I just found this forum, saw this question and had to register to throw in two or six cents, so here's my first post on here ...
Lone Wolf Distributors sell barrels for Glocks from in the following manufacturers: Glock, Federal Arms, IGM, Jarvis, KKM and their own Lone Wolf brand. I've ordered a pile of parts from them and they've always provided great customer service as well. Here's a link <A href="http://www.lonewolfdist.com/Products.aspx?CAT=4" target=_blank>[url]http://www.lonewolfdist.com/Products.aspx?CAT=4[/URL]
I liked the LWD barrel options and ordered 9mm convesion barrels for both my G35 and G23. The G23 barrel has additional length with threads along with a thread protector. The G35 barrel is stock length and unported. They come standard in stainless finish with a logo on top of the barrel but I ordered mine with black oxide finish and the logo on the bottom lug so they look factory. You can order them to convert caliber, stay with same caliber, ported, unported, stock length, longer length, threaded, not threaded, etc. etc.
The IGM barrels by the way, are 16" barrels!
From a safety standpoint, you should do your own research and form your own opion regarding barrel quality. As a starting question, consider that Glock factory barrels have "not fully supported chambers" while most aftermarket barrels have "fully supported chambers". I am not knocking that $6 barrel but do enough research to make certain to validate the quality of any barrel you use. I've come across various forum comments where there have been reports of certain aftermarket barrels having higher percentages of KBs. Oddly enough, they always seem to withhold the manufacturer for some reason or I'd share it.
Few extra odd bits to add. I've got or have owned and shot barrels from most of the manufactures listed above in the last two years. Most the folks I shoot with just run factory stock barrels unless they are looking to shoot with a comp or get the barrel ported for some reason. There are a few who also shoot lead, and have decided for personal comfort to go aftermarket for piece of mind.
Big thing is why do you want an aftermarket barrel? Wanting to shoot lead with more personnel comfort in not having the gun go boom? Looking for more accuracy? Wanting to mod it for some other reason?
The advice of do your research is the key.
LWD barrels come in all flavors and options, stock, extended with threads, ported, extended and ported, and extended with two sets of ports for the slides with the fore-end weight reduction cut-outs. The barrels are listed as drop-in, but in some cases may require a little filing on the upper rear locking surface to get the gun to lock-p correctly. Of the 7 I've owned one needed a little and one alot. The first would lock up enough to fire, but allow the gun to be slightly out of battery, the latter wouldn't let it lock up enough to function. The threads on these barrels also are not the most commonly used sized and are meant more for suppresors. IF you are going to compensate it you only have two option the LWD comp and a Jager comp, both of which will not seat flush to the front of the slide when in battery.
The KKM barrels tend to be the most popular among the competition shooters, they also can be had in ported and threaded versions as well. Typically however their threads are cut for compensators and those the wrong size for most suppressors without an adaptor.
Federal Arms is sometimes looked at as the lower quality barrel and typically is just a aftermarket fix for the "no lead in a Glock" fear.
The IGM barrels are meant to allow conversion of the GLock into a carbine.
Jarvis gets decent marks as well and has similar options as the KKM.
There are also Fire Dragon, and several other premium brand maker barrels out there as well. You can probably find one that suits your budget and shooting plans.
Few points to mull over:
(1) A big thing is make sure the barrel is truely a drop in, and not a some fitting required barrel or a gunsmith fitted barrel. The former can be done with a file and some stoning, the latter is only for those not of the faint of heart.
(2) Almost all after market barrels have "match chambers", not really some real spec, just the chambers don't tend to as "loose" as the factory glock chambers. This means that you have watch out for improperly sized or poor quality (i.e. cheap) ammo that may not be QA'd as well as better stuff. Best case scenario here is the round fails to feed and jams, worse case is round feeds, but locks before it goes into battery and you are having to manually force the slide back with a live round wedged in the chamber or you get a case that fails to eject and locks the slide up and you are back to forcing it open.
(3) The whole un-supported chamber thing is blown (pun intended) way out of proportion via the wonders of the internet. Almost all auto loaders have a unspported chamber of one sort or another, otherwise the rounds wouldn't feed correctly. Earlier Glocks did have a less supported chamber, but there have been several updates to the barrels over the last few production tweeks that have reticfied that to most extents. In most cases the Kabooms are related to faulty ammo, reloads, or some other factor that combines to spike the pressure in the cartrdige to cause it to blow out at the weakest point (i.e right above the feedramp). If the Glock grenade rumors were true I would be missing more then a few fingers by now considering the amount of rounds I put down range on a regular basis. Best example I can site is my Glock Pimp, he's been using the same department issued 2nd Gen, early production batch Model 22 in 40 cal with over 200K or so in rounds through it. Never had it blow up and its got one of the older less supported chambers.
(4) Some folks have also pointed out that the accuracy increase reported by folks when they switch to a aftermarket barrel decreases significantly with the better the shooter becomes with the gun. I've yet to apparently attain this level of greatness, so I tend to find some improvement in accruacy with aftermarket barrels.
(5) The calbre conversion barrels are pretty sweet and I think KKM and Jarvis offer them as well. This here is to remember that in some cases you may also need to change you springs, extractor and ejector to get truelly reliable functionality. Not a big thing with a Glock to swap the parts, but if you want it to work right everytime you may have to spend a little extra for more then just plinking with it. Having said that, its definitely the way to go is you have something other then a 9mm since, 9mm is still cheaper then the bigger stuff, assuming you can find it.
Thanks for pointing out all of those good valid points. I haven't barrel shopped for about 2 years and forgot some of those topics. I didn't mean to hop on the supported/unsupported chamber band wagon but meant it as a starting point to do research ... and definitely, everyone should FILTER out what they believe to be hooha and not take everything for fact. Take the Turbonator as an example (click for entertainment)
You also reminded me that, when converting down from a .40 to 9mm, I did have feed, cycling and ejection issues in my G35 that required lots of testing and tweaking. I use the stock factory recoil spring/rod with .40s but swap it to a 15lb recoil spring with the 9mm's so the lower powered spring allows the lower powered ammo to cycle the slide all the way back. I also swapped the ejector in my G35 to be the G34 (9mm) ejector and it seems to work flawlessly for both 9mm and .40 ... so it stays in. I didn't swap the G23 ejector and I don't really shoot 9mm out of it much, if any, because it is in the night stand and I'd really rather keep it "factory reliable".