If you’ve ever added an aftermarket part to something you own, then this article 100% applies to you. You’re just like the majority of EVERYONE who owns a Glock… unsatisfied with the look, feel, or performance of a fresh-out-of-the-box Glock Pistol.
Well, despite Glock’s “perfection” motto, the quest for perfection doesn’t end with the purchase of their pistol. With the right upgrades, you can transform your basic Glock into a tricked-out tactical pistol tailored to your needs. We’ll guide you through essential accessories and mods to enhance accuracy, grip, speed, and style, unlocking your Glock’s full potential.
Have your eye on a Glock, but don’t know which one?
Table of Contents
1. Glock Magazines
Magazines are essential to any robust pistol, that’s why Glocks ship with three. Quality aftermarket mags add capabilities like extra capacity, translucent polymer for visibility, and high fun-factor drums for the range.
Glock OEM Magazines
The robust, steel-reinforced polymer Glock OEM magazines set the reliability standard. Other companies may make cheaper “Glock mags”, but an assurance with OEM Glock magazines is that they will assuredly work. IN FACT, AmmoToGo did some endurance tests on Glock OEM mags and they averaged 252,314 rounds before they wore out! The long-proven steel internals and durable polymer shells stand up to abuse while delivering smooth, consistent feeding.
Whether you need a 10-rounder for your compact carry gun or a 33-round extended mag for your full-size, Glock has your back with some OEM “stendos”.
Magpul Glock Magazines
For all of us AR15 fanboys these otta catch the eye. With engineering honed over years of AR mag innovation, Magpul brings lightweight polymer Glock mags loaded with features to enhance reliability.
For topping off your ammo beyond OEM specs, Magpul’s 27-round GL9 extended magazines give your Glock a hefty boost in firepower while maintaining a slimmer profile and price point.
ETS Glock Magazines
For those who want to keep track of every single freedom pill you have left. ETS is rocking the “see your bullets” vibe. These guys are a favorite for PCC builds as well as pistols because the bottom line is you can see how much ammo you have left by just ejecting the magazine.
UTG Glock Magazines
Much like the Magpul ones that we mentioned earlier, UTG aims to please with its price point and all polymer construction. They provide the usual 15-round 9mm magazine as well as some very classy 33-round extended mags.
What makes their extended magazines so classy you may ask? They have a freakin window! Similar to ETS with the transparent magazines the window helps you keep an eye on the ammo supply. The UTG has the added confidence of a polymer body surrounding the window for maximum durability.
Glock Drum Magazines
Yeah, Yeah this is the one everyone skips too. Who doesn’t want a drum magazine? This is the Mapul D50 for Glock…. Different from the Magpul D50 PCC (this would rock in a tricked-out Ruger PC Carbine).
Yes, they are terribly impractical and often doomed to malfunction in some way, but these aren’t for when you need them most. Why OWN a Drum? If your state allows you to own one they have no real mission-specific role other than…FUN, which is totally fine.
Glock 43/43x/48 15 round Magazines & Accessories
These are for you Glock 43, 43x & Glock 48 owners, specifically those of you looking at the Shield Arms flush-fit magazine with 5x extra round capacity over Glock OEM. An important caveat is it is recommended that you also swap out your plastic magazine release.
Why is that? It’s known around the Glock shooting community that these Shield Arms Glock mags chew up your Glock OEM mag release. You should think about swapping the magazine release if you want smooth sailing at the range.
An answer to this issue would be Tyrant CNC since they produce a fancy steel magazine release as well as a base plate for your new magazine. This takes accessorizing and personalizing to the next level, but if you want to take it further to habitual then there are some handy +4 round extensions available too!
Speaking of personalization, we should mention Tyrant CNC’s Magwell Extension since it adds both grip length as well as a touch of flare with some literal flare…you can be a little sloppy inserting your magazine if you want.
2. Stripped Glock Slides & Slide Accessories
One of the worst feelings is picking up a factory gun only to find out you could have bagged an MOS model for a hundred bucks more or so. “I wanted to put a pistol red dot on my gun”! It isn’t the end of the world though since companies like Zaffiri Precision and Grey Ghost Precision have your back and offer some very cool stripped slide options to replace your stock slide.
Don’t want to remove all your parts from your factory slide to put them into a stripped one? We got that covered too. Glock upper parts kits are a thing!
The number one thing to keep in mind for adding optics cut slides to your OEM Glock… ensure the mounting pattern matches the optic cut you plan on throwing on there. Some of the most common red dot footprints would be the RMR, C-More, and the Burris Fastfire. The Burris Fastfire footprint also referred to as the “Doctor”, is what our AT3 ARO Micro Red Dot uses! Folks Like C&H Precision and Burris are out there making aftermarket optics plates to suit whatever your chosen optic is.
Just make sure to identify your chosen optic’s footprint before picking out a plate!
Okay, so maybe replacing the slide to gain an optics cut isn’t the right option for you (cost, difficulty level, etc). No worries, there are things like dovetail-mounted optic plates. They merely replace your rear iron sight and an optic is mounted on top. Companies like EGW have mastered the dovetail mount science.
3. Glock Sights
Sights come stock on a factory Glock so why would you want different ones? The simple answer is the stock sights are plain Jane plastic and a sturdy higher quality…potentially glowing night sight will always be more appealing. If iron sights aren’t even on the radar, red dot optics on pistols have been becoming a mainstay since they improve shooting speeds and responsiveness.
Glock Iron Sights
Ameriglo makes some of our favorite replacement iron sights for Glock pistols. That’s because they are so accommodating with things like bright fiber optic sights, and night sights all the way to “tall” suppressor height sights for seeing over your gun muffler or even co-witnessing with a fancy red dot sight!
Glock Pistol Red Dots
As long as you have the compatible plate that we mentioned above then you can plop just about any slide-mounted optic on your Glock. Holosun is probably the most popular red dot for pistols followed by Trijicon, which remains king of durability.
Don’t forget our very own AT3 ARO is also Glock Optic pattern ready. Just pair it with that Fastfire plate and it can be smacked onto any double-stack Glock handgun with an MOS cut. Right this second we don’t have one for you 43/43X/48 havin folks, but just between you and me, that’s something on the horizon.
4. Glock Barrels – Fluted, Colored, Threaded
Yup, Glock barrels are a hot ticket item that’s prime for customizing. Why swap your OEM Glock barrel? Two reasons; ability to add compensators and hush hush cans (suppressors) … And for straight-up sex appeal, eye candy, Gucci Glock, and whatnot.”
Fluted & Threaded Barrels
A majority of the time if you are swapping out your Glock barrel it is for one of two reasons. One, you want a colored or fluted barrel to express yourself and your Gucci Glock-style. Or two, you want a threaded barrel to continue to stick things on said Gucci Glock such as a suppressor or compensator.
Either way companies like reputable companies like Agency Arms with their threaded barrels or True Precision with their colorful selections have buckets of well… barrels available so you can pick the right one for you!
Compensators have their place in the pistol world since the point of pivot in your wrist combined with your muzzle flip can make an unpleasant or inaccurate shooting experience. They are made to tone things down by venting expelled gasses upward and keeping that muzzle pointed at the target.
For those looking to not just compensate their Glock pistol, but also extend the slide profile a bit Tyrant CNC makes a cool form-fitting style T-Comp compensator that attaches to any 1/2×28 threaded barrel (basically any barrel you will get for your 9mm).
Some folk like that extended barrel look, in which case…did you know that compensators made for a 9mm PCC can also be threaded onto your Glock? In which case, many shooters opt for 9mm specific comps like the VG6 Epsilon or the Odin Works Atlas could be the answer though we would suggest caution since they may bleed off more power than what is ideal for your Glock to function reliably.
5. Glock Triggers
If you or your buddy owns a Glock you may have heard of “that Glock trigger”. This is referring to most folks finding the Glock’s trigger to be less than perfect and more or less adequate. Good luck for us trigger lovers because there are aftermarket companies looking to take care of that!
When it comes to triggers we are getting pretty far under the hood. Luckily since Glock is “perfection” they have made it easy for any certified Glock armorer, gunsmith, or even average Joe to swap out a trigger. Tyrant CNC continues to dominate aftermarket pistol parts, especially with their Glock lineup like their ITTS Trigger which aims to have an aggressive trigger reset while presenting a refined finish that only metal parts can convey.
6. Glock Lights & Lasers
Flashlights are highly suggested for any home defense Glock build. You never know what could go bump in the night, but at least you’d have some illumination to figure it all out and act on the situation accordingly.
Streamlight is the big dog in the game of pistol weapon lights and time and time again you’ll find them at home on a Glock. Their TLR 1 HL is one of the best out there and it’s widely used both by consumers as well as law enforcement since it includes parts that make them interchangeably attachable to a bunch of different firearms.
If you aren’t looking to drop a couple of hundo on a fancy flashlight then there are other reputable options that have the same brightness levels. Brands such as Nightstick with their 852XL or even the 550XL which has a laser built-in for that ultimate room-clearing combo.
7. Glock Frame Enhancements
These little tweaks are for those of us looking for a bit of aesthetic flare as well as enhanced practicality from the more blocky generic Lego gun that is the Glock pistol.
Glock Frame Pins
It seems simple because it is, but there are different colored pins out there for your Glock even more so companies like Tyrant CNC are turning up the heat and adding a diamond-shaped cut to each of them for some added flare with very little actual functionality. Hey, you may already be swapping out your trigger. Combine these two jobs for maximum efficiency. That is the Glock spirit if there ever was one.
Glock Slide Release
While we potentially already have our Glock apart you might as well slide in a slide release! This gives you the added function of dropping a slide with the wipe of a thumb while also maintaining some of that classic Tryrant CNC style. That’s right. You don’t need to bother with the plain unappealing hard-to-grasp slide stop anymore. Lock and load with ease.
Finger groove vs. no finger grooves is a long-debated topic (feel free to place your flag in the comments below), but what about the grip entirely? Glock grips are flat and lightly speckled with little nubbins. Why not enhance the feel? It’s something your palm and reload times will thank you for. Companies like Hogue offer slip-on grip sleeves for fast application times, but if you want a more personal feel we suggest Talon Grips adhesive grips!
8. Other Glock Accessories
Glock Guide Rods
The factory plastic guide rod is one of those hidden Glock parts that works fine, but upgrading it brings added peace of mind. This component guides the slide’s rearward motion and controls the recoil spring, so reliability is key. Though durable, plastic can eventually wear.
A stainless steel guide rod from Rival Arms or other quality brands is a drop-in upgrade that will last virtually forever. For that added comfort and longevity, swap the guide rod for metal and you’ll never have to worry about this crucial component again.
That’s enough with the parts. Something Glock falls short on is the factory case, granted they are nice enough to give you one at all let alone a hard case. Glock cases are extremely cramped no matter the size of pistol you get and almost all of us end up swapping it out for something else down the road.
We can’t cover every single case out there nor holster nor mag pouch, but we can go off of humble employee recommendations. Vertx is a great place to start if you are looking for a literal gun case, but if you want a range bag that can double as a gun case the GPS Range Backpack is where it is at!
What about wandering around with the gun ON YOU? That is where a holster comes in. The days of the Wild West have passed, but carrying a gun has not. No rawhide here only the coolest tactical Kydex out there. Crucial Concealment makes both inside and outside the waistband holsters for whether you are wandering the streets at high noon or out for a jog in the park.
Glock Magazine Pouches
So you have a gun on your hip and ONLY ONE magazine? Now that’s not the way to do it. Mag pouches are for those of us who live prepared and plan ahead. Crucial Concealment also makes a handy inside/outside waistband magazine pouch for fantastic versatility in visibility and comfort.
Most of us are just as giddy as can be to get to the range, but then in the end our thumbs hate us. Glock includes a simple, but flimsy magazine loader/helper. Do your thumbs a favor with a speed loader that aids in quick reloads as well as ease of use. Just about everyone we know runs a Maglula UpLula for this reason. They are tough, easy to use, and entirely worth the price.
Whether this is your first gun or you are a seasoned operator snap caps can be a valuable practice tool. They can be used to get to know the platform or better yet to run drills with. Slap a few in your magazine at random and when the gun “malfunctions” i.e. loads a dummy round, you can practice your clearing skills and reload.
How to Choose a Glock Model
With over 20 models in three sizes, Glock offers impressive variety. Choosing your first can be exciting just like the first time you brought. Heck, maybe this is your first. If that’s the case then congratulations and welcome to the club!
For home defense or duty, full sizes like the G17 and G22 are robust and reliable. Those prioritizing concealed carry will love subcompact classics like the G26 or slim single-stacks including the G43 and G43X. For those looking for that potential perfect in-between fit, the “compact” Glock 19 and Glock 23 are best sellers.
Generational updates involve modest improvements, with Gen 5 models refining controls and grip texture. While newer generations innovate incrementally, Gen 3 and 4 remain excellent choices. Most importantly, find the Glock that feels best in your hand and shooting style. Comfort is confidence folks!
Ending on Perfection – Glock Upgrade Guide
Whether you just want to swap mags or build a Gucci race gun, this guide has your Glock upgrade needs covered, but like any tool, practice makes perfect – so take your tactical Lego kit to the range often. With the right upgrades, you can make Glock perfection even more perfect for you.
More AT3 Content:
Yes! Glocks have a ton of aftermarket support and are completely upgradeable. It should be mentioned however that changing anything on a factory Glock will void any warranty support from Glock.
No. Contrary to popular belief, dry-firing a centerfire gun is pretty harmless. Your firing pin isn’t knocking into anything in order to break. A rimfire gun however (Glock 44 22lr for example) should not be dry-fired since most have a square-faced firing pin which has a chance of contacting your chamber.
Only if the modification is legal. If it is any “normal” upgrade and you follow your state’s laws, you are in the clear. Making it full auto or giving it a stock without the proper licenses or paperwork, however, is illegal.
Law enforcement side arms vary widely. Typically your average American police officer will have a Glock 17 or Glock 22. Some military entities such as the navy seals or green berets have been known to use Glocks from time to time and these are typically in the smaller than full size varieties such as a Glock 19.
Side note: The Glock 19X was submitted to military trials, but the Sig M17 won out.
John Wick ends up using a Glock 34 at some point, but it is heavily upgraded. All the more reason to trick yours out too!
One Last Tip
If there’s anyone that knows the AR-15 platform, it’s the US military. As a special offer for our readers, you can get the Official US Army Manual for AR-15/M4/M16 right now – for free. Click here to snag a copy.