The Austrian handgun manufacturer Glock has been producing reliable, durable, and cost-effective firearms for almost 40 years. The primary advantage of a semi-automatic Glock pistol is convenience. It’s a reactive instrument — a compromise between weight and portability on the one hand and power and range on the other.
One way of increasing the performance of a pistol cartridge like the 9mm Luger or .45 ACP is to fire it in a carbine-length barrel.
3 Best Glock Carbine Conversion Kits
1. CAA Glock MCK
The Micro Conversion Kit, or MCK, is compatible with Gen 4 Glock handguns in nine different models, providing you with a more stable firing platform to take full advantage of the Glock’s capabilities. In addition to an arm-stabilizing brace, which can double as a buttstock, the MCK has a Picatinny accessory rail on top, allowing you to attach a wide variety of different sighting systems. The kit also features Picatinny rails on the sides for mounting weapon lights or laser-aiming modules, so you’ll always be ready for whatever awaits you in the dark.
The manufacturer, CAA, also offers a dedicated weapon light that can be installed into the chassis. A highly efficient LED, the MCKFL — Micro Conversion Kit Flash Light — is powered by a single CR123 lithium battery and sits inside a sleeve located below the muzzle port. There are two switches on either side to activate the light that you can press with your index finger. This provides a convenient alternative to offset lights with tape switches and keeps the beam parallel with the barrel, assisting with aiming in low light scenarios.
Another optional feature is thumb rests for the support hand, an ergonomic accessory that increases comfort and allows you to apply downward pressure as you hold the chassis.
The Glock series of semi-automatic pistols, especially in 9mm, is known for its high magazine capacity. However, you can never predict how many rounds you’ll need, whether for self-defense, competition shooting, or plinking at the range. While you can carry additional magazines in pouches on your belt or in another off-body location, having a spare magazine close at hand is always preferable. A spare magazine holder is included in the MCK, which can double as a vertical foregrip without violating the law.
Installation couldn’t be simpler: Open the insertion hatch, retract the charging handle to the rearmost position, insert the Glock pistol into the chassis, and slide it forward until it clicks. When the pistol is fully forward in the chassis, you can close the insertion hatch.
There are two charging handles, one on each side of the chassis, that allow you to retract the slide while the pistol is inside the system. If you want to carry the MCK for defensive purposes, the stabilizing brace, which doubles as a stock, folds to the right, reducing the already-compact length even more. A folding stock or brace is beneficial for transporting or packing away the chassis on its own or complete with the Glock.
Besides practicality, the MCK is available in a range of 10 colors — black, white, red, pink, orange, OD green, tan/flat dark earth, tungsten gray, ghost camo, and the U.S. flag. With so many colors to choose from, you can give your Glock pistol some extra personality that is sure to make it a standout at any shooting range or event.
The manufacturer’s dimensions are as follows:
- Width: 2.48”
- Height: 5.70”
- Length: 13.70”
2. KPOS Scout Fab Defense PDW Conversion Kit
FAB Defense is a manufacturer of tactical accessories for the Israel Defense Forces, such as pistol grips, vertical foregrips, buttstocks, bipods, and rail systems. However, its customers are not limited to military personnel and law enforcement. If you’d rather have a short-barreled rifle configuration, the PDW Conversion Kit substitutes a traditional folding buttstock for the stabilizing brace and one of the company’s signature vertical foregrips.
Installing a Glock pistol with a standard-length pistol barrel renders the weapon an SBR regulated under the National Firearms Act. If you want to avoid that, you’ll have to install a 16” barrel. Once you do that, the KPS Scout becomes an NFA-compliant rifle and benefits from one of the advantages of a pistol-caliber carbine — increased muzzle velocity, effective range, and power.
Composed of an aluminum upper and polymer-composite lower, the KPS Scout is a hybrid design that combines durability with lightweight construction. The weight is only 1.58 lbs.
The chassis or housing has exhaust ports in the front, so the KPS Scout is compatible with Glock pistols using ported barrels and slides or muzzle compensators. The exhausted gases are free to vent upward, preserving recoil reduction without raking damage to the conversion kit.
Installation, as with the MCK, requires no tools, disassembly, or modification of the pistol.
The KPS Scout also features an ambidextrous charging handle; however, unlike the MCK, the handle is non-reciprocating so that it won’t interfere with your equipment. Rather than having two handles on either side, this system uses a single charging handle modeled after the AR-15, located in the center.
A full-length Picatinny rail occupies the top of the housing, allowing you to attach whatever optics you decide are necessary for your preferred application. On the bottom is a short rail for attaching different vertical foregrips. The sides feature removable short rails for such devices as lasers and weapon lights, a critical accessory for low-light defensive scenarios.
The dimensions, according to the manufacturer, are as follows:
- Width: 2.87”
- Height: 6.69”
- Length: 12.83”
- Width: (open / deployed) 2.36”
- Length: (open / deployed) 21.33”
3. HERA Arms Triarii for Glock 19 Black
A manufacturer of high-quality firearms accessories, HERA Arms was founded in Germany in 2008 before branching out to the United States market. Producing everything from magazines and muzzle devices to handguards, the firm decided to create a carbine conversion kit for several service handguns, such as those made by Glock, CZ, and Walther — some of the most popular pistol brands in Europe.
HERA designed the Triarii for dynamic shooters, such as law enforcement and military personnel, and those who participate in tactical shooting sports. This system is meant to allow you to convert these handguns into stable and precise CQB (close-quarters battle) carbines in 4 seconds.
Intended to accommodate AR-15 buttstocks, this is an excellent conversion kit for shooters looking to continue familiarization firing drills. To enable you to attach as many accessories as you need to achieve your objectives, whether those are winning matches or surviving battles, the Triarii is equipped with four mil-spec Picatinny rails.
The chassis is equipped with a charging handle located on the left side. This conforms to the European pattern, as seen in the Steyr AUG, Heckler & Koch G3 series (including the famous MP5 submachine gun), and FN FAL. If you’re right-handed, this should suit your needs; however, a left-handed shooter may prefer a more ambidextrous option, such as on the MCK and KPOS.
The manufacturer specs are as follows:
- Weight: 2.5 lbs.
- Width: 2.16”
- Length: 17.5”
- Height: 2.82”
- Inside diameter: 1.04”
Considerations and Information
The additional barrel length allows the propellant charge to burn completely, accelerating the bullet to a higher muzzle velocity. There are other reasons to consider pistol-caliber carbines, which include:
- Multiple points of contact: In a handgun, there is one point of contact between you and the weapon — your strong hand on the grip. The primary way that you control the recoil of a semi-automatic pistol or revolver is by using a two-handed grip. However, even when you wrap your support hand around your strong hand, you still only have one point of contact with the weapon. A rifle or carbine affords four points of contact. Multiple points of contact help you control the weapon, keeping it steady and ensuring that the muzzle remains relatively flat, including during periods of sustained rapid fire.
- Reduced recoil: The increased weight of a pistol-caliber carbine and the buttstock’s increased stability allow you to control the recoil more effectively.
- Increased potential for accuracy: Barrel length affects muzzle velocity, which has a direct impact on accuracy. However, an often overlooked advantage of a carbine regarding accuracy is the increased sight radius. The farther apart the front and rear sights are, the more precise the alignment. You will also more easily notice any errors in sight alignment.
- Additional attachment points: Many modern combat handguns have a short accessory rail machined or molded into the frame for attaching weapon lights or lasers. Some have slides cut to accept adapter plates for miniature red-dot (MRD) sights. However, when it exists, the rail space on a handgun is necessarily limited due to its compact size. A carbine or carbine-length chassis can provide several rails for every accessory you can imagine, plus the length to accommodate a wide range of optics.
Glock Carbine Conversion Kit
While a conversion kit rarely provides the same barrel length, many of the other advantages apply. These off-the-shelf kits allow you to take a stock Glock handgun and increase its competitive and recreational target shooting and home defense performance.
It’s worth noting that using a stabilizing brace, which you are technically supposed to wear around your shooting arm, is necessary for the weapon to avoid classification as a short-barreled rifle or SBR. If you want to use a traditional buttstock such as the collapsible AR-15 type and a vertical foregrip, you will either need to file ATF Form 4 and pay a $200 tax or install a 16” barrel.
A carbine conversion kit allows you to gain as much performance out of your Glock pistol as possible, housing it in a more stable firing platform with a longer sight radius and multiple attachment points. While it may not increase the muzzle velocity of the ammunition as a traditional carbine would, it provides the additional points of contact, reduced recoil, and the room for accessorizing that accompanies long guns.