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It doesn’t get a lot easier than this.

Push the shroud/comp into place,


replace the trigger pin, go shooting.

Six Amplitudes of
Glock Modulation
Building Your Own Glock Open Pistol
BY PATRICK KELLEY, TY-14401

V
alued for their reliability, magazine capac-
ity and serviceable accuracy, Glock pistols
are the pistol of choice for the majority of
shooters in the Production Division (57%
at the 2007 Nationals), and have an enviable place
in the L-10 and Limited Divisions as well. The ques-
tion now is can the Glock platform contort to serve
the needs of Open Division?
Specialists like SJC are already creating purpose-
built guns like the CCF raceframe monster shown
in our January issue. One of the hallmarks of the
Glock platform is the ability to take the thing apart
with little more than a ballpoint pen, replacing each
module with a new and possibly improved part,
without the help of a gunsmith. Is this level of mod-
ularity possible in Open Division?
Read on and we will explore six financially gradu-
ated do-it-yourself approaches to building an Open
Division Glock on your kitchen table. Three will be
chambered in 9x19mm, the remaining three in .40
S&W. In each case we’ll use a “base gun” that in-
cludes most of the things an Open gun would need.
Using that base gun, I will try different compen-

26 FRONT SIGHT • May/June 2008


sators and porting systems to get an reliability problems were
idea how each system would perform. traceable to erratic veloci-
ties from a particular lot of
For simplicity of installation and .40 S&W. I switched to a
availability, JR Shepard at Lone Wolf different lot and the prob-
Distributors supplied most of the parts lems vanished.
used in the tests, including a Carver
“Hunter” model scope mount with To get an idea how the
Weaver rail. Bobby Carver’s mounts compensation systems per-
are common in GSSF, and have a rep- formed, I fired multiple 5-
utation for quality. This well-crafted and 10-shot strings at paper
unit is assembled and secured with a plates at 10 yards, noting
Lone Wolf’s two-ported barrel was…under-
two-screw attachment plate at the the ease with which I could
whelming.
frame’s light mount rail and a third keep the shots on the plate
screw that replaces the trigger pin. For and splits between shots. Again, my ent, so I will not report numerical val-
an optic, I opted for a 4 MOA Tru- skill set and yours may be vastly differ- ues, just my observations.
Point mini-dot. Together, the fixed cost
of this sighting assembly was $380.
There are other mounts and optics targetbarn.com
available, but this choice fit into the do- Phone: 419-829-2242
it-yourself theme at a price point that Fax: 419-829-2107
fairly represented the cost of any viable
alternative. It was also one I could bor-
row and return. I used this set-up for all
three 9mms and one .40 cal pistol.
One-Stop Shopping
On an Open Division project a One CLICK Away
magwell is a “must have,” so we add
$75 for the funnel of your choice (I
opted for the brass magwell sold
targetbarn.com
through www.customglock.com). ARREDONDO MANUFACTURING
Adding $20 for Eric Wesselman’s Tru- Magazine Base Pads & Springs
Grip tape raises our total fixed cost to BLADE-TECH INDUSTRIES
$475. Holsters, Mag Pouches, Training Barrels Official Target
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ability, experience, and opinion. In Rifle, Pistol, & Police Training Targets
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that’s all it is, my opinion. Yours may Grip Enhancer & Mag Slick Tritium Fiber Optic Handgun Sights
(and probably will) differ.
TARGET BARN, INC. WARREN TACTICAL SERIES
Accuracy testing was conducted in- Official IPSC, IDPA, & NRA Targets Sevigny Competition Glock Sights
doors at 50 feet (due to winter Target Pasters & Patching Tape
ZERO BULLET COMPANY
Welded Steel Target Stands
weather). The photos represent a re- Jacketed FMJ & JHP Bullets
peatable average group among five 5-
shot groups fired from sandbags. I do
not have an ammunition sponsor, so Serving Shooters for 26 Years
aluminum-cased CCI Blazer 115-grain
FMJ 9mm and 180-grain FMJ .40 PO Box 352454, Toledo, Ohio 43635-2454
S&W were used for all tests. The only We Accept MasterCard, VISA, Discover & COD

May/June 2008 • FRONT SIGHT 27


noise and bigger groups. of baffles, it has a big expansion cham-
ber that vents gas out through two gill
Amplitude #2 $615 plates (making two slots on each side)
and two holes in the top. The addi-
Base Gun (G35) with .40
tional false gill made me look at this
S&W Lone Wolf Distribut-
comp like a toy. Shockingly, this baffle-
ing Six Port Barrel. $140 +
less comp works! It gave a noticeable
$475 in Fixed Costs
improvement in my ability to place
This barrel configuration at holes in targets at speed, making this is
.40 S&W pressures did offer a fun gun to shoot fast. This combina-
an improvement over the tion worked well, and for little more
“Buck Rogers” or no, the Lone Wolf G17 6-port- stock barrel in rapid-fire than the plain ported number. Accu-
comp worked surprisingly well. (Lone Wolf tells strings, but should not be racy was excellent at 1.75 inches.
us the design drew on artillery compensators.) used with the Carver mount
as two of the rear ports ex- Amplitude #4 $765
Amplitude #1 $575 haust gas under the bridge of the
Base Gun (G17) with Lone Wolf Dis- mount. This barrel ranked last for ac- Base Gun (G17) with 9mm KKM Bar-
tributing (LWD) G17 Two Port Barrel. curacy of the six units by a consider- rel and 3-port comp. $290 + $475 in
$100 + $475 in Fixed Costs Fixed Costs
able margin with an average group of
I did not expect much from a couple of 2.75” at a measured 50 feet. Although we’re working with fairly
slots cut in the last inch of barrel and I sedate 9mm loads, the muzzle pres-
got everything I expected, and less. Amplitude #3 $625 sures that did not seem to offer much
This barrel placed 5th in accuracy as it help with the simple 2-port barrel
Base Gun (G17) with the 9mm LWD
managed 2” groups at 50 feet. As far as worked well against the surface area of
barrel and Six-port comp. $150 +
recoil or recovery goes, swapping the the 3-port KKM comp’s baffles. I only
$475 in Fixed Costs
two-port for the stock barrel back and own one G17, so the modularity of the
forth I could tell “some” difference but This “Buck Rogers” style compen- Glock pistol and the precision machin-
I could not put a finger on “a” differ- sator looks like a movie prop, and I ex- ing employed by both KKM and LWD
ence. Chalk up $100 for some added pected it to perform like one. Instead allowed me to swap back and forth
again and again. Swap as I did I cannot
in good conscience offer you a clear
winner. They both work very well.
However the accuracy edge goes to the
KKM tube with consistent 1.5-inch
groups collected.

Amplitude #5 $735
G35 with SJC Custom Comp/ Mount
with Doctor Dot. $395 + $240 re-
spectively + $95 Fixed Costs (Tru-
Grip and magwell)
This clever device combines the
mount and compensator into a single
bolt-on shroud that looks like some-
thing you’d see at the Bianchi cup. The
whole affair is precisely machined
from T6061 aluminum and weighs less
than six ounces. It attaches securely
through an interference fit between
pistol’s light rail and two mating rails
within the mount. To keep it from
backing off in recoil, the trigger pin is
replaced with a machine screw that se-
cures the shroud. The “comp” half of
the shroud is a clone of the 5-port com-
pensator used on SJC’s state-of-the-art

28 FRONT SIGHT • May/June 2008


Open G17 that when installed just
“kisses” the muzzle of the barrel. The
“mount” is a small flat section designed
to fit a J-Point or Doctor Dot style op-
Amplitude 3 Amplitude 4
tic, or bolt on a Weaver rail if you like. Amplitude 1
LWD 6-Port 9mm KKM 3-Port system
2-Port barrel
Design-wise, this unit is a winner.
Shoot Limited in the morning, then
slip this unit on to shoot Open in the
afternoon! No change in zero, no
change in reliability, no change in trig-
ger, and as accurate as your current Amplitude 2 Amplitude 5 Amplitude 6
6-Port barrel SJC Combo Complete top
barrel and load!
Performance-wise, I had little diffi- trollability could be attributed to Using the Docter, the dot sits low
culty running this unit at speed. I added weight of the mount. enough that the transition from notch
thought at first that much of this con- and post to optical sights only took a
However, an equal weight benefit few minutes. And in those few minutes
was provided by the Carver I was able to cluster a number of 1.25”
mount in Amplitude # 2 groups with the CCI Blazer 180’s! The
and it did little there to as- SJC comp/mount is a brilliant idea and
sist me in controlling the it works. Currently available for the
gun. This is a neat way to G34/35 and soon to be on the shelf for
compete in Open Division! the G17 and G20, this offering from
SJC could be a USPSA
USPSA/IPSC meets Bianchi Cup. The SJC contender in a G17
Comp/Mount incorporates the comp into prepped to handle 9mm
an external shroud, letting you leave your major loads. Add some
iron sights in place. It works! Bianchi barricade

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May/June 2008 • FRONT SIGHT 29


wings, your best handloads, and try your hand at NRA ac-
tion pistol. Can you say versatile?

Amplitude #6 $765.00
G35 with 40 S&W LWD G22 complete Open Division
top end. $670.00 + $95 Tru-Grip and magwell
While still a prototype as of my testing, this complete
package consists of a LWD G22 length slide with a Weaver
rail machined in lieu of rear sight cuts, an extended
threaded barrel and matching “Buck Rogers” nine-port
compensator (this .40 comp has three ports on the top and
three working gills on each side), three custom hybrid style
holes in the barrel with matching holes in the slide and a
Nikko Sterling heads-up optical dot sight made exclu-
sively for LWD. Pull off your top end and replace it with
this one…done.
During testing I could not help but put a few “extra”
rounds through this variation. Something about this gun
kept me coming back to shoot it again and again. While
the SJC arrangement felt measured and controlled, the LWD WOW! Pat Kelley did this photo for artisitic value, but
felt more like a “race gun” — edgy and alive. (As tested, the it reveals a lot about how and where the Lone Wolf
SJC weighed 38 ounces, the LWD, just 33.) Bear in mind that comp vents gas. No wonder it fared so well in his tests.
I was equally rewarded during speed drills with either unit The assembly of any of these compilations required little
indicating no real advantage in one over the other. Accuracy more than a couple of socket head wrenches, a common
was excellent with 1.5” groups again at 50 feet. I was able to screwdriver, a drop or three of Locktite™ and a Glock-ap-
enjoy a brief moment of sunshine outdoors with the unit and propriate punch. The rest is up to you. Pick your poison,
was rewarded with some 10-shot groups of just under 2 tweak and tune to your satisfaction and hit the range!
inches off-hand. The .40 S&W assembly should be available
as you read this, and a 9X19 version will be hot on its heels. From mild to wild and most everything in between, this
I think JR will sell a boatload of these. humble Austrian creation is still finding more ways to
play.

headstamped Starline case. Primers appear to be Winches-


Goin’ Major ter.
The ammo is loaded slightly longer than standard, low-
ATLANTA ARMS NOW HAS ering pressures, and helping to keep it from being loaded
“MAJOR 9” AMMO CALLED into the magazine of a Browning Hi-Power or other small
“.355 SUPER” 9mm. A 10-round sample measured a marvelously consis-
BY ROBIN TAYLOR, USPSA STAFF tent 1.146-7 inches overall as compared to samples of Rem-
ington Golden Sabre 124s (at 1.124 to 1.129) and PMC’s

F
or anyone looking at run-
ning an Open 9mm, At- 124 FMJ (1.124 to 1.134). Three pulled bullets weighed to-
lanta Arms’ recent offering gether massed at 375.1 grains, with each bullet weighing
is great news. Now instead of handloading your 125, 125, and 125.1 respectively.
way up close to a maximum load to create reliably major- “The development of the 355 Super (9MM Major) was
power-factor 9mm, you can buy the stuff off the shelf from a joint effort between Atlanta Arms & Ammo and SJC,”
Atlanta Arms. says Wisner.
On request, Atlanta Arms was kind enough to send us a I don’t
few boxes of their Major 9 for examination. Headstamped have access to
“.355 SUPER” this is not typical 9mm Parabellum ammo. a pressure
The box is prominently marked with red lettering “Not For barrel, but if
Use In Standard 9mm.” these things
According to Dann Wisner at AA, the bullet is a 125- stay close to
grain Zero jacketed hollow point, loaded into a custom- SAAMI spec,
GOIN’ MAJOR W/.355 SUPER continued on page 70.

30 FRONT SIGHT • May/June 2008