This past June 28th, I made an impulse buy, and purchased a Striker Control Device (SCD) from Tau Development Group during the annual Tau Day sale. Although I had known about the SCD (aka “The Gadget”) for quite some time from frequenting pistol-forum.com, I had held off buying one for a variety of reasons. I’ll address those in this review, but suffice it to say, the sale price was good enough for me to take the plunge. After six months, I think I have enough trigger time with the device installed to offer an honest review.
For those that may not be familiar, the Striker Control Device replaces the slide cover plate on Glocks and prevents the striker from being pushed back by inadvertent trigger movement that could discharge the pistol.
Why is this important? Imagine the risk of holstering a Glock with a drawstring tab or other material being in the holster and finding its way into the trigger guard. Thus, the SCD is of particular interest to those of us that carry in the appendix position. To better visualize this, understand that as you press the trigger, the SCD increasingly protrudes out from the rear of the slide. As long as it is not impinged, the trigger press is unaffected. However, if you flag your thumb to apply pressure to the SCD, the trigger can’t move and you can feel pressure on the SCD as you attempt to press the trigger. This translates to applying pressure to the rear of the slide with a flagged thumb as you holster your pistol to prevent an inadvertent discharge. This is analogous to the ability to thumb the hammer of a double action pistol when holstering.
There were two primary reasons that I held off buying a SCD. The first is common. Many detractors are of the opinion that proper training negates the necessity of a SCD. In other words, if you always verify that the holster opening is unobstructed before inserting your pistol, then a SCD is not needed. The second reason I held off is specific to my training experience. In a class with KD4, in an informal Q&A session, he indicated that his former unit had tested the SCD and had experienced failures to fire in extreme conditions. I obviously have no way to verify this, but I also have no reason to doubt what he said. No matter this anecdote, my pistol generally stays in a holster under clothing and is well protected from environmental conditions, so this possibility isn’t a significant concern for me. Readers will have to forgive me for not dunking my Glock in sand and mud.
Other detractors have complained that you cannot make a contact shot with a flagged thumb behind the slide to keep it in battery with a SCD installed. Indeed, this is true, but also unrealistic and a good way to be disarmed while also rendering your autoloading pistol a single shot weapon. Take an Extreme Close Quarters Pistol class such as the one offered by Greg Ellifritz, and you’ll learn the correct way to make such a close range shot. In the rare instance of needing to make a contact shot, you should press the pistol in and then slightly retract it before firing. One of the few times where this might be appropriate is when you are in a rest position under an opponent in the guard and you are able to access your pistol. If this description doesn’t make sense, you should take Ellifritz’s Groundfighting Class and all will become clear.
Now that I’ve addressed my initial hesitations about the device, I’ll explain why I finally chose to purchase one. The nature of my employment requires that I disarm at work. Because I want to be armed during my long commute to and from work, I secure my pistol in a lockbox in my car everyday at work and put my gun back on before my drive home. The lock box I use is only large enough to accommodate the pistol and a spare magazine, sans holster. I have to holster my gun in a seated position in my car every day after work. Whether I put the gun in the holster before or after I put the holster in my waistband is largely irrelevant to me. I don’t want to put a hole in myself OR in my floorboard, in a relatively public setting when I’m trying to be discreet. The presence of the SCD is reassuring in this instance.
With all the pros and cons of the device out of the way, let me address installation and function. Although certified Glock armorer installation is recommended, I was able to quickly install the device with no issues whatsoever. If you can disassemble your Glock slide, you can install the SCD. Note that different versions are also available for the smaller G42 and G43 and the newer Gen 5 guns, as well as a version designed to work with aftermarket triggers that have less pre-travel.
So far, in two classes and in numerous informal range sessions, I have experienced no problems or failures to fire with the device installed. The design has an elegant simplicity and just works. I consider it a worthwhile addition to my EDC Glock 19 and I have no plans to remove it. Plus, it’s always amusing to have a concerned bystander on the range tell me that my slide cover plate is moving!
Is an SCD a mandatory upgrade to a striker fired pistol? Of course not. With robust safety practices and mindful gun handling, it serves no purpose. However, we are all human, and susceptible to mistakes. In this regard, the SCD is invaluable and the cost benefit ratio is clear. Aside from the initial purchase price, its routine use costs nothing and it adds a layer of safety to the Glock pistol that is otherwise not available. If you are so inclined, I think the SCD is a wise investment.
FTC Disclosure: I have no affiliation with the Tau Development Group aside from being a full sale price paying customer.
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