Fitting aftermarket barrels in popular service pistols.
by RK Campbell
My sons grew up with the 1911 handgun. They also grew up with quite a number of other handguns around the home, some of which I was evaluating for various agencies and others in various states of repair. I wasn’t surprised when my oldest son elected to obtain a Glock 36 and use it for a carry gun. My respect for the Glock has grown over the years even though I still prefer blue steel and walnut. As a go-anywhere, do-anything defensive handgun the Glock has merit. My son is a hard working young man on a budget and doesn’t wish to bang up a nice 1911. He is also an enthusiastic handloader and that presents a problem with Glocks.
We could debate hexagons and polygons but we will not as the end result is the same when lead bullets are pressed into the barrel. The Glock’s polygonal rifling is seen as an advantage by many as it is not cut as deeply in the barrel. The gas seal with jacketed bullets is better and Glocks often exhibit greater velocity than equal barrel lengths that are conventionally rifled. Unfortunately, that shallow rifling isn’t compatible with lead bullets. Lead fouling has no where to go in a polygonal rifled barrel. As a result, pressure can build quickly, blowing cases or even the pistol.
Those wanting to shoot lead bullets out of a Glock need an aftermarket barrel. Barrels by Bar-Sto Precision yield excellent results and the ability to use lead bullets is worth the price. They tend to be more accurate than factory barrels and produce comparable velocity.
Read more in the January 2016 issue.