Glock Factory Colors and Finishes vs. Aftermarket

Glock logoWith the exception of the Glock 19X and Portuguese Army pistol’s coyote slides, the 43X and 48’s silver slides, the red slides on the Gen 5 ‘P’ guns, and the blue slides on some of the ‘T’ guns, Glock only makes guns with black slides. If you see one with a slide of any other color, including NiBX, it’s done after the gun leaves the factory – usually by a distributor who does a special run.

Glock has only ever made color-molded frames in


  1. black
  2. OD (‘Olive Drab’)
  3. BFG (‘Battle Field Green’) – exclusive distributor is Amchar in N.Y.
  4. FDE (‘Flat Dark Earth’ or simply ‘Dark Earth’) – exclusive distributor is Lipsey’s in LA
  5. gray – exclusive distributor is Lipsey’s in LA
  6. red
  7. blue
  8. coyote (only with the Glock 19X, the 17 made for the French Army, and the 17 made for Portugal’s Army. Also used on the 19MHS and 23MHS guns submitted to the military trials)

Red and blue are only used in training guns (17R, 22P, 17T, etc.). Any other colors (purple, burnt bronze, red & blue, pink, white, Robin’s egg blue, ‘battle worn’, American Flag, dessert sand, etc.) are aftermarket.

If the serial number plate is the same color as the frame and not silver, or the back straps are not the same color as the frame, it’s aftermarket (although some cerakote shops will also do the back straps).

Some gun shops will tell you that these aftermarket guns are factory colors. The best reason I’ve seen for that is because that’s how they receive them. But gun shops get their guns from distributors – who are generally the ones who do these special runs. They don’t typically get them directly from Glock. The gun shop staff just don’t know any better.

18 Replies to “Glock Factory Colors and Finishes vs. Aftermarket”

  1. I’ve seen the G43 in what’s called Flat Dark Earth, not the Dark Earth. It looks much much lighter and everyone seems to say it’s a factory color. Only seen it on the 43 though.

    Here’s the SKU which ends with FDE making me think maybe it is.

    Any info would be appreciated

      1. Here’s what I’ve found. It is VERY light in comparison to the normal FDE.


        if you google that number you’ll see plenty of pics of how light the color is in comparison to the normal FDE. I’ve only seen this color on the 43.

          1. Thank you. I almost ordered one thinking it was a factory color. I figured you would know.

            Now just hoping the 43X comes in gray soon.

          1. It’s not factory. It’s cerakoted. Glock’s never done FDE slides, either. Those are always aftermarket.

  2. I’m at a loss here. Have a great opportunity to buy a near perfect Gen 4 G17 with Stars and Stripes finish. The Glock label indicates American Flag Edition.. Is this bogus??
    Description. MPN#: UG1750204AF UPC#: 850669006994. The USA Made GLOCK 17 Gen4, in 9×19. Can you please help me out?

    1. Glock supplied the pistols, but the cerakote work is done after it leaves the factory. Not uncommon to see Glock do a special serial number run or similar for projects like this.

  3. Hey Pat, so I know you say that Glock has never had colored slides, but what about the Gen 3 Glock 17 in FDE. UPC is GLPI17502FDE.

    I read an article from the Glockstore from years back that says that Glock made gray, BFG, OD, and FDE, with FDE being either full coverage or two tone. The 17 being full coverage and the 19, 23 and 42 being two tone (fde frame and black slide).

    You know anything about that being accurate? I’ll link the article from 2016. FDE section is towards the bottom.

    1. Nope – Glock never did FDE slides. Even their website ( says that “confidence now comes in a different color with the first-ever factory-colored slide.” when referring to the 19X. There is also a video that was done when the last round of Vickers Glock pistols came out where the guy from Lipsey’s explains that they have the exclusive on FDE, and that they send their slides to Kodiak for cerakote to match the frames.

      That being said, I *never* believe what’s said by anyone at Glockstore, including Lenny. His videos are often factually wrong.

      1. Thanks for the quick reply.

        So it’s just Olive Drab, FDE, BFG, Gray, Coyote Tan, and then the silver slide on the 43x/48? As far as different than just plain black.

        Did I miss anything?

        1. Factory frame colors are black, blue, red, FDE, gray, bfg, odg and coyote. Factory slide colors are black, coyote (19X), silver (original 43X and 48). That’s it.

  4. In your opinion, would the slide finish on a 19X be more durable than an FDE 45, which reading these comments was made to be FDE by someone other than Glock? Trying to decide between these two because I have a new 45 I love and want one more. I appreciate your feedback, thank you.

    1. An FDE G45 slide won’t be factory, so it’s likely cerakote. The nPVD finish on the 19X will hold up better than cerakote for things like abrasion (holster wear). But both will show holster wear eventually.

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