Monthly Archives: February 2014

Frankenglock – Tuning the magazine release.

My hands are well sized.  I’ve found that I with my master grip – the one that enables recoil management and trigger pull – I can reach the Glock magazine release.  I couldn’t quite actuate it.  This resulted in having to lose that master grip during reloads and re-establish it afterwards.  I would like to say this always happened, but testing has proved otherwise.

There are extended magazine releases available.  In my opinion the OEM was too big.  It aggravated grip under recoil.  TangoDown and Larry Vickers have released two versions of an extended magazine that are longer then the OEM stock – but less so then OEM extended.  Retail on the Vickers release is ~$17, on an Extended OEM it’s $4.  With more than a few pistols to upgrade tweaking the extended OEM part was the way for me to go.

Removing the magazine release is very easy.  It requires the slide removed from the frame and a small flathead screw driver.  This action will be performed repeatedly as you test your fit.  I had ordered one additional release to sacrifice for sanding down too far while fitting – establishing a floor of usability.

Belt sanders remove material fast and files remove material surgically.  It was a half dozen cycles of material removed, installed, tested, uninstalled.  Once I had a release that provided advantage over the stock OEM part, but was not larger then it needed to be  I cut ridges in using a hacksaw blade.  During multiple dry fire cycles I used the tuned release and did not experience any adverse effects.  I was able to maintain my master firing grip and manage reloads.  After the initial proving I moved to field testing with my carry gun.  Over the course of a few physical days (and the resulting naps) I had no “in holster” magazine releases.  Satisfied with these results I replicated the tuned release for my remaining guns, installed and tested each.

The numbers at a glance:

Glock’s “Extended” magazine releases are the standard 45/10mm magazine releases.

Stock OEM – 0
Extended OEM +.75
Vickers Extended GMR-01 +.05
Vickers Extended GMR-02 +???
Tuned –


04-24-2014 Always forward.

Stilling pulling a lot of weight.  Fight club on Monday (Thanks Abe and George!)   Dry fire has been very regular.  In just two weeks I’ve seen my strong hand only work improve.

The latest Dry-Fire routine is Paul Sharp’s super simple basic set – From ready gun 10 reps SHO, 10 reps WHO.  From concealment 10 reps SHO, 10 reps WHO.  There’s no reloading, no movement – so yeah, there are some gaps.  On the upside is it takes 5 minutes to run though.  If I’m not wearing pants (heh) I’ll do the concealment reps starting at the traditional #2 position.

One of the hidden strengths of this simple routine is it gets you into motion.  After my 40, if I still have slack time I’ll work reloads and movement.  It’s a lot more likely that I’ll take the 5 minutes to run through the set and then take another five to work on reloads then it is that I’ll block ten minutes off.

Chicks this weekend.  They’re keeping the cat occupied and tweeting happily in the office.

Pistol Modification Justifications

Just about forever, I’ve been a “keep the gun stock” sort of guy.  My introduction to pistolcraft was at a Modern Technique type range.  Mike Dalton and “Uncle” Scotty were the godfathers, and I worked with their Apostles.  Everyone carried 1911’s strong side in a Avenger style holster.  It was a good, solid foundation to have and a great group of guys (and gals.)  Now regardless of the fact that damned near everyone’s 1911 “Hogue” electropenciled on some interior surface I was instructed to keep my gun stock and learn to shoot it well.  Scratches and worn bluing were a sign of character.  Ammo was cheap and I was blessed to have a job that both paid well and was results oriented.  As such, I spent a lot of time at the range.

In retrospect, I did a lot wrong.  The money I turned into noise and sent downrange is shameful.  The firearms purchased chasing the hot new fad, just as rough.  All of this experience drove me to where I am today.  One of the key pieces of advice was to not customize a gun – learn to shoot it well stock.  One of the first pistol matches I went to the difficulties I had hitting a half an exposed IDPA target at maybe 10 yards was insightful.  An action job and new sights would surely… No.  It’s not the bow, it’s the Indian – and then old timers would prove it to me.  Ironing out my problems meant that I could manage most any pistol unhindered.

…and yes, it worked out.  While typing this out I questioned if my pistol skills have degraded since these golden memories.  While I may be suffering a temporary “winter set back” I can say with the authority of a shot timer that I am as good of a pistol shot now as I ever have been.  Now, on to the common reasons not to modify your pistol:


This is a totally valid reason not to modify a firearm.  If your firearm doesn’t function reliably, it’s worthless.  Trigger and firing controls may result in legitimate accidental discharges (hammer following slide) or light strikes.  Safeties may be unintentionally disengaged, engaged or fail all together.  Extended magazine releases may cause magazines to be unseated or dumped unexpectedly.  Oversized or extended slide stops/catches/releases may result in a failure to lock back.  Even miniscule changes may negativley impact performance.  The after market slide-stop in a Glock that causes the gun to fail to go into battery, the grip sock that retards the magazine release, adjustable sights that loosen up.

Masking Shooter Deficiency

Of questionable merit.  The standard line is that modifications that make the gun “easier to shoot” will result in poor fundamentals.  I agree with this to some extent.  If a shooters ultimate goal is a comprehensive understanding and deep skill of the pistol, then a stock gun will perform just as well as a “riced out” gun.  If the shooter has limited interest (or time) but still needs to be proficient then make their equipment as easy to operate as possible.

Under stress…

Under stress you will be unable to operate (choose your favorite:  slide release, safety, magazine release, trigger.)  Of questionable merit.  You hand someone whose never shot a gun with an external safety a Beretta 92 and they’ll fuck it up.  I’ve seen jackasses fail to execute a double action trigger pull and start down the “Dis aint werkin!” decision tree.  Again, this comes down to the shooters desire.  Being able to execute a robust, “works with anything” response to a weapon failure is a strength.  If you have the time and dedication, executing weapon specific responses can reduce that “down time.”

I’ve strayed from the core intent of this article.  It is clear a dogma/Manual of Arms post will need to be written in the near future.

Like F1 racing, there’s a point where minimal increases in performance involve enormous costs.  Or, alternately, you start breaking some rules.  I have some “soft” requirements for when this path was traveled on:

Concealment, for me, means concealed.  You’ve seen those folks who consider a shirt over a firearm “concealed.”  My expectation of concealment is that under a “I’m looking for a gun” inspection and inadvertent “bump” frisking I’ll pass unnoticed.  Tactics and techniques to minimize exposure will be taken.  Life is not the IDPA’s “scarecrow” rule.

All purpose usage.  Night, day, home, camping, summer, winter, et al.  I want to run one gun.  This is an organizational simplification.

With some encouragement from the peanut gallery I’m going to pursue the following:

A G19 with the grip reduced to a 26 length.

Pro – Conceal-ability of a G26, sight radius of a G19, rail accessory capable.
Con – Situational; reduced magazine capacity (15 rounds to 10.)Risk – Feeding and reliability*

A “tuned” magazine release.

Pro – Ability to maintain master grip without having to shift grip**
Con -None
Risk – Inadvertent magazine dump.

A TLR-1 (this is why G-19 frame is butchered)

Pro – WML, additional weight.
Con – None
Risk – Feeding and reliability*.

Frame Stippling

Pro – Increased traction under all conditions.Con – None
Risk – None

The immediate inconsequential risk is the guns resale value.  This is irrelevant to me, should this work this will be the gun I carry, low profile, ever day.

*Feed and reliability concerns.  I’ve chopped a G17 to 19 length and hung a TLR-1 on it and tested it.  There would be a period of time where I would be interested in proving the G16/26 w/ TLR1 would be functional with G26, 19, 17 and 33round mags.  This concern stems from an abundance of caution and some understanding of the Glock 22’s difficulties with particular WML’s and standard capacity magazines.

**Typically there’s some grip shifting on a magazine change on a G26.  The pinky has to uncurl from underneath the magazine.  Will a tuned magazine release assist with this?  I don’t know, but I’m willing to test it.

I will strive to verify reliability, expect the gun to be as functional as a G26 under stress and feel that this franken-glock has the possibility to become the one gun, with me all the time.  More to come as the project proceeds.

2014-02-09 Weekly Update

This week was decent.  I committed to exercise and dry-fire all week, ended up  executing 4/7 days.  Fight club on Friday night was good but light.  Daily success is measured by a clean kitchen and prepped lunches.  The diet is more miss then hit at this point.  As always, staying focused and on track is challenging.  I prepped the chick brooder for it’s new guests – they will arrive in the next week or so.

I proto-type my knives using kydex and turned out a few this weekend for touchy-feely inspection.  Nothing passed muster.  Also started down the custom Glock path.  Articles regarding that coming soon.

2014-01-12 Running the belt from one end to the other…

2014 is rocking into its second full week. I’ve been doing a mix of LSD cardio, tabata and circuit training. On the prep front I’ve begun testing some mylar bag storage. First range trip of 2014 was a cold one, but the weather was still good. Rifle Zero’s verified and one FAST failed.

Many more to come.