Digital Round-Count Display for Your Glock! Radetec’s Smart Slide – SHOT Show 2019

A little bit of science fiction in 2019.

Let’s be honest, why don’t we have laser pistols yet?  We are getting close to a quarter of the way through the 21st Century and it seems like comic books have lied to me through my youth.  But there are incremental advances.  One of these was evidenced by RADETEC at SHOT Show 2019.  This year they introduced their Smart Slide.  It is a high-tech replacement slide for your Glock.

While it may not shoot lasers, it brings the way someone interacts with their pistol to a completely different level.  The Smart Slide has an integrated screen in the rear of the slide.  This screen displays different pieces of information depending on the setting.

This is the display for a loaded chamber but no magazine inserted.

For starters, it will indicate if there is a round in the chamber.  It can also tell you if there is a magazine inserted in the gun.  And going beyond that, the Smart Slide will even tell you how many rounds are left in the magazine.  Amazed yet?

The display indicates a round in the chamber and 16 rounds in the magazine.

The way the Radetec Smart Slide is able to do this is through, in part, the use of magnets.  The Smart Slide comes with a replacement slide for your Glock 17 with a built in screen, a new back strap for your pistol and (2) followers for your stock magazines.  These followers talk to the slide in order to tell the slide if the magazine is inserted and if so, how many rounds are in it.

Here the pistol has a magazine of 17 rounds inserted but no round in the chamber.

The unit also acts as a shot counter.  Keeping track of the rounds fired through the pistol.  While this may not be important for many people, it becomes really important for departments or ranges where a strict maintenance schedule is adhered to.  The battery last for 8 hours continuous use or 1 month of standby.

What are my thoughts on this technology?  I like that it is pushing the envelope in firearms technology.  Do electronics create an additional failure point?  Absolutely, and you saw that as the main argument for red dot optics when they were first introduced to carbines back in the day.  I think with time this type of technology will find its way into more and more firearms in a less obtrusive and more inexpensive way.

As the technology becomes more common I expect it to shrink in size and come down in price.

The Smart Slide will be available Q4 for around $1,000 (MSRP).  That includes the Smart Slide, new back strap and (2) magazine followers.  Pretty cool, right? 

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About the author: Ivan Loomis has spent a lot of time outdoors, backpacking and camping as well as extensive international travel. Eventually, he landed in the Marine Corps in the late 90’s. After a hiatus from the service to race the Baja 1000 a couple times, he reenlisted with the Air Force. Departing that he wound up in a large metropolitan Police Department for a spell before landing in the Security Contracting world.One constant through these experiences was gear and weapons. Having spent time in a lot of environments and with the opportunity to field a lot of equipment, he’s grown fond of well-made gear.He now shares those experiences, adventures, and knowledge through contributing articles and videos to various publications, including his own site: www.kitbadger.com

{ 34 comments… add one }
  • Tony Castle February 18, 2019, 3:53 pm

    It’s a hi dollar add on ,its neat , it’s cool, but then comes the downfall, what happens and it will ,when there is a glitch in the software. It says 0- clear , but is it really. Then you have to check anyway, accidents happen. I just don’t see it taken off, not even for training purposes. IMHO I’m gonna say no thanks.

  • Fosty February 5, 2019, 1:56 pm

    Nobody thinks that having an ammo count right in front of you could be useful if you need to use your weapon for self defense?

    I don’t like the chamber check feature because that is something you should be doing yourself.

  • ToolsforLiberty February 5, 2019, 1:30 pm

    Everyone has a right to their opinion with respect to industry and tech. advances. Personally, I can see adding something like this to a range toy or a firearm that’s being used to teach someone new to shooting. However, I think it a horrible idea for a carry gun. I’m coming from the perspective that I believe everyone should receive as much training as they can afford, if they plan to carry a firearm 100% of the time on a daily basis, so long as they are wearing pants. In a defensive situation, everything should flow from muscle memory. And, if #1 out I the 4 universals firearm safety rules is = to, “treat every firearm as if it is loaded” any chamber indicator, manual or mechanical is a pointless waste of time. I do however realize that the overwhelming majority of people are far more ignorant about firearms than they think they are. Especially casual shooters and collectors. P

  • KArl Vanhooten January 30, 2019, 8:14 pm

    Silly idea…no, scratch that. Stupid idea…

  • Scotty Gunn January 30, 2019, 6:19 pm

    If I get enough points shooting it, does it upgrade to a machine gun?

  • Ejharb January 30, 2019, 10:20 am

    If it said “reload! Reload” the gamers would keep that company in business forever

    • ToolsforLiberty February 5, 2019, 1:34 pm

      Hi-LARIOUS! Hadn’t thought about that until you nailed it. Dammit you should be part of their marketing team!

  • Green tip January 30, 2019, 6:58 am

    NO. NOT cool. Hate it actually. Nothing is sacred anymore. Everything has to ‘somehow’ be digital-ized, computer-ized…all “for the greater good”. The ONLY way I see this being a viable slide “replacement” option, is for Rental ranges or the like, and possible LEO application(s). Just remember: EVERY TIME you introduce some other aspect of technology, especially electronics to a mechanical, hard-use object, the end result will generally be MORE problems, more concerns to be dealt with and WITH that comes a psychological concern in the form of doubt. WILL it work? Will it work ALL the time, and can I DEPEND on it? “Do I REALLY have 12 rounds LEFT in my mag”, OR is ‘seeing’ believing?

  • Chris January 29, 2019, 7:53 pm

    When will the public realize that computers and guns don’t mix. There is already a problem with people too stupid to check for an empty chamber. Let’s legitimize that stupidity with an electronic device. Too lazy to watch in front of you for cars stopping? Let’s make the car brake for you. Then you won’t have to watch at all. Is there a warning about not looking down the barrel when you pull the trigger? This all seems obvious to my generation who did everything without computers. You had to actually think then. I drove 25 years without any phone in the car. Do you think anyone would do that now? You can call me an old fuddy duddy but I’ll tell you one thing- we did not have any deaths from texting/talking and driving. OK – my rant.

  • Brandon C January 29, 2019, 7:48 pm

    I think everyone isn’t looking at this the right way. Everyone thinks that the person would get it because the can’t count or whatever. This is something that is just cool to have if you have spare money and like that kind of thing. It’s not to have a tactical advantage it is just an expensive but cool toy if you like that kind of thing

  • Rob January 29, 2019, 6:48 pm

    Great, another thing to put batteries in.
    I wonder how that screen hold up after being violently beat back and forth 10,000 times. The Glock is a good gun, if it isn’t broke, why fix it.

  • Ron January 29, 2019, 6:03 pm

    Way over price. If my project list was not so full. But really give the Arduino hacking folks a week and they will reduce its size to a usable fit. Better yet a tiny13 or basic stamp project.

  • Jeremy January 29, 2019, 2:55 pm

    Not a good idea. People will use this to determine when a weapon is clear. If it malfunctions or gives false clear, the danger level goes up quite a bit.

  • RAC55 January 29, 2019, 12:33 pm

    My only concern with this device is that this LED display (being directly under the rear sight) would distract your concentration away from your sights, particularly in a low light situation when you most need them. JMO…

  • C. January 29, 2019, 12:22 pm

    Why?!!!! If this can be produced, politicians will require it to make your (already legal) firearm more legal. Why give them opportunities/ideas that WILL force us to eventually “COMPLY” to this “GREAT IDEA.” It WILL become a requirement to merely own a firearm. Next step..all firearms to be manufactured this way! Again WHY?!
    Thank you RADETEC

  • JS January 29, 2019, 11:55 am

    As a fan of the game HALO, I find that someone was able to come up with this in reality to be pretty neat. But it is a novelty item only, would never need it for a real world weapon. Is it for me? Nope. But, hey, hats off to the guy for putting the time and effort into making it work. He’s got more brains and creativity than I have.

  • Handgunner January 29, 2019, 11:48 am

    Pretty expensive. Would be nice if only the rear plate on the slide needed to be teplaced. What are you going to do with the original slide???

  • Captain Dave January 29, 2019, 11:11 am

    I’d never pay a grand for something like that but I can see the next step as being face recognition, similar to that used in Iphones. It would be nice to know that your gun could not be used against yourself. As soon as you bring your gun into horizontal, it would search for your face, instantly acquire and be ready to fire. Trust me, it’s coming, so if someone is ready to build it, please keep me in mind. I can be reached at diyalarm.net

  • Mahatmah Muhjesbude January 29, 2019, 11:05 am

    To answer the article author’s Q on why don’t We, the Sheeple have laser guns. It’s because the government already has them and they are restricting the technology advantage for themselves. It worked very well in Iraq and other places. Ostensibly to zap IED mines and booby trapped ordnance at distance but they noticed that it also did an acceptable job of instantly exploding humans when some Isis terrorists ‘accidentally’ walked into a shot?

  • kimberpross January 29, 2019, 9:13 am

    As soon as the gun grabber progressives see this they will throw $ at these guys to encourage them to make this an electronic fire control device. You know, another infringement like magazine capacity and semi auto rifle regulation…

  • John L January 29, 2019, 8:59 am

    I like it. Flashed back to the movie “Aliens”. The M41A pulse rifle (Colonial Marines) had a visual ammo display. Practical? Maybe not. Fun factor? Heck yeah.

    • I Love Liberty January 30, 2019, 5:18 pm

      I was also thinking the same thing. Personally I do not trust electronics to make my gun shoot. I want that purely mechanical. But I see nothing wrong with an ammunition counter. I would take it as an estimate of how much ammo my firearm had left but I would not use it to replace safety training that I follow.

      One thousand dollars is way too expensive for this technology though.

  • Alan January 29, 2019, 8:56 am

    Looking at the photo it makes the slide about 1/4″ wider for the last inch. The idea for carry is a more narrow slide, not a wider one. Useless toy.

  • Area 52 January 29, 2019, 8:54 am

    I don’t like it one bit. No one needs to pay 1K on technology to tell the shooter if there is a magazine in the gun. Can it hold up to the elements of weather or combat conditions? The other problem I have is it may open the door to smart gun technology. I could already here members of congress say, if they could invent this. they could invent a smart gun.

  • Pete F January 29, 2019, 8:44 am

    If you need something like this – you probly shouldn’t carry .

  • Yeo January 29, 2019, 8:37 am

    Thats the dumbest thing I’ve seen on a long time. Really?

  • RSConsulting January 29, 2019, 7:32 am

    Okay – cool toy I guess. Likely for the geek who (will) never fires his gun outside the range.

    For $1K, there’s a WHOLE LOT of stuff you can do to a Glock that will enhance the trigger and accuracy of the platform.

    For the record – I’ve never (and probably will never) own a Glock, no matter how popular it is – just doesn’t work for me. But, even for us “disposable income/impulse buyer types”, I just can’t see someone spending this kind of $$ for a gadget (with no longevity track record), when you could buy another gun, or a whole lotta ammo for this amount of $$.

    My $.02

    Rick

    • Pete F January 29, 2019, 8:45 am

      What a waste of money .

    • Mahatmah Muhjesbude January 29, 2019, 10:54 am

      Rick provides an interesting observation. While I do admit that i’m always amazed by advancing tech. with firearms it seems that much of it rises above pragmatic applications or is more in line with ‘bling on a beast’ rather than functional purpose? First off, in decades of combat shooting involvement both in real time warfare and competition, the only time I really gave a shit about ‘knowing’ how much ammo I had left in my magazine was…NEVER?

      When laying down suppressive firepower was requires we just switched mags when one was empty. If the firefight was hot and extended after a couple mags were emptied your highly trained and experienced combat mind already began keeping a running count. “okay…3 mags down, only got seven left. Switch off full auto to single shot…start to aim more…until support weighs in” Before you ran out of rounds completely, you had better be in one of two configurations. Falling back to regroup or policing through the dead enemy bodies. Invariably, But beforehand we were prepared with enough ammo for any contingency. That was part of operational protocol.

      Most CQB firefights are over pretty quickly. What you do with the first few rounds in your mag is of more importance in a deadly engagement than knowing exactly how many rounds you have left in your magazine. Especially with a pistol in a civilian firefight. And with even a modicum of practice experience most gunslingers would subconsciously ‘know’ that they had just fired off 8 or nine rounds, so if they don’t know if the bad guy is down, they realize they still have a few shots left in the gun in case he jumps into view so you’re still good to go and you don’t have to make a grave mistake of distracting your serious attention focus off the scenario dynamics at hand in front of your eyes by looking down on at your gun, or worse, as often depicted in stupid movies where the hero diverts his attention actually drops his mag to check what’s left and then puts it back, LOL! It’s not unlike a speeding driver taking his eyes off the road to look at his text message. Which is why skilled shooters should be able to switch mags rapidly without looking and on the move.

      It’s also ‘debatable’ if even a round in the chamber indicator is even that useful. If you’re one of those who ALWAYS assumes there is a live round in the chamber, even when there isn’t, and handles the gun accordingly, why would you need to waste action time relying on an indicator? And, of course, that’s why most still guns don’t have them. Besides, running

      The other thing is that if we continue to train ourselves to rely on smart phone type brainwashing where we have to check the ‘oracle’ on the smart screen for everything we want to thing about and do, that the government and every other anti-privacy control group wants to also know, then we are relinquishing our ability to self-evaluate and make our own critical choices without depending upon artificial intelligence to make it happen.

      I can just imagine the standard after a (criminally) justifiable self defense shoot civil lawsuit where the lawyer for the plaintiff asks you, ‘…so, Mr. Concealed Carry-boy, did you check your slide screen before you killed the victim for permission to shoot?

      But who knows, The Future changes into the past more rapidly today than it did when I was a juvenile. Maybe a newer version would be able to count your rounds expended over a month and give you a notice to stock more ammo? Maybe the menu would also display a ‘rating’ on your shooting performance at the range? Something like: ‘Great shooting dude, you da Top Gun today!’ or, ‘You Suck today, chump. Go home and practice some dry firing before you waste more ammo.’ That would be really cool and maybe worth the price?

      But for right now, this just looks like a trend that is pervasive in the modern commercial applications of capitalistic enterprise. Use any gimmick enhancement as long as it is marketable for increased profit. It doesn’t have to have real value, just enough of a ‘cool’ factor to monetize.

      • Green tip January 30, 2019, 7:06 am

        Great comment…BEST of THE day

        • Randy January 30, 2019, 6:19 pm

          Total agree!
          If you’re watching that stupid time or not it will let you

  • Johnny C January 29, 2019, 6:28 am

    $1K for a slide with counter? LOL you must have ammesia to use it very well

  • Ransom January 29, 2019, 5:42 am

    I pity the poor fool who gets into a fire fight WITHOUT one of these!

    • DIRTSAILOR67 January 29, 2019, 8:35 am

      Be careful, sarcasm can be lost so easily when dealing with some of the subscribers to this blog

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