Let’s assemble a Glock slide


Oh what a time to be alive, we can build an entire Glock pistol with out using a single Glock brand part.

I’m not entirely sure that is a good thing. But it certainly doesn’t hurt the popularity of the platform.

A while back I got and made a P80 80% Glock pattern frame. I built it up and used slides off of other Glock pistols to get it running. I had intended to use it with an Advantage Arms .22 conversion kit slide, but changed by mind and sold off the kit.

That left me with a complete frame with no slide. It was time to fix that issue.

I ordered a Brownell’s stripped G19 slide. The Brownell’s slide was picked for two reasons. First I’ve heard and read a good bit of good reviews on those slides. Second, it was the cheapest in stock option I could find.

I really would have rather just purchased a complete factory Glock G19 slide, but the only used ones I could find for sale were priced similarly to a complete Glock 19.

Simple, no nonsense packaging.
Looks sort of like a Glock slide. Nice even black finish. Fingerprints and smudges easily show up.

Fortunately I have so many spare parts on hand I didn’t need to order anything else.

Time to put it together. Let’s start with the sights. I have several sets of OEM sights, so I am going to use those.

For a long time, the Glock front sight had a split bottom and a plastic wedge was pushed in from the bottom to hold it in place. Often these sights were destroyed in the process of removing them. Myself and others would grab them with a pair of plyers and turn them 90 degrees to break them loose and then we would throw them away. Now the sights are secured by a hex head screw, making removable slower but they are reusable. You will need a tool to install these front sights.

The OEM rear sight has a metal insert which is crushed to fit during installation. They are not suppose to be reused. I’m not sure if this one was used or not, so I am going to use it now, and if I have any problems with it shifting or being loose, I’ll replace it with one of the new in wrap rear sights I have laying around.

Rear sights come in various heights to accommodate various shooters and the different guns. A “6.5” is the standard height for a Glock 19. I believe that is 6.5mm. I notice this sight is marked 6.5. I don’t recall having seen that before. Some of the sights are marked with – signs or similar markings to show that they are not the standard height.

A quality sight pusher makes this job easy. Just a note, the Glock brand sight pusher is only good for the plastic Glock rear sights. It is too flimsy for aftermarket metal rear sights.

I used a hammer and punch to install this rear sight. Despite my best efforts, the metal punches did deform the plastic rear sight slightly, but I bet most people wouldn’t notice unless I pointed it out. Be careful installing the rear sight, I’ve read of many cases of people breaking tritium vials in night sights when using a hammer and punch. If you have a sight pusher available to you, it is the best choice.

Now, we need to install the internal parts. Starting with the Channel Liner:

The Channel Liner is an important plastic tube the striker and striker spring ride inside. You are suppose to use a special tool to install it, and should it ever be removed from the slide, you are suppose to replace it.

I’ve never seen that in person, and I know of countless cases where it has been removed and reinstalled with no issues. Still, the one time I ever had one come out when disassembling the slide, I went ahead and replaced it with a new one.

The striker assembly runs inside the channel liner.

Much to my annoyance, I found this new old stock channel liner I had stashed away was damaged. I carefully removed the burrs and damaged area and I know it will work fine. But it goes it show that spare parts can’t always be guaranteed to be correct if you don’t inspect them.

So how do we install this thing? Well first we need the striker assembly.

We have the firing pin, the firing pin spacer sleeve, the firing pin spring, and the spring cups.

The sleeve goes over the firing pin, and then the spring. Compress the spring to install the cups.

Pro tip, the slide can be used as a handy tool to hold the firing pin and spacer sleeve in place while you compress the firing pin spring.

If you feel like spending extra money, you can get “maritime” spring cups which have relief cuts to aid in functioning should their be water in the firing pin channel. I’ve found buying OEM Glock maritime spring cups have gotten hard as there are sellers selling aftermarket parts at factory Glock.

Now we can get the channel liner installed by sliding it over the firing pin spring and installing that assembly into the slide. The channel liner will stay in the slide and should not come out.

For the extractor, there is a spring, which has a metal plunger installed on one side and a plastic plunger on the other. The intent is to have the metal plunger push on the extractor and that keeps the spring safely away from the dirt and debris of firing. I’ve seen this installed backwards, even from Glock, and the gun will work just fine either way. But might as put it in the right way.

Hold on, though, we need to put in the firing pin safety before we continue.

The firing pin safety is a little plunger with a spring. Sometimes some of the springs will stay captive in the plunger, but sometimes they won’t. You will need to have the firing pin removed, and the extractor removed when you install this plunger. Hold it down while you install the firing pin and the extractor. But once you have either the firing pin or extractor installed, they will keep this plunger from popping out of the slide.

You can see the firing pin safety plunger in the slot where the extractor goes. If the plunger is not depressed the extractor will not go in.
You need to insert the back of the extractor first, and pivot it into place.
Early Glocks had a 90 degree cut where the extractor went. Later this was relieve with a 15 degree cut. Even later then, a loaded chamber indicator was added to the extractor. Make sure you have the correct extractor to match your slide. This extractor is a 15 degree one, but pre-LCI.
When it comes time to install the side plate, you will have to depress the spacer sleeve and the “spring-loaded bearing” plunger for the extractor. The plate will slide right up into place.
Install the barrel and recoil spring just as if you field stripped the gun.

Finally we end up with a non-Glock Glock.

Assembling the side is very easy. Other than the front sight and rear sight, the rest of it goes together with out tools.

On guns that get high round counts, I like to detail strip them once a year to inspect for damage and wear. But, for the most part, there is no reason to check out the little parts on a Glock.

I choose to use OEM Glock parts for everything in this gun other than the slide and frame. But, if you wanted to, you could build a Glock type pistol with out buying a single Glock brand part.

Still I’d rather run a Glock than a faux-Glock.


  1. nice, but the serration cuts across the top of the slide are both ugly and problematic. I could see them chafing hands or gear.

  2. Using the slide as a fixture while assembling the firing pins is neat. I’ll have to try that. I had a hell of a time hanging onto it.

    Made a mistake on my 80% build. Decided to do a 26 on a whim…without realizing the parts are relatively scarce. Turned out nice, though.

  3. This is a late, but thank you. this hit some points that a lit of people had been leaving out. As wanted to try my hand at building one from scratch.

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