What do you need to do a Glock to make it an awesome combat gun? Well, if you ordered it with tritium factory sights, take it out of the box and put bullets in it. But sometimes we want something else. A gun is a very personal item to some of us, and we grow fond attachments to our favorites. At some point in your life, you are going to want to customize one. Not because it necessarily makes it better, but because it makes it yours. I finally cobbled together the appropriate coins earlier this year for a custom job and chose to do it to one of my Glock’s. Why my Glock? Because if the world ever turns into Mad Max land, I want my pretty gun to still be apocalypse worthy.
In building a custom gun, I turned to my old friend Aaron Reed, owner of Ops Armory.
Reed, still a reserve SEAL, spent a very long time on active duty and is also a professional 3 Gun shooter on Team Bushmaster. Normally I only consult SEALs about which tanning lotion works best in the southern hemisphere, or how to maintain highlights in your hair in field conditions. But there are exceptions. Needless to say, his gunfighter creds are legit. Unlike some custom shops, I know Reed isn’t just going for pretty aesthetics. So, I sent off my Glock 22 and gave him a blank slate. The results are spectacular.
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Ops Armory went with the Captain America theme for my Glock, fitting considering our cumulative time spent in the Department of the Defense (DOD). The finish is beautiful, a distressed American flag finish from bow to stern. Pictures do not do justice to the level of detail in the Cerakote. Reed has been in the Cerakote business for several years and has truly mastered his craft.
From top to bottom, this feels like a whole new gun. Gone are the finger grooves, cut down to a slimmer grip. The frame has been textured, all the way to forward the slide takedown lever. The trigger guard features a double undercut, both to reduce weight and give you a higher grip. The magazine release frame area has been reduced to make it easier to reload. The frame has even been reduced around the slide takedown, making for some very good looking lines while again cutting weight. The trigger is an Ops Armory special, and easily one of the best three Glock triggers I have shot.
Up top, there is again no shortage of new. First of all, the slide was cut for an RMR, complete with a cover plate. I actually prefer the Ops Armory cut to the factory MOS. Aaron uses thicker screws, that are less likely to break, and the cut is deeper, making the sight closer to the bore line. The factory slide serrations in the rear are deepened and widened, ensuring a positive grip. Front slide serrations are also added, cut at an angle. Instead of the factory Glock roundness to the slide, it is now tri-cut. This is both an aesthetic choice and reduces weight.
Lightening The Load
On the subject of slide weight, the next part is a bit controversial. Ops Armory cuts lightening windows on top of the slide, further cutting down on weight. Is this a good idea, or simply a cool looking must have in the modern world? The answer is, I am not actually sure. I have had professional shooters I know and respect tell me they would make the slide heavier if they had a choice.
And others absolutely believe in the lightened slide school of thought. The theory is this. A lightened slide has less reciprocating mass, therefore less recoil impulse is felt. Less weight moving backward returns to target faster. The heavy slide guys say more mass absorbs more energy during the movement, results in less recoil. Which one do I believe? No idea. This is my first slide cut gun, I’ll let you know. But I do know this. If you plan to shoot one a lot that has been lightened, increase your recoil spring weight. Otherwise, over enough time, you are risking frame damage from the faster acceleration of the slide moving back. The only slide Glock ever added a lightening window too was the 34, to make the slide weight the same as a Glock 17. Probably some smarts in that somewhere. Either way, the Ops Armory one looks totally badass, and style points do count.
All in all, I am very happy with how my Ops Armory Glock turned out. It is a beautiful gun, a conversation starter, and a tactical wonder. Why consider customization? Well, to start a better trigger can help improve accuracy. Also, as many have removed with a mere belt sander— the finger grooves on the Glock 22 Gen 3 don’t fit everyone’s hands. If you’re looking for a shop to update your current Glock and improve it, consider checking out Ops Armory. This customization project cost about $1,200, and it was worth every penny.
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