GLOCK G19 Gen5 9mm

The standard: GLOCK 19 Gen5 (Josh Wayner for TTAG)

GLOCK 19 upgrades are practically an industry of their own. It’s one of the most popular self-defense tools in the world and they’ve become a big part (and some of the fun) of owning the gun for some owners. It’s like having a muscle car back in the day; you can modify them and upgrade them in so many ways it makes the head spin.

We aren’t going to get too deep into specific makes and models of products; the Paradox of Choice sets in hard when it comes to aftermarket GLOCK upgrades. (That’s where you can’t make a choice because you too many things to choose from.) Instead, we will be concentrating on the general stuff that you might want to upgrade on your GLOCK.

The best type of GLOCK 19 upgrades, of course, is to sell your GLOCK and buy a 1911.

Ha! Just kidding. (Maybe.) You can leave an angry note in the comments if you want.

Here are 6 items to start with when upgrading your GLOCK 19 pistol, whether you use yours for concealed carry or home defense. Part of why some people love to own GLOCKs is because of all the things you can upgrade on them, and these are the places where many people start. Be careful before buying however; you need to make sure it’s compatible with your GLOCK pistol.

Zev GLOCK trigger (Credit:

First is ditching the standard GLOCK trigger, because it’s nothing special. I know; how dare he suggest that something made by GLOCK isn’t PERFECTION DEFINED? But we all know the factory GLOCK trigger is, well, lackluster. It’s plastic, it’s numb and improving the gun’s trigger pull is one of the first things that G19 owners focus on.

You can easily find a trigger system which includes the trigger blade and tab, trigger connector and trigger bar. This is easily one of the most common GLOCK upgrades, with popular options being trigger groups from ZEV, CMC, and the TangoDown Vickers trigger and many more. A crisper, cleaner trigger with less creep will actually enhance your trigger control and make the gun more pleasurable to shoot. That will mean you’ll shoot better!

GLOCK fiber optic sight set by Trijicon (Credit: Trijicon.com_

The other most common of GLOCK upgrades is new sights. Standard GLOCK sights, especially the polymer sights, are not always thought of highly. Some folks will opt for the night sights from the factory, but others prefer to get a pair they really like instead.

Naturally, sets of black rear sight ramps and fiber optic front sights are quite popular, but there are SO MANY different options. Night sights. Express sights. Target sights…it’s a buyer’s market out there. If you want to get a better set of sights, there is a veritable ocean of them out there. Additionally, upgrading the sights will mean better shooting with

Extended slide release by Zev Technologies (Credit:

Another common class of GLOCK 19 upgrades is to change the controls, including the magazine release button, slide stop lever and takedown lever. GLOCK’s standard controls are low-profile, which makes them a little awkward to operate at times. The Glockstore website is a great resource for these parts, but there are plenty of places to shop for them.

Lone Wolf GLOCK dual recoil spring and guide rod (Credit:

Another incredibly basic GLOCK upgrade – and in fact for ANY pistol – is to upgrade the springs. Factory spring kits aren’t always of the highest quality, so picking up a kit from a proven provider (Wolff, for instance) is a decent investment. If you upgrade the recoil spring, an upgraded guide rod is a good idea too.

Now for some juicier stuff. You can upgrade the small bits, but what will make your GLOCK 19 more fun?

Red dot sights are a BIG one. How you go about that…is up to you, as there are a few different ways to do so.

You could always have a gunsmith mill your existing slide, but the easiest way is to buy one of the GLOCK 19 MOS models to begin with. There are two, with the GLOCK 19 Gen 4 and Gen 5 models both coming with their MOS package. These come with four mounting plates for installing various red dot optics, as designs do vary.

Suarez Supermatch GLOCK RMR slide (Credit:

Another method is to purchase an aftermarket slide that has the adapter plate cut. You’ll have to drop in the relevant parts (the striker/firing pin, firing pin spring, firing pin block, extractor and so on) but once you’ve installed the relevant bits, you put the slide on the frame and you’re done.

You would think GLOCK could do us a solid and just sell you an MOS slide…but no dice.

Lastly, you can send your gun to a smith, who then machines the red dot cut into the slide.

From there, you pick a red dot optic (Trijicon RMR, Burris FastFire, etc.) and install it.

Advantage Arms GLOCK conversion kit (Credit:

Another fun GLOCK 19 upgrade is that of conversion kits. Now, the 23 is actually a bit better in this regard as you can get a drop-in conversion barrel for 9mm and you can therefore shoot the smaller stuff when you want and go back to .40 S&W if you so chose. That said, the 19 can be converted to .22 LR.

A conversion slide, complete with barrel and all parts, can be dropped right onto the frame. All you need is a special magazine and presto! You can do a heck of a lot of shooting for dirt cheap. Advantage Arms is the most widespread maker of these.

Any other GLOCK upgrades you can think of for a GLOCK 19? Sound off in the comments!

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