My old friend goes to rehab

| July 23, 2014 | 4 Comments

When most of my friends turned 21 they bought a keg of beer or went out partying. I picked up my Glock 27 that I’d ordered weeks before and took my concealed carry permit class.

I bought the G27 because (at the time) it was one of the smallest 9MM pistols available. I bought it when there was a 10-round magazine ban, and I figured there wasn’t much point in buying a larger-framed Glock since the capacity would be the same. I carried it for years as my primary handgun. It is also the only firearm I’ve ever drawn in anger; having used it to protect myself against a mugger in 1999. It was also the firearm I carried during the incident involving my housemate and four men.


I’ve fired well over 8000 rounds through this Glock 27. It was the only pistol I owned when I first started reloading ammunition on a Lee turret press (which I later sold and have a new version of today). I was in college  and couldn’t afford ammunition at retail prices and I don’t think you could buy ammo over the Internet back then. Thanks to the Glock 27 and its .40 S&W chambering I learned about handloading, which is an interesting and useful skill.

As time went on, I converted the G27 over to 9MM by replacing the barrel. I may replace the extractor for a 9MM this winter, when I plan to replace all the small parts in my Glocks as a matter of course. The G27 is not very fun to shoot for me, as the .40 S&W had a lot of perceived recoil. As well as the G27 served me in times of crisis, it also ingrained a lot of bad habits such as pushing the muzzle down to compensate for recoil as well as gripping the pistol too hard, which results in shooting low and left. I’ve had to spend a fair amount of time (and money) training myself out of these bad impulses.

The G27 (converted to 9MM at this point) was also the handgun I took to my first fight-focused pistol class. It was an introduction to point shooting class by Suarez International instructor Jack Rumbaugh. By then I was also running G19 mags in it, and never had used the factory 10-round mags. This is where I learned the importance of movement, drawing the firearm rapidly and with precision, and shooting at close ranges without using the sights.

I’m very proud of the wear I put on the slide and the frame. I have drawn and reholstered this pistol countless times. The frame also has a few wear spots, and there is dirt caked into the stippled grip.


The Glock’s Tenifer finish has worn in several spots, including near the muzzle and ejection port.

Even the Glock trademark has worn down.

Even the Glock trademark has worn down.


Throughout the years I tried different handguns: a .32 North American Arms Guardian (Seecamp clone), a full-size and Officer-sized 1911, a Bersa in .45 ACP, an XD in .45ACP, a Kel-Tec PF9, and finally resting on the Glock 19. Before I bought a second G19 to wear on my left side the G27 was my “off hand” pistol. Although my recollection is fuzzy, I believe it was the first pistol I ever used entirely with my left hand during a pistol class.

After I started carrying two G19s the G27 took a back seat. I’d take it to class if The She-Shepherd accompanied me, as she’d get one of the 19s and I’d use the 27 as my secondary pistol. Then we bought a third G19, then a fourth, etc etc and the G27 kept going further and further back in the bus. Eventually it became a “get home gun” I kept in a waist pack with medical supplies, firestarting equipment, water purification and two containers of water.

This is an exceptionally long leadup to the purpose of this post: it’s time to dust off my old friend of almost 20 years and give him some upgrades.

Yesterday I sent the slide off to One Source Tactical’s Technical Service Division (TSD) to be milled for a Trijicon RMR red dot sight. As much as I was proud of the slide wear, I also opted for an Ionbond finish in smoke gray. I also opted for plain steel (stock) suppressor sights. In the end, it will look similar to this “Enhanced Capabilities Pistol” seen here, sans the threaded barrel, aftermarket slide, and stippled grip:

The G27 will be my first experiment in the world of red dot sight (RDS) pistols. If I like it, the G27 may rotate back into service for use in mid-level concealment scenarios. I have a S&W Shield for deeper concealment, and the G19 for when I wear a t-shirt and button-down shirt as cover garments.

My hope is that the G27’s smaller grip will make concealing in warmer temperatures with just a t-shirt possible.

The slide work may take over a month, so stay tuned for updates.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.
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4 Comments on "My old friend goes to rehab"

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  1. B R Kurtz B R Kurtz says:

    I must be one of the dozen of so guys that don’t like the G26/27s. They just never felt “right” in my hands. Maybe its just me because the Glock 36 (.45acp), feels fine.

    All that being said let me give you an early welcome to the world of RMR equipped pistols. My bet is soon all your guns will either be RMR’d or they will be sitting alone in the safe. I fought the idea of RMR’d pistols for a long time (too long) and now dread that I have to leave it at home when I strap on my duty gun. Go RMR and you wont want to go back.


    • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

      The “Baby Glock” with the factory 10 rounder always felt weird to me, too. I prefer the +2 extension on it or a G19 mag.

      • B R Kurtz B R Kurtz says:

        Some of our young detectives opt for the G27, then use G23mags with the slip on grip adapter, to quality. The whole thing seems silly to me. They know the G27 is hard to shoot, so they use a mag and adapter to make it feel like a G23 to qualify then carry the standard mag on the street, as if in a real life shooting it will be easier to get hits with a gun they aren’t used to shooting. The problem is these guys come from the Xbox generation and don’t shoot in between qualifications.

        The difference is you and the She Shepherd train. The G26/27 does make a small carry package, and there are days when I wish my G17 was a bit smaller. IF the G26/27 works for you by all means enjoy


  2. B says:

    G27 is one of my faves but yes the wife doesn’t like it. I’ve thought about the same upgrades of adding the red dot and extended barrel and compensator…whataya’ think? Also, any experience with cutting or porting the slide to reduce recoil? I’ve thought about sending in the 40 to have this done but if it wouldn’t make a dif for the wife I’d rather just set her up with a G26. Many thanks, Peace to you sister!


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