More people in my peer group are buying Glock semiautomatic pistols. Some because it’s an election year. Some because they are becoming more fight-focused in their mindsets and firearms training. I started with a Glock 27 when I turned 21, then I spent some time carrying an Officer’s Model 1911, then an XD-45, then a Bersa (very briefly) and then came back to the Glock platform about two and a half years ago. I personally feel that the Glock 19 “compact” pistol is one of the best overall handgun for concealed carry and self-defense. Yes, there are times when I carry the much smaller Kel-Tec PF-9, and other folks like calibers besides 9mm. That’s all fine and good, but in my opinion the G19 is a solid choice.
Anyway, some of my friends are new to Glocks and wanted to know how to take their pistols apart for cleaning. I advise all of my pals to make sure they have the 04 recoil spring assembly, and that requires disassembling the pistol before they’ve fired a single shot.
Here’s how I disassemble a Glock pistol, with a bonus YouTube video to show you how it’s done.
Warning: don’t be dumb! Always be mindful when handling firearms. If you feel uncomfortable manipulating a firearm please get qualified assistance before proceeding.
Okay, here we go!
- Find a area free of distraction. Only do one thing at a time when handling a gun. Minimize or eliminate distractions like kids or pets before you continue. Turn off the television and don’t have any food or drink near you. Focus on the pistol for now.
- Unload the pistol. You may need to pull the trigger to release the Glock’s slide. Yes, this is weird. No, it’s not dangerous — unless you’re dumb and don’t unload your pistol. Here’s the procedure utilized by tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of well-trained law enforcement, military, and civilian gunfighters:
- Make sure your pistol is pointed in a safe direction.
- Place the trigger finger of your “strong” hand (the one that grips the pistol) in “high index.” This means point your finger at straight as you can as far away as you can from the trigger. Don’t rest your finger on the trigger guard. If someone were to look at you holding the pistol, they would not be able to see any flesh in the trigger guard.
- Release the magazine.
- Grab the slide with your “off” hand. Some use the “slingshot” method; I belong to three schools of training and they all teach to grab the rear of the slide with your entire hand, kind of like a big ass mitten. Work the slide vigorously three times. Don’t baby the pistol, it’s tougher than you are. If your pistol was loaded, one round of ammunition will eject. If you neglected to remove the magazine, more than round will eject. Read my warning about not being dumb. Repeat the previous two steps.
- Lock the slide back. I use the thumb of my strong hand.
- Physically inspect the chamber. Using a finger of your weak hand, touch the barrel/feed ramp, magazine well, and bolt face. You should not have to look to see if your pistol is loaded or unloaded. You should be able to determine this without looking, or in the dark, or with your eyes closed.
- Once you have verified that the pistol is unloaded, release the slide. All three schools in which I study teach to grab the rear of the slide with your whole bearpaw and pull back on the slide until your hand slips off. You may use the slide release or the slingshot method.
- Point the pistol in a safe direction. Best practice is to point the pistol at something that can absorb or drastically dissipate the energy of a bullet fired in negligence. One of my instructors points his pistols at an open toilet.
- Pull the trigger. See why it’s important to make sure your Glock pistol is unloaded? Don’t be dumb.
- Make a “C” with your weak hand thumb and forefingers. Pull down on the release lever; you’ll have to grip both sides of the frame.
- Brace the grip of the pistol. I use my hip; some use their belly or sternum, others use a table or desk.
- Pull back on the slide slightly, then pull the slide forward. It should come off the pistol’s frame. You may have to pull the trigger now if you didn’t earlier in the process. You’re done
Here’s a video if you want to see the whole procedure in action: