The Glock pistol has been around for over 30 years now and has taken the world by storm in that time. I remember when the Glock first arrived and I thought “that is an ugly pistol”. Well it still isn’t the prettiest but there is no doubt about the reliability of the pistol, it’s ugly but it works. Glock has long touted that the perfection of their pistol and for the most part I agree. With that being said there is always room for improvement.
After its introduction in the 1980’s slight modifications have been made to the Glock family of pistols from the factory, changing with the times and technology. The most notable over the years is the addition of a rail on the front dust cover allowing the mounting of lights, lasers and so on. And the newest Gen 4 models with interchangeable grip inserts, allowing flexibility in the size of the grip. Well, enter TangoDown and Vickers Tactical. I think everyone knows of Vickers Tactical and Larry Vickers, Former Special Operations Soldier, Instructor, and Pistol Smith Extraordinaire. And most readers will recognize the name TangoDown. TangoDown has been making quality AR parts such as Vertical Fore Grips, Bipods, Magazines, Rail Covers and their Battle Grip. Well, now they have started making parts for the Glock in conjunction with Vickers Tactical. As with all their previous undertakings, these parts are not just for show they are actually well thought out and functional.
First up is their new Magazine release, I have always thought the original factory release is a little on the dinky side and while not difficult to engage it does require me to shift my grip a little more than I like. I tried replacing that with the extended version provided on the competition models that proved to be too long and I would accidentally hit it while in the holster and unseat the magazine, which is not good. I tried using some aftermarket types back in the 90’s and they never worked right and were too complicated made for competition not carry. The button was always too big. Enter the new TangoDown\Vickers Tactical magazine release. The TangoDown\Vickers tactical magazine catch splits the difference between the standard factory and extended versions and it is perfect. It is not so long that it disengages while in the holster and is not short enough that you have to shift your grip so much to engage the standard one. They are available for both GEN 3 and GEN 4 Glocks as well as the 9\40 frame size and the 45\10 frames, as well as a few different colors to match the special edition runs that Glock makes. I’ve been running these on my Glocks for a couple years now and have had zero complaints.
The next place up for improvement is the slide stop. Again, Glock has 2 versions the original which is small and hard to get at, and their extended version which is too long. I have always preferred the smaller one due to the fact that the way I hold the gun I sometimes would inadvertently hit the extended version while I was shooting, not so much hitting it up and locking the slide back but having my thumb holding it down and not allowing it to lock the slide back on an empty Magazine. Once again TangoDown\Vickers Tactical comes thru again. Their new Slide Stop is just a little bigger and extends out just a little bit allowing positive engagement. It doesn’t extend back toward the shooter and is a perfect size. I have also found that when I am doing administrative things such as unloading it is easier to lock the slide to the rear with the new slide stop from TangoDown.
The next piece I want to talk about is the newest to the line. Focusing on functionality brings us to the magazine base plates. I remember back in the mid 90’s I tried using the completion base plates that were made out of brass and aluminum and absolutely hated them, I told myself don’t buy any more of these and leave the factory mags alone. The original factory base plates are functional and I have never experienced a problem with them so when I was contacted by Jeff Cahill the owner of TangoDown and asked if I wanted to try out his new ones, I first asked: “why, do they add rounds?” Jeff told me no and sent me a few to try out. Well, when I received them I was immediately hooked. After replacing my factory base plates with them I went out to the range and started running some drills. As expected all the replacement parts performed flawlessly.
The base plate was designed wider than the factory with scallops on both sides to allow a good purchase on the magazine when removing it from the mag well, it also made it easier to grip the magazine while in the pouch. With the redesigned lip allowed me to get a good purchase on the magazine during malfunction drills and tactical reloads. Also, because the new magazine base plates are a little wider than the factory ones it allowed me to hook the side of the magazine on the holster to rip out the magazine during one handed drills. Overall the newest addition to the Glock parts line is the best. After trying a couple of them out I got on the phone with Jeff at TangoDown and ordered enough to retrofit my entire supply of Glock magazines. And they even come in various colors that match the various colored Glocks as well as Blue for Simunition and orange for Training. One last point on the base plates, I have always marked and numbered my magazines as most people do and the new base plates have small divots molded into them allowing you to use your paint pen and number them. The other great thing is when you buy them they came in a package of 5, 5 being the minimum number of magazines you should have for any pistol in your armory.
The next step was to go out to my agencies range during a qualification and let some other people use my training magazines with the new base plates. Now, this is always the true test and I must be on my toes to make sure I get my stuff back. The last time I took some TangoDown ARC Magazines out to the range I let some guys use them that were having problems with some other companies Polymer AR magazines and the TangoDown Magazines kept inadvertently making their way into other guy’s pouches and the guys were reluctant to give them back. So, with an eagle eye, I kept watch on them and everyone that used them said the same thing, “who makes those” and “where can I get some.”.
Just when I thought that would be the end of the Glock accessories, I received a package containing a new TangoDown\Vickers Tactical part for the Glock. They have designed a grip plug to fill the void in the back strap. First impressions where it looks a little big but after installing it on both my 19 and 17 it is just right. When a magazine is installed it is flush with that. It also has a takedown tool implanted in it, so if you are out in the field or range and have to make some repairs you will always have a tool. And you guessed it; it comes in Black, Grey, and Tan to match the different color pistols. Now I have always run a grip plug on my Glocks, to me, it just looks better and this new one from TangoDown\Vickers Tactical is awesome, especially on the 19. It just seems to protrude just enough from the bottom to make the 19 more comfortable, and just looks right. So once again a phone call was put in and an order was placed to retrofit the rest of my Glocks.
I think TangoDown and Vickers Tactical have hit 4 home runs with these new additions, and I haven’t even touched on the pieces they make for the 42/43 series yet but I’m sure those are just as good as the others, I’ll have to wait until I pick one of those up to see. All in all, these are useful and well thought out pieces of gear and I can’t wait to see what is coming next. I’m sure that whatever it is it will be functional and not just something that has no purpose. I have been using TangoDown parts on my AR’s for years and now that they are branching out and making parts for the most popular pistols I keep wondering what is next, and in recent conversations with Jeff I can only say keep watching because there is more to come, and I just saw the next piece which is a tool that is designed to help when changing the Magazine releases, I have always used a small screwdriver so I am interested in seeing this up close and trying it out. I’m sure it’s a top-notch piece of gear, just like all the other pieces. Therefore I say that Perfection has been Perfected with the help of Vickers Tactical and TangoDown.