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My first foray into the world of pistol RMR's. Login/Join 
so sexy it hurts
Picture of agony
posted
After watching other shooters at various classes and matches over the past couple years with their super-cool RMR’d pistols, I finally took the plunge and decided to do the same. I have very limited experience with red dots on handguns other than my old P220ST/Sport clone I built a decade or so ago. So I initially started by purchasing a Glock 34MOS, but eventually sold it before I ever shot it or mounted a red dot sight to it. Then I thought about sending my go-to 34 slide to get milled for an RMR, but decided against it for now because I wanted to try out a gun made exclusively for an RMR before committing to having my favorite gun cut up. Also, I wanted to ensure that the RMR I chose would be the one I really wanted as my go-to, because once milled you’re stuck with that particular model RMR.

I’ve been looking at Zev, Agency, Salient, but it seemed a bit too spendy to buy a customized Glock. However, after building this gun, with all of the little add-ons, the price—though a few hundred bucks cheaper—was still pretty high. Live and learn.

I found a used Glock 17 gen4 in FDE from one of the 3-gunners at my local club. He sold it cheap, so it was a no-brainer. Plus, I have a thing for the Glock FDE color. I sold the slide and barrel to recoup some of the cost of the build.

I then bought a gen4 FDE 17 Atom slide from Unity Tactical. They ship really quickly…got it in two days! It came with some cool swag; a few stickers, a morale patch. I liked the idea of a modular slide where one can easily and quickly switch out to different optics, and upgrade to future RMR’s whenever they are released. I didn’t like the idea of the rear sight in front of the RMR. But after reading reviews and hearing from other shooters about this set-up, I went ahead anyway. I actually purchased the Atom slide adapter for the Trijicon RMR first, since it has been out of stock forever at Unity. I got it from Nightlong Industries, as they had a couple in stock. After it arrived, I then justified the go-ahead to order the slide from Unity Tactical.




I then installed the Zev firing pin and spring kit, an Apex plunger and Failure-free extractor. I also found an old Gen3 tungsten guide rod and modded it with a gen4 adapter and IMSI 17# spring.
Instead of the factory rear slide plate, I found a really nice machined aluminum plate from a company called DI Products. It’s listed as OD Green, but online it looked more goldish/bronzish and wasn’t disappointed when it arrived. It matches the FDE slide well. So well I added one to my carry 19.



Next I installed a Voodoo Innovations threaded barrel and thread protector. Nice melonite finish and mill-work on the barrel shroud. I was going to go with an Agency or S3F barrel, but found this one at a discounted price. On the plus side it runs really well without any fitting needed, and is quite accurate. On the downside, the threads are a little too deep, and the guide rod hits the rear of both my suppressor and comp. Tried with a regular OEM RSA also, but it still occurred. This was mended by using a wave washer with either.






I replaced the factory mag release with the tried-and-true Vickers/TangoDown extended release. I’ve used these on my other Gen4’s for the past couple of years and they work great for me. I’m a lefty and use my trigger finger to depress the mag release rather than switching over to the other side for thumb use.



Next: trigger group.
Over the past few months I purchased several different Glock triggers for other guns. I had a Zev Fulcrum for my 34, but eventually replaced it with the GlockKraft (now Overwatch Precision) D.A.T. v2 flat-faced trigger. Probably the best trigger I’ve felt on a Glock. I have an Agency Arms trigger on my edc 19, and initially thought of putting one on this build, but the GlockKraft exceeds it in regards to feel and looks. So I put their ‘Tactical’ trigger on this gun…essentially the same as the DATv2 but with a teeny hook at the trigger shoe’s tip which is similar to the Agency in design. Got it in gunmetal grey with a red trigger safety. It’s a good looking set up. Plus they include a gen3 trigger bar which is NP3’d for slickness. I used a Ghost Rocket 3.5 as the connector. Very crisp with minimal pretravel and no overtravel whatsoever, and a shorter very tactile/audible reset.





While still saving up for the optic, I couldn’t wait and took it to the range. I was a little concerned at first by having the rear iron sight in front of the optic. Logic dictates that it won’t be as accurate as a rear sight mounted in the usual place. However, after a lot of dry practice I felt quite comfortable using them. I need to measure it, but the front sight is nice and thin, and serrated. At the range I ran 500 rounds of 124gr+P Gold Dot JHP handloaded clones through it and it shot fine. Accurate, and quick on target. No failures, no brass to face, and after acing every 5-yard Dot Torture, I ran two sets at 7 yards. Scored a 46 on the first one, and a 49 on the last.


Finally! After a long wait I found a Trijicon RM07 in FDE with the 6.5MOA dot. I chose this model because it had an auto-adjusting brightness setting. Plus I found it online at a very small outfit for A LOT less than the going price of $645 everywhere else.


Initial thoughts after I installed it. This thing is teeny tiny. The window is much smaller than either the Burris Fastfire 2 and 3 that I’ve used on rifle builds in the past. The bluish tint on the window seemed really distracting, and the distortion of the glass was off-putting. Finding the dot during dry practice was a bit frustrating at first, and I naturally had to adjust my stance to accommodate the higher sight picture. I realized that I’ve shot irons for so long that it was quite hard for this red dot thing to come naturally, and it may take a few more months for it to come quickly. I also second-guessed my choice in dot size, thinking that the 6.5 was a bit too big and blobby especially at bright settings, and should’ve gone with the 3.5moa instead. I was beginning to regret not only purchasing the Trijicon but also the whole build.



That said, I finally took it to the range and put 600 rounds through it mostly using 124+P JHP and 115gr FMJ standard pressure. I used a kydex holster made for my 34 with X300 light combo. It wasn’t made for an RMR, so it doesn’t seat perfectly, but works for now. (I did order a custom holster for this gun, which hopefully will arrive in a few weeks.) I also put an Agency Arms magwell on it. I have this magwell on my 19 and 34, so it was a no-brainer.



After a quick sight-in, I started with some close drills—el presidente, bill drills, and timed shots from holster. Also ran it at night to see how well the dot works in darkness. It dawned on me that the RMR was actually quicker on target than irons, and my split times were a lot shorter than my usual splits. And shots out to 25 yards were much quicker and much more accurate with nary a miss. With my 47-year-old eyes, this was quite a revelation. Once I ‘learned’ to combine the two-plane focus on the target and dot like shooting an RDS’d AR, it became quite easy. I’m hoping this continues over the next few months with more serious training. If it does, I’m already thinking about sending out my 34 and 19 to get milled for RMRs.




Today I installed a cheap Chinese-made Primary Arms red dot to a Ruger 22/45. The sight picture is HUGE compared to the Trijicon, and there is absolutely no tint and very minimal distortion as well. This is making me think about getting either a Leupold Deltapoint or a Burris FF3 to try. With the Unity Atom slide, it’s not a big deal because they make specific slide plates so you can very easily mount different sights to the slide in a matter of seconds. So for now, I may hold off on milling my other guns until I can give some other optics a fair shake. And who knows, I may eventually grow to love the Trijicon. In a perfect world they need to work on producing an RMR with a larger window/thinner frame, a clearer window with no tint or distortion. Hopefully the next generation will be better, and I’m certain Unity Tactical will make the appropriate adapter for this slide.


Sorry for the long post, but I’ve been a little obsessed with this build over the past couple months. It isn’t perfect—primarily due to the sight picture on the RMR—but it works really well so I’m not disappointed at all. If I weren’t able to shoot noticeably better with the RMR than without, I’d feel significant remorse. Luckily this set up has proven otherwise. The only thing I’m waiting for now is the custom holster for this gun.

Now let’s see your RMR’d guns!




"You have the right not to be killed..."

The Clash, "Know Your Rights"
 
Posts: 26356 | Location: Westizzle Virgizzle | Registered: December 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bookers Bourbon
and a good cigar
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Very nice documentation on a nice build.



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Posts: 2680 | Location: Arkansas  | Registered: November 06, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Just mobilize it
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Sweet setup man! I have been slowly wondering if I would ever like a RMR-equipped Glock. Never tried one, but have read nothing but positive things about them. It's nice that you got to really piece it together yourself and make it your own. To me that's more appealing than even the Salient or full on Zev.
 
Posts: 3395 | Registered: July 24, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
so sexy it hurts
Picture of agony
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quote:
Originally posted by LincolnSixEcho:
Sweet setup man! I have been slowly wondering if I would ever like a RMR-equipped Glock. Never tried one, but have read nothing but positive things about them. It's nice that you got to really piece it together yourself and make it your own. To me that's more appealing than even the Salient or full on Zev.


Absolutely. There's something worthwhile about a slow and deliberate build. Getting it all at once isn't as rewarding. Plus with a lot of the high-end customs out there, the stippling and slide windows are a bit too garish for my sensibilities.




"You have the right not to be killed..."

The Clash, "Know Your Rights"
 
Posts: 26356 | Location: Westizzle Virgizzle | Registered: December 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks! I bought a G40 MOS in part to try a RMR or similar. I'm not sure I'd build my own so it's nice to have a factory option.




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Posts: 6438 | Location: West | Registered: November 26, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That. Is. Awesome.
Probably the coolest Glock I've seen.
Suppressor pending?


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Posts: 1289 | Location: Inside the Beltway (VA) | Registered: December 09, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
sick puppy
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Wow! Fantastic write up on an awesome gun!

Ive been looking at RMRs as well, wondering about a G19-mos. But in the foreign world of red dots, im a bit lost. So, you feel the 6.5MOA dot is still too large?


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Posts: 6201 | Location: Alpine, Ut | Registered: February 17, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Mr. Nice Guy
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Excellent project, agony. Pistol and set up looks great and I enjoyed reading about your step by step process.

I hope you continue to improve with it and that it works out the way you want it to.



Sig P229R 9mm
Sig P320c 9mm
 
Posts: 844 | Location: Tampa, FL USA | Registered: March 30, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
so sexy it hurts
Picture of agony
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by photoman12001:
That. Is. Awesome.
Probably the coolest Glock I've seen.
Suppressor pending?

Already have an oooold abraxas.




"You have the right not to be killed..."

The Clash, "Know Your Rights"
 
Posts: 26356 | Location: Westizzle Virgizzle | Registered: December 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
so sexy it hurts
Picture of agony
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by PorterN:
Wow! Fantastic write up on an awesome gun!

Ive been looking at RMRs as well, wondering about a G19-mos. But in the foreign world of red dots, im a bit lost. So, you feel the 6.5MOA dot is still too large?


It's still too soon to tell. I need more trigger time. There is a substantial difference between dry and live fire with an RDS compared to dry and live with irons. I honestly don't think a smaller dot would be a problem, and would probably be a boon for shooting greater than 25 yds. Otherwise so far I'm comfy with the 6.5MOA.




"You have the right not to be killed..."

The Clash, "Know Your Rights"
 
Posts: 26356 | Location: Westizzle Virgizzle | Registered: December 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Oh stewardess,
I speak jive.
Picture of 46and2
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What an excellent write up.

I'm strongly considering an RMR equipped G40 and have similar concerns regarding milling the slide vs an MOS model.

quote:
Plus with a lot of the high-end customs out there, the stippling and slide windows are a bit too garish for my sensibilities.

I agree. The slide cuts absolutely kill it for me. Yuck.
 
Posts: 19967 | Registered: March 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Once and Future SIG Shooter
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Great write up! I just bought a G17 MOS to see if I can get used to a red dot on a pistol. I'm gonna try it with a Vortex Venom, because I don't want to drop $600+ on a RMR to find out I don't like it. The model you got is the one that I've been considering, if the red dot thing works for me.

I'm also wondering if you like the 6.5 MOA dot. I'm turning 47 this year, and can barely function without reading glasses anymore. I'm thinking, at least for me, at the distances I normally shoot, the bigger dot would be what I need. I'm interested to hear your thoughts.

Your gun looks badass, BTW
 
Posts: 4320 | Location: Mississippi | Registered: December 08, 1999Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Go ahead punk, make my day
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For small red dots, also consider the Vortex Venom - it takes the same mount plate as the Burris FF3, and looking at them both I'm quite certain they are made in the same factory but the Venom window is a little larger.




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Posts: 34615 | Location: Around | Registered: July 12, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I can contribute on the issue of dot size. I've now a bit over 30K rounds down a series of RMR equipped glocks that I have built. At this point I think I've tried just about all the available mounting setups and I have now used all the available RMR types. The dot type and size you want depends a lot on what you want to use the gun for. But if your need is primarily to use it as a competition/range gun in daylight then you will be most happy with the RMR07 and its 6.5moa dot. In the adjustable RMR line (which is the best if you have the option to set the brightness before shooting) the two smaller options are not as effective.
For a pure defensive pistol there are a more complex set of issues to consider and you would have to outline your likely use to advise.


“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
 
Posts: 6094 | Registered: October 14, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Spiritually Imperfect
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Great writeup, agony.
I'm two years older than you, and going through the vision battles, too.
And I'm trying like hell to avoid the M&P 9 Pro Core ported models in the display case at my LGS here in Huntington. I honestly think I am shooting as good as I ever will with irons; a RMR is the path to improving my Steel Challenge times.
At least, that's my feeble justification to the wife. Big Grin
 
Posts: 2681 | Location: WV | Registered: January 30, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
so sexy it hurts
Picture of agony
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by hrcjon:
I can contribute on the issue of dot size. I've now a bit over 30K rounds down a series of RMR equipped glocks that I have built. At this point I think I've tried just about all the available mounting setups and I have now used all the available RMR types. The dot type and size you want depends a lot on what you want to use the gun for. But if your need is primarily to use it as a competition/range gun in daylight then you will be most happy with the RMR07 and its 6.5moa dot. In the adjustable RMR line (which is the best if you have the option to set the brightness before shooting) the two smaller options are not as effective.
For a pure defensive pistol there are a more complex set of issues to consider and you would have to outline your likely use to advise.


Yes, this gun is meant for range work perhaps competition, but after I see that it performs well over the next few months and after 10-20k rounds, it may replace my shtf glock 34.

For a purely defensive pistol, I am strongly considering an RMR optic for my edc glock 19. I have several friends who swear by this setup. They all use the same exact RM07 I'm using. I foresee using a Glock19 with RMR in future training courses. I try to take two courses a year, and shoot between 20-25k rounds a year strictly to hone my defensive skills. Competition is a tiny fraction of my round count. I'd like to hear your recommendations and your reasoning behind them.




"You have the right not to be killed..."

The Clash, "Know Your Rights"
 
Posts: 26356 | Location: Westizzle Virgizzle | Registered: December 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
so sexy it hurts
Picture of agony
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by VictimNoMore:
Great writeup, agony.
I'm two years older than you, and going through the vision battles, too.
And I'm trying like hell to avoid the M&P 9 Pro Core ported models in the display case at my LGS here in Huntington. I honestly think I am shooting as good as I ever will with irons; a RMR is the path to improving my Steel Challenge times.
At least, that's my feeble justification to the wife. Big Grin


One of my friends carried and trained with the SW Core mounted with the RMR07 for a year and is a strong proponent of edc'ing with an RMR. He recently went to a milled Glock instead and hasn't looked back. His reasoning was that when the RMR was mounted to the core, it sat higher than a purpose-milled slide. I foresee getting one of my slides custom-milled for an RMR just to see the difference between it and the Unity Tactical Atom. The setup in my OP still sits the optic higher than a custom slide, because of the interchangeable slide plate adapter.




"You have the right not to be killed..."

The Clash, "Know Your Rights"
 
Posts: 26356 | Location: Westizzle Virgizzle | Registered: December 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for sharing your journey. I, too, have considered the idea of an RMR'ed pistol, but just never took the plunge. I've researched getting an all-in-one package deal (Salient Arms, Agency Arms, etc), pre-milled slide (Unity Tactical, Suarez International, etc), and getting my factory slide milled for an RMR.

I haven't decided what to do, yet, but am interested in the new offering by Adams Arms/Voodoo Innovations:

https://youtu.be/J_R_6dHSmQ4

Any thoughts?
 
Posts: 422 | Location: Louisiana | Registered: September 18, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
7.62mm Crusader
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Nicely set up Glock agony. I was curious what your comp looks like for it. I like the front sight blade a lot. The whole gun is cool and no damn skull and cross bones.
 
Posts: 13490 | Registered: December 23, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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very cool, amazing what you can do to a glock.


 
Posts: 6614 | Location: Charlotte, NC | Registered: November 09, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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