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Technical Tuesday: Slide Design and Slide Serrations


Do slide serrations really matter? What is the difference between all the slide designs and serrations offered on Shadow Systems slides?


In this Technical Tuesday video, Trevor walks us through the different slide designs and the performance implications of each type of slide serration. 

At Shadow Systems, the machine work we do is “function first,” meaning we don’t add things or do machine work just because it looks cool (it does), but we do additional machine work to our slides because it improves the handling characteristic of the gun. If you compare the newly released MR918 to a stock Glock, you’ll notice huge differences in the amount of machining on the slide. The only thing you have to hold on to on a stock Glock is in the rear, and that can be a bit limiting Bec cause you’re restricted to grabbing in the rear of the slide if you’re manipulating the gun. It also means, if you want to do press checks or any manipulations on the front of the gun, the Glock makes it quite a bit more difficult to do, especially with Glock’s new NDLC finish—it’s really pretty slippery. Compare that to a Shadow slide that has aggressive gripping surfaces anywhere you’re going to want to grab the gun. It’s important to remember, you aren’t just going to be manipulating the gun to load it; there are all kinds of reasons you’ll be manipulating the handgun, from press checks to malfunction clearance drills to slingshotting the slide forward at reload, where you’re really relying upon that gripping surface to improve your handling of the pistol.


But why are slide serrations shaped the way they are shaped? In this video, we review the different Shadow Systems slides and what the design decisions were in creating each slide. In our premium slides—the MR918 Slide, LFT Hybrid Grip Surface Slide, and Optics Ready Slide—there is more machining to create a directional serration. Directional serrations means that the back side of the serration is beveled. This means that when you’re grabbing the slide to rack it, you have a really aggressive sharp surface to grip from, but the backside of the serration, the direction you move when coming out of a holster, is beveled so that you have less friction when you’re moving that way, to prevent snagging. Both the MR918 and LFT Hybrid Grip slides have top serrations as well, for people who like to manipulate the slide from the front, the top serrations can provide a place to really hold onto when manipulating at high speeds. We’ve done something additional to the new MR918 slides by placing the serrations in a pocket on the slide, which makes the slide feel noticeably thinner in that location and helps to give you even more control. This is especially helpful for people who have smaller hands to get a good grip on the gun.

In our more basic slides—the Enhanced Carry Slide and the C.O.P.S. Slide—you’ll see flat cut serrations (non-directional) in both the front and the rear. These flat cut serrations are very common in slides on the market, including the stock Glock slide, however, our flat cut serrations are in both the front and the rear and are also placed at an angle. The angle is not just for aesthetics. When you’re handing the gun, you’re never going to be pulling straight back, so when you’re handling a gun like the stock Glock, with straight serrations int eh rear, you’ll find that your fingers can slip off a bit as you manipulate the slide. Our angled serrations help with preventing your hands from slipping by providing force for your hand to pull against in the natural direction that your hand moves. This is a way to ensure you can fully manipulate the slide.


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