front sight post and target just like it filters out most other double images. I straight up don’t see it unless I really try. I still have complete peripheral vision though, even if my depth perception test scores are abnormal.

        That said, no matter how hard I tired those stupid magic eye posters from grade school never worked. All I ever saw was wiggly lines and not the totally rad dolphin my classmates insisted was there. It also made baseball and volleyball more difficult. I was a pretty good soccer goalie though.

  10. Joe

    Combat/Duty Handgin sights are factory adjusted to hit POA at a given distance. If the shooter does his part the round will hit within the precision range that handgun is capable of. When dealing with replacement/aftermarket sights it is advisable to pick a decent distance say 15, 25, 50, 75, or 100 Meters and adjust the iron sights to hit to POA.

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