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C&H Precision V4 Defender Review: Plate Theory

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Mounting a red-dot on an Optics-Ready pistol should be hassle free, and most of the time it is, as long as one pays attention to detail. When GLOCK released their MOS line, it appeared like a natural evolution for the name famous in reliability. Many of us, however, scratched our heads when we sorted through the mounting plates that came with the handgun. The Gen 5 G19 brought with it noticeable upgrades, but the easily bent layer of cast metal expected to secure a red-dot of choice was not one of them. During installation, the OEM plate itself showed a little warping, and to our dismay, had a record of snapping under the stress of firing the handgun. Enter the C&H Precision V4 Defender plate: a polymer replacement with added benefits. 

Glock v4 defender

Attention Grabbing

The first installation of an RMR using the parts that shipped with the pistol left a small gap between the rear of the plate and the slide. After a little bit of tinkering, and a not recommended attempt to straightening the slight bend, a somewhat satisfactory installation was achieved. However, even after sighting in the RMR, it did not leave a complete sense of confidence. Upon hearing of a replacement option, there was no question, we had to try it. The sacrificial shroud on the C&H stood out as a minimal bulk with maximum benefit. 

How Does it Work?

Aside from the plate itself, the package contains two sets of star-key screws with corresponding bits, thread locker, steel inserts, and instructions. It is recommended to follow the directions closely, especially details like the torque specs of each step. No OEM screws are used, so put them back where they belong: in that one box where the Great Old Ones dwell. 

C&H precision v4 defender assembly

Thorough Stress Testing

The longer the plate is in use, the more confidence it brings. Upgrades like this tend to be more black-and-white in their evaluation: either they function or they don’t. Fitment onto the G19 was tight, clean, and without complications, gaps, or bends. The first 100 rounds on the range held zero without a problem. After about a half-hour of various drills, draws, and racking the slide off the shroud in 85 degrees Fahrenheit, only once did the various flexing cause the battery to disconnect and the dot to disappear. A re-evaluation of each of the mounting screws showed the problem clearly: user error. Re-adjusting and balancing each of the screws created a tighter, and more even fit across the whole plate. No more problems manifested from that point. 

Each of the smaller details add to the value of the V4 Defender plate. From the box containing not only replacement screws, but thread-locker, and installation bits, to the addition of a sacrificial window frame to protect expensive glass, C&H Precision produced something more reliable than Glock. By gaining deeper screw depth, and replacing the oft-cracking OEM plate with a more enduring option, trust in a mounted optic is restored. Also, the inclusion of a sacrificial shroud adds value to any user: daily carry to heavy use. 

Early Concerns

Even when torqued to spec, and the screw depth is balanced across the platform, the polymer construction allows a very small amount of flex. Minuscule: yes, but still present. When it comes to duty and personal protection, after installation, extra time at the range to confirm proper fitment is necessary, not optional.  

The types of stress such plates endure cannot and should not be replicated in a day. Enter some quote about water gently flowing over time eventually turning a small stream into a formidable river, and you get the point. The on-the-range testing needed to span over a season, and necessarily include consistent every-day-carry wear and tear. We were interested to see if the point of aim would shift over days of continual wear, and dry fire.

Holsters like the Tier 1 Concealment Agis retained the pistol at such an angle that the optic would occasionally bump up against waist-height objects, but kept it away from being continually stressed against the body. Temperatures ranged from high 90's to low 40's Fahrenheit during the testing period, and the C&H Precision V4 Defender retained zero through it all, without need for adjustment.

C&H Precision v4 defender test

In a pass/fail evaluation, the C&H Precision V4 Defender plate earned a definitive victory. The $80 price tag might provoke a wince by those who just opened their wallets for a new pistol, magazines, optic and holster. However, combining multiple recorded issues with the Glock OEM plate, with the protection and security the V4 Defender brings to the table, that cost is more than justified. The value of equipment should never depend on the weaknesses of other options, however. So while pessimists will inevitably complain about the inconvenience of a kit that, out of the box, comes overwhelmingly complete, they might be out of reach for help. C&H Precision threw the Glock MOS an impressive life-line, and we're better off for it.

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