Custom Glock 21 in Artic Snakeskin by High Ready Tactical


by Greg Quinn

photography by Greg Quinn

September 22nd, 2008




It took a while for the Gunblast boys to adapt to plastic guns.  In fact, one of Jeff’s first articles that embodied our final acceptance and subsequent admiration of the plastic guns was entitled “I Hate Glocks”.  We are perhaps old school.  We still think a handgun should be beautiful, and polished blued steel with wood grips.  That said, we recognize that the plastic guns are here to stay, they have a place, and for their intended purpose are a better solution than the old blue and wood guns of yesterday.  In fact, I love the plastic guns so much that I have a great many of them.  From Glock to Smith to FNP to Ruger to Springfield to Kel-Tec, for modern day tactical purposes of a tough and dependable light weight concealable handgun that holds lots of firepower, it is hard to beat one of the modern composite pistols.

One of my favorite handguns is the tried-and-true Glock Model 21.  The first “plastic” .45 of any merit, the Glock 21 was, and still is in my opinion, a true trendsetter and one of the finest representations of high performance in a lighter-weight large handgun.  While the grip frame of the 21 was too big for many hands, I always loved the way it felt in my hand.  Big, solid, secure.  The 21 was large, but light weight due to the polymer frame.  Like all Glocks, the 21 had the polymer frame with metal reinforcement, and the steel slide finished in a durable black Tenifer finish.  Like all Glocks, the 21 was designed for performance over looks.  Its matte black finish wouldn’t win any beauty contests, but was just the ticket in a tactical situation.  Like all Glocks, it featured the toggle-trigger Glock security system.  Point and shoot.  And, like all Glocks, the 21 just kept on shooting.  Dirt or mud or crud or sand or practically anything that would stop other semi-auto pistols didn’t stop a Glock.  So, many years ago, when I was looking for another .45 semi-auto pistol that was tough and reliable and held more firepower than my beloved 1911’s, I did like a great many people and went for the Glock 21.

My Glock 21 was one of the first series production models.  I’ve had it a long time.  More ammo has been thrown through this gun than any gun I own, and that includes rifles and shotguns and other handguns.  I can hit more accurately with the Glock 21 more consistently than any of my other handguns.  I don’t know why.  I like it, and it likes me.

So, when I was walking through SHOT 2007 and saw the High Ready Tactical booth, with their custom high-quality finishes in various unusual camo patterns, I knew that my beloved and well-worn Glock 21 would be a perfect candidate for a new finish.

Dylan Saunders at High-Ready Tactical and I started communication after SHOT 2007, and after the 2008 NRA Show when I saw their products again, I informed Dylan that I would be sending him two guns for their special camo treatment.  One would be a DPMS AR rifle that is chambered in my favorite whitetail hunting caliber, the .260 Remington. The other would be my well-used Glock 21 .45 ACP. 

High-Ready Tactical ( specializes in custom camo finishes, tactical weapon accessories, holsters, and optics for sale through their online store.  From going through their many examples of a new finish for my Glock 21, I found something beautiful and at the same time very unusual, a finish they call “Arctic Snakeskin”.  High Ready is located in Alaska, so they know something about “arctic”.  They designed this camo pattern based on their conception of what an "arctic snake" would look like if there were such a thing, with a beautiful gray, black, bluish, and white camo pattern designed to blend into an artic habitat.  This finish just “bit” me, so I knew it was perfect for my beloved 21.  After discussion with Dylan, I sent the 21 to Alaska and, a few months later, received the pistol back, complete with its new look.

The Arctic Snakeskin finish on the Glock 21 is very attractive.  High Ready does a super job at making their patterns concealable and at the same time beautiful in application.  The symmetrical snake stripes in dark and lighter gray along the sides of the slide and frame join perfectly.  The upper scales on top of the slide look just like the top of a snake, and the belly scales on the bottom of the frame and underside of the grip look just like the belly of a snake. The attention to detail in this finish is startling.  It wouldn’t look more like a white, gray, and black snake than if they had pulled off the skin and affixed it to my pistol. 

The controls of the pistol they treat a bit differently to allow enough difference in look to distinguish the slide release from the slide.  It would be tough to be looking at the slide release and unable to see it due to the perfect blending of the camo pattern, so they finished the active controls in a slightly more light blue finish, the same hues blended through the snake pattern.  This does an effective job of distinguishing the controls while at the same time not taking anything away from the overall camo finish of the firearm.

Not only do the finishes look good, they are tough.  The Duracoat finish applied through their camo process is more resilient than bluing or Parkerizing, or the tough Tennifer that is stock on a Glock.  And, the finish is protected from rust.

High Ready carefully takes apart each gun they treat, cleans it, and treats each part individually, then assembles it back and tests it for reliability.  They put a clearcoat over their Duracoat camo finishes to further protect it from the environments, plus it seems to blend all the colors of the patterns together more effectively.  The finishes are hand applied by skilled artisans.  One can look at the details on the scales and realize the care than goes into application of this type of camo finish.  High Ready does it perfectly.

Dylan is a fan of, and like more than 600,000 readers that daily visit our website, is impressed with the quality of the number one online gun test magazine.  So, Dylan wanted to do something special for this pistol, and had his team laser engrave the logo on top of the slide.  Finished in a gray that blends perfectly with the camo snake pattern, the laser engraved logo is a nice touch, and endears me even more to this gun and the new finish it wears.

With a “new” old gun, I needed a new holster rig.  Since Glocks are the number one choice of police departments worldwide, I thought it appropriate that I selected a top-notch duty holster rig for this revised Glock.  I contacted the nice folks at Don Hume Leathergoods of Miami, Oklahoma to obtain high-quality leather for this pistol.  I ordered their H745 duty holster and accompanying B101AP duty belt and D407p double mag pouch, all in smooth black finish.  Being an auxiliary Sheriff's Deputy myself, I am familiar with Don Hume products, and they are among the best in the industry for quality of construction and nice features at a reasonable price.  Don Hume Leathergoods ( has been producing high-quality duty leather products for over 40 years.  They are considered by many to be among the finest in the world, and are used by police departments across the globe. 

The H745-SH is a level-two security holster for automatic pistols.  It features an over-the-hammer thumb break, a metal reinforced belt loop and a locking screw.  The internal security blocks provide great retention of the weapon until drawn.  The holster is leather-lined and also has a polyethylene layer for additional strength.  The draw is a forward and upward motion.  To reholster, just insert the weapon and push down.  The safety strap is designed for extra security, but from my tests, I never could get the gun to come out without the safety strap.  The retention blocks hold the weapon very well indeed.  Even turning the holster upside down and shaking it vigorously would not release the weapon.  The H745 is a truly super duty holster at a direct price of just over $140.

The Don Hume B101 belt is a Sam Browne style belt made from top-grain leather and featuring two lines of holes.  It is manufactured by laminating two pieces of 7 oz cowhide, so its thick enough to hold any quality duty holster.   The edges are dressed and the lining is treated to prevent the absorption of moisture.  It has a high quality nickel buckle.  It retails online for $70.50.

The D407 mag pouches retail for $37.20 each at the Don Hume website.  This is a double mag pouch design with more space allocated between magazines for a smoother withdrawal of the mag when needed.  Can be carried vertically or horizontally.

Whether a cop or not, Don Hume has some products designed to meet your needs of secure carry of a large handgun like the Glock 21.

Militec-1 is a great lubrication product for handguns like the Glock 21, or anything else in your gun safe.  Militec-1 products are used by our US military in very tough environments, and many swear by the products performance.  Their Synthetic Metal Conditioner is a dry impregnated lubricant that supposedly provides constant lubrication as the gun is fired.  It is designed to prevent jamming, inhibits corrosion, and makes cleaning easier.  A little goes a long way.  The Synthetic Metal Conditioner can be purchased online at for $10.90 for 3 0.5 oz bottles.  The larger bottles can be purchased for $26.90 for an 8 oz bottle, or $18.90 for a 4 oz bottle.  The Militec-1 synthetic metal conditioner grease is also sold for 3 tubes for $10.90 retail via their online store.  This grease is designed for use in very tough environments where extreme use and high pressures and temperatures can damage the metal parts of your firearm.  It is a lithium-based complex grease designed to reduce corrosion, extend equipment life, and lubricates parts in even severe conditions.  For most firearms applications (unless you are planning on a tour in Iraq or something similar), only the Militec-1 Synthetic Metal Conditioner is needed.  If you are military, you purchase at a discount through their online store.  I also like the folks at Militec because they are unashamedly Christian and support our troops.  They even ship bottles of their product for free to troops overseas, and this is service that should be commended.  Thank them by purchasing some of their products for your firearms.

If you have a firearm (long gun or handgun) that is needing a new finish, or one that you want to get a great and different camouflage finish for, then contact Dylan and the folks over at High Ready Tactical and they will fix you right up (  If you need quality leather for your handgun, the people at Don Hume Leathergoods will provide the holster you need; they can be visited at  And, for quality lubrication for all your firearms, check out for some fine lubricants to keep your guns working properly.  There are many quality plastic guns on the market, and has tested most of them.  Search through our Archives or do a search and you will find test results on most every brand out there.

Happy shooting!

Greg Quinn


The Don Hume B101AP duty belt, Model H745 holster, and matching model D407p double mag pouch in black, along with the Arctic Snakeskin Glock 21.  What the liberated cops are wearing this season.



Don Hume H745 holster, B101AP belt, and D407p double mag pouches for the Glock 21.  For a duty rig, it doesn't get any better than this.



Militec-1 lubricants, metal conditioner, and grease are great products to keep your firearms working effectively.

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Greg's beloved Glock 21 .45ACP finished in High Ready Tactical's unique Arctic Snakeskin camouflage pattern is beautiful and distinctive.



The back of the Glock 21 in Arctic Snakeskin.  Notice how the scales come together just like at the back of a snake.  Expertly crafted and very durable, the Arctic Snakeskin finish should be enjoyed for many years to come.



The right side of the Glock 21 in Arctic Snakeskin.  Notice how perfectly the scales and stripes align across the slide and frame of the pistol.  Notice also that the back of the Trijicon sights are not finished in order to not disrupt the sight picture.



Top of the Glock 21 in High Ready's Arctic Snakeskin.  Notice the laser-engraved logo on top of the slide.



High Ready Tactical even finished the bottom of the magazine!  Notice the attention to detail in the manner in which the scales align on the Arctic Snakeskin pattern.



Notice how the active controls have a slightly different finish.  The slide release, mag release, and trigger still have the same pattern, but finished in a slightly different colorization for differentiation while still keeping with the theme of the camo pattern.



Glock looks great in a Don Hume Leathergoods H745 black holster.



The Arctic Snakeskin Glock 21 in a Don Hume H745 black holster is a great combination.  Shown on a Featherflage pattern camo jacket by Featherflage.



Don Hume of Oklahoma model H745; one of the finest duty holsters on the market today.



The Don Hume H745 is the perfect duty holster for the Glock 21.  Notice the cutaway does not obstruct the rear sight, while still maintaining the ability for a top strap retention system.  The standoff keeps the pistol at just the right angle for rapid draws in a tactical situation.



The Arctic Snakeskin Glock 21 and Don Hume H745 duty holster above Featherflage camo.  Notice the retention screw on the H745 holster.