You might be asking “Patrick, if the Glock is ‘perfect’ why did you feel the need to alter the frame?” An easy answer, because it isn’t perfect. The truth is the Gen4 Glock 19 is about as close to perfect as I have found for a handgun but there are some changes that I wanted to make to tailor the firearm to me.
I called my good friend Tom McEnroe at TXT Custom Gun Works, a local Glock Stippler and firearm manufacturer, about modifying two of my guns to fit me a bit better. As much as I like the Glock 19, those stupid finger grooves have got to go.
Here is how my Battlefield Green Gen4 Glock 19 started its journey, box stock with a set of Ameriglo iDot sights on top. I prefer the gun without any backstraps, when the gun is stippled, I will have Tom remove the groves that the back straps slide into.
Once I got the gun back from Tom, it was nothing short of beautiful. Many people feel that stippling ruins the aesthetics of the gun, I disagree. Fair warning, I haven’t cleaned the 19 in about 1700 rounds now. The day prior to this photo being taken I took a class put on by Apex Expert Solutions. You might recall they were the trainers at the Springfield Armory event. My friends Bryan and Steve really put me and the gun through a course of fire that would make just about any gun fail.
For those that are wondering, the light mounted is a Surefire X300U-A. I chose that one since it mounts to poly framed pistols a bit better than the X300U-B.
Tom used his cross hatch pattern on my 19 that is a bit different than the microdot pattern he used on my Glock 43. It isn’t so aggressive that I am not able to carry it concealed against the skin if need be but I would prefer an undershirt when carrying for long periods.
The top part of the backstrap and radius under the “beavertail” area was left untextured because when shooting there is a small amount of rotation during recoil. That little bit of abrasion could tear the web of your hand if shooting heavily in a class. Tom tells me that the people that request this area stippled often regret the decision and had decided to leave it smooth as a default.
He also textures the area where the support thumb often rides and can shape the polymer to provide a gas pedal like shelf if requested. I let him do what he felt was most optimal for my shooting style, after all, he is the professional.
Tom also slicked up the action a bit and filed the trigger safety flush with the face of the trigger making it much more comfortable to shoot for long periods of time. Previously I would get “Glock Finger” when I shot the 19 extensively, now that the trigger face is flush I no longer have that issue.
The TXTurizing process (what Tom calls his stipple jobs) for my gun also included a double undercut. Before I left the gun with Tom he asked if I wanted a double undercut or just the normal one under the trigger guard. Again, I left it to the professional and am quite glad I did. The double undercut looks wonderful and allows me to get the pistol deeper in my hand than ever before.
You notice the finger grooves are missing, the best benefit of the frame work yet. While I can shoot a gun with the grooves, they fall into a less than optimal place, directly under my fingers. Tom normally leaves the top one but I asked him to remove it, the result is a grip that now fits like a glove instead of being adequate.
As you might expect, the reverse side of the gun is just as attractive as you would think. Tom did a wonderful job with my Glock.
He even stippled the factory end plate for cosmetic reasons. I think it is a rather nice touch even if it didn’t add any functional benefit.
While my 19 was being worked on I also gave him my EDC Glock 43 for his micro-dot texture. I don’t much like how the factory Glock feels in my hand and had installed a Talon grip on the 43, but several months of hot Texas summer caused a bit of the glue to fail. Instead of replacing it with another sticker I decided to have Tom apply something carry friendly and permanent.
Since I am sure someone is going to ask, the gun is equipped with Ameriglo Hackathorn sights (my dad commandeered the XS Big Dots that I prefer on this gun), Vickers mag catch, Vickers slide stop, and Taran Tactical +1 baseplate.
Tom took care to stipple the frame enough to provide some extra grip, but not so much as to make it uncomfortable against bare skin while carrying concealed. The microdot texture is attractive but does hold dead skin quite well, nothing that can’t be taken care of with some soapy water and a toothbrush.
Again Tom stippled where the support thumb might fall to provide a bit of grip if you drive the gun with your thumb. While not exactly a shooting style I use, I do like how it looks.
The 43 got a trigger guard undercut as well to allow me to get higher on the pistol than I could previously. Tom skipped the double undercut on this gun because the benefit is outweighed by the thinner trigger guard on the small single stack gun. He didn’t want to weaken the guard too much by removing material.
Again, the flip side of the gun is every bit as good looking as the other side. I like how the form follows function.
I have had the guns back from Tom for a couple of months now and hadn’t even noticed his mark on the inside of the dust cover. I guess I should clean my Glocks more often.
So how do they shoot? I had to hit the range to find out. My first impressions were rather positive, the gun felt wonderful in my hand and I was able to get higher on the grip than ever before.
I grabbed some frames from the Glock 19 video that I did for TFBTV and found that the muzzle flip was next to nonexistent. I found that the pistol came up on target faster than it did previously and the sights settled back on target faster as well. I think getting higher on the gun has had a big role in mitigating as much recoil as I can.
The story was much the same with my Glock 43 but the difference wasn’t as apparent. I still much prefer the gun to how it was stock.
Work starts at $200 for pocket pistols like my Glock 43 and goes up depending on options. Larger guns like my Glock 19 starts at $250 and again can go up depending on what you have done. To get a Glock 19 stippled like mine Tom charges $300.
So the question remains, is it worth it? I think so. Prior to having the Glock 19 stippled by Tom, I wasn’t a huge fan of any Glock other than the 43. In fact, over the years I have tried very hard to like the platform several times and have bought and sold nearly a dozen Glocks trying to fall in love with them. Now that I have had some quality time on the range with a stippled gun that fits my shooting style better than a stock gun, I can say that the Gen4 Glock 19 is easily one of my top two handguns.