If you’re shopping around for a slide for your Glock or Polymer80 build, you’ve probably seen them categorized as ‘stripped/bare’ or ‘complete’. Usually stripped means that it’s just the main slide, without internal parts, barrel or sights. Complete is, or should be, ready to mount on the frame with all major components installed or included with the slide.
If you do end up buying a stripped slide, you’ll need to have a compatible parts kit to build it out. A couple things to note here, usually Glock 19 and Glock 17 slide parts kits are interchangeable, except for the recoil rod (if it comes with one). A lot of kits don’t ship with a recoil rod, so it’s worth looking at the kit description to see if it does if you don’t have one. We carry slide kits that come with or without the recoil rod if depending on your need. Recoil rods are another thing based on the generation of Glock, but we won’t get into that in this article.
Building out a slide isn’t as involved as say a LPK install on an AR, but you’re still dealing with small, spring loaded components, so keep a plastic bag handy. Installing the plunger in a plastic bag can save you some grief in case you lose your grip and the top of the plunger goes flying off.
The tools you’ll need to get this done are pretty basic. I’ve put some possible substitutes below in case you don’t actually have the specific tool. This is controversial as the right tool for the job is always the way, but if it’s Sunday night and you just want to get this done, there are other options. Proceed at your own risk.
- Jewelers/gunsmith hammer with flat and rubber tips. (In a pinch you can use the back of a screwdriver handle, but tread lightly)
- Punch set, nylon tipped or steel (in a pinch I’ve used the tip of s torx screwdriver)
- Channel liner install tool (After installing my first slide without this, I ended up getting one of these for subsequent builds as it makes things so much easier and less prone to damage. I did use the body of a Bic ballpoint pen and dowel for my first channel liner install. It worked, but I had to take it really slow to avoid crushing the edge of the liner.)
- Glock sight install tool (If you’re installing iron sights. If you’re putting in a RMR sight, then those usually ship with a wrench)
Ok, so instead of writing out all the steps you would take, I’m linking the the Youtube video I send to folks who ask for help. This isn’t our video, but it’s well paced so it’s pretty easy to follow without all the hype.