Have a Glock pistol that needs upgrading? There are a lot of upgrades that make the infamous Glock pistol even better. Night sights, trigger, magwell, compensator, and an extended slide release are all easy and effective upgrades you can make to a Glock pistol. We often view some of these upgrades as just cosmetic items that make the somewhat boring factory Glock a little more appealing. But these upgrades offer more than just looks for your handgun. They help with function, accuracy, and performance.
You can buy other brands that offer a Glock clone with every upgrade you could ever want. But these guns are expensive, and some people like to make their own improvements on a gun. I call them project guns. This is a basic gun you buy and slowly upgrade, one part at a time. When you select each part and install it yourself, the gun has more sentimental value to its owner.
Today, we are covering the extended slide release by Tyrant Designs CNC. Tyrant is one of my favorite brands for custom Glock and AR-15 parts. They offer a variety of colors for those wanting a specific color scheme. More importantly, their stuff is top quality and works great in Glock handguns.
Why upgrade to an extended slide release?
Depending on the purpose of your handgun, some people need an extended slide release more than others. In the police academy, we learn to rack the slide when reloading because your fine motor skills may not be working well enough to push the slide release with your thumb. Because of this, we train not to use a slide release. Instead, load a new mag, pull back on the slide, and let go. But other people train using the slide release. Most of the time, there is more than one way when guns are involved. Just because one group of people has a preference does not mean another way doesn’t work just as well. It all comes down to how you train with your gun and understand your limits.
Competition shooters use the slide release because it is much faster than racking the slide. The extended slide release gives your thumb more real estate when releasing the slide. This is more important with Glocks than other guns out there because the slide release on factory Glocks is very slim. It works, but it does take more focus on what you’re doing to use the Glock slide release. If you have gloves on it’s even harder. I found that I end up turning my gun slightly in my hand so my grip can be adjusted enough to push down on the slide release with the top of my thumb. This is not an ideal way of reloading and causes more time in between shots.
Load Faster, Shoot Faster
The idea of using the slide release is to make the process faster during mag changes. With the release being extended, your thumb is less likely to slip off of it. If you watch competition shooters as they reload, there is very little time between the mag being inserted and the slide falling back in place. Of course, this is because of a ton of practice and repetition. But they are finding the release lever before the mag is even all the way in the gun. Some are so fast that it almost looks like the slide is moving forward before the mag is even seated all the way. When you load faster, you shoot faster.
As mentioned above, I learned to rack the slide because of how your body reacts during the “fight or flight” mode. When you experience an adrenaline dump and your brain is hyper-focused on a threat, finding a small lever on the side of the gun with your thumb is a bigger task than it seems. But we train like that because it’s the safer way for a standard across-the-board method. We also carry guns without external safeties for the same reason. If you pull your weapon for self-defense and forget to flip the safety off, the gun will be no good. But this does not mean you can’t train differently.
Those who train with 1911s develop muscle memory to flip off the safety as they draw the gun. They do this without thinking. But the safety on a 1911 is also larger and easier to find with your thumb. And that brings us back to the larger slide release for a Glock.
Installing the Tyrant Designs Extended Slide Release
The slide release is not hard to install, but it does require removing the pin and locking block. The first step is to make sure the gun is unloaded and remove the slide from the lower frame. Next, remove the pin just above the trigger with a punch. It should come out easily, so a hammer is not required. With the pin removed, the locking block will lift out of the frame. This is the only piece of metal you see when looking down at the top of the frame.
When the locking block is out, the slide release will also lift out from the frame. The photo above shows the slide block and the old slide release from my Glock 19. When installing the new one, make sure the built-in spring on the slide release fits back into the divot for the spring (see photo below).
Once the slide release is back in place, re-install the locking block. As you insert the pin back into the frame, the slide release and trigger will have to be aligned with the hole in the frame and locking block. Do not use a hammer or force the pin. When everything is aligned, it will push back in without much effort.
Final Thoughts on the Tyrant CNC Extended Slide Release
This is an easy part to install, and it has a lot of benefits. Even though I didn’t train to use the slide release, I replaced the one on my Glock in case I ever do want to use it. If you want to do any competition shooting, it will be helpful and you may choose to train reloading with the mag release instead of racking the slide. Like always, it comes down to preference and training. Make sure your body builds up that muscle memory so it will function when your brain does not. If you haven’t upgraded the slide release yet, give the Tyrant Designs Extended Slide Release a try. You won’t be disappointed.