Pistol Red Dot: RDS Handgun Mounting Made Easy

Pistol red dot on a Lone Wolf Distributors slide.

This past spring I was pretty excited to see Trijicon’s new offering in the SRO. From my initial assessment, it looked like Trijicon had done a solid job building a new red dot sight focused on target shooting and competition. The SRO complemented Trijicon’s already dominating line of duty ready RMRs and at the same time put in to play lessons learned from Trijicon products previously pressed into use by demanding handgun shooters of all kinds.

What didn’t change with the introduction of the SRO are the challenges faced when someone wants to mount a pistol red dot on their handgun.

I made the decision to lean into those difficulties and get some guns ready for red dot testing, and wrote about the challenges of setting up a red dot on your handgun here.

What I found out as I explored the available options is that I had a partner that was ready and willing to help me get my guns set up now!

GLOCK Versatility

For a long time, Lone Wolf Distributors has been a dependable goto source for GLOCK parts. My first exposure to Lone Wolf and their quality was in a set of conversion barrels for a group of LE turn in GLOCK 22s. I intended to use these guns for rentals in my defensive handgun training courses. They quickly and easily modified my former Detroit Police .40 caliber pistols into 9mm guns that were easy and inexpensive to shoot.

Lone Wolf opened my mind to what I call GLOCK Versatility.


When I got word that Trijicon had been able to set aside an SRO for me to test it wasn’t a huge jump to figure out where to reach out for help with the project. I knew Lone Wolf would be able to help me get set up. What I didn’t realize how fast they were going to be able to make it happen. That was a major learning point for me when it came to how LWD runs its business. Plain and simple Lone Wolf is set up in a way to help you get your gun up and running quickly.

OEM Glock slide cut for Trijicon RMR

I sent my GLOCK 17 slide to Lone Wolf for an RMR cut. They turned it around in 1 day.



Custom Slide Machining

Plain and simple if you need a GLOCK cut for an RMR they are your people. They are set up to handle any GLOCK you can put a dot on and just about any dot you can put on a GLOCK. All told there are well over 120 options that Lone Wolf can have you set up with for your optic on a GLOCK.

They also can handle your S&W Shield.

The machining is well done and the time frame is just plain fast. I’ll tell you more about that in a minute.

Lone Wolf Slide for red dot sights

If you are after getting your GLOCK set up with a red dot sight, Lone Wolf offers you fast and quality options.

Custom Slides

Despite the fact that GLOCKs are commonplace, I can understand the desire to keep your GLOCK in stock configuration. Machining a slide alters your pistol forever. I can understand why some would want to avoid that route.

The Alpha Wolf series of slides is the answer to that. Starting at $189.95 you can have a custom stainless steel slide cut that will house your RMR. It is super easy to select the options you want on the upper and you can even have it built out completely for you with Lone Wolf parts.

The Alpha Wolf slide with the RMR cut looks svelte.

Lone Wolf Alpha Wolf top end

Lone Wolf also offers custom stainless steel slides in cut for Trijicon RMR sights.


What Lone Wolf did for me.

When I first spoke with JR, the head honcho at Lone Wolf, and explained what I was trying to accomplish we tossed around a bunch of ideas. We settled on Lone Wolf sending me a complete Lone Wolf GLOCK 17 Upper with an RMR mounted on top. This would give me a solid upper and an RMR to compare with the SRO. To get the SRO up and running and to test out their speed, I also sent a GLOCK 17 slide from my collection to LWD for machining. This worked out so much better than my previous experiences in slide machining had.

Common GLOCKs

GLOCK 17s and 19s are some of the most common handguns out there and I have some 17s laying around.

In the past, when I have needed a slide cut for a red dot optic, I’ve taken it into a very innovative and talented local smith. The guy made magic happen with machines. I’d drop my slide off and let him know my time frame. Then I would wait. And wait. And wait some more. I’d call him a couple of times as our agreed upon time would approach. He wouldn’t answer. Finally, I’d just show up. The work would be half done and I would have to wait as he tried to wrap it up.

Turn Around

Lone Wolf isn’t a fly by night shop run by a mad professor of a gunsmith. I had no idea how professional of an outfit JR Shepard ran until this week. My slide shipped to them late in the day on Tuesday, October 1 via USPS Priority Mail. I opened the package with my newly cut slide on Wednesday the 9th.

Lone Wolf advertises a 1-3 day turn around on GLOCK slide cuts for 20 different optics. I asked JR point-blank if he cut me any slack because I’m a writer. His answer was a simple, “Nope.” Although he could be blowing smoke, I’m inclined to believe him.

Final Thoughts (for now)

Lone Wolf provided by machining services gratis which I greatly appreciate. They also provided a complete Alpha Wolf upper with an RMR01 for testing. What I appreciate even more is the fact that Lone Wolf gets the fact that when you are trying to get a new gun set up, RDS or not, you are ready to have that gun set up. For me, as a writer, I have deadlines to deal with. Shooters have deadlines too. Whether it is a big match or the urgency you feel in getting your new carry gun in the holster, Lone Wolf gets it. They make mounting a red dot on your handgun simple and fast.


pistol magazines

Paul Carlson, owner of Safety Solutions Academy, is a Professional Defensive Shooting Instructor.  He has spent the past decade and a half studying how humans can perform more efficiently in violent confrontations and honing his skills as an instructor both in the classroom and on the range.

Through Safety Solutions Academy, Paul teaches a variety of Critical Defensive Skills courses in more than a dozen states annually.  Courses range from Concealed Carry Classes to Advanced Critical Defensive Handgun Courses and include instruction for the defensive use of handguns, rifles and shotguns.  Safety Solutions Academy regularly hosts other industry leading experts as guest instructors to make sure that SSA’s students have the opportunity for quality instruction across a broad range of Critical Defensive disciplines.

  • Chaplain Rodger DeRamus

    I have noticed plenty that most, if not all, products described are made for certain Glock pistols. Some of us do not have Glocks and do not intend to purchase one just to buy and use the new sighting item. I have a S&W 9MM pistol and I would like to at least hear if not see how to modify it to be able to introduce the sight to the slide of my S&W.
    Can that be done or am I cursed for owning a non-glock pistol?
    Thank You

    • John S.

      Outer impact offers a red dot adapter mount for M&P pistols that mounts in the channel where the rear iron sight is. The adapter can accept a bunch of popular Red dot sights such as leopold,trijicon & burris. Just to name a few. they run around $60 on Amazon.

    • Ruger Barnes

      There must be a S&W user forum which can shed light on the topic, too.

    • http://www.safetysolutionsacademy.com/defensive-handgun-rifle-shotgun-courses/ Paul Carlson

      I’m actually in the same boat as you Rodger… I carry a S&W M&P 2.0 9 full size and the options for after market slides and for machining work is much smaller as the number of guns in circulation is much smaller. There are mounts like John S mentions, but I need more durability than they provide. I’m guessing that S&W will release the CORE 2.0 pistols and slides in the near future (they are already “covertly” available from LE dealers.) I also discussed LW starting to cut S&W slides and that is a possibility in the near future. Stay tuned.

  • Eric Kloehn

    Or you could buy a whole new Brownells slide for the same price. Whole article sets up like it’s going to talk about multiple ways to get a red dot on your gun but just ends up being a Lone Wolf ad. Cool…

    • http://www.safetysolutionsacademy.com/defensive-handgun-rifle-shotgun-courses/ Paul Carlson

      Thanks for the feedback Eric. I’ve been buying LW stuff for years because it works and what I really wanted the article to be about was a fast and affordable way to mount a RDS on a GLOCK. I don’t know of anyone that can compete with the price or the turn around on cutting a factory GLOCK slide. That’s why I went with LW and that is why I wrote the article. As far a picking up a Brownell’s slide, that is certainly an option. I don’t know this for sure, but I feel pretty confident in saying that you are probably still buying a LW slide. I get the impression that the vast majority of aftermarket slides for glocks come from the same place.

  • Sunshine_Shooter

    No recoil lugs means I’m out.

    • http://www.safetysolutionsacademy.com/defensive-handgun-rifle-shotgun-courses/ Paul Carlson

      Hey Sunshine – (that sounds kinda personal but…)

      I would really like to see some in depth testing done with recoil bosses and without recoil bosses. I’m interested in three things.
      1. screws loosening
      2. screws breaking
      3. optic durability

      It would take a lot of ammo and a lot of shooting, but would be interesting to see.