Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Time to upgrade my Glocks
Glock pistols have been on the market since 1982, and have come to dominate the civilian and law enforcement handgun market in the USA. They've been through several models as improvements were made, and in response to new technologies and techniques.
I standardized on third-generation Glocks in the late 1990's and early 2000's. The image below (and the subsequent two pictures) show the mid-size Glock 19 model. All images courtesy of Glock USA.
They worked very well for me, and their simplicity (with far fewer parts than competing pistols - simple is good!) appealed to me. When the fourth-generation Glock (Gen4) pistols (shown below) appeared in 2010, they offered a number of improvements, but also had some problems, particularly with their redesigned recoil springs. I decided to pass, and stayed with my Gen3 guns.
Last year, Glock introduced its fifth-generation (Gen5) pistols, based on the M series handguns developed for the FBI a year before.
The finger grooves on the grip have been removed, a new stippled finish has been applied to the grip, there's an improved trigger mechanism, a flared magazine well, and a number of other upgrades. You can see a detailed photographic analysis of the differences between Gen4 and Gen5 Glock pistols here.
I had the opportunity to test-fire a Gen5 G19 last week, and was favorably impressed. It fits my hand better than either the Gen3 or Gen4 models, and is likely to be at least as reliable - possibly more so, given the improved spring in the trigger mechanism (which feels much smoother). I'm accordingly going to be upgrading some of my Glocks to the new Gen5 Model 19, and possibly a couple of the sub-compact G26 model. I think the cumulative improvements over two generations have made the switch worthwhile. They'll make a dandy pairing with the new Ruger PC9 carbine, which I reviewed a few weeks ago, particularly given the latter's ability to swap magazine wells to take Glock magazines.
If you haven't tried the Gen5 Glocks, they're worth checking out. They're currently available only in 9mm, but I understand a Brazilian police force is testing a model chambered in .40 S&W. Whether or not that'll join the regular lineup, I don't know. A word of warning, however: both Gen3 and Gen4 Glocks are still in production, so there'll soon be more Glock models on your dealer's shelf than you can shake a stick at! Make sure you choose the right one. Gen5 models have "Gen 5" stamped on the slide after the model number, as shown below.
(Mandatory disclaimer: I wasn't asked by anyone to write this article, nor was I compensated for it in cash or in kind. I'm buying my own new pistols out of my own resources, partly by trading in older Glocks and partly by paying the balance of the purchase price. I'm sharing my views on the new model Glocks in the hope that they'll be useful to those of my readers who also use older-generation Glock pistols.)