Written by: Kenny Ortega
It seems like everyone is making Glock slides these days. Walking the aisles at the 2018 NRAAM and exhibits this year, glock slides were plentiful. As I was perusing the wares at the Tactical Tailor booth, I saw that their sister company, Grey Ghost Precision, was sharing the booth with them and had slides and barrels on display. I happened to get the opportunity to chat with the Marketing Guru at the Grey Ghost Precision, GGP, side of the booth as I ogled some of the slides available there.
At first glance, I noticed that the slides were not overly adorned with features that didn't offer any benefit other than aesthetics. Unlike most slides at the show, they were made to perform and look good, not just look good. There is an elegance to a product that is made to perform first and look good second. Who cares how good it looks if it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do? At first glance, it appears that Grey Ghost got both areas right.
I had a number of questions for the marketing guru and after some discussion back and forth, he offered to send me a unit for review. Of course I said yes, their products were impressive. When the slide arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to find that he included one of their threaded barrels as well. That was a bonus that I had not expected. The slide that I chose was the Version 1 as it offered a bit more traction for slide manipulation. That factor became very important to me after another slide that I used to carry failed miserably in that area.
Some time ago, I purchased this slide from Zev and it had great visual appeal albeit it at a high price tag. Although, after running the slide on my gun under tough conditions, I reverted back to the factory slide as it proved more functional under real world conditions. The real test with the GGP slide would be whether it can overcome the shortcomings of a more well known and higher priced race gun slide. The only area that the GGP slide didn't surpass the race gun slide was in the flashy looks department. This comparison is a bit unfair though, it’s like comparing a Corvette to a Jaguar. Both are good looking cars but the Jaguar has a reputation for failure and requires expensive maintenance. GGP made a Corvette. It runs and looks good, at a fraction of the cost.
Upon opening the box, I noticed that the slide was packaged nicely and came with assembly and RMR installation instructions. Also included were the proper length screws for use with an RMR. Closer inspection showed a slide that was well machined, all the lines were crisp and sharp, there were no tool marks that I could see. The finish was deep and even. Overall, the slide had the look of a quality product and not something that was slapped together and rushed to market like many others. I felt that this slide was something I could trust and have complete confidence in. The slide did come stripped so I had to order some parts to complete the slide.
A couple of credit card number entries later and I was just waiting for parts to arrive. I kept all the parts stock to most closely mimic what the average builder might use. While race gun parts might have made the slide more desirable to some, I wanted to keep the budget minded builder as the target audience. The one item that I would highly recommend to complete the slide assembly is a channel liner installation tool. Trying to install a channel liner without one is like trying to put on your socks without holding them. You might be able to do it but it’s a lot more work than it needs to be. Just spend the few bucks on the tool. You’ll be happy you did.
All the parts installed in the slide without any fitting or modification. To me, that speaks volumes. It means that the tolerances are held close to specifications on the slide, a sign of quality and attention to detail. I was glad to see that. When I went to mate the slide to the frame, I noticed that the fit was tighter than that of the factory slide and the alignment of the two had to be more precise. The slide to frame fit, while tighter than factory, moved freely and smoothly once the parts were mated. The barrel to slide fit was also tight and inspired confidence in the accuracy potential of this parts combination.
Checking the fit of the RMR cover plate, I found it to be snug and well fitted to the cutout for the sight. There did not appear to be any hand fitting of either the plate or the slide to mate the two parts. These items are obviously held to tight manufacturing tolerances with machines that have repeatable accuracy. Their friction fit was impressive. As someone who has been around machinists for decades, I know that tolerances like these are no small task without talent and expensive, well maintained, equipment. GGP obviously has both and it shows.
I was skeptical about how the slide would perform on my normally flawless Glock 19 frame and I was right to be skeptical, initially. The tighter than normal slide to frame fit did result in some failures to go fully into battery and failures to fire. To be honest though, I did do a sort of a torture test on the slide, I ran it dry to try and get it to fail. Using Winchester white box 115 grain 9mm ammo, not known for its reliability, and running the slide to frame interface dry initially, the slide did much better than other slides I have seen. The hiccups did cease after about 100 rounds and, with proper lubrication after that, the slide has yet to malfunction after several hundred more rounds.
In order to try and induce malfunctions, I added a TBRCI micro comp to the barrel. The slide just kept on performing flawlessly. I haven’t been able to induce a stoppage regardless of how hard I try. I have shot the slide in strong hand supported, strong hand only, weak hand supported, weak hand only, and had less experienced shooters shoot it as well. It performs with the notorious reliability of a Glock. They certainly go well together. If I had to find fault anywhere, it would have to be with the RMR. I am not a red dot shooter so I don’t shoot as well with one as I do with iron sights. That’s no fault of the slide though except that it gives me the ability to use a sight that I need more practice with. I’m an old iron sight guy and that’s a hard habit to break.
The slide/ barrel combo shot equally as well as the factory slide does with the aftermarket Silencerco barrel that I normally shoot. Having turned 50 last year, my eyes are not what they used to be and focusing on the front sight is difficult. You would think that a red dot would work better for me but I guess old habits die hard. Even with my old eyes, and other physical compensations I have to make, I was able to shoot 1” groups at 10 yards with ease. More importantly, when I ran ball and dummy exercises to simulate failures, the well defined, sharp edged serrations on both the front and rear of the slide allowed me to easily and effectively manipulate the slide. This was the biggest issue I had with the Zev slide that I ran in a recent class. That slide did not give me enough traction on the slide to clear simulated failures. The GGP slide traction was excellent and allowed me to clear the malfunctions with ease.
After discovering that this whiz bang slide that I bought, for almost twice what the GGP slide cost, would probably get me killed if I ever needed to clear a malfunction, I went back to the factory slide. Running the GGP slide in the same manner, I found that I could count on it to provide the necessary traction needed in an emergency and, even when my hands were sweaty, I could still manipulate it. The GGP slide restored my faith in aftermarket components on a carry gun. The V1 version of the slide has more aggressive texturing in my opinion while the V2 has a more aesthetic design. Either way, at a price point of $418.95 to $449.99, you can’t go wrong with either option.
GGP components are well made, aesthetically pleasing, and reliable. The cost is on par with several other lesser known slide manufacturers on the market that try to compete solely on price. The prices are well below several other vendors that can easily venture into the $700 price range and beyond. Their threaded barrel with an MSRP of $189.99 is also a good deal. Their products, barrels included, are quality offerings and are priced well for the quality they provide. I am so impressed with their offerings that I am considering buying a Glock 43 just so I can modify it with one of their slides.
If you’re looking for a slide and/or barrel for your Glock, look to Grey Ghost Precision, you won’t be disappointed.