Adapting a Glock 19
As time goes by people and circumstances change, if not, all becomes stale. The only way to progress is to evaluate what transpires and “change as necessary” which is the definition of the word ADAPT. Those of us interested in our personal security should be adaptive which is defined as the ability to change as necessary, which is the problem…having the ability…many do not.
Being adaptive does not mean you should constantly be looking at ways to change, only those things that need changing. Such needs are usually a result of observations and experiences as we progress through life. As the definition states, the changes should be necessary, not undertaken for trivial reasons. Changes made due to trends, others opinions or just because something “looks cool” should be viewed with a skeptical eye. The problem for many is they do not have the training or experience to know what is truly necessary. For those who may find themselves in this situation, merely ask yourself “does this change fix something or enhance my abilities?” If not, then don’t.
My first custom Glock came from David Bowie at Bowie Tactical Concepts. Truth be told, I am not sure if the company existed yet. David and I were both instructors at the Tactical Defense Institute and David was playing around with a number of ideas involving polymer-framed pistols.
One of his better ideas (at least IMHO) was rounding the corners on the slide of a Glock 19. When he showed me what he had done on his Glock I was immediately taken with how it improved the look of the “ugly” gun. It offered a more streamlined appearance that would help reduce “printing” of the slide’s corners through concealing garments. Today, with carry guns having MRD sights, magazine funnels, suppressor barrels and enough slide cuts to work as a cheese grater, the idea of a “slide melt” seems quaint, but I still like it.
David had already stippled the grip on my HK USP-C carry gun so once I saw his slide work; I gave him a G19 to work over for me. Once I got it back, I transitioned to the Glock 19 and have never looked back. Over the last couple of decades, I have carried custom G19’s from Robar, Templar Custom Arms and TXT Custom Guns Works. The original Bowie gun always stayed with me, with the exception of a short period where my son-in-law started shooting and I gave him the Bowie G19 to get started.
As Daryn progressed as a shooter, he shifted to other guns and I got the Bowie gun back in my safe. As I played around with it, I found I still liked the package but wanted a few changes here and there. Nothing drastic, so I reached out to David and asked if they could be performed. He advised they could so the almost 20 year old G19 made a return trip to the Bowie shop.
I had David make the following changes:
- Add material to the back so the front and back straps angles would be parallel. This grip closely mirrors the 1911 pistol with a flat mainspring housing and works very well with my small hands and fingers.
- Make the grip stippling more aggressive to work better when hands are fouled or sweaty.
- Further “melt” the Lone Wolf Grey Man slide. I had to replace the original slide as it cracked somewhere around 75,000 rounds. I ordered the Grey man version as I liked it’s rounded corners, but I wanted it rounded even more
- Indent a section on the back end top of the slide for the addition of skateboard tape. Tape alone will peel with use. By indenting, the corners are protected and the grip surface will last forever.
- Cerakote in Sniper Grey. I like a bit of a two-tone but the bare stainless slide is a bit too light in color for me.
- Instead of cutting a notch on the bottom of the trigger guard for the off-hand middle finger to get the support hand as high as possible to the bore line, I just flatten and narrowed the entire trigger guard. This allows me to place my hand where I want regardless of whether I am wearing gloves. Some will say this wakens the trigger guard and this may be true, but I’m not sure what stress I will place on it other than grip pressure and it seems plenty strong enough for that. This is the third gun I have done this to and I have had no problems.
- This grip frame already had mag pull cuts on the bottom along with a beveled magazine well from the original modification.
- The extended Lone Wolf magazine button was also a hold over from David’s original work on the gun. This button makes it very easy to eject a spent magazine without having to shift my hand on the gun. I beveled the top edge of the button to keep my support hand from ejecting a loaded mag when I grip the frame tightly.
Other enhancements that I added to the updated Bowie G19:
- I added a Vickers slide release lever with the back half removed. If I do not remove this section, my shooting hand thumb will keep it from locking back the slide on the last round. It is still large enough, however, to be engaged by either the shooting hand or support hand thumb.
- I added a CAT Trigger Kit as sold on the Handgun Combatives Store (www.handguncombatives.com/store). This kit gives me a smooth 5-pound trigger with reduced over travel. The CAT connector helps eliminate the felt “bump” in the trigger when the trigger bar and connector meet to release the striker. The supplied springs add weight for the end user desiring greater trigger resistance.
- The addition of a set of Ameriglo Spaulding Enhanced CAP Sights. When I took the photos, I was playing around with a green Ameriglo fiber optic front, but I do not think I will be staying with it. The first one I installed broke during its first range session and that is a non-starter for me.
It doesn’t sound like a changed very much, does it? I really didn’t. I have been working with this platform now for two decades and I see no reason to mess with success. However, I did identify a few things I preferred like a slightly larger and more aggressive grip frame, which will aid my shooting.
A quick 200 round range session confirmed the adapted G19 was exactly what I wanted and will likely be with me while I teach courses in the coming year.
When compared to many of the currently popular custom carry Glocks it is a pretty tame enhancement package, but that is ok. I only make changes if they meet a need for me…enhance my ability to shoot the gun better. I’m not really into vanity guns, but if you are that is perfectly ok with me. To each his own!
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