by Mike Keleher
I love Glocks. I don't love their factory trigger. There I actually spit it out…you probably have not seen anyone else confess this in print in such a manner.
Not loving everything about the Glock may be taken as blasphemy in the Glock Fanboy community-but it's true. I find the trigger to be long, gritty and I don't shoot it well. Egads! Good triggers generally help you shoot better. Every sight picture is perfect until you pull the trigger and exert pressures on the gun. Better triggers help you eliminate some of your less than perfect trigger press, or break cleaner or quicker which sets the round down range before you can continue to put foul up the sight picture! Glock triggers have a long take up, have a bit of a gritty drag to them, have the silly tongue safety sticking out of the middle of the trigger and just don't break clean in my opinion.
Now I have a bunch of these pistols and find them to be a tremendous combat handgun. I have carried them all over America with absolute belief in their dependability. I shoot them a couple of times a year in competition, and I have attended the Glock Armorer's School a couple of times. I marvel over the engineering that goes into those 33 assembled parts. I still don't like the way trigger feels. Oh that Safe Action trigger system is absolutely dependable-if you press on the bang switch with your booger hook you will get a resulting bang out of the far end. They are just a long gritty pull in their stock format.
I am not new to the product. I bought my first Glock 17 back in 1987, within six months of them being allowed into America, and have always had "some" under roof since then. (my actual number of Glocks owned, are always subject to wife review/audit, and the number of items currently owned and when exactly they entered my personal inventory may vary with each accounting…ie. "What? This old thing? I've had it for years Honey!")
I remember driving away from a big competition a couple years ago and calling my wife to say I had won a "free" Glock. Her response was "Well how many of them do you have already?" Clearly she was semi-delusional and not celebrating my good fortune, so I replied "Well, I don't own all of them-yet."
Back in the bad old days, the federal agency I hired on with authorized .38 +P 6 shot revolvers (the bad guys in L.A. were all carrying AK-47s that summer.) I carried a load of six rounds in the chamber and two speed loaders during the week and was woefully outgunned-on the weekend I shoved a Glock 17 in my pants with 17+1 rounds of 9mm in the gun…whew! Heady stuff when you added a spare mag or two on your belt! I have blazed away with Glocks for three decades now-and I still don't shoot that trigger well.
You can purchase some outstanding replacement triggers and systems to make your Glock feel more crisp or with a lighter trigger pull from companies like Taran Tactical Innovations, Zev, Glock Triggers.com, Lone Wolf Distributors and even Chip McCormick has a new drop in system this year from CMC.
You can smooth, lighten or do complete replacement of components yourself quite easily, and the upgrades run from pennies to over $200 depending upon your needs, wants and desires. You don't have to stick with the original from the factory trigger. There are many ways to make it better that don't require gunsmithing or grinding modification.
First off, if you want to work on your Glock above a field strip level, I highly recommend any Glock owner obtain a copy of the Glock Armorer's Manual. It covers detailed take down and the oh-so necessary reassembly of Glock pistols. Plenty of pictures too. You can get print copies and DVD copies via eBay or other sources. I am old and still like that paper book in front of me. For trigger work you can of course go online to YouTube or Brownells or half a million other places to watch other smarter or more experienced people do absolutely every take down and modification ever dreamed up for a Glock pistol.
If you don't have an official Glock Take Down Tool that is used to completely disassemble these Austrian pistols don't fret. You can use a punch, the tip of a pen or even a nail to completely disassemble the thing. If you have never taken one completely apart you will be amazed on how simple it is. There are a couple of small tricks that make it easier, but get some printed directions or video feed to watch and just follow along. It is really hard to do it wrong. To disassemble the lower frame and take the entire trigger assembly out involves just pushing two or three pins out (depending on which Generation pistol you are using.)
The very first Glock trigger job came from the factory when they marketed the out of the box/competition ready Glock 34 with a 3.5 lb trigger pull vice the factory standard 5 lb pull. Soon after that you could purchase the 3.5 lb connecter and stick it into your G17 or G19 in about 3 minutes and have a much lighter trigger pressure pull-not the best option for a self defense gun if you ever had to explain it from the witness box, and easier to AD, but it was absolutely dependable and would work when called upon. Anything that would compromise Glock dependability may be rightly classified as a sin of some sort. (The NY trigger invented to satisfy NYPD liability lawyers which increases trigger pull pressure to 8 lbs is an abomination in my mind-but not quite a sin as defined by most religions.)
The next trigger job that hit the market was the very simple and near legendary "Twenty five cent trigger job." This do-it yourself process merely uses Flitz or auto metal polish (very fine levels of abrasive grit) to polish some internal parts that rub together. You can use a dremel-but if you are worried about doing too much, just rub it with your fingers or a Q-tip. You are just polishing some metal, not actually trying to remove any metal. You have to completely disassemble the pistol and rub the identified parts and reassemble. Total cost is about 25 cents and total time invested is about ten minutes.
Some people debate the actual effectiveness of this polishing, but if you try it, most likely you will feel some difference, won't hurt the gun, and the trigger pull will be a bit less gritty. Look it up online and peek at it yourself-the price is certainly right.
The next level of performance upgrade is still quite inexpensive and involves replacing some springs and parts with a pre-polished connector and replacement springs.
My favorite is the Taran Tactical Innovations Grandmaster Connector Kit, available from TTI for $45. Ghost and Lone Wolf have similar kits and I am sure they are fine, but I like the TTI version. Taran Butler is a legendary 3 gun shooter who now modifies competition guns and sells hi-grade replacement parts which are built to run. He is also the guy who has been working with Kenau Reeves in 3 gun type weapons handling seen in John Wick 2 and in the upcoming John Wick 3.
You can buy just the spring kit with striker spring, safety spring and a trigger coil spring in the Ultimate Trigger Spring Pack for about $16 or get the Grandmaster Kit that has the same three springs and a polished connector for $45. You have to disassemble the upper and lower receivers and then just put in the new parts. No grinding or machining is ever needed. Plug and play.
The beauty of the TTI kits is they don't drop the trigger pressure below 5 lbs-they smooth up the felt pressure which feels much crisper at an honest 5 lb pull.
I put the spring only kit in a Glock 17 this summer and put the Grandmaster kit with connector in a Glock 22. Side by side after two trigger pulls I found I needed to go back and get another connector to put in G17…so there are no sibling fights in the gun safe…that Grandmaster kit is amazing for less than $50 bucks and installs in about 5 minutes. Makes me like the Glock trigger for the first time….ever!
I shoot all-Glock matches with the Glock Shooting Sports Foundation (GSSF) once or twice a year, and you can make minor internal modifications, but the essence is to shoot stock guns not race guns. Replacement of internal springs are ok for this type of competition. Making major trigger component system replacements or frame modifications are frowned upon and if you have a gold, red or purple odd shaped trigger sticking out the Range Officers will speak to you about the sportsmanship involved, and may invite you to take you highly modified Glock home. Look 'em up for a hosted match near you at www.gssfonline.com, the shoots are fun and you can win Glocks!
If you want to go into competition with a Glock like PPC, USPSA, IDPA or 3 Gun, you will probably want to go bigger and replace the entire trigger bar system with awesome parts from sellers like Zev and Glocktriggers.com which run in the $150-$200 price range. They make the Glock system actually sing in competition (oh wait, maybe that's me doing the singing.) They make the whole platform even better.