Glock 27 Upgrades: Simple Steps for Enhancing Combat Effectiveness

A couple of months ago, after purchasing a new Gen 4 model, I discussed the “forgotten Glock 27.” Even though it has been eclipsed by the single-stack 9mm Glock 43 and various other brands of compact single-stack carry guns, the Glock 27 still has some features that make it superior to the single-stack compact defensive pistol.

The “Pocket Rocket”

Originally nicknamed the “pocket rocket” — along with the 9mm Glock 26 and the .357 Glock 33 — the Glock 27’s standard magazines hold 9 rounds of powerful .40-caliber ammunition in a relatively light, compact package. One of the main things that caused me to buy a replacement for my original G27 was the excellent accuracy that I, and many others, noted from this pistol. The basic sights are decent, as are the controls, but there are improvements that can be made to enhance the 27’s combat capabilities.

The reason I decided to get another Glock 27 was that I was thinking about an Islamic terrorist attack that occurred here in Columbus, Ohio in February of this year. The terrorist entered an Israeli-owned restaurant with a machete and began hacking away at customers while shouting the obligatory “Allahu Akbar.” Fortunately, the only fatality was the terrorist himself at the hands of Columbus Police officers after he fled, although some of the customers were severely injured. Unfortunately, there were no armed citizens in the restaurant at the time of the attack. This was undoubtedly due to the fact that the restaurant owner had a “no weapons welcome” sign posted on the door. The terrorist apparently didn’t see it.

So, I thought, if I was in this situation — sitting in a crowded restaurant where an attack by a fanatical terrorist against innocent civilians is occurring — what kind of easily concealable combat pistol would I want on my person to deal with that threat? The answer to this question started with the Glock 27, but there were some things I wanted to add to make it the most effective combat pistol possible.

Upgrading the Glock 27 Sights

The first upgrade to be made was the sights. While the basic Glock sights are perfectly adequate, there are some better options available. I feel that the very best are available from XS Sights — their Big Dot Tritium Express Sights, to be exact.

I have been using XS Express Sights on my duty handguns since 2006, after working with them on our aircraft assault training program at our 727 Counter-Terror Training Unit. They are extremely fast and precise in crowded, close-quarters combat situations.

The front sight consists of a large white dot that contains a tritium insert in the middle. The rear sight is a shallow “V” notch with a white vertical stripe in the center. While a vertical tritium insert is available for the rear, I prefer the plain white rear. In low-light conditions, with fast moving action at close range, all I want to see is that glowing front dot on the center of the threat, which greatly simplifies the sight picture. All one needs to do in normal light conditions to align the Express sight is to put that dot into the shallow V-trough and center it on the target. Properly aligned, the white-dot front and white-stripe rear will look like a “lollipop.” This also makes XS sights simpler for a new shooter to understand — and get good hits with.

Crimson Trace Lasergrip Sights

The other thing I added to my Glock 27 was a set of Crimson Trace Lasergrip sights. While Crimson Trace has the new Laserguard and Laserguard Pro sights available for Gen 4 Glocks, they attach to the triggerguard and require a special holster (which Crimson Trace includes). As of this writing, this greatly limits my holster options, which is why I went with a set of original red Crimson Trace Lasergrips for my Glock 27.

The Glock Lasergrips are mounted at the rear of the pistol frame. There is nothing interfering with most standard holsters, as the laser module protrudes on the right side of the gun only about an inch forward from the rear. Thus they work without modifying most standard holsters. I found that the Lasergrip-equipped Glock 27 also worked with my Gould & Goodrich B816 leather ankle holster — although a small amount of stretching of the thumb break was needed to get it to fit. If I was seated in a restaurant or any public place, or I was driving my car, my quickest draw would be from an ankle rig. Even though the Glock 27 is at the maximum end of the comfort spectrum for ankle carry, the Gould & Goodrich B816 makes ankle carry as comfortable as possible.

I installed LG-852 Grips in a few minutes and adjusted it so the red laser dot rested on top of my aligned front sight at about 15 feet. Under normal interior lighting conditions, the red laser dot is highly visible and even faster than the XS Express sights, as there is no alignment needed. Look at the threat and put the red (green Lasergrips are also available) dot on it — which is something you can do from all sorts of odd positions since the iron sights aren’t needed. The best thing the laser sight dot allows you to do is to positively identify friend from foe, which is why we also equipped our pistols with them for our counter-terror training program. With the XS sights as backup (or as primary sights in bright sunlight), the combination allows you to dominate the fight.

Remaining Modifications to My Glock 27

The remaining modifications were less critical, but still important enough to mention. Two of them are available from Pearce Grips. One is the Glock Grip Frame insert to fill in the open space in the frame to the rear of the magazine. I like blocking this space out since the opening is just another place to trap dirt or other material. The other was to add Pearce Grip Extensions to two of my three magazines. The grip extensions add extra room for my pinky finger and improve my overall shooting grip. I left one magazine with the standard flush-fit baseplate intact in case I needed maximum concealability of my Glock 27.

The last addition that I’m adding was not available at the time of this writing — a Glock extended slide release. My gun shop was out, so I have to order it from another source. The small extension of the replacement slide release allows my thumb to drop the slide without adjusting my grip. And yes, I use the slide release for the purpose John M. Browning designed it for. Once I have that last part, my Glock 27 will be perfection (in my eyes) for defending myself and others from any threat to come down the pike.

Sources:

www.glockusa.com
www.xssights.com
www.crimsontrace.com
www.gouldusa.com
www.pearcegrip.com

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