Technology is often a crutch used to make up for lack of skill or training. From what I’ve seen the technology becomes more of a hindrance than help if not used properly. But when used properly it can be a force multiplier. I’m aging myself some here but it helps to lay the foundation — I’m from the iron sights generation. When I first qualified with my M16A2 it was with iron sights — all the way back to the 500-yard line. When I began my career in Law enforcement optics were only on sniper rifles and weapon mounted lights were flashlights attached with hose clamps or zip ties. Fast-forward a few years and you can’t find a patrol or SWAT rifle with some type of optic mounted on top. The first generation of what I’ll call generically “red dots” was pretty humble by today’s standards of extreme durability and runtime measured in years not hours. The technology grew from only being affordable to the military or departments with a big budget to now almost everyone can find an optic at a price they can afford.
The fastest-growing segment of optics on weapons is the handgun market. Professional shooters have been competing with optic mounted handguns for years. They looked more like something out of a Sci-Fi movie and were definitely way too big to be practical for duty or concealed carry. The optics available for mounting on handguns today are so compact they almost look fragile. Don’t let the size fool you they are designed to take a beating and keep on working.
I’m a little late to using optics mounted on carry guns. Over the years I’ve shot plenty of handguns with optics on them, but I was never able to get in the reps I needed to feel comfortable with the system. I know I’m “faster and more accurate” with optics on my rifles so it made sense to me that I would also be faster and more accurate with an optic on my carry gun. Enter Aero Precision who at first mention their extensive lineup of AR parts and accessories comes to mind. A smaller but potent segment of their products are their Grey Ghost Precision Glock slides available for the well-known Glock 17 and 19 — stripped or 80 percent complete — slide cut for an optics is an option as is a standard barrel or one threaded for a suppressor.
Since I’m stuck behind enemy lines in Kalifornia I can’t get in new guns like the Glock Gen 4’s with the MOS cut. The Grey Ghost slide made the most sense for me to be able to set up one of my G19’s with an optic and see for myself if that was a better option for me. I ordered the Grey Ghost Precisions Glock 19 Slide Complete V2. For sights, I chose the suppressor height sights from AME’RIGLO and since the slide is cut for the Trijicon RMR I ordered one in the RMR 2 configuration.
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When I first put my hands on the complete slide I was treated with precision like fit and finish both on the outside and inside of the frame. It was obvious some time was spent making sure every detail was finished properly and smooth to the touch. The complete slide was also showroom clean — no production grime on it anywhere. The AMERIGLO rear sight needed some light filing for a precision fit in the slide. The slide matched up perfectly on my older Gen 3 Glock 19 frame. The build took about 30 minutes but if we weren’t talking and being distracted it probably could have been done in 15 minutes. I gave the Loctite a couple days to set up before I commenced with the live fire testing of the setup.
GLOCK™ 19 Complete Slide Features:
- Available for Gen3 and Gen4
- Machined to exacting specifications from 17-4 Billet Stainless Steel
- Black Nitride coated inside and out
- Comes assembled with all internal components
- Includes Match Grade Barrel (available threaded and non-threaded)
- Absolute Co-Witness RMR Cut
- Includes G10 GGP marked RMR Plate
- Grey Ghost Precision endplate with logo
- *Accepts standard Glock G19 and G17 sights (not included). Hand fitting may be required.
- 416R Gun Barrel Quality Stainless Steel
- Match Grade drop in barrel
- Tight tolerances for consistent accuracy
- Machined to SAAMI Chamber specifications
- Black Nitride Finish for durability without hindering performance
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Trijicon has been at the head of the pack in the weapon mounted optics line for quite some time. The war on terror took us from iron-sighted rifles to virtually every rifle on the battlefield having some type of optic on it. I’m told they are creeping up on the one million, yes million mark. Trijicon has also been at the the pack in making optics for handguns so much so their name RMR (Ruggedized Miniature Reflex) has become like the names Q-tip and Kleenex. Regardless of the manufacture shooters will call handgun-mounted optics an RMR. Over the years, I’ve used most of the Trijicon optics line — the RMR Type 2 was new to me. The model I ordered is the adjustable LED version with the 3.5 MOA dot. You can choose from two other versions a non-adjustable LED or duel illumination model and larger or smaller dot. The Type 2 is what I’ve come to expect from Trijicon — easy to use and durable — also known as Marine or Sammy proof.
My local gun shop RDL Tactical is the place I have the guns I can get in Kalifornia sent to. It’s also the place I go to when I need some help working on a gun. The owner Rick Nare is a big fan of optics on handguns so I brought my box of parts down to get some advice on what to do and what not to do when setting up the Grey Ghost Slide. I’ve broken enough gear over the year I’ve learned to ask before I start wrenching. Rick and his son Tanner took one look in the box and it was like Christmas morning they jumped in right then and started to dry fit things together. Less than 30 minutes later I walked out of the shop with the slide set up and ready to go.
I knew from past experience finding the dot wasn’t natural for me. I felt like I was searching for the dot when I should have already been shooting. To get to the point where I was finding the dot just as fast as I would be acquiring the iron sights and getting to the press of the trigger took a lot of dry practice reps. I’ve been doing dry practice daily and I’ve been able to get to the range for live fire twice up to the point where I started typing. I’m hovering around 300 or so rounds through the setup with 50 of those being carry ammo — Winchester 147-grain Ranger SXT — and everything is running smoothly. The first few shots the slide didn’t go completely into battery but after the first mag my old G19 lower and the Ghost Precision Slide smoothed out and I’ve had no other functioning issues.
The AMERIGLO suppressor height sights sit high enough to be easily seen if the primary optic goes down, but they aren’t so tall that they make acquiring the dot a problem. I did have to be careful which holster I was using so front sight clearance as well as the RMR wasn’t’ an issue.
I’ve known for a long time I either embrace technology and learn as it grows and advances or I’ll get left behind. Some of it I’m not a fan of but that doesn’t change the fact I can’t bite off my nose to spite my face when it comes to using the best tools to get the job done. In the short time I’ve been working on acquiring the new skill set of using the RMR on a handgun I have to say I’m a little late to the party but I’m glad I’m finally here. If you have been thinking about adding an optic to your handgun there is no better time than right now. The Grey Ghost slides from Aero Precision give you the option of having an extra complete slide without having to purchase a complete gun.
For more info:
Aero Precision www.aeroprecisonusa.com