It’s no secret: I’m a fan of 5D tactical. Ever since I had discovered them on internet searches and began to explore their product designs and manufacturing I have fallen in love with the company as a whole. They have been revolutionizing the world of 80% kits – specifically AR15/LR308DPMS(AR10) - and providing the tools necessary for someone to finish their own piece of America.
Just in 2018 they have gone from a jig system for 80% AR15/LR308DPMS(AR10) lowers to introducing a line of upper receivers and kits for the determined to complete a firearm. And now, with the inclusion of the Polymer80 pistol frames, they have released an 80% G19 kit.
The G19 kit is basic and simple but effective. There is a Polymer80 PF940c frame, Glock OEM parts kit, and a proprietary pistol slide (with parts) and barrel. Out of the box it’s as if it were a Glock with a facelift and in 30 different pieces.
Polymer80 is the industry leader in polymer pistol and AR frames. They account for nearly all of the polymer 80% frames in existence. We have already spoken about some of the alternative polymer frames for the AR15 platform, but they are few and far between when compared to Polymer80. Needless to say, their product has been proven on more than one occasion.
5D Tactical, however, is the new guy on the field. They have had to prove themselves and their products on several occasions, many times falling in deaf ears. But in 2018 – and 2017 – that began to change as their designs and manufacturing found their way into the hands of users who have been appreciative of their ingenuity and standards. It’s because of these standards that we were even drawn to their proprietary slide and barrel in the first place.
Okay, look, it’s a slide designed for a Glock. There are a lot of them out there and all of them claim to be better than the rest. I will not sit here and type this out saying the 5D Tactical slide is the best out there because it’s not. It is pretty damn good, though.
The designers of this slide have added deeper sets of serrations on both the front and rear of the slide. Thay also seem to be slightly tapered to eliminate a sharp and biting edge. This might just be from the bead blasting and coating following milling, but it’s nice to think it was an intentional design benefit.
When it comes to tapering; the nose is tapered just like original manufacturing standards. That’s actually quite important since many aftermarket, proprietary slides are much more squared off and wider than original specs. 5D has done a good job with that. They also did a great job with the radiused corners that complement the tapered nose perfectly.
What really intrigues me about 5D is that the slides are USA made. Not Taiwan, German, Chinese, or even Canadian made. They were made, milled, and mortared right here in the good U,S, of A.
There was a slight change when it came to the PF940v2 frame we were using with 5D tactical. You see, we wanted to test out a knife at the same time. So, what better way to test the knife than to use it to finish a polymer pistol frame. As you can already guess; we pulled out the TOPS MSF4.0 and set to work ripping into the tabs of the PF940c frame. This did take a great deal of time but ultimately, we were left with a nearly perfect, Iowa flat frame. It just goes to show what anyone can achieve when their tools are missing and they are bored.
Without any issues the OEM Glock parts kit provided by 5D tactical fit into the frame to complete assembly. Next was to test the slide on the receiver without the barrel and spring. It fit like Cinderella’s shoe and didn’t seem to require any additional fitting. Adding the barrel and spring turned the ‘cool’ pistol into an ‘I did this’ pistol. It looked outstanding when fully assembled.
It should also be noted that we used Polymer80’s proprietary P80 curved trigger in the frame with the 5D Tactical slide. The trigger appears to be the same specs as the OEM trigger, excluding the exposed section which has been designed for better contact and smoother pull.
We took the pistol to the range on a great day. It was over oiled and ready to get dirty. We pulled out the Remington ammunition so we knew without any doubt it would get dirty and probably jam. 2 10 round magazines were loaded up and ready to fire.
With the tension of a loaded magazine we ran into a few problems at first. Running about 100 rounds through the pistol we realized that after we reloaded with a fresh magazine and allowed the pistol to cycle properly the slide would begin to seize up and fail to completely chamber the next round. After having experience with 1911s it’s common that this can happen when the feed ramp needs to be ‘broken in’ or polished to a smooth, frictionless surface. The best way to do that is to just keep shooting. After 300 rounds the issue was nearly resolved.
What we discovered was simple. The barrel had been making contact with the slide itself as it began to cycle. After a few rounds and a little well-placed oil the barrel and slide ran seamlessly. Loaded magazines, boxes of ‘dirty’ ammunition, and a bunch of white and black pieces of paper laid before us. We set aim down the Glock OEM sights on the proprietary 5D slide with a properly installed barrel. Our fingers quickly loosed 10 rounds without any hesitation. Quickly we reloaded, reset, and fired. 200 rounds and not a single hiccup.
This is a mean looking G19 kit. There are very few, if any, complete pistol kits out there. While the kit doesn’t include a magazine – thanks California, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, Illinois, and Colorado – it has everything necessary to complete your own Gen 3 G19 without finding a mish-mosh of parts. Better yet, 5D produces all their parts stateside and they will gladly stand behind their American made products.
Pricing is the one difficult part. 5D has set their proprietary slides at $440 (currently $399 on sale) and the entire kit at $690 (currently $599 on sale) in both G19 or G17 variants. Keep in mind, the Gen 5 G19 is $600 brand new or $499 for the Gen 4 version. The price seems to remain similar for the G17. So, if you’re looking to save money by going with a 5D Tactical kit it’s not going to happen.
Regardless, of pricing details the overall quality of both Polymer80 and 5D’s proprietary products is outstanding. 5D is not brand new to the game of manufacturing but new-ish and making a big impression. Their products are top notch and almost everything is USA made and sourced. Keep an eye on 5D Tactical and if the G19 kit is your thing; grab one while you can.