U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- There are more aftermarket parts for Glocks than you can shake a stick at. Many of them are simply aesthetic choices, with a few being legitimate changes of function. Even then, separating the wheat from the chaff can be a challenge. Outside of different sights and maybe a weapon light, I typically keep my carry guns stock, betting on factory reliability instead of a hodgepodge of aftermarket parts.
But sometimes things catch my eye, and other times a change in technique creates concerns with OEM parts that lead me to look elsewhere for components. After changing my support hand grip through feedback from Steve Fisher of Sentinel Concepts, I found my slide no longer locked open on empty. This wasn’t a huge problem, but also not something I prefer. Looking for a solution, I came upon the Kagwerks extended slide release and installed my first sample in January 2022. How has it performed over the past several months?
Kagwerks Extended Glock Slide Release: Design
The Kagwerks slide release looks odd but extremely simple in design. It is simply an extended slide release, working in the same manner as any other, just in a slightly different location. The flared portion of the release is dog-legged upward and rearward to ensure it does not interfere with your support hand when using a modern, high grip technique. This means that even with an aggressive grip, your gun should still lock open on empty. The shelf on the release has also been enlarged, putting even an OEM G34 release to shame, ensuring positive manipulation when needed.
My examples are for Gen4 Glocks. However, Kagwerks does make ambidextrous versions for those with Gen5 pistols. There is also support for slimline Glocks such as the G48 and G43X. I haven’t had an opportunity to interact with slimline or Gen5 versions, but I imagine they are comparable to my two examples.
I won’t go through the details here, but installation is a breeze. I installed my Kagwerks release with just a punch after watching a quick Youtube video. There are no special considerations here, as it installs just like any other side release. To date, I’ve installed two of these releases on separate guns, and both went in equally easily. The non-mechanically inclined have no need to worry here.
Real World Use
Since installing my two Kagwerks releases, I have fired 1,938 total rounds between the pair. This is a combination of 1,233x rounds with a Glock 19 and 705x rounds with a Glock 34, each with their own Kagwerks extended slide release. The rounds fired are as follows:
- 5x Browning 115gr FMJ
- 30x Wolf 115gr Steel Case FMJ
- All G34
- 50x On Target 115gr FMJ
- 90 Blazer Brass 115gr FMJ
- 390x Speer Lawman 115gr FMJ
- 50x with G34
- 60x Blazer Brass 124gr FMJ
- 106x Aguila 124gr FMJ
- 300x Magtech 124gr FMJ
- 760x Federal American Eagle 124gr FMJ
- 135x with G19, 625 with G34
- 100x Winchester NATO 124gr FMJ
- 32x Federal HST 124gr JHP
- 15x Speer Gold Dot 124gr +P JHP
These releases were on my guns during FPF Training Street Encounters, Gunsite 250 Pistol, along with regular range time and competitive shooting. In total, I experienced zero stoppages or other issues attributable to the Kagwerks extended slide release during this time. I was concerned that they could cause problems in certain compressed shooting positions, but this has not materialized, even when deliberately trying to cause problems.
One issue I’ve found is that the Kagwerks extended slide release can impact holster compatibility. The position and size of the shelf can interfere with the sweat guard of your holster, pressing them outwards and potentially impacting the comfort and longevity of the guard. This has not prevented me from holstering my gun, nor does it slow the draw, but it is something to note. This has been the case with over a dozen holsters in my inventory across several manufacturers. Shooters can either deal with the minor issue or modify their holster to prevent interference. There are no compatibility issues with any of my duty style holsters, including the Safariland 6354DO and 6360RDS, nor the Alien Gear Rapid Force or Blackhawk T-Series L2C.
Final Thoughts on the Kagwerks Extended Glock Slide Release
Is the Kagwerks slide release for everyone? No, I don’t think so. Does it make a positive difference for me? Yes, most definitely, and I plan on using these on all of my Glocks moving forward. If you are experiencing issues with your grip interfering with the proper locking open of your pistol, give this part a look. Installation is a breeze, and reliability remains unaffected, with a slight performance enhancement for my particular use.
MSRP on the Kagwerks Extended Glock Slide Release is $49.00 at the time of this writing for Gen4 releases. Gen5 and Slimline Glock extended releases run $54 and $52, respectively. You can find them available now on the Kagwerks website.
About Dan Reedy
Dan is an Air Force veteran, avid shooter, and dog dad. With a passion for teaching, he holds instructor certifications from Rangemaster, Agile Training & Consulting, and the NRA. He has trained with Darryl Bolke, Mike Pannone, Craig Douglas, among several other instructors, amassing over 400 hours of professional instruction thus far. In his spare time you’ll find him teaching handgun, shotgun, and less lethal classes.