Let’s face it: Glocks are now the AR-15 of the handgun world. Now that the patent has expired, there are more clones than you can shake a stick at. And you know what? This is awesome! Look, whether you like them or not, Glock revolutionized handguns. Polymer handguns are the standard now, rather than a fringe knockoff. They are cheaper, they are lighter, and they are tough as nails.
One of the very first things you might consider replacing on your Glock or Glock-clone is the barrel. Maybe you want to add a suppressor to your Gen 3 G19 and want a threaded barrel. Or maybe the OEM black barrel bores you to tears. Whatever the reason, replacing the barrel on your Glock is easy. Let’s take a look at how this process works and why you might want to do it.
Is A Replacement Glock Barrel Better Than OEM?
Now, this is a difficult question to answer. What defines ‘better’? It’s tough to argue against the quality of an OEM Glock barrel; there are too many examples with thousands (or tens of thousands) of rounds through them to argue their extreme levels of quality.
But quality isn’t the only factor that plays into a purchase.
Now, there are varying degrees of quality in aftermarket barrels. Some are great; others are okay. There are others you should steer clear of altogether.
There are some obvious reasons for an aftermarket barrel replacement, and we’ll get to those in a little bit. However, the most obvious reason is to replace a worn-out barrel. If you buy a brand-new pistol, you have a good idea of how many rounds you’ve put through it (if you bother keeping count). However, lots of guys buy used Glocks (namely LEO department trade-ins). And why wouldn’t you? You get a Glock that is already broken in, might have the department shield laser-etched, and is a couple hundred off the price of a new Glock.
Of course, the downside is you have no idea how many rounds have gone through it. It might be a holster queen, used only for qualifications, or it might have been a range gun with 23,459 rounds put downrange.
A replacement barrel is a great way to zero out your barrel so you know the count.
What Are Some Of The Advantages?
The main advantage of a replacement barrel is getting a zero-shot barrel for your Glock, but we know how you guys think: stock is never good enough. That’s why you modify your trucks (you know who you are), UTVs, etc. And given the chance, you’ll do it to your guns, too!
Suppressors are definitely gaining traction as a standard piece of gear on firearms for all kinds of uses. And why wouldn’t they? You only get one set of ears, so you’d better take care of them.
A suppressor is not the only reason to have a threaded barrel, especially if you carry a pistol with hot loads. There are lots of options for muzzle brakes for all popular pistol calibers, and these have plenty of applications. Carrying a 10MM in black Bear country with some heavy loads in it will teach your wrist a thing or two about pain, plus follow-up shots are a chore. Not great if an angry mama bear is coming at you.
Extended Length Barrels
Another good reason to swap out barrels is to add an extended-length barrel to your Glock. A number of states offer handgun hunting seasons for medium game, which long-barrel wheel guns have traditionally championed. Look, I am an absolute sucker for a good wheel gun. My first handgun was a used police trade-in S&W Model 64 (stainless steel Model 10). But they are heavy, and follow-up shots are a chore with a heavy double-action trigger.
However, a Glock 20 with a long barrel and heavy loads will dispatch whitetail and muleys pretty well, plus it will still work in most holsters.
You can go with a longer barrel (not necessarily with a long slide, although you certainly can) to shoot out at longer distances, but it’s tough to see why this would matter much for most applications.
Now we’re getting down to the brass tacks. Look, we can say it is all about performance, but is it really? Why else would there be rainbow, gold, or copper-plated barrels if not for aesthetics? The OEM black barrels are absolutely serviceable. But seriously, if you are spicing up your old Glock, or better yet, making a Glock clone from scratch, why would you want to stick with flat black when there is a whole world of possibilities?
On the more practical end of the spectrum, Glocks are one of the most practical firearms on the planet. The cool thing is that you can easily take the .40 S&W models (22, 23, 27) and quickly make them a 9MM pistol by swapping out the barrels. The 9MM mags are dimensionally identical to the .40 caliber mags, so it really is that easy.
And, who are we to judge if you want to spice things up a little with a fluted barrel or maybe a threaded gold barrel?
Are There Any Disadvantages?
So, what are the disadvantages of swapping out your Glock barrel?
To be honest, there aren’t any that we can think of. If you want a more ornate Glock, go for it! If you bought a used police trade-in, why not zero out that barrel just to be sure you have a good one on the pistol? Just because the weapon functions flawlessly doesn’t mean it will hit the broad side of a barn.
If the awesomeness of our replacement barrels ever gets to be too much for you, you can always throw that flat-black OEM barrel back in, but we are confident this won’t be an issue.
Glocks are definitely the AR pattern of the handgun world. With so many options now on the market, they are inexpensive, readily available everywhere, and still utterly reliable. A new drop-in replacement Glock barrel is a great way to jazz up your EDC, or to really make your build stand out from the crowd. Whatever you want to do, we have the barrel for you.