Best Way to Build a Glock on a Budget

As you may know Glocks are termed the “Adult Legos” of the pistol world. This is for good reason. There are countless companies that make aftermarket parts from barrels all the way to trigger pins. If you have spent any time customizing your stock gun or building your own you are well aware that the cost can add up quick. From $600 for a milled slide to $150 iron sights it can get expensive to build a Glock.

Below I brake down every part of my G19 everyday carry build. It is extremely budget-friendly, you can build my exact pistol for under $1000 (not including the pistol itself).

Why Customize?

There are a lot of people out there who criticize anyone who modifies their firearm. They state “it’s a waist of money” or “learn how to shoot without all the bells and whistles”. I would argue that they are wrong. At the same time I understand where they are coming from, to them it may be a waste of time and money. On the other hand I enjoy the sport of shooting. I constantly work towards making myself better, or even just a half second faster. Keep in mind that I started shooting with a stock Glock and learned the fundamentals on that. As I progressed and went through thousands of rounds I thought to myself “there’s got to be a way to get even faster”.

I started doing some research and I quickly became overwhelmed by the amount of aftermarket support for Glocks. So the way I look at it is, if a different trigger or optic makes you a bit faster or makes you enjoy it a bit more then why not?

I don’t have an unlimited income nor did I when I built this pistol, so I wanted to stay on the more affordable side of things. At the same time, I definitely didn’t want to sacrifice quality or safety while doing so. It took me a good bit of shopping around and reading page after page of reviews to narrow down exactly how I wanted to build my pistol. My results are below, so lets jump into it!

Disclaimer: I may be able to buy a cup of coffee if you purchase something from the following links.


As I mentioned in the first paragraph, aftermarket milled slides can reach outrageous prices. This does not mean that you can’t find a moderately priced slide of good quality.

Brownells RMR Cut Slide

I went with the Brownells RMR Cut Slide which is priced very affordably at around $200. Enough great things can’t be said about this slide. I bought it a bit blindly as there aren’t very many reviews out there on this slide, however I was pleasantly surprised. The coating on the slide had zero blemishes and was nearly perfect. The RMR cut is very well milled and fits my Holosun 507c perfectly. I have only run into one issue, the tolerances are bit tight. This can cause unusual wear issues on your barrel depending on what kind you have. I will go into more detail about this in the barrel portion of the build!

Iron Sights and Optic

Depending on the slide you purchase, you will more than likely need to get a set of irons. While there are countless options, I personally love Amerigo as they are very high quality but moderately priced. If you plan on running a red dot sight on your pistol then you need suppressor height sights to be able to co-witness.

The instal is basic. All that is needed is a front sight tool and a rear sight pusher. First start by removing the front sight screw located on the underside of the sight. Then use your sight pusher to simply push the rear sight off. Inverses these steps to put the new sights on, I would recommend using blue Locktite on the front sight screw to ensure it doesn’t come loose.

Iron Sights

Amerigo Suppressor Height Sights

As I do run the Holosun 507c optic on my pistol I did not feel the need to spend extra money on a set of night sights. I went with this basic set that has a perforated front sight post to reduce glare. These sights are 100% metal and very durable, making them a very reliable option.

Ameriglo Cap Night Sight

Before I bought the red dot for my pistol I did go with a set of night sights. Again I went with Ameriglo and they didn’t let me down.

The CAP sights use a Tritium dot on the front with a square of bright photo-luminescent green surrounding it. This allows you to quickly find your front sight post. The rear sight is all black with the exception of a thin bar of the photo-luminescent green so you can quickly line up the square on the front sight post with the bar in the rear.


Holosun HE507C and HE407C

There is a reason this optic has been raved about by so many, terming it the more affordable RMR. With the Holosun HE507C V2, you get front line innovation inside a strong body that will withstand anything you throw at it. I am incredibly impressed with construction of this optic. On top it’s robust body, this optic is loaded with features. The 507C sports three different reticle choices.

A simple 2 MOA dot, a 32 MOA ring only, or a 32 MOA circle with 2 MOA dot (similar to what you would see in an EoTech). There are 12 brightness settings allowing for 50,000 hours of run time on the dot only at setting 6.

Sure there may be other optics that can beat this run time, but Holosun has their shake awake technology. This means that the optic will shut off automatically, and as soon as it feels any movement it will turn back on to the setting you left it at. This feature is a game changer and has never failed me. The HE407C sports all the same features without the two other reticles; it only has the 2 MOA dot. Both the 507C and the 407C have a small solar panel along the top allowing for real-time brightness adjustment (which can be turned off) and for operation without a battery.

On top of all of this, the optic has the same foot print of the Trijicon RMR meaning it will fit in any RMR cut slides! I strongly recommend this optic.


CMC Match Grade Fluted Barrel

Barrel – CMC SS – CMC Triggers are most known for their drop in AR triggers, but have recently entered the Glock barrel game. I have almost a thousand rounds through this barrel and no issues. It is very accurate, but still on par with the stock barrel if not a smidge better. Lets just say this, you won’t out shoot the barrel! A little known fact about most aftermarket Glock barrels is that they are all made in the same place. Apart from two that I know of that make theirs in-house, CMC and Faxon Firearms.

I did run into one issue with the TiN coated barrel that I bought before the stainless steel version. I was getting quite a bit of wear on the top side of the barrel. This is to be expected over time but this was only after about 100 rounds. So I did some digging around and found that the issue was not with the barrel at all, it was the slide. As I said earlier, I found one issue with the Brownells slide: the tolerances are very tight. The tight tolerances caused the barrel to fit really snug but also caused the pre-mature wear.

With all this said I have to give props to CMC’s customer service. I reached out to them and told them of my issue, and they sent me out a new barrel the next day. I requested that they send me a SS barrel instead and they happily obliged. Keep in mind they had zero of my billing information apart from my address. All they did was ask that I send the first one back. I can’t speak higher of their customer service.


I currently do not have an aftermarket trigger in my pistol, so I can’t give a first hand testimony about the following triggers. With this said I have done quite a bit of research to narrow down which trigger I will be putting in my firearms in the near future. These triggers not only look good, but operate flawlessly and do not jeopardize safety.

Apex Tactical

Overwatch Precision Tac Trigger

Grip Work

There are quite a few companies that you can send your frame off to in order to get stipple work done. However you will be charged a premium, most starting around $400. I opted to not go this route and instead to just do it myself. I bought a wood burning pen and got to work. The stippling itself was pretty easy, just a bit time consuming. The tough part was the outline, I tried a method using the wood burning pen with a narrow tip. This worked to an extent, the outline was deeper in some areas and not so much in others. I would recommend using a Dremel instead. I went back over my outline with the Dremel and it came out much better!

Here is the wood burning pen that I used!

You can go this route or you can get Talon Grips. This is simply grip tape that is made specifically for your model of pistol. It is a very affordable option and a lot easier than the previous two options.

Miscellaneous Parts


I am running stock Glock internals simply because they work and are reliable! The only thing that I have done is polish the trigger bar and safety plunger. This allows for a smoother trigger pull.


Sticking with the budget theme I went with the Magpul option. On top of it only being around $25 it is on the moderate side of Magwells being that it is slim. Due to this, I am able to put a magazine in without snag and still not print while carrying. If you want something a bit more aggressive I have some other great options in the “Worthy Contenders” section.

Magazine Release and Extended Basepads

Tyrant CNC Magazine Release

There isn’t much to say other than it works really well. Some other options tend to hang up on the magazine causing it to not drop freely.

Zev +5 Basepad 

Tyrant CNC Slide Cover Plate

Worthy Contenders

I did not mention this above because I built off of my existing frame. However, Polymer80 is a great option to build a Glock and save even more money! This could have saved me at least $400 so it is worth checking out.

Trijicon RMR Type II

Although more expensive then the Holosun 507C, the RMR is always a go-to. The RMR is extremely rugged and has worn the crown for pistol optics for years.

Rival Arms A1 Doc Slide

Agency Arms Magwell

Agency Arms LLC Threaded G19 TiN Barrel

ZEV Pro Match G19 Barrel

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Leave a Comment Below!

If you know of better parts to build a Glock that you think I should consider please let me know down below!