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.
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.
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.
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?
Good. Really, really good.
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.
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.
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.
Well, other than the steel sights, which had the most obvious finish wear on the pistol.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.