Ever felt the sting of disappointment when your GLOCK doesn’t deliver as expected? Often, the issue lies with an easily overlooked component: the barrel. Like many shooters, you might have experienced how a generic or ill-suited barrel can affect accuracy and consistency. This common problem doesn’t have to be a roadblock.
Faxon and Refactor have joined forces to create this comprehensive guide, crafted with the shooter’s needs in mind. They’ve pooled expertise and conducted extensive research to present you with the best GLOCK barrels. Let’s delve into their guide and discover top-tier options that promise precision and a rekindled enthusiasm for shooting.
Why Upgrade To An Aftermarket GLOCK Barrel?
Even though the OEM GLOCK barrel with polygonal rifling is pretty damn good and will do the job for the average gun owner, there are two primary reasons to upgrade to an aftermarket barrel. First and foremost is accuracy.
Most shooters will never practice out past 25 yards with their pistols. But if you want to stretch the effective range of your pistol to 50 yards and beyond, you’ll need a good match-grade barrel. A good-quality match-grade GLOCK barrel will consistently cut your groups by as much as 50 percent at 50 yards.
The second reason is to have a threaded barrel for a suppressor or compensator. If you’re thinking at all about adding a suppressor or comp to your GLOCK down the road, do yourself a favor and get a threaded barrel. If you don’t want to buy and change barrels constantly, getting a threaded barrel is a good idea. They also increase the cool factor of your gun. Let’s get into the GLOCK barrels.
OEM GLOCK vs. Aftermarket Barrels
OEM GLOCK barrels are renowned for their reliability and performance straight out of the box. They are designed to meet the versatile needs of most shooters, offering a balance of accuracy, durability, and cost-effectiveness. However, aftermarket barrels present significant advantages for enthusiasts looking to push their GLOCK’s performance further, especially in precision shooting or customization.
Aftermarket GLOCK barrels often come with tighter manufacturing tolerances, which can translate to better accuracy, especially at longer ranges. They also offer a variety of features, like different coatings for increased barrel life, threaded options for suppressor or compensator attachments, and aesthetic customization to suit individual preferences. While OEM barrels provide a solid baseline, aftermarket options allow shooters to tailor their GLOCK to specific uses, be it competitive shooting, hunting, or personal defense.
In summary, while OEM barrels maintain GLOCK’s promise of ‘perfection,’ aftermarket barrels offer the opportunity to specialize and optimize your firearm according to your unique shooting needs and preferences.
Button Rifling vs. Polygonal Rifling
When upgrading your GLOCK, understanding the difference between button rifling and polygonal rifling is crucial.
OEM GLOCK barrels typically use polygonal rifling. This type of rifling is known for its smoother bore surface, offering a slight velocity boost and easier cleaning. However, it’s generally less suitable for shooting lead bullets, as it can lead to faster fouling.
In contrast, many aftermarket barrels feature button rifling. This traditional form of rifling, characterized by its distinct lands and grooves, provides a better grip on the bullet per se and potentially improves accuracy. Button-rifled barrels are also more versatile, accommodating a wider range of ammunition, including lead bullets, without the risk of excessive fouling.
The 7 Best GLOCK Aftermarket Barrels
Faxon GLOCK barrels are given a PVD or black Nitride coating to increase resistance to surface wear, lubricity, and barrel life. All barrels are conventionally rifled for various compatible ammunition, including cast lead.
They also drop into factory-spec slides with no gunsmithing required. Thanks to their better-than-factory tolerances, a more consistent, tighter lockup than OEM is guaranteed.
Faxon offers both threaded and non-threaded barrel options for your GLOCK handguns. Faxon GLOCK barrels are universally compatible with generations 1-5.
Wilson Combat GLOCK barrels are fully machined from aircraft-grade stainless steel blanks and heat-treated to R/C 40 for maximum service life. Critical manufacturing tolerances are held to less than .0005″ (one-half thousandth of an inch!).
To guarantee better accuracy, extreme care has been taken to ensure that the chamber is glass-smooth and perfectly concentric with the bore. They’ve routinely obtained test groups of 1/2″ at 25 yards in their barrel tests.
Throughout the manufacturing process, each barrel undergoes multiple quality-control checks, with a detailed final inspection prior to receiving the Wilson name. These barrels are compatible with all Generations of GLOCK handguns.
KKM has been producing match-grade pistol barrels for 25 years and has a well-deserved reputation for excellence. If you want to shoot tight groups through targets or bad guys, KKM can help accomplish that.
KKM Precision GLOCK barrels use certified 416R gun-barrel quality stainless steel bar stock. The barrels are then heat-treated and vacuum-tempered. Finally, the CNC machining produces superior dimensional tolerances over mass-produced factory barrels.
KKM’s GLOCK barrels come with fully supported SAAMI spec match chambers for shooting factory or reloaded ammunition.
The Lone Wolf Industries Alpha Wolf GLOCK barrel series is available in stock length, threaded, and conversion caliber flavors.
Machined from 416 stainless steel (certified, stress-relieved no less), Lone Wolf GLOCK barrels bring premium manufacturing and features at an affordable cost.
Additionally, they are salt bath nitrided, fluted for heat dissipation and debris clearance, and are compatible with all generations of GLOCK.
Grey Ghost Precision
The Grey Ghost Precision GLOCK barrel is an excellent upgrade for a GLOCK pistol. The barrel is machined to “match grade” tolerances and has an excellent fit and finish.
Made from 416R Gun Barrel Quality Stainless Steel, a proprietary twist rate, and an optional Black Nitride Finish for durability without hindering performance.
Grey Ghost Precision barrels are manufactured with a final dimension of +/- 0.003″ for consistent accuracy.
ZEV Technologies Match Grade drop-in barrels for GLOCK feature extremely tight tolerances. They are manufactured with pre-hardened chromium stainless steel (416R) that was originally designed for use in Match Grade rifle barrels.
This material provides high tensile strength and toughness to withstand typical chamber pressures while still being highly corrosion-resistant.
ZEV Technologies barrels are some of the most precise in the industry. Every barrel is double-honed (rough and finish) until a minimum surface finish of 16 RA is reached. The barrels are held to a final dimension of +/- 0.0002″ for consistency and accuracy during this process.
The Agency Arms Syndicate Barrel offers great performance at an affordable price. This model designed for the GLOCK 19 features a smooth profile without fluting and a target-crowned muzzle.
The GLOCK 19 Syndicate Barrel is made to the same standards as the other models out of high-quality 416R stainless steel and extremely consistent broached rifling at a 1:10 twist rate.
GLOCK markets itself as perfection out of the box. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take an already proven design and modify it to suit your style and needs. Swapping out the stock barrel for one of these aftermarket barrels is just one of many things you can do to elevate the performance of your GLOCK pistol.