Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Glock Armorer's Class Report

Thanks to my membership in GSSF, I had the opportunity to enroll and attend the Glock Armorer's Class held at the Macomb Community College Criminal Justice Training Center.

Most of the 35 attendees were law enforcement, and a variety of South-East and Central Michigan police forces had personnel attending. There was also quite a few civilians attending and everyone got along very well. This was especially important once small parts began to fly around the room.

The officer's departments were all using Glocks and seemed both satisfied and confident in carrying them.

The instructor had a great presence and a good sense of humor, and the day at times felt like drinking water through a firehouse - lots of information and details delivered in a very short time. Everything from the history of Glock to changes in the parts and compatibility or lack thereof through the production line from Gen 1 through Gen 4 and things to look out for when examining the pistols.

He also brought quite a few pistols along for us to examine.

Yes, that is a Glock 18C at the top left.

I got to handle it and manipulate the happy switch. Sadly, I was not allowed to take it home with me even after asking very nicely. A pox upon the Hughes amendment.

There was quite a variety of Glock pistols on display, from a cutaway pistol that showed the operation of the gun's internals to the red training and blue simunition guns as well as the Glock 34, 30SF, 36, and 21SF and a Gen4 22 in addition to the Glock 18.

We went into how the Glock operated in detail and the function of each part in the firing sequence. There was a very well done animation of the entire operation and excellent diagrams and pictures to work from.

There was also plenty of hands-on practice. Boxes containing Glock 23s were handed out. Each box held the pistol and also had a magazine, a separate NY trigger spring and a screwdriver inside the box.

We began with safety and basic function testing and how to perform an external inspection and rapidly moved on from there.

Then we did a detailed dis-assembly and reassembly of the slide and all its internal parts step-by-step. The only things not removed was the sights.

Spring cups have a nasty way of departing the firing pin at a high velocity, thanks to the firing pin spring.

After the first time doing it step by step, we then did it an additional four times on our own and we all got it down pretty darn well.

Then we disassembled the frame quite completely, including the magazine catch and locking block and its spring.

Yes, I was able to reassemble it back to its original state, and after a few tries was quite quick in doing so.

After assembly and dis-assembly we then had fun with the trigger springs - we installed the NY1 and also on some guns the NY2 spring and tested the feel. We also saw what happens if you put the gun together without a trigger spring or if the trigger spring breaks - the gun will still shoot and function as long as you use the trigger reset method rather than completely disengaging from the trigger after each shot.

We then did a practical exam of a complete detail strip of both the slide and frame and reassembly - hands on repetition really works, and you begin to appreciate how darn easy it is to work on a Glock pistol.

We then finished up with diagnosing engagement problems, then moved on to some general troubleshooting and testing magazines and how to resolve the feeding problem that sometimes happens when lights are put on the light rails.

We also learned quite a lot about Glock.

Apparently they're well on their way to produce a million pistols this year. Demand is very high in both the civilian and law enforcement markets. This could explain why I'm still waiting on my friendly local dealer to get in the Gen4 Glock 21 I've ordered....

Interestingly, while pistol frames, barrels and slides are produced in the US, all the small parts are brought in from Austria. Compounded by the vagaries of the international arms trade and regulations, we typically get pistols made in Austria here in the USA, while pistols made in the USA are exported elsewhere due to more favorable import laws regarding American over Austrian products. Go figure.

We were also told about the hopefully imminent release of the Glock 30S. The 30S is a Glock 36 slide on a Glock 30 frame - resulting in a Glock 19 sized 45 ACP pistol with 10+1 rounds. Apparently this combo was first requested by the LAPD's Special Investigation Section.

The instructor demonstrated what it would be like by swapping the slides accordingly -- and it was very nice indeed.

I'd certainly buy a 30S pistol, as it really makes the Glock 30 feel much less clunky and more balanced.

In addition to the practical demonstration of competency with the function testing and detail stripping, there was an also a written test. I scored 100% on it, as did quite a lot of the attendees.

The Armorer's class gave me a far more detailed appreciation and understanding of the Glock pistol, its operation, repair and maintenance. It was well worth the time and money spent. I learned a lot and will certainly be better able to maintain my Glocks and can highly recommend the class.


eiaftinfo said...

Thanks for the detailed review! I've been looking at going to one of these courses - looks like it is more that worth the time,money and effort! Thanks again!


Aaron said...


It was definitely worth it and I'd highly recommend taking the class.

Tons of info and hands-on practice, as well as some very humorous moments.

You also leave with some excellent reference material and a couple useful tools.

Sarah said...

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Unknown said...

Thanks for the review. I'm scheduled to attend June 11, in Columbus Ohio. Looking forward to the class.