Making a Gucci Build Affordable?
Every article on Glocks starts by talking about their legendary reliability, aftermarket support, and the corresponding modification options available to consumers. I’m going to assume that enlightened, GunsAmerica readers already know this, so let’s go ahead and jump right in.
Zaffiri Precision is a boutique provider of aftermarket slides and accessories for Gen 3 and 4 Glocks and SIGs. They offer dozens of options by way of optic cuts, intricately detailed slide serrations, and an impressive array of cerakote options. I opted to go with their ZPS.1 Gen 3 Glock 19 configuration in a multicam cerakote color pattern. Zaffiri slides start at a base price of $269 but increase as you add options. Generally, single-color cerakote will run you $30 but more complex multi-color cerakote increases your price by $90. Optics cuts will cost you another $90. All in, ZPS.1 in the configuration I chose ran me $369. Gucci sure ain’t cheap but Zaffiri Precision makes it just a little more attainable.
I originally bought this slide to complete a Polymer80 build I’ve wanted to do for the last year. I encountered some failures to feed with the ZPS.1 outfitted on a P80 frame I had zero issues with using an OEM slide. Luckily I had a complete Gen 3 Glock 19 frame laying around and switched out the frames. After putting the ZPS.1 on the OEM Gen 3 Glock 19 frame, it ran like a clock.
Now before you jump into the comments to start putting P80 on blast, let’s be clear. When assembling a firearm at home, you’re working with parts that have been machined with precision instruments. While problematic parts can certainly make it off the floor, the weakest point in the assembly process is the human building the gun. In this case, that’s me. I take full responsibility for the P80 failures I encountered but wanted to call that out in case anyone was thinking about using a ZPS.1 for a P80 build.
Playing Dress-Up with the ZPS.1
Cosmetically, the ZPS.1 looks great. I put the slide on an OEM Gen 3 Glock 19 frame so it’s only partially Gucci but it works perfectly. The only thing I’ll change is getting rid of those silly Glock finger-grooves and likely an undercut. I’m probably one of a handful of people in the world who doesn’t whine about Glock factory triggers.
The ZPS.1 has windows on 2 sides of the slide which supposedly offers faster barrel cool-down. I’ve never paid attention to this but an exposed gold barrel sure looks nice! The slide serrations are aggressive, maybe a little too aggressive for my dainty hands that were made for typing and Tweeting but I know some guys are into that.
The cerakote job looks spotless and has held up to some pretty unnecessary abuse like laying it down on stone for a GunsAmerica photoshoot as well as tossing my Glock into a rifle bag where it was rubbing up against an AR-15 Picatinny rail. No noticeable wear to the cerakote with the rear sight slot being the only exception. Glocks have a notoriously tight fit on the rear sight and I used a sight-pusher tool to mush my TruGlo tritium sights in. There was a tiny amount of wear to the cerakote from this but it’s only noticeable if you look for it.
The ZPS.1 doesn’t just look great, the fine folks at Zaffiri remove a decent amount of metal from the dimensions of a standard Glock frame. This translates into an easier, faster draw from the holster and a more balanced pistol in my humble opinion. Even on an OEM Glock frame, this doesn’t feel like a factory Glock.
I opted to use a threaded gold barrel from Combat Armory so doing an accuracy test wouldn’t be a reflection on Zaffiri’s Glock barrels. However, my groups at 15 yards were comparable to a standard Glock 19 factory barrel.
When mounted atop the OEM Glock frame, I’ve experienced zero failures. It has reliably fed everything from Federal American Eagle 9MM, CCI Speer, and even some questionably aged 9MM in a Ziploc bag I bought from a sketchy guy behind a gas station.
Now a lot of readers are looking at Zaffiri Precision as an option to complete a Polymer80 build. This is where I ran into issues. Out of curiosity, I mounted the ZPS.1 to my perfectly tuned P80 frame and encountered 3 FTF’s. Based on my experience, you may need to do some additional fitting to make the ZPS.1 work on a P80 build but it’s pretty well documented that P80s can be picky about slides.
I’ll be honest, a big reason why I’ve delayed this project is, like most people, I had a lot of reservations about paying $800-$1000 for a custom Glock slide offered by many of Zaffiri’s competitors. That’s more than a brand new Glock! Going into this project, my expectations were low but the Zaffiri Precision ZPS.1 proved that quality is attainable at a realistic price point. It’s called value.