Many years have
passed since a guy walked up to me at a USPSA match and sold me a
crude brass heelweight for the Glock with a sort of extension on the
end. (He had them in a Ziplock baggie.) He sold one to me, and to other
shooters that were trying to shoot USPSA/IPSC with the
hard-recoiling, light-for-caliber Glock 22.
The part helped with
recoil, but the way he had it set up, it actually made the gun
speedload worse than the stock gun (sort of the way the copycat
“Slug Plug” does now). I laid some epoxy onto mine, re-shaping it so
it would work, and waited for the commercial version to come out. I
waited a year or two. The guy with the baggie disappeared, and
eventually I decided to make one myself.
That was the start of
“Taylor Freelance.” I was living in Ballard, Wash., shooting just
outside of metro Seattle. The resulting parts looked alarmingly like
a banana slug (a yellow snail without a shell common to the
Northwest), so we started
calling them a “Seattle Slug.”
The Slug was the only
really viable magazine guide available for the Glock at the time,
and was instantly popular with the small slice of competitors using
the Glock in USPSA/IPSC nationwide.
I designed the part
as a compromise between a “competition” part, and a “tactical” part.
Originally I’d intended to do a concealment part (like the Jentra
butt caps available now), but the Seattle Slug worked so well, I
couldn’t see making ANOTHER part to do the same thing.
WHY DO I WANT ONE?
lightweight polymer frame offers the shooter a compromise. The light
weight makes it easy to carry, but absorbs very little recoil, and
offers no significant weight to balance out the relatively heavy
slide. As you run out of ammo, the Glock’s recoil signature changes,
becoming very “whippy” in the hand. The lack of weight in the frame
also makes the gun (rather famously) prone to “weak wrist”
malfunctions. The recoil-operated action needs to recoil against
something in order to work, and if you don’t hold on and let it
recoil against you, the entire gun will move rearward instead of
just the slide.
The slug provides
extra weight to absorb recoil, counterbalance the weight of the
slide, and give the gun a little something extra to work against
before the gun recoils into your hand. It’s also an effective
magazine guide, letting you load off the back of the magwell instead
of aiming for the front (to avoid hooking the rim of the topmost
cartridge into that gaping hole at the back).
The slug is no wider
than the frame of the gun, and protrudes only slightly beyond the
length of the installed magazine. Since it works off the back of the
gun only, you can use stock magazines and seat them properly without
the extensions required by competition parts. Just as important, you
can reach up and strip out a stuck magazine without having to reach
up inside a steel ring to grab an extension with your fingertips (as
you would with a competition part).
It conceals well,
reloads well, and calms the recoil down considerably.
HOW WELL DOES IT
The Slug works so
well in that compromise role that it’s now the only part
banned BY NAME by both USPSA and IDPA for use in their “Production”
and “Stock Service Pistol” divisions.
It’s issued by Lake
Forest Park P.D. (near Seattle), and is a popular accessory with
members of King County Sheriff (Seattle again) where it’s endorsed
by their chief firearms instructor, Darrion Holiwell.
The instructor at
Lake Forest P.D. called us a while back to report that thanks to the
slug and some of our solid brass floorplates, one of his female
officers was able to up-gun and qualify with their issue .40 caliber
Glocks, rather than the less-powerful 9mm.
As a guy that likes
designing parts for guns, I couldn’t ask for a happier story than
While I understand
using a competition-only magwell for competition purposes, the
Seattle Slug holds its own at the matches, particularly if you’re
running a large-frame gun. Robert Vogel has won the USPSA Limited-10
National Championship twice using a Seattle Slug, and my friend Patrick Kelley continues to
campaign with a Seattle Slug in his Glock 21 (winning the USPSA
“Heavy Metal” 3-Gun title in 2007), as do a number of others --
including 3-Gun whiz Robert Romero.
I use one in my G21
for bowling pin shooting in particular, where I team it with our
brass floorplates (a la that gal at Lake Forest P.D.) to get the
most control over those hot .45 ACP handloads.
The main complaint
we’ve heard over the years pertains to the slug’s color: shiny
brass. We offered these parts in black-anodized aluminum for a
while, but without the weight, it wasn’t particularly popular (you
can get a serviceable plastic part for less).
and a crew of testers at King County Sheriff did some experimenting
with sample parts done in “Graphite Black” and “Black Mag II.” After
several months of experimenting, we adopted "Graphite Black" as the
standard. It does a remakable job blending with the slightly
grey-black color of the pistol.. King County got them first, and
have been regular customers ever since.
--- Robin Taylor