There was a time when I was very involved in all things sport bikes. Every month I’d pick up various publications to read what was new and great in the marketplace and there was a statement that appeared fairly frequently, because of the constant addition of new and improved technologies and products. It read something like this: “These are very good times for sport bike riders.”
As I sit and admire Glock’s new “TB” (threaded barrel) models, I can’t help but think about how those words are so true for today’s shooters. These are truly good times for gun enthusiasts. Glock has helped make things even better by recognizing the shooter’s desire for suppressors and suppressed shooting. The folks at Glock informed me that they decided to start offering threaded barrels due to their customers’ increased interest in suppression, and that they wanted to offer an OEM option to their customers. Good move, Glock. And after having tested them, I can say that the TB line is quality ware that you’ll definitely want to consider adding to your collection.
Before we get into the product it’s important to be aware of the growing suppressor marketplace. Suppressors fall under the National Firearms Act (NFA) and thus require the filing of specific paperwork, which includes a federal background check, fingerprinting and, under certain circumstances, approval from one’s local chief law enforcement officer. A $200 tax is also required. Once all this is completed the user will receive a tax stamp. This is proof that the requirements have been met by the owner and that all the rules have been complied with. It sounds like a lot, and to be honest it can be a bit overwhelming the first time you go to do this. But what’s truly interesting is that the number of NFA forms processed has increased every year between 2005 and 2013, according to info posted by the ATF. Those increases were greater than 25,000 per year in 2012 and 2013. Although the entirety of these increases may not be due to suppressor acquisition, it’s surely a good chunk of it. Be sure to check your state and local laws concerning the acquisition and ownership of suppressors.
Glock’s Glock 19, Glock 17, Glock 23 and Glock 21 SF pistols will don the TB designation and be offered for those interested in a complete factory gun. Glock owners can also order the barrels a la carte, to spice up previous versions of these models that they may already have in their collections. I was informed by Glock that these barrels are made in Austria. Though that may be the case, the company also mentioned that they can be made in the U.S. as well, but I was not given information as to why or when the latter would be the case. Just know that Glock’s reputation for quality will in no way be affected by these new products. Glock uses a high grade of steel to produce its threaded barrels, and the type is closely guarded. The polygonal rifling that Glock is famous for still resides within each barrel.
The threaded barrels are approximately 13.5 millimeters longer than standard Glock barrels. This increased length means more Glocks in the hands of Canadian firearm owners, as the Glock 19 TB and Glock 23 TB meet the barrel-length requirement for legal Canadian ownership. As you might expect, these barrels have European left-hand threading. The threads on the Glock 19 TB, Glock 17 TB and Glock 23 TB are 13.5×1 while the Glock 21 SF TB is 16×1. You’ll need to know that when you go to attach a suppressor to your Glock.
In addition to the excellent barrels, Glock’s TB pistols come with equally impressive sights. They are raised so that an attached suppressor will not interfere with the shooter’s sight picture. These sights feature a light green dot on the front post, and the rear sight is completely blacked out. It’s very easy to quickly pick up the sights when aiming, and I personally feel they greatly aided in achieving solid accuracy results from the guns I tested. These are some of the best raised sights that I’ve seen. I should also note that a polymer thread protector is included with your threaded barrel.
The most obvious benefit of suppressors is their ability to effectively reduce the sound signature of a firearm. Simply put, it’s quieter shooting. Other factors come into play, though, such as the ammo that the shooter is using. When it comes to 9mm ammo, a subsonic load (typically 147 grains or heavier) is necessary to achieve an actual hearing-safe level, depending on the suppressor. For those shooting .45 ACP, your typical 230-grain ball ammo will be very quiet since it is subsonic. Non-subsonic ammo can be shot through suppressors and the sound will be significantly reduced, just be careful when opting not to wear hearing protection while shooting supersonic ammo. Know your suppressor’s sound ratings before heading to the range.
Suppressed shooting means a very dirty gun, which is of no real consequence with the unfettered reliability of Glocks. Just keep in mind that more extensive and frequent cleaning will be necessary when you use a suppressor. Also, since the Glock has a tilting barrel, you’ll need a booster device attached to your suppressor for proper functioning.
I headed to the range with a Glock 19 TB and Glock 21 SF TB. I’m never enthused about shooting pistols from 25 yards. I’ve tested standard Glock 19s at this distance and have never been happy with my results and I assumed this test would be no different. I was wrong. Shooting the Glock 19 TB, I managed a 1.55-inch group using Federal Premium LE 124-grain hollow point (HP). If my memory serves me correctly, I’ve never achieved a group smaller than 2 inches with a Glock 19. This group felt especially easy to muster thanks to the great sights attached to the gun. Having never tested a Glock chambered in .45 ACP, I felt good about the 1.88-inch group from the Glock 21 TB. This best group came from Black Hills 230-grain JHP +P. Subsequent groups from both guns were greater than 2 inches, but it was very evident that with the right ammo, Glock’s threaded barrels are very capable of delivering very acceptable accuracy.
I completed further testing with suppressors attached to each gun: a Gemtech GM-9 in 9mm and a GM-45 in .45. These suppressors are lightweight and offer great noise reduction. One of the best features about both of these offerings from Gemtech is their ability to be serviced by the user. The suppressor can be easily disassembled for the shooter to clean or to simply admire the beautiful mono-core technology within them. Both Gemtech suppressors were originally set up for right-hand-twist barrels, so Gemtech helped me find the appropriate linear inertial decouplers (boosters) for left-handed threads. Both Glock TB models ran appropriately with the suppressors attached, and I enjoyed the optimum sound suppression they offered while shooting at the range.
Glock has done a good job with its new TB line. They’re made as well as you’d expect a Glock product to be. If you’re so inclined to pick one up, be sure to take the time to find out which ammo is most accurate from your particular gun. I highly doubt you’ll be disappointed with the results.
For more information, visit us.glock.com or call 770-432-1202.