The Glock 17, which was first introduced to American shooters in 1986, seemed like a revolutionary design. In many ways it was, and there was a lot of initial grumbling about it—even from me. But this unique pistol soon found its footing and gained incredibly widespread acceptance. Glocks are now the most popular pistols in the law enforcement arena.
- RELATED STORY: 10 Drop-In Modifications To Consider For Your Glock
Glock pistols are popular for several reasons. They utilize a simple design and can be entirely disassembled with nothing but a punch tool. A Glock certified armorer’s course can be completed in one day, unlike the multiple-day armorer’s courses for most other handguns. This combination of simplicity and popularity has led to the explosion of the aftermarket accessory and parts market, and custom gunsmiths have been turning these pistols into works of art for years.
You can buy parts for your Glock online from any number of places, but one of the best one-stop shops that specialize exclusively on this pistol is the GlockStore, which was founded by Lenny Magill. The GlockStore doesn’t just sell parts—the company also provides masterful custom work on your Glock pistol. Basically, you can design your own with the help of its custom gun consultants, or you can simply purchase one of its Lenny-Magill-designed custom packages.
I had the opportunity to test a Glock 34 that was custom designed and modified by Lenny Magill. While it started life as a regular 9mm, long-slide Glock 34, the end result can only be described as an evolution, where each change advances the platform to a higher state.
The GSPC starts with the GlockStore’s custom Pyramid Cut Slide, where the top of the slide has been cut wide open, exposing about half the length of the barrel. The sides of the slide feature distinctive pyramid-shaped cuts. The result is a significantly lighter slide resulting in faster cycling and reduced recoil for faster follow-up shots and improved accuracy. The pistol does feel noticeably less top heavy than even a standard G19, and the cuts also help with cooling. The slide also features forward slide serrations, and the external surface is polished and given a low-friction NP3 finish.
The factory, polygonal-rifled barrel has been replaced with a 5.25-inch, match-grade barrel that has been CNC-machined from 416 stainless steel. This new barrel features broach-cut rifling and a target crown so that shooters can use lead ammunition as well as jacketed rounds. It also features a polished feed ramp and bore as well as an oversized lockup area for a tighter fit and better accuracy.
The guide rod has been replaced with an extended tungsten carbide rod that adds extra weight to the muzzle end and helps to reduce muzzle flip and recoil. The flat-wire recoil spring comes in a factory-standard weight, but different weights are available for fine-tuning the pistol to your specific loads. This upgrade is also legal for the USPSA’s Production division.
The slide features tall, suppressor-ready Trijicon night sights. They are easy to acquire and co-witness with the Trijicon RMR reflex sight that comes installed on top of the pistol. This sight features a 3.5-MOA dot and eight brightness settings that are easily adjusted for shooting conditions using the right and left buttons. It also features an “auto” mode that will self-adjust to compensate for bright sunlight or a passing cloud as well as movement into and out of buildings.
The frame of the Glock has also been radically altered from an original Gen3 Glock frame for the better. On the frontstrap, the finger grooves have been deepened and smoothed out, which reduces the overall size of the grip while providing better retention. The rear of triggerguard has an undercut that raises the finger placement higher on the grip and smoothes this area out, eliminating any rubbing the shooting hand might receive after a full day of shooting. Finally, a triggerguard undercut at the midway point provides a space for a more secure grip for the index finger of the support hand.
At the bottom of the grip, the GlockStore has added a “Super Heavy” 4.4-ounce aluminum magazine well with a brass insert. The magazine well is widely flared and provides for much faster magazine changes, and the design forces the shooting hand into a proper and consistent grip position. Thus, the magazine well also aids in weapon retention. The brass insert that extends into the grip cavity found on all Glocks adds weight at the lower rear of the pistol for an improved balance.
The pistol ships with two 17-round Glock 17/34 magazines with heavy, extended, aluminum baseplates. From the outside, this looks like a magazine capacity extender, but it is not. The purpose here is to add weight to the bottom of the magazine so that they drop free faster when conducting magazine changes.
All of the controls on the Glock 34 have also undergone significant changes. The magazine release has been replaced with an extended aluminum catch that features aggressive lines for secure engagement. The release extends to the rear and is snag free but allows the user to engage it without having to adjust their grip, significantly speeding up mag changes. It also allows the pistol to work in standard holsters.
The slide release has been replaced with an extended release with a matte silver finish. The takedown lever has also been extended and thickened for improved precision. This part is machined from 416 stainless steel, and its extra length makes disassembly easier. The added thickness locks up the barrel and slide with greater consistency and strength.
Internally, there are still more changes. The trigger, locking block and trigger housing pins have all been replaced with stronger stainless steel pins. The factory trigger has also been replaced with an Ultimate Pyramid Trigger System for a lighter and shorter trigger pull. Unlike the factory trigger the Pyramid trigger is made from aluminum and features a wider and more comfortable trigger face and safety.
The pistol’s gold-tone trigger bar is titanium-nitride coated, which results in an extremely hard, friction-less surface, providing a crisp and consistent break. A titanium safety plunger with rounded shoulders is also installed to reduce wear and offer positive engagement. The replacement spring kit improves functioning, while the 3.5-pound Double Diamond connector reduces the trigger pull weight and is NP3 treated for natural lubricity and smoothness as well as a longer service life.
The skeletonized striker is made from polished steel and is titanium-nitride
coated for reduced friction. When combined with the lower weight of the striker, the result is much faster lock times for improved accuracy. The striker is also slightly extended to ensure positive engagement against all primer types, even hard primers.
On the range, the pistol was comfortable and easy to shoot. Muzzle flip was virtually nonexistent despite the lightened slide. The trigger did have a distinctly different feel from a polymer Glock trigger and took a bit of getting used to. Using 115-grain JHP ammunition, I did experience a few failures to feed and one failure of the slide to lock to the rear on an empty magazine.
This pistol has been extensively tuned for competition and, as such, needs to be paired to the right ammunition. I had no issues with heavier 124-grain or 147 grain loads while shooting off-hand. The malfunctions were largely limited to benchrest shooting where “limp wristing” was a contributing factor. Suffice it to say that this is a competition gun, not a benchrest gun. For accuracy testing, I used three different factory defensive loads at 25 yards from a stable benchrest.
- RELATED VIDEO: Full Auto Gen 3 G17 Endures Meltdown Test
The G34, with its Lenny Magill-designed customizations, is sure to draw attention at the shooting range. It’s designed for competition and makes shooting a pleasure.
For more, visit glockstore.com or call 800-601-8273.
- Caliber: 9mm
- Barrel: 5.25 inches
- OA Length: 8.25 inches
- Weight: 28.3 ounces (empty)
- Grips: Polymer
- Sights: Trijicon night, RMR
- Action: Strike-fired
- Finish: Matte black, silver
- Capacity: 17+1
- MSRP: $2,295