Meanwhile, a few initial teething problems were encountered. First, the trigger left a bit to be desired. While the flat DAT2 was excellent, the pull was stiff and a bit creepy, breaking at a bit over 5.5 pounds. Others with me who handled the Roland Special noticed this too. After some inquiry I was informed by ATEi that reliability is paramount, so the only thing they add is a factory minus 4.5 pound connector. It is absolutely true that messing with the stock springs along with changing to a lighter connector can cause reliability issues in a Glock. Still, call me a trigger snob, I nevertheless decided to make a minor mod and substituted a 4.5 pound striker/spring assembly from one of my own Glocks. This made things noticeably better, breaking fairly crisply at about 4.6 pounds, without much creep. A similar mod will run you maybe $10.
Accuracy testing was done from 25 yards, and I was pleased with the results. Six different types of ball and JHP ammunition in 115, 124 and 147 grains fired from a sandbag rest all produced groups averaging two inches or better for five rounds. No stoppages or malfunctions of any kind were encountered, even with nasty, dirty Tula 115-grain ball. Recoil was mild thanks to the compensator, while the small, bright RMR dot with lighter trigger definitely helped with producing the tight groups. The best performance was turned in, perhaps ironically, from Sig Sauer Elite Performance 124-grain JHP. This went into a group of 1.12 inches, with the best four inside an inch, all just barely low and right of the center of the Mk 1, Mod 0 paper plate I was using. More than good enough for John Wick, or anyone else.
Not satisfied with just trying to make small groups, I decided to run the pistol through a few of my favorite drills to see what it was really made of. Lacking a custom holster, I started each from low ready using 115-grain ball. The first drill was a standard six-plate rack, shot from 10 yards using a PACT timer. Time: 3.65 seconds, a near personal best. Next, the Figure 8 drill, shooting eight shots running between cones at 7, 10 and 15 yards, on a 1×1 foot piece of steel to beat a 20 second par. Miss one and forget it. Time: 18.15 seconds, a personal best. Not world records, but not too shabby either, and given it was the first time I ran them with the Roland Special says something. The combination of the Roland’s point-ability, RMR and comp were again a major factor in quick, accurate hits.
The Roland Special is the Lamborghini of combat pistols. Some in the blogosphere will balk at spending $2,300 in addition to supplying their own G19, opting instead for something cheaper that is still acceptable for their mission requirements. That sentiment is understandable. Yes, a Toyota or Ford sedan will get you from point A to point B just as well as a Lamborghini. But a Lamborghini is, well, a Lamborghini. Some feel the need to go from zero to 160 MPH in seconds, and do it in style. Some want the best and won’t be satisfied with less. Considering the Roland comes with an RMR, Surefire X300 Ultra and a KKM barrel, one is really paying about $1,000 for the rest of the customizing and parts. In light of the Roland Special’s looks and performance, the total is not unreasonable, and there are other high-end pistols out there that offer less at a similar price. For the professional who uses a Glock 19 but wants to enhance it to its max, and has the coins to do so, the ATEi Roland Special may be just the ticket.