Starting this blog got me thinking about Bruce, my Gen 2 Glock 17, so I went back and looked through my notes I’ve kept over the years about the changes I’ve made. After marking up an exploded parts diagram, I’ve come to the realization that after 18 years there are only 6 original parts left – the frame, the barrel, the slide, the slide cover plate, and the two pins. Maybe, instead of Bruce, I should name it Frankenglock.
While some parts have been replaced because they broke, and some have been changed deliberately, most of the parts have been replaced as part of my yearly visit with the Glock Armorers at a GSSF match. This is a benefit of belonging to GSSF that cannot be overstated – you get to visit with a professional factory Armorer (not just an amateur like me), who goes over your Glock with a fine toothed comb. They replace any parts that even seem like they might fail in the near future, and in most cases they give you the old parts as spares. Beyond the obvious customer service advantage, this service makes sense economically from Glock’s point of view. Chris Edwards, the GSSF Director at Glock, once told me they save quite a lot of money every year just on shipping charges for warrantee work alone.
The only parts that have been replaced because they actually failed are the rear sight and the extractor. The rear sight was originally an adjustable target sight and was broken when I got it from the pawn shop, a fact I learned from the two policemen I met at the range that first day. The extractor got chipped over time, probably because I ignored good advice and would load a round directly into the barrel then drop the slide on it, rather than loading it through the magazine the way they tell you. Let that be a lesson, kids.
Parts that I’ve changed voluntarily probably aren’t as many as they would be if this were any other pistol. I installed an extended magazine release and an extended slide stop lever to compensate for my short fingers and thumbs. I’ve also installed Warren-Sevigny sights with the fiber optic front sight, and when I’m competing with Bruce, he gets the (-) connector to lighten the trigger pull a little. For carry, the normal connector goes back in, although the current connector is a GSSF replacement.
The only other change I’ve made is to use a slip-on Hogue rubber grip, just to provide some indexing for my grip. Since the Gen 2 frame doesn’t have molded finger grooves, this helps me get the same grip all the time.
All the other parts – trigger, firing pin, recoil spring, internal safeties, and the like – are all factory Glock parts, albeit replacements. I see no reason to mess with what’s worked.
So, that brings us to the point – is Bruce still Bruce? Certainly from the BATFE’s point of view, yes, since it still has the original frame and serial number. Beyond that, I think so. Look at his namesake, Bruce Willis. Is he the same man in Red as he was in Moonlighting? Less hair, move the muscles around some, maybe some additions or subtractions not publicized, but yes, he’s still the same, even better from the added experience. And so it is with my Bruce - still the same, in fact, arguably better.