Recently, I was one of a group of firearms media personnel that were invited to Glock’s headquarters in Smyrna, Georgia. It was all very hush/hush and the only thing we were told beforehand was that we were to be the first persons to see three “new” Glock pistols. Needless to say, my curiosity was piqued in the extreme by this “cloak and dagger” secrecy.
I’ve always been known to opine that a Glock, is a Glock, is a Glock. This is not a criticism of Mr. Glock’s innovative pistols, but a compliment. Regardless of the model, all Glock pistols had the same operating drill, were disassembled in the same manner and, in many cases, had a high degree of parts interchangeability. Once you’d learned how to handle one Glock, you had the knowledge to handle them all, greatly easing training and changes in equipment.
Over the past three decades, Glock pistols have been constantly improved. These changes were both cosmetic and technical, and were categorized as different generations, or as Glock put it “Gen.” The original Gen 1 pistol was followed by Gen 2, etc. until today we have the Gen 5 range.
Once in Glock’s headquarters we were introduced to the new G26 Gen 5, G34 Gen 5 and – in my opinion the most unique Glock to come down the pike in a long time – the G19X Gen 5. I was told that Gen 5 pistols have 35 new or updated components, many of which are not interchangeable with earlier Gen pistols. The first thing I noticed was that the finger grooves are absent from the grip frame. While some of our group liked the grooved frame, others, I among them, did not.
All Gen 5 grip frames feature Glock’s RTF3 (Rough Textured Frame) which provides an extremely firm purchase, even with wet or oily hands and greatly aids in recoil control. A feature that Glocks have long needed is at the bottom of said grip frame. The magazine well has been flared so that magazine lips can’t catch on the grip frame (and don’t tell me that has never happened to you!) allowing fast, fumble free reloads.
The interchangeable palm swells that were introduced with the Gen 4 pistols are still present. I installed the medium sized, extended palm swell on the three Gen 5 pistols I received and feel these represent the most significant improvement in the pistols’ ergonomics to date.
The front of the grip frame on the G19X and G26 have a lip that prevents pinching caused by the gap between the grip frame and magazine base pads, which shooters with large hands or longer fingers sometimes experienced with the earlier generation pistols. Considering its intended role as a competition pistol, the front lip of the Glock 34 Gen 5’s magazine base pad has been lengthened and the front strap has a half moon relief cut allowing the shooter to manually extract a recalcitrant magazine. Gen 5 pistols will accept magazines from earlier generation pistols.
Read the full article in the May 2018 issue of Magnum.