GLOCK Conversion Barrels: Convert your GLOCK 22 to 9mm

The GLOCK 22 9mm ConversionConvert a 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:
  • Sights
  • 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
  • Flexibility
  • Availability

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.

Convert a GLOCK 22 to 9mm

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:

Ammunition Selection

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.

A GLOCK 22 Conversion is an Inexpensive Training or Back up GunConvert a GLOCK 22 to 9mm

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:
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:

  1. Select a GLOCK conversion barrel from either Lone Wolf or from Storm Lake
  2. Replace your 40 S&W magazines with 9mm factory magazines
  3. Replace your GLOCK 22 extractor with a GLOCK factory 9mm extractor (this step requires that you detail strip the slide of your GLOCK)
  4. 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.
http://youtu.be/MurAKjLsp9o
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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
21 replies
  1. William
    William says:

    I think I wil just buy one in 9 mm sounds a bit easier and I will still have my .40 cal glocks 22,23,&27
    I admit I changed the 27 to to 26 model but that was easier and just a change with a converserion barrel and magazine for 9 mm over the .40 cal

    Reply
  2. gun nut
    gun nut says:

    you lost me when you said the fbi is smarter than you…only you can determine what is best for you. just because the fbi says 9 mm is their choice, doesnt mean it is best for you…

    Reply
    • PaulCarlson
      PaulCarlson says:

      They do have more resources for testing and evaluating ballistics both from data analysis and from ballistic testing. The result is they have more information at their finger tips. My job is to then look at that information and their decision and evaluate if the decision makes sense for me. In that regard, “the FBI is smarter” than me.

      Reply
      • James C.
        James C. says:

        More resources, absolutely.

        Common sense and objective decision making? Heck no!

        The entire reason we have the .40 S&W was FBI leadership making 9mm the scapegoat for the Miami Massacre.

        Read a detailed, objective report of the 1986 incident and what you will find is incompetence on the part of lead agents that bordered on criminal.

        The agents were had been pursuing two heavily armed killers who would undoubtedly shoot it out when cornered. At least one of the killers habitually carried a Mini 14 converted to full auto and showed remarkable skill and willingness to use it.

        The FBI knew this but attempted an arrest by agents mostly armed with 9mm handguns and some with S&W revolvers, a couple riot guns, and, IIRC, a couple MP5s that never made it into the game. No match for assault rifles in capable hands.

        Both suspects received single hits from 9mms early on that would’ve been fatal within a couple minutes, but in that couple of minutes, they went on to kill 4 agents and wound 10 more. One badly wounded agent, out of sheer determination, finally finished the pair with an S&W model 10.

        So development of the .40 was a total sham to distract from their incompetence. Not to say the round isn’t effective.

        Smart only in the political sense.

        LE adoption of the .40 was simply following suit with the FBI, and switch back to the 9mm is the same.

        I guess after 30 years they figure everyone’s forgotten and don’t need to keep on blaming the 9mm. My own take is returning to the 9mm has nothing to do with effectiveness of the ammo as ease of trading with the softer kicking 9mm, an important consideration, to be sure. Terminal ballistics are meaningless if the shooter can’t hit the target.

        Good for the rest of us as its made lots of good Glock & S&Ws .40s available dirt cheap.

        Reply
  3. Arthur
    Arthur says:

    I have a glock22 gen2. I purchased a Lone Wolf 9 mm and 357 sig conversion barrels also purchased the 9 mm and 357 mags. The problem is the 357 fires the first bullet but won’t eject the shell and inject another. The Glock jams and I have to hold the slide and hit the back of the gun to separate the slide and handle. The 40 cal is fine and the 9 mm works fine. Any ideas why this is happening?

    Reply
    • PaulCarlson
      PaulCarlson says:

      Arthur –

      First, if you don’t mind I am going to manually add your question to the comment section of the post. It makes sense to share this information far and wide.

      I am not as familiar with the 357 sig conversions and the challenges that you might face and as a result, contacting Lone Wolf might be the best course of action. However, I do have some thoughts that may transfer over from the challenges that people sometimes face with the 9mm conversions.

      The biggest issue that is seen with the Lone Wolf 40-9 conversions is a failure to fully cycle. At times empty cases may not extract, and at other times the slide may not return fully to battery and a whole host of other malfunctions in between. I have seen two major solutions work in this situation:

      Solution 1: Fully support the gun. Make sure that yo have a solid grip on the pistol, followed by strong wrists, locked elbows, and fully engaged shoulders meaning that you lean forward at the waist but keep your arms parallel to the ground when fully extended. Doing all of this helps to give the gun a solid mass to recoil agains which results in more energy being transferred into the slide. This has a tendency to increase the reliability of just about any semi automatic firearm.

      I occasionally have a student that experiences reliability issues with my one of my .40 S&W GLOCK 22’s that is converted to 9mm. Without fail, if I shoot the gun with the same ammo, the gun functions flawlessly.

      You might find that the same principle works with the GLOCK 22 converted to .357 Sig.

      Solution 2: Increase the mass of the bullets you are selecting. Typically the least expensive target ammo for the 357 sig is 125 grain. Instead of selecting the 125 grain ammunition, instead choose 140 grain like this S&B from Brownells: http://bit.ly/1OhX6iV The heavier mass of the bullet takes more energy to move forward out of the barrel. Physics says that if there is more energy moving the bigger bullet, than there must be more energy pushing back on the slide as well. This additional energy translates into more reliable functioning. Folks that have a hard time with their Lone Wolf 9mm conversion barrel and 115 grain 9mm ammunition are often able to resolve that issue with 124 grain ammo.

      You might find that the same principle works with the GLOCK 22 converted to .357 Sig.

      The best news is that this may be an issue that is resolved with use. As the barrel and the frame and slide of the gun wear into each other there may be less friction and less malfunctions as a result. The frustrating part of that is the malfunctions that happen along the way.

      Please let me know what you learn about the problem as you progress. We see far fewer folks converting to 357 sig than to 9mm so I am interested in anything we can gain from your situation.

      pc

      Reply
  4. Dennis
    Dennis says:

    I have a Glock 22 for target shooting . I have made some changes – #1 changed out my trigger bar and springs to 3.5 lbs. pull
    #2 Changed out my recoil spring with a 11lb. spring
    #3 Added a lone wofe barrel and a 9mm. convertion barrel to shoot both calibers
    #4 Added a beaver tail for a thumb rest
    #5 added a laser just for fun
    I shoot every thing that comes along in both calibers and have no issues at all — don’t know if this helps

    Reply
  5. Waldo
    Waldo says:

    I’m curious if the Glock 22’s slide weighs a little more than the 17’s? If it does, wouldn’t this make the converted Glock 22 a little softer shooting?

    Reply
    • Paul Carlson
      Paul Carlson says:

      I haven’t verified this, but I would assume, the the Glock 22 slide is slightly LIGHTER than the Glock 17 slide only because the hole that the barrel portrudes through is larger in diameter. The rest of the slide is dimensionally the same.

      Reply
  6. Kris
    Kris says:

    Paul that really isn’t the case the size of the hole in the slide is the same for 17-22 the inside of the barrel is only thing larger outside is the same

    Reply
  7. Jan
    Jan says:

    I get confused on the need to swap out the ejector when going from 40 to 9 on a G22. The Wolf 40/9 barrel is offset to one side – does this not take care of the need for the ejector swap?

    Reply
    • Paul Carlson
      Paul Carlson says:

      Jan, I don’t know the answer to this one. For anything other than carry use, try out the 40 extractor and see if you have any extraction issues, if not, go for it. For carry use, I would contact Lone Wolf and see what they have to say about that.

      Reply
  8. Victor
    Victor says:

    Glock 22 conversion to 9mm. I know it is recommended use 9mm magazines and to switch the extractor to the 9mm one. I have also heard you can also change the EJECTOR to the 9mm and it will shoot the 9 and 40 calibers.

    Now my question is: If i switch the extractor from the 40 to the 9mm extractor, will i still be able to shoot the 40 with no issues without switching the extractor back to the 40 extractor?

    Reply
    • Paul Carlson
      Paul Carlson says:

      Good question Victor. I think that is a good one for testing. I would imagine you will have slightly less reliability so for general range use it would probably be ok. For carry use I would stick with the correct part for caliber on the extractor.

      Reply
  9. Jan
    Jan says:

    I am currently running a Gen 3 G22 with a Lone Wolf 9mm conv barrel. I am running the stock G22 trigger except I have replaced the 40 ejector with the 9mm (bent) version. I have tried the 9mm extractor but gone back to the original 40 cal version. The gun is 100% reliable running my 124 gr RN Extreme reloads. They chrono at just under 1100 fps. My only issue continues to be bras to face – not consistant – perhaps one out of 20. Anyone have any suggestions?

    Reply
  10. Chuck Hicks
    Chuck Hicks says:

    My Gen 2 G22 was recently stolen. For some reason the idiots left behind my Lone Wolf 9mm conversion barrel along with the 9mm magazine and lighter springs I bought. Now I need to either sell them, or find a replacement.
    I managed to purchase my stolen G22 police trade in for $299, but it looks like they’ve since dried up at that price. I found a decent price on a Gen 3 G23 however.
    My question is can I fit my G22 Lone Wolf conversion barrel in a Gen 3 G23 compact? I believe the barrel may stick out an inch but that wouldn’t bother me as long as it functions.

    Reply

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