Rainier Arms Dusk 19R: Just Another Glock Clone?

— James MaybrickCADRE Dispatch

For decades, Glock pistols have been a standard of measure for semi-automatic pistols in terms of reliability, durability, and ease of use on and off the square range. If you want to take advantage of Glock’s ease of use and parts availability but want more customization in what has long been knocked as a one-size-fits-all design, Glock clones fit the bill.

And then there are the Glock killers. Big and small makers seeking to produce a model with better features that can compete at the Glock price point. The Smith & Wesson M&P and Walther PDP are just two notable entries in a tired field of other Glock killers, Glock clones, and Glocks.

The Rainier Arms Dusk 19R is just one of the latest clones on the market at a price point reserved for the killer category. But Rainier, in conjunction with Lone Wolf Arms, has launched a platform that successfully blurs those lines.

rainier arms dusk 19r
The Dusk 19R as a whole is an excellent offering that cannot be completely categorized. (Photo: James Maybrick)

Rainier Arms Dusk 19R: The Rundown

Internally, and to a more limited extent, externally, the Dusk 19R mimics the ubiquitous compact Gen. 3 Glock 19. The pistol ships with three KCI Glock 19 fifteen-shot magazines. Likewise, the slide release and magazine release are located on the left side of the pistol, as the old Gen. 3 Glocks were not yet ambidextrous. However, the releases on the Dusk are more pronounced.

The Dusk also takes down the same way as a Gen 3 Glock, but the takedown tabs seen above the trigger guard are more prominent for easy grasping. It features the same tilting 4-inch barrel and single recoil spring, instead of a captive dual recoil spring that has since become standard.

rainier arms dusk 19r disassembled
The Dusk 19R is heavily inspired by the Glock 19 Gen. 3. (Photo: James Maybrick)

Aside from these basic details and the fact that we are talking about a polymer-framed, striker-fired pistol, the Dusk 19R is a different animal.

Unique Features

It comes optic-ready for an RMR footprint reflex sight and the suppressor height sights — Glock compatible steel U-Notch rear and a tritium front — are just high enough to allow you to co-witness a dot. The sights need not be so high for a suppressor, since the Lone Wolf Barrel features a single triangular port matching with the nitride-coated stainless steel slide.

The slide itself features lightning cuts as well as forward and rearward cocking serrations.

rainier arms dusk 19r view from top showing compensator port
The Dusk 19R is compensated and is cut for an RMR. (Photo: James Maybrick)

The polymer frame features an extended beavertail to protect from slide bite and a trigger guard that is both squared off at the front and rounded at the rear to protect from Glock knuckle during longer range sessions.

Likewise, the thin and pinchable trigger/trigger safety is replaced with a Lone Wolf flat-faced trigger. The trigger has 3/8 of an inch worth of take-up before a clean decisive break that measures at 4 lbs. 4 oz. on my Lyman scale.

dusk 19 left side
The controls on the Dusk 19R are easy to manipulate, even with the weak hand. (Photo: James Maybrick)

The frame is appointed with fish scale serrations along the back and front strap of the grips as well as the side panels and along the finger rests on both sides.

As standard, the Dusk 19R has a two-slot Picatinny rail for the light or laser system of your choice. The grip itself is more tapered at the top than a standard Glock and has a more agreeable 19-degree grip angle. Unlike other Glock clones, the Dusk 19R uses steel, rather than polymer pins in the trigger assembly.

Holistically, the Dusk 19R meshes Gen. 3 and Gen.5 MOS Glock features with plenty of unique refinements of its own. It represents a slightly trimmer, more controllable, and more adaptable handgun overall. But those features are for nothing if the pistol does not run on the firing line.

Quick Specs

  • Model: Dusk 19R
  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Capacity: 15+1
  • Barrel Length: 4 inches
  • Overall Length: 7 inches
  • Slide Width: 1 inch
  • Height: 5 1/4 inches
  • Weight: 24 oz.

On the Range with the Rainier Arms Dusk 19R

I have never been a fan of polymer pistols as a rule, but this new generation of refined Glock clones has left an impression in terms of looks and practicality.

When I picked up the Dusk 19R, the only similar gun I had on hand was my Walther PDP — a pistol that is more ergonomic than a Glock in just about every way. It also came with a trigger that is hard to beat in the striker world. After a few months of testing and 350 rounds downrange, I opted to cash in my personal Glock killer and hang onto the Dusk 19.

As a dedicated iron sights shooter, I began shooting the Dusk 19 with the stock Ameriglo irons it came with. I also stuck with the three KCI magazines that shipped with the pistol. These magazines were initially hard to load and have steel feed lips that are not quite as smooth as a standard Glock magazine, but I had no issues with them.

I started by firing several different types of ammunition from the bench to put the pistol on paper at a distance of 10 yards, just to see where the sights were hitting. I ran everything from Hornady Critical Defense 110 grain Lite ammunition to Sig Sauer Elite Performance 147 grain subsonic.

All ammunition hit close to the point of impact with no variation despite the different grain weights.

rainier arms dusk 19r accuracy
My very first shots out of the Dusk 19R. (Photo: James Maybrick)

Offhand, it took me some work to get used to the trigger’s smooth let-off and the fact that the porting did a stellar job of keeping my muzzle on target with minimal sight disturbance. I was not quite used to chewing through five-shot groups as fast as I was.

I used some Rainier remanufactured 124 grain ammunition for my opening offhand shots. At ten yards, I could get them into a 3-inch spread, a pattern that did not change no matter what ammunition I used.

rainier arms dusk 19r on the range
The Dusk 19R is comfy to shoot. Wrong-handed shooters like me will have to adapt, though. (Photo: James Maybrick)

Interestingly, I held the same patterns when I mounted a green dot to the pistol. In this case, it was a Viridian RFX15 on a Rival Arms adapter plate. This hardy aluminum unit is simple to adjust, and the green dot does not wash out in harsh light. The optic allowed me to shoot slightly faster and aided in consistently hitting steel and paper out to 50 yards; but at closer distances, this caffeine-addled shooter stayed consistent.

The Dusk 19R was the first ported handgun I have tried.

Compensated handguns are all the rage now, but for the longest time, some were against them. It could be argued that that hole in the barrel bleeds too much velocity or you would get a face full of hot gas if you shot from a retention position. On a warm afternoon, I shot my different test ammunitions across my Caldwell Chronograph and did notice some velocity loss. Depending on the type of ammunition, I lost anywhere from 50-100 feet per second compared to a non-ported 9mm.

I also took the time to shoot some retention drills. My face felt warm, but the target got the worst end of the deal and there was no crippling flame or debris to speak of. But that porting did make the Dusk comfortable to shoot, particularly with standard pressure loads. I did shoot some Hornady Critical Duty +P ammunition and it never came close to discomfort.

Flat-Faced Trigger

One aspect I did notice on the pain scale was the lack of pain I normally get down my index finger from Glock and Walther triggers. The trigger safety always tended to slam into the pad of the finger under recoil and after a box of fifty rounds, I start to get annoyed. The flat-faced Lone Wolf Trigger takes care of that issue.

The rest of the pistol is well-appointed. The slide release and magazine release are easy to hit compared to the nubs on Glock pistols. The takedown tabs are likewise easy to manipulate with little effort. The effortlessness of the Dusk 19R characterized the entire shooting experience, enough so that it got more mileage than my PDP.

Final Thoughts

In all the ammunition I fired, I had no malfunctions of any kind. The only knocks that come to mind are the lack of left-handed controls and skipping over the potential of a flared magazine well. Fortunately, I am one of the few lefties who shoot right-handed and the inclusion of a flared magazine well might best be used in a larger model that is best set up for competition work.

With these additions, the Dusk 19R would be about as rounded out as a polymer 9mm pistol can be these days. But as it stands, the Dusk 19R as a whole is an excellent offering that cannot be completely categorized

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