What’s wrong with my factory barrel?

In case you hadn’t noticed, we sell barrels. Lots of them, and they’re designed to replace the factory barrel in your Glock pistol. We actually make replacement barrels for quite a few brands of guns, but today we’re going to focus on Glock barrels and the Mystery of Lead Bullets.

Glock pistols up through Gen 4 use what’s called polygonal rifling, The Gen 5 pistols are their own animal, and we’ll touch on those in a later post, but for now we’re focused on Gen1-4 Glock barrels. One of the big differences between traditional and polygonal rifling is that shooting lead bullets through polygonal rifling isn’t a great idea. In fact, Glock specifically says “don’t” because it will void your warranty. But why shouldn’t you?

The short version is that with polygonal rifling and lead bullets, as well as some cheap coated bullets, there is an extreme possibility of excessive leading (or build up) in your barrel. When you shoot a lead bullet through a traditionally rifled barrel, the lands gouge into and cut the bullet, and very little lead is deposited in the grooves. This normal build up is minimal, safe and easy to clean. When a lead bullet is fired in a polygonal rifled barrel, which has shallow hills and valleys instead of groves and lands, the lead bullet isn’t gouged, it’s squeezed down by the rifling, and the lead bullet will frequently “skip” over the hills, leaving lead deposits throughout the barrel. As each round is fired this process continues and the streaking lead deposits build up , this build up in turn reduces the barrel diameter, which will eventually create higher chamber pressures contributing to the eventual possibility of your barrel blowing up.

Of course, there are posts found in chat rooms where claims are made of thousands of rounds of lead bullets fired through Glock factory barrels with no issue. This could be possible if due diligence were followed and a rigorous cleaning program were followed. We ask, why would you choose to follow that example? Do you understand that you’re 1) voiding your Glock’s warranty, and 2) risking your own safety? All this risk while knowing full well a standard rifled replacement barrel that is conducive to use with every kind of bullet including lead, only costs $140.

Aftermarket barrels are great, and not just to shoot lead bullets, either. What if you want a threaded barrel using a standard thread pitch, instead of some weird left-hand threaded metric pitch that factory barrels use? Lone Wolf standardized the industry for suppressors and common accessories. I know that the Euro threaded barrels have some kind of hipster appeal, but when you look at the US accessories market, all the stuff from compensators to suppressors are using standard threads, not metric threads. In fact, Glock will actually sell you a barrel for your gun that has our standard thread pitch…they just don’t want to talk about it.

There are other advantages to our aftermarket barrels as well. In addition to threaded barrels, if you choose an aftermarket barrel you can get one in stainless steel, giving your Glock that cool two-tone look. Here’s a fun bit of trivia: if you pay close attention to the Glocks you see in TV and movies, a lot of the time when they’re being fired, they have a stainless barrel in them. That’s because the prop department was lazy, and didn’t get a blank adapter barrel that was the correct color. Another advantage to our stainless steel barrel is that it is the same hardness all the way through. A Glock barrel is (soft) carbon steel with a hard coating, ours is one consistent hardness. Sort of like the difference between a solid bar of chocolate and a dipped cone from DQ. Because of that, our barrels can be cut and re-crowned, which you can’t do with a Glock barrel. Back to our replacement barrels; because in addition to all that, one of the coolest things you can do with an aftermarket barrel is change your Glock’s caliber.

That’s right, you don’t have to be stuck with that .40! We make conversion barrels that will change any .40 S&W Glock to a 9mm or a .357 Sig. Those aren’t the only conversion barrels we make, because you can also convert your Glock 42 to a 9mm Mak which is awesome, or convert you G35 to .357 Sig like we mentioned above, which is kind of silly but also just silly enough to be rad as hell. We don’t just make conversions for Glocks either, although that’s definitely the focus here – you can convert your .40 S&W Shield to 9mm, or your LC380 to 9mm Mak.

There are a ton of advantages to switching your Glock’s barrel over to an aftermarket barrel. Shooting lead bullets is the one people talk about the most, but when you really look at it, there are a ton of great reasons to change. You can also get increased accuracy, normal threads, and caliber conversions! Who wouldn’t want that?

11 Comments

  1. When are you going to stock and sell stainless 3.78 inch barrels for my glock 29 gen 4 again ?
    I have been waiting for about a year now.

  2. I have a lone wolf barrel in my g34 its not as accurate as the stock barrel. The chamber to slide fit is loose. Do you have semi fit barrels also what is the twist rate of that barrel

  3. I have Lone Wolf Ported Barrels in my G-34 and G-35 (Both Gen 4’s). I have never had an issue with them and the accuracy is at least on par with my factory barrels if not slightly better. I’ve used my G-34 with the LW Ported Barrel in a host of competitions including GSSF Unlimited and my plate runs are definitely quicker than when using no ported barrels/models. Did have to up my load just a tad bit to reliably work the gun. My G-35 with the ported barrel became my favorite Bowling Pin gun in local matches.

    1. Thanks for the positive feedback, Mark! We always appreciate hearing feedback like yours. And yes, with ported barrels, or threaded barrels using compensators; it’s not uncommon to have to use a hotter load to make up for the loss in pressure.

    1. Stephen, a true “fully supported chamber” in a Glock barrel is a bit of a farce. With that being said; our Lone Wolf and AlphaWolf barrels have the most chamber support possible, that will allow for reliable feeding.

      1. I checked LW website but it appears that the unthreaded Peoples Republic of Kalifornia, 40 s&w replacement barrel does not have lands and grooves but rather the same polygonal bore that is standard on the original Glock barrel. Please confirm if this is correct. Also, if so, there must be some logic behind this. Any insight would appreciated.

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