Monday, November 26, 2012

Glock 27 - The Incredibly Versatile Pocket Glock


Multi-caliber pistols push all the right buttons for me.  I don't collect them, but I do have a great appreciation for them.  I remember when I first read about the HK-4, I immediately knew I wanted one.  Having one pistol frame and slide with 4 caliber specific barrels, recoil springs, and magazines gave the owner the ability to shoot .22LR, 25 Auto, 32 Auto, and .380 Auto.  Reality set in when I found out that production of the HK-4 ceased in 1984 and I was reading about it for the first time in the early 1990's.  I have no idea why the HK-4 ended up in the "no longer made" category, but for me the allure of the concept never went away.

Many years later I discovered that .40 caliber Glock pistols share similar capabilities with the HK-4.  After purchasing a .40 S&W Glock (full size, mid size, or compact), it is possible to swap out barrels and magazines and turn your .40 S&W Glock into a 9mm and/or .357 Sig.  Glock one-ups the HK-4 by eliminating the need to change out recoil springs.  9mm and .357 Sig magazines are available from any Glock accessories dealer.  OEM 9mm and .357 Sig barrels can be purchased from Glock parts dealers. There are also a few after market manufacturers of Glock barrels.  In my case, I used barrels from Lone Wolf Distributors.

For clarity and completeness, I should mention that the .357 Sig Glock models (full size, mid size, or compact) can also be converted to .40 S&W and 9mm.  I had a G27 so that's the conversion path I followed.

In my case, tracking down a 9mm conversion barrel was pretty easy.  The .357 barrel took a bit more patience because it looks like Lone Wolf sells every one they make in a matter of a few minutes.  Magazines were very easy to find.   With some smart shopping and waiting to buy during sale periods, I finally got all the parts I needed for what I thought was a reasonable price.  My next stop was a way to keep everything organized.

My experiences with Otter Box goes way back.  Over a decade ago, I used Otter Boxes, in the size show in the pictures above and below, as travel cigar humidors.  They always did a great job protecting their contents.  Otter redesigned their cases a few years ago and closed out their old Model 2000 stock.  I picked up a "few" at that time and they work perfectly for storing the conversion parts.  I'm sure there are other dry box options available.

I could go into much more detail here, but I think I covered everything important in the range video below.

I'm really pleased with this 3 caliber set up.  As I mentioned in the video, it's going to be a great tool for my ballistics testing.  I've actually used it in that capacity to run a 3 caliber side by side test, but I have not had the chance to publish the results yet.  The range trip yesterday was my first chance to run 150+ rounds through the conversion with constant swapping between the different barrels and magazines.  I'm really pleased with the results with zero failures of any kind.

As an aside for those wondering why the G27 can't be converted to .380 Auto, it has to do with the operational design of the pistols.  While similar in size to the G27, the G28 is blow back operated while the G27 is a locked breech design.  Technically, you could convert your G27 to .380 Auto with a G28 slide, barrel, and magazine.  You may also need to change the recoil springs.  Import restrictions on the G28, and it's component parts, make this conversion nearly impossible.  So while it would be cool, it's probably not something I'll ever attempt.

The G27, with all the conversion parts, gets me very close to the 4 caliber HK-4 I lusted after back in the 1990's, but in much more meaningful defense calibers.  I'm satisfied with that compromise.  

10 comments:

  1. I was under the impression that to shoot 357sig in a .40S&W Glock, you only needed the conversion barrel, but the 40 mags could be used with the 357sig ammo. Is that not the case?

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    1. I heard that too, but then I've also heard you should get the .357 mags. I wanted it to work so I bought the mags. Glad I did because it has been working great.

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    2. I picked up a Wolf .357sig barrel for my police turn-in Gen2 model 22, but I have yet to get around to trying it out. Like you, I also love that Glocks are very easy to do a caliber conversion on.

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    3. The Glock .40's will shoot 9mm with standard Glock 9mm barrels. There is no need to purchase aftermarket conversion barrels. The G27 with G19 barrel is a great setup too with the added 1/2" increase in muzzle velocity of the compact vs. sub.

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  2. Personal preferences aside the G27 is no more versatile than the M&P, the P226 or any number of semiautomatic pistol. I have had participated IN A SMALL WAY in the adoption of various technologies by police departments, sheriff's departments and state level organizations and I have been an observer in the decision process by at least one federal agency. The thing that many people don't discuss when new pistols are chosen and adopted is the place that price per weapon. I have seen more than one agency choose Glock on the basis of price, more often than any other aspect of the weapon. Glock was very wise when they chose to keep the magazine from one model of pistol to the next consistent. The tactical benefit of an office being able to use another cop's magazine, as long as they are the same caliber, is by no means trivial. Even so, I can't tell you often LEOs who spend more go to the range regularly prefer HK, Sig, 1911s, etc., but carry Glock because the insurers and attorneys will not cover/defend them in line of duty shootings & off-duty shootings unless they engaged someone with a specific model of Glock.

    Okay, fine, that is the world of law suits and politics. Please, however, do not ascribe superiority to the weapon where it does not exist. Any number of semi-auto will handle 40 S&W/9 MM/357SIG ammo with little a change in barrel and magazine. As for going to the 380? I know of no US agency that uses that caliber. As for personal defense, anyone too weak/frail to handle 9 MM, or even a 38 Special +P, probably cant handle a 380.

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  3. It is nice to know about Glock 27. It really have a an interesting features.I love to carry guns and Glock 27 is nice option to carry it comfortably. The best thing is that Glock 27 can be converted to shoot the 9mm and .357sig.

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  4. I have this setup as well as a 22lr conversion. It's not as cheap as swapping just a barrel but it does help if you live in one of the communist Srates that require you to get a permit for each gun.

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  5. Since watching this video I have purchase the conversion barrels for my G27 as well as some 26 mags. It has ran the 9mm flawlessly, but I haven't gotten around to firing the .357 sig yet.

    Thanks for the awesome tip.

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  6. Can you us a straight glock 33 barrel in a g27?

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    1. OEM 9mm and .357 Sig barrels can be purchased from Glock parts dealers. I used aftermarket Lone Wolf barrels.

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