The Glock 19 Generation 4 and the Glock 30s, along with their new parts, took some trips to the range. I quickly found that the shooter wasn't up to the task.
I don't want to drag you back to the features that covered ROBAR's great work on a Gen. 2 Glock 17, but I'd had considerable trouble shooting straight with that gun. It appeared the same issue was arising here.
Now I've fired both of these heaters in the past – each had been fired on the Kansas C-POST qualification courses while supervised by active service personnel. The Glock 30s, being a .45 caliber Glock, was quite accurate – no surprise to me. I've not run into a Glock in .45 caliber – either ACP or GAP – that demonstrated less than very good service pistol accuracy. The Gen. 4 Glock 19 was okay – certainly better than earlier Glock 9mm pistols in the accuracy department, just not quite up to the accuracy of the 45s.
That work had been done with the "ball in bucket" factory plastic sights. I was very careful to try to center that fat front sight in the not-so-wide rear notch and was rewarded with fairly centered hits. Like many people, I tend to press left (when shooting right-handed) with Glocks. I had to learn to "bury" the trigger finger and use the distal crease to control the break of the trigger. That helped in the past.
Seeing groups high and left with the .45, I went to the 9mm and was seeing the same pattern. I think the "non-standard" feel of the Gen. 4 pistol sans backstrap was putting me in the same position as I was when shooting the ROBAR custom G17. The G30s was likewise messing with me.
I remembered the injunction to "cover the target with the contrasting color" and press the trigger. I normally will hold the top edge of the front sight 2/3 of the way up the bull and I was doing that here to cover the target with color. Bad idea.
Going to a ¼ - ½ of the bull hold (top edge of the front sight centered on the bull or ¼ of the way down from there), brought the elevation down. Using the distal joint of the index finger brought the group onto the left side of the bull with both guns.
It was time to work trigger control. I did the "bump drill," Bruce Gray's trigger control exercise. From sights-on-target, finger-on-trigger, press until you feel tension build. Release pressure, then press again a little more. Release and repeat. If it doesn't fire, try again, each time slightly increasing pressure. You'd get a surprise break somewhere in there – follow through on it. Take a breather and go through the process again. It's a good way to reinforce the feeling of a surprise trigger break. Works well in dry practice too, just make sure all that pesky ammo is elsewhere and that you're on a bullet absorbent target.
The contrasting color of the sights had pulled my attention away from the trigger – after all, this is a test of the sights, right? After getting on trigger control, things settled in nicely. I then worked the "Demand Shot," a drill from Wayne Dobbs and Larry Vickers. Using the Glock 30s and a B-8 target center, I stood at 7 yards (supposed to be 5 yards). I was aimed in, finger on the trigger. On the beep, I was to hit in the "X" within .25 second.
Another equipment issue intruded. I bought a Competition Electronics Pocket Pro timer in their early years. Don't believe me? – Take a look at the photo, it's the original box. I got it from Gil Hebard Guns in Illinois – remember him? I'd been getting an extra decimal on the display and finally broke down and got the Pocket Pro II on the right. They were on sale at MidwayUSA.
I made sure I had everything properly set up, including the random start. Well, the new "random" can be very quick – too quick for this old shooter. After I got arranged, the Pocket Pro got me into five good reps on the Demand Shot drill. The quickest time was .18 and the longest was .23, with four rounds into one hole and a single round outside that cluster but still a fraction of an inch away.
Having a surprise break is critical but moving to the demand shot makes you speed that process up without jarring the gun offline.
The Gen 4 G19 chugged through a variety of rounds from the lightly loaded Federal 115 grain FMJ in aluminum cases (locally purchased), Hornady 124 grain TAP-FPD, Hornady Critical Duty 135 grain Flexlock and Cor-Bon 115 grain DPX +P. The ejection problems disappeared, it seems that it's due to the Apex extractor.
I went back to the range and tried again – this time the pre-2012 Arizona Daytime Semi-Auto Qualification course. I put NRA B-8 bullseye repair centers over the silhouettes. Our sight install on the G19 Gen. 4 wasn't helpful. The ejection issue is solved but no amount of finger in the trigger guard would solve left-ward hits with this gun on this day.
The G30s came out. I found that the Bianchi Model 135 Suppression holster works fine with the small .45 and used it in the course of fire. All the rounds hit on the repair center – one was high left and in the "6" ring. The rest were all inside the "8" ring. Using the bullseye scoring, it yielded 470/500. Using silhouette scoring, it was "clean."
The small slide can be jarring with hot ammo. Using the Federal "Aluminum" case 230 grain FMJ, it was still a handful but not impossible to control.
The Generation 4 Glock 19 went back out to the range today. Mike Rafferty was there with the sight pusher. For that reason, the first five rounds I fired from it at fifteen yards hammered the B-8 bullseye target center.
The project continues. It'll take more time with these guns to get the symbiotic relationship I've had with the old Gen. 3 Glock 19 that's been a frequent companion since 2001. I'll work it out – given time.
-- Rich Grassi