We have all seen these and some of you reading this may have them. The laser etched or engraved Slide Cover Plate:
On the surface these accessories add a bit of custom flare to an otherwise common pistol. Some people use them to convey a message like “I’m a bad ass”, “I’m a pirate”, “I’m cool”, “I like kittens”, etc. Some of them have unit logos or the American flag. All that is cool but are there any negatives? What could be negative about personalizing my blaster? Lets look at the OEM part.
The OEM part is pretty benign, plastic molded over stamped metal with serrations. Why serrations? Often times when serrations are integrated into a design on a gun it is for one or both of two reasons: to provide grip and reduce reflection. The serrations on slides, mag releases, slide stops, etc are all made to ensure a solid grip whereas serrations on sights, the top and rear of slides is commonly used to cut down on reflection when shooting in full daylight. The take away is that the OEM part is designed to be easy to grip for removal/installation and potentially non-reflective so it is not distracting to the shooter. Adding a decorative part is counter to that. While it may not be noticeable by some it likely will be by others. The decorative part is most likely to be viewed each time the gun is brought up on target as it sits just under the rear sight.
Years ago, I was taught that in medicine there a three general dispositions to any action: Good, bad, neutral or no change. I have applied this analytical tool to many other areas of life. Taking a critical look at these parts tells me that on a working gun at best they add nothing to the function of the gun and at worst they potentially distract the shooter when the sights are brought on target.
Take away: Take a hard look at any gun mods before moving forward. If you have one of these on your gun decide if it is right for you but keep in mind the points made here. I am not condemning them but you won’t see them on my guns.
Until next time, stay sharp.