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Old October 19, 2011, 11:20 AM   #1
BarryLee
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Why Aftermarket Glock Barrels??

Ok, I have a Glock G20 10mm which I have decided to use as a woods gun with some of the more powerful loads. A friend suggested I replace the stock barrel with an aftermarket version from someone like Lone Wolf. He mentioned two advantages which I have sort of heard before, but don’t totally understand.

First, he said that Glock barrels do not proved good chamber support and an aftermarket barrel will solve this problem. So, is this true?

Secondly, he said I could shoot lead ammo through the gun. Now, I have heard this before, but not sure I totally understand it. Isn’t most ammo lead? Does this mean that jacketed bullets are ok, but anything else will be a problem in a stock barrel? If so why is it a problem?

If these issues are true why doesn’t Glock simply redesign their barrels? It is a little irritating to spend $500 for a gun and then have to replace the barrel or I wonder if this is just shop talk and the stock barrels are just fine.
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Old October 19, 2011, 11:47 AM   #2
HighValleyRanch
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I am in the same boat.
I will be picking up my glock 20 this weekend with the original barrel.

Glock barrels have a polygonal (and some octagonal?) rifling and according to glock is not recommended for lead bullets.
So jacketed, plated are OK for the stock barrel.
But if you do a search, many glock owners do shoot some hard cast lead through their stock barrels with little leading. It is controversial, and up to the owner's responsibility to determine this. Glock does it for legal purposes, because shooting lead through their barrels can cause leading and cause higher pressures that MIGHT lead to the dreaded Kaboom.
These were more noted in the .40 cal than the 9mm,s and much of this has been attributed to both shooters shooting reloads (maybe lead) and the unsupported portion of the OEM glock chamber coming up from the feed ramp.

Most of the after market barrel have fully supported chambers in this area, so some recommend that if you are shooting the really hot BB loads and double tap, then an after market barrel is recommended.

But Buffalo Bore did their testing through a stock Glock barrel.
I would be fine shooting most manufactured ammo through my OEM Glock barrel.

The other reason I will get aftermarket barrels eventually is so that I can reload for the 10mm, which is very expensive off the shelves.
I like shooting lead and being able to tailor the loads for my range practice.
As well, a conversion barrel would let one shoot various other calibers through their same gun, i.e. a .40 conversion barrel allows you to shoot .40 through your 10mm glock with no changes other than the barrel.
Use the same magazine.
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Old October 19, 2011, 11:50 AM   #3
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You don't hear much about anything other than Glock barrels blowing up in the gun.
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Old October 19, 2011, 11:52 AM   #4
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Unsupported chambers, well that's a Glock. I don't want to get into a Glock debate, but Glock seems to have used semi-unsupported chambers as a way to enhance feeding reliability.

Yes, most bullets have a lead core, but have a copper or bimetal alloy as a covering, called a jacket. This jacket keeps the lead from adhering to the barrel. Too much lead stuck in the barrel means a possible stuck bullet in the bore, which means the possibility of the next round bursting the barrel.

Glock and other companies have chosen to use a polygonal rifled barrel. Nothing wrong with these barrels, as they can be as accurate as traditionally rifled barrels. The traditional rifling has deep grooves and lands, which cut into the bullet. The jacket is maluable, and depresses into the lead. This keeps the lead deposits (called leading) away from the bore.

If you shoot a lot, cast bullets are cheaper, and workd quiet well, but polygonal rifling is not generally a good partner with cast bullets. Polygonal barrels have a "twist" look to them. The bullets are not actually cut into upon shooting, but rather grasped by the polygonal rifling. The fear, and sometimes the results, are that the bullet will skip over the polygonal rifling, thus skidding down the barrel leaving a lead trail - leading the barrel.

There are those, who shoot lots of hard cast bullets through polygonal rifling with no trouble. I have read on the HKpro forum, where a couple of guys do this often and with no problem. They also claim that the HK leade is more gradual than Glocks, therefore barrel leading is reduced.
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Last edited by Dobe; October 19, 2011 at 12:01 PM.
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Old October 19, 2011, 12:02 PM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
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I doubt that the chamber support from a Lone Wolf barrel is any better in 10mm than is the stock barrel.

I had two LW barrels in 357sig and both had CLEARLY LESS chamber support than did the stock Glock barrel.

Regardless, the issue is a nonissue in all but older model guns chambered in 40SW. The problem has been corrected, as far as I've seen, in Gen3 and later guns.

The matter of lead bullets is truth. Glock (and other with the same rifling technique) specifically warn against using lead. Surely, there will be those who tell you they've done it "safely" for years. I say, do as you will, but not in my gun.

For reloaders, the aftermarket barrels do often have tighter chambers, which theoretically increases brass life. In reality, you'll lose it before it wears out anyway... especially with a 10mm that throws brass into the next county.
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Old October 19, 2011, 12:06 PM   #6
C Philip
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I got an aftermarket KKM barrel for my Glock 29 specifically so I could shoot lead reloads and keep the price of practicing with 10mm down. The barrel quickly paid for itself. It's also a lot easier on the brass even if you're shooting jacketed bullets. The stock Glock barrel leaves that "smile" on the brass.
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Old October 19, 2011, 12:24 PM   #7
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Got a Stormlake 9mm replacement barrel for my .40 S&W G-35 Gen 4. Shoots like a champ no problems and now have a bi gun.
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Old October 19, 2011, 01:42 PM   #8
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only issue is rifling in stock barrels leads up with sold lead bullets that are not jacketed in copper. the barrel gets clogged with led and eventually can cause the barrel to jam up (never seen this happen) with sold lead boolits, especially soft lead. stock barrels will take any type of jacketed bullet for the most part.

after market will allow you to reload lead and shoot lead boolits just fine and is the advantage... it will also shoot FMJ.

R
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Old October 19, 2011, 02:23 PM   #9
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Why Aftermarket Glock Barrels??
So you can thread your suppressor on the end, but of course.
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Old October 19, 2011, 02:33 PM   #10
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The factory barrel is fine if you want to shoot Factory ammo . If you want to shoot reloads or very hot ammo the KKM 6 inch and a stiffer recil spring is the way to go . More chamber support and no Glock smiles. I get 1350 fps out of my G20 with a 6 inch KKM barrel and my hand load . 9.3 grains of Hodgdon Longshot and a Rem Golden Saber 180 grain ,fast hard hitting and very accurate.
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Old October 19, 2011, 02:36 PM   #11
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If you are asking my advice, I'd suggest you stick with your OEM Glock barrel for now. Indeed, there has been less chamber support in stock Glock barrels in the past, and perhaps even now (especially in 10mm) than some of the after market barrels -- BUT, Glock has come around and evolved over the years and there is absolutely more support in this critical area than in years past.

Are you a handloader? If yes, what kind of loads do you see in your future? Are you planning to push the limit of the cartridge? If yes, then you will benefit from an aftermarket barrel.

If you are not a handloader and you don't intend to be, then don't worry another minute about it. Most of the ammo you find is going to be on the weak side anyhow, unless you specifically seek out the full-spec 10mm ammo.

As for lead, it's a legend that lives on. I have a couple of comments on cast lead in the stock Glock barrel -- at least, the stock barrel in my Glock 29.

On two different occasions I've run 200 grain LTC bullets backed by a nice charge of Power Pistol behind them through my G29. (I don't own a chrono but the published load data suggests that they are running north of 1,000 FPS with this charge weight)

The first time I did 50 of them, stripping the pistol after the first 10, then the next 20, then the last 20 to inspect. The second time I put 100 through it, 50 then strip to inspect and 50 more and strip to inspect.

What I found with each inspection is that there is very little, if any lead traces left in the bore of the Glock 29. And I know what lead in a bore looks like because I've definitely leaded up handgun bores before.

Furthermore, this isn't a traditional land & groove barrel, we all know that and we've said it a half dozen times in this thread. With the style of barrel that the G29 uses, WHERE is this lead supposed to "collect?" I just don't see any nooks and crannies (or grooves!) for lead to build up and make the bore smaller, raising pressures.

My testing isn't done... I guess I'll go for 150 or 200 rounds of lead the next time.

So if cast lead bullets are BAB BAD BAD in a 10mm Glock 29, I've not yet seen hard evidence of it. (but boy, there sure is a WHOLE heckuva lot of internet warnings about it)

And one last thing... my buddy used to have a .45 cal HK USP pistol with a polygonally rifled barrel and it looked different in shape and style from my polygonally rifled Glock barrel. The HK pistol bore looked like a true polygon when looking down it... the Glock bore seems to have curved sides running down it's polygon sides, almost looks like a reverse "lands and grooves" kind of concept. I have no idea if this is only the 10mm Glock pistols, or all of them, or just the G29, or just the one that Glock built and I happened to purchase. But the bottom line is that not all polygonally rifled handgun barrels are the same. I wish I could take a picture of it.

Folks LOVE to say that "Glock specifies that you should never shoot lead bullets through their barrels" but folks -- nearly every handgun maker in America also tells you right there in ink that you should NEVER feed your firearms any manner of handloads or reloads and that is pure and simple CYA lawyer horsecrap and it means nothing, not a single useful thing here in the real world where I live.
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Old October 19, 2011, 03:08 PM   #12
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The reason it looks diffrant is it is hexagonal rifling ,not poly.
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Old October 19, 2011, 03:19 PM   #13
Sevens
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Hex means six. Poly means many. Poly can be Hex and Hex can be poly.

The rifling in my G29 is different than in my buddy's HK USP .45.
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Old October 19, 2011, 03:35 PM   #14
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in this instance it's 6 vs 8. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sourc...WZzTha_yqY9QBg
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Old October 19, 2011, 03:39 PM   #15
GONIF
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What is interesting is that H&K barrels always produce the higest velocity in the same size and caliber. My Glock 22 gets 1180 fps and my H&K USP40 gets 1211 fps with Winchester Ranger 165 ammo .Same holds with my hand loads .
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Old October 19, 2011, 03:41 PM   #16
Dobe
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Furthermore, this isn't a traditional land & groove barrel, we all know that and we've said it a half dozen times in this thread. With the style of barrel that the G29 uses, WHERE is this lead supposed to "collect?" I just don't see any nooks and crannies (or grooves!) for lead to build up and make the bore smaller, raising pressures.
Lead can collect on the sides of a smooth bore, if the lead is soft enough and/or the pressure is high enough, especially if the base of the bullet is gas cut.

Now, if you'll reread my first post, you'll notice I'm not arguing that hardcast bullets cannot be successfuly used in a polygonal barrel. My point is that leading can occur in a polygonal barrel as it can in a traditional barrel as it can in a smooth bore.
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Old October 19, 2011, 03:55 PM   #17
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I have shot lead cast out of my glocks with no problem. You need to clean it more often and you need to keep the velocity down under 1200fps with most cast bullets . This will only be an issue with .357 Sig,10mm,hot 40S&W and nuclear 9mm. The 45acp is a non issue. IMHO Glock is just covering it's a$$ and rightfully so ,because there are too many idiots and lawyers looking to ruin it for the rest of us . As far as hot 10mm ,you can not be too carefull . If you are going to hand load ,get good aftermarket barrel with enough support. Bulged brass/glock smiles will be trouble sooner or later.
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Old October 19, 2011, 06:28 PM   #18
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All you need to understand and remember is that if you shoot lead bullets (any kind) in a gun (any kind) you have to remove it. It will build up faster in different types of rifling. If you keep the bore clean and lead free you're good. It's not that hard to do. Don't clean it out and first the accuracy goes away followed by rapid disassembly as the pressure goes off the chart.
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Old October 20, 2011, 01:34 PM   #19
Don P
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It is controversial, and up to the owner's responsibility to determine this. Glock does it for legal purposes, because shooting lead through their barrels can cause leading and cause higher pressures that MIGHT lead to the dreaded Kaboom.
IIRC all manufactures' make the same statement about shooting reloads. Yes Glock advises no to cast lead. I shoot my hard cast lead reloads in my Glocks. Personal choice and they do get cleaned after each range session. To date after a 200 round shooting session leading was not a problem. Just my opinion and what I do.
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Old October 20, 2011, 05:43 PM   #20
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I use a Lone Star conversion barrel to convert my GLK 27 .40 to 9mm. This set-up is for range only, although it has been 100% reliable with great accuracy. Current wisdom says keep the Glock original for business purpose. I abide by this wisdom because it's offered by those with light years of Glock experience beyond my meager tinkering.
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