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One-of-a-Kind Glock 19 with Rival Arms, XS Sights and Trijicon

The Glock 19 is one of the easiest pistols to customize and upgrade. Here is one unique Glock 19 built with Rival Arms, XS Sights and Trijicon to get you some starting ideas.

One-of-a-Kind Glock 19 with Rival Arms, XS Sights and Trijicon
With the modular flexibility of the Glock platform, any shooter can easily create a one- of-a-kind custom pistol.

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Firearm addicts have certain milestones they hope to achieve. One of mine was to build a tricked-out 9mm. I found the perfect foundation when I found a used Glock 23 in .40 S&W with a homemade stipple job at a local shop for just over $300. Next, I began researching aftermarket slides, sights, and red-dot options. Eric Poole, the editor of Guns & Ammo, turned me on to Rival Arms, maker of aftermarket pistol accessories. Digging into what they offered, I selected a Glock 19 RMR slide that features racy lines, three window cuts and is milled to accept a red dot with a Trijicon RMR footprint. It looked like the perfect upper to add to the G23 lower. Next, I added a slide completion kit and a threaded 9mm barrel from Rival Arms. Made from stainless steel and nitride coated, the barrel is built to endure wear. It’s threaded for a muzzle device and features spiral fluting that enhances the look of the pistol.

On a custom pistol build, a red-dot sight is a must. For this project, I opted for Trijicon’s new Specialized Reflex Optic (SRO). Longer, taller, and wider than the popular and trusted RMR sight, the SRO has a circular viewing window and a shockingly clear image. The SRO features a 2.5-MOA dot, three-year battery life, simple adjustments and is waterproof down to 10 feet. While it may not be as durable as the RMR (What is?), I don’t plan on seeing combat any time soon. And if something were to happen to the red dot, I have backup sights from XS Sights to rely on.  I’m no sight snob. In fact, I’m a weirdo who gets along just fine with factory sights. However, adding a red dot to a pistol precludes the use of standard-­height sights, so I needed an aftermarket set for this build. My first XS product goes back 20 years. Since then, I’ve used dozens of their excellent products on pistols and rifles.

custom-glock-19-rival-arms-build-02

For this custom Glock, I chose their Suppressor Height DXT Big Dot night sights. Not only are they tritium equipped for low-light visibility, they’re stupid simple and fast to use — exactly what I was after for backup duty. Having gone this far, I couldn’t leave the pistol boringly black, so I reached out to Aaron Steinberg at Fall River Arms in Meridian, Idaho, about a custom Cerakote paint job. I gave him free rein to have his way with the pistol. Not only did Steinberg Cerakote the frame and slide, he restippled the shoddy work done on the grip by the previous owner, undercut the triggerguard, and removed the stock finger grooves. The Glock now looks, feels, and performs like a custom pistol should. Are custom builds worth the price? That depends. While they may provide a tiny performance gain over stock firearms, custom firearms have their own personality. They look great, perform well, and get attention from other shooters. Custom firearms are like taxidermy. You may cringe at the upfront costs and wait impatiently for the project to reach completion. However, once the job is done, you smile each time you see it or use it. That’s what makes custom firearms impossible to beat.




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