I Carry: Glock Gunsite Service Pistol in a Bianchi Holster

Firearm: Gunsite Glock G45 Service Pistol with Holosun Red-dot (MSRP: $1,274.99)

When it was announced that a new Gunsite Service Pistol was in the works, there were two surprises. The first was that it was a striker-fired, polymer-frame 9 mm Glock rather than a .45 ACP 1911. The second came in the form of a mounted red-dot optic on the top of the slide. While some might be surprised to see this somewhat untraditional—for Gunsite—arrangement, it’s not the least bit unusual. We talked to Gunsite CEO Ken Campbell about this new service pistol when it was unveiled at SHOT Show 2023, and he commented that more than half of Gunsite’s students are showing up with optics on their handguns. The top of the slide has Gunsite’s name and raven logo, and the raven also appears on the slide backplate as well.

The G45 makes a ton of sense for a Gunsite Service pistol, too. The physical arrangement of the G45, with a full size grip and slightly shortened slide and barrel, is quite similar to the Commander 1911. Changing the caliber from .45 ACP to 9 mm isn’t all that surprising, either, given advancements in handgun ammunition and the extra capacity afforded by the double-stack magazine of the Glock. While .45 ACP might have a slight power advantage, there’s no denying the difference between 8 rounds of .45 and 18 rounds of 9 mm.  

With an overall length of 7.4 inches, a height of 5.5 inches, 4.5-inch barrel and unloaded weight of 21.7 ounces, the G45 isn’t unduly heavy or large for concealed-carry. Sure, adding an optic to the top of the slide makes it slightly taller and heavier, but that’s the tradeoff for the advantage in simplified aiming. Capacity of the G45 is 17 rounds, same as the full-size G17, and the G45 can accept all full-size magazines such as the 21- and 27-round Magpul PMags. And, of course, since it’s a Glock 9 mm there is a world of aftermarket accessories and upgrades available should you wish to change the trigger, barrel, sights or other parts.

While the Gunsite Glock Service Pistol does have an optics cut, it’s not an MOS version. Rather, it’s a dedicated RMR-footprint cut that allows the included Holosun HE509T enclosed-emitter red-dot sight to be mounted low on the slide. This clever optic features a solar panel on the top to aid in charging the battery when on the outdoor range, and has Shake Awake technology that powers the unit down when not in use, but turns on instantly when motion is detected. Suppressor-height Ameriglo sights co-witness through the optic should the unit run out of power, but as long as you change the common CR1632 battery once a year or so, there’s very little danger of that happening. The HE509T even has a side-mounted battery tray so you don’t have to take the unit off to change the battery.

Holster: Bianchi Assent GLS (MSRP: $95)

We’ve gone somewhat traditional for the holster in today’s kit. Since this is a Gunsite pistol after all, we’ve opted for the Bianchi Assent GLS holster, an outside-the-waistband holster with Bianchi’s Grip Locking System for active retention. The holster has a full-grain leather exterior around a synthetic liner, giving it the classic leather look with the support and longevity of polymer. The GLS system requires a full firing grip to engage the release, with the middle finger of the shooting hand pressing the lever to release the handgun.

The Assent holster is available in either black or tan leather for right- or left-handed shooters. Dual belt slots for 1.5-inch belts spread the weight over a larger section of the waist for greater comfort, while the Assent is contoured to the body and low profile to increase concealability. Six different sizes covering more than 250 handguns are available.

Knife: Buck Infusion (MSRP: $52.99)

Rounding out today’s kit is a Buck Knives Infusion pocketknife. The Infusion’s blade is 3.2 inches long, constructed of 7Cr17MoV steel wearing a stonewash finish and has what Buck calls a modified tanto profile. Scales are G10 and are available in the green we have here today as well as black and natural. The steel pocket clip can be swapped for right- or left-pocket carry in the tip-up configuration.

The Infusion has an assisted opening flipper mechanism that allows the blade to be easily opened with one hand. A liner lock keeps the blade open in use, and can also be operated single-handedly to close, as well. The handle is contoured to fit the hand, while the back of the blade has jimping to provided added control when cutting. The Infusion feels solid, functions reliably and is quite budget friendly, an excellent addition to any EDC kit.

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