Don’t Be Afraid To Modify Your Gear, Part V: Slide Grip Tape

As one of my friends likes to say, and has been illustrated in some of my past parts of this series on gear mods (see here, here, and as John illustrated here and here), I am “careful with money”.  Accordingly, I love to look for cheaper but effective solutions to issues that others will pay considerably more to solve.

Last week, Glock relatively quietly announced that it will soon offer a new option on its Generation 4 models 17 and 19 (and perhaps others down the road as well):  cocking serrations at the front of the slide!  I must say that I am pretty impressed that Glock has finally jumped on this bandwagon.  Many other brands offer front serrations as standard:  CZ, Walther, Heckler and Koch, XD, amongst others.  Front cocking serrations are pretty popular, and many companies that do custom work on Glocks offer front cocking serrations as an option.  Rather than have to dump perhaps around $200 on the serrations and refinishing, it is nice that Glock will soon offer them as an option.

Having said that, I do not currently plan to buy one of these new models.  My lack of interest is not based on my belief that such serrations are unnecessary; quite the contrary, I really like the idea of having them.  My preferred method of press-checking looks like this:

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Glock 19

 

Using this technique (as taught to me by Mike Pannone in this class) allows me excellent control over the muzzle, the ability to see clearly into the ejection port, and the ability to easily poke my trigger finger into the chamber to feel for brass if there is not enough ambient light to see.  Front cocking serrations would definitely help with this particular manipulation.  However, remember:  I am careful with money.

A cheaper solution than having my slide(s) milled or replacing my existing, perfectly functional Glocks with the new models (at a financial loss, no doubt) is to spend around $12 on this:

This tape, combined with a pair of sturdy scissors, has saved me many dollars.  I simply cut two pieces of appropriate length and width and fit them to the top of my slide, one fore and one aft of the ejection port.  Positioned in this way, I am able to easily perform press check manipulations—even with wet hands—in the manner in which I prefer.  In addition, they also greatly aid in performing one-handed pistol manipulations, such as racking the slide one handed off a belt.  The grip tape on top of the slide helps catch cloth, and I have (many times) successfully racked my slide without the rear sight even catching my belt; the grip tape just grabs cloth and does the work for me.

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Left to right: Glock 43, Glock 26, Glock 19

The tape is quite durable, too.  The tape here, on top of the slide of my black Glock 19, has been on there for at least 4 years, and still has plenty of life left in it:

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Glock 19 with old grip tape. The shiny spots visible along the edges of the grip tape are not worn parts of the slide, but just the tape itself where the rough parts of the tape have worn away.

I have had this tape on the top of my Glocks during classes in rain/sleet/mixed snow as well as in punishing heat and humidity.  I have also shot this black Glock 19 in a very high round-count class—high enough that the muzzle of the holstered pistol was burning me through my pants.  The tape has never come loose/shifted in any way.  I should also note that, among my Glocks, I have several with different slide finishes, including the greyer, rougher type of my black Glock 19 and the smoother, almost Teflon finish of my Glock 26.  The tape stays on.

I should also note that, when I have had to, the tape has been easy to remove.  On my Glock 26, I had put the tape right up to the old rear sight (Glock night sights).  When I decided to replace those sights with the Ameriglo I Dot Pros, the grip tape got in the way of my sight pusher.  I removed the tape just by sliding a dull razor underneath the tape and then peeling it off.  Glue residue was easily removed with Lysol household cleaner and a dish scrubber–with no damage to the surface of the slide–and new grip tape applied later. 

One final note is that I find this tape especially helpful on the shorter barreled Glocks like my 26 and 43.  The barrel is so short on these models that, when performing such press-checks, the off-hand gets very close the muzzle.  The insurance provided by the tape is nice.

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Glock 43. The short barrel gives less room for error. The grip tape definitely helps here!

So there you have it.  Spending around $12 and having what will no doubt be a lifetime supply of tape works out for me to be way more cost-effective than sending off slides for milling and refinishing.  Plus, the pistols never leave my house for the modifications.

As always, thanks for reading.  If you have any questions or comments, please post them here or on our Facebook page.  Also, please note that clicking on the photo of the 3M Grip tape above will take you to our Amazon affiliate link.  If you purchase the tape through that link, we will receive a very small percentage of the sale price at no additional cost to you. 

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3 thoughts on “Don’t Be Afraid To Modify Your Gear, Part V: Slide Grip Tape

  1. I found grip tape on the side of the frame above the trigger, as an index point for my offhand thumb, started to rub off in my Raven owb holster. I take it you haven’t seen this with tape on to of the slide?

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    1. Matt,

      That has not been my experience with a variety of Kydex holsters (tape on top of slide). The holsters have to be cut to accommodate a variety of sight types/heights, so the top of the slide is usually good to go. You just have to be sure to cut the tape narrow enough; when I’ve put on fresh tape, sometimes the first few times you holster or draw, you’ll hear some “crunchiness” as the edges of the “sandpaper” are worn, but after that, you’re good to go.

      Thanks for the question/comment.

      –Robert

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