The current shortage of genuine OEM Glock parts has created a vacuum resulting in a new generation of cloned parts filling the void. While we have had non oem internals available to us for decades, some recent trends have emerged that are quite concerning. I am writing this post and providing visuals for our members to ensure you are in fact receiving what you paid for.
Two Major Concerns
First, we have had Freedom Protectors purchase parts kits listed as Glock factory only to find out through poor fitment and use they were not genuine.
Second, we are seeing a larger "mixing" of kits coming with oem and clone parts together. Typically, a seller will swap out the most expensive parts of the kit such as the trigger bar for the lower parts kit or the firing pin for the upper parts kit and keep the rest OEM. This "mixing" of key components is sometimes not disclosed and the parts kit is listed and sold as 100% genuine Glock OEM.
Before we get started, there is some front loading information as builders we need to be aware of:
Aftermarket or Performance Market
We often confuse the two in our discussions. After all the Performance market would also be considered the Aftermarket. What is important here is to distinguish the difference. The aftermarket is a blanket term. If I make the statement, "My g19 has an aftermarket ghost connector" - then this would be considered a performance enhancing upgrade. In other words, there are parts we buy to save cost and there are parts we buy to increase the performance of the firearm. The parts we are talking today are cloned parts and do not increase performance in any capacity. They exist solely as a cost saving measure.
Hundreds of posts a week come in across the network from new builders who have a problem once assembled. A large portion of them are solved by simply swapping an aftermarket part with an OEM part. Glock parts, while not of the best quality, fit perfectly and work - period. This is the main purpose of using genuine oem parts. The aftermarket and more specifically the performance market for Glock parts is enormous. It is large because while Glock parts provide great fitment and reliability, they are deficient in the department of expanded performance. Today we are talking about aftermarket cloned parts. Again, these parts are made as a cost saving alternative to OEM and do not provide a performance boost. These cloned parts over the last year have popped up everywhere with the manufacturing shortage due to Covid. Some fit and work well and some don't.
The MGB Scoop
To reiterate, the point of this post is not to say you must only use OEM parts or that all clone parts are bad. The purpose is to ensure our members are getting what they paid for regardless of which path they choose. Below are things I find acceptable and unacceptable from a buyer's perspective:
Bought non oem parts at a reduced cost and the kit was disclosed as such
Bought a parts kit at a reduced cost and it was marked as mixed
Bought a parts kit labeled as OEM and has parts that are not genuine Glock
****NOTE: Retailers often use pictures from Google Images. They may be offering a Genuine Glock OEM part but using an image off the Web. Verify the Glock part number matches the part(s) you are purchasing in the item description.
Because I serve the build community, I will be speaking specifically about Gen 3 parts and in particular the 9mm/.40cal/.357 family.
Trigger Mechanism Housing - Right Side
The Trigger Housing is part number SP00322 and comes with ejector 336(9mm), 1882(.40cal, .357sig). Beginning on the right side, you will notice 3 points of clear difference. The first is a genuine TMH will come with a stamped ejector. Next any numbers imprinted on a Glock TMH in Gen 3 will be on the Left Side not the Right. Some cloned parts such as the one below will not stabilize the connector causing the user break and reset problems. Genuine OEM Here
Trigger Mechanism Housing - Left Side
You can clearly see on this side distinguishing differences between the two. Glock housings will have a number on this side between 1-4 that will correlate to the model/caliber and ejector used in the housing.
The 336 ejector that comes in the gen 3 trigger housing is the WORST part Glock has ever made. I never miss an opportunity to point this out :). Some of the clones popping up have somehow taking this junk ejector and managed to make it worse!!!!
Magazine Release Button
The mag release is Glock part number SP00287 with the number 287 imprinted on the top of the part.
The TS is part number SP00350. A genuine OEM Trigger Spring has an eyelet hook design with 16 coils and has a tight fit when looping into the trigger bar. A clone part typically doesn't have the pronounced eyelet hook and less coils. Color is an obvious giveaway, however more and more duplicators are getting better at copying the Glock manufactured parts so don't go off that alone. OEM Spring Here
The Slide Lock is Glock Part number SP00301 and is stamped 301 as pictured below. I have yet to come across a slide lock where the top of the beveled side does not show metal underneath. OEM Slide Lock Here
Slide Stop Lever
I could write a trilogy about this part and the variations in the aftermarket. That would be 3 volumes of me ranting, eating crayons, and swearing up a storm. This part causes a ton of headaches for builders in both oem versions and aftermarket performance parts. The Slide Stop comes in two variations; standard and extended. The standard part number is SP02919 and is marked on the back with 2912. The 2912 stamp also may have a dash with a number 1-4. The extended version is Glock part number 7496 and is stamped 7482-1 on the back. Standard Slide Stop Here Extended Slide Stop Here
This is where we begin to see extreme differences. The trigger is the most expensive part in a Glock lower parts kit which has led duplicators to create many different variations. As mentioned before, you will find economy kits in the market place where the bulk of parts are oem pieces, but come with a clone trigger. I also said earlier the point of the post is to make sure our members are getting what they paid for and are not ripped off. When it comes to the trigger, connector, and spring, I'll simply say the minor cost savings is never worth it. Many retailers, even with covid, still retail this part for $15. There is a reason the best performance triggers and custom trigger designers on the market use oem trigger bars - they work!
The same trigger fits many models. The trigger shoe has a smooth face in full size and a serrated/ribbed face in sub-compact and compact. Below are two illustrations. The first is a left side view and the second is a top down view. OEM parts come disgustingly dirty from the factory. You will always know a Glock factory trigger bar by its distinct blueing in the bends.
Almost every trigger problem related question in the network ends with change to an OEM connector. It's got less to do with Glock connectors being great and more to do with the clone connectors are so poorly copied. You would think this is one of the easiest parts to duplicate. Either way, these copied parts have the wrong hood, angle, and arm geometry by a mile. There are some differences on the back of these as well, but the front is so out of wack you wont need to turn it around. As with the trigger, a Glock factory connector will come dirty with the distinct bluing on the metal. OEM Connector Here
3 Pin Kit
A lot of builders opt to piece together their lower parts kit from many vendors. I am one of them that do that. There is cost saving involved when going this route and saves money from buying a kit and then swapping out OEM parts for better performance parts. Like a full parts kit, the Glock 3 pin kit is a retailer combining the Trigger Pin, Locking Block Pin, and Trigger Housing Pin into one package. Glock doesn't sell these parts pre-packaged as a set. The easiest way to tell if a 3 pin kit are genuine factory pins is by looking at the Locking Block Pin. It will have coating missing in the center of the pin. Because Glock doesn't allow anyone including media to visit their manufacturing facilities, my only guess is this occurs because the center spot is where the machine stabilizes the pin while being coated.
Upper parts are not cloned as heavily as lower parts. They are still fairly common and generally show up in builders kits. I've seen some that are fairly decent and others that are simply atrocious. Unlike the cloned lower parts kit, the upper parts generally fit well. The issue is poor quality and it is common to here stories of broken firing pins, extractors breaking, safety plungers not working, and back plate clearance. In any event, the upper parts are easily spotted as fakes. The Firing Pin and Extractor Plunger are the 2 high value items in the kit. I'll cover most of the parts, but if ordering an OEM upper parts kit, especially on ebay, you will want to inspect those two items closely.
For 9mm you will want Glock Part # SP00049 and for .40 or .357 the part number is SP04270. Genuine Glock FP's are one solid piece. The one pictured below I have already polished. They will come from the factory dirty like the rest of the parts. If the pin has a seam it is not an OEM part.
Most of these I have come across are way out of spec and evident upon the first function check. Three easy ways to tell if its not genuine. First, it will come either clean as a whistle or colored. Second, the head will be inflated and appear more box like than contoured and finally they typically have a tooling mark dead center on top. OEM Safety Plunger with Spring Here
From all appearances a cloned BP looks identical from the front. There have been many many many Freedom Protectors post about the ejector not clearing the backplate. Sometimes its a rail height issue other times it's these cloned backplates. I'm giggling as I write this as I recall when I came across a post on FB and saw a member using cloned parts and having an issue getting the slide the last 10% home. I commented to try an oem backplate. Multiple people including the OP commented that he was. Turn it over and lets see the back of it. Guess how it turned out? These BP are a shy off and just enough to cause a headache if everything else in the build isn't 100% on the money. Slide Cover Plate Here
The duplicators have nailed this piece and all its dimensions. The OEM one belongs in the trash anyway, so its pretty much a wash. It's taking a lot of discipline not to go on a complete tirade as I'm typing about this part, but hey you have a 45 minute video on the that :). BTW if you didn't already know - I now publish new content to Rumble instead of YT. You can subscribe here.