For those of you who have been following my “The New Ultimate USPSA Production Glock” Project, I thought I would post a quick update on how the new system was working and my initial thoughts on the differences with the two systems. My original The Ultimate USPSA Production Glock Project has been an outstanding competition pistol and I can’t argue that it is just about perfect in all regards, but when building up a backup pistol I thought I’d try some competing parts to see which ones I liked best, and change whatever parts out on whatever pistol I needed to. So, with that said, let’s look at the differences between the two Ultimate USPSA Production Glocks, and see what’s working out for me.
Upon first glance, the two Glock G34s look identical, but aesthetically the only difference you would notice would be the sights. The original Glock was outfitted with Dawson Precision fiber optic adjustable sights that sports a red fiber optic in the front blade and green fiber optics in the rear. I have been using the Dawson’s on every competition pistol I’ve run for the past 4 years and absolutely love them. They are crisp and accurate and it’s hard to argue with that…but I have to say, the Taran Tactical sights on the new Glock have begrudgingly won me over. The two things that I like about them over the Dawson’s is that the rear notch is DEEP, so if I get the gun out at a weird angle, I can still see the front sight blade, whereas the Dawson’s are far less forgiving. I also like that the fiber optic is just about even with the top of the blade so when I’m really moving I don’t get the shots printing in different areas, at least not to the extent of the Dawson’s. And hey, they’re cheaper and who doesn’t like that? One word on the TTI’s worth mentioning though, they are fixed, so if your load doesn’t print with your POA, well, tough.
Taran Tactical Sights 1, Dawson Precision Sights 0
Diving into the internals, the biggest thing that was changed from the original Production G34 pistol and the new Production G34 is the trigger system. The original G34 was home to the Charlie Vanek system with a Jager striker, all fitted by Charlie Vanek himself. The system is awesome. It is honestly the best Glock trigger system you have ever felt, Production or otherwise. In fact, Steve Anderson shot it recently during a class and stopped for a moment, looked at the pistol and said that was a great shooting Glock, like he didn’t believe it was really a Glock. Yep, it’s that good. The trouble in paradise is that the Jager strikers are not available anymore, and the only lightened striker I could find was the ZEV. Rather than try to mate the two together I opted to buy the complete ZEV kit and see how the other half lived. Well, triggers are very subjective to the user, but what I will say is that the ZEV has practically NO take up, where as the Vanek system comes set to the mile long take up any Glock shooter is familiar with. To be fair, the Vanek system can be adjusted to remove it as well, but he purposely doesn’t provide instructions for legal reasons since you can inadvertently disable part of the Glock’s safety system by doing it wrong. So what’s this mean to me (and perhaps you)? Splits. My split times are often 0.16 with the ZEV whereas they are typically about 0.20 with the Vanek. Again, to be fair, if I were to take out the slack it perhaps would be the same, but it’s not worth the risk of doing it incorrectly, so I have to give the nod to the ZEV.
ZEV Trigger Kit 1, Vanek Trigger Kit 0
The one other internal part that is different in the new G34 is the guide rod. The original G34 had a steel Jager with a 13 pound ISMI spring, and in the new G34 I used a polymer guide rod and the same spring. The only reason why I changed is that the plastic guide rod is IDPA legal whereas the steel one is not, and I don’t like swapping parts out before for match just to be compliant with a rule that isn’t well very well thought out (if it weighs the same as the factory, who cares????). So when comparing the two, I’d say the difference is indistinguishable. I do think the steel guide rod will last longer if you’re changing springs out at regular intervals, so if you’re not shooting IDPA, get the steel rod.
Jager Polymer Guide Rod, Jager Steel Guide Rod, Draw
A quick note on reliability. The first trip out to the range with the new G34 was pretty disappointing. It was short stroking about once a magazine which doesn’t instill confidence by any stretch of the imagination, but I think it was breaking in a bit with the handloads I use. I took it home, actually lubed it, hand cycled it a few hundred times, and it hasn’t had a single issue since. After my last practice session I passed the 1000 round mark and I have to say, this new Ultimate USPSA Production Glock has won my heart and is now my primary competition pistol. I’ll be picking up a new set of TTI sights and putting them on the original G34 so they have the same sight picture in case I need to bust out my backup gun during a match.
See more about my Ultimate USPSA Production Glocks