Review: White Sound Defense Steel Guide Rod for GLOCK 19 Gen3

We have already reviewed the White Sound Defense Steel Guide Rod for the G17 and similar Gen3 GLOCK.  After that review, several readers wanted one that was sized for the G19. White Sound Defense (WSD) delivered.


The WSD Steel Guide Rod for the G19 shows all the typical care and thought that goes into other WSD products. For instance, the steel (4340) used for the guide rod is purposefully chosen to avoid the galling that can happen when you pair a stainless recoil spring with a stainless guide rod. The guide rod is then ferritic nitrocarburized, and then subjected to a post-nitriding oxidation treatment which makes it just as rust resistant as the GLOCK slide.

Like the G17 version, this guide rod extends slightly beyond the front of the slide. This slight protrusion acts as a stand-off that decreases the likelihood that the slide will be pressed out of battery from a contact shot. It is shaped to prevent snagging and interference with suppressors.

The guide rod also has a transverse hole which can be used in conjunction with an armorer’s tool or any other slim straight object (small screwdriver, paper clip, etc.) to wind the sling onto the guide rod for easy installation. This is a very clever feature that works like a charm.

Observations from Use

I paired the guide rod with one of WSD’s G19 recoil springs. I like using their springs because they match the OEM spring rate and I am hesitant to tinker too much something that works as well as my Glos. The springs show the same type of advanced thinking as the guide rod. You can read more about them on the WSD website.

There have been zero reliability problems. The G19 that I installed the guide rod and spring into had just 2100 completely trouble-free rounds through it. I put just over 600 rounds through it on 3 separate range trips with the new guide rod. I haven’t cleaned it in that time and I have had no reliability issues at all.

Many very serious shooters immediately change out the plastic recoil spring module on their GLOCKs as a reliability enhancement and there are good theoretical arguments for this. It would take an awful lot of shooting to actually quantify something like that. Whether or not the WSD Steel Guide Rod enhances reliability, I can’t say. However, I can say that I have never had a stoppage that could be attributed to either of the WSD guide rods that I have been using.

Several makers of aftermarket guide rods, including WSD, say that the additional weight of a metal guide rod will help reduce muzzle rise and thus improve shot-to-shot speed. I don’t really notice a difference and there is no real difference on a timer. Theoretically, it is true but it never really pans out for me in reality.

Wrap Up

In my mind, much of the justification for whether or not you need or want something like this will stem from how much importance you place on the stand-off feature or how much value you place on steel guide rods. If you believe there is a high likelihood that a gun-fight can happen in extremely close quarters, then this feature may be very valuable to you. However, if you carry your G19 or similar GLOCK with a weapon mounted light, then it may be unnecessary since the light’s bezel can act as a stand-off. If you are the type who always uses a metal guide rod, then I think the WSD Steel Guide Rod is probably the obvious choice. It gives you the steel guide rod that you are looking for, easier spring installation, the stand-off feature, and extreme corrosion resistance.

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Disclosure: White Sound Defense provided this guide rod, free of charge, for review.

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