I Carry: Glock G45 MOS Pistol with Sightmark Red Dot Sight in a Blackhawk Holster

posted on August 7, 2020

Firearm: Glock G45 (9mm) MOS (MSRP: $699) 

There’s actually two interesting things about the Glock G45 MOS in 9 mm. First is the configuration, with a G19-length slide and G17-size grip. Despite this being the same concept as the decades-old Colt Commander, many in the gun community were confused, noting that the reverse is more often sought as a concealed-carry option. Putting a shorter grip on a full-size slide - pairing a G19 frame with a G17 slide, for example - puts less grip outside the waistband while the easier to-conceal slide offers a longer sight radius and more barrel for increased velocity. 

The second thing is, of course, the MOS adaptation on the slide. Cut for a series of plates, Glock’s MOS line allows a wide variety of red-dot sights to be attached to one pistol. This is a fantastic way of trying out a variety of different optics, or changing platforms as circumstances dictate. Given the small difference in price between the standard G45 and the MOS variant, if you’re even the slightest bit interested in adding a red-dot sight down the road it’s worth getting the MOS. If you never get into dots you’re not out a lot of money, nor are you limited in what you can buy like you would be if you got a slide with a specific cut. The only downside is that the red dot will sit a tiny bit higher on the frame than in a dedicated cut. 

As for the gun, well, it’s a Gen5 Glock. There’s not a lot to say that hasn’t been said before. The trigger is arguably the best factory trigger Glock has put out, there are four different backstraps to fit the G45 to the shooter’s hand, it comes with four different optics-mounting plates and takes standard G17 magazines. Cocking serrations, also a first for Glock, grace the muzzle end of the slide, which houses a 4-inch barrel, a whopping half-inch shorter than the standard G17. In a pistol, a half-inch of barrel length isn’t going to translate into a lot of lost velocity for 9 mm, but still test any defensive ammunition to ensure proper expansion. 

Perhaps one of the best things the G45 has going for it is that it can make full use of the entire Glock aftermarket. Any holster that will fit the G17 or G19 will work for it - and there are a lot of them. Triggers, sights, extended levers and safeties; anything that upgrades the standard Glock in either full- or mid-size guise works for the G45. With the full grip of the G17, it’s easy to shoot; with the slightly shorter slide it’s got room for a compensator if one is so inclined. The G45 gives a lot of options, and that’s a great thing. 

Optic: Sightmark Mini-Shot M-Spec FMS (MSRP: $239.99) 

Since we have an optics-capable pistol, we opted to outfit it with a red-dot sight, in this case the Sightmark Mini-Shot M-Spec FMS. Ten brightness settings, auto-shutoff, waterproof to 1 meter; there’s a lot of features packed into this affordable red-dot sight. And, not to sound like a late-night infomercial, but it also comes with two different mounts should you wish to add it to a shotgun or carbine in addition to using the Docter/Burris Meopta mounting profile (Glock MOS plate #1). 

The Mini-Shot M-Spec offers anywhere from 300 to 30,000 hours of run time, depending on brightness setting, and is powered by a single CR1632 battery, which is thoughtfully accessed through the top of the unit. Simple controls on either side of the M-Spec adjust brightness up and down, and also serve to turn the unit off if desired. There’s an awful lot of utility in this affordable red-dot sight. 

Holster: Blackhawk T-Series L3D Light-Bearing RDS holster (MSRP: $169.95) 

The Blackhawk T-series L3D holster is a pretty radical departure from what we normally cover here on “I Carry.” Obviously, our coverage centers on holsters for concealed carry, for which the Blackhawk T-Series quite obviously is not ideal. It’s large, bulky, and heavy - pretty much the opposite of what you want in an EDC rig. So, you’re probably asking, why are we featuring it? 

One of the recurring themes in Shooting Illustrated, both in the magazine and on the website, is the importance of training. Receiving quality training, on a regular basis, is how we get better and spot deficiencies in our abilities and our gear. If you’re taking any sort of close-quarters-combat class, or one that centers on room or house clearing, you know that gear takes a good deal of abuse. A benefit of a holster like the T-Series is that it is built to not only take the abuse, but to protect your pistol from it. In this case, it’s even built to protect the red-dot sight attached to your pistol. 

The T-Series L3D Light-Bearing RDS holster uses the Streamlight TLR-1 or TLR-2 to anchor the firearm, so we’re talking about a complete system: Red dot sight, weaponlight, level 3 retention holster. In operation, the T-Series is simple: Achieve a full firing grip and your thumb naturally falls on the paddle that releases the pistol. Without activating the paddle, the firearm remains firmly locked into the holster. The retention system makes it significantly more difficult for anyone other than the user to retrieve the handgun.

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