Once upon a time, old-school gun writers had customized project guns with individualistic names. Jeff Cooper had “Baby,” a big-bore Brno dangerous game rifle. Elmer Keith’s more prosaically named “No. 5” was an important step in the development of the .44 Magnum cartridge. Jack O’Connor had … well, perhaps he had a name for his favorite custom rifle, but I never read hunting magazines when I was little, so I have no idea what it was.
If more consideration were given, this project gun would’ve had a name from the beginning, but it wasn’t put together specifically to write about but rather to serve as a hedge against future problems.
In light of current events, though, let’s call it the “Hydra.” In the mythology of classical Greece, the Hydra was a multiheaded monster; even if you cut one of its heads off, the others could cause trouble for Hercules and the other Greek heroes. In the reality of 2020 America, this Hydra is a Glock with multiple chamberings — even if you cut one off from its ammunition supply, the others can solve problems for this American shooter.
When the Glock in question was initially purchased, scarcity of ammunition was the furthest thing from the mind. It was 2015 and shelves were groaning with ammunition that, looking back from the lean times of 2020, was ludicrously inexpensive.
The Gen4 Glock 35 in 40 Smith & Wesson had been traded in at the neighborhood gun shop, Indy Arms Company, and the previous owner had done some light modifications. It had a neatly executed and functional stippling job that also removed the finger grooves and permanently blended in the small beavertail backstrap.
Particularly intriguing, though, was that the prior owner had also converted the pistol over to 9mm. And by “converted,” we don’t mean just dropping in a 9mm conversion barrel, but also swapping out the extractor, spring-loaded bearing, ejector/trigger housing, and recoil spring assembly for the appropriate 9mm parts.
While a 40 S&W Glock will generally run 9mm perfectly fine with just a barrel swap, it’s preferable to have the full suite of caliber-appropriate parts for best reliability.
Converted to 9x19mm, the Gen4 G35 could now take advantage of all that sweet, cheap 9mm that was so thick on the ground in those days. A few more modifications helped it blend in with the other Glocks in the safe.
A combination of a fresh minus connector, the green “NY1” trigger return spring, and an SSVi Tyr trigger were installed. This mix results in a trigger weight that’s six and a half pounds according to a RCBS trigger scale, nominally a pound or so heavier than the standard factory Glock trigger — but the weight is even across the entire length of the trigger pull, and the trigger resets with authority.
The OEM Glock extended magazine and slide releases were swapped for more carry-friendly Vickers Tactical equivalents from Tango Down. Additional exterior modifications were limited to a set of Ameriglo I-Dot Pro sights and a Striker Control Device (aka “the Gadget”) from Tau Development Group.
Basically, this was a 9mm backup to a Gen4 Glock 34 MOS for classes, matches, and ammo testing … but that’s not all!
See, while all the 9mm parts had been installed, the original Gen4 40 S&Wspecific parts were also included in the case, along with the three factory .40-cal 15-round magazines.
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