Glock, Inc. built a real winner with this one, and the enhancements of the Gen4 models continue to impress. However, it's still a Glock and, as such, it's high time for me to address the areas any serious shooter needs to look at with a new piece of tactical Tupperware.
First, those damned plastic sights. As I mentioned before, Larry Vickers is quick to deride them as "slot fillers" and I couldn't agree more. Second, adding improved base pads to the magazines which is TOTALLY not necessary but can't hurt, either.
First... the sights. There are as many sighting systems available for Glocks as there are stars in the sky. Many of them are even worth installing on a "fighting" gun. The LAV's sights from Wilson Combat, the ubiquitous Trijicon and Meprolight night sights, Warren, Dawson Precision, and Ameriglo are all viable. But I went with something a little less mainstream but fully proven from a shop called 10-8 Performance.
I'll leave you to look into why 10-8 has built a reputation as the go-to source for hard-use duty gun components and sight systems for law enforcement and responsible armed citizens, but I can't speak highly enough about their quality, features, and customer service.
One of those features is the use of a U-shaped rear notch, which is supposed to help speed focus to the front sight while maintaining sight alignment. (Pro-Tip - THAT is one of the only things the rear sight should do!). The other is the choice of rear aperture width, which is important for setting up a pistol with the sight picture that works best for the individual shooter.
As for the front sight, 10-8'a fiber optic unit has earned the praise of some high-profile trainers as well as a legion of competition, tactical, and law enforcement shooters. They provide similar rod length (hence brightness of the "dot") to what you see in Dawson's f/o fronts (the undisputed king of the competition sight universe) but add a central post to protect the rod from impact.
I chose their .140" rear sight and the .115" front sight. Given the shorter sight distance of the Glock 19, this provides a "fuller" sight picture that is still intuitive and quick, but still enables precision at distance.
Installation was a breeze. I had never installed a set of sights on my own prior to this and, with a full gunsmith lab and a custom-built sight pusher at my disposal, it went without incident. Replacing Glock front sights (when you have the right tool) is ridiculously simple.
Alignment of the rear was confirmed first with the Mk1 eyeball and then on the range. Yep, having an indoor range at my disposal under the same roof was the other HUGE benefit.
The photo above isn't a perfect representation of what I see, but this gives a good idea of the front and rear sights. It's a quick picture.
As it turned out, dead-nuts centered didn't provide the perfect alignment. It was damn close, but not "Perfection." A couple nudges of that bombproof rear sight eventually allowed me to produce this off a sandbag at 5 yards...
I'll take it.
Now, this is with the top of the front sight even with the bottom edge of the colored block. Yep - I'm getting a slight 6:00 hold with this setup. Normally, that would bug the ever-loving crap out of me, but the deviation is 1/2" at 5 yards and about 3" at 25 yards. I could easily replace the front sight with a taller unit and bring that down to POA/POI but I'm going to shoot this rig and deal with it.
After final sight-in, locking down the rear, and addition of the fiber rod, I ran 75 rounds through the gun. No POI shift. No movement of the front sight. Very good stuff, and rock solid to boot. I shot one of my accuracy "standards" and was more than pleased with the results. I shoot 3-round groups at a defined target at 9, 21, 35, 50, and 75 feet, shooting as quickly as I can develop a good sight picture. Last night I chose the head of a human silhouette and scored 14/15 hits. The flier was a trigger control issue and I accurately called the miss. All other hits scored - no "earrings" or "haircuts." I'll be keeping this setup, and updating other carry guns as time and money allow.
As for the magazine base pads, 10-8 makes a rock-solid molded replacement unit for Glock mags that add strength, a little bulk, and strategically placed grooves and cutouts that will aid a shooter in clearing any malfunctions involving a stuck mag. Since I had ordered the sights, adding these was a bit of a no-brainer at 12 bucks to outfit 3 mags. Like everything else from 10-8, they're solid kit, and once you learn the "trick" to popping Glock base pads, installation is easy.
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