Ever since Glocks first made their appearance stateside, their looks have been compared to bars of soap and even Tupperware. For some Glock fans, the pistol is perfect and needs no modifications. For many others, however, the Glock platform has become a blank slate upon which to design whatever serves their needs. Glock slides are a perfect example.
People make some modifications for performance reasons while others are purely cosmetic. Glock frames have been shaved, cut, stippled, coated and reshaped every which way for some time now. It’s relatively easy to do thanks to their polymer construction.
Many of those with modified frames want to modify their slides for the same reasons. Some want front cocking serrations for a better grip, or a lightened slide for enhanced performance; others still require optic mounting options. But unlike the frames, Glock slides are not made of plastic and are much more difficult to modify.
Over the past few years, enterprising machinists have lent their services to those in search of enhanced functionality or a more unique look for their Glock pistols. Usually this requires sending your factory slide to a gunsmith for irreversible customized work. These artisans achieve truly impressive results, but the customization process often means you’re left without the use of your pistol for weeks, sometimes even months. Also, once modified, your stock slide could never be returned to its factory state.
Recently, companies have begun to produce their own Glock-compatible slides. The upsides to buying aftermarket slides are that you get to change the performance and visual characteristics of your pistol by simply slapping on a new slide. This allows you to try different upper setups—even calibers in some cases—while keeping your stock slide unmolested. You can now have multiple slides for a single frame, changing them depending on their intended use at any time.
With so many aftermarket slides for Glocks now entering the market, it’s a good time to be a Glock shooter. Let’s investigate some of the most popular choices currently available.
Suarez International V3 SI-317 RMR Slide
- Caliber: 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP
- Available For: Gen 3 G17 (shown), G19, G21, G22, G23, G34, G35; Gen 4 G17, G19, G21, G34, G35
- Included: Stripped slide
- Colors: FDE (shown), Black,
- Aquaterra, Gray
- MSRP: $299.99 (FDE)
- URL: onesourcetactical.com
Notes: Stripped or fully loaded, Suarez International’s slides are built to your specifications and crafted with tighter tolerances than factory units for increased accuracy, reliability and overall performance. The V3 is made of heat-treated 17-4 steel and features angled front serrations for improved ergonomics. Its ejection port is contoured and lowered by 0.1 inches to eject spent casings more reliably. To enhance reliability, Suarez removes enough material from the slide to counterbalance a Trijicon RMR so that it weighs virtually the same as a standard factory slide, even with an optic on board. Word is a new series of Suarez slides will soon be offered that are compatible with Leupold’s DeltaPoint Pro.
Shown With: Glock G17 barrel, White Sound Defense steel guide rod, Wolff recoil spring, Suarez tritium suppressor sights, Trijicon RM03 RMR
BattleComp BCE Custom Glock 19 Slide with ATEi Top Serrations
- Caliber: 9mm
- Available For: Gen 3 G19
- Included: Stripped slide
- MSRP: $429.99
- URL: battlecomp.com
Notes: Known for its popular line of muzzle brakes, BattleComp has stepped into the aftermarket Glock slide arena with its match-grade BCE Custom Glock 19 slide. Milled from 416R stainless steel and finished in durable black melonite, the slide features a generous number of front and rear serrations. The serrations are inspired by BattleComp’s muzzle brakes. The version shown here also features optional ATEi full top serrations for extra grip and a customized look. The slide comes stripped, with a channel liner installed. A standard BCE Custom slide with no top serrations is available for $279.
Lone Wolf Distributors Assembled Slide
- Caliber: 9mm, .40 S&W, .357 SIG, 10mm Auto, .45 ACP
- Available For: Gen 3 G17, G17L, G19, G20, G21, G22, G23, G24, G26, G27, G34, G35
- Included: Slide, internal parts
- MSRP: $330.23
- URL: lonewolfdist.com
Notes: Lone Wolf’s forged 416 stainless steel Assembled G19 9mm Slide features front and rear cocking serrations, a rounded bull nose, a lowered ejection port and beveled rails. It comes with internal parts but requires a barrel and sights. Lone Wolf lightened the sample shown with its custom-machining service. For an extra $174.95, Lone Wolf will machine your slide in a variety of patterns. Lone Wolf did this one in “Pattern #4 (BM).” Another custom service is a “Slide Melt” red-dot sight installation.
Shown With: Lone Wolf M/19 Stock-Length Barrel, Lone Wolf SS Guide Rod Complete Assembly, AmeriGlo Suppressor Sights, Trijicon RM05 RMR
Primary Weapons Systems Enhanced Duty Slide
- Caliber: 9mm
- Available For: Gen 1-3 G17 (shown), G19
- Included: Slide, internal parts and sights; Trijicon HD night sights (shown) are optional
- MSRP: $549.95 with Trijicon HD night sights (shown) / $449.95 with Glock sights
- URL: primaryweapons.com
Notes: The Enhanced Duty Slide, or EDS, is billet-machined from 17-4 stainless steel and coated with diamond-like carbon (DLC) for surface hardness and corrosion resistance. PWS promises that the EDS will improve the stock trigger pull of Gen 1 through Gen 3 Glock pistols, resulting in a crisp 4-pound trigger break. The slide features front serrations that aid in weapon manipulations and clearing malfunctions. Installation requires a barrel and recoil spring assembly.
Shown With: Titanium Gun G17 StormLake Titanium-Nitride-Coated Barrel, Lone Wolf Distributors Stainless Steel Guide Rod Complete Assembly
Unity Tactical ATOM Slide
- Caliber: 9mm, .40 S&W
- Available For: Gen 3 G17, G19 (shown), G22, G23; Gen 4 G17, G19
- Included: Slide, optic-height sights
- Colors: FDE (shown), black
- MSRP: $479.95
- URL: unitytactical.com
Notes: Unity Tactical premills its slides for the company’s ATOM optic-mounting system, which uses proprietary optic adapters. ATOM adapters are available for the Trijicon RMR, Aimpoint Micro, Leupold DeltaPoint, Insight MRDS, Docter red dots and the Burris FastFire II. The mounts have tight tolerances to retain zero and survive harsh abuse. The heat-treated, 17-4 stainless steel slides come with front and rear serrations and optic-compatible sights, but the assembly is stripped and does not include a barrel, internal parts or an adapter plate. Shown With: Lone Wolf M/19 107mm black barrel, Glock 19 guide rod assembly, ATOM Trijicon RMR adapter, Trijicon RM07 RMR
Zev Technologies Enhanced SOCOM RMR ABS CW Slide
- Caliber: 9mm
- Available For: Gen 1-3 G17 (shown), G19, G34
- Included: Stripped slide
- Colors: Graphite Gray (shown), FDE
- MSRP: $525 (Z17)
- URL: zevtechnologies.com
Notes: Pictured here is ZEV Technologies’ 3rd Gen Z17 Stainless Steel Slide with the company’s Enhanced SOCOM contour and RMR optic cut to ensure the optic will co-witness with its iron sights. Designed with tighter tolerances to increase accuracy and performance, ZEV’s Z-series slides are available for a variety of applications in various contours and surface treatments. ZEV machines each slide from 17-4 billet stainless steel, accommodates an RMR optic. Finishes are available in your choice of DLC or PVD coatings.
Fowler Industries Mark 2
- Caliber: 9mm, .40 S&W, .357 SIG
- Available For: Gen 1-4 G17 (shown), G19, G22, G23, G26, G27, G31, G32, G33
- Included: Custom work
- MSRP: $800 (plus your stock slide)
- URL: figuns.com
Notes: The Mark 2 service takes your stock Glock slide and refines it for the stresses and precision required for competition shooting. Fowler performs many gunsmithing services, including a Trijicon RMR optic cut, a front-top window cut, 45-degree top angle cuts, pyramid rear serrations, left and right window cuts, angled front serrations, mass-reduction cuts on both sides and a black nitride coating.
Shown With: Fowler Enhanced Match Barrel, Fowler RMR cover plate, Enhanced Precision Products sights, Lone Wolf SS Guide Rod Complete Assembly.