Review: RMS Glock Gen 4 Guide Rod by Advance Dynamic Systems

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As most readers know, my chosen shooting platform is the Glock, Generation 4. Despite its continued commercial success, I swear that it still remains the step-child of the aftermarket, as nearly everyone only offers various components for the Generation 3 editions including slides, springs, etc.

Finally, the 4th Generation is starting to get the attention it deserves. With the better recoil spring system and better factory grip texture, adjustable straps, its simply the the better gun for the aftermarket where the increased room and various interfaces allow one to more flexibility for innovative products.

Taking advantage of this increased room is Advance Dynamic Systems (hereafter “AD”) of California. AD has released their RMS stainless steel guide rod, which uses the room to create a heavier “reverse plug” for the competition Glock 34 and 35 models while maintaining a flat spring common to the Generation 3 handguns.

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The RMS, as described by Advance Dynamic:

The Advance Dynamic RMS stainless steel guide rod and heavy-weight reverse plug are solid upgrades that improve the performance and reliability of your Gen4 Glock by converting the recoil spring configuration to the proven design found in Gen3 Glocks.

The RMS guide rod and heavy-weight reverse plug are CNC machined from 416 Stainless Steel bar stock for extended service life and is paired with an ISMI chrome silicon recoil spring. Our design uses the optimal spring tension for Gen4 Glocks to ensure proper cycling even with a weapon light attached. The RMS steel guide rod combined with the weight of the reverse plug reduce felt recoil to allow for fast follow up shots and allow you to use a wider variety of ammunition when compared to a factory Gen4 Glock models

I personally take a bit of issue with the statements “such as wider variety of ammunition” as this has been untrue in my experience, but the gist of the product is there. Its basically a weight that plugs the front of the competition models, a stainless guide rod, and a flat wire spring. Its a simple arrangement, but does it work as well in practice as it does in theory?

Installing the RMS

Author’s note: The test platform was a Glock Gen 4 G35 .40 S&W tested in both .40 and 9mm using a Lone Wolf 40-9mm conversion barrel. I typically shoot the G35 as 9mm in competition. Shooting experience was compared to the standard Glock recoil assembly and a Lone-Wolf polished recoil assembly. 

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As noted in the picture above, the RMS arrives as an assembly, held in place by a cotter pin. The pin inserts about 1/3 the way up the rod, held in place by the tension of the spring acting on the plug. The pin is very necessary, as the assembly is not “captured” or held together as a unit. With the strength of the spring in compression, it would otherwise be very difficult to insert the assembly into a handgun.

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Things brings up my only real complain on the RMS system, why is the assembly not captured up front? Adding a threaded hole and a matching stainless button-head screw up front would cost cents and greatly increase the ease of installation and removal of the system. I understand that the overall shooting experience was the primary goal, but find this omission incredibly annoying as to test the RMS in all the calibers, I installed and removed it dozens of times and if one loses the pin, the difficulty increases exponentially. (In one instance, the plug shot over 100 feet down-range for me).

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Once the plug is in the slide, remove the pin and carefully guide the rod back into the barrel’s interface. Once set, the plug keeps the guide rod straight and the completed slide assembly can be installed normally onto the frame. Testing the action, the slide racked smoothly and dry-fire testing indicated that the handgun was ready for service.

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Experiencing the RMS

Prior to shooting the handgun, I did a few “feel” test of the RMS versus other recoil spring assemblies. With a second identical handgun (I always have duplicates of all my competition rigs), the RMS was compared with a standard Glock and polished Lone Wolf recoil spring assembly.

In terms of “smoothness” the RMS and Lone Wolf were directly on part with one another. The Glock recoil system always has a harsh, but function feeling (the same could be said of Glocks, period). What was noticed was a slightly louder sound of the plug rubbing over the guide rod. While this has absolutely no bearing on shooting, it was noticed on the bench.

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Lining up the handgun down-range, I did not notice the extra weight up front while dry-firing. Simply put, its so little extra relative to the overall weight of the system, only a keen shooter could notice. However, moving into live fire, the plug makes its presence known.

Its not a full-on “night and day” shooting difference, but it could be described as “twilight vs dusk”. The key is the physics involved. The added weight to the cycling mass on a handgun will slow down the slide (assuming spring rates are the same). By slowing it down, the recoil impluse is spread over a slightly longer period of time. From there, adding weight to the front of the handgun will then impart more force to drive the nose of the handgun down as the slide goes into battery.

As such, the RMS doesn’t change the overall recoil (as energy is the same, just delivered over a longer period), it does reduce the “felt” recoil as shoves are easier to handle than jerks and with the weight added, drives the muzzle down.

For a shooter like myself where I am used to a handgun and have long compensated to the recoil impulse, it actually drove the muzzle down too far for me during the first magazine, creating some fun vertical strings on the target, but after a few magazines, I was able to compensate and targets shrunk to my standard sizing quickly.

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My split times however did not decrease markedly. With either the RMS or my standard rig with the Lone Wolf polished system, I was holding to normal splits and accuracy. However, the RMS was at a bit of a disadvantage, as the Lone Wolf spring system is tuned to my load, so the RMS keeping pace with its standard spring is impressive. This is backed up with the nose of the handgun “diving” where a lighter spring would have pushed it down less.

Moving between calibers, the effect was much more noticeable with the .40 ammunition. With its common “snap”, the added mass was a nice addition, especially when moving up to defensive loads like Federal HST. On 9mm (Freedom 124 grain re-manufactured) the effect was there, just no as pronounced.

Author’s note: AD did not yet have their other springs available at time of testing. They have since introduced various spring rates for shooters to tune the system.

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The Good:

  • In today’s market of over-hyped product, having sometime do exactly as it purports to do is refreshing.
  • Does reduce “felt” recoil and helps drive down the muzzle during firing.
  • Various spring rates available for the shooter to tune the system to their experience.

The Notable:

  • With in being stainless, I would like to see this nitrocarburized or “nitrided”. Adding the black will match the handgun and will increase surface hardness while reducing friction further.
  • Should be compatible with nearly any Generation 3 spring set if the desired spring is not offered by AD.
  • I’d be curious to see the results of offering a tungsten carbide increasing weight further up front, but that is only curiousity speaking.

The Bad

  • This should be a captured system.

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Final Thoughts:

The AD RMS is a solid offering. It does exactly what it sets out to do, which is to reduce the felt recoil of the shooter. Its an innovative approach that takes advantage of the Glock Gen 4’s added space to create a product caters to a specific shooter.

While I am annoyed at the choice to not capture the system, the RMS will make shooting the Glock 34 and 35 more pleasant. Adding in the compatibility with various springs and AD’s new spring rates, the competitive shooter can expect a performance boost dropping it in.

At $49.95, its priced slightly more than other aftermarket systems but the added cost brings added heft and thus added performance. 



Nathan S.

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • Bruce

    Personal opinion: This is an overhyped product. Splits were the same before and after installation. You’ve spent money on a part for your gun that did nothing. Were you having problems with the gun feeding ammo?

    • derpmaster

      Agreed. Plus this thing is $40, while SS guide rods have been available for decades for around $20. Not saying that those accomplish anything either. I’ve never heard any real evidence of the stock guide rod being a problem in any polymer pistol.

      • CrankyFool

        I have a Gen1 Glock 17 from ~1992 or thereabouts. It’s gone through many thousands of rounds. As you can imagine, I live in daily fear of my guide rod finally cracking. IT COULD HAPPEN.

        But probably won’t.

        • Kurt Ingalls

          LMAO!!!! that is so true!!!!! 🙂

  • USMC03Vet

    Glock owners and their absurd after market parts.

    😂

    • Kurt Ingalls

      YOU MIGHT HAVE MADE A VERY GOOD POINT!!!!! lol 🙂

    • SirOliverHumperdink

      And those guys with soldering irons.

  • The_Automator

    I’ve found no faster way to make a Glock stop working than an aftermarket guide rod.

    • Kurt Ingalls

      Amen!!!!!!! 🙂

  • guest

    The absuridity of making a Glock into a “race gun” is the exact same as making an AK into one. They are duty weapons, and in that role they are bar-none, but were never designed for competitive use and will never out-perform guns that were designed for it.
    You want a real race gun – get an STI or something similar, purpose-built.

    Otherwise it’s like taking an APC and tuning it up for the 1/4 mile. Yes, doable, but total nonsense. Completely different tasks require completely different tools.

    • Xanderbach

      Admittedly, I wouldn’t mind an old Ferret tubbed with slicks. I’d lose, of course… But I’d look awesome doing it.

    • jng1226

      Turning a “duty weapon” into a race gun shows how capable that weapon is for it’s “intended mission”. People like Dave Sevigny and Bob Vogel have repeatedly shown that the Glock can compete, and win, at the highest levels of competition against purpose-built race guns that weight substantially and cost multiples more.

      • iksnilol

        Really doubt that it’d be much cheaper after all the mods.

        • jng1226

          I just built a USPSA Limited Gun out of a M&P C.O.R.E. 5″. Custom 5.5″ KKM Precision Barrel, Flat Faced Apex full trigger, brass magwell and base pads, tungsten guide rod, and more. It weight 3 ounces more than the typical STI Limited gun ( I like a heavy gun) and shoots 1.5 inch 25 yard groups with my 170 PF loads and is as reliable as a bone stock M&P. Total build cost including base gun was about $1650, around HALF of a common STI Limited gun from one of the notable builders.

          • Nicks87

            Very nice.

    • Gorilla Biscuit

      Shhhh!! You don’t know what you are talking about. I shoot this exact same set up in USPSA Limited, Bowling Pin , and Steel Challenge. I WIN against STIs and other custom race guns. And the entire gun cost me just under $800 to build from a Glock 22 police trade in that cost $290 to acquire.

      • guest

        You are misunderstanding me completely. That you win with that rig is because of YOU! Not because of the gun!

        This seems to be the “other side of the coin” so to speak:
        many people who are not really competitive shooters, who shoot too little and too seldom and hence have no real… how should I call it… “sporting edge”? Experience? Proficiency? Anyway that reflex-level proficiency that resides somewhere in your spine after training enough… these people (like “insnilol” here) often times chose a single or double-action gun for any other use than for sporting use (self-defence, duty, imaginary genitalia extension etc) because they simply can’t handle the Glock, and that being said a stock Glock can offer a steep and more extended learning curve… but anyone who has shot a Glock enough will learn to appreciate it. A more “sporty” gun in that situation is an easy way out – a technical means that tries to compensat for lack of skill. So the easy way out can be a gun that is as tuned up, as hair-trigger, as heavy and as speed-oriented as those race guns, be it “open” or “standard”, they are tuned to the max none the less.

        But also keep in mind that even IF the gun is a tuned-up piece of work, the ONLY thing that will get in on target fast enough and the only thing that will keep it on a winning streak is that gray matter between your ears, because against all odds it can shoot such a “un-sporty” gun as a Glock better than some random wannabe who bought a 3x more expensive race gun and can’t really do it. It boils down to a more boring aspect of firearms: proper training, and plenty of it, and when you think you had enough – do the same all over again.

        So do not mix proficiency with hardware! A dedicated race gun in equally capable hands will give an edge over any “duty” gun like Glock. That’s just as true as when the Stig won on Nürburgring with a small van against a sports car driven by a less capable driver does not mean that Stig could not win against his own time, had he driven an actual sports car. Same thing here.

        “Turning a “duty weapon” into a race gun shows how capable that weapon is for it’s “intended mission”.”

        No, it does not. It just shows that anyone can take an iPad, and make it into a shovel. Can be done – does not prove anything except man’s creativity as far as converting one thing into something completely different goes. A good actual shovel will still do the work better. “fit for purpose” is the keyword here, not “fitting for purpose”.

    • jng1226

      “They are duty weapons, and in that role they are bar-none, but were never designed for competitive use and will never out-perform guns that were designed for it”

      This is what I was responding to with my example of my M&P Limited gun build. It sits lower in the hand than an STI and because of the palm swells of the M&P design is more ergonomic than an STI. You’re simply wrong with this statement, my built M&P, designed as a “duty gun”, is IMHO superior to an STI in almost every aspect for competition except the trigger. A tuned 1911 trigger is the ultimate.

  • iHAL

    You forgot something under “The Bad”

    Costs $40 and doesn’t actually do anything.