Suarez International TSD Glock 19 RMR Ready Slide Initial Impressions Review

| August 29, 2014 | 6 Comments

After years and years of reading about it, I’ve started the transition to red dot equipped pistols. My Glock 27 turned 26 is in the hands of One Source Tactical, which is the retail arm of Suarez International. Lead time is currently 6 – 8 weeks because I decided to refinish my slide. That’s a long time, and once I commit to something my patience tends to be pretty low.

I decided to purchase an “RMR ready” slide from their Technical Services Division (TSD). This means all I needed to do was add the RMR and I was off to the races.

Here is my initial review, with about 300 – 350 rounds down the pipe.

What you get

Stainless steel Gen 3 Glock 19 slide made to TSD’s specifications (supposedly tighter tolerances)

  • OEM Glock 19 barrel
  • OEM Glock recoil spring assembly
  • Black steel suppressor sights
  • RMR sealing plate
  • Screws appropriate for the thickness of the TSD slide

The price of this package was $449.99 with $9.99 flat rate shipping. I felt like this was a very fair price, considering the OEM slide I purchased with suppressor sights but no sealing plate, barrel or spring assembly was $429.

Fit and finish

I was nervous when I put in the order for a “stainless steel” slide. In my mind I expected something bright and shiny.

I was pleased to see that the stainless steel slide is matte with a slightly textured feel.

Slide lockup with the frame does not appear to be any more or less tight than the factory slide, but I also breathe through my mouth most of the time so what do I know.

It doesn’t really bother me because I put a lot of wear on my firearms anyway, but the holstering and reholstering the TSD slide repeatedly for practice resulted in some of the plastic transferring to the slide. It’s not permanent, and will probably stop happening over time as I break in my equally new Archangel 3.0 AIWB holster. However, if you’re OCD about how clean your firearms are this is something to be aware of.

The Suarez International logo and name is on one side of the slide, with USA and 9×19 on the other.

The mill work on the slide was very nice, and the RMR fit easily. The backup suppressor sights were installed and did not require zero.

Shooting the TSD slide

I had done years of research so I knew what to expect when transitioning from irons to a red dot sight.

One common theme is called “hunting for the dot.” This is when people have a hard time finding the red dot in their RMR.

I did not have a ton of problems like some have, but I did experience it. Before my RMR slide arrived I read a good article by Gabe Suarez called “Using Red Dot Pistols: The Visual Hand-Off.”

Basically you use the iron sights to find the red dot until your mind gets accustomed to looking for the dot. Over time, you’ll stop looking for the irons first and go to the dot first.

The second thing that helped me a lot was the point-shooting training I received from Suarez International. One of the techniques is to keep the slide flat. I found that in doing so I was able to find the dot more easily.

Another common theme I experienced was how much my hands moved during shooting. Irons hide some of your flaws because they are so large. However, when you aim via a small red dot you can see the massive effect breathing, grip, trigger control, and recoil anticipation have on your point of aim.

I had read before that a red dot equipped pistol does not make you a better shooter : it exposes your flaws. Working on those flaws make you a better shooter.

Hoooooly shit I have a lot of work to do.

I am very glad that I keep taking basic handgun courses, and am looking forward to the next one in a few weeks.

I was a little ambitious on my first outing. Eager to shoot at the longer distances boasted by WarriorTalk members, I sent the target to 40 yards (the maximum length of the nearest indoor range) and fired my first three shots to establish zero. They were about five inches apart. I sat down, put my shooting arm on a rest, and fired again. The grouping was tighter, but in a completely different direction. All hits were on a man-sized torso but I wanted to do better.

I switched from my handloaded 9MM ammunition to my “carry” ammunition, the Federal 147gr HST. Almost identical accuracy, or lack thereof. I wanted to do better.

I reeled the target into 25 yards and kept shooting. My groups were smaller, but still not as tight as I wanted them to be. I alternated between handloads and HST and it one was no better or worse than the other. This either means I am doing pretty good with my handloads, or HST is not particularly accurate 😉

Disappointed, I packed it in and recruited my friends Tank and Krunk, who are also range officers with QSI Training.

We started at 10 yards this time, per the recommendations on various WarriorTalk threads. We got the dot sighted in and sent it out to 25 yards. Groupings were about the size of an outstretched hand or smaller using Wolf ammunition. Groups were about the size of a fist using HST.

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I am not sure if this is the type of accuracy I should expect, or if I need to work on my pistol skills more (probably both). Tank is a very precise handgun shooter, and his groups were smaller than mine but not by much. Maybe my expectations were too high.

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Tank was able to get several rounds of Wolf ammunition to touch at 10 yards.

I hope to break away from the basic handgun class at lunch and try to hit a half-sized steel plate at 40 yards during lunch.

Conclusion

If you’re interested in trying a red dot sight (RDS) pistol, I think buying a complete slide from TSD is the way to go.

You definitely get more for your money, and if you choose to leave the slide bare stainless you’ll cut down your processing time by 2 – 6 weeks.

I’m looking forward to training more with my RMR equipped Glocks. I feel like I am ready for this next stage in my evolution as a student of fight focused training, and look forward to becoming more “advanced” by concentrating even more on the fundamentals.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.
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6 Comments on "Suarez International TSD Glock 19 RMR Ready Slide Initial Impressions Review"

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  1. Kyliewyotie says:

    Congrats on your RMR glock. I absolutely love mine. I look forward to seeing more of your thoughts on it as you evolve with it.

    I see you choose to go with plain black sights, do you have any issues at night finding the dot? I did and I swapped my black ones out for night sights, and it helped me tremendously.

    I originally went plain because I heard people say the night sights make it to busy, but since I switched I don’t find that problem at all. The ability to use the night sight front to help guide me to the dot really has helped.

    • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

      I haven’t done any night training with this pistol yet, and it will have to wait until next year. I did, however do some initial manipulations at home with the lights off. Not the same, especially since I wasn’t shooting at anything but so far I have not had any additionally difficulty doing the visual hand off between suppressor sights and the dot at night. I think keeping the slide level due to my point shooting training helps a lot in this regard. However, drawing and sighting in a dark room isn’t the same as me actually training in low light / darkness so we’ll see. I appreciate your opinion about the night sights, and since I have a Glock sight adjustment tool I could definitely upgrade if I need to. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Scott says:

    Another well done video. I EDC a Glock 19, and also bring a DD MK 18 5.56 upper AR pistol along when possible. I have been considering the RMR, I will be watching with great interest for updates. You have clearly put a lot of thought into your carry weapons, you’ve already cost me money as I have ordered a 300 Blackout pistol! : ) Thanks for all the information, I hope you will continue to blog & make videos.

    Scott

    • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

      Thanks for the compliments! I hope to give a more thorough, longer-term review once I’ve trained with the RMR equipped pistol instead of standing still in a shoebox and plinking away.

  3. Demonic1 says:

    I’m curious as to how you like the Archangel holster. From your videos, you normally carry appendix, so did you switch to another brand or is this one just cut out for the RMR?
    Any other appendix holster recommendations?

    Also, why not use a Ransom rest for initial zeroing?
    Thanks,
    -D

    • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

      Hi there! I carried the first generation Archangels for about 3 years. The one I have now (third generation) is pretty nice, but doesn’t have the same positive “click” when I fully holster my G19. I am going to purchase a Dale Fricke Seraphim for my left hand side; the 3rd gen Archangel is currently right hand only.

      I did not have a Ransom rest, although the range had some weird contraption for rifles that I wound up putting my forearm in.

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