The Glock 19 is one of the most popular semi-automatic centerfire handguns in the United States. If you’re interested in a compact 9mm handgun for home defense, concealed carry, or competitive target shooting, the Glock 19 is the standard.
Several companies capitalized on Glock’s popularity by introducing Glock clones. The purpose of a Glock clone is to deliver competition-ready performance out of the box or a low-cost weapon for budget-conscious gun owners and first-time buyers.
We conducted a PSA Dagger review, comparing the weapon’s features with Glock to help you determine which weapon is the best choice for your needs.
Glock 19 vs PSA Dagger: Basics
The Glock 19 is a semi-automatic, striker-fired, polymer-framed handgun chambered in 9mm Luger. Fed from a 15-round detachable flush-fit magazine, the Glock 19 is the compact variant of the full-size Glock 17. The Palmetto State Armory (PSA) PS9 Dagger is a budget-friendly handgun based on the Gen3 Glock 19.
The G19 and PSA Dagger are comparable regarding weight and external dimensions, but it’s important to know the specific differences, especially when searching for accessories.
The G19 weighs 21.16 oz. without a magazine or 23.63 oz. with an empty magazine. With a 15-round loaded magazine, the G19 weighs 30.16 oz.
In comparison, Palmetto State Armory lists the weight of the Dagger as 22.4 oz. unloaded.
Height is one of the most important dimensions for the purpose of concealed carry. When you carry in the strong side position, the height can cause the pistol to print through clothing.
The height of the G19, including the magazine, is 5.04”.
The specifications for the PSA Dagger state the listed height without the magazine is 4.78”.
The width of the G19 and PSA Dagger is practically identical — a difference of 0.02” (1.26” vs. 1.28”). In the Gen5 G19, the width is 1.34” an increase of almost one-tenth of an inch.
Barrel Length and Overall Length
The Gen3 G19 has an overall length of 7.36”. In Gen4 and Gen5 pistols, the length is 7.28”.
In the PSA Dagger, the overall length is 7.15”.
The Glock 19 has a 4.02” barrel with polygonal rifling, and the PSA Dagger has a 3.9” barrel with what the company refers to as hexagonal rifling. In traditional rifling, there is a series of spiral lands and grooves that impart a gyroscopically stabilizing rotation to the bullet.
In polygonal or hexagonal rifling, a series of hills, valleys, or lobes replace sharply cut lands and grooves. Whether polygonal/hexagonal rifling is superior to traditional rifling is a matter of debate, but it may create a more efficient gas seal behind the bullet and increase muzzle velocity.
Barrel and Slide Finish
The barrel has a diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating to protect against wear and corrosion in the Dagger. The slide is available in a variety of coatings such as DLC, Cerakoted and black nitride coatings. The slide of the Dagger is also made of stainless steel to further protect from corrosion.
PSA Dagger two-tone with Carakote slide finish in Sniper Green
Glock handguns do not use stainless steel sides, but have a Tenifer or Melonite finish — a type of ferritic nitrocarburizing. Both finish types are robust and won’t rust when exposed to moisture or inclement weather.
Ergonomics: Fit and Feel
Gen3 Glock pistols have three finger grooves on the front strap with interrupted checkering, a checkered back strap, and the sides of the frame are lightly textured for increased grip. Glock replaced the checkering with stippling in Gen 4 and eliminated the finger grooves in Gen5. Gen3 and Gen4 pistols have charging serrations in the rear of the slide, whereas in Gen5, Glock introduced front serrations.
The PSA Dagger — regardless of variant — has charging serrations on both the front and the rear of the slide. The front strap, back strap, and sides of the frame have sandpaper-like texturing for increased traction.
PSA Dagger with serrations on front & back of the slide
On the Glock, the side texturing stops at the magazine catch, whereas on the Dagger, it surrounds the magazine catch and extends upward to the slide stop fence. The Dagger has more surface area textured for superior control.
In addition, while the Dagger does not have finger grooves, it does have a single bump or stud at the top of the front strap, which is barely noticeable and helps with grip. The Dagger also features a larger beavertail than the Glock for improved comfort.
Glock 19 (left) vs PSA Dagger (right)
Glock 19 vs PSA Dagger Parts Interchangeability
The PSA Dagger is based on the Gen3 Glock 19, and while there are some dimensional differences, the Dagger is compatible with most Gen3 spare parts — including slides and barrels. As a result, you can benefit from the wide variety of Glock aftermarket options. If you’re interested in buying an inexpensive weapon to customize, the Dagger is a superb choice.
The basic variant of the PSA Dagger has steel three-dot combat sights. These are sufficient for recreational shooting, home defense, and concealed carry. The standard Glock 19 has plastic OEM sights that use a white dot in the front and a white U-shaped outline in the rear.
PSA Dagger with Suppressor Height Sights
Depending on the variant, the PSA Dagger is also available with night sights or TRUGLO Tritium Pro suppressor-height sights. However, a wide variety of aftermarket sighting options are available for both pistols.
The Glock 19 uses their patented Safe Action System, consisting of three safety mechanisms: Trigger safety, firing-pin safety, and drop safety.
The Dagger has two safeties: a trigger safety and a striker block safety. Overall, both handguns are safe and functional, provided you follow all four rules of basic firearms safety.
The PSA Dagger trigger has the same trigger pre-travel, break, and reset characteristics as a stock Glock handgun. The principal difference is the Dagger’s lack of Glock’s trademark trigger safety design.
The trigger safety in a Glock firearm is a spring-loaded lever located in the center of the trigger face. If you attempt to press the trigger without first depressing the trigger safety, it will block the trigger’s rearward movement.
In the Dagger, the trigger uses a safety system similar to the Smith & Wesson M&P series. Some shooters may find this more comfortable. The bottom half of the trigger pivots on a hinge for a more consistent trigger press.
PSA Dagger M&P-Style Trigger
The PSA Dagger ships with one 15-round Magpul PMAG 15 GL9. However, it’s also compatible with OEM Glock magazines.
PSA uses the same proprietary accessory rail as the Gen3 Glock 19, allowing you to attach weapon-mounted lights and lasers.
The Glock Modular Optic System (MOS) allows you to attach a red-dot sight (RDS) to your handgun. However, the MOS is only available on Gen4 and Gen5 Glock handguns.
Palmetto State Armory offers a variant of the Dagger with a slide cut compatible with RMR reflector sights, providing an optics-ready alternative to Gen3 G19 weapons.
PSA Dagger's slide optics cutout
Although the physical dimensions are close, there’s a sufficient difference between the two pistols to interfere with holster compatibility, especially if you intend to mount a light or laser on your gun. As a result, a PSA Dagger might not be able to enter a Glock 19 holster, or the retention may be insufficient for safe carry. Although Glock slides are compatible with the Dagger and may help the Dagger fit into holster for Glock 19.
Glock handguns are affordable, but the PSA Dagger is considerably less expensive. If you’re interested in a low-cost alternative to the Glock for your first 9mm semi-automatic pistol, the PSA Dagger is a great choice. The more you save on your initial firearm purchase, the more you can spend on ammunition for practice, training, targets, hearing and eye protection, and other accessories.
Holster Compatibility is Key for Concealed Carry
At We The People Holsters, our IWB and OWB Kydex and leather holsters are available for a variety of Glock handguns, including the G19 (Gen1-4). As with any Glock clone, always contact the holster manufacturer to verify whether its Glock 19 holsters are compatible.
For the best concealed and open carry holsters available, check out our inventory and don’t compromise on fit or retention.