By David Crane
david (at) defensereview (dot) com
February 17, 2015
Last updated on 2/22/15.
A small boutique weapons builder called Arsenal Democracy (AD) is currently on a tactical tear, building and customizing combat/tactical pistols and AR (AR-15/AR-10/SR-25) rifle/carbine/SBR’s (Short Barreled Rifles) for military Special Operations Forces (SOF) assaulters/operators, law enforcement SWAT operators, and civilian tactical shooters, but we’re going to start with their new new and very cool AD Blackside modified/customized Glock pistol packages and modifications on customers’ existing Glock pistols and slides, specifically the Glock 17/19/34 9mm and Glock 22/23/35 pistols, two of which DefenseReview (DR) got to view and handle recently in AD’s Sky Suite in the Aria Resort and Casino (Las Vegas) the night SHOT Show 2015 ended (January 23, 2015).
Specifically, we handled an AD Blackside Glock 17 (G17) pistol that was fully customized, and a Glock 19 (G19) pistol that was partially modified/customized. Both guns sported a very distinct AD-signature minimalist-mod overall design aesthetic, right down to their stippling placement and look, but DR was most intrigued by the brand new AD SwiTch (Simplified Weapon Integrated Trigger-Combat/Hard use) drop-in aluminum Glock trigger system on the G17. The unique-looking SwiTch operates like an instant on/off switch when you give it a deliberate pull. You have to try the trigger yourself to really appreciate it. It’s very interesting, and may prove advantageous for fast, accurate shooting in dynamic CQB/CQC (Close Quarters Battle/Close Quarters Combat) environments, like DA (Direct Action) and HR (Hostage Rescue) mission environments, for example. One of the most important aspects of any pistol trigger is its reset, and the SwiTch’s reset is about 1/8″ (1/8 inches), which is nice and short/quick, just as it should be on a high-end aftermarket drop-in Glock trigger. The trigger itself (body AND safe-action safety) is made of 7075 T-6 aluminum. SwiTch trigger pull weight is actually 4.5 lbs, but the “perceived” (i.e., felt) trigger pull is around 3.5 lbs, due to the trigger’s unique mechanics.
According to AD co-founder and COO Dave Pavlick, “Glock Modifications and packages are available immediately. HIR Cerakote is restricted to DoD, but can be substituted for regular, Gen 1 Cerakote for civilian customers.”
DR was told by Pavlick that the Arsenal Democracy SwiTch Trigger “will include the trigger/trigger bar, ejector block, all three precision ground pins and a 3.5lb connector. All factory weight springs are to be used with this package. The geometry has been changed to maximize efficiency; no competition weight springs are necessary to compensate. The trigger has no adjustments to come loose at the worst possible time, it is designed to be exactly where it should be from the beginning. Price point is still up for debate, but it will be under $200, and most likely in the $180 range. This trigger is being ramped up for production right now, so its release and availability will be early this quarter.”
For the AD Blackside Glock pistols, Arsenal Democracy recontour’s the Glock pistol’s grip and trigger guard to enable the end-user to get his/her hand as high up as possible on that grip. This aids in fast, accurate follow-up shots. AD’s signature pistol grip and slide stippling is then strategically placed for both combat applications and ergonomic enhancement for general weapons handling. This, together with the applied all-black coating/finish gives the AD Glock Mod pistols a kind of modernist/minimalist appearance, and belies AD’s lo-pro/low-vis (low-profile)/low visibility) under-the-radar approach to weapons design and development over the last year, since we first saw and photographed their initial tactical AR offerings at the Mission First Tactical (MFT) booth at SHOT Show 2014 (see here and here). At that time, AD was trying to make more of a visual splash for the civilian tactical shooting market with more dynamic combat camo (camouflage) paint schemes) on the guns, as was de rigueur at the time. But it’s a different time now, a brand new year, and AD has a new lo-pro/lo-vis military (SOF)-mission and pure functionality/ergonomics focus. Anyway, every feature on the AD Glock Mod guns, right down to the stippling, reflects this, including the chamfered mag (magazine) release button hole, which makes dropping a mag easier when using a standard factory Glock mag release button. If you want/need an oversized mag release button, AD can do that, too.
Another signature feature of the AD Glock Mod pistols is their employment the Docter Sight III Bronze 3.5 MOA mini red dot combat optic, which at 1″ (2.54 cm) width fits perfectly on the Glock 17/19/34 and Glock 22/23/35 slides, with no overhang. This is a departure from a lot of other pistol customizers, including some big-name pistol manufacturers, who’ve opted for the Trijicon RMR (Ruggedized Miniature Reflex) LED Sight.
While researching the Docter Sight III mini red dot combat optic, we came across this curious page on Docter Sight USA’s “bulletproofing” service, which ruggedizes the sight, presumably specifically for use on pistols. DR’s curious as to why Docter Optics don’t come pre-bulletproofed from the factory in Germany. So, if you don’t get the sight bulletproofed, it won’t hold up? The Docter Sight’s need for “bulletproofing” would seem to indicate an inherent design flaw that should be corrected at the factory (in DR’s opinion), but Arsenal Democracy’s confidence in this optic would suggest they’ve got their own bulletproofing solution, which may have at least partially something to do with the specific and proprietary way they mount it into the slide. Anyway, we’ll try to confirm whether or not the Docter Sights on AD guns are “bulletproofed“/ruggedized.
Although Arsenal Democracy prefers the DOCTER Sight III over the Trijicon RMR for Blackside Glocks, AD’s chosen the Trijicon Glock Night Sight Suppressor Set for the back-up iron sights (BUIS) on their guns, which integrate nicely with the DOCTER Sight’s sight picture, aid fast acquisition of the optic’s red dot, and allow for a good iron sight picture when employing a muzzle can (silencer/sound suppressor). AD places the rear iron sight behind the optic, so as to maximize/optimize the iron sight radius and allow for a cleaner sight picture in front of the the optic.
Regarding suppressor use, AD offers StormLake Barrels (also written Storm Lake Barrels) threaded QPQ barrels for Glock pistols as an option, but since Defense Review hasn’t yet had the opportunity to actually run one of the AD Glock Mod pistols at the range, yet, we can’t yet speak to the StormLake barrel’s accuracy, but with a proper barrel-to-slide fit, we don’t see why the SL barrels would have any issues, since AD simply wouldn’t use them if they did.
While we haven’t yet been able to actually run an AD Blackside Glock 17/19 pistol package at the range yet, DR was really impressed with look and feel of the AD Glock 17 Mod pistol we handled at SHOT, and we really liked the AD SwiTch Glock trigger. It’s a really badass feature. It’s instantaneous to engage, yet heavy enough that we wouldn’t be nervous about employing it on a carry gun with a high-quality holster. That said, due to the SwiTch’s instant on/off nature and liability concerns, DR can’t recommend this trigger for beginning or inexperienced shooters or Glock owners/end-users, since it’s specifically geared for highly-trained, highly-skilled military SOF operators.
From our own initial experience with it, DR believes the AD Switch trigger to be safe for experienced shooters and Glock owners that are at least at the intermediate shooting level, but Law enforcement SWAT operators and civilian tactical shooters will have to decide for themselves if they’re capable of carrying and shooting their Glock pistol safely with the SwiTch trigger installed in it. Fortunately, the SwiTch Trigger is available as a drop-in trigger kit, so you can just drop it in your Glock, and you’re ready to rock…um, we mean test it for yourself. Don’t just drop it in and go (carry or home defense) without testing it at the range to see if its right for you.
We should note that DR also spied an in-house-developed prototype AD Glock Blackside slide in the white while we were examining the guns, and AD has confirmed that they intend to offer their own aftermarket Glock pistol slides in the future. The AD Glock Mod slides will feature AD’s signature geometry and aesthetic. We asked Mr. Pavlick about them, and he told us (edited for OPSEC), “Yes, we are going to be making multiple Glock slides. The one you saw in the white was one of the first prototypes, so you have a keen eye. It was made as a blank canvas with extra material for the Client to inspect and dictate what features they need incorporated. Two of the Tier 1 Unit members that saw it have requested samples sent for testing and evaluation. They currently run Blackside Glock 22 RTF’s with suppressors and cannot modify their existing slides as part of their warranty with Glock. Their CDD has determined that in order for them to effectively run Doctor sights they need separate slides that have been milled to properly co-witness the Doctor with their Suppressor height irons. The finished product will look like the modified Glock we talked about on camera. They want that exact set up. If they choose AD, then they will order XXXX full size and XXXX compact slides in that configuration. They would be the first Unit in SOCOM to completely adapt this style.”
– Complete Disassembly of Pistol
– Slide cut w/45 degree profile and all serrations removed and re-contoured for Aluminum Oxide
– Slide de-greased and Cerakote/Aluminum Oxide is applied and baked in
– Barrel feed throat polished to mirror finish
– Firing Pin and Extractor Depressor Plunger polished to mirror finish
– Maritime Firing Pin cups installed
– Firing Pin Safety modified and polished to mirror finish
– Frame reduced and re-contoured to AD spec, w/finger grooves removed
– Frame/Dust cover straightened
– Full 360 degree micro-stipple applied to complete frame
– Extended Slide Release installed
– Extended Magazine Release installed
– Stainless Guide Rod Assembly polished and installed
– SwiTch Trigger installed
– Night Sights installed
– Doctor Optic cut
– Action Tuned and Test fired with NATO-spec +P ammunition
– Contact for Pricing
– 7075 T-6 Aluminum Trigger body
– 7075 T-6 Glock “Safe Action Trigger” safety
– Oil impregnated Bronze bushing, bearing grade
– Precision Ground pins in conjunction with trigger eliminate lateral movement within the frame
– Glock OEM Trigger Bar, ground and polished by hand to eliminate any metal stamp marks or burrs
– Glock OEM factory weight springs for maximum reliability.
– Patent Pending Trigger angle and geometry improved to maximize leverage
– 4.5lb actual trigger pull (Measured with Lyman Digital Trigger Pull Gauge), 3.5lb perceived trigger pull
– No set screw adjustments to come loose while shooting.
– SwiTch comes complete with: Trigger, Trigger Bar, Trigger Housing w/Ejector, Trigger Spring, 3.5lb Connector , AD Enhanced Firing Pin Safety w/Spring and 3 Precision Ground Pins for complete system replacement.
-Contact for Pricing
Company Contact Info:
48 Commerce Lane, STE 7
Freeport, FL, 32439
Investor Info Email: [email protected]
Press Inquiries Email: [email protected]
Wholesale CS Email: [email protected]
DOCTER® (A Brand of Analytik Jena AG)
98673 Eisfeld | Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 3686 37 1-10 1
Fax: +49 (0) 3686 32-20 37
DOCTER Sight Service
Geräte-Service & Montage
Coburger Strasse 71
98673 Eisfeld | Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 3686 61 59 28
Fax: +49 (0) 3686 61 59 29
Email: [email protected]
49385 Shafer Avenue
P. O. Box 930059
Toll Free: 800-338-0563
Email Contact Page: https://www.trijicon.com/na_en/contact/index.php
Trijicon Military and Law Enforcement Division
925 Corporate Drive
Stafford, VA 22554
5900 Highway 321 N
Lenoir City,Tennessee 37771
Toll Free Orders: 866-392-1654
Technical Support: 865-988-8933
Fax: 865-271-9441 (alternate 865-238-4743)
Technical Support: [email protected]
Domestic Sales: [email protected]
International Sales: [email protected]
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