How to Build a Gucci Glock that Actually Works (PSA Dagger Best Upgrades)

How to Build a Gucci Glock that Actually Works (PSA Dagger Best Upgrades)

Keith CRACKSHOT.TV 1 Comment

The Problem with “Gucci” Glocks

Everyone who frequents the range has seen this sight before. Some poor employee with a hammer (quite possibly very unsafely) is railing on a glock clone in the back trying to unstick a locked up slide from a frankenstein of a glock clone with steel case ammo.

The internet scoffs at these people “what is that glockenstein monstrocity”, “I think I just threw up a little”, “why would you ruin a good design”. “Two words, Glock perfection”, “Bubba no”.

But here’s the deal guys, I love building not a glock clones. Its fun. I have thousands of rounds through some of my not a glock clones. But there is a right and wrong way to build them. If you’re a tinkerer, it ends up being a labor of love. I have stock glock pistols, and I also have my not a glock pistols. In this video, I’ll share all my experiences on how to build a reliable not a glock.

If you aren’t already subscribed, please subscribe to my youtube channel as next week we’ll be building a competition worthy Glock 34 from the frame up. This week though, we’ll be building a not a glock 19.

How to Choose a Glock Frame

Let’s start with what frame to use. We aren’t going to cover the privately made firearm route in this video, mainly because they require a lot more tinkering and can be more difficult to get running reliably. Building with a serialized manufactured frame is way easier. So for this video, I will cover mainly third party manufactured, serialized frame options. If you go this route, you will still be filling out an ATF Form 4473, only for a frame / receiver instead of a pistol, which goes through the same NICS background check, so it’s no different than buying a complete pistol through an FFL.

Let me know if I missed any options, but your options are basically:

  • OEM Stripped Glock Frames (usually out of stock, or exorbitantly highly priced), although I got this Glock 17 stripped frame for $90
  • Polymer80 Stripped serialized frames
  • Palmetto State Armory’s Dagger Frames
  • SCT Glock 19 Compatible Frames
  • Combat Armory Glock 19 Compatible frames

There are certainly many, many more, but these are by far the most common. It’s also worth mentioning that there’s way more options for the Glock 19 than 17.

Your choice is going to vary based on a few factors. OEM is obviously the ideal, but they’re expensive. Polymer 80 frames aren’t compatible with Glock holsters, but the frame is popular enough that there’s enough after market support out there. Some people like these frames better than stock though.

The PSA Dagger Frame is the Ideal Foundation to Build a Glock Clone around

Palmetto State Armory’s Dagger frame is often on sale for crazy cheap. Its not uncommon to see the complete frame with hardware on sale for $50-60, or its very frequently bundled with stripped lowers for $100. PSA also makes this frame in a variety of colors including Sniper Grey, FDE, and OD Green. The PSA Frame in my experience is compatible with many, but not all, glock holsters.

The PSA Frames also uses proprietary pins, which can make changing the trigger out a little bit of a pain.


PSA Dagger Complete Compact Frame (Black)

This complete frame has everything you need as a foundation to build around for your Glock 19 build. It’s basic, but its a great framework for building a pistol that meets your exact specifications and needs.

So if you’re on a budget PSA is a good option.


PSA Dagger Full Size Frame (FDE)

Alternatively, if you want to build a Glock 19X Clone, the PSA Dagger full size frame accepts Glock 17 pattern magazines. Keep in mind, you won’t be able to use Glock 19 magazines with this setup, but its an interesting option for those with large hands or who want a full size option with compact slide.

Customizing the Frame

Frame Stipple and Painting

In my case, I chose the black frame, because I wanted to two tone this build. I dremeled the frame to shape it how I wanted, removing the stock finger nub, and hand stippled the frame with an accelerator cut, which I have a step by step tutorial on how to do in another video. Next I used Brownell’s alumahyde epoxy paint to get the two tone effect, and I ran it through a tight holster several times to make it look battle worn.

Adding an Extended Magwell

The PSA frames also have limited aftermarket magwell support. Because of the frame curvature, it isn’t compatible with standard Glock 19 magwells. Instead, I purchased this magwell from GG Magwells. It’s an excellent magwell. Just be sure that if you do purchase this, that you get the correct magwell (there is a difference between the Dagger Full frame and Dagger Compact frame).

GG Magwell for Dagger Compact Frame

Make sure to get the correct magwell for either full or compact frame daggers

Replacing the Trigger

I replaced the stock trigger with an overwatch precision defensive applications trigger, which uses a polished Glock OEM trigger bar. I also replaced the rest of the fire control parts with OEM glock, as I had some trouble with incompatibiltiy over time with the stock PSA dagger frame components and the OEM glock trigger bar. That said, I love this setup for a defensive / home defense / combat pistol.


Overwatch Precision Defensive Applications Trigger

The Defensive applications trigger has a polished OEM trigger bar, so it’ll be smoother than OEM but won’t contribute to a change in trigger pull weight (ideal for home defense as you don’t want your trigger to be too light). The flat face however is a lot more comfortable to shoot with in my opinion, and this trigger has a great reset.

Selecting a Weapon Mounted Light

I’ve also attached a Streamlight TLR-1 HL for my weapon mounted light, which I’ll be doing a review video on in the future. A home defense gun absolutely needs a flashlight. It’s also a good idea to choose an option that has both high lumens and high candella. The TLR-1 HL won’t disappoint.


Streamlight TLR-1 HL

With high lumens, great throw, great design and great holster comaptibility, the TLR1 HL is a great option for home defense.

Keep the Slide PSA Dagger OEM

The slide is a stock FDE PSA dagger slide. It really isn’t worth buying a different after market slide considering that the Dagger slides are so affordable (complete with parts kit installed). The dagger slides come in a wide variety of colors and finishes. They also are designed to work flawlessly out of box with the dagger frame (other after market versions may have more of a break in period to get running properly on the dagger frame). The dagger slides can’t be beat on price. Mine shipped with RMR cut and Ameriglo suppressor height sights.


Dagger Slide Complete w/ RMR Cut (Black)

Palmetto State armory makes a wide variety of slides, so be sure to hit the link but shop around for a combination that works best for your needs.

Upgrade with Ameriglo Night Sights

Most of the upgraded dagger frames already include ameriglo supressor height sights out of box, one has to simply swap the front sight with an ameriglo night sight if you wish to have a solid night stand gun. This can save you money versus buying a complete sight set. This way, if my optic was down, I’d still be able to use the irons in low light for home defense.


Ameriglo Night Sights

Ameriglo Night sights are durable and are great quality. The tritium is the right brightness for home defense contexts. They are also very affordable as compared to other brands, so they make an ideal upgrade for a budget build around the PSA Dagger.

Optic of Choice

I used to run a Holosun 507C on this setup, but I’ve since moved that to my Glock 34, and I’m planning to actually get my Glock 26 cut for RMR and move it over to that pistol. Instead, I got a great deal on a 407K, which is obviously the wrong footprint, but it was cheap and it came in FDE.


Holosun 407K

I ended up going with this model as I had one on hand that was matching FDE to my particular build. You’d probably want to use an RMR footprint optic though.

RMR to 507K Adapter Plate

I used a RMR to 507K adapter plate, which I really like because this plate adds recoil lugs. You can really tamper the plate down tight to the slide, and then mount the 507K down to the plate. I really like this setup for defensive use as the 407K’s 6MOA dot is really easy to pick up and precision isn’t the point of this pistol.


RMR to 407k/507k Conversion Plate

Conversion plate for converting an RMR pattern slide to 407K/507K footprint. This is useful if you have a smaller Holosun 407K handy on hand like I happened to have, especially if you want a 6MOA dot for home defense.

Keep the barrel stock PSA

The barrel is a stock dagger barrel. I’ve experimented with multiple after market barrels and I ended up just throwing the stock barrel back in as it was the most reliable in cycling with the dagger slide.

I ran extended slide and mag releases for a while, but had problems and went back to stock

I used to run an extended slide release on the dagger, as well as an extended magazine release, but I kept finding that the extended slide release and mag release would interfere with the grip of my support hand. It isn’t hard to find the slide release on this gun, nor is it hard to press the magazine release, so I think for a combat pistol these upgrades don’t make sense. I’ve actually removed extended slide releases from all my guns, in my opinion there is no reason to keep them.

Should you get a compensator?

I also used to run a griffin armament micro compensator on this gun but I’ve also since removed that. I honestly didn’t find any reduction in recoil so I just put the standard thread protector back on and am probably going to sell this thing.

I have also experimented with an Agency Arms 417 compensator, but I had quite a few issues with it not cycling unless I used 147 grain 9mm ammo. This was a deal breaker for me.

I do have plans to try the Radian ramjet + afterburner as I’ve heard great things about that particular setup, so I’m hoping to do that sometime in 2024.


So overall that is my custom “not a glock” Dagger. I kept finding that I was going back to stock internals, and most of the modifications were novelties.

You can still come up with a somewhat personalized glock clone, but don’t throw a million different brands onto the thing, as this is what causes not a glocks to become unreliable. Pick a platform, and keep the parts simple and as close to stock as possible. You’ll be absolutely fine and you’ll end up with a quality pistol that is duty reliable.

Join the Conversation


  1. Thanks for the platform to express my version of what works for me as far as upgrades to my Dagger Elite.
    A PSA Dagger SW 1 Cut Slide FDE With a Threaded Barrel
    PSA Black Complete Frame
    The Wheaton Arms Elite Pro Carry Trigger Assembly
    The Vortex Venom Doctor Cut Version
    The HCDG Compensator For The PSA Dagger
    The Herrington Arms Magwell For the PSA Dagger Compact
    The O-Light 300 To 800 Lumens Pistol Light Green Laser Combo
    The Werkz M6 IWB / AIWB Holster For Glock 19 with O-Light Baldr S or Mini, Right or Left Hand Black.
    These are my recommendations for the PSA Dagger

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