Editorial More Aftermarket than OEM: KE Arms Glock Dave Merrill September 9, 2016 Despite what many companies would have us believe, I don’t think there’s a Glock trigger that’s “just like a 1911.” But the overall guns themselves are rapidly becoming very much like a 1911, in that you can build one with virtually no original parts at all. Aftermarket slides have been around for years and there have been several aftermarket frames (some being more successful than others). Most recently KE Arms even announced the availability of some additional small parts and pieces. It’s been said in the past (with some accuracy) that the easiest way to make a Glock not run is to add aftermarket parts. While there may be some truth to that, that very general statement held more weight back before quality options were available — which they now are. Still, you should probably at least have an inkling of what you’re doing before randomly shaking together a hodgepodge of parts to assemble that Frankenglock. Having said that, I had to put a KE Arms Glock together for myself. I’ll point out that while there are some original parts, the frame itself being the main one, the bulk of this “build” all came from KE Arms. Let’s start with the sexiest part: the slide. Pictured is the KE Arms Bravo Slide. They have several different slides available, and I suppose you could call the Bravo the middle of the pack. There’s not quite as much pretty machining as you’ll see on the Charlie or Delta slides, but there is an RMR cut for running optics and forward serrations (if you’re into those sorta things), which their basic Alpha does not have. KE Arms ships each Bravo Slide with a cover plate and screws should you decide you don’t want to run an RMR and they also include an RMR sealing plate. The latter is a nice touch as I’ve regularly had to purchase them separately. The slide comes stripped sans a channel liner so you’ll have to either acquire new slide internals or rob them from an existing slide. Removing the cover plate reveals a lack of recoil bosses for the RMR itself, which will absolutely be a deal breaker for some. I called up KE Arms and asked about this and they said they instead opted to make the channel for the RMR extremely tight. Due to variation in some RMR bodies themselves, this means that you might have to lightly file the back end of the RMR cut for proper fit. My RMR installed (I opted for an RMR01) snugly. I can’t yet report back (yet) on the longevity of this mounting arrangement, however. You’ll also have to procure your desired sights. With an RMR I greatly prefer plain black-on-black sights in “suppressor height” so they’ll roughly cowitness. Of course there’s more than just slides. I also installed a KE Arms curved Carry Trigger. This wide aluminum-shoed trigger when used in conjunction with a factory Glock ‘minus’ connector smooths out the trigger pull and breaks right at 4lbs per my scale. Triggers, like sights, can be hugely personal. Some people like flat, light triggers (KE Arms carries those), others want curved, et al. Just a quick Google search for ‘Glock trigger’ will gift thousands of results of people detailing their magic spring/connector voodoo. I found the KE Arms an improvement over the factory pull, but I wouldn’t call it my favorite. When the trigger was first installed and the gun shot dry, there was a little hangup of the slide during reset. The trigger bar was rubbing on the plunger. To fix this problem on the range I simply lubed the hell out of the gun and shot it more. Later on at home I lightly polished the point of friction and it’s been AOK since. You shouldn’t even dip a toe into the aftermarket game if you’re unwilling or unable to address any potential issues. An item that I thought I wouldn’t like was the KE Arms magwell. Though traditionally for gun gaming, low profile magwells are seen more and more on carry and duty guns. KE Arms carries both Big Mouth Billy Bass competition sized ones and smaller ones. I opted for the carry sized. Ostensibly a magwell is for speeding up magazine changes in case you miss the mark during a reload, but that’s not what I liked about it. When installed it aids in keeping your shooting hand high on the grip. Since this part includes the use of screws, be sure to use some thread locker lest you inadvertently lose a magwell. KE Arms says that it works with Glock base pads and most magazine extensions. It did work just fine with factory mags, Taran Tactical pads, Henning Group extensions, and KE Arms pads but I don’t have the full selection of the aftermarket. Did I just say KE Arms pads? Yes. KE Arms manufactures both +2 and +5 extensions for fullsize Glock 9/40 magazines. Though not specifically designed for 19-sized magazines, they can still be installed. Just like with TTI basepads, because of the different magazine body-base angle they don’t recommend them for that use. But of course, I did it anyway. [As you can see this photo was taken before I installed the iron sights] They were perfectly functional in this role, but without an extra locking mechanism to ensure the pad stays on when dropped or otherwise abused, they’re going to stay as range use only. KE Arms continues to expand their line of products not just for Glocks but also ARs, shotguns, and Hk-type weapons–and we can probably expect to see further lines in the near future. In the meantime, I’ll continue shaking these parts out. You can visit KE Arms online here. 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