A Rebuttal to John Farnam on Aftermarket Glock Barrels

Recently, I ran across a fantastic article from training John Farnam on his perspective on the use of aftermarket drop-in barrels on Glock handguns (can be found here). In general, I agree with much of what he has said, but I think its a little too much blanket advice with not enough information.

*Author’s disclosure – I am employed by a barrel manufacturer who makes Glock handgun barrels. 

This may not be a full rebuttal, but rather added information that helps put Mr. Farnam’s assertion into perspective and focus on what’s important of the points of what I believe with what he was driving towards.

“Fully Supported Chambers”

Mr. Farnam contends that one should not use a barrel that has a “fully supported chamber” as Glocks were designed only to fire new ammunition, allowing for some bulge. I disagree, especially having shot .40 cal Glocks extensively. The unsupported base of the brass over the feed ramp can cause dangerous bulging, not just little bulging. In 15,000 rounds, I have had two rounds blow out brass, both new factory ammunition, causing a major malfunction.

I contend  “Supported Chambers” is a critical need for the shooting of higher pressure rounds, especially like .40 and .357 SIG. In the Glock, 9mm is already “fully supported” so the point on aftermarket barrels in this caliber is moot. Yes, the feed ramp will be steeper, but its up to the shooter to verify that their combination of parts functions, as should be the case with even a factory new Glock handgun.

“Tight Chambers” 

While Mr. Farnam does mention that not all aftermarket barrels “(just) many, probably most…” have tight chambers, the reader walks away believe that just about all barrels have tight chambers and therefore should not be used in a handgun for “serious” purposes.

What a shooter should be looking for is a SAAMI compliant chamber. So long as the chamber is SAAMI compliant, it will be safe and functional to shoot, even at the bottom end of the specification. As such, it’s important for Mr. Farnam to dictate what he means by “tight”. If he refers to non-SAAMI chambers, he is correct.

If just referring to headspacing, the handgun will be OK, as ammo manufacturers make ammo to be compliant with the entire specification. Almost every barrel is manufactured to SAAMI and if not, the barrel should not be used without careful understanding of what the OEM did to modify the chamber.

Mr. Farnam then goes into tightly-fitted guns not being recommended. This is not relevant to a tight chamber. For example, the AK has properly headspaced and often tight chambers to start accounting for the wear on the gun over its lifetime and is not considered a “tightly fitted” gun.

“Cut Rifling”

In this section, I do not get what Mr. Farnam is implying with the statement: “Polygonal rifleing, found on factory Glock barrels, requires sophisticated industrial processes, out of reach for most small accessory manufacturers.” If anything, it seems to state that polygonal is superior just due to the cost of the machines to manufacture it and that cut is inferior.

If that is indeed the logic, it is patently untrue. 5R and other types are well with reach of most OEMs. Secondly, the overall quality of the barrel is far more important than the type of rifling. These small OEMs are often able to make a better barrel than Glock if only because they have the ability to make margin on an individual part.

As Mr. Farnam cedes, it has greater compatibility with a larger array of bullets, including unjacketed ammuntion. With Glock barrels not being known for fantastic accuracy, why try to make a point on rifling type when the quality of the bore from an the aftermarket is generally considered better?

Conversion Barrels

No rebuttal from me here. Just don’t do it for a serious defense firearm unless one completely and totally swaps to the intended calibers parts including slide, barrel, ejector, etc, which is possible on a Glock.

What Is He Really Going For?

Reading into the post, I can see what Mr. Farnam is going for, which is a general advisement on avoiding aftermarket barrels manufactured to a tighter fitment than the OEM part, but the thing is that most of the aftermarket is manufactured to tighter tolerance, not tighter fit.

To me, don’t be afraid of the aftermarket parts, especially when they allow one to improve upon the platform with greater compatibility with ammo, better accuracy, and added features (notably threading) that OEM does not provide.

So, the age-old adage of test your gun and ammo applies yet again.

**Update – 2.28.2017 – My apologies to Mr. Farnam for misspelling his name. No slight was intended in any form, just a mistake on my side. 

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • VanDiemensLand

    “How long can we look at each other
    Down the barrel of a gun?”
    -John Farnham

  • Reazione Catena

    When I attended my Glock Armorer Course, we we told that the “unsupported chamber” is by design… yes it is for new ammunition..but that the unsupported chamber is actually a safety feature or failsafe in the event of an ammunition related failure… the case will rupture in the “unsupported” area and the gasses will be vented down and out. Our instructors was emphatic that ammunition and its many variables are the cause of any case failure related problems not the pistol or its design….

    • Rick O’Shay

      So is the unsupported chamber designed to be such because “the gun is intended to only fire new ammunition” (implying it’s safer than reloaded/remanned) and therefore doesn’t need a fully supported chamber, allowing for a less steep ramp, OR is it a safety feature in the event of ammo related failure, which OBVIOUSLY never happens with new ammo (/s), which suggests you must be violating Glock’s recommendations by using not-new ammo?

      Because this strikes me as an incredibly contradictory stance.

      • Reazione Catena

        Ammo related failures happen with new ammo as well,Google it, the unsupported chamber is a failsafe in the event of ammo failure… the instructor stated that ammo explodes not firearms….

        • because if there’s anything that sounds awesome and safe is a case rupture at several thousand PSI, blowing hot gasses down through a polymer frame, rather than being contained for the most part and just bulging/splitting the barrel…

          • Ian Moone

            Agreed, had it happen with 10mm and the plastic frame cracked and brass got stuck in my finger. Factory ammo. I now use a wolf barrel. I would have prefer a buldged barrel not shrapnel.

  • Nicks87

    IMO If you shoot competitions or you want to squeeze every bit of accuracy out of your Glock then go with an aftermarket match barrel. If you are law enforcement/military or carry for defensive purposes best to stick with Glock factory barrels.

  • Don Ward

    “I disagree, especially having shot .40 cal Glocks extensively.”
    “.40 cal Glocks”

    I know now why you cry. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9adf04ff97c843f58f0dfb44d2c57e96e20a2895d6685b8bbed9320b12ba2990.gif

    • Wow!

      I don’t understand why people complain about 40 recoil, but at the same time want 10mm guns more common.

  • Big Daddy

    It’s not true about conversion barrels. Going to a 9mm on a 40 cal Glock works fine, in fact the 40cal Glock is a 9mm frame and slide modified to shoot 40. The only difference is the opening of the slide to fit the thicker barrel of the 40. All the internals do not have to be changed the extractor is the same. The only different part is the ejector which has gone through some changes over the years. So get a conversion barrel and change the ejector, done. Both the 40 and 9 use the same recoil spring even. I have a lot of conversion Glocks and zero issues.

    One conversion that does not work is going from 45 to 10mm. The extractor is very different and the only thing that is the same is the frame even the ejector. If you want to convert get a whole new slide if you can. With that expense it’s more cost effective just to buy a different gun. The slides have different parts inside and the 10mm has parts designed for the 10mm case which is just an elongated 40cal in many ways.

    I do like the aftermarket barrels a lot even the older Lonewolf Dasan ones. I also like the added weight of the conversion barrels.

    • The last time i checked, the .40 Glock slides are also heavier than their 9mm counterparts. The 9mm Glock slides have more materiel machined away inside the slide ahead of the ejection port. The same holds true of the 10mm Glocks versus their .45 counterparts. The .45 slides have more materiel removed internally.

      • Big Daddy

        I never did an indepth look into things just from a simple functional standpoint. What works and how it feels as a shooter.

    • Gary Kirk

      10mm is based on the 30 Remington.. 40 S&W is shortened 10mm..

      • Big Daddy

        true……I think more in terms of the fact that so many more .40s out there and used by so many agencies for a long time. The parent is not as well known as the child. Something like his father is known of but his grandfather isn’t even known by most folks these days. The Grandson is the popular and well known one. I know, strange way of looking at things but everybody’s different in that regard.

  • Cal S.

    I’ve had more malfunctions in my Glock 22 with .40 cal ammo than I ever have with the 9mm conversion barrel. It’s standing at 3-0 after about a year.

    I don’t count Tulammo, though. When you can’t even coax it in the chamber to begin with…

    • MarcoPolo

      I’m at one malfunction in about 16 years with a Glock 23c. I mentioned it to a Glock rep at a tradeshow, he said “You’re limp wristing it!”

      • Cal S.

        I don’t think that’s the case with me. It’s probable that it’s the factory reloads I’m using.

  • Bill

    As a writer your rebuttal would be a lot more credible if you had spelled “Farnam” correctly.

    • Pvw20

      That sentence immediately after the ‘author’s disclosure’……holy cripes; my English teacher would’ve ripped you a new one Nathan. After I read it a fourth time, I’ll read the rest of the article.

  • Kivaari

    Except for getting an extended barrel with threading I see no legitimate reason for an aftermarket barrel. Sure Glocks foul with plain lead bullets. The answer is don’t use plain lead bullets use jacketed. The cost is minor. We used tens of thousands of rounds of TMJ copper plated bullets (Speer, Berry’s and others) without any issue in 9mm +P+.

    • MikeSmith13807

      You see no benefit in increasing accuracy? Do you also think a handgun will never be used beyond 10 yards?

      • S. Plankenberg

        Factory Glock barrels are plenty accurate well beyond 10 yards.

        Lots of shooters ARE NOT.

        • S. Plankenberg

          Almost any Glock ( of the size of a model 19 and larger ) in the hands of a good shooter with decent ammo will ring a human torso-sized steel target at 50 yards and beyond with regularity.

          • BaconLovingInfidel

            Sure, Glock OEM barrels are plenty accurate for most purposes and offer other benefits over cut rifled barrels, but at least some of the best aftermarket barrels provide significant and quantifiable improvements in accuracy IF the shooter has built the skills to reach the capabilities of the OEM barrels.

          • S. Plankenberg

            No argument there, in most cases.
            But it is a pretty rare shooter that gets any accuracy benefit from a non-OEM barrel.

          • Deanimator

            For me (and a lot of other people) anything but hard cast lead bullets for anything besides self-defense carry are a non-starter.
            I can shoot my own cast bullet handloads, or not at all. I don’t have a YouTube channel and nobody buys my ammunition for me.

          • S. Plankenberg

            Why are lead bullets in Glock barrels a problem?
            I have always heard they were,but I know 3 shooters who shoot the hard-cast bullets all the time with no problems.
            Polygon rifling has been around for over 140 years, well before jacketed bullets were common, and were not considered particularly problematic in the past.
            Besides, the choice in bullet material is not just between soft and pure lead- at least one bullet manufacturer, Missouri Bullet company, offers intermediate-hardness bullets as well, which usually work better in almost any pistol at typical pistol velocities ( hot-end .357 Magnum excluded ).

          • Deanimator

            This is a debate which has raged for decades.
            Supposedly lead bullets should not be used in OEM Glock barrels because allegedly lead fouling builds up to the point where dangerous pressures are created.
            Does this really happen? I don’t know. I shot lots of hard cast lead bullets through my Glock 22’s OEM barrel with no problems at all.
            However, since I kept hearing the stories over and over, and simply refuse to shoot jacketed bullets for practice (and plated for ANY purpose), I punted and bought Storm Lake cut rifling barrels for my Glock 19 and 22. They were drop-in. I’ve never had a problem with either of them.

          • Kivaari

            There are “plated” bullets and then there are “plated” bullets. Copper “washed” is just a very thin coating that does little to prevent leading. In many pistols the fouling will be substantial. a good TMJ electroplated bullet like Rainier, Speer and Berry’s can be driven as fast as a swagged jacket. Soft lead bullets found in much of the commercial reloads can foul badly in 9mm (and any handgun bore) and it is those bullets that lead to leading in Glocks. Just look up Glock Kaboom leading to get pictures of ruined Glocks. It isn’t just Glocks but it can happen in just about any caliber that is fast like .357 magnum and 9mm.

          • FactsMuch?

            Proof/sources or else more hot air.

        • MikeSmith13807

          This is a common logical fallacy in these discussions. A bad shooter with an accurate gun will always shoot better than that bad shooter with a less accurate gun. I say the more you can do to reduce all variables except the shooter, the better.

          Then the shooter can concentrate on pursuing excellence and go for torso shots at a hundred yards instead of 50 yards.

          • S. Plankenberg

            It all depends on what you want to do with a pistol.
            Someone who wants to shoot in tactical or bullseye matches, or hunt, would have more stringent accuracy requirements than, say someone who only owns a pistol for defense.
            For defense, a gun hardly even needs rifling, considering most armed encounters occur at conversational distances measured in feet.

          • MikeSmith13807

            Mediocracy vs Excellence. Need vs Want. I would rather train to take a proactive head shot across a crowded room and also be ready for the close reactive shot than to only train for the close shot and not be ready when the opportunity to shoot the active shooter at distance arrives.

          • Deanimator

            I’ve known a number of people who were in real gunfights.
            NONE of them ever said to me:
            1. I wish I’d brought less ammunition.
            2. I wish I’d been less accurate.

          • S. Plankenberg

            See my post above.

          • Deanimator

            Sorry, I’m not in the NYPD.
            I actually have to hit what or whom at which I”m shooting.
            I don’t have:
            1. qualified immunity.
            2. a union lawyer.
            3. a bottomless pot of other people’s money for settlements and judgments.
            In EVERY case, I’m going to be held to a MUCH higher standard than the nitwit who shot Charles Kinsey.

          • S. Plankenberg

            I fairly regularly shoot most of my pistols out to 200 yards if I have a safe backstop.
            Been there. Done that. Won a little money and prizes doing so.

      • Kivaari

        We qualified to 50 yards. We mostly concentrated on 25 yds and very close range, since almost all shootings took place at arms length. What limits Glocks are the mushy triggers. We put in 3.5 connectors in them and that greatly improved accuracy.

        • SomeRandomGuy

          I would argue that factory Glock triggers, while somewhat heavy, break crisply at the wall between first and second stages. Most 3.5# connects MAKE them mushy with no palpable break-point.

          • Deanimator

            Both of my Glocks have Ghost 3.5lb. connectors and between them and the “$0.25 trigger job”, they’re great.

          • Kivaari

            Your $0.25 trigger job is I am sure the same thing I do with simple polishing using crocus cloth on the bearing surfaces. It works after just a few minutes of work.

          • Kivaari

            Not that I noticed.

        • liar liar

          A police department quals to 50 yards with side arms? How long will you be on here telling lies? You are always telling some bs that everyone knows better than, such as your le quals were with side arms at 50 yards, your deparment shot thousandz of rounds, etc. We all know that the average cop is basically gun retarded with little in the way of experience or gun skills. Why must you always try to convince us that your deparment was ran like the friggin SAS or something? Who the hell footed the ammo bill for your one of a kind unicorn department?

          • Kivaari

            We each fired around 350 rounds per month. We were much better trained than many departments. We also were issued MP5s in each patrol car. Quals on the MP5 took an initial minimum of 850 rounds then monthy shoots. Just because we had gun people at the top and they insisted on gun use. As a result we had nearly zero NDs. The last ever was after we switched to M4 carbines and the woman officer came close to shooting the patrol car.
            Some places spend the resources, many don’t. We had our own Dillon commercial machines in 9mm and 5.56mm.

          • Kivaari

            You didn’t read what I wrote.

          • Phil Elliott

            My local Dept, had one guy who would go to the back of the Parking lot after Quals. and everybody had left. and shoot from there, I think it was somewhere between 75 and 90 yrds, His RO. found out and made him quit, said pistols were only 25 yd, weapons. LMAO

        • Lonesome Whistle

          ” We put in 3.5 connectors in them and that greatly improved accuracy.”

          What agency were/are you in that did that?

          • Kivaari

            A small Western Washington Coastal town with 10 people. I retired in 2002. After I left where my last issue gun was a G34 they switched to G35s. The chiefs I had between 1988 and 1992 we strong gun people. They had been issuing semi-auto pistols and rifles for a decade before the others. They were actually ridiculed for being so strong on guns. Decades later when one chief retired I made a point of telling the other chiefs attending that he had led the way and they had to agree since all of them had come around copying our little department.

      • Kivaari

        If you can’t hit beyond 10 yards with a OEM Glock, you have a problems hooting.

        • MikeSmith13807

          I think you misunderstood. I was referring to a widely held view that since, statistically speaking, most self defense shootings happen at short ranges, therefore one should not worry about accuracy at longer distances.

          I say more accurate is always better, regardless of the range.

          • S. Plankenberg

            While I am in favor of developing as much skill as possible in any human endeavor, it must be said that most people ( good and bad ) that are successfully shot or knifed are shot or knifed by someone with little or no training.

    • Deanimator

      “The cost is minor” in what parallel universe?
      I tried plated bullets… ONCE. After one box of National Bullet plated bullets, that ship sailed, hit an iceberg and sank with all hands.
      For every serious bullseye shooter I know who uses plated bullets, I must know easily fifty who uses hard cast or swaged bullets. I’m guessing there’s a reason for that…

      • Kivaari

        We were shooting Glocks. You can’t use lead or thin plated bullets. We also had to get +P+ performance from the reloads to duplicate the weight and velocity of the duty ammunition. So, WE couldn’t use plain lead. A properly plated bullet can be driven fast enough from a Glock without leading. We fired tens of thousands of rounds and no one failed to qualify. I suggest you Try other brands of TMJ electro-plated bullets. I’ve had very good luck with Rainier, Speer and Berry’s.

        • Deanimator

          Actually, I can use hard cast or swaged lead bullets. As stated elsewhere, I have Storm Lake cut rifling drop-in barrels in both of my Glocks (19 and 22).
          Given that they perform wonderfully with those barrels and hard cast lead bullets, there’s no reason for me to spend more money for plated bullets which address a nonexistent (for me) “need”.
          If you like plated bullets, by all means use them.
          I don’t like them and don’t need them anyway, so even if they were only a penny more a box of 500, there’d be no reason for me to switch to them.

          • Kivaari

            Our issue guns did not have aftermarket barrels. We used OEM equipment. It makes sense for YOU but it never made sense for the department nor myself to use aftermarket barrels so we could shoot slightly less costly bullets. It really is only pennies when we bought tens of thousands of bullets at a time and they met the requirements of the gun and SOP. I’ve shot lots of cast bullets in a wide range of rifles and handguns. I like them in the right gun. How much do you save per bullet over bulk TMJ bullets? How much did the aftermarket barrel cost? How long did the minor savings you got take to pay for the barrel?
            Now considering we could not use aftermarket barrels in issue guns, just why would we waste our time with cast bullets?
            Personally, since Glock and other evidence says do not use cast bullets in Glock pistols why would I want to use them? If I am happy with the factory barrels and am now happy with factory ammunition (no more reloads for me, life is too short) I see no advantage of investing in casting gear or aftermarket parts. If you are a serious competitor that may make a difference. But most people aren’t even serious about shooting let alone reloading and casting.

          • Deanimator

            * Nobody pays for my ammunition or components except me.
            * I don’t buy 10,000 bullets at a time.
            * I’m not a government agency, nor do I work for one.
            * Plated bullets provide no benefit to ME at all.
            I’m never going to use plated bullets.
            I don’t care whether somebody else uses plated bullets or Vienna sausages.

          • Wow!

            I agree with Deanimator, for the reloader it is either cast or jacketed (Factory or home swaged). Like a decade ago plated bullets did have an edge on cleanliness, but with the proliferation of bullet coating, cast bullets are as clean if not cleaner than jacketed.

            It pains me too since I actually have an electroplating bullet setup that I developed before I discovered that you can literally bake paint on a bullet and save the hassle.

          • Kivaari

            Shop Midway or Berry’s you can shoot good TMJ bullets for the same cost.

          • Lonesome Whistle

            “Now considering we could not use aftermarket barrels in issue guns, ”

            THEN WTF are you doing IN THIS CONVERSATION????

          • Kivaari

            This is a two sided article starting with Farnam’s piece and then this rebuttal. So it has one author pitted against another author having oppossing views. My view supports one of those people in that switching barrels is not needed. Now as a private citizen I can do as I please as to what barrel to use. I prefer factory barrels as they are superior for what I do. If I were competing if may make sense to install a barrel with cut rifling and shoot cheaper bullets. I could invest hundreds of dollars into casting equipment to save money – but why?
            I can load good TMJ bullets which work very well, don’t lead and give me accuracy I’ve come to expect. I expect what the gun delivers with factory ammunition and now this late in life that is all I bother to shoot. Yes it costs more, but I am not getting bored running molds and a press.
            Now WTF is so off base considering this was a two sided argument that the cast bullet people seemed to think they held some form of high ground and superior intellect over those that recommend the factory barrels are good enough for most.

      • Kivaari

        I just priced bullets on Midway’s site. 1000 9mm 124 gr. TMJ Rainier bullets were $82.99 and hardcast 125 gr. were $83.98 ($41.99 per 500). We are talking pennies.

    • RSG

      After initial setup, folks can reload 9mm with hard cast for the cost of powder. So, around .03cents per round. How is that in anyway comparable to buying jacketed bullets?

      • Kivaari

        We were loading for a department. We used Glocks so plain lead bullets were a no go. If we bought cast bullets the cost would have been slightly less than plated. If we cast out own bullets we would have to pay hourly wages to who even did the casting and we still couldn’t shoot them in a Glock. Even for personal use, I used both hard cast and plated TMJ bullets in .38, .44. and 45ACP/AR and the cost of setting up with casting gear would take years to make it pay. I could buy for a few pennies all the bullets I needed without having to slave away at a furnace and keeping gang moulds running, then lubrisizing, and we still couldn’t shoot them in Glocks. The minor cost between never buying casting gear, man hours of labor, and buying bulk bullets just do not make casting worth it to me and many others. Those TMJ bullets could be driven at high velocity through 9mm or .357 magnum without leading. If you have free lead and more time that you don’t mind using sitting behind a furnace, then it makes sense for YOU. I never found casting bullets to be fun nor a good use of my time.

  • Louis Bethel

    Thanks for your clarification.
    In my experience, Glock barrels are “over-bored” to accomodate all ammo types. Including poor quality ammo.
    Readers may not be aware, but many issues are created by bullet shape.
    SAAMI allows a bullet to maintain maximum diameter for the length of the throat.
    But, SAAMI calls for a 2 degree taper in the throat of the barrel.
    Although bullet and barrel are within spec, there is an issue.
    The higher quality and tighter toleranced aftermarket barrels generally need better quality ammunition in many cases.

  • Kurt Ingalls

    Jumpin’ Jesus Christ……just go with makes your weapon go BOOM every time you put your booger hook on the boom switch….LOL…..cry babies……LMAO 🙂

  • Giolli Joker

    The real question is: how do aftermarket .40 barrels shoot Lego heads?

  • Jeff

    He also mentions that shooting lead in a polygonal rifled barrel makes “a gummy mess”. I shoot lead in a P30 and VP9. Two weeks ago I ran 650 rounds through my VP9 of traditionally lubed lead bullets and cleaned it with two wet patches, 10 passes of a brass brush and one more wet patch. Shine a light in the bore and it looks like a mirror. Plus lead makes the barrel last longer.

    If you want to upgrade your “Perfection”- go for it. If not, roll with that. All this intolerance is making need to go to my safe space- the range. 🙂

    • roguetechie

      Like valves in old cars?

      Please realize I’m for once not being a snarky jackass, it’s a genuine question

      • Jeff

        No, but interesting connection. If I recall, lead (forget which) was added to gasoline to raise the octane level to prevent detonation. It had the added benefit of making the valves run cooler. Been several decades,

        Now, as to lead bullets, if they are properly sized and of the correct alloy and lube, then they actually ride on a thin film of lube. Plus they are softer, so less wear and tear on the barrel. Same thing with the “new” polycoated bullets. I say “new” as casters have been doing this for years with powder coat. Jacketed bullets are just more abrasive- period.

        As to “not shooting lead in Glocks”- thousands(tens of thousands?) of bullet casters would beg to differ. Those who are unable to shoot cast bullets cleanly is because they are too dumb or lazy to figure it out. Fit, Alloy, Lube. In that order. Anything else is an Old Wive’s Tale or pure BS that the Google Machine will dispel in a minute.

        Sorry, not being harsh with you at all…..just those other posters in this thread that are spewing more fake news than CNN.

        • Kivaari

          Can you wear out a Glock barrel? It is my understanding that they go a couple hundred thousand rounds without wearing out. I know my gun had 30,000 rounds over 10+ years of use and it looked like new, even though all ammo shot through it was jacketed ammo. Most of that was +P+ ammo.

  • TrollingThunder

    “Farnam”, Nathan. It’s right there under the title of the article you linked. Your points are valid, though, and I appreciate the article.

  • ToddB

    I went and read the article being rebutted. The guy sounds so much like someone I used to talk to. He worked in a gun shop and knew EVERYTHING. To him there was only one pistol to own, a glock, everything else was just junk. He wouldn’t even shoot my guns like he would get cooties or something. All I had were ‘weird’ guns, what like a Browning HP or Ruger revolver? Made up some excuse about not shooting to much anymore, well unless it was a glock. Just as there was only one caliber, 45 ACP, everything else was…junk. He despised 40cal, even went as far as giving $100 less trade value on 40s in his shop. Not that he sold them cheaper. Why would he have need of an aftermarket barrel for a glock, he would not use a cast bullet of any kind. Wasn’t jacketed, yep you guessed it, junk.

    • RSG

      “The guy”. LMAO. Yeah, what does John know? Hahaha

      • ToddB

        Yea so I didn’t have to say who or where and you knew exactly who I was talking about. Must not have been far off the mark.

      • ToddB

        Not saying it was this John, but you could always ask about his time in the marines, tho I guess he quit telling people that at one point.

    • Zachary marrs

      .40 cal glocks sit MUCH longer than 9mm glocks.

      Paying similar money for something that sits for a long time and takes up space is a horrendous business strategy

      • ToddB

        Yes stocking something that does not move is not a sound strategy. But this shop isn’t giving less for trades and pricing the 40s to reflect that reality. But giving $100 less trades and still charging same price as any other caliber, no they wont move very well. If someone walks in and makes a fair offer on a 40 thats been in your case for a long time, a smart business owner would consider it. ‘Fair’ does not mean a loss, but maybe not make much on it. Once its gone, then you can order another caliber that does move to take its place. Or let it sit collecting dust, not making anything, hoping somebody will be willing to pay…eventually. The M&P I looked at had been there a good 6mo, and was still there 6 mo later.

        • Zachary marrs

          I understand that, just pointing it out

    • Old Vet

      As a guy who once worked a couple of years after retiring, in a gun shop, I was just the opposite. I wanted to hear all sides of the guns/ammo coming and going. I guess that is why the boss liked me so well. Became great friends too. I found listening sold a lot more guns in the long run. I remember selling one guy 7 guns in one sitting, just by saying to him things he wanted to hear….yeah, that is a good one, or it will fill a need for you…etc. I found most people have a set item they are looking for and rarely will you sell them something different.

      • ToddB

        Yours was a rare shop, most I go into are pretty set in their ways. One near me is great, you want it, he will try and find it. Doesn’t try to steer you to whats in the case. Doesn’t grumble under his breath about your choice, doesn’t inject politics into it. You want to buy a gun, he will sell you what you want.

        The guy I knew, odd I had a friend in a gun shop, but never bought a gun thru him. His friend price was more than me walking in off the street at the place near me. I would ask ‘hey can you find this’, never could seem to find the guns I could google up in 10 seconds, or my local shop never had problems finding it. Usually it revolved around not walking lock step with his politics, so had no interest in finding me something. Politics determined your price.

        • Old Vet

          My boss frowned on politics in the work shop and I agreed. If the customer brought it up, we usually deferred to a lighter topic of conversation as casually as we could. I guess our shop was a conservative bastion, but all were welcome. All of us would grab the computer, catalogs, or flyers to try to find you what you wanted. I recall a shop across town that was very much like the one you describe. He finally sold out. I miss working in the atmosphere though, but I retired for good and moved to Florida to escape the cold of the north.

  • Deanimator

    I’ve got a 2nd Gen Glock 19 and Glock 22. Both of them have Storm Lake cut rifling drop-in after market barrels.
    I’ve never had one iota of trouble with either.
    They’re easily as accurate as the OEM barrels if not more so. The Glock 19 is so accurate that during the practical exercise for my Ohio CHL, having gotten bored after shooting out the center of the target, I proceeded to shoot out the copywrite notices etc.
    Those Storm Lake barrels were well worth the expense for the ability to safely shoot hard cast lead bullets alone. Some of us don’t drive Lexuses. We shoot our own handloads with hard cast lead bullets for practice as much as we can.

  • Kodi

    I can’t address all the technical issues nor do I disagree with anything said but what I do know from personal experience is:
    I replaced the factory .40 cal barrel in my early production G27 Glock with a Lone Wolf stainless barrel in 9MM and found functioning 100% and improved accuracy. My motivation was twofold: 1.To reduce the sharpness of the recoil of the sub-compact G27 to make it easier for my wife to train with and therefore more likely to train more often w/o looking for ways to avoid or shortcut the training. 2. To allow me to use lead bullets thereby reducing training costs without having to worry about violating Glocks safety and warranty warnings.
    The move worked on both counts and now we rarely use the .40 cal factory barrel. I’m thinking of replacing the factory barrels in our G19s with LW 9MM barrels to enable lead bullets and to see if we get the same noticeable increase in accuracy.

  • GuyUsingHisWords

    I would say avoid aftermarket barrels that are not hammer-forged because I’m a hammer-forge snob (in all rifled barrels: rifle and pistol). Mostly due to production consistency of barrels from to the hammer-forge process, steel density, harmonic rigidity and lifespan.

    Also, I’ve seen way too many after-market glock barrels banana-peel out with a followup-squib shot or a double-charge and wind up ruining a good slide. When I’ve seen it happen with a hammer-forged barrel, you get a bulge in the barrel but the slide is usually totally salvageable.

    Granted, if you’re a handloader and know wtf you’re doing, I can see the merit in using aftermarket barrels for the sake of prolonging the web in your brass.

    That being said, having used to be a .40S&W shooter, and now fully disavowed, shooting a Glock 19/17 I could care less about “chamber support” as with 9mm the factory barrels are fully supported* (read: negligibly unsupported). Also I don’t want to sacrifice proper feed-ramp angle to gain a little more chamber, as I no longer have the spare time to handload anything.

    Personally, at least with their 9mm bbls, I find factory Glock barrels to be tack-drivers out of the box as-is.

    But, just one man’s $0.02. Take it. Leave it. Ignore it. Whatever.

  • Tassiebush

    What is OEM the acronym for?

    • ostiariusalpha

      Original equipment manufacturer.

      • Tassiebush

        Ta for that!

  • Gary Kirk

    Glocks tend to be a first gun for a lot of people, they pick up a police trade in fairly cheap.. Then as they get into the hobby, decide to “upgrade” their gun. But if the cheapness continues, they make the mistake of getting some shoddy aftermarket crap, and then…


    • Scouse

      In visiting the Glock plant in Austria, three times, each time I was totally blown away by the spotless work stations, and the happiness of the workers.

      They close for a month in the summer. Vacation European style!

      Be hard not to produces good products in that atmosphere.
      My Glock 19 carry pistols (I have two set up exactly the same) are very accurate, and have never malfunctioned on me. I only shoot new factory ammo.
      Do not shoot as much as I once did.

      In a carry weapon, it must go bang every time you press the trigger! And shoot into 2″ at 15 yards, if you do your part.

  • Joel

    “With Glock barrels not being known for fantastic accuracy, why try to make a point on rifling type when the quality of the bore from an the aftermarket is generally considered better?”

    What’s the knock on Glock barrel accuracy?

    • Kivaari

      I never felt the Glock barrels were bad. But, I never tried an aftermarket barrel as they made no sense to me.

  • Geoff Timm

    Sigh, if you don’t like Glocks, just buy a different pistol.
    Who recently purchased a Walther.

  • Hilltop

    I decided to beef up my Glock 21 to shoot .45 Super a couple of years ago. Using the factory barrel left really scary looking smiles on the brass. So, I got a Lone Wolf barrel. No more smiles. I just run the after-market barrel on it all the time now and it works fine with everything. Hard to say if I avoided a kaboom with the factory barrel but I sure feel better about it…

  • Lonesome Whistle

    The whole article is screaming for an editor. It’s almost un-readable.

  • nate

    glock perfection: after you replace the barrel, sights, guide rod, trigger, stipple the frame and have magazine extensions, recoat the whole thing with cerakote, mill the slide with fancy cutouts, and then replace the glock with something else-perfection

  • Wow!

    I’m printing this article out and putting copies next to the glock shelf every time some Glock purist tells me aftermarket barrels are bad. I couldn’t have written it better myself.