As mentioned in our recent review of the BRG USA BRG9 Elite, expired patents offer us a unique opportunity. A company like Palmetto State Armory can take Glock's expired Gen 3 mechanical properties and spend time and money developing the rest of the gun. This helps bring new products to market quickly and total cost down. The end result, in this case the Dagger, can offer modernizations and improvements to a classic design at a lower price. I purchased this Dagger for review thanks to our Patrons and paid just $299 for a complete pistol. That's less than I paid for some slides back in my days of tinkering with Glocks.
What did PSA change? With time and funds saved from trying to create a functional design, PSA had the luxury of working on aesthetics and human interface. They kept the somewhat limiting Glock magazine design (more on that HERE), but effectively changed every aspect that the shooter interacts with. Yes this is based on the Gen 3 Glock 19, but no it is not a clone by any sense that the shooter feels. Yes it still accepts Gen 3 Glock and aftermarket barrels, slides, and internal parts, but the shooting experience is different.
Frame: While the Dagger's frame (Available separately for as little as $80 HERE) follows the general shape of the Gen 3 Glock 19, it feels completely different in hand. Laser texturing has been used to give it some grip, and the polymer itself feels to be of a different, more modern mixture. Edges have been rounded in all the right places to give it a more molded, less-blocky feel in hand.
Guide Rod: Instead of a lightweight plastic piece which can flex or break (after thousands of rounds), PSA used a steel rod. If you can afford enough ammo to wear out a plastic rod you can afford to replace one, so longevity is not the huge plus here as much as it is the added forward, non-reciprocating weight. That extra ounce or so helps control muzzle flip. This is the same reason you see some YouTubers mount giant flashlights to their guns in daylight videos. Try it, pistols shoot flatter with weight below the slide added. The PSA guide rod adds just 0.5oz, but it's there.
Trigger: It's still basic Glock-like, "dragging a trash can through gravel" but that's easily and affordably altered if desired. The shoe however is the hinged kind of safety (like S&W) instead of the classic Glock safety "dingus" protruding from the middle of the blade. I've heard plenty of complaints about hinged triggers but have yet to see any justification. In my experience they're more comfortable than many blade-type safeties as there's no protrusion to dig into your finger.
Sights: No more fragile plastic with mis-aligned white markings. PSA included steel 3-dot sights of the same footprint. Easy enough to swap for night sights at a later date.
Slide: PSA de-blocked the Glock with some nice stylish cuts that look good and aid in traction when racking. Despite the steel sights, the complete slide (minus barrel and guide rod) weight 0.6oz less than a factory Glock slide. If you'd like to shave more weight PSA has a good-looking slide with holes in it, an RMR cut, and retaining iron sights for less than $200 available HERE. I don't know how PSA is able to offer these at such a low price. That much machine time is not cheap in the US...
Here's a closer look at the overall package:
Specifications for our basic model as taken from the product webpage:
Model: Palmetto Dagger Compact
Action: Striker Fired
Weight: 22.4oz (unloaded)
Overall Length: 7.15"
Overall Width: 1.28"
Overall Height: 4.78" (Without Mag)
Barrel Length: 3.9"
Barrel Material: Stainless Steel
Barrel Finish: DLC Coating
Twist Rate: SAAMI Spec 1:10
Slide Material: Stainless Steel
Slide Finish: DLC Coating
Front Sight: Steel - White Dot
Rear Sight: Steel - White Two Dot
Safety: Striker Block Safety & Trigger Safety
Magazine: Comes with One (1) 15rd Magazine
On the range we had a mix of surprises. I had spent thousands of rounds with a Gen 3 Glock and hundreds of dollars tweaking that gun before I moved on. Teya has never shot a factory Glock and so didn't know what to expect and just reviewed it like any other pistol. I'm glad we were able to review that way because, as stated and shown above, aside from the internal parts design there's not much "Glock" about the PSA Dagger once it's in hand.
The trigger provided no real issues for us, and reliability proved to be as good as expected. We did struggle during the Trigger Control Test (not an easy test to begin with). My first instinct would be to blame the trigger, yet we were able to print the groups shown above just moments later. This emphasizes the value of why we do both the Trigger Control Test and our Practical Accuracy Test. Alone each of the tests would tell a different story. Let us know what you think happened.
Ammunition seen in our Shooting Impressions video was made possible by our Patrons and supporters of our ammunition savings account through Ammo Squared. Additional, on-demand ammunition through True Shot Gun Club.
To Conclude, I think the PSA Dagger will remain in our inventory and might get some aftermarket attention. A DPM Systems recoil assembly is at the top of my list, then to find a way to improve the smoothness of the trigger without necessarily cutting the pull weight. The good news is the Gen 3 Glock aftermarket has been around for decades so finding parts won't be tough. These guns have been out for a while now so I'm sure some of you have either shot or own one. What was your take on it?
The Dagger is available in a variety of configurations included with a threaded barrel, different slide designs, and different cerakote options. We went with the base model simply to conserve our Patron funds. To see the current pricing and availability of all the Dagger options click HERE.
UPDATE: Here is a list of Dagger-specific holsters (not verified by us)