The minimalist approach to cleaning and working on your Glock
Although extremely reliable, Glocks are relatively easy to clean, modify and work on. Read on to learn how.
The basic repair and maintenance tool kit
In fact, here are the absolute minimal tools needed to work on your Glock:
- Glock Disassembly Takedown tool – 3/8 pin punch
- Front Sight 3/16 Nut Driver
- Roll of Duck Tape and Towel
Here’s an image of the total minimalist Glock toolkit:
That’s it. That’s your Glock armorer kit.
Now, the towel and duck tape roll are used to rest your handgun to remove and reinstall the pins. Of course, the punch tool is used to disassemble and re-assemble the gun with those pins, while the 3/16 nut driver is used to remove and reinstall the front sights. There’s also a combo punch and sight tool from Squirrel Daddy you might check out.
Pretty simple right?
By the way, all pins and the rear sight are disassembled from left to right (with the gun pointing away from you, of course…) and all assembly is from right to left on the Glock.
More Refined Tools – the Armorer Approach
You can get a few more tools that will make your job a lot more enjoyable.
In addition to linking these items so you can see what I’m describing, I’ll also share an Amazon link below where all of these items are listed (when available from Amazon) and share any link where the items are not available on Amazon.
Let’s look at some additional tools.
Mat and/or Armorer’s Block
Certainly, you can work on a towel wrapped around a roll of duck tape, but it may be easier to work on a padded mat (Glock and others have them available with a schematic of the Glock handgun), or even an Armorer’s Block such as the one depicted below. It just makes things a little easier. Also, if you ever want to remove and reattach your striker pin, the Armorer Block is really helpful as it has a mount for just such work. It’s a real challenge to do so without the block.
Disassembly take down pin punch
There are a number of options for the disassembly pin punch.
In addition to the Glock factory pin punch, I’ve used the Grace GP332 Pin Punch since it is easier to grip. It doesn’t seem to be available on Amazon, so I’ve given you another source to purchase (above) should you be interested.
Most of the gun can be disassembled and reassembled with just the pen punch.
Another hammer and punch toolset, which helps in dis- and reassembly, is the Lyman hammer and punch set. There is also a Wheeler set that is somewhat less expensive but I’ve not used it so I can’t give you an opinion on it. Finally, the Amazon list that I provide also shows a less expensive Gunsmithing Hammer should that fit your needs.
This might be a little overkill, but the tools are useful and occasionally you will need to hammer, hopefully without damage, to reassemble or disassemble. The copper and plastic heads, as well as the copper punch, facilitate this.
Here’s the Lyman set.
Grace also has a Gun Care Tool Set which you may want to consider. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include the punch which is the one tool helpful for a Glock.
Front sight 3/16 hex nut driver
Want to replace your front sight? You’ll need a 3/16 hex nut driver. I’m showing 3 options here. The typical Glock nut driver, a more refined driver from Wiha and finally, a great gripping nut driver with a magnetic tip.
You show know that the nut attached to the front sight is really thin and it’s easy to strip it. Additionally, I like the magnetic tipped tool since it’s much easier to reinstall. Finally, you should add a drop of Loctite, the blue version, to ensure that the front sight stays on (always a nice characteristic), and I included that link also in the Amazon list.
Here are some Front sight nut drivers which you can find on my Amazon list:
There are a number of tools that you should at least be aware of. You probably won’t really need them, but if you do, you’ll know where to find them.
Glock Magazine Disassembly Tool
You would only occasionally really need this tool to, for example, add a higher capacity bottom to a Glock 42 or 43 magazine. It’s a pain getting the bottom off the mag without this tool, but it can be done.
The mobile “All in one Glock Tool”
This is a good tool that may be included in your range bag for emergencies and on range issues. It’s built really well, but I wouldn’t recommend it as your primary tool. Great range bag backup tool though.
These are one of those tools that you get when you have more than one fire arm. It’s useful, especially if you’re modifying you trigger – a common Glock upgrade. I use the Wheeler digital scale and these come with analog and digital readings but the digital readings are easier and more accurate for not that much more. Again, only when you need one.
Rear Sight Tool
The front sight is a cinch on the Glock – not so for the rear sight. One less expensive way is to use a copper or Teflon punch pin with a hammer. I don’t like doing this, but the alternative, outside of paying some Glock Armorer to take care of this, is to purchase a rear sight tool (unfortunately not inexpensive). I any event, I use the MGW Rear Sight Tool for Glock, pictured below.
Commonly available tools
The listing above is some of the specialty tools for Glocks. Of course, you may need to use some commonly available tools which you probably already have. For example, to change the magazine release button in some of the latest iterations, you’ll need a needle nose pliers and a screwdriver. That should, however, be about it.
What you need to clean your Glock
I take a minimalist approach to cleaning Glocks also. There are all kinds of kits with a thousand and one pieces but, let’s get real, you only cleaning a barrel that’s between 3 1/2 and 6 inches long and disassembly results in dealing with four components. It shouldn’t take much.
So, here’s what you need:
- Barrel cleaner – just use a snake like the Ultimate Bore Cleaner. They’re easy, compact and inexpensive.
- Cleaning Patches – I’m particular about cleaning patches because I don’t want them falling apart or leaving lint all over. I use and recommend Birchwood Casey Patches. They’re durable, absorbent and lint-free.
- Cleaner and lubricant – You really don’t need a separate cleaner and lubricant. Especially with Glocks, if anything, you can over lubricate them. From what I understand, Glock itself recommends CLP BreakFree. I use it and believe it’s the best thing out there.
- Brass Gun Cleaning Pick – The last piece I use is a cleaning pick. You want something that’s durable but won’t scratch your handgun. I use the ProShot Brass Gun Pick and Cleaning Tool. Just add some BreakFree fluid on a patch and use the pick to clean out the slide grooves and other areas that are harder to clean.
Disassembling your Glock is like riding a bike, once you know how to do it, it’s easy to repeat. There are probably hundreds of YouTube videos on field stripping, which, by the way, is completed without any tools.
Disassembled, you only have four pieces: the slide, barrel, recoil spring assembly and receiver (frame). Use a lint free rag or some patches with BreakFree to wipe everything down. Clean the barrel with the snake after dropping some BreakFree down the barrel. Finally, use the pick with some patches that have BreakFree on them to clean the slide grooves and hard to reach places on the frame. Wipe down again with a lint free rag or some patches and you’re pretty well done.
I have another post that addresses cleaning your Glock here.
Free Glock downloads?
Hey, if you want Glock’s download page, including their free maintenance manual, you can find it here.
As they say, “that’s all folks”.
To see a list with even more tools, check out my Amazon page here. This approach may be easier than trying to link to each item above.
Fortunately, the Glock is relatively easy to work on and the tools are really straightforward and simple. It doesn’t take too much of an investment to get either the basic toolkit or even enhance with some of the other options I’ve included above.
Always be prepared. Be well.