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Here’s the Full Reveal of the New Glock Gen5 Pistol

We can’t say that the release of the Gen5 Glock is the biggest surprise in the world–with rumors and leaks swirling for weeks, it’s unlikely this comes as unexpected news to many of you. As you’ll learn below, the next generation Glock is very similar to the much-leaked, but seldom revealed FBI M-series pistols.

Glock says the G17 Gen5 and G19 Gen5 pistols “were inspired by the GLOCK M pistols used by the FBI,” and include more than 20 design changes compared to it’s predecessors; the most obvious include a non-polyagonal rifled barrel, an updated grip with an integral magwell and no finger grooves, a new nDLC finish, and ambidextrous slide stop levers. The new guns will be on dealers shelves beginning August 30, 2017, and prices will be comparable to their Gen4 brethren.

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While down in at Glock’s US headquarters in Smyrna, Georgia a few weeks ago, we got familiar with the Gen5 pistols while shooting them in the company’s new Glock Operator Course.

Exterior: A Modern Throwback
A quick glance at the exterior let’s you know that these new pistols are nearly identical to the FBI-contract Glocks 17M and 19M. The most obvious changes from all previous generations is the absence of both the locking block pin and the much-maligned finger grooves.

 

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The Gen5’s have a flared magwell that we didn’t find obnoxious or printy, and the Gen5 G17  has a cutout on the front to help get a grip on stubborn mags.
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First and second generation Glocks had triggers with only one pin in the locking block/trigger mechanism. A second pin, the locking block pin, was added to third generation pistols because the trigger pin alone wasn’t strong enough to deal with some cartridges [read: .40 cal] and displayed durability issues on high round-count pistols. Now with the fifth generation, the locking block pin has gone to live at the farm with the grip’s finger grooves. While this change might be a result of Glock improving the strength and design of the trigger bar and locking block components, we suspect that’s part of the story. Since Glock says the Gen5’s will only be offered in 9mm, the parts may not require the .40 cal reinforcement that came from the locking block pin.

Yup, currently the G17 and G19 are the only Gen5’s in the lineup.

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The magazine release didn’t become truly ambidextrous. Like the Gen4, it’s swappable to either side. The slide stop got an ambi upgrade and is now and can be hit from both sides of the pistol without digital contortion. The  Gen4 and Gen5 grip backstraps  are identical.

The finish on the slide is new and the process is named nDLC. Glock tells us it’s similar to a black nitride finish. We can’t give you a report on its durability, yet, what we can tell you is that nDLC definitely holds fingerprints, as evidenced in all our photographs.
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Glock says three different sight configurations will be available:
Three dot night sights
Ameriglo sights with a tritium and photoluminescent front sight
Plastic OEM sights

The factory sights are a little narrower than those on older generations. There is currently no public plan for an MOS-series (optic-ready) Gen5; though we will hold out hope.

Gen5 magazines are a smidge different. The followers are orange for easy visual identification and there’s a lip on the front to make reloading easier. All previous generation magazines are compatible with the Gen5 if the pistol’s magazine release is setup for righties; and all newer ambi-cut magazines will work regardless of the pistol’s mag release orientation.
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It’s What’s on the Inside that Counts
(At least that’s what mom told us)

We knew just from the externals that the guts were going to be different. The barrel has changed. Polygonal rifling is sleeping with the fishes, as Glock opted for more traditional rifling with a match crown. They say the new rifling results in increased accuracy. We’ll get this on a ransom rest and see if the claims are true; stay tuned.

We asked about Gen5 threaded barrels, but Glock says none are available. It appears that Gen4 G19 threaded barrels may work, but not for the G17 due to the new locking arrangement.
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The Gen5 barrels can’t be swapped with Gen4 or any previous generation. In order to simplify agency parts procurement, both the Gen5 17 and 19 share a locking block. This also means the Gen5 G17 recoil spring is also proprietary due to its slightly longer length and the location of the slide lock lever changed.
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Speaking of the slide lock lever, the Gen5 skipped the leaf spring and instead went with a traditional coil spring.
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Looking at the underside of the slide shows a ramped striker safety plunger.
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The striker, extractor, and even the slide cover plate are different on the Gen5. We almost feel bad for the guys who bought Punisher skull cover plates. Almost.
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Digging deeper into the frame side of things is where we find the more drastic changes.
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Every part of the trigger system is different. It looks like you might be able to use an aftermarket connector, but we can’t confirm proper function.
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Holster Compatibility
Because there are some new dimensions, not every holster on the market will work with the Gen5. However, most of what we tested them in worked just fine. Some of them were a bit tight and had less of a positive lock because of the  right side slide stop arm.
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Previous Generation Compatibility
It’s actually much easier to list what is compatible with Gen 4 Glocks than what isn’t:
-Magazine Release
-Magazines
-Recoil Spring (G19 only)
-Striker spring and sleeve
-Channel Liner
-Spring cups

This means virtually all of your aftermarket parts won’t work with the Gen5. Glock tells us they were focused on increasing durability, accuracy, and cost effectiveness at an agency level with the Gen5; the aftermarket isn’t their focus. If the Gen 5 proves successful, the aftermarket will follow.

Regarding durability, we’ve heard from a reliable source that the Mean Rounds Between Stoppage (MRBS) is 11,000 and there’s at least one Gen5 with more than 30,000 rounds through it with no parts replacement. The increased commonality of parts between the G17 and G19 means cheaper repairs and a reduced parts inventory for law enforcement, government, and military agencies, and for commercial armorers, as well.

We’ll be wringing the Gen5 out over the next few weeks and publish a full report first in the next issue of RECOIL’S CONCEALMENT.

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