This is a double edged sword in the firearms world when it comes to aftermarket work on something that otherwise, at its core works exactly the same way it did before it got modified. If a Glock 17 fires reliably every time the trigger is pulled, why dear god would you spend an additional $1800 to have someone like Agency Arms modify it? Well, I can tell you it is a lot more than the “spoiler on a Honda Civic” analogy and I will go over everything here in an attempt to explain or even justify this adventure.
I have stated before that companies that do this kind of work generally fall into a few different categories. Some do it for looks. Like the Civic we mentioned before, is it born to be a beautiful racecar? No, but there is a HUGE amount of aftermarket components and parts that will make it look cooler, go faster, etc. Some companies do it for upgrades, like a Jeep. You have four wheel drive and higher ground clearance and the ability to “go anywhere.” But that doesn’t stop people from lifting the suspension higher, adding more lights, winch, differential locks, snorkels… you get what i am saying here. Lastly, there are companies that do it for both the looks and performance.
There are only a small handful of companies that have mastered the ability to do both, you can have the looks, and the performance built onto an already proven reliable platform. “Do you need it” is the number one question, and to be honest, that’s for you and your wallet to decide. Personally I do not own a stock, barebones factory Glock. Not a single one. I am spoiled as I have had a taste of so many awesome aftermarket components that I cringe whenever I shoot a stock gun. I have enough experience to know how I like a trigger to feel and reset, how I like a pistol to cycle. I add and swap out aftermarket components to accommodate how I shoot and the purpose for which a firearm is to be used. Do this to an AR-15 and it’s widely accepted. But customize a pistol, and suddenly you are open to ridicule… go figure.
Agency Arms does a great job polishing and refining what Glock has put forward. Glock is known for reliability, but it’s also a drab slab of steel and uninspiring polymer. But did you know you could tighten up the trigger slack, break and reset? Did you know you could reduce the amount of muzzle flip and recoil? Did you know you could get more out of the polymer to get a better grip, fit and feel? Glock creates a “One Size Fits All” product and Agency takes that and makes it tailored for better, faster, flatter and more enjoyable shooting.
Let’s start from the frame up. Glock grips as a whole are longer than I like from front to rear so I always do what is called a “Grip Reduction.” This helps get those horrible finger grooves off the gun, get a better purchase overall and fit my hand better. The whole grip area is then covered in a fine “stipple” which is basically a pointed heat treatment that creates a built in velvety/sandpaper like surface for better contact in wet, sweaty or god forbid any bodily fluids that get on your hands. There is also work done to the trigger frame typically referred to as “undercutting.” This thins out the trigger guard to allow your middle finger and subsequently your entire hand to get higher on the pistol. This brings your natural point of aim closer to the already low bore axis making it very easy to point and shoot. This translates to faster target acquisition and significantly better handling and manipulation.
A big stand out feature that has helped really separate Agency Arms from the many other options out there is their “Accelerator Cut.” Agency has CNC cut quite literally an angled shelf on the frame forward of the Glock takedown release. If you are utilizing a proper thumbs forward grip, your support hand thumb can very easily find a new home on this three dimensional and stippled surface. By simply pressing down on this you are no longer counting on just proper stance, grip and 8 fingers at the rear of the gun to mitigate recoil and muzzle flip. By having that more forward support you can help keep the gun more level after every shot allowing for faster recovery of your sight picture which means faster follow up shots.
Let us move now to the feature that may be one of the most important but is also the most overlooked when you have so much going on with a visually stunning pistol like the Agency. Agency triggers very good. Not just good but really high speed. The slack alone has been halved. The set trigger has so much slack taken out of it that the pistol almost looks like it isn’t cocked. It is a firm but not heavy take up, most aftermarket triggers lighten up the pull whereas the Agency is fairly similar to stock tension but as smooth as a ball bearing rolling on glass. The trigger break is a surprise and there is no discernible difference between the slack and the break. Very smooth all the way through. The reset is audible and tactile with again almost zero take up to re-engage. There are companies out there that many people already pay hundreds of dollars for just the trigger and personally this is right there if not surpassing those offerings.
Many do not realize how much things change when they see material removed and cuts in a slide machined out. The first thought is always an aesthetic one. Some love it and some hate it. What many overlook is that you are removing material and with that comes a shift in balance and physics. How the weapon cycles and reacts to firing is noticeably different based on what has been added or removed. In my case, my Gen 4 Glock 17 got the “Urban Combat” package which has the most material removed puts all the weight at the rear of the slide, so when you shoot there is a lot less metal (weight) flipping up and thus helps keep the pistol more level for follow up shots. Then you have the Jagged and purposeful “grippy” parts that are utilized for racking the pistol. Whether you are an overhand rack kind of shooter, or you do press checks, maybe you slide from the front, the cuts are deep and sharp enough to get a purchase on the slide and easily get a round in the chamber.
Also part of the package is the guide rod, bushing and spring upgrade which also aids in how the weapon cycles. Kind of like you can’t just get big wheels on a truck without making sure the axles can take it too. The Agency Arms modifications also include a pre-cut area for optics like the RMR with a bolt down cover which is one of my favorite features. They machine a miniature American Flag into it as well, so if you aren’t going all high speed like me with an optic, you get a small taste of stylish America.
I want to say that each one of these features shaves quite literally thousands to tenths of seconds off of your “time.” Whether it’s coming out of the holster, target and sight acquisition, follow up shots and reloads, we are talking about a fraction of a second for each feature. Combine them and based on your skill level and practice we are now talking tenths and or even full seconds off of your actions. So while you are talking to your friends about things like: carrying a round in the chamber, how you carry your pistol and you use “sight brand x” because every second counts… wouldn’t you like an extra second or more? I love my Agency pistol and use it far more than most think. I do spend a good amount of time on the range and whether it’s review stuff or being at training classes I always want to shoot it. Almost everyone who has ever shot it has been very impressed and asked how much. Plain and simple, even people who say “All I need is a stock Glock” always ask if they can shoot it some more.
There is nothing wrong on the fundamental side of Glock pistols and if you choose to leave it the way it came out of the box… It will probably serve you and serve you well for a very long time. If you want to speed up and flatten out, I suggest spoiling yourself with an Agency Arms. It is so choice.