Ask The Gunsmith–Glock or 1911?

Shueywith Gene Shuey
AGI Instructor and Master Pistolsmith

In this video, AGI Instructor Gene Shuey first give a simple and inexpensive tip for making it a little easier to rack the slide on a Glock 17. Then he goes on to give his answer to an age-old question–Glock or 1911?

You may agree with him or not, so tell us what you think in the comments below!


15 Responses to Ask The Gunsmith–Glock or 1911?

  1. I found his comments to be interesting and I notice he was very politic in that he didn’t actually pick which gun he favored. That’s okay. The Glock has improved from when it was first introduced. I agree with him about the sights and the barrel.
    I personally use the 1911 because of the customizable aspect. Whatever I need or want to do to the 1911, I can do it. Not so with the Glock.

  2. I’ve put a lot of lead thru a glock 27 without any problems. you said something about lead causing something in the polygon bore I could not understand and you didn’t explain it very well. could you please elaborate on it a little more?

    • the glock also has more bullets, in fact way more or is smaller in size in the 45 caliber. if it is for defense, i would choose the glock. while both can be reliable, as he said right out of the box when you pull the trigger the glock will go bang. as far as the 45, i bleieve there are better rounds with more speed to increase the shock value. there was a reason the 357 mag held the best one shot stop %. speed is the answer in my humble opinion.. my choice is the 27..

    • From what I’ve read on that subject it has something to do with the button rifling technique used to rifle the glock barrels as opposed to the broach rifling used in other match grade barrels. I rad that in a gunsmithing book written by Patrick Sweeney.

  3. i have fired a lot of lead down the barrel of my glocks without a problem, that being said i have order barrels so i do not have to do that any more. they say the polygonal rifling strips the lead and it builds up until the pressure gets to high. i cannot say how accurate it is but glock says if you do shoot lead it destroys their guarantee, i believe..

  4. Ahh the impossible to answer question. I don’t think Gene is being politcal here and I have to agree with Gene. It is impossible to choose between a 1911 and a Glock. You have to have both.

    While I love and prefer 1911s, I mainly carry and protect my home with Glocks for one reason only over the 1911….mag capacity. I believe the 1911 to be superior in every other way.

    I’ve been building pistols for years and always make the changes Gene describes in order to improve these pistols.

    The barrel swap to a rifled barrel for lead bullets in a Glock is a must. The polygonal barrel offers a better seal than a rifled barrel and shoots at higher pressures and velocities. So when using lead bullets, and the barrel starts leading, over pressure becomes a real and dangerous problem.
    But there is another and bigger danger here while using lead bullets with the Glock. With the stock Glock barrel, the cartridge is not fully supported in the chamber at the cartridges base near the rim. Anyone who reloads will tell you about even once fired brass from a Glock as having a slight case bulge at the base which makes for a weakness in the brass . Then, when leading and pressures start to build, it is very possible to blow out the cartridge base where it is unsupported and do damage to the pistol. Since most lead bullets are reloaded already, if you use a previously fired case from a Glock that has already bulged,even after it has been fully resized, this bulged and weakened area becomes very dangerous indeed.

    Thanks to Gene. You are the best!

  5. The Glock is very customizable. Take a look at our web page opsarmory.com or on Facebook. Stipple, new triggers. Slide cuts ect…

  6. Somehow you missed one of the best home defense pistols ever made: the Tokarev T33 and its derivatives. Never misfired, always loads, far more powerful that the 1911 or Glock, especially with hollow point ammo available to effectively transfer energy and very inexpensive to purchase. Who cares if you can split a hair at 50 yards, when you need to blow them away at 10? Holds 8 + 1. Should be all you need indoors, if you can shoot. Russians built a good gun. No wimpy barrel issues.

  7. I have been shooting Glocks since they first came out in the 1980’s. It is pure baloney that you cannot shoot lead bullets either safely or accurately. I have shot literally thousands of hard cast lead bullets out of them. As a matter of fact I find that Glocks lead the bore less than conventional rifling does. This does not mean they do not lead at all or will not lead heavily if you use undersize bullets. Just make sure after you shoot lead you scrub the bore out even if their is only a small amount of leading. They do shoot lead bullets as accurately as jacketed ones and many times more accurately. You do not need an after market barrel with deep rifling to shoot lead accurately if the bullet fits the bore. To reduce leading many people shoot bullets 1,2, and even 3 thousanths oversize.

    Now lets look at the ignition system. It is totally inferior to the 1911’s bone crushing hammer fired ignition. The Glock has a pre-loaded striker fired ignition. It is so weak that if you have a high primer that it will misfire. In my testing with only an empty case and a high primer I have had the Glocks fail to fire on the same high primer 3 times in a row while many hammer fired guns I tested all passed on the first shot.

    The glock has an open firing pin channel as well as a hole in the grip both of which let in dirt and debris. The firing pin channel will let in excess lube and burnt powder as well. Couple this with cold weather and the weak firing pin system and you are headed for a misfire.

    Safety. This gun requires the addition of a manual safety which can be had with the Cominolli add on safety. And Glock will still warranty the gun if installed by an approved gun smith. This safety can be left in the “on” position when loading or unloading the gun. Without this safety the Glock is not a safe pistol to handle or to carry period. In some foreign countries the Glock is not allowed into the country without a Glock factory safety which unfortunately has never been available to the American market. I find this almost unbelievable especially to Police Departments, some of which have dropped the Glock because of too many accidental shootings.

    I agree the factory sights are pure junk as they snap off being made of plastic and wear down without a custom fitted holster with a sight track. I would go with the Glock installed Meprolite metal night sights which are radium.

    For combat the factory trigger is sufficient but gritty and heavy. I do not recommend substituting the Glock competition trigger for a carry gun, especially if you have not had the manual safety installed.

    For a carry gun keep your Glock clean and only lightly lubed with a good low temperature oil like Break Free CLP and to eliminate the hazard of misfires with high primers only shoot factory ammo for self defense.

    • Everyone appears to have different experiences with leading in the Glock pistols . I had a customer who shot lead rounds in his Glock and the slide split from overpressure . The gun was repaired and returned with the recommendation not to shoot lead bullets . The customer returned about 4 months later with the same issue and luckily came away uninjured a second time after once again using lead bullets . Don’t know about anybody else but if I eat something and it makes me sick I’m not eating it again ! Glock says don’t use lead bullets !

  8. Same argument, different day. The absolute best gun to have, own, use, for any reason is the one you like and can use. Nothing else matters. It is what you prefer.
    As to capacity and home defense, if you need more than a couple of rounds then you have a really unusual situation or you need more practice.
    Have a wonderful day and shoot safely.

  9. I have never purchased a Glock for the reasons mentioned in your video. I also reload my own ammo and have concerns about over-pressure issues with Glocks, “the Glock smile” and the “Glock bulge”. My 1911 and FS92 take whatever I feed them and always go bang. They have no function issues whatever.

    I prefer the 1911 mainly because it feels right and just looks “real pretty”.

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