Behind every great silencer is a great barrel – literally. If you shoot suppressed, consider what life would be like with shoddy threads that leave your $600+ and year-long-wait hearing protection device hanging at a non-concentric angle to your boreline. Cringeworthy. Ok, perhaps I’m being slightly melodramatic. Even so, the importance of a quality threaded barrel simply cannot be over looked. Adding to the of the lineup of currently available options, the team at Backup Tactical recently introduced a series of threaded barrels for Glock pistols. And I was lucky enough to give them a shot (I’ll be here all week).
Allow me to deviate for a moment. Writing reviews is hard. No, I’m not talking about the type of ‘hard’ that means only the ‘select elite’ are capable of evaluating a gun product and slinging words onto a page. I’m talking about trying to accurately describe the positives and negatives of a particular item that is designed, by default, to just plain work. Forget style, that’s a subjective characteristic that will never get a full consensus.
For example, if I am buying new tires, all of my questions will revolve around one major topic ‘will this rubber keep my car on the road in XYZ conditions. Sure we can discuss tread pattern, ride comfort and sidewall durability, but in the end, the majority of drivers expect their tires to just work. (White letters out, by the way. Always.)
Now back to reviewing guns and accessories. Sure, we all have our tastes and styles, but in the end, all we ask out of our products is that they work as advertised. And for single-piece items like barrels, for example, the review is seemingly straight forward – do they perform as a threaded barrel should in the host gun for which they were designed? Yes? End of story. Which admittedly makes for a short narrative.
For those of you who don’t like to read or find my review style annoying, I’ll save you the time. The barrels from Backup Tactical are very well made, perform flawlessly and function perfectly in both third and fourth generation Glock 19 pistols. (Glock 17s are on the way).
For the rest of you, I’ll take you through the details.
Packaging and Unboxing:
The Backup Tactical barrels come well packaged in a simple but effective clear clamshell case with a basic information card. Each one comes with a uniquely designed color matched thread protector. I still prefer my stars and bars model from last years BT thread protector review, but they have added some new designs that will have broad appeal.
Currently, there are four colors available:
- Flat Dark Earth
- Olive Drab Green
All of the colors are attractive in their own right and purchasing decisions will come down to strictly personal preference. If it matters, the FDE version looks slightly more gold than brown. Personally, I like the color of the silver barrel against the black slide.
SMALL BATCH PRODUCTION • PRECISION MACHINED • MATCH GRADE ACCURACY • PRECISE DROP-IN FIT • LONG-LIFE DURABLE FINISH BACKUP TACTICAL is synonymous with PRECISION MACHINING. We produce our barrels in SMALL BATCHES so we can focus on machining each barrel to the most exacting standards and tolerances in the industry. The result is MATCH GRADE ACCURACY and a PRECISE DROP-IN FIT. Accuracy and fit are paramount, but our parts have to look cool too. Backup Tactical uses the most cutting-edge finishes that guarantee extreme durability AND the custom look our customers want.
- Glock 19 (Glock 17 coming) 9mm
- 1/2″ x 28
- Material: 416 Steel
- Twist: 1 turn in 16″
- Rifling: Pulled broach/SAAMI Spec
- MSRP: Starting at $189
- Street: $159+
Inspection and Machining:
All three of the barrels I was sent to review and inspect were cleanly made with no visible machining marks or chatter. The feed ramp, chamber, all the surfaces and especially the threads were free from burrs and other artifacts – polished and clean.
To my eye, the pulled broach rifling is pristine with defined lands and grooves. The crown, which can obviously have an effect on accuracy, was perfect on all three of my examples. Again, these are the characteristics you should demand from any quality aftermarket Glock barrels.
At the heart of a threaded barrel are, of course, the threads. Those in the market to suppress their Glocks will want in-spec threading designed specifically for silencer attachment. At present, Backup Tactical manufactures only 9mm barrels with the 1/2″ x 28 threads per inch (TPI) pitch, but other flavors are in the works. If you get bored, last year we published a basic primer on barrel threading here.
These threads are cut clean and sharp – threading on a properly manufactured mount is smooth and free of any grit or binding. One minor observation and I say this with zero training as a machinist, the first thread on the barrel might be actually cut too sharp leaving it prone to minor damage. Some barrel makers slightly round off the first thread to prevent nicks and dents. However, I intentionally left off the thread protector and transported the barrel/pistol combination to force the issue. The threads still look perfect.
Shooting WITH the Backup Tactical ThreadED barrels:
I used two platforms to test these Glock 19 barrels: a third generation gun that normally runs another manufacturers threaded barrel and a fourth generation MOS. As a general rule, pistol barrels don’t require a break in period, but I put one full magazine through each, unsuppressed, followed by a full cool down period before opening the flood gates.
For each gun I ran four courses of fire, one unsuppressed and three suppressed with either a light weight SilencerCo Octane or a heavy ‘Form 1’ silencer. Each course consisted of fifty rounds from distances between five and 25 yards. At the end, I ran a magazine through each barrel/pistol combination seated and braced, slow-fire at a steel target 50 yards away. My ammo of choice was 147gr Winchester Ranger, which was all subsonic at the muzzle through each of the barrels.
With approximately 4-500 rounds between the two barrel/host/silencer combinations, I did not experience a single failure to feed, eject or fire. Both barrels returned to battery cleanly with every shot. Again, these barrels just plain worked.
As you would expect, I didn’t exactly shoot for groups. However, the Backup Tactical barrels were on target at every distance, putting fist size groups on steel. I was impressed.
Like I said at the beginning, reviewing firearms accessories, especially those with no moving parts, is a tricky task. Part of me wants to rate this type of gear on a pass/fail basis. But where’s the fun in that? I may as well have zero text and post a picture of either a thumbs up or a thumbs down.
But, I really enjoyed my short time with these barrels. If you are in the market for a threaded Glock barrel, I see no reason why you shouldn’t buy from Backup Tactical. They are well made, attractive, priced right and just plain work.
- None noted
- Personal preference – I prefer a smaller, but deeper logo engraving.
- Well made
- Flawless function