Glock 19 – Gen 5, by Pat Cascio

Glock has been running ads in firearms publications for many years stating “Glock Perfection” and of course, that is their hype. When it comes to firearms – and I don’t care who makes them, there are no “perfect” firearms, they all have their various quirks. Still, Glocks are largely about as perfect as they come. I remember purchasing my first Glock. It was called the “Glock 17” and many folks believed it was called that because it held 17 rounds of ammo. Not true! That came from the 17th patent that Gaston Glock applied for, so he assigned “17” to this then-new pistol. One thing I didn’t care for on the first Glock model, was that the polymer magazines swelled, when fully loaded, and you had to pull on them, once you pressed the magazine release to get the mags out. The more recent Glock magazines don’t have that problem. Still, I’ve been a huge fan of Glocks – all of them – ever since that first Glock 17 I purchased circa 1988.

We’re looking at the new Glock 19, Gen 5, in this article. And, at first glance, there isn’t much different about this than some earlier generations. If you’ll notice in the picture I have three Glock 19 models, and each one is different from the other. The top model is the new Gen 5, followed by the Gen 4.5 (as its sometimes called) and on the bottom is a first generation – although they didn’t call it that – it was just a Glock 19, and that one has a Crimson Trace laser sight on it – and it belongs to my wife and she won’t part with it. Although she now also owns a Gen 4.5 model.

When I first checked out the 19 Gen5, it didn’t appear to be much different than some earlier models. It does have a polymer frame with NO finger grooves on the front strap – I used to like the finger grooves, but learned over the years to dislike them, because I couldn’t place my fingers exactly where I wanted them to go, so no fingers crossed was to my liking. You’ll also notice that the Gen 5 model, has front slide grasping grooves on either side of the slide. To me, that is not a big improvement, since I rack the slide to chamber a round from the grooves on the rear portion of the slide.  But some folks like to “press check” with their non-shooting hand to assure they have a loaded chamber. Hence, those new grooves will be appreciated by them.

A few years back, Glock went with a new finish on the slide, it’s called nDLC (Nitride Diamondlike Coating), and it is more attractive and more durable than the original Tenifer finish on the slides. It is still a form of gaseous ferritic nitrocarburizing (a.k.a. nitriding). The Gen 5 barrels also has this nDLC coating, and it is long wearing/long lasting. Speaking of the Gen 5, Glock has improved their barrels, with what they call the “Marksman” barrel, and it is supposedly more accurate. More on this later.

Polymer sights sit on top of the slide, the front is a simple white dot and the rear is a partially squared off one – they are very fast to pick up, even under stress. However, they are not conducive to target shooting – too big. Still, sights on Glocks are easy to replace and there are dozens of types of aftermarket sites available, including tritium nght sights. The front of the slide is tapered, making reholstering faster – I like this feature, a lot!

There is an ambidextrous slide stop/release – and it works great. This is really a great feature if you are a left-handed shooter. But I should mention that on my Glock-made combat polymer holster, the ambi slide stop/release makes for a very tight fit in the holster. To overcome this, I took a Dremel tool to the right side of the holster and opened up the holster so the gun easily slips in and out of the holster.

The magazine well is slightly beveled and this makes reloads faster and easier. I’ve never had any problems with any double-stack magazine, getting it to slide into the magazine well. I like the pointy “checkering” on the frame, feels very good in the hand, without being to sharp, no matter how hard you squeeze the gun in your hand. And, of course, no finger grooves on the front strap of the polymer frame.

One of the subtle changes you won’t really notice was done to the Gen 5, is there is no locking block pin – it isn’t needed on the 9mm round. One thing that breaks on Glocks is the trigger spring…they are easy to replace, but not you don’t have to worry about this little spring breaking – tying up your gun Glock to the point it won’t fire.

The magazine floorplate is a new design that is tapered towards the front. And the follower is blaze orange and you can tell if the magazine is empty at a glance. The frame is redesigned, and it allows your hand to get up higher under the trigger guard – nice touch! The firing pin and firing pin safety is newly redesigned as well. A modified trigger bar adds to a smoother trigger pull as well. Some Glocks have a very spongy feel when you pull the trigger. There is a new extractor – one of the only things I’ve had to replace, aside from the trigger spring, this one is heavy-duty. The front rails – for hanging Picatinny accessories on the gun, is reinforced as well.  The Gen 5 also comes with a set of four additional backstraps in different contours to more perfectly fit the hands of all shooters. It is nice of Glock to include a full set with every pistol shipped, rather than sell them as accessories.

Most everything else is the same as the earlier generations, when you compare dimensions. The barrel is listed at 4.02-inches – but everyone just says it’s a 4-inch barrel. Depending on the weight of the 9mm ammo you are using, the gun weighs in right around 30-ounces. Of course, there is often copied, trigger lever, in the middle of the trigger – this is a safety. If you don’t pull the trigger straight back, pushing the trigger lever, the gun won’t fire. And, we have other internal safeties built into the gun as well. The Glock is about as drop-safe as they come.

At one time, at least here in the USA, about 80% of law enforcement agencies issued or authorized the Glock, in one model or another, as a duty weapon. Today, that number has fallen a bit, with other gun makers producing some outstanding striker-fired designs – like the Glock – for use. However, if my humble opinion, the Glock is not an outdated design in the least. As I’ve said before in my articles, my End Of The World handgun would be a Glock 19X, followed by the 19 – I’d have no problem going to war with these handguns on my hip.

Speaking of the trigger pull, it breaks right at 5.5-pounds – however, not nearly as “mushy” feeling as earlier Glocks. And, you can swap out parts to make the trigger pull lighter or heavier if you so desire – what’s not to like about this? For street and police duty, I say the 5.5-pound trigger pull is about perfect.

My Shooting Tests

We are, as most readers will know, in the worst ammo drought in history…and when you can find ammo it is extremely expensive these days – some dealers are taking advantage of this, and are selling ammo at 4-6 times the retail price. But whatever the market will bear. I’ve been limited in the various types of 9mm ammo for my articles, instead of firing 300-to-500 rounds in my articles, so I’m often only firing 50-to-100-rounds.

Black Hills Ammunition has been keeping me supplied in ammo for my gun articles, since I first started writing, back in 1992. And, they are still doing a stellar job of getting ammo to me. Maybe not as much ammo as I’d like or the different types, but they are doing a great job. For this article, I had their 115-gr JHP +P, 124-gr JHP +P, 115-gr FMJ, 124-gr JHP, and their 100-gr HoneyBadger fluted all copper +P ammo.

Many ammo makers are already back-ordered more than two years or more, and that means an order placed today, won’t be filled for two years or longer. Ugh! I predict that this will be a never-ending ammo drought for our lifetimes– so be advised. “They” are already getting prepared to pass a law where you’ll have to have a background check, each time you purchase ammo. I predict, with certainty, that we will also see limits on how much ammo you can purchase each month. Once again – be advised!

My shooting for fun, during my testing, was at ranges of 25-yards out to 100-yards, at targets of opportunity. The trigger pull was very good “for a Glock”, with a short, crisp reset. I never once missed what I was aiming at. For my accuracy testing, I had my target out at 25 yards, and rested the gun over a padded rest on top of a large boulder. I’m not sure if the accuracy was any better with the “Marksman” barrel, as it was with any other barrels Glock uses.  Best accuracy was with the 124-gr JHP load – and if I did my part, I got groups down to 3-inches and that’s plenty accurate.

The 115-gr FMJ load was giving me groups right around 3.5-inches…the other loads were ever so slightly larger than that. The 100-gr HoneyBadger load, was slightly larger than that – still an outstanding round, and any of my firearms I carry fro defense, I stoke them with this HoneyBadger load. I have a lot of confidence it will get the job done with proper shot placement.

In all, I only fired slightly more than 100 rounds of the Black Hills ammo. As I mentioned, I have cut down on the amount of shooting I do in my gun articles because ammo is so precious. I have zero malfunctions with the new Glock 19, Gen 5 sample and I didn’t expect any problems. If you have an older generation Glock 19, don’t trade it – these are great guns. But if you want a Gen 5, then just pay for it, and keep your older Generation – there is nothing wrong with them at all…but if you want the most up-to-date features, get the Gen 5 – you can’t go wrong. I have two of the new Gen 5, Glock 19 models, and I’d buy another one, if I had the funds. They are that good a gun for concealed carry or open carry.