Glock 101: Basic Tips for New Pistol Users

There is no doubt that for civilians and cops alike, Glock pistols reign supreme—at least for pistols designed after the year 1911. The Glock has many advantages, a few disadvantages, and a few areas that could use some improvement.

Glock Advantages

First, the advantages. The simplicity of operation is probably the Glock’s most recognized advantage. There is no manually operated safety that takes conscious effort to operate. There’s no chance of an error involving a safety that is on when the user intended for it to be off.

Another advantage is the light weight and low maintenance of the Glock, which comes from the polymer frame and Tenifer™ impregnated slide and barrel, which nearly eliminates rust with the most basic of care.

Glock Disadvantages

The disadvantages go hand in hand with the advantages. The light trigger pull (5.5 pounds) and lack of a manual safety require much more attention to where your trigger finger is. It MUST be kept on the frame of the gun until the moment of firing is imminent. Holstering a Glock requires making sure that nothing gets in between the trigger and the holster. It also absolutely precludes stuffing a holster-less Glock into your waistband. Engaging in this practice could result in you missing a few body parts.

There are also a few tweaks that can be made to help give you an operational advantage. I recommend the addition of a Glock factory extended slide release to speed reloads. I know there are those who insist that the way to transition from slide lock back to a ready pistol is to pull back the slide with the weak hand to release it. The reason given is that under stress, fine motor skills deteriorate to the point that one can’t manipulate the slide release. If this theory were true, then our deteriorated fine motor skills would also keep us from pulling the trigger and from activating the magazine release with our thumb.

I favor the factory adjustable rear sight and white dot front on 9mm and .40 caliber pistols due to the different bullet weights and velocity ranges of those rounds. The .357 SIG and the .45 ACP have fewer choices. Also avoid the .45 GAP. It is an unpopular round with no advantages.

Also to be avoided is the extended magazine release. It is sure to get bumped while carried in the holster, thus dumping the magazine at inopportune times. Further, all current manufacture Glock magazines are designed to drop free from the pistol. Yet I frequently see shooters using their weak hand to rip empty magazines clear. This is because of the structure of the Glock release button. When you push the release button, part of the button mechanism pushes out on the right side of the frame. If you are blocking the mechanism with your hand, the magazine will release, but won’t drop free because you are keeping the release button from being pushed all the way through. Turn or relax your grip at the index finger a bit during reloads. You may consider a grip plug to cover the opening in the grip and keep gunk out. I’ve used them on my Glocks for 22 years.

Finally, don’t over lubricate Glocks! It only takes 5 drops of lubricant for the entire gun after cleaning. Follow the instruction manual, and maybe a few of my tips, and you will maximize the Glock advantage. Next week we will examine which Glock is right for you!

Related: Learn how to improve your handgun accuracy: 101 Accuracy Secrets…