Gear Review: Unity Tactical ATOM Slide, from military to EDC (VIDEO)
To date, I am not aware of a product that Unity Tactical has released that has been anything other than stellar. The ATOM slide is certainly no exception. The ATOM came into existence when the U.S. military had a requirement to run Aimpoint T1s on Glock service pistols. The problem presented by this need was unique because the T1 mounts with screws from the bottom, so a standard slide cut done in the same way as an RMR cut would not work in this case. Thus the ATOM was born.
It’s a one of a kind system for mounting many optics to the same Glock slide by using specific base plates, which no one was doing at the time, though common enough today. Unity Tactical gave USSCOM customers the ability to use a range of optics. Needless to say, members of USSCOM always love being able to use the right tool for the job, and the ATOM slide was very well received by the military community.
While it was a success for the market it was designed for, any company in the firearms world that wants to stay in business will also sell its products to the civilians, and Unity Tactical has a strong, if niche, place in the US firearms market. You may be asking yourself, what need do I have for a $500 slide made for tip of the spear door kickers, “I’m a banker from Cleveland for God’s sake,” the question still stands, does this expensive slide bring value to everyday carry and range/training/ninja/ whatever your preferred pronoun happens to be, person? Short answer, yes, but the ways in which it does so may surprise you, so let’s get into it.
The ATOM slide comes in black with a DLC coating or flat dark earth with a PVD coating. It has cuts to improve grip while performing manipulations on the front and rear, that are identical to the stock Glock cuts in shape and feel. The ATOM will allow you to turn your Gen 3 or Gen 4 Glock 17 or 19 into a one pistol fits all jobs handgun. It does so with superior engineering, build quality, lifetime warranty — not that you will need it — and essentially limitless options for modifications down the road.
The engineering and build quality is felt as soon as you pick up the ATOM, there are no tool marks to be seen and as you begin to assemble the slide, you’ll notice that the tolerances are a bit tighter than that of Glock. While this does mean that it may take 100 rounds or so to break in the slide, you will benefit from increased accuracy straight away, even with the stock Glock barrel.
This is to say nothing of the impressive improvement if you use an aftermarket match barrel from S3F Solutions like I did. Just for comparison I placed my S3F barrel in my stock slide and shot two five-round groups at 25 yards and then did the same with the ATOM slide and S3F barrel and the group with the ATOM slide was more than 1-inch tighter. Next the ATOM lets you run any optic you want, without having to pull the slide off the gun or take it apart. Just remove the base plate, and put the new plate with the new optic on. Done!
You can even retain zero between optics as long as you leave it mounted to the base plate after zeroing. So theoretically, if your mission dictated different optics, you can switch to suit your purposes in a matter of minutes. Finally, the ATOM is a full weight slide, and this means it has a much material as a stock Glock slide. This will allow you, if you so choose, to have it milled to fit your personal needs or tastes. And while this would be an additional expense, it does mean that you can have all the benefits of the ATOM system, and still make the slide even more custom, which a lot of people love to do.
The bottom line
So you may be saying, I can do lots of useful and neat things with the ATOM slide, and it will run better and more accurately than my stock slide, but it’s still a $500 slide for an at most, $500 pistol. Well, this is true, and if you can’t swing the money, then at the end of the day, this slide is not for you. However, if you recognize that quality cost more, and you believe that your life is worth a little more money, then I suggest that you embrace the “buy once, cry once” mentality.
I have had the opportunity to shoot a lot of custom and optics ready slides for Glocks in my time, and NOT ONE, including Glocks own factory MOS system, comes close to what Unity Tactical has managed to build. It fits better, runs better, shoots better, and accommodates more optics, while retaining different optics zeros. I will be keeping it on my G19 as my everyday carry pistol, and I highly encourage you to take a hard look at this unique slide. Sure it’s not cheap, but you’re worth it.
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