At a Glance: Aftermarket Glock Slides
Comparison of The Best Aftermarket Glock Slides
Our Top Pick
|Alpha Shooting Sports Alpha Marksman V4 Slide For Glock 17 & 19||
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Our Top Pick
|Brownells RMR Cut Slide for Glock 19 Gen 3||
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Our Top Pick
|Zev Citadel Stripped Slide with RMR Plate||
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Glocks are great all-around handguns that offer tons of customization options to improve performance and just make the gun look more appealing. One of the most popular upgrades available is a custom slide for your Glock. A high-quality aftermarket Glock slide can take your shooting experience to the next level.
The 7 Best Aftermarket Glock Slides
Whatever your goals as a shooter, a custom Glock slide will improve the performance of your gun while opening the door to additional customization options. However, shopping for a slide can be overwhelming because the market is flooded with some great, and some not so great choices. No need to worry though, we’ve sorted through the pretenders and have compiled a list of seven high-quality aftermarket slides that will improve the look and performance of your Glock.
Alpha Marksman V4 Pistol Slide For Glock 17 & 19
We kick off our review with the Alpha Marksman V4 Slide manufactured by Alpha Shooting Sports. This slide is available for both the Glock 17 and Glock 19 handguns for both generations three and four. It is available in four finish colors: silver, gold, black, and bronze.
This slide offers skeletonized cuts on the front end of the slide while leaving the traditional angled Glock cuts on the rear of the slide. It is designed to be used with an RMR (ruggedized miniature reflex) sight and has the required cuts to receive the optic. If you have never had the chance to shoot a handgun with an RMR sight, then you are missing out. Keep in mind that the RMR sight is not included and must be purchased separately.
An RMR sight allows for faster target acquisition than traditional iron sights, especially in high-stress situations. The RMR cut plus the reduced weight of this slide make it a great option for improving the performance of your Glock. If you have one of the supported models, it offers an instant upgrade to your gun. The only real downside of this slide is that it’s only available for a few Glock models and select generations.
- Multiple finish options
- RMR cut
- Limited models supported
- Compatibility issues with Gen5 Glocks
Brownells RMR Cut Pistol Slide for Glock 19
Next up is another RMR cut slide from Brownells. This slide is designed for the Glock 19 Gen 3, but they also produce several variants of this slide, including a version Gen 4 Glock 19’s and slides for the Glock 26 and 34.
According to Brownells, the Gen 3 versions are compatible with earlier generations also, just not newer ones. The primary finish option available is the traditional black nitride coating, but it is also available in bronze and FDE (flat dark earth) if you want to add a little contrast to your gun.
The most prominent feature of this slide is the RMR cut, as it does not offer a skeletonized version. However, it still offers a slight weight reduction when compared to your factory Glock slide and is available with a window cut. A window cut refers to the removal of material on the top side of your slide, just behind the front sight, and serves to reduce weight and expose more of your barrel. This increased exposure helps the barrel cool faster for competition shooting and has the added bonus of letting you show off a custom barrel.
This is one of the most shooter friendly slides on our list. Brownells includes two sets of screws standard with this slide to accommodate RMR’s with different base depths. It is important to keep in mind that this slide will require you to install a channel liner, which requires a special tool. If you are not up for purchasing the tool, you can always take the slide to a local gunsmith that can install the liner in a couple minutes.
- Three finish options
- Compatible with multiple generations and models
- RMR cut
- Window cut option
- Slight weight reduction
- No skeletonized version
- Channel liner is not pre-installed
Zev Citadel Stripped Slide with RMR Plate
Our third pick is the Citadel Stripped Slide from ZEV Technologies. This slide is available for both the Glock 17 and Glock 19 and is available in either a black or gray finish. ZEV tech manufactures a slide for generations 3,4, and 5 for both the G17 and G19. This slide sports an elegant look and will add a touch of class to your factory Glock.
These slides are manufactured to extremely tight tolerances. The tighter than factory tolerances make it vital that you pick the correct slide for your generation of Glock. The goal of these tighter tolerances is to improve consistency in the lockup of your barrel, which improves accuracy. ZEV tech absolutely knocked it out of the park on that front. This slide provides immediate improvements to shot groupings and accuracy, even when using the factory barrel.
When this slide is paired with an RMR and match grade barrel, your Glock can produce competition quality groupings. On top of offering an RMR cut and immediate performance enhancements, ZEV tech made this slide even more appealing by pre-installing the channel liner. This means that you can install the Citadel slide on your Glock as soon as it arrives and hit the range.
- RMR cut
- Improves Accuracy
- Two finish options
- Pre-installed channel liner
- Crisp, clean look
- No skeletonized or window cut options
TacFire Slide with RMR Cuts & Cover Plate for Glock 22 and 23
With our next pick, we turn our attention to the .40 S&W line of Glocks, my personal favorite caliber for Glock. This TacFire slide features RMR cuts and is offered for both the Glock 22 and Glock 23. Both versions are only available in a black finish and are compatible with generations 1 through 3. TacFire does not yet offer a version of this slide for later generations.
This slide is manufactured to factory tolerance and features three distinct, angled cuts on both sides of the slide, behind the front sight. These cuts serve several purposes. They are intended to offer a reduction in weight and expose more of your barrel. The added exposure allows more air to reach your barrel for faster cooling and looks good when paired with an aftermarket barrel.
The RMR cuts are crisp and include a pre-installed cover plate to protect them until you install your RMR. The channel liner is not pre-installed and must be purchased separately before you can install this barrel. Like the Brownell’s liner, this liner will require a specialized tool to install.
If you are looking for a durable aftermarket slide for your Glock 22 or 23 that allows for an RMR slide and reduces weight, the TacFire is a solid choice. However, it does not offer as much personalization as some of our other choices and will not provide any real improvements in accuracy unless paired with a high-quality barrel.
- Cover plate included
- Same slide works for Gen 1-3
- RMR Cut
- Cutouts for additional airflow
- Channel liner not included or installed
- Only one finish option
- No version for newer generation Glocks
True Precision Glock 43 Stainless Steel Slide
This next slide is for the easily concealed, single stack Glock 43 and 43X. The True Precision Glock 43 slide is compatible with both iterations of this awesome concealed carry pistol and is available in multiple finish options including black, gray, and bronze. It features an RMR cut and includes a cover plate standard.
This slide has distinct serrations on the rear of the slide to allow for a firm, reliable grip when conducting a visual check or racking your slide. It also has angled cutouts towards the front of the slide and a window cut on the top side of the slide, which offers great airflow and notable weight reduction compared to the factory slide.
True Precision lives up to their namesake and manufactured this slide to tighter than factory tolerances, which allows for tighter shot groupings. Since the Glock 43X comes standard with a match grade barrel, adding this slide can help you achieve first-class performance. This slide offers a quick install and does not require any special tools as the channel liner is already in place from the factory.
An ideal concealed carry handgun like the Glock 43 seeks to provide a balance of concealability, lightweight, and performance. This slide can help on all fronts by reducing the weight of the already manageable Glock 43 and allow for the addition of an RMS sight for rapid target acquisition. I just wish True Precision made this slide for a broader selection of Glocks.
- Pre-installed channel liner
- Window cut and side cuts standard
- RMR cut with included cover plate
- Tight tolerances aid inconsistent shot groupings
- Only available for Glock 43 and Glock 43X
Lantac Razorback Stripped Slide for Glock 19
Our sixth pick is the Lantac Razorback Glock 19 slide. This slide is available for both the Glock 19 and 17. Lantac makes a version suitable for Gens 1-3 and a version for Gen 4 for both models. All versions are available in a black DLC (diamond-like carbon) finish, which offers exceptional resistance to scratching and wear. This is a nice perk, especially if your preferred style of holster is made from Kydex.
Like many of our other options, this slide comes with an RMR cut and includes a cover plate. Unlike some of the other choices, the Lantac’s cover plates include serrations to add a little more grip surface when your RMR is not in use. The Razorback also features window cuts on the top and side of the slide, making it one of the lightest slides on our list.
This slide includes the channel liner pre-installed and is manufactured to tighter than factory tolerances for a precision fit. The performance benefits of this slide are compounded when using a match grade barrel in your Glock. The large window cuts also look great when paired with a stainless-steel barrel that contrasts the black finish of the slide.
There is a lot to love about this Lantac slide and it’s worth a good, long look if you are looking to upgrade your Glock factory slide. I wish they offered a few more finish options, but now I’m just being picky.
- Extremely durable finish
- Side and top window cuts for weight reduction
- Grip pattern extends to RMR cover plate
- Competition quality performance
- Only one finish option
Brownells -19LS Slide & Barrel Kit for Glock
Our seventh and final entry is Brownells slide and barrel kit to replace either your standard Glock 19 slide or to complete a custom build with an 80% lower. This 19LS kit is compatible with Gen 3 Glock 19’s only. It is offered in the standard black nitride finish.
- Cartridge: 9 mm Luger
- Finish: Nitride
- Style: Non-Window
- Sights: Dovetail
Brownells slide and barrel kits are available in several different configurations. It can be purchased with a standard cut or an RMR cut slide and is available with both a threaded and non-threaded barrel. Brownells also offers this slide with window cuts to reduce weight and aid in barrel cooling during heavy use. This kit does not include a thread protector, but purchasing one is strongly recommended if you opt for a threaded barrel.
The main appeal for this slide and barrel kit is allowing Glock 19 owners to convert their standard slide into a long slide while giving the option to add an RMR or threaded barrel. The long slide offers the perks of a full-sized Glock 17 while maintaining the more compact grip of the Glock 19. This is a solid option for concealed carry
The channel liner is not included and will be required before you can complete your build. It will require a specialized tool to complete the install. However, installation is relatively simple with the tool and a little gun oil.
- RMR and standard sight cuts available
- Kit includes a barrel
- Long slide improves performance
- One finish option
- Channel liner not included
- Only compatible with Gen 3 Glock 19
Choosing the Best Aftermarket Glock Slide
During our breakdown, we did the heavy lifting for you by only including high-quality slides that will improve the performance and appearance of your Glock handgun. Before using this information to pick an aftermarket slide, you need to first consider what factors are important to you.
Do you want a finish that really makes your Glock stand out with window cuts that show off a high-end aftermarket barrel? Or are you more focused on a simpler, performance-focused slide that simply allows you to attach an RMR? Once you answer these important questions and find the combination of features and a finish that you like, picking an aftermarket slide is a breeze.
In addition to deciding what features are most important to you, it is important that you make sure that the slide is compatible with your generation and model of Glock handgun. Matching the model of your gun with a slide designed for it is vital for the fitting process. Matching generational compatibility is also important because a slide designed for Generations 1-3 may fit on a Gen 4 Glock, but it may not perform as intended by the manufacturer.
If you are new to the Glock line, I definitely recommend familiarizing yourself with the brand. They offer tons of different models in all the major pistol calibers and range from full-size duty weapons to smaller framed models that are great for concealed carry and personal protection purposes.
With that said, I know that most of our slides featured are for Glocks chambered in 9mm like the G17 and G19. Keep in mind that these slides will also fit their counterparts in other calibers, such as the G22 and G23, respectively. Each Glock frame size has identical exterior dimensions, regardless of caliber, which usually allows these slides to be used on other models not listed.
However, most of them require that you buy a conversion barrel kit to switch your Glock to a 9mm due to minor differences between the calibers. Even with a conversion kit, your gun must be a supported generation due to minor differences among internal parts.
My Factory Glock Slide Works Great, Why Should I Upgrade?
While I must admit that Glocks shoot great right out of the box, there are just some things that your factory slide just can’t do. Slide upgrades, much like other top upgrades, are necessary when you are looking to boost the performance of your handgun while also making your gun stand out from the run of the mill factory version. When you are ready to open the door to additional customization options and continue improving your shooting performance, an aftermarket slide is not only nice to have but necessary.
If you have spent any time on a firing range with a quality instructor, be it in the military, a police academy, or on your own dime, then you have heard the phrases “sight picture”, “sight alignment”, and “trigger control” repeated ad nauseum. I have heard these phrases uttered hundreds, if not thousands of times since my first minute of formal firearms training.
This mostly fond walk down memory lane brings me to the first, and most apparent, benefit of an aftermarket slide; the ability to mount an RMR. An RMR allows you to more rapidly acquire targets and get rounds down range because it eliminates the need to align a front and rear sight. Instead, this reflex sight allows you to acquire your target through a partially reflective glass element. You didn’t think that we only chose slides that allow for an RMR mount on accident, did you?
Just because I love a good RMR sight doesn’t mean that I neglect old faithful. Every shooter should have a good mastery of the basics, including respectable shot groupings with iron sights. If you are considering upgrading your slide anyway, you might as well get a new pair of iron sights for your Glock as well. In my experience, you can never go wrong with a set of night sights to co-witness your RMR.
Smooth is Fast
In addition to allowing for the mounting of an RMR, these custom Glock slides can improve your accuracy and more smoothly eject rounds. While the switch from the standard Glock slide to an aftermarket slide may seem insignificant at first glance, I assure you that a good slide makes firing follow-up shots much smoother. In addition to aiding your accuracy, these slides feature a wider, better-milled ejection port that further reduces the change for a stovepipe failure.
Think about it for a sec. Every time you fire a round, the slide flings back towards you at about 25 feet per second, which affects your ability to keep your gun on target. A lighter slide means less momentum every time you fire, making it easier to stay on target. Some of the slides on our list are as much as 30% lighter than the stock Glock slide, which is a significant drop in momentum.
Looks Aren’t Everything, But They Sure Don’t Hurt
Let’s face it, the “tacticool” crowd is the butt of a lot of jokes and I’m a performance over appearance guy at heart. With that in mind, there is nothing wrong with wanting a tack driver of a gun that looks as good as it shoots. I’m not suggesting that you add a ton of “flare” with your slide that does nothing to improve the function of your Glock, but some well-placed milling on your slide can make a world of difference.
Window cuts or diagonal cutouts on your slide that place a little emphasis on the stainless-steel barrel that you paid good money for can definitely set your gun apart while also adding performance benefits. These cutouts reduce weight and allow more airflow to your barrel for more rapid cooling. Striking the right balance between performance and appearance will leave you with a custom gun that you can be proud of while still outshooting your buddies at the range.
Customizing your gun is tons of fun but can also be a little nerve-racking if it is your first custom build or you are new to adding aftermarket parts. I remember being terrified that I was going to ruin a pretty expensive rifle when I was installing my first gas piston system.
These worries are perfectly normal, especially if you are new to the world of custom guns. That is why the ease of installation is something to keep in mind when selecting a custom slide for your Glock. While swapping slides is a pretty easy process that is about as difficult as field stripping your gun for cleaning, some of the slides on our list require that you purchase and install the channel liner yourself.
Installing the channel liner is pretty easy, as long as you purchase the tool necessary and are generous with the gun oil or grease. However, if you are uncomfortable doing this yourself but are dead set on a slide that requires a channel liner, your local gunsmith can take care of it. For reference, mine only charged me about $20 for the job, parts not included.
If you want to avoid the extra step altogether, then you should make sure the slide you pick includes the channel liner. Once that is taken care of, installation is a breeze. You start by clearing your weapon, depressing the trigger, and activating the slide release buttons to allow your slide to come loose. Then, you simply swap out the barrel and spring and guide your new slide onto the lower of your handgun.
The RMR sight, if you opt for one, should be installed when your slide is detached from the lower. It is held in place with a couple of screws and should only take a few minutes. I like to throw a little Loctite on the threads to help hold the RMR, but it is not necessary.
Form and Function – Best Aftermarket Glock Slides
While all of the slides featured in our review are of excellent quality and can provide an instant upgrade to your Glock, the ZEV Tech Citadel slide stands out above the rest. Both the black and gray finish options have a sleek, refined look that will stand out without being overly conspicuous. The finish has a glossed look and features perfectly places serrations for a firm grip, even when wearing gloves.
This slide’s ability to receive an RMR sight and its tight tolerances ensure a perfect fit on your Glock that will improve performance. When paired with a top-notch barrel, this slide will make your Glock look and shoot like a competition gun.
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