PERFORMANCE BASED PERFECTION
FOWLER INDUSTRIES CUSTOM BUILDS PISTOLS USED FOR EVERYDAY CARRY, RECREATIONAL RANGE SHOOTING AND COMPETITION.
Fowler Industries custom builds pistols used for everyday carry, range shooting and competition.
I am pretty sure the first words uttered from a very good friend of mine when he learned I’d just bought a Glock were, "Hell truly has just frozen over…”
Let me step back in time and give you a brief journey on my growing up with firearms and why owning a Glock was somewhat monumental.
In 1978, I passed my hunter safety course at the age of 6 years old. My father read the questions to me and I answered true or false to what he was asking. Following the completion of this test, my father handed me a Colt Government model that was fitted with a 22-conversion kit. This was the start of my pistol shooting and also the start of my relationship with 1911-based pistols.
Growing up as a youngster in the 70s and into the early 80s, IPSC (International Practical Shooting Confederation) shooting was big in my family as my father was a custom holster maker. Southern California had its fair share of ranges and shooting, and watching people shoot this game was a weekly doing for my father and me. During this time, pretty much all of the top shooters were shooting some type of 1911-based platform, and it was no different for my father and me.
Fast-forward a few years, and a 1911 pistol has been on my side for nearly two decades in law enforcement. The 1911-based pistol is something that is merely an extension of my hands, having fired tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of rounds through multiple pistols that I have access to on a daily basis.
When Glocks first came on the scene, I raised my nose to this "plastic type weapon" and darn near swore that I would never be shooting one of these guns, basically because it was not a 1911. Colt was the name of the game that I played, and I pretty much bled blue for that rampant pony.
Glocks – and Fowler – on the Horizon
As I got older, I started to gain my footing in law enforcement, and training and writing both broadened my horizons quite a bit. Next thing I knew I was at a multi-day course where all of those in attendance were issued Glock pistols for training. When in Rome…so I shot with this pistol quite a bit over a few days. I was surprised by how much I liked the pistol. I followed up the course with a trip to the gun shop where I purchased my first Glock pistol. That was a few years ago, and now I seem to have a new obsession with the pistols I used to snub.
Just about the time I started getting into Glocks, I was introduced to Logan Fowler, the owner and chief builder behind central California-based Fowler Industries. Like me, Fowler grew up in a family that shoots, and he has been shooting since he was a youngster as well. His father, Mickey Fowler, was one of the top IPSC shooters in the 70s and 80s, so Logan Fowler has learned a thing or two in the shooting world.
The younger Fowler and I kept in contact after our first meeting and began to talk more and more in depth about Glocks and about the pistols he was going to start building. His first
foray into the gun industry was with Enhanced Precision Products where he designed and built rear sights for Glocks. This rear sight now adorns the majority of the pistols that come out of his current shop, Fowler Industries.
The vision for Fowler Industries started a couple of years ago when Fowler began working on his personal pistols that he used for concealed carry, recreational shooting and in competitions. Seeing how the pistols performed after sending tens of thousands of rounds through them over the years, Fowler began to think how he could improve upon the basic pistol's design. Working on pistols, and making changes to the frame, the slide and the ignition system, Fowler began to build his brand. When the time came to finally spin up and start putting his logo on the weapons coming out of his shop, I sent him a Glock 19 that I would start carrying.
Over the years, Fowler has found what works best on Glock pistols and has defined the brand with his Mark 1, Mark 2 and Mark 3 series of builds. His company takes into account what a customer will need and has variations specifically for pistols used for everyday carry, recreational range shooting and for competition pistols. Building performance-based weapons is exactly what Fowler Industries does and by doing so, it is capturing a pretty big spotlight.
Custom-built Mark 1
Prior to sending Fowler Industries my pistol, we talked about my needs, their ideas for designs and some of the work that would be performed on this pistol. Because this was going to primarily be a pistol I would carry off-duty, we decided to go with his Mark 1 design. My Glock 19 would see certain slide modifications, quite a bit of framework, an enhanced trigger system as well as one of his hand fit match grade barrels. Sights for this pistol would be his Enhanced Precision Products Lock Back Rear Sight with a gold bead front, which I have on the majority of pistols I carry on and off duty. Once all the specifics were confirmed, my pistol headed out to the Fowler Industries shop.
If I told you waiting for this pistol was like a child waiting for Santa Claus on Christmas morning, that would be an understatement. As the weeks went on, I thought about getting the pistol back in my hands almost daily. Talking with Fowler on a pretty consistent basis about what was happening, the stages of the build, and all of the other details that went into this pistol made waiting even tougher.
“Truly Beautiful Pistol”
When the pistol was finally completed, Fowler made a trip down to Southern California to get the pistol back to me. Upon opening the case, I realized I was looking at a truly beautiful pistol. I let Fowler Industries choose the finish of this pistol and the designers decided to surface grind the sides of the slide and make the rest a matte black finish. By surface grinding the sides of the slide, it appears to be almost a black mirror with an obsidian shine to those portions of the slide. The contrast of the matte and the shine made a very elegant looking pistol.
Taking in everything about this pistol, I locked on to numerous design features. Continuing with the slide, the top and side serrations to the front of the slide are crisp and pure. They also make for a positive grip if you decide to pull the slide back from the front. Making additional mass reduction cuts to the sides and the top of the slide makes recoil seem quite a bit less and allows for quicker follow-up shots.
One more addition that Fowler Industries does to its slides is to machine and area for a Trijicon RMR optic. This area is then covered by a plate that comes standard on the builds. Once removed, you can place an RMR onto this slide, which gives you another option for sighting.
framework and mechanics
Moving on to the framework and to the internals of the ignition system, Fowler Industries takes its time, and performs flawless texturing and makes needed cuts to a Glock frame. The undercut made on my pistol is really helpful, as I have size 4X hands, which not a lot of pistols fit into. The cut Fowler Industries makes allows for the pistol to sit down into your grip. This allows perfect sight alignment when fully extended and ready to shoot. The magazine release area is scallop cut, and is the most generous of all of the cuts I have seen on custom Glocks. Again, a great addition for somebody with hands that rival those of a Yeti. The texturing on this pistol is not super-aggressive and does not wear against your skin or
“BY SURFACE GRINDING THE SIDES OF THE SLIDE, IT APPEARS TO BE ALMOST A BLACK MIRROR WITH AN OBSIDIAN SHINE…”
clothing if carrying concealed. This is nice, as you do not need to constantly worry about fraying clothing or placing bandages on affected areas of your body nightly.
Getting into the internals and barrel, one starts to realize why this is not only a beautiful looking pistol, but also functionally flawless and superbly accurate. Fowler Industries works some sort of magic with their polishing and honing, giving the trigger an amazing 4- to 4 ½-pound pull that is as smooth as silk. One of my gripes for years with a Glock trigger has been the trigger pull weight, followed by grittiness and sometimes a hump that you must overcome during a trigger press. I felt none of that is felt with the Fowler Industries build. Add their Enhanced Glock Pin Set, and you can start to imagine how this trigger will function for the shooter.
The U.s.-made Barrel
One last item on this build – and a pretty important part – is the Fowler Industries barrel. Built to its specifications, Fowler Industries has its barrels made by a U.S. manufacturer, and they come to the shop in a configuration that allows the company to complete the fitting. Each barrel is fit in its shop and they are done so to the most minute tolerances. The barrels on the Fowler Industries pistols have offset box fluting, a recessed crown, chambered muzzle and are usually finished in a black nitride, though other options are available.
When is was time to create the color scheme of this weapon, Fowler decided to keep the barrel on my pistol raw stainless steel, which complements the rest of the pistol very nicely. The colors complement each other incredibly well; the matte black slide with a little bit is shine where it was surface ground is followed by the pure stainless steel of the barrel.
“I FINALLY FOUND A PISTOL, OTHER THAN A 1911, THAT WORKED WITH ME AND WHAT I WAS DOING.”
At the Range
With the build complete, pistol in my hand and a full belly from lunch, I could not get to the range fast enough and start loading magazines to feed my new Fowler Industries Glock 19.
With a handful of magazines and more than a few boxes of ammunition, I jammed them to capacity as quickly as I could grab rounds from boxes. With five magazines full of PRIME Ammunition's 124-grain FMJ loads, I started shooting from a few different courses of fire that I shoot to judge my abilities on any given day.
Using the NRA "bull’s-eye" target as my go-to, I quickly found myself shooting between 3 and 25 yards. I need to call myself out here – I am not a person who can shoot 290s or above on the FBI qualification course. I can pass, but I cannot shoot tiny groups at 25 yards. That said, with this pistol I shocked myself with my shooting performance.
While shooting the Mark 1 pistol for the first time and going through the first few of several magazines, a revelation or two occurred. I finally found a pistol, other than a 1911, that worked with me and what I was doing. How could this be for someone who has primarily shot 1911-based platforms for the majority of his life? How could I like a "plastic" gun? It just so happens that this Fowler Industriesbuilt Glock 19 is now one of my go-to pistols off duty and on the range, whether training or shooting for fun.
Shooting this pistol is very easy and the performance is just about flawless. What Fowler Industries has done with its machine work on the slide with regard to lightening makes recoil seem much less and allows for the shooter
to get back on target very quickly. Whether shooting the 124-grain PRIME Ammunition or 147-grain Federal, both loads perform and function consistently. With the framework that is done on the Glock platform, the pistol sits down into my hands and it allows a much truer grip than a pistol that is stock. Working through a handful of drills on the first day shooting this pistol, I was immediately overjoyed with the performance, accuracy and ability of this platform.
Carrying this pistol is rather easy; it hides very well and does not print whatsoever. I carry the Mark 1 in a couple of different ways and in a few holsters. One holster I use for ditching this pistol is the "Deep Concealment Holster" that is sold by the Sheriff of Baghdad (Sergeant Major (ret.) John “Shrek” Mcfee) at www.sobmanswag. com. This particular holster covers the muzzle and the trigger area of the pistol and pretty much allows, as the name of the holster states, for deep concealment by ditching a pistol either via an appendix carry or toward the rear of your strong or support side.
Two other holsters I am using with the Fowler Industries pistol are both made by Tap Rack Holsters of Fresno, Calif. One is its Inside the Waistband (IWB) holster and the other is its full-size holster. Both are incredibly well built Kydex holsters, and I use its corresponding magazine pouches as well. What I am doing or where I am going pretty much dictates what holster set up I will be using. TW
“SHOOTING THIS PISTOL IS VERY EASY AND THE PERFORMANCE IS JUST ABOUT FLAWLESS.”