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Improving your Glock for under $100, Part I: Plunger and Trigger Bar Mods!

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By Jeff Gurwitch

August 7, 2018

If one is looking to accessorize and upgrade their Glock, basically, the sky’s the limit! Or, I should say, cost is the only limiting factor. From custom slides to complete transformations like building a Roland Special with mini-red dot sight, extended mag well, and a compensator equipped barrel, how much you want to spend is the only barrier to how far one can go modifying a Glock.

Of course, fully customized Glocks can easily cost well over a $1,000 USD. Depending on the situation, there are advantages to having a fully decked out Glock. Certain types of competitive shooting sports, modifications and upgrades are needed if you want to be able to shoot your best. However, for most of us mere mortals, we’re not necessarily looking to make a race-ready, competitive pistol, but rather just improving the pistol enough to where it’ll perform better than a stock Glock in any shooting situation.

Now what you may (or may not) find surprising is that you can, with minimum parts swap outs and some novice level gunsmithing, vastly improve a stock Glock for a little as $100 USD, all in. This includes sights, trigger and extended magazine well.

My goal with this article is to highlight the best accessories for the money, and, more importantly, cover the best sources of information that will allow you to do your own polishing and tuning, resulting in a lighter and better trigger pull, while still maintaining 100% reliability.

This a is a beautiful pistol, and I bet a super sweet shooter! The drawback is the cost. Transformed Glocks like this can cost two to three times the amount of a normal Glock, way more than what the average pistol shooter is looking to spend for increased performance.

Improving the Trigger

Want a 3.5lbs trigger? It’s very feasible to do, but it will cost you. Many of the kits required to get the trigger pull that light are well over $150.00, and require a major parts swap out and tuning. If not done correctly, you could end up with reliability issues. Fortunately, you can vastly improve a stock Glock trigger for a fraction of the cost of a complete trigger swap.

By simply replacing one or two parts, along with some polishing of certain parts, this can be done at the novice level. You can lessen the trigger pull weight and smooth out the take-up. Now, it won’t get you a super-light 3.5lbs trigger, but the following suggestions can easily take a pound or more off.

Lightning Strike Products Inc. (LSPI) Titanium Plunger

One of the easiest parts to swap out (and cheapest) that will improve your Glock trigger is replacing the stock plunger (firing pin safety) with a titanium coated one. A lot of the feel of the trigger pull comes from the trigger bar having to press in the plunger. The stock plunger has a flat base with beveled edges. As you pull the trigger, the part of the trigger bar that engages the plunger drags across it, pushing it in to free up the firing pin. This drag and push action is the majority of what you feel on the initial take-up of the trigger.

Installing a titanium coated one like the Lightning Strike Products Inc. (LSPI) Titanium Plunger with rounded edges offers a smoother surface for the trigger bar to slide across. Additionally, the LSPI Titanium Plunger has a slightly smaller profile, and comes with a lighter spring, making it easier to be pushed in.

Lightning Strike Titanium coated plunger on the left compared to stock plunger on the right. Note no edges whatsoever on the titanium one. Between that and the smoothness of the titanium coating and lighter spring, using one can improve the feel of the take-up on the trigger.

Lightning Strike Titanium plunger (on the left) also has a smaller profile, allowing for a smoother engagement of the trigger bar, which helps with a less-gritty feel when pressing the trigger.

What’s even better is that you can get the LSPI Titanium Plunger with spring, super cheap, from NDZ Performance’s eBay store for $17.08.(includes shipping). That’s a heck of a deal, and I’ve been using one these plungers for over a year in my G34 with no issues. I should also mention that I’ve put about 4,000rds thru the pistol to date.

One thing I should point out, though, is that this plunger will not work on a Gen5 Glock pistol, as Glock has completely redesigned and changed the shape of the new plunger. But, for the older models, Gen1 thru Gen4, it’ll fit. And, I think upgrading to a titanium coated plunger one of the first things I’d recommend doing to improve trigger pull.

Lightning Strike Products Inc. Titanium Coated plunger is not only super cheap, but also works well.

25 Cent Glock Trigger Job

There’s a video on YouTube called “Glock 25 Cent Trigger Job” that shows how to polish the trigger bar, plunger, firing pin, and connector. It’s really a $3.85 trigger job (that’s how much I spent on a bottle of metal polish). I tried it on all three of my Glocks (just polishing the trigger bar and plunger). With a light polish on the areas covered in the video, it did reduce the trigger pull weight on all my triggers.

Want to take off some trigger pull weight? Before you spend money on aftermarket parts, try using some metal polish on the trigger bar. Doing so may take a pound or more off your trigger pull.

By Polishing the trigger bar, you’re filling in the impurities in the metal and smoothing out the tiny ruff areas, basically replicating breaking the gun in by firing a few thousand rounds. If you follow the instructions and stick to using a rag or a felt buffing wheel, with metal polish, there’s no real way to mess up your trigger bar or plunger. You’re not going to take off too much metal, or change any angles.

I won’t go over exactly what to do. Instead, I think it’s best to just provide the link here, so you can watch the video by DefenderOfFreedom. Check it out, and decide for yourself if it’s something you can handle. I’ve done it to Gen3, Gen4, and Gen5 Glocks. It only requires about a minute’s worth of polishing, and it’ll result in a slightly lighter and smoother trigger pull.

Now, there’s also another video called ‘Improving upon the 25 cent Glock trigger job‘, by John Horvath.
Here is the link: In it, he uses a fine file to smooth it out even more where the trigger bar protrudes to touch the plunger. I also did this procedure, but I instead used fine sand paper wrapped around a Dremel wheel. Like the video states, just be careful not to take off too much metal, or change any angles. If you follow his instructions, though, I feel this is also well within the realm of novice-level gunsmithing that’ll result in an even better trigger pull.

Before and after pic of polishing the trigger bar. It only took about 30 seconds of buffing with a felt Dremel wheel and metal polish to get the trigger bar looking this shiny and smooth.

Swapping Trigger Bars

A buddy of mine who just attended a Glock armorers course was told by the instructor that it’s highly recommended for Gen4 Glock users to swap out the trigger bar with a Gen3 one. Doing so will result in a better trigger pull. The reason for this is that Gen4 trigger bars have a small protrusion on the part that engages the plunger to help keep it in place at the correct angle as you pull the trigger back. This small protrusion creates extra drag, leading to a heavier trigger pull. Now, I think it is true that Gen4 Glocks have the worst stock trigger pulls, around 7 lbs compared to Gen3 and Gen5 Glocks, which are around 5.5 to just over 6lbs.

As to why Gen4’s have heavier stock pulls, I won’t go into all of it here, but it has to do with more than just that protrusion. As to whether swapping out trigger bars will improve the trigger pull on a Gen4? I did try it, and after measuring it with a trigger pull gauge, I found no improvement. I should mention, though, that I had already polished the Gen4 trigger bar, to include the small protrusion some. However, the Gen3 trigger bar had also been polished).

Perhaps if one is just swapping an unpolished Gen4 trigger bar for a Gen3 trigger bar, it helps. But, if that’s true, then why swap in the first place? If just polishing the Gen4 trigger bar yields the same results as swapping to a Gen3 trigger bar, then why spend the extra 20 bucks for another trigger bar?

Top, Gen3 Trigger bar compared to Gen4 trigger bar in pistol. If you look closely on the Gen4 trigger bar, where it sticks up to engage the plunger, there is a small raised bump. Polishing the trigger bar to include this bump results in a trigger pull that’s almost as good as the Gen3’s.

The following are my before and after results, detailing the trigger pull weights on my Gen3 and Gen4 Glocks, starting with stock weight, then after polishing the trigger bars and replacing stock plungers with titanium coated ones. Here:

Model Stock Pull Weight After Modifications
Gen3 Glock 17 5.94lbs 5lbs
Gen4 Glock 19 7.05 5.4 (with tuned connector)

* Trigger pull weight average after 10 measurements

I should also note that the pull gauge I used was a mechanical one that I don’t think is that great. The sticker that shows the poundage appears to be placed a little off. So, I do not know how accurate it actually is regarding exact weight measurements. I think it displays on the heavy side. However, I’m confident in the fact that it did constantly show lighter trigger pulls after I put in the improved plunger and polished parts in.

As you can see from this pic, the sticker displaying the weight on this mechanical gauge seems to have been placed off. The pen mark on the sliding marker is where I think it shows the correct weight. Despite this, it might not show the correct exact weight. It did however show consistantly lighter trigger pulls after modifications.

You will also notice that with the Glock 19, it says with tuned connector. That will be covered in Part II of this article. With a factory untuned connector, the pull with polish job and plunger was just a tad under 6lbs. Also I did compare the trigger pull weight on my Gen3 Glock 17 with and without Titanium plunger. Even though I had polished my factory plunger, the pull weight averaged 5.2lbs. So, swapping it out with the titanium one knocked off an additional 2 ounces.

I’ve also polished the trigger bar on a Gen5 Glock 17. I did however fail to measure the stock pull weight prior to polishing. After just polishing the trigger bar, and no other modifications, the pull weight averaged 6.2lbs. I was actually surprised it was that high (or it could just be my gauge). It feels a lot lighter than that. If it’s accurate, I think the lighter feel is due to the new plunger design and other changes Glock made to the Gen5’s. The owner did say, however, that after polishing it, it did feel better than it was before.

The Wrap Up

Can you do more to improve the trigger pull on your Glock? Certainly. You can replace and tune the connector (which I will cover in part II), and replace the firing pin (striker), firing pin spring, and trigger spring. All these things can be done. I have a Gen4 Glock 34 with a 4-lbs trigger pull. But to get there, I did have some trial and error with correct spring weights to get it 100% reliable.

Again, my intent with both part I and II is to stick to recommending modifications that can not only be done by the average person with no gunsmithing experience, but more importantly, will not sacrifice reliability at all. So, if you’re looking to enhance your stock Glock pistol without spending tons of money to do so, I urge you to check out the videos and see if it’ll work for you.

Stayed tuned for Part II: Replacing and tuning connectors, upgrading the sights, and adding an oversized magwell adaptor.

About the Author:
Jeff Gurwitch is retired U.S Army Special Forces (SF).
26 years active duty, 19 years with SF.
15 years’ competitive shooting experience; USPSA, IDPA and 3 Gun.

© Copyright 2018 and Jeff Gurwitch. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without receiving permission and providing proper credit and appropriate links.

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Improving your Glock for under $100, Part I: Plunger and Trigger Bar Mods! by

About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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