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5th Gen Glock

Revolution, Evolution, or Status Quo? We Get Hands On With the Latest Glock

A lot has been said about the Gen5 Glocks, and so far the majority has to do with aesthetics and complaints about parts compatibility. And of course the usual grumblings from grandpa about how it’s not walnut and steel. The superficial story of the Gen5 is it’s a throwback to the Gen 2; for the real story, you need to dive a little deeper.

Yes, the Gen5 looks strikingly similar to the 17M and 19M that the FBI chose — don’t chalk that one up to random chance. Also like the FBI models, the Gen5 is starting out exclusively in 9mm and only with compact and full-size configurations.

It appears that Glock spent some time studying its aftermarket to determine what modifications were being performed on the current lineup. The finger grooves that appeared on the Gen 3 guns have been a consumer complaint for years, and it didn’t hurt that the FBI very specifically didn’t want them either.

The grip texture remains the same as the Gen 4, and Glock also retained the same swappable backstraps. Particularly noteworthy is the integral magwell, providing an additional 10-percent of surface area to ease reloads without being overly large. There’s also a front cutout to aid in magazine extraction that many have already found uncomfortable during reloads — perhaps the guys making their coin by removing factory finger grooves can switch to filling these in.

The 1911 aficionados who decry the grip angle can still shake their canes online; it’s the same angle as it has always been.


Though the magazine release is technically ambidextrous in that it can be swapped to either side à la the Gen 4, it still has to be physically removed and replaced. Glock did put a truly ambidextrous slide stop in place, opening up some options for lefties and support-hand manipulation during reloads and malfunction clearance.

We note that the addition of the ambi slide stop is the main reason why Gen5 guns may not fit in Gen 4 holsters. In some instances this can be solved with a file or Dremel (on the holster), and 17/19M holsters already exist in the wild.

The removal of finger grooves throws it back to the Gen2, whereas the flared magwell screams 2017.

The removal of finger grooves throws it back to the Gen2, whereas the flared magwell screams 2017.

The most obvious change with the slide is the finish and treatment. It’s called nDLC (Diamond-Like Carbon), and we’re told it offers superior corrosion and scratch resistance. It’s shiny, soaks up oil well, and you’ll leave fingerprints all over it. In some ways it reminds us of traditional bluing, but more robust. So long as it isn’t some Croatian coating that rusts when you look at it, we’ll take it.

The slides also sport a nice chamfer at the muzzle end of things to aid in reholstering, and it doesn’t look too shabby either.

Glock changed up their barrel with the Gen5. The rifling is slightly different and has a nice recessed crown. They call it a “Marksman Barrel.” Ostensibly this would be a more accurate barrel than what’s been previously offered. However, as you may know from reading about accuracy testing in Issue 30 and follow-ups on, there’s a lot more to it than simply pulling a trigger. More on this later.

If you have a magazine that works in the Gen 4, it’ll work in the Gen5 as well. This means if you have your magazine release setup “lefty,” you’ll need ambi-cut magazines. If you’re part of the 90 percent of the population who’s right-handed, you can use any old Glock magazine.

The Gen5 mags have bright orange followers, the same color as Magpul Glock magazines, and an extended front lip on the floorplate. We note that the FBI specifically wanted this front lip. Gen5 magazines will run in previous-generation Glocks, though you might have some trouble with certain magwells.

It turns out we’ve had Gen5 Glocks for years — we just didn’t know it yet. The Gen5 is like a G43 that’s been overfed, watered, and pumped full of steroids. The locking block pin, added to the Gen 3 guns because of breakage issues with some caliber and high round counts (*cough* .40 *cough*) has been eliminated in the Gen5. As to whether this is due to the Gen5 being offered only in 9mm or because of an increase in material strength is unknown.

Like the G42/G43, the trigger mechanism has been completely changed. The trigger shoes look the same, but the back end of the bar is totally different. The striker geometry and the striker safety are of a different design. Even the slide cover plate has changed, though legacy plates can be modified to fit.


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