ssa https://safetysolutionsacademy.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/New-Color-SSA-red-Oval-blue-wText-1030x417.png ssa2014-11-24 21:56:252017-05-06 13:22:08GLOCK Conversion Barrels: Convert your GLOCK 22 to 9mm
One of the most common handgun models is the GLOCK 22. It is a full size handgun chambered in 40 Smith & Wesson. It is carried by police, military units and every day people like you and me. You might own a GLOCK 22 or one of its smaller relatives the GLOCK 23 or GLOCK 27. GLOCK touts perfection but since they continue to update their line of pistols with changes and new features, I’m not so sure perfection is the right term. Versatility. That word speaks to me when it comes to GLOCKs. There are plenty of aftermarket upgrades that can be made to GLOCK handguns and one of the coolest has to be GLOCK conversion barrels. With your GLOCK you can easily upgrade:
- Trigger work
- After market parts to make the gun easier to run controls
- Caliber with GLOCK conversion barrels
Why SSA Decided to Convert a GLOCK 22 to 9mm
In the training courses we teach at Safety Solutions Academy, 9mm is almost universally recommended for defensive use. There are a lot of reasons why that is the case, but more interesting than that is the fact that all of the Safety Solutions Academy GLOCK rental guns are Glock 22’s which are chambered in 40 S&W. It seems a bit contradictory, but the decision to purchase 40 S&W GLOCK 22’s was very deliberate.
Price of GLOCK 22’s compared to GLOCK 17’s
The Glock 22’s that I purchased were police trade in guns and they happened to be from the Detroit Police Department. I grew up in the Detroit area so that probably factored in, but one of the big reasons for the purchase was because the GLOCK 22’s were $125 less per gun than the GLOCK 17’s at the time. I know that you are smart enough to understand that by the time money is spent on converting the gun from 40 S&W to 9mm the price difference is moot. Remember, the decision to go with GLOCK 22’s was more than about price alone.
Flexibility of the GLOCK 22
From the factory a GLOCK 22 is chambered in 40 S&W and unless the firearm is properly modified, it will only safely fire 40 caliber ammunition. The good news is that the GLOCK 22 is very easily modified to be able to fire two other calibers. A simple swap of some drop in parts and you are off to the races in either 9mm or .357 SIG. A GLOCK 22 conversion is easy to accomplish. Really all that is needed is a GLOCK conversion barrel and you are off to the races.
Availability of the GLOCK 22
GLOCK 17’s still tend to be difficult to come by but as law enforcement agencies continue their migration from 40 to 9mm and in some cases from GLOCK to Smith & Wesson, GLOCK 22’s are easy to find inexpensively and often with extras like night sights and extra magazines.
Why Would You Want to Convert a GLOCK 22 to a 9mm?
As a defensive firearm training company, it makes sense to buy one gun that for a small additional expense can fire two additional calibers. It may not make sense for you. On the other hand, maybe it does. Here are some common reasons that people GLOCK 22 conversion handguns to shoot 9mm:
I’m not that different from you. What I mean is, I don’t have some magical ammunition supply for my students. I buy Ammunition from the same places you do and in recent years ammunition has been in short supply. When there isn’t 9mm, there isn’t 9mm. I was able to continue conducting courses by offering students the option of shooting .4o Smith & Wesson out of our rental guns. If you own a gun that can shoot multiple calibers, you have the same option. When ammunition is in short supply, options are good.
If you use a 9mm handgun as your defensive handgun and you would like to have another gun that you can use to train with or to fill in for your defensive handgun in a pinch, a converted GLOCK 22 might be the perfect solutions. Parts and holsters and magazine pouches are virtually 100% swappable and with minimal expense you can train with a second handgun to reduce wear and tear (and cleaning and maintenance time) on your concealed carry handgun.
Some folks might simply want to train with less expensive 9mm ammunition instead of the harder to shoot and more expensive 40 Smith & Wesson. I don’t really recommend 40 Smith and Wesson as a defensive cartridge and you can read about that in this post where I talk about the reasons I don’t carry 40 S&W any more. I used to be a diehard fan… Nonetheless, training with 9mm certainly has the advantage of cost savings.
Personal Defense on a Budget
Used 40 S&W guns are simply less expensive than used 9mm guns. When it comes to a GLOCK the difference is often more than the cost of the parts. Buying a .40 S&W GLOCK 22 and converting it to a 9mm GLOCK 17 can save you some money that could then be put towards needed accessories, ammunition and or training. You won’t save a lot, but to some a little is important. Keep in mind, if you are planning on using your converted gun for self-defense, you need to do more than swap out the barrel.
You Already Have a GLOCK 22
This could be a huge motivator. I’m not the only person in history to rethink 40 Smith and Wesson as a defensive cartridge. The FBI is about to make a big change from 40 S&W Back to 9mm. The FBI is a lot smarter than I am and even though they are slow to react, their choice is simply a great confidence boost in my choice. You might be in that same situation. You purchased the GLOCK 22 when it was the gun to have and now you are rethinking your choice. Before you head out and buy the new 9mm, for 20% of the cost, you can convert the 40 and see what you have been missing.
So let’s get down to brass tacks!
How Can You Convert a GLOCK 22 to 9mm?
Before you make your conversion, you need to consider the purpose that you would like to use your handgun for. I really break it down into 3 levels of conversion:
- Fun with Guns
- Serious Training
- Defensive Use
Convert a GLOCK 22 to 9mm for Fun and Savings
If you are simply interested in shooting more, converting a GLOCK 22 to 9mm is simple. All you need to do is purchase a GLOCK conversion barrel, field strip your gun, swap out the old .40 cal barrel for the 40-9mm conversion barrel and have at it.
There are two major manufacturers of GLOCK conversion barrels out there and here are links to the two manufacturers:
Lone Wolf conversion barrels are less expensive than their competitors and perform well. You can purchase Lone Wolf Barrels here.
Storm Lake Barrels also produces conversion barrels for GLOCK pistols and although they are more expensive they can be a good option. You can see the Storm Lake options here.
Both brands of barrels are well made, stainless steel, and allow you to safely shoot lead ammunition from your GLOCK handgun. (Remember GLOCK doesn’t recommend that you shoot lead ammunition out of GLOCK factory barrels.)
One thing I want to make clear is that these barrels are CONVERSION BARRELS. You can’t simply drop a 9mm barrel into a 40 S&W handgun. The outside diameter of the barrel won’t be the right size and your barrel won’t lock up properly. This could be a serious safety hazard.
Keep in mind that you can also convert a GLOCK 23 to a 9mm GLOCK 19 by simply installing a GLOCK 23 conversion barrel. A GLOCK 23 conversion might be the best way to turn your .40 into one of the most respected handguns of modern times, a GLOCK 19.
Convert a GLOCK 22 to 9mm for Serious Training
If you want to save money and train with your GLOCK 22 in 9mm, you need to do a little bit more than jsut swap out the barrel. Notice up above I didn’t say anything about magazines. You can shoot 9mm out of 40 caliber GLOCK magazines with about 90% reliability.
If you are heading out to have a good time and plink at some cans, 90% reliability is fine. Real defensive training and practice is a different story. You need a gun that is reliable!
The good news is that you simply need to swap your magazines to get near factory reliability. If you want your gun to run well with a conversion, swap your 40 S&W magazines for 9mm magazines. You can find 9mm magazines here.
Convert a GLOCK 22 to 9mm for Defensive Use
Defensive handguns are serious tools. You life depends on them. As a result, you need a gun that works. Every time. Without a doubt, a factory gun is the best option. What I mean is, if you want a 9mm GLOCK go buy a GLOCK 17, a GLOCK 19 or a GLOCK 26. A factory gun is going to operate and wear as designed and is likely to be more reliable. how much more reliable? Probably just a smidge, but that tiny bit could make all the difference. Reliability is one of the reasons people select GLOCK handguns in the first place. When it comes to defensive firearms, don’t skimp.
Just as important is the fact that if you need to use your defensive handgun in a violent confrontation you may have to explain to a court of law why it is that you modified your defensive handgun outside of factory specifications. I don’t think this factor is necessarily a deal breaker, however, I don think that you should factor in all aspects of the modification into your decision. A couple of hundred bucks is hardly worth risking a loss in a criminal or civil court case.
If you still want to convert a GLOCK 22 to 9mm here is what you need to do:
- Select a GLOCK conversion barrel from either Lone Wolf or from Storm Lake
- Replace your 40 S&W magazines with 9mm factory magazines
- Replace your GLOCK 22 extractor with a GLOCK factory 9mm extractor (this step requires that you detail strip the slide of your GLOCK)
- TEST, TEST and TEST some more!
Replacing your 40 caliber extractor with the 9mm extractor is the last step in making sure that your GLOCK performs reliably. It isn’t terribly difficult to do and the part only costs around $25 so it is certainly worth the upgrade for defensive use. It may be worth the cost even if you are simply looking for better reliability for training purposes.
Here is a video on how to replace your extractor. It isn’t too difficult of a job.
Step 4 is really important when we are talking about a gun designed for defensive use. Your defensive handgun needs to work and you need to have confidence in the fact that your gun is going to work. Testing can help to make that happen.
Test your GLOCK 22 Conversion just like you would if it was brand new:
- Start with 200 rounds of target ammunition. This test is designed to check the function of the handgun. You should experience ZERO malfunctions. If you have a malfunction take a step back and see if you can identify the issue. It needs to be corrected before you move on. Make sure you conduct your test with full power ammunition. Underpowered 115 grain ammunition (like that Winchester from Wal-Mart) can fail to fully cycle your converted handgun due to the increased mass of the barrel (it has thicker walls than the 40 cal barrel so it is heavier.) If your converted GLOCK 22 doesn’t want to cycle full powered 115 grain ammo, lube up that barrel and fire 50-100 rounds of +P+ ammunition. In theory this will begin to wear in the barrel so that it is able to move more freely and function with any 9mm ammo. Try another 200 rounds and expect no failures.
- Next you need to make sure your defensive ammunition is compatible with your handgun. For defensive use I advise my students to select a modern, bonded, hollow-point bullet that is heavy for caliber. Two great defensive products are Speer Gold Dots in 124 grains, and Winchester PDX1 in 147 grains. Fire 50 rounds of your selected defensive ammunition and expect no malfunctions. If you experience malfunctions you may have selected ammunition that isn’t compatible with your handgun. Time to try another.
If your gun doesn’t pass both tests with flying colors, it is time to head back to the drawing board.
Final Thoughts on How to Convert a GLOCK 22 to 9mm
There are lots of good reasons why you might want to convert a GLOCK 22 to 9mm. Whatever the reasons are that you decide to convert Your GLOCK 22, make sure that you keep safety in mind. You need to select the proper conversion barrel, select proper magazines, install the correct extractor and test appropriately if you are going to use your converted GLOCK to 9mm.