side

My go-to FFL, Best Buy Surplus, has always had a steady supply of LE trade-in GLOCKs. Suffice it to say, they’re fans of the genre. Last month they received a shipment of over 300 of these pistols — mostly G22s (.40 S&W), but also a lot of G21s (.45 ACP) — and asked me if I wanted to pick one at random and check it out. What can one expect from a used, ex-LEO GLOCK? Let’s find out . . .

Best Buy (the FFL, not the electronics store) is selling the G22s for $369 and the G21s for $359. Mid-to-high $300’s is right in the ballpark for LE trade-in GLOCKs, which means we’re looking at about $130+ under normal retail for a new Gen3. This isn’t meant to be an advert, and LE trade-ins are fairly commonplace at local gun stores nation-wide, but in the event that you’re in the market I’d suggest calling (509.535.5375) Best Buy rather than going through the website and, yes, they do ship.

Stating the obvious, these are used guns. They were owned and issued by police departments and carried by officers, then usually sold back to a distributor when the department updated or switched sidearms. Maybe they decided to go from GLOCK to SIG or from .40 cal to 9mm, which is actually quite a popular transition these days. So the condition of the guns will vary, as will modifications and extras, if any.

In general, it’s assumed that these service pistols received excellent professional maintenance and, typically, were carried a lot, but shot very little. I have heard rumors that GLOCK gives them some special treatment such as increased inspection of internal parts and more careful assembly and testing QA, but I really can’t verify that one way or the other.

In The Box
I checked out a handful of the trade-in G22s and they all looked basically identical, so I just chose the one pictured here at random. My FFL said this shipment is probably slightly above average in aesthetic condition compared to what he’s used to seeing.

It is not guaranteed, but it’s extremely common for an LE trade-in GLOCK to come with an extra magazine(s) — typically three mags with a Gen3. They usually come with two had you purchased a new one through regular retail channels. Indeed, all of those I looked at in this shipment had three mags.

box

In my case, two of the magazines appeared to be as good as brand new, and were “Gen4” mags with the ambi mag catch notches. One magazine was marked “Restricted LE/Govt Use Only” so I assume it was manufactured during the 1990’s Assault Weapons Ban. Nonetheless, it looked only lightly used.

front_sight

Adding significant value to the purchase is a set of steel — rather than the OEM GLOCK plastic sights you’d get otherwise — tritium night sights. Again, you can’t count on it, but more likely than not LE trade-in pistols will have quality night sights on them. In this case the sights are GLOCK-branded. No manufacture date marked on them that I can see (I didn’t remove them), but they still glow brightly.

rear_sight

So what we have here is a Gen3 GLOCK 22 with an extra magazine and quality night sights. These extras are worth somewhere around $125, but the price is a good $125 less than new. But, what kind of condition is it in?

Condition
Good. Really, really good.

slide_barrel

On the inside, this pistol looked new. There were no wear marks or even polishing from use on the rails, cruciform, striker lug, etc. Almost no visible finish wear on the barrel, even on the hood or around the front where it ‘locks’ up into the muzzle of the slide. There was one little scuff inside the frame from inserting magazines. Everything else was totally spic and span.

rails

The polymer frame was flawless and looked new. I couldn’t find any scuffs, scratches, or indications of wear anywhere on the outside of the frame or on the trigger.

grip

The slide has almost no holster wear on the muzzle. A thinning of the melonite is visible on one corner only under certain lighting. In front of the breech, on the left and right edges of the top of the slide, there’s about a half inch of finish wear that shows as a slight silvery sheen in good light. This wear is obvious enough if you’re looking at the gun closely, and is pretty much the sole visible indication that it’s anything other than a brand new GLOCK.

holster_wear

Well, other than the steel sights, which had the most obvious finish wear on the pistol.

side

I’d say, yeah, it was carried a decent amount and shot hardly at all.

On The Range
It’s a GLOCK. It shot like a new G22, except I definitely shoot 3-dot sights like these better than I do the factory GLOCK configuration with the white U-notch in the rear.

slide_chamber

That’s about it. Not much else to say. In every last way it was everything you’d expect from a new GLOCK. Or a used GLOCK, for that matter. Well, with the addition of good sights.

muzzle

The photos you see here were actually taken after my first range session where I shot close to 200 rounds. The carbon on the muzzle, the oil schmears on the rails, etc., is all me.

Conclusion
LE trade-in means a big savings on price and, in many cases, more value in the form of included extras and upgrades. A GLOCK that’s professionally maintained, yet in most cases actually fired very little, is going to serve you well. I gotta say, unless a factory warranty is an extremely important concern, I’m not sure I could be convinced to purchase a factory new GLOCK now. Well, at least not a model that can be found as an LE trade-in (G22s are most common, followed by an approximate tie between G21s, G17s, then G19s. Actually, sub-compact versions like G27s can come up often enough as well.).

barrel

feed_strip_and_crown

cruciform

backstrap

Specifications:
It’s a GLOCK 22 with tritium night sights.

Ratings (Out of Five Stars):

GLOCK-ness: * * * * *
The sights made it preferable to me over a consumer GLOCK brand GLOCK, but it otherwise achieved perfect GLOCK perfectness.

Value: * * * * *
So you’re telling me I save $150 and get $125 in extras? And it comes pre-distressed with some holster wear that makes it looks like I’m a “beware the man with only one gun” operational Operator? Where do I sign up?

Overall: * * * * *
If you like GLOCKs, you just might like LE Trade-In GLOCKs even more.

63 Responses to Gun Review: Law Enforcement Trade-In GLOCK 22

  1. Great review! I know of someone who bought a LE turn-in Gen 2 model 22, and it was in very much the same shape as the test subject here. The night sights still glowed brightly, as well. I don’t mind a little holster wear, I’m going to end up doing the same thing myself.

    Bud’s offers ex-LE M&P’s in .40 on a regular basis, I thought about taking the plunge on one of those for a nightstand gun.

    • Good review! I had a LEO trade in Glock 21 for a while, and really liked it. I felt that it was a little big (especially for carry), and .45 ammo is a little spendy, so I traded it for a Glock 19. While I prefer the 19 overall, I wish I still had the 21 as well. If I had a 22, instead of the 21, I probably would not have traded it. Now, I want to go get another one (22 or 21SF – are there 21SF trade ins?) A trade in 26, 23, or 27 would also be nice. I usually only see G. 22 and 21 trade ins.

  2. It will be years, though, before there are supplies of trade-ins that are Gen4. I’m a big fan of the newest generation and have purged my herd of the Gen3’s. I’m a fan of keeping it simple and only having one gen in my herd, and that is Gen4 in my gun safe. I’m willing to spend the extra money, too.

  3. According to my dealer, police trade ins are given a once over by a Glock armorer. Any worn parts are replaced, all springs are replaced, and if the night sights are dim, they get replaced as well. To give you an idea of their use, most departments require 50 rounds to qualify each year. Most duty arms are traded in at the 4 year mark. As we know, most LEOs are not gun people, and rarely shoot outside of quals. A grand total of 200 rounds, and add any used on duty (statistically 0). You get a screamin’ deal on a (for all intents and purposes) new pistol with all of the stock goodies.

  4. “…these are used guns. They were owned and issued by police departments and carried by officers…”

    Only dropped once; never been fired.

  5. I bought a used g23 online. One mag. Much more wear. But I mean. It’s a glock. What’s a loss of finish going to do to the thing? Nothing. That’s what.

    It did come with an extended slide release which I like. I love it so far. Convert down to 9mm. Two guns in one. For the price of a new G19. I couldn’t be happier, though I’m jealous that yours is better than mine, haha. Though the smaller form factor is what sold me on my g23.

    • Oh! It did come with the LEO marked mag, which is hilarious and awesome to me. Mine was chipped around the feed lips a bit, but again, functions fine through 100 rounds or so, So I’m not worried.

      • Yeah, I thought of commenting in the article but the fact is that used ‘consumer’ GLOCKs usually sell for more than LE trade-in GLOCKs. A used gun in decent condition barely loses any value at all. Locally I’m used to seeing used guns in good condition selling (not just being listed, but actually selling) for the exact same amount as new guns at the LGS. The 9% tax savings, avoidance of the state handgun registry, etc, are worth buying used. It really shows how great of a deal an LE gun is, since it was probably shot less, maintained better, and has extra like night sights and such all for way less $$$…

        On a side note, Best Buy usually has a little bucket of used GLOCK mags and many of them are “RESTRICTED: LE/GOVT ONLY”

        • Yeah if I was going to go back and do it again I might be a bit more patient. See if I could find a newer trade in in the same form factor. (shrug) As it is I am happy with what I have.

          I actually bought mine through jgsales online and did the transfer through a local ffl out of a guy’s house in Utah. Turned out to be a local LEO, haha. Great guy. Would definitely go through him again. I paid like 400 for mine shipped, which was about right at the time and place. Your price on the 22 seems right, also. They were running lower than pretty much any other used glock I could find when I was looking. Think there’s a glut of the .40 guns from police trade ins and the 9mms are in much higher demand.

  6. Best Buy Surplus out on Sprague?

    I avoid that place like the plague.

    Not trying for rhyme-time here, it is just that I’ve had a couple of less than satisfactory gun
    buying situations with them, and just won’t do it again.

    Here in Spokane, there are plenty of options for firearm finding. The Double Eagle out on
    Francis is my current go-to place. As a matter of fact, the Son and I will be going to pick up a KSG this afternoon.

    But than, I am not in the market for Glocks, so your mileage may vary…

    • I have to agree with Spectre_USA, there are way too many other good options in the Inland Northwest.

      If I walk into a gun store I want to see Guns. Jeremy indicates I should go in person, except I’ve been there in person, and there isn’t a single gun to be found in the retail area of the store. The clerk behind the counter wanted to talk price before I even get a chance to look at product. Haggling over Snipe? Nah no thanks.

      I understand Best Buy Surplus is in a seedy part of town and the typical client is more likely to try and grab a gun sans paying, but that’s a problem for Best Buy Surplus to figure out.

      • I have done several transactions with Best Buy Surplus – transfers, purchases from their stock – they have always been great for me.

        Thanks for the review. I always wondered what kind of condition those trade ins are typically in.

      • Yeah, Best Buy Surplus on Sprague. It’s a surplus store, not a gun store, so it’s not the place you want to go if you’re window shopping for a gun and want to look at lots of shiny things in counters. They have a huge stock and carry or can order anything on the market, but they don’t have it in display cases in the front. It’s all in a vault in the rear. I’ve been going to them for inexpensive FFL transfers, the best prices locally or elsewhere on new and used firearms, and friendly and good service. They’re also very good at getting allocated and otherwise hard-to-get firearms early and in decent quantities. They’ve always had the most PMR-30s of anyone in the region and they were doing well with KSGs when those were impossible to get, they were the first or only to get brand new things like CCP, VP9, LC9s, G42s, etc etc…

        But yes, I’d agree, if you only vaguely know what you want (e.g. “I want an AR-15”) rather than having one or two specific models in your mind, you’ll likely have a smoother experience at a gun store that has ’em all on display. Best Buy’s a bit more old school like the local place where you go to shoot the shit for a while and pick up some fishing bait as well as the specific gun you went in for or maybe the gun that they ordered just for you and gave you an amazing deal on.

    • NW Pawn and Collector Arms on Pines exit, Spokane Valley is the best of several good choices in Spokane. I go in there to buy accessories and can’t help purchasing a firearm. Last week, picked up a S&W mod 15-3, .38 with tag price of $299. Keith the owner insisted on throwing in a box of ammo to go along. On a gun website I noticed same handgun in same condition going for $450+ by most seller.

  7. With the Walther PPQ and HK VP9, why would anyone buy a full size Glock? And I ask this a s someone who has a Glock 23.

    • Longer sight radius and barrel (greater muzzle velocity) and relatively higher magazine capacity. Oh, and if you are buying LE trade-ins, then $200+ cheaper.

    • Every time I consider an HK or Walther, I stop and think, “but what advantage does it have over my Glock?” If I really want it in 9mm, I pick up a lone wolf conversion barrel and some used 9mm mags and STILL spend less on a gun that’s… perfect. Keep your HK.

      • I’am a Glock 35 and 23 4th gen owner, but after shooting a friends 40 PPQ M2 I was contemplating picking one up. The Issue I see is the Mag capacity, and lack of holster and Night Sight choices.

  8. It’s pretty sad that those guns have so few rounds through them. Still, it’s a good deal for taxpayers to pick up a decent gun at a great price. I bought my old duty Smith 4006 for $290 out the door. I was so excited I picked up another. My duty gun had about 10,000 rounds through it, and the other looked like it had a whole lot more and was beat to hell.

  9. This is exactly like buying a Civic with 50k on it for $10 grand. You get a functionally-new car that’s not the most decadent, but starts every time and is a good quality machine, for a deep discount just because you don’t care to pay the premium for being first on it.

    I have a small collection of Police trade-ins, HK’s and Sigs, and couldn’t be happier, because those are $800 guns for $500 or less, that are nice enough to be worth $800 new, and I’m happy to take them to the range and let friends try them because I’m not concerned about scratching an expensive piece.

    • I think it’s kinda more like buying an 8-year-old Civic that has 7,000 miles on it and has still received regular maintenance by a Civic expert. It has some exterior wear because of its age, but mechanically it’s not even ‘broken in.’

      Oh, and the price is 20% less than an 8-year-old used Civic with 75,000 miles on it sold privately…

      • Yeah, these are old lady cars at estate sale prices. Little used and they might have a collected a couple of door dings in the grocery store parking lot.

        • Civics are ‘old lady cars’?

          Hondas are the go-to car for teenage gearheads here in Florida.

          They drop Integra engines in them and race the hell out of them.

          I sold my bought-new ’89 Civic si when it had 360,000 miles on it, as it was starting to burn some oil. Great cars…

        • No. He’s comparing LE trade-in handguns to “old lady cars,” meaning cars that were owned by old ladies, meaning they may be many model years back but they’ve actually been used very little at all. Has nothing to do with the model of car.

  10. My old agency in southern California just finished trading in their whole inventory of G22s and G23s (don’t know exactly which generation because I have been retired for a while) because they just would not function reliably. In the interest of fairness, every officer was issued their .40 caliber pistols with lights attached and this may have been a factor in their performance problems.

    They purchased G19s and G17s with lights to keep from having to purchase new holsters.

    I do not have ANY knowledge about what Glock does with used guns traded in. If they go through them and re-furbish them. so be it.

    But …
    since you can’t test fire the gun (in most cases), buyer beware. Trust your life to guns that work.

  11. Nice write up on LE trade-ins. I don’t own a Glock nor have I ever held one. I do have 2 LE trade ins,

    1) 4″ S&W Mod15 .38spl paid $375+ship+FFL in very nice shape w/ L.A.S.D stamped on it.

    2) 18.5″ Mossberg 500 ATP riot in 12ga that was from my local County Sherriffs Dept. got it for $200 OTD last Fed 2014. It has a chip of paint missing on the receiver and some bluing worn off from being clamped down in their squad cars.

    I am a happy camper with the both of them.

  12. Picked up a LE trade in G19 a while back for $399. Thing was practically mint.

    just saw a case full of trade in 22s and 23s and one of the LGS recently. Price was $299, guess they have a little more trouble moving the 40s? If i had any desire to get into the 40 s&w i would have picked one up.

    • for $299 you could buy it and get a conversion barrel and still come out ahead just saying another nice thing if your night sights are dim you can send a striped slide back to glock and get new night sights installed cheaper than you can get the sights, On the plus side i had some polished and aftermarket parts that i was told would not be returned if I shipped them to glock so I sent in a stripped slide when they sent it back they sent it back with all new parts so everything in my slide was new but the barrel

    • Uncle Arthur picked up a trade-in G21 with 3 mags and upgraded sights for only $385. It only had 400 rounds through it, very limited holster wear and no carbon fouling. It’s a sweet gun.

  13. Well I’ve always been told that LEO trade in are pretty nice pistols. Usually used very little. Perhaps I’ll have to finally break down and add one to my collection.

    • Even if it’s beat up, definitely worth the price. Suggesting that a Glock is less valuable because of its use is like complaining about the aesthetics of a snow shovel. Do it! 🙂

  14. My FFL recently got a shipment of police Gen2 G22s. I’ll check them out once the snow clears — if they’re still available in April.

    New Glocks can’t be sold in MA — they’re on the big list but don’t meet the Attorney General’s bogus criteria. So, used Glocks are very expensive here. The police trade-ins are selling for $400, while the same firearm usually sells for $600-$700 from my dealer’s non-LEO used inventory.

    • That entire post is simply amazing. I can’t even express my feelings on it. The revolution is closer than I imagined. Hell, I might live to see it!

  15. Great review. I have no problem with 40 either. The gun shops I frequent have too much on their used Glocks-good to know I can get one online…

  16. These guns are excellent. I have a ex- LE G22. It’s been totally refurbished before I got it. I paid 325 with 3 mags. Not good for CC but a perfect target gun. Glock also has a deal called the blue label discount for first responders (fire and ems included) and active and former military. A standard Glock at blue label pricing is between 400 and 500 with 3 mags.

  17. My department is about to switch from Gen3 22s to Gen 4s. Officers can buy their weapons for 335. Those not purchased are being shipped back to Glock before being sent to local dealers.

    I’ve never had an issue with mine and I practiced regularly with it and my personal 17.

      • It honestly just depends. My department switched from the SIG 226 back around 2005, and Glocks issued to guys and gals who had already been through the academy get maybe 300 rounds per year through them from department training. Some practice on their own and that number could be much higher, and some don’t.
        Pistols that get issued to academy recruits and taken through two weeks of basic firearms get over 3000 rounds in the academy alone. So it’s really a crapshoot. I will say that most officers I work with take good care of their pistols as they realize their life may depend on it one day.

  18. I just purchased a turned in G27 to back up my Gen 3 23.
    The 27 while dirty when it showed up was cosmetically better than my 23. The sights are on point. Trigger was typical glock. I really appreciated the extended mag release. However the slide release is damn near inoperable. Good buy overall. 1k through it in around a month.

  19. I will tell you check out the M&P trades closely, they tend to have more wear than the glocks. I’ve worked with departments with both & armorer for both.
    If your buying online & they want $10-20 more for a hand selected pay it. A lot of .357Sig M&P’s will be hitting the market, check them close that cartridge tends to beat the snot outta the Smiths. I looked at a dozen in the last few months from local departments most had less than 300 rounds fired and frames cracked, slides peened, striker assembly on 2 fell out into my hand when I stripped them to clean.
    I love the round but only have it in my 229 Sig. It was meant for a metal framed weapon & I think at it’s best.

  20. G22s for $329, G23s for under $400 at Sportsman’s Outdoor Superstore, also S&W 3913 for under $400. Sigs around $500. Out of stock right now, but Summit Gun Broker just had G22s for $299(2 mags), has Sig 226s for $549.

    • LE trade-in pricing (and used gun pricing in general) varies even at specific retailers based on condition and accessories. Previous batches may have been priced higher or lower depending. Exemplary condition, night sights, extra mags… or not… affect going rate.

  21. I just picked up a G23 3rd gen trade in over here in Seattle last week for 369 with 2 mags and night sights. Just such a great buy. Walked into my regular shop over here and they had both 21s, 22s and 23s. I must have had the first pick at the G23 I snagged is in such great shape I was shocked. The slide release is not even worn, it is still completely black, blew my mind. Not a scratch on it and almost zero noticeable wear from a holster. Going to take it shootig the first time this coming weekend, cannot wait.

  22. Others seem to be having luck with Best Busy Surplus (bestbuysurplusspokane.com) however you all must be close to their physical store location or something as I found their website lacking. No separate ‘Used gun’ or ‘Police Trade-In’ section. It is just a generic web store that looks a lot like many other online gun reseller just with their own custom colored skin on the UI. Prices are like Davidson’s. No magic happening on the online store. And if you try a wild card search explicitly within the Used Gun section the inventory database pukes out new guns and gun parts. Sure wish I lived closer to the source too because their online presence is really lacking. Prices on new guns are below MSRP so they are not the highest prices I’ve seen but they aren’t giving anything away at a deal either. (Price range from bottom 20th-50th percentile.)

  23. “Unless a factory warranty is important to you” not sure what the writer meant by that. A LEO trade in does not negate GLOCK service. You pay the shipping to Smyrna but they send it back to you fixed or refreshed at no cost, unless you want to pay for a fresh slide coating or nite sites upgrade. Their turnaround time and customer service is excellent and you do not have to buy your GLOCK new to receive repairs and updates from GLOCK.

  24. Read this first:
    Bardstown Police replacing guns after dangerous defects found
    Posted: May 15, 2015 5:54 PM / Updated: May 15, 2015 6:38 PM

    http://www.wdrb.com/story/29078319/bardstown-police-replacing-guns-after-dangerous-defects-found

    The G22 has been the only handgun that performs more like a Cuisinart on a support hand than a poly pistol with a frame meant for fingersIn fact, the G22 did a better job of dissecting my thumb than Dr. Ben Carson. . There was so much blood, the range went looking for their HazMat suits. I tried firing it with a death grip, one-handed, and still got slide bite on the back of my hand.

    “Beaver tails? What Beaver tails? We don’t need no stinkin’ Beaver tails.”

    This is the reason why I am a fan of the Springfield Mod2. Unlike the Blocks, er, Glocks, they raise the hand of the shooter and not lower the slide and barrel to get a better bore axis level.

    LEO’s are trading in their G22’s for self-defense reasons: their own.

  25. i have a glock 22 gen 2 le has Missouri highway patrol stamped on it I paid 400 bucks for it with one mag ( wish I had 2 or 3 ) but outher than that I cant complain came with nice night sights but outher than a little wear on the end of the barrel from being holstered in and out it is in great amazing shape couldn’t ask for more and I saved a good hundred bucks plus I got night sights by glock

  26. I have a glock model 22 40 caliber oklahoma city police 2000 engraved with night sight, etc. I would like to sell since I no longer need it.it is in excellent condition with original box, clips and lock.I have lots of excessively clips, ammo etc.Does anyone have any interest.

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