Police department buys new Glocks, rebuilds old ones

By Editor, May 14, 2014 | |
  1. Editor
    In a day and time when everyone wants to throw out the old to make room for the new, one law enforcement agency is going a different route. Instead of getting rid of their old Glocks, they are reconditioning them for years of future use.

    The town

    Located in Warren County, the Northern Virginia town of Front Royal (pop 14,000) dates back to at least 1788, and sprang up from a Revolutionary War militia camp. Steeped in history, the Shenandoah Valley town was the site of the Civil War Battle of Front Royal on May 23, 1862, a decisive victory for Stonewall Jackson. Today much of the downtown area is on the National Register of Historic Places, and Front Royal is a recognized Tree City and a stop along the Appalachian Trail.

    The department

    (Photo Front Royal PD)

    The men and women of the Front Royal Police Department protect this quaint Appalachian town, known as the Canoe Capital of Virginia, around the clock. This full-service law enforcement agency staffed by 38 certified officers, 12 full and part-time civilian personnel, and 2 police canines. This department's sidearm of choice has for years been the .45ACP caliber Glock 21.

    (The Glock 21. Photo by Stickman.)

    Upgrades and overhauls

    Most law enforcement departments have a tendency to change out their guns every decade or so. Some do it even more often than that. Now don't get me wrong, its usually not that the guns are worn out internally-- the typical ten year old police pistol will only have had 2000 or so rounds through it, but they are beat all to heck and back from road wear and holster abuse. This gives the appearance of well-worn (and worn-out) equipment, which leads to letters to the editor and city council from 'concerned citizens' about the state of the local law enforcer's equipment.

    In addition, tragically, some officers never give their guns the proper maintenance that is required, and after a decade of fuzz and lint accumulation, mixed with carbon and brass corrosion, some of these firearms can become down right unserviceable for lack of a good cleaning.

    Hence the trend for departments to trade in and, often, trade up their guns every few years. Glock is well known for doing this at low cost to the departments as we have chronicled here in the past.

    However, when Front Royal's police chief found out that the whole department only had two spare working Glocks left for the entire agency, he made a move to acquire ten new ones to be used to replace the most worn-out of the city's armory-- those of the special weapons guys who do a lot more shooting than the average patrol officer. The replacement guns, bought for $4700 in seized money, were new Glock 21s.

    Instead of trading in the old guns, or selling them to an FFL, or to officers, the chief went a different route.

    "The ones I am going to replace are the ones that the emergency services team uses," Chief Norman Shiflett told NV Daily."I am going to replace the existing weapons and bring them in to have new springs installed. They're going to be reconditioned and then put back in inventory."


    With a new set of recoil springs, magazine springs, and a good armory inspection and cleaning, there is no reason why Front Royal's veteran G21s won't be ready for another tour of duty.

    It seems old Glocks may never die; they just get better with age.

    How many rounds do you have through your Glock? Let us know in the comments below.

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