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Carry On Concealed Carry Pistols

Gen 4 Glocks–A Step Backward?

by James Tarr   |  March 30th, 2012 104

I love Glocks, specifically anything they make chambered in 9mm (apart from the “Baby Glock” Model 26, which is just too small for my hands).  I shoot a Glock 34 in USPSA competition, and carry it every day (except for the month or two a year when I switch back to my SIG P226).  I consider the Glock 19 to be the pistol against which all others should be judged when it comes to concealed carry.

All of that said, I have absolutely no use for any of the new Gen 4 Glocks, and think Glock has taken a step backward with this latest version.


The Glock is not a perfect handgun, but as far as I am concerned everything that was wrong with the Gen 3 Glocks has gone unchanged in the Gen 4s.  What was wrong with the Gen 3s?  Well, first and foremost, while the white dot front and white outline rear sights provide a good sight picture, the fact that the factory Glock sights are still made out of plastic still flabbergasts me (I don’t get to use that word a lot, but it fits here).  If there is one part of a carry gun that gets banged around the most it is the rear sight, and if you drop a Glock on its plastic factory sights, they will break or deform.  I have seen plastic Glock sights worn down through holster friction by shooters just practicing drawing their pistol from the holster.


Another complaint I have with the Gen 3s is the trigger pull.  Glock advertises a 5.5-lb pull, but…  Standard models do have 5.5-lb connectors in them, that is true, but those 5.5-lb connectors usually yield 6-8-lb pulls.  I’ve observed that trigger pulls over six pounds or so start to degrade speed and accuracy when using a pistol, no matter your skill level.  The “Practical/Tactical” Glock Models 34 and 35 have 3.5-lb connectors, which results in a much more reasonable 4-6-lb pull, depending on the gun.


Did Glock change either the trigger pull or the sights of the Gen 3s for the Gen 4?  Nope.  What did they do?  Well, they put in a double recoil spring system to tame the recoil of the .40 S&W (and possibly correct reliability issues Glock .40s sometimes have when equipped with weapon lights)….the only problem is they put this spring system into their 9mm models as well, which was a big mistake.


The single recoil spring on 9mm Gen 3 Glock 17/34 was an already hefty 17 pounds, designed to last the life of the gun and then some.  Many competition shooters, myself included, replace the factory spring with a reduced power 13-pounder, and after 25,000 rounds I have yet to observe any wear on the gun from the lighter spring.  The “new and improved” Gen 4 dual recoil spring was so heavy that many users were experiencing jams.  These malfunctions were so commonplace that just barely two years after the introduction of the Gen 4, Glock began offering replacement recoil spring assemblies (RSAs) for all Gen 4 owners.  That moves this subject officially from the “gun writer opinion” to the “documented fact” column.


I find it interesting that Glock has not specified what was wrong with the original design of their recalled RSAs.  Have you ever heard of a car manufacturer announcing a recall due to a specific part, but not saying what the problem is?


Glock Gen 4 models have replaceable backstrap assemblies, but with only 4mm of difference between the smallest and the largest they don’t make as much of a difference in the grip size as you’ll see with a S&W M&P.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all bad.  The Gen 4 has a nice aggressive grip texture, and a larger magazine release button—but Glock has done away with the extended magazine releases on the Models 34 and 35.  The extended magazine release on the Gen 3 Glock 34/35 really made a big difference, so this is a decision I just don’t understand—you get rid of one of the few features that improve and differentiate your competition pistols from your standard design?  Why?  Did they even talk to their competition shooting team about this?  I challenge Glock to give me a good reason for this.


I highly suspect the “Gen 5” Glocks will look a lot like the Gen 3s, or Glock will, due to customer demand (i.e. falling sales) decide to offer both the Gen 3 and Gen 4s, but until that happens I suspect the Gen 3 Glocks will attain the same status as the pre-’64 Model 70.

  • kyle carpenter

    I had a gen 3 glock 23, ammo was outrageous, so i got a gen 3 glock 30 jusy for concealed carry, but the mag pinches my pinky so now with my left hand i apply pressure to mag pushing it upward, not very nice to shoot but a nice gun. Plan on getting a gen 3 glock 19 for comp shooting this summer, wish glock would recall or provide something for the 30's pinch to the pinky finger, and i also wish they would make models with safetys, cant stand when people say the trigger is the safety, cause its not plain and simple. u pull it and it fires, sorry thats not a safety AT ALL.

    • Rod

      Kyle, I'm not a Glock fan, but I do own one. However I differ from your opinion on the lack of safety. The SAFETY of the gun isn't a latch, a button or a trigger… the safety of the gun is the user. So if you are a safe gun user, you need no extra latches, buttons, hinges, bells or whistles to make sure your gun doesn't fire at the wrong time to the wrong target.

      Be safe!

      • Wolvie


        You are 100% correct about the only safety that really matters is between your ears. You will get no argument from me on that.

        However, I still feel that well-designed manual safeties are a very good thing to have. Springfield has a very nice grip safety that does the job without being intrusive. I still like the 1911 grip and thumb safety design.

        The Glock is not a true double action pistol. The striker is pre-cocked. I for one wouldn't carry my 1911 cocked & unlocked even though it still has a grip safety and modern pistols are very, very safe. Heck, even when I holster, the thumb safety is on and I lock my thumb over the hammer (thus blocking the hammer and lifting the web of my hand off the grip safety, disengaging that as well). The same practice of using the safety holds true with carbines such as the M4, where you are taught to constantly sweep the safety on and off as needed during regular handling and shooting drills. As a matter of fact, US service rifles are designed to allow loading and unloading with the safety engaged It's just good practice to use the safeties on firearms as designed.

        This is one of the things I still feel is missing from Glock. Even S&W moved forward with a good idea by allowing thumb safeties as an option or as an add-on on the existing models. This way, you can have them if you want or remove them if you don't like it.

        I own 2 Glocks (22 & 23, and 9mm conversion barrels for both…so you could say I actually own 4…) because, as a firearms instructor, there are situations where I have to use the same gun as the class I am teaching. I think it is a fine I piece of equipment, but it just doesn't have enough attraction to me to use it as a daily carry. I honestly think that along with the grip angle, trigger characteristics, and thickness, the lack of a manual safety keeps me from enjoying it as a daily carry.

        • ClintAmmerman

          You may want to look into the function of your Glock pistols a little more. The striker is only partially (1/3) rearward when the slide is returned to battery. It is moved fully rearward when the trigger is pressed (hence the "double action"). If for some reason the trigger bar were to break and move down letting the striker move forward it cannot hit the primer because it is blocked by the firing pin safety, which is only dissabled if you press the trigger.

          Manual safeties have to be put on safe. If you can forget to not pull the trigger then you can forget to put the safety on in the first place. Even with a manual safety the sidearm is only as safe as the operator.

      • M. Humphrey

        another idiot who thinks he is perfect and will never have an accident… I'll bet you don't have car insurance either because you are perfect and will never have an accident…

    • Charles Chazz Matthews

      Kyle: "cant stand when people say the trigger is the safety, cause its not plain and simple. u pull it and it fires, sorry thats not a safety AT ALL"


      I never respect people who complain about semi-autos not having a safety when REVOLVERS are not designed to have one and they don't complain about that. Becuase it means they don't know the history and logic behind the semi-auto safety and how it's no longer needed.

      The only reason semi-autos had a safety in the first place was because Browning couldn't make the Colt 1911 accidentally killing soldiers and horses in battle when calvary soldiers dropped their guns. Same reason there's now a lanyard hole. The U.S. Army made Colt put an external safety on, so the gun would only fire when ready, i.e. when the trigger was pulled — not when the gun was dropped on the ground. The soldiers were supposed to keep the safeties on until then.

      In the decades since then, semi-automatic handgun engineering had improved so that semi-autos won't accidentally discharge when dropped. This is why there was the infamous Glock "frisbee" tests against concrete walls and Glock dropping their guns from helicopters onto parking lots — to prove it would NOT discharge until the trigger was pulled.

      THAT is the only reason semi-autos had a external safety in the first place and revolvers don't. Since that reason is no longer valid, then the external safety can be removed. Sort of like a tax for a road that can end when the road it built. Understand? You don't need to keep paying the stupid tax.

      So, now in the 21st century, until revolvers are REQUIRED to have safeties, then semi-autos don't.


      And no I don't want to hear from some gun nerd that tells me some obscure S&W revolver now long out of production had a safety. You know what I mean. :) Revolvers don't have safeties because they don't need them, and that need has not existed in semi-autos either for decades. Glock was just the first to call bull on an unnecessary part/procedure, and now most other gun manufacturers are following.

      • Al Z

        Sorry but you are kidding… Right??? You must know that a revolver is not carried cocked and locked like I carry my Kimber CDP every day. A revolver has a long, 'be sure you want to do this' trigger pull when required for self defense. How the heck you can equate a double action revolver to a single action semi or even the fairly deliberate trigger pull of a Glock is strange at the least. I will not call you strange in any way, simply, perhaps uninformed,,,
        I am a firearms dealer and NRA intructor and train new and 'other' shooters regularly and as long as they are taught well and are comfortable with their desired weapon and practice regularly, all are safe.

        • Wolvie


          I'm still laughing at how he equates the lanyard to somehow be connected to the need for a safety. I guess the revolvers that long predated the pistol that also had lanyard loops also needed safeties. I also guess that modern handguns that currently have lanyard loops need safeties too. He doesn't seem to know that the purpose of a lanyard is so a mounted soldier could retrieve a dropped weapon that would be lost otherwise.

          For what it's worth…he also believes that the 1911 safeties prevented a drop-fire. He wasn't aware that drop-fires were from the firing pin being free-floating and could move with with sufficient velocity to ignite a primer if the gun was dropped on a hard surface. None of the original 1911 safeties locked the firing pin as they do now.

          Given that…I'm not at all surprised that he thinks a standard, double-action pull on a revolver is the same as the pre-cocked, lighter pull on a striker fired pistol.

          Your take on training with the selected design is absolutely correct. But even with that caveat, I still believe a well-designed and unobtrusive manual safety is still a nice thing to have.

      • Carl

        Well put, and enuf said

      • wildething1

        Thanks for clearing that up. I am Getting ready to buy our first handgun and would like to get the input from someone who seems to know about guns and get thier opinion about the Glock 17 and 19( myself and the wife)! I would appreciate what another enthusiast thinks about this being our first purchase for home defense!! We have shot handgunds before but never bought one!! Thanks R. Wilde

    • Rich

      @ kyle Simply move your pinky finger away from the magazine to avoid getting pinched. Also if you require a manuel saftey then don't buy a Glock.

    • Pete F

      The glock has three safeties, trigger safety, firing pin safety, and drop safety. All three are disengaged when the trigger is pulled. The trigger is essentially your manual safety switch. You should never pull the trigger on any gun expecting it to not fire…manual safety or not.
      (Police firearms instructor and Glock armorer)

    • Paul

      Hi Kyle, I'm Paul
      I have shot many IDPA matches with my 1911 (cocked and locked). If I were to carry a 1911 for self defense, I would carry it cocked and locked. But I carry a Glock 21 Gen 4. I was trained as a State Agent with the Glock. I would not want a safety. Initially, we used New York 1 triggers-8lbs (several years), then transitioned to the standard trigger @5. I shot our qualifying course (4 times a year plus 150 rounds for practice), I shot with the same speed and accuracy with either trigger. When you blood pressure is above 145bpm, only gross motor skill will do–draw, point, pull the trigger. Doing anything else within 7 yards.means you will likely be receiving deadly force. You must train routinely to carry a weapon, if not, you are only intrducing another weapon to be used on you, buy carrying conceled. If you attempt to perform fine motor skills while possibly having tunnel vision, and high blood pressure due to sudden conflict—the odds are all against you, regardless of caiber and platform.

      • steve

        Military has used safety guns for many many years. Everyone likes to recite what they read on the internet. "Only gross motor skills work when you are in a SD situation." "Safety adds time to your draw so you will be dead before you can disengage it."

        Muscle memory works just as intuitively as gross motor skills. If you flick your safety off every time you draw your side arm in practice, it will naturally happen in the SD situation. No thinking required. Or have bad guys gotten so very much faster over the last 150 years? Cowboys had to draw their nearly 3lbs SAA revolvers and pull back the very heavy hammer. Then aim and fire. If that was not enough firepower they had to flip a tiny panel open and eject single bullets and reload single bullets. Amazing everyone did not die back then.

        • MARC


  • Will Carry

    I have a Glock 19 gen 4. It has never failed, it's accurate, I like it. I do not use it as a competition pistol but I have shot some really nice groups with it and I train with it for self defense. I don't care about the trigger, or the RSA, or the sights. I have heard all the talk about the gen 4 being a disappointment to some people but maybe they're expectations were too high. Maybe the gen 5 will be the perfect Glock. ;)

  • Mike

    I have a G19 & 26, both Generation 3. They are the best!

  • steve lamanen

    So a Glock 34 is considered concealed carry now, that’s interesting… What in the world has happened to journalism? Did anyone bother to call Glock to find out what the problem was with the dual recoil spring? Glock has some of the best design engineers in the world, I’m sure someone at Glock would have taken a call from Guns and Ammo. I can’t figure out if the article is talking about concealed carry or the writer’s competition shooting pistols? The big mistake for me was wasting my time reading this garbage…

    • frankgon4

      I did. My Glock 31 Gen 4 had a recoil spring failure. The recoil spring actually came out the front of the slide. I took pictures.

    • Troy Emge

      I conceal carry a 34. Plenty of people conceal carry full size 1911s. They're practically the exact same size. Best concealed I've ever had.

  • Tony

    I have a gen3 glock26, since 2002! Never failed to function! I just ordered a gen4 19, despite the bs that people are saying about it! I gave friends that put over 10k rounds and every single shot went bang! To each their own! Time will tell when I get my gen4 19! Interestingly, all the gun dealers in my area can't keep them in stock!!!

  • Silverback843

    I have both a 19 and a 34 gen 4. Had gen 3 models as well, the gen 4 just fits my hand much better. The 19 did have some reliability issues that glock corrected with a new RSA and a new ejector. Has run since then flawlessly. The 34 has over 3000 rounds thru it so far for USPSA and Steel Challange, never a hiccup. Glock customer service is top notch. They realized there was an issue and were ready to take care of it

  • Grenadier

    My first Glock is a 23 Gen-4 and I am very pleased. The recoil spring assembly has been replaced and I added a LaserMax grip laser and a Pachmayr slip on grip (never damage in my right arm & hand). I've fired about 1,000 rounds & never experienced a failure of any type. I usually do not carry with a round chambered and do not have issues with safety. I added some bat tape to the slide to ease racking and find accuracy excellent with or without the laser. I've read the G-4 complaints in this and other sources but have concluded the issues cited are more related to personal taste than actual G-4 deficiencies.

  • Fred

    This piece was right on!

  • Bill

    I have 4 Glocks, they are ok. My favorate is the Glock 19. However I think that ALL the Springfield XD and XDMs are much better handguns. I have the XDM in 9mm and wouldn't trade it for any gun including a Kimber.
    I had fired most all Glocks, XDs and a couple Kimbers.

    • JACK

      just finished cleet training, we fired glocks, springfields and sw mp. i dont really like glocks I am a Kimber fan. All glocks fired about 1200 rounds with not one failure! the sw mp jammed every once in a while (once is too often) but the xd and xdm were jam a matics!! every one of the 30 shooters experienced several jams on a 20 shot course. I would not have a xd or xdm as a gift. THEY WILL GET YOU KILLED!!!!!

      • G.Musa

        I truly admire ur statement regarding the firing effeciency of the Glocks.I made a research in the Internet before buying a gun for protection n defense.I have read so much of its firing accuracy n safety why I owned a Glock 22 now.On the aesthitics side I prefer the XD's. G.MUSA Philippines

  • gquaglia

    Problem with the Gen backstraps is that it seems to be a bit of an afterthought. S&W, H&K and FNH did their backstrap systems right. I find the large hump, especially on the full size Gen 3 Glocks to be a deal breaker for me. Even though the hump is still there on the Gen 4s, it doesn't seem as bad.

  • T.D. Honeycutt

    I suppose I agree with some of your points, since the first two things I do when I purchase a Glock is:
    Change the sights.
    Change the slide release.
    I used to complaint that if you bought a 1911 (or Commander) pistol, you were forced to buy new sights. And now I'm doing it with the Glock. But the M22 is the best of the bunch for fitting my hand (larger than normal), but I don't have a problem shooting M26/27 M19/23 M30/36/21 M34/35. Can't speak for the 10 mm or .357 Sig, however.

  • Chris

    I'm glad I read this. I don't own a Glock yet, although I've got the Gen IV 17 on my list to get soon. Now I'm not sure if I want a Gen IV or just try to find a Gen III, or just say heck w/ it and get a XDm 5.25, which I really like the looks of. Decisions, decisions.

    • Nate

      go with the XDm

    • Randy

      Check out the Smith and Wesson M&P also. I think both XDM and M&P are a little better than a Glock but I have been shooting Glocks so long it is hard to go to another shooting platform. The M&P is perhaps the best of all three. I bought my son a 9mm XDM and he loves it, but he shoots my Glock Gen 4 17 better. Go figure!

      • beardboy

        Why would anyone buy a weapon made of plastic? I dont get it! NOT a Glock fan at all!!

        • MARC


    • TR3GUNZ

      I have the XDM 3.8 9mm, small enough to conceal, extra mags for full grip. Extremely accurate! trust me, unless your in a job that requires you to carry a glock… buy a XDM, You'll thank me!!

  • navdiver

    I have been a Glock user since 1986. Both as a civilian and LE. Witness enough AD's to know a safety will not replace ignorance. If AD's were a problem you would have heard screams from law enforcement agencies a long time ago. I respect shooters who want a safety and those who don't chamber a round. Again only practice and experience will help those who are afraid. No amount of safeties can prevent an A.D. only experience.
    Keep Your Finger Off the Trigger is the best safety ever developed.

    • Alan_T

      I'm right there with you navdiver except that I call them negligent not accidental . There was one LEO on my range that shot himself in the thigh because he holstered his Glock and still had his finger on the trigger ! The old gunnery sargent's used to ask to see your trigger finger if you had an unintended discharge and then when it was shown to him ….. he'd bite it to bone ! ! ! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA I'm glad it never happened to me .

    • Andrew Malik

      As silly as this sounds, holster a 1911 or M&P w/thumb safety, both with thumb safety engaged. Holster them while forgetting to take your finger off the trigger. What happens? Nothing.

      Now do the same with a Glock.

      What makes the Glock the easiet pistol to shoot also makes it the easiest to shoot by accident.

      • Nearly

        If you holster any gun with your finger on the trigger….you shouldn't be carrying.

  • Bob

    My first gun was a Gen 2 Glock 22. I still have it and rely on it although I've added many other guns since then. My modifications have been few. I added the Hogue Handall grip, a grip plug and a Siderlock safety. I still have the same plastic sites and they show no signs of wear mainly because I don't drop my guns. I will eventially replace the sights, not because I need to, but because I'd like to have nite sights on this particular gun. I like the grip on the Gen 3's to the extent I will not be buying any Gen 4's. My carry gun is a Gen 3 Glock 27 that I've added a grip plug and siderlock safety to. I've only had two FTF in the 20 years I've been shooting Glocks, both with remanufactured ammo. I put an extended mag release on my Glock 30SF but don't like it (it sticks out too much). I will be changing it back to the original mag release soon.

  • Phil

    I'll go with the idea of the "no safety" on a carry weapon.
    You need to be situationally "aware" of its present condition.

    If you really NEED to use it in a dangerous moment of threat,
    flipping a safety (or worse..forgetting to do so under duress),
    may cost a life..yours. Otherwise, safeties like those on the M1911
    are perfect for range, training, and just plain safety at home, or
    otherwise. This is a matter of personal choice, and just my opinion.

    • Alan_T

      ……. And it's not a bad opinoin Phil .

    • G.MUSA


  • Joe

    I love my gen 3 g19. It's the AK of handguns…ugly but it always goes bang.
    That said, if I were in the market today, I'd definitely look into the S&W MPs.
    The XDMs have too many bells and whistles–not KISS enough for me with all the grip safeties, ambi-stuff, etc.
    Everything else is overpriced and or oversized/overbuilt-for-its-capacity.

  • Thomas Lombard

    Tom likes his gen4 Glock 19, gen 3 Glock 23, gen 3 Glock 21SF. In my opinion there is no auto pistol that is more reliable. They are not the prettiest , but neither am I. Nor are they the most expensive.

  • Richard

    Glocks are double action only pistols. No manual safety needed.

    I have to agree about the gen 4 design. Too much "me to" and not enough innovation. I think they know people are going to change the sights so why bump the price of the gun by making the standard sites more expensive. The original article was a little incoherent the way it slipped into g19 after saying he carried the g34.

    • Andrew Malik

      DAO, huh? I thought they were "safe action"?

      Revolvers don't need a manual safety because of their long and heavy trigger pulls.

      Most DAO pistols have longer and heavier trigger pull than a Glock. Closer to a revolver. Does a Glock have a long and heavy trigger pull like a revolver? No?

      Then it's not as safe as one.

  • Hal G.

    When I am ready to fire one of my Glocks i put my finger on the trigger, not before then. I put either fiber optic or fiber optic/nite sites on all of my Glocks, except my GEN 4 G17 which I use only for range use. I also have put 3.5 lab connectors on all but the G17. I consider the Glock firing system to be DAO, not 'cocked' and I know that can be argued about all day. I am a former devotee of the 1911, and with that said i trust my Glocks the most and they are my CCW.

    • Andrew Malik

      You are human, right? And yes, what I'm inferring to could also mean one could forget to disengage the thumb safey of a 1911. We are not perfect. Just like the NRA teaches, Safeties are mechanical devices and can fail. Well, so can the human mind.

      And what's here to argue? You have a round in the chamber of a Glock or an XD and it's cocked with a farily light trigger with not a lot of distance to travel. No, it's not a 1911 pull in regards to distance. I would never state that there is no difference between a Glock and a condition zero" 1911 but it's definitely in the same spirit.

  • JohnnyC

    @Kyle, if your pinky gets pinched on that 30 go to a magazine fin extension by Pierce. It will give ample space for The pinky and no more pinch. Problem resolved. I have a 30 with these and I can shoot a regional IDPA match all day without discomfort.

  • JohnnyC

    @Kyle that is a finger extension not fin. Later.

  • frankgon4

    I purchased a Glock 31 "Gen 4". I never liked the hump on a Glock and when Gen 4 came out , the new grip is the reason I purchased one. I don't use the extra back straps that came with it.
    As far as the rest f the article, I agree. The sights could be improved and the trigger could be improved,
    Glock never should have changed out the recoil spring or they should have done more testing before they did. My recoil spring came out the front of the slide. I took pictures and contacted Glock. They sent me replacement springs.. It was an embarrassing moment to be shooting at the range and my recoil spring come out the front of the slide. Bullet in the chamber and I can't pull the trigger as the slide would not cycle. I had to force the spring back in with a board all the while hoping that I would not get a negligent discharge.

  • Steve

    Everytime a modification comes out shooters seem to run the gamut from how "perfect it is" to how "crummy it is". Some would say "to each his own". BUT that is ignorant of some big issues. There are not that many people who shoot handguns very well so any accuracy "issues" are really suspect. There are not that many who shoot enough to come to proven conclusions. Taking ONE particular Glock and putting one K or even 10K through it is, at most, maybe an indicator. I shot the gen 4 G22 when it first came out and shot 550 rounds on the first day. Failures were with one particular mag. And I really don't how the mag EVER passed an inspection. It was BAD. The claims about better recoil control were bunk for me. The recoil feels different. It did not make it faster back to sights for me. One thing I DO NOT LIKE: The roughness of the grips will make your hand pretty darned sore. Might be better for a carry gun you won't fire fight with BUT during rapid bad guy fight handling, you know when your first grip is not quite perfect, it made it VERY hard to quickly slip into place. Real good reason not to have a grip safety.

  • Steve

    Continued: My son was just issued a new .45 Gen 4. The bloody thing extract / feed fails. NO, THIS IS NOT A "DOUBLE FEED" (whoever came up with that garbage name!?!) I have had MANY GEN 1, 2, and 3 Glocks and never have had an extraction failure. No modification or firearm should be accepted until it has been on the market for a couple of years. Don't put one in my holster Mr. Department. And any gun for self defense should be fired with the duty ammo or at least a thousand rounds. Why gripe about plastic sights? You should have night sights anyway. Why gripe about extended mag releases? They should ALL be on the TRIGGER FINGER side of the gun so you don't have to cant the gun out of line to releae a mag. Thank goodness I am primarily left handed. THE crummiest thing about the Glock is the grip shape. The 1st generation was better but still not good. In contrast, the ONLY thing good about the SW MP is the shape of the grip. P L E A S E Glock!!!!!

  • Alan_T

    I don't have anything against Glocks , I like the utilitarianism and simplicity of the Glocks . There was one woman that used to come on the range with her Glock and she could put every round into a hole the size of a quarter . I know there are Glock owners who would fight you to the death over the honor of their pistols , maybe it's just because I have small hands , but I've never personally been able to warm up to them .

  • Bugsy Blackpowder

    I agree with Mr. Tarr. Glock had reached a pinnacle of pistol development and refinement in the Gen 3. Not perfection, but a pinnacle. In making the Gen 4, Glock crossed that proverbial line where they continued "fixing" things until they broke it. What a shame. Neither myself nor any other shooter I know likes any of the changes Glock made in the form of the Gen 4. None of us care for the Gen 4 at all. We'll jealously hold onto our Gen 3's until we are deceased. It kind of does lend to the notion that years from now, the Gen 3 Glock will achieve "pre-64 Winchester" status amongst gun collectors. Finally, I'm on-board with Mr. Tarr where he suspects the Gen 5 Glock pistols will suspiciously resemble the Gen 3's. No doubt he's right and the Gen 5 Glock could very well be the next "Coca-Cola Classic". Would be A-OK with me.

  • Steve

    I love my Gen 4 Model 19 more than any handgun in my collection, including my Kimber. I have never had such a reliable pistol that shoots as accurately with it's stock sights. I also bought a Gen 3 Model 30 and have found it to equally reliable, although I miss the larger mag release on the Gen 4. And where did the report on a heavy trigger pull come from? I find that both of my Glocks measure in with just above a 5 lb. pull. I am a zealous Glock convert for life!

  • Kent

    Would like to say bravo to Mr. Matthews although not completely true. Revolvers did add a hammer block as an internal safety, the old recovers would discharge when dropped the wrong way. A Glock has 3 internal safeties, and will not discharge unless the trigger is pulled. The reason for the new double recoil spring is to protect the frame from excessive tourque and recoil. The single recoil spring was designed to be replaced after 3000-5000 rnds in 40 s&w. Failure to replace your recoils spring can cause the rear left frame rail to sheer. I prefer the gen-2 Glock, don't need a tach rail or finger grooves and the frame rail are larger, have never seen a gen-2 brake like the gen-3. All are great reliable pistols. And all need proper care and maintenance,

  • GreginVa

    I have had a g26 gen three for about 12 years. I think its great but had to add grip extensions on mags. Anyone with big hands has to do this to be able to get more than a couple fingers on the grip. Just got a 23 and had to pick between gen3 and gen4. I chose gen3. It just feels better in hand and on skin if carrying concealled.

  • Walt

    I have a Gen 2 and a Gen 3 Model 22 and a Gen 3 model 17. All three have been completely reliable. I have shot both model 22's in the limited class of USPSA. My LE agency currently issues both Gen 3 and Gen 4 model 22s and all we have had no problems with either. I have shot the Gen 4 but the Gen 3 fits my had better and I seem to shoot a little better with it.

  • Michael

    I have short fingers. Love the M&P with the small insert. Can barley reach the trigger .When Glock came out with the Gen 4 I thought it would solve my problem of reaching the trigger. NOT! they need to shrink the grip more and set the trigger back.

  • UIlver

    I have one of the first Glock 17's brought into the country, for law enforcement testing. Ended up liking it so much I bought four of them. Police purchase price $254 out the door. It's still my carry gun.

    However, they really haven't done much to impress me, for a lot of years. Personally, a couple years ago I tested a Steyr M-A1 in 9mm, and thought it was everything the newer Glocks were, and THEN some.

  • N. J. Wojciak

    Big deal. All the things you complained about can easily be fixed and the parts are cheap too. Except for the rear sight you don't need a gunsmith to change the parts.

    As for the rear sight wearing out! I have my doubts about that. What kind of dope spends hours a day practicing releasing his pistol from his holster? That dufus should get a proper fitting holster or a job behind a desk.

  • Captglock

    I have been shooting Gen II Glocks since 1990. Only problems I ever had with them was whenever I replaced parts with after market parts or when I fed it with remanufactured ammo.

  • ARsrule

    Bought a Gen 3 17 because I wanted a Glock and the dealer I buy from didn't have a Gen 4 in stock. I wish I had tried a Gen 4 because I think the smallest grip is smaller than a Gen 3 which I find feels larger than my XD 45. Maybe it really isn't but it feels like it is to me. I like the Glock but I am really a 1911 fanatic I just love the way they feel in my hand. I don't see the Glock as "all that" but as they say they are everywhere and there is a reason for that. For my hands it is kind of bulky though.

  • Walter Julius Kuleck

    My answer to the Glock GEN question is the Ruger SR9. Try one and you'll wonder why you'd bother with a Glock…at least in 9×19.



    • Michael

      Got one and I totally agree… I always wondered why anyone would want such a fat frame gun with no safety… This nonesense of no safety on a deadly weapon is crazy… I think my family and everyone else around me deserves that… Accident happen period!… If you can train yourself to keep your finger of the trigger, than you can also train yourself to flip off a safety… Let's get real…

      • chsdster01

        you just don’t get it, do you?

      • Ron Davis

        You aren’t the brightest bulb in the box.

  • Gary

    I do not have a Glock 4, I have a (30) Glock 3 with factory Night Sights bought new for concealed carry (bad idea too wide), an (21) Glock 2 bought used (great gun but wish it had the 3 grips, replaced the plastic sights) a used (32) Glock 3 (have new sights but have not installed them yet, replaced the recoil rod/spring, trigger bar and extended mag release, consider this my preferred 2nd choice as a concealed carry piece- still too wide).
    My #1 choice is my Kahr CM9 with extended Mag end caps, narrow- only has 6 rounds- so I have 4 mags- best option for concealed carry- will not print thru like any Glock will and very light. So, until Glock considers its width problem with concealed carry, they will always be 2nd string in my book!

  • Bob

    So, what's exactly the problem ?

    If you think that your Gen3 is better than the Gen4,then keep the Gen3. There's enough spare part for this model to make yours last longer than you imagine. So it's definitely not a problem.

    If you prefer the Gen4, buy one. Sure it's not a revolution, sure it's not the best Glock of the Glocks, it's simply a bit different.

    I have friends who still shoot with their Gen1, and they are happy like that. They don't even think about buying something else.

  • koach77

    I sell firearms and although I do not own a Glock, it was in the running when I selected the Smith & Wesson M&P instead. In this article James Tarr talks about the problems with the Gen 4 Glocks as only a Glock owner could experience. As a fan, (not owner) of the Gen 3 Glock the one glaring change other than the recoil spring change, that stands out as a missed opportunity was in the replaceable backstrap. My M&P 9c has the ability to change the backstrap quickly at the range so my wife can use it. She is not yet convinced she needs one of her own….yet.

    With the Glock Gen 4, you have to have a punch to change the backstrap and as Mr. Tarr mentions, not a significant difference in size between them.

    I also do prefer the S&W M&P's trigger mechanism, and do not have a thumb safety on mine. All in all, two excellent choices which is never a bad thing. I hope Glock does make improvements on the Gen 5.

  • VRODMike

    Say what you want the GEN4 feels perfect in my hands. I agree with sights and the trigger pull. I was shooting a G34 and a G17 in different shooting sports bit have now switched to the Xdm 5.25 what a sweet gun!

  • Ian Frog

    The biggest disappointment is the grip is still HUGE!! 4mm difference…come on Glock!!

  • Dirty Devan

    It great Semi Automatic gun I use if I'm cop or any Law Enforcement. Civilian Caraval,Walther or Beretta.

  • Ron

    Have a Glock 21C,22,17 and a 32 which I would not trade for the best XD or XDM out there,as far as that goes any other pistol peroid.You pull the trigger on a Glock it goes bang everytime!!!Talk about firepower,they were the bench mark for high cap mags.

  • joey

    gen 4 glock 27 "best" "little" gun. so fun to shoot!

  • txjaws2000

    I love both of my Glocks. I carry a Glock 30 Gen 3 for my everyday CCW in Texas and have no issues with it at all. Also have a Glock 26 and have put close to 10k rounds through it without any failures or jams. Used to have the first version XD9 Service pistol and it would rust with the slightest bit of sweat. With my Glock if I sweat during the day nothing to worry about. Works great and no rust whatsoever.

  • Jim

    I have three gen 4's and I wouldn't trade them for anything. Being left handed I really like being able to switch the mag release. I've shot Sig, Walther, CZ, STI and even a 1911. My 21 and the 19 with the full backstrap are a perfect fit for me. They are all keepers!

  • Redell Walton

    Interesting. I recently purchased a Gen 3 17 and a Gen 4 19. The Gen 3 had erratic ejection until it hit about the 600 round mark. It still occasionally throws one in an odd direction, such as to my head or on my forearm. This one is also the first gun that I had to drift the rear sight to get it to shoot to point of aim. It has functioned reliably.

    The Gen 4 has been accurate and flawless. I wouldn't consider it a step backwards at all.

  • G27

    "Wolvie · 12 weeks ago

    The Glock is not a true double action pistol. The striker is pre-cocked."

    These two statements are false. They show a lack of understanding about how a Glock really works.

  • @s0nspark

    The great thing about the Glock platform IMO is that there are so many aftermarket options that allow you to tune the gun to suit your needs. The simplicity of the design means most things do not require gunsmithing.

    The only "negative" I see are the stock polymer sights, but then again I'd hate to pay for anything better out of the box as those always get replaced first thing on my guns with the sight *I* like. ;-)

    As for the lack of a manual safety: don't want, don't need. The gun is as safe as any other pistol when carried in a good holster and handled properly. In a self-defense situation safeties can get you killed.

  • robert

    my primary gun got into the hands of an attacker, I was visually able to see that the safety was still engaged . I was able to go for my backup gun and then took control of the situation. I'm not a fan of trigger only safeties. In a confrontational or potential situation i would never forget to flip the safety off , i like my finger on the trigger.

  • lilFLAgirl

    I have the 17, 19, 21, and 22; all gen3. I'm sure many women of my size would argue there are better guns fit for women my size (5'4" app 120#), but I love my glocks, especially the G21. my accuracy is so much better, maybe because of the weight, than it is with the g17. And the g19 I think I only have problems with because I have a problem with the shorter sight. I have been reluctant to buy a new gen4, only because i don't like the feel of the new grips. Think my hands would hurt after a couple hundred rounds at the range. I love the glock trigger safety. Maybe because I am a woman and the pressure is a little hard for me to fire off accidentally; although I can't imagine ever "forgetting" to take my finger off the trigger before holstering :) I love the fact the glock is a plastic gun, probably because it makes it lighter. Field stripping a glock and cleaning are super easy, the grip on the glck is a little big for my hands, but after many years, I've found my comfort zone and don't like the feel of other guns- not even the S&W. I almost bought a sig sauer p226 instead of a glock for my first gun and am so very grateful that i didn't! I have never had a jam with my glock; and just for giggles, have put some pretty crappy ammo through my 9mm just to prove it would never jam : / I am and always will be a die hard gen3 glock fan. I did shoot my son's gen4 G22. It was nice, and very accurate -yes, even with the factory plastic sites :), but it wasn't as comfortable to me as the gen3's I'm used to. Personal choice I guess. Also personal choice and personal confidence to carry a CCW without any additional safety features. My guns at home are not loaded and locked away from the also locked up ammo. Only loaded guns I have to worry about somebody else getting their hands on, are the ones strapped to my side and under my pillow at night. I feel very safe knowing I don't have to panic and "forget" where the safety is. If I ever pull my gun on another human being, it will not be to threaten; last thing I need is a safety. But that's what I was taught in my CCW class. Don't pull your weapon unless you intend to use it. Always carry my .45, I know I'll never miss with it! Happy shooting boys, whatever weapon you choose. Be safe. Be responsible. If you're worried about extra safeties, then I'm sure you probably need them. If you respect your weapon, stay familiarized with it, and practice often, the safety features on a glock should be just fine.

  • lilFLAgirl

    Sorry, women do tend to babble! I am almost as pround of my glocks as I am my children. I just keep thinking of more and more wonderful things to say about them :) And yes, my kids were the honor students, not the ones beating up the honor students! Sorry, just reminded me of a bumper sticker we see quite often down here in redneck country. I did spend a lot of time with the subcompact 9mm before making my purchase, and I REALLY did not like the "way too short" hand grip. I raised 2 boys and never had a whole lot of money to spare, so the last thing I wanted to do, is buy a gun I had to pay to modify. All my glocks are still factory. Just the way I bought them. Besides buying extra clips, just for convenience at the range, I have not had to put one dime in to my weapons in 10 years except cleaning supplies and ammo. I am definitely having a LONG TERM love affair with the company name GLOCK! I have 2 brothers that probably own over 1,000 guns between them. One is a collector of war weapons such as the M1 carbine, etc… foreign and domestic… The other is an avid collector of handguns, and he loves the S&W and the KIMBER. He gets mad at me because I like to pick on him and tell him I wouldn't give him 2 cents for any gun he owns, let alone trade one of my glocks for his whole lot! I should point out that I blow both of them away at the range, at both speed and accuracy (maybe its all those fancy safeties they have to disingage on their hand guns :) , like the ruger mark iii- WOW!! If I had to own a gun besides a glock, I would have to go with the sig sauer, but I still think that for the price difference, they're not worth the extra -lot extra- money. Us girls like our old shoes I guess, even if we buy them at walmart instead of Dillards! And us blue collar raised little redneck girls don't see the sense in spending outrageous money on a kimber, when a glock gets the job done just as good (probably better, but then i am prejudice when it comes to glock: My kids are probably prettier than yours too:] ) I have to admit, the recoil on the gen4 was a little better than my gen3 but in the defense of my gen3, because i'm used to her recoil, it personally took me longer to adjust my next shot: I know, less recoil should make it easier: once again, old shoes. All kidding aside, I could definitely be a Glock spokesperson. I think the differences between the gen3 and the gen4 are mostly personal preference. Your question seemed to get lost with all the avid self righteous gun owners. I believe the question was, "whats the difference between the 3 and the 4?" The grips are different, slight size, and texture, backstraps – personal preference- the dual recoil spring – I agree, should not have been used in the 9mm-, really, wahat was the point? Could definitely see it causing a problem with the lighter ammo. Cuts in the slide and barrell. So, besides the side interchangeable clip release (I'm sure one of you guys will correct me on the technical term :]), most of the changes are basically grip and recoil.

  • lilFLAgirl

    There you have it. I would definitely recommend a GLOCK, especially for your first handgun. You will soon agree, there is no sense in spending twice as much money when glock is just as efficient, if not more, than the higher priced guns. We may not be as pretty, but I have found that most men don't like pretty anyway. AND Glock is definitely a brutely looking manly man gun. Imagine it in the hands of a little mother of 2 grown boys hands. It is a power trip!! Knowing you are skilled, practiced, and well educated with your weapon is a power trip of its own. Just knowing that you have the means and the knowledge to defend yourself no matter how little you are, or how big they are! A crazy person may still chase you down with a shot from a 9mm, aside from a head shot-maybe-, I choose the .45 as my CCW, personal protection weapon. I never want to shoot anyone, but if I ever have to, I want it to stop someone in their tracks. the .40 and .45 are just a very comfortable weight, and the standard is a very very comfortable sight range for making fast and very accurate shots just as fast as you can recoil recover and pull the trigger. Sorry for the rambling, this is why I don't usually post on public forums. Just happens to be a topic I am very passionate about!!! My sons and my guns :) Besides, I always look on the bright side. 2 sons, 7 glocks between us, 20 clips; if theres ever a zombie apocolypse, you may want to head south, where mama's teach their boys how to load, shoot, clean, take care of, and most important, respect any weapon capable of taking another humans life. Including bare hands! We start anger management while still in diapers. Us mama's are deadly weapons ourselves when it comes to protection, so whether its a man made weapon, or just human instinct, never use force unless its to protect a human life. Or a zombie apocolypse! My nightly prayer:::: Dear God, if the world, for some reason, does not come to a screeching halt on Dec 21st, 2012, then PLEASE let there be a zombie apocolypse, and could you PLEASE make the first zombie I see be my ex-hsband? I would forever be in your debt and would never ask for another thing; except maybe to have all the other zombies bare a strong resemblance to my ex-husband :). Please keep everyone else safe from any harm or dispair and may every God fearing soul have sweet dreams! AMEN!! :) <3 Admit it—-it's funny!! OK you can change the ex-husband to ex-wife, but only if she was abusive enough to make you cry or bleed! Wish I knew as much about guns as I do zombies!!! I know how to use it! Safely, efficiently, and responsibley. My mind and body LOVE LOVE LOVE the Glock. yu need to choose a gun that you love, so its a joy to learn your weapon like its an extension of you. Enjoy learning its good points and bad, learning how to overcome any issue you might have with it, just like monkeys learn to work without thumbs! Let the GLOCK be your thumb!! Good night boys, lack of sleep is making me delirious now;;;; SORRY

  • Rey

    You can conceal carry anything that pleases you, be it a 34, 19, or 26, it doesn't really matter. For as long as the person carrying it can conceal it, and comfortable for him/her to use it. Can you imagine if we all follow what is considered "conceal" to whom? How will it look like if a guy like Shaquille O'Neil carries a 26? The one thing I'm still trying to conceal is my father's M-60. Damn this belt fed ammos! hahahah

    • Baby Eagle II .45 & Glock 20

      I am going to buy a desert eagle .50 and vertical shoulder carry it. lol, but seriously

  • TJ_M

    Ihave the 27 gen4. I love it wouldnt trade it for anything. Am alittle iffy that it will MF but not enough to get rid of it. I knew this is how it was and chose to buy it!! If u dont like it DONT buy it and complain

    • MTR

      He is writing a review…

  • Frank

    Now that Glock has finally worked all the "bugs" out of the G30SF, I'll be purchasing one for carry….
    I don't need to spend $50 more for the Gen4 G30 when they hit the civilian market next month…..for what? An extra magazine, wide mag release and some grip texture I don't even like.

    Gen3 for me please….

  • clubby2288

    i love GLOCK 17s! if a GLOCK 17 were a woman i would merry it. then become good friends with its father (G20). then become a cop and support my wife and little son (G26). we would grow old together. we’d go on vacation to the Caribbeans, she would fall in the water but its ok cuz she’s a GLOCK and water doesn’t affect them one bit! i would get cancer and before i die go off with one last bang! my life would be complete and i would regret nothing. my life story, and its a good one! gotta go the Mrs’s (G17) is calling for me!!!

  • Baby Eagle II .45 &Glock 20

    I have a gen4 20 and I absolutely love it (no malfunctions, very very accurate, and I wouldn’t sell it for triple the price I payed). I see very little extra recoil compared to shooting my buddy’s Walther P99 .40 S&W (the Glock 20 is 10mm for those who don’t know). I am also shooting doubletap 200 grain 10mm compared to my buddy’s Magtech 165 grain .40 S&W ammo (both FMJ for range).

  • KEN


  • Phil

    I prefer the gen4’s grip (texture and shape) and mag release, and it seems they’ve worked out the issues with the recoil springs. I’m down with the gen4’s, but not enough to sell gen3’s to “upgrade” to a gen4 of the same model. I agree whole-heartedly with the plastic sights comment, however. Definitely bogus.

    • Phil

      Also, to add a bit, I have large hands and I prefer the grip without any backstraps. That is a useless “upgrade”. Without any additional thickness to the grip, I can reach the mag release without adjusting my hold on the firearm, which is handy.

  • Kimmerling

    I just spent all day gunsmithing the dimple on trigger bar off so my oob glock 19 could function without failure to feed every other round. Now it’s every couple hundred. You shouldn’t have to gunsmith a glock. Bad design. Will start using my XD.

  • Dan Nabis

    I find the Gen4 model 22 completely lovable and perfectly, reliably functional. I see how the RSA in a 9mm model might be an issue, but it gives me no problems with the 9mm conversion barrel. The grip texture is less sharp on the Gen 4 which I really like, and the ability for lefties to swap the mag release is very cool for an underserved firearms user population.
    The plastic OEM sights is my only gripe with Gen 4 (and all other Gen glocks)

    Decent article/review though.

  • Ron Davis

    I own a Glock 34 Gen 3 and Gen 4 to start things off. Using my Glock 34s as a reference, calling the Gen 4 a step backward is 100% nonsense. If a slightly better grip surface, better recoil spring, custom dovetails, and a mag release that can be easily switched for left handers is moving backwards……………..

  • John Rendon III

    I just picked up a glock 31 gen 4 357. Sig … I notice after bringing it home that all the magazines that came with it wobbled a little front to back and side to side. Ive never.owned a glock and want to know of this will cause a jam or is nothing to worry about. Should.i take it back n get another gun or is that ok !!!! Any advice or comments would be appreciated. Im Johnny
    Thanks for any help

    • BaconLovingInfidel

      Normal, but there should be much less lateral looseness compared to how much the magazine can move front to back.

  • John Rendon III

    I got a glock 31gen 4 357sig today and notice ,when i got home , that the clip wobbles . it doesnt fall out but will that wobble cause a jam or is the gun ok . should i ezchange it or is it normal that it sits about 1/8 in. Out. Any advise or help would be appreciated…. Thanks

    • John Rendon III

      Its a 357 sig

    • BaconLovingInfidel

      Never put a clip in a Glock. That’s your problem right there.

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