Best Glock Upgrades [Hands-on]: Defense, Competition, & Custom By: Eric Hung

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Maybe your new Glock isn’t quite “Perfection”…yet. Or maybe your old Glock has lost that new gun smell.

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Either way, you’re covered since Glock has one of the best aftermarket upgrades and mods in the business.

All Tested Glock Triggers
A Couple of Our Glocks

Learn about the essential upgrades I do to my defensive home and CCW Glocks. Plus the best mods for competition.

And of course…fully custom builds that might tend to be more Gucci than practical.

Fully Modded P80 PF9SS (Glock 43)
Fully Modded P80 PF9SS (Glock 43)

Now with a video detailing each of our 8 personal builds…

Need a Glock to customize? Hit up our list of the Best Glocks for our favorites.

Summary of Our Top Picks

  1. Best CCW Upgrade

    Glock Extended Magazine Release

    Easy to reach and use when quick reloads are needed.

    $4 at Brownells
    Jump to Details
  2. Best Home Defense Upgrade

    Ameriglo Glock Sights

    Easy to see and aim with

    $61 at Amazon
    Jump to Details
  3. Best Value Trigger Drop-In for Competition

    Apex Glock Trigger

    Great for an affordable leg-up on the competition

    $104 at Brownells
    Jump to Details
  4. Best Competition Comp Upgrade

    Tyrant Designs Glock T-Comp

    Big reduction in muzzle rise, looks cool

    $90 at Tyrant Designs
    Jump to Details
  5. Best Custom Upgrade

    Grey Ghost Precision Glock Slides

    Tight fit, nice looks, and easy to manipulate

    $449 at Brownells
    Jump to Details
  6. Best Glock Barrel

    Lone Wolf Glock Barrel

    Nice upgrade, good quality

    $159 at Lone Wolf
    Jump to Details

Table of Contents

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Home Defense & CCW Glock Upgrades

The primary advice is to not alter your gun for home defense or CCW. But I keep mine pretty “stock” for the most part with Glock OEM parts.

1. Glock Extended Slide Stop Lever

I like to reload from a locked slide position using the slide stop lever. I know tons of people out there preach the slide racking method, but for me, I prefer using my thumbs to activate the slide stop lever.

It saves some time, and I always practice the same motion for my Glocks & 1911s. If anything, it gives me two options of how I want to reload.

Glock Extended Slide Stop Lever G17
Glock Extended Slide Stop Lever G17

For Glocks, I find that the stock version is hard to consistently activate using either of my thumbs. When I upgraded to the extended version, it became infinitely easier to release the slide every time.

14

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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Learn how to install it here with video and step-by-step picture walkthroughs.

2. Glock Extended Magazine Release

With my hand geometry and strength, I found I always had to shift my right-hand grip in order to reach the stock magazine release. Once I upgraded to the extended version, I was hitting the magazine release every time without losing my grip.

Glock Extended Magazine Release G17
Glock Extended Magazine Release G17

I take the mod one step further and sandpaper the edges to take away the sharp edges (me and my dainty hands). I also like to sand away extra material in the bottom left-hand corner of the release to give room for my right-hand middle finger.

Make sure to choose the correct Gen version.

Best CCW Upgrade
4

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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For instructions and video on how to install the extended magazine release, check out our other blog post.

3. Ghost 3.5 lb Trigger Connector

The Glock trigger could be a lot better. There are plenty of complete drop-in solutions, but I wanted to keep it as stock as possible to maintain maximum reliability.

So I swapped out the stock 5.5-pound trigger connector with the Ghost 3.5-pound trigger connector. I find that it doesn’t drop the trigger pull weight exactly by 2-pounds, but more like 1-pound and change, which is still a significant factor in making more accurate shots.

Glock 5.5 vs 3.5 lb Trigger Connector
Glock 5.5 vs 3.5 lb Trigger Connector

The Ghost version is supposedly self-cleaning and has run flawlessly in my Glocks.

21

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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Check out how to install the trigger connector here.

4. Night Sights or Fiber Optic Sights

If I could only choose one essential upgrade to the Glock, it would be to swap out its crappy standard sights that consist of a white “U” in the rear with a white dot.

Glock Night Sight Nylon Punch In
Glock Night Sight Nylon Punch In

I prefer night sights for self-defense and even class situations since I definitely want to be able to see my sights in the dark.

Best Home Defense Upgrade
61

at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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For competition, I like having fiber optic sights since they draw in ambient light and focus it, so you see a bright red/green dot in front. See the rest of all my favorites in Best Glock Sights.

Good thing there are tons of options, and it is relatively easy to install yourself.

5. Talon Grips

For a long time, I was all about stippling…or taking a soldering iron to the polymer grip area and making it a lot more grippy.

Glock 17 Grip Stipple
Glock 17 Grip Stipple

You can learn how to do it here…or now there are some non-destructive methods to add more grip with Talon Grips.

I prefer the rubber type as it’s better suited for CCW since it doesn’t snag on clothing as much as the sandpaper-like granulate type. Here is my G19 with the rubber version compared to the stippled G17.

Glock 17 and 19
G17 (full-size, top) and G19 (compact, bottom)

6. Extended Basepads

If you’re running a smaller Glock such as the G43 or G26, it’s very possible your pinkie doesn’t fit, or you want to extend its capacity.

Enter…Pierce Grips.

Pierce Grip on G43
Pierce Grip on G43

Or, if you want to add +1 or +2 capacity…get some Taran Tactical Basepads.

TTI G43 Basepads +2
TTI G43 Basepads +2

And now also some Tyrant Design extendos for G19s and G17s (and more) we really dig.

1.5 Tyrant CNC G19 Mag Extension
Tyrant CNC G19 Mag Extension

Now even for smaller G43/G43x/G48 models!

Tyrant Designs G43 Magazine Extensions
Tyrant Designs G43 Magazine Extensions
39

at Tyrant Designs

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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7. Pistol Light

For the home-based or holstered handgun…I highly recommend a pistol light. We go over the Best Pistol Lights in super detail…complete with images of the beams.

Best Pistol Lights
Best Pistol Lights

Our overall pick goes to Streamlight TLR-1 series which lives on my home defense gun and has survived thousands of rounds on the range.

TLR-1 Toggle Switch
TLR-1 Toggle Switch
149

at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing


View Details

149
at Amazon

  • Amazon (See Price)
  • Brownells (See Price)
  • Opticsplanet (See Price)

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And the current gold standard of the Surefire X300.

SureFire X300
SureFire X300
Gold Standard
277

at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing


View Details

277
at Amazon

  • Amazon (See Price)
  • Brownells (See Price)
  • Optics Planet (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

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If you want more options (and maybe some more affordable options), check out the main Best Pistol Lights article. Now let’s get into some more fun upgrades to give you the leg up in competition.

Competition Glock Upgrades

The go-to Glock for competition is the 9mm G34 which sports a longer barrel, slide, and sight radius. It doesn’t weigh much more than a G17 since it has cutouts on the slide.

Stippled G17 and G34
Stippled G17 and G34

But regardless if you’re running the G34…I would suggest extended components from above plus Talon Grips and the following upgrades.

1. Fiber Optic Sights

You’ll want something for quicker acquisition. I recommend going with the Truglo TFX Fiber Optic + Tritium sights for the best of both worlds.

TruGlo TFX
TruGlo TFX

2. Upgraded Drop-In Trigger

Of course…we have a complete guide to the Best Glock Triggers with videos, but here are our favorites. Our best bang-for-the-buck is the Apex Tactical Trigger.

Apex Glock Trigger
Apex Glock Trigger

Which feels & looks very nice. Especially at the price.

Best Value Trigger Drop-In for Competition
104

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing


View Details

104
at Brownells

  • Brownells (See Price)
  • OpticsPlanet (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

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Check it out in action…

Then we have the best trigger if you’re balling it up.

Best Trigger
250

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing


View Details

250
at Brownells

  • Brownells (See Price)
  • OpticsPlanet (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

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And in action…

Want something more for aesthetic reasons? You can try out the Tyrant Designs ITTS trigger which modifies only the visible part of the trigger and leaves the factory stuff alone.

Fully Modded P80 PF9SS (Glock 43)
Fully Modded P80 PF9SS (Glock 43)

Easy enough to install…check out instructions here.

70

at Gunmag Warehouse

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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And be sure to check out our master list of the Best Glock Triggers.

3. Compensator

Glock compensators have exploded onto the scene, but the Tyrant CNC version is especially easy to put on…and one-size-fits-all-generations.

Tyrant Designs G43 Muzzle Brake
Tyrant Designs G43 Muzzle Brake

Very noticeable reduction in muzzle rise, especially on my Polymer80 G43 single stack.

Best Competition Comp Upgrade
90

at Tyrant Designs

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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4. Magwell

You’ve probably seen these flared-out additions to the bottom of the grip on most race guns.

Tyrant CNC magwell top
Installs with one screw

Magwell extensions help your reloads become a little faster and more certain because they offer a bigger target.

The idea is simple — increasing the size of the hole while providing angled walls to help funnel that magazine home makes reloads a snap.

Tyrant CNC magwell bottom
Tyrant CNC makes your magwell cavernous

This addition from Tyrant CNC is crafted from aluminum, comes in different colors, and is easy to install on your Glock.

69

at Tyrant

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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Best Custom Glock Upgrades

The sky is the limit here…especially if you’re going with custom frames like Polymer80s.

All Tested Glock Triggers
Polymer80 Glocks (Tan and Gray)

See the full guide to how to build your own.

1. Custom Glock Slides

Now you can have all the serrations, lightening cuts, and red dots.

(L to R) Grey Ghost G19, Grey Ghost G17, Brownells G17
(L to R) Grey Ghost G19, Grey Ghost G17, Brownells G17

But our overall favorite is Grey Ghost Precision because of their tight fit, increased accuracy, and sexy looks.

Best Custom Upgrade
449

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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Followed by our most affordable pick from Brownells that give you options for cutouts to show off your barrel.

Best Bang-For-The-Buck
160

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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How about some more Grey Ghost Precision slides for the tiny bois (43/43x/48)

Fully Modded P80 PF9SS (Glock 43)
Fully Modded P80 PF9SS (Glock 43)
336

at Rainier Arms

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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We cover all the rest of our favorites in Best Glock Slides.  And speaking of barrels…

2. Custom Glock Barrels

Yup…you guessed it. We have a Best Glock Barrels guide too. We love Lone Wolf’s barrels…and they’ve been at the game a long time.

Best Glock Barrel
159

at Lone Wolf

Prices accurate at time of writing


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159
at Lone Wolf

  • Lone Wolf (See Price)
  • Brownells (See Price)

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And also newcomer Faxon’s (though they’ve been making great AR-15 barrels for a long time too). Especially if you want something more eye-catching like their gold TiN or chameleon.

Faxon G17 TiN Barrel
Faxon G17 TiN Barrel
Pretty & Accurate Barrel
205

at Faxon

Prices accurate at time of writing


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205
at Faxon

  • Faxon (See Price)
  • Brownells (See Price)

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3. Best Pistol Red Dot

If you go with a slide that has a red dot cut…you’ll want something from our Best Pistol Red Dots article.

Tested Pistol Red Dots
Tested Pistol Red Dots

Our go-to red dot if price is no object…plus the easiest “footprint” on ready-to-buy slides is the Trijicon RMR.

RMR Type 2 View
RMR Type 2 View
Best Pistol Red Dot
475

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing


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475
at Brownells

  • Brownells (See Price)
  • OpticsPlanet (See Price)
  • Amazon (See Price)
  • Rainier Arms (See Price)

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Or our best bang-for-the-buck is the Vortex Venom.

Vortex Venom View
Vortex Venom View
Best Bang-For-The-Buck
249

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing


View Details

249
at Brownells

  • Brownells (See Price)
  • Palmetto State Armory (See Price)
  • OpticsPlanet (See Price)
  • Amazon (See Price)

Prices accurate at time of writing

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4. Tyrant CNC Package

One of our newest mods is a set from Tyrant CNC, which was previously known for some cool AR-15 upgrades. Here you’ll see their extended magazine release (which is the perfect length and has super positive grip) and extended basepad.

Tyrant CNC Extended Glock Mag Release
Tyrant CNC Extended Glock Mag Release

Plus, their backplate. I went with red everything to match the Apex trigger from before.

Tyrant CNC Backplate
Tyrant CNC Backplate

My Polymer80 G19 might almost be done now! Especially with the release of their Extended Glock Slide Release that gives the perfect amount of extra grip.

Tyrant CNC Extended Glock Slide Release
Tyrant CNC Extended Glock Slide Release

And they also have parts for the G43/G48.

G43 Tyrant CNC Mag Extensions
G43 Tyrant CNC Mag Extensions

Pretty good value to give your Glock both aesthetic value AND more capacity/grip.

24

at Tyrant Designs

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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And check out my finally complete Polymer80 G43 with a complete Tyrant upgrade kit.

P80 G43 with Tyrant Designs
P80 G43 with Tyrant Designs
28

at Tyrant Designs

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

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5. Everything Else We Covered

Round out the rest of your perfect build with what we’ve already talked about, and you are SET.

  • Best Pistol Lights
  • Best Glock Triggers
  • Best Glock Sights

Final Thoughts

Now go forth and upgrade…your Glock.

RMR Type 2 on Polymer80 Glock
RMR Type 2 on Polymer80 Glock

Let us know your favorite builds in the comments below.  Then check out Editor’s Picks for our favorite guns and gear.