With the big three (S&W, Glock, Springfield) polymer handgun manufacturers all making “competition ready” guns out of the box, and with me having a representative sample of each one, I wanted to do a little comparison the pros/cons and what I feel each gun needs to have changed out of the box. We’ll begin with the obvious starting point, the Glock 34
The Glock 34 has reached a level of ubiquity in the competition shooting world where it’s entirely possible to assemble a “Glock 34″ completely from aftermarket parts. This level of support means that spare parts, magazines, sights, and other components are readily available from a variety of sources.
In addition, magazines are relatively cheap compared to the other two guns on the list.
It’s a proven design. The Glock family of pistols are the most common polymer handguns in the US. It is hard to argue with the logic of buying a Glock if your’e looking for a reliable handgun.
It’s boring. If you’re looking for style points with your competition gun, you’re not going to find them shooting a Glock. Because it’s common, reliable, and proven, it also isn’t very exciting. It’s like the Toyota Camry of competition guns: it runs great and lasts forever, but it’ll never be exciting while doing it.
Not everyone likes the grip angle. This is a really personal issue, as I actually like the grip angle of the Glock 34. It forces me to take the most aggressive grip possible on the gun.
Ch-ch-changes – these are the items that the guns need (IMO) to have changed to be really ready.
New sights. The factory adjustable sights on the Glock are trash. They’re an insult to shooters everywhere. Rip them off the gun as soon as possible and replace them with Sevigny or Dawson sights.
The magazine well can be dramatically enhanced by sending it to Southpaw Custom for a Sevigny Speedway or by adding a grip plug from Lone Wolf.
The magazine release is too large. With a full firing grip, the mag release will dig into my hand during extended range sessions, which is unpleasant to say the least.
The Glock 34 still sits as the king of the polymer competition handguns, and you’d be hard pressed to go wrong with it right now. The reliability, availability of parts and magazines, and customizing options probably make it the most practical choice for someone that isn’t interested in spending a lot of time screwing with the gun. New sights, a grip plug, and a new magazine catch will set you back less than $100. It’s hard to argue against the Glock!