Gun Review: Glock 19 Gen4

Glock19Cover

The Glock 17 and 19 has been the gold standard for combat handguns since shortly after its introduction to the US market in 1988. Some of you 1911 guys out there are going to dispute that, but the widespread adoption and high sales numbers of the compact 9mm tells a very clear story, the Glock 19 is one of the most popular pistols in the world.

Some argue that it is the Glock line of pistols are some of the ugliest guns on the planet. Frankly, I wouldn’t argue with you on that front. The iconic blocky shape that has not only become famous but the butt of many jokes still remains. In fact, the design is roughly the same as the day Gaston sent the first batch off to the Austrian Army.

The pistol that I am reviewing today is my personal Glock 19 that I carry in my laptop bag. Since I spend a lot of time at work sitting at a desk doing boring computer things, I tend to carry off body many times and stuff the Glock 19 with two spare mags in a concealed pocket dedicated to the Glock. Is it optimal? No, but I carry every day as a result.

So what makes the Glock 19 special?

Quite simply, it is a wonderful tool if you need to defend yourself. While it might not be the perfect target pistol or even the best for competition, its simple design works just about every time you need it to.

Weighing in at 23.65 ounces unloaded, the Glock 19 is not exactly a boat anchor you strap to your waist making the carry of the striker fired gun relatively easy. As a bonus, the Glock 19 carries 15 rounds of 9mm in the mag, 2-3 more than comparably sized pistols at the time of its introduction.

When you open the pistol case on the Gen4 guns, you find a bushel of backstraps (that I have since thrown in a box never to be found), three magazines, a plastic cleaning rod, and a nylon brush along with the pistol. My Glock 19 is the newer Battlefield Green color; they are also currently available in the classic Glock black as well as flat dark earth.IMG_4312

The Gen4 grip is an improvement over the previous generations in my humble opinion. One of the reasons I purchased a Gen4 over the proven Gen 3 is the reduced trigger reach. The other main reason is the huge magazine release, at over double the size of the previous generation’s it is easy to get the magazine out while not overly large. The Gen4 also has an enlarged magazine release, updated rough texture stippling, interchangeable backstraps, and a dual recoil spring assembly that I will get to later.

You can see the two grooves that the backstraps interface with, simply snap them in place and replace the polymer pin with the longer one provided with the backstraps. IMG_4318

Glock did change the slide finish from the crinkled finish on the Gen 3 pistols to a smoother but more rust prone finish on the Gen4. You also get a loaded chamber indicator on the extractor, no more guessing if it is loaded. You should always check the chamber to be double sure, though. IMG_4319

Normally the Glock 19 will ship with standard plastic sights, but I have replaced them with AmeriGlo Hackathorn night sights that I will cover in a later post. The stock sights are perfectly serviceable, but there are better options on the market currently.  IMG_4328

One of the largest selling points of the Glock 19 is the ultra reliable 15 round magazine. Not only can you find them just about anywhere, but they are priced under $30. Normally when I buy a new handgun, I stock up on enough mags to give me 5-6 total, with Glocks I step that up to at least ten because they are so inexpensive. IMG_4334

If you are familiar with Glocks, you can see that at a glance the internals are visually identical to the Gen 3, sadly many of the parts were tweaked so that they no longer interchange.

The operation is simple, when you pull the trigger, the trigger bar and cruciform move rearward cocking the striker, then the cruciform drops down to release the striker. The stupid simple mechanism has been copied and adapted all over the world in dozens of pistols. Heck, the Smith & Wesson Sigma pistols were almost a direct copy of the Glock action, leading to a lawsuit that cost Smith a bunch of money. IMG_4336

Previous generations have a single, flat wire recoil spring assembly. With the Gen4 pistols, Glock took what they had learned with the Glock 26 and 27 and built an all new dual recoil spring assembly. Mind you that it had some teething problems early on and issued a recall, Glock not only fixed the problem but also provided replacement parts to anyone who needed one. IMG_4337

Some say that the Gen4 triggers are heavier than the older Gen 3 guns, The examples I tested didn’t reflect this finding, but slight geometry changes could account for the change in trigger feel. My Gen4 19  action is box stock and measured just under 5 pounds on my trigger scale. P1080703

While I was at the range, I pulled my 19 out of my laptop bag and took aim at the steel downrange dumping a full mag on it at a very rapid pace. The photos below show how little muzzle flip I experience when the Gen4 recoil spring if coupled with the tiny slide of the Glock.

Pay no attention to the stalker behind me in the blue shirt. I think he got lost on the way to the AARP meeting. 19-2 19-3 19-4

I spent a while longer with my 19 running some simple drills and having fun. I have well over 1500 rounds through the gun since I bought it three months ago without a single malfunction. I think I can say that it is reliable. 19-1

I lined up at about 15 yards, this time, to see what kind of group I could shoot, if it went poorly, I would move to the normal 7 and never tell you I tried at 15. Ignorance is bliss right? The results were outstanding. I dropped all five shots into a two and a half inch or so group, not bad shooting for me. 19-5IMG_4275

There is a reason that the Glock 19 is one of the most recommended pistols in gun shops. They work, they are reasonably accurate, they often are within someone’s means financially, and they are above all a perfect tool. I refuse to believe that it is a coincidence that I see as many cops carrying a Glock product or the announcements from military units that they are moving to the Glock platform.

If you are looking for a solid handgun that you can conceal as well as enjoy at the range, the Glock 19 needs to be at the top of your list. As a gun guy, I should be ashamed that I bought my first double stack Glock a few months ago. Bad Patrick.

The Glock 19 Gen4 carries an MSRP of $629.99 and a street price of about $525. You can learn more about the Glock 19 on Glock’s website HERE.



Patrick R

Patrick is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and works in the shooting sports industry. He is an avid recreational shooter and a verified gun nerd. With a lifelong passion for shooting, he has a love for all types of firearms, especially handguns and the AR-15 platform. Patrick may be contacted at tfbpatrick@gmail.com.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • Wolfgar

    The Gen 4 trigger is heavier than the Gen 3 but is an easy fix. The stippling is superior on the Gen 4 and a great up grade. Glocks are hard to beat.

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      I experienced the opposite, my Gen 3 Glock 23 was a touch heavier.

      • Wolfgar

        There is a little indent on the Gen 4 Glock trigger bar which keeps the engagement centered on the firing pin safety plunger. It can cause friction and drag that tends to make the trigger pull heavier which was the case with two of my Gen 4 Glocks. I’m glad to hear you got one that was the opposite.

        • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

          I am aware. I do not identify it as a problem.

          • Wolfgar

            It may not be a problem but it does increase drag which creates a heavier trigger pull for questionable benefits. I have never heard of a good shooter complain there firearm had too good of a trigger. There are many competition shooters who will only use the Gen 3. Each to their own and give Glock credit for giving us the choice.

    • Hoplopfheil

      Gen 3 stippling is only “aesthetic” stippling. To me, it doesn’t seem grippy at all. Much nicer on the Gen 4.

      • Wolfgar

        Absolutely, this is why most Gen 3 Glocks have custom stippling or skate board tape on them,

        • Frank Grimes

          RTF2 was the best factory stippling.

  • Don Nelson

    Most 1911 guys can concede it’s the gold standard of STRIKER-fired pistols.

    • ozzallos .

      Most 1911 guys wouldnt care that youre comparing a predominantly 9mm platform to a 45acp platform either.

      • Frank Grimes

        What difference does it make?

        Service caliber handguns all have the same performance.

      • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

        # allcalibersmatter

        • Rodney Jenkins

          Cute

          • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

            I know.

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      I’ll rephrase just for you, it has become the gold standard for a combat handgun.

      • It performs well enough in a broad enough range of circumstances and at a low enough price point that it makes sense to adopt it as a fit-all solution. THat doesn’t mean it’s the best at everything across the board, just the option that does well enough in the broadest number of categories.

        And it makes sense. When outfitting groups for combat, we have to go with the equipment that will perform adequately in the widest range of circumstances possible.

        There’s also no shame in admitting, however, that “the gold standard for a combat handgun” does not mean that it’s the best choice for all shooters; or that a gun is just another tool, and should be looked at with the same qualitative criteria as one looks at any other tool.

      • n0truscotsman

        That’s a irrefutable *FACT*

        • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

          The numbers seem to support that.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    I’ve got a Gen 3 19 and I’ve got a Gen 4 coming in to my local shop. My gen 3 trigger is very crisp stock. Light takeup and then a solid wall with no creep. Heavy but a very good trigger. There was a lot of creep the the Gen 4s I handled at the shop but it did seem a little lighter although I prefer crispness over weight.

    The smaller ergos are the only reason I’m going with the Gen 4. I usually keep triggers stock but I may pimp this one out.

    • U8SM5C

      I installed a pyramid trigger and a steel guide rod in my 23. Never been a big fan of the glock trigger. The base pyramid trigger keeps the weight at 5lbs however, the smoothness and break is a huge improvement. The steel guide rod tames some of the muzzle flip, for me, similar to a 9mm with +P ammunition. These two mods have made the pistol much more accurate and significantly quicker on follow up shots.

      • Harry’s Holsters

        I’m going to keep the Gen 3 stock and run the Gen 4 stock for a while but I think I’ll eventually upgrade the trigger to an Overwatch Precision or SSVI/Agency and a Ghost Rocket or Ranger Connector.

        The steel Guide rod is a good idea. I’m sure someone will make a setup for the Gen 4. My goal is to turn my Gen 4 into a tack driver.

        Fitted Barrel
        Comp
        Above Trigger configuration with Stock poundage springs.
        New sights of course.
        Possibly a new guide rod

        Any other suggestions?

        • U8SM5C

          Concur with the new sights. Having exceeded the half century mark in age, my eyes require much more than stock sights. I favor Trueglo Tritium Fiber Optic sights. Haven’t found light conditions they haven’t worked well in.

  • Lance

    Must be a small man Patrick R. G 19 is small, A G17 is better fit.

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      You must have eyes Lance.

  • valorius

    Hmmm. I have always viewed the HK P7 to be the gold standard of striker fired sidearms.

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      Go away Alex C. Just No.

      • valorius

        I’ve shot darned near every type of pistol, i’ve yet to find one that can exceed the P7 for trigger pull, accuracy, and speed into action.

        It’s just one of many German masterpieces of engineering.

  • Am I crazy for wanting Glock frames in alloy/stainless?

    I like the weight of an all metal gun, and a G42/3 would be amazing…

    Or you know… A G19 metal frame ♡

    • The old CCF race frames offered this very option – aluminum and stainless glock frames – but they are sadly out of business.

    • Frank Grimes

      Summit Gun Broker has new-old-stock G17/G22 CCF Raceframes is stainless steel for $175.

  • JayHu

    “…a bushel of backstraps (that I have since thrown in a box never to be found)”

    haha I did the same thing at first,,, then one day I decided to actually try a couple out, and boy am I glad I did. The small beaver tail backstraps adds no real girth, but the beaver tail is awe-some! Between that and sanding out the trigger guard a little to fit my fat fingers, the thing now first like a glove in my hand (albeit a blocky glocky one) and I feel like I have total control over the thing now. If you haven’t tried it, you should at least do so at some point.

  • Mmmtacos

    I love it when you guys review these obscure, niche firearms.

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      I like you.

  • James Young

    I wouldn’t mind seeing more gun reviews on The Firearms Blog 😉

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      We have a ton coming out this week.

  • CJ

    Well the finishing is no longer the good one they used to have 🙁

  • Thank you for the review. I’m curious how your handgun ejects. I got a new G19 Gen4 earlier this year, and it tends to eject straight up and back at me. It can be distracting with hot brass hitting me in the head or going down my shirt. My G19 Gen3 doesn’t have that problem, and through several thousand rounds has always performed flawlessly. I added the Gen4 because I much prefer its smaller grip. Hopefully one day it will settle out with its ejection pattern.

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      I don’t watch the brass. If it clears the gun, I don’t care much where it goes.

  • Sasquatch

    Though the G19 is a good handgun, I still cannot get over the grip. For people with sausage fingers find the finger grooves uncomfortable. Also the angle of the grip is a killer for me. This is why the FNS 9 & 9c shines for me.

    • RickH

      Not just sausage fingers, but people with large hands like me, I get tired of “Glock knuckle”, and ditto on the grip angle. 30 years is long enough to offer an additional frame design.

      • Sasquatch

        That’s what I’m sayin. I want a glock for the aftermarket but the grip.

        • Billy Jack

          There’s some folks who will take the grooves off for about $50 online. They do quality work. None of that guy with a Dremel looking stuff. You just ship your frame to them. If I had to have one that’s what I’d do. I’d carry a 22/17 first though.

      • Paul B

        It’s all individual. For smaller hands like mine the finger grooves are a perfect fit. For me it is a Goldilocks gun–big enough to shoot well, small enough to conceal without much difficulty. Best all around defensive handgun on the market IMHO. Can handle massive amounts of +p and +p+ ammo too.

        • RickH

          I have no problem with the engineering, I’ve owned two 17’s, and one 19 in the past. With the ease of manufacturing these days, there’s no reason not to have some options. And the finger swells have always been a point of contention for some people.

      • Billy Jack

        XL gloves here. My middle knuckles sit right over those stupid finger groove outcroppings. Really hate using a 19. Full size glocks and older gens are fine though. I’ve been thinking about getting a 19 or 23 and just modding my grip but I just keep buying other guns without stupid grip grooves. I am waiting for the FBI mod to hit shelves since they agree with us about the grooves. It’s a Toyota Camry gun. Camry’s are ok. Great mileage and durability minus a few recall related deaths. I thought about buying one until I tried to rent one. No legroom.
        Old story. Too tall, big hands, big feet. Hard to find products made for us but I’ll live with the disappointment. (Higher cancer rates for taller persons mean maybe I won’t live with it.)

        • RickH

          Just the same with me, “Glock knuckle”. I always thought the 2nd gen models were much more comfortable (for me) then 3rd & 4th gen.

          • Billy Jack

            I never got why they didn’t keep the older styles around for people who preferred them.

  • tb556

    I bought an SP2022 instead of a G19 after shooting both as they are relatively the same size and weight. If I did it all over again I would probably make the same decision. The G19 is a fantastic gun though. Over the years I’ve found I prefer DA/SA over the striker fire pistols I’ve owned. I’m not sure how many feel the same way.

    • maodeedee

      I prefer either a SA gun that can be carried cocked and locked or a Glock with a trigger job. Any DA/SA gun I’ve ever owned I have to hammer-cock it first because the first shot is your most important one.

      I’d prefer DA Only to any DA/SA. Some people say that Glocks with trigger jobs are unsafe but I have trained for many years to keep my finger out of the trigger guard until my sights are on target. The only reliable safety is a fully functioning human brain.

  • AC97

    Since I already have one of these, what pistol should I go for next?

    • Sasquatch

      .50 AE Deagle of course.

    • JustAHologram

      Pick a John M. Browning design. I prefer the Hi-Power but you really can’t go wrong.

      • AC97

        I think I’m torn between a Beretta 92 or a CZ 75.

        • JustAHologram

          I would go with something in the CZ family or a clone thereof

        • Brian Hert

          CZ family. I’m absolutely thrilled with my P01. I’m looking for an SP01 now.

        • maodeedee

          The CZ75 copied the Browning Hi-power grip shape which is the most ergonomically perfect of all pistols and it’s a far better gun than the Beretta.

    • Rodney Jenkins

      Sig 229 in 357sig

    • Blumpkin

      1911. (from a glock first guy)

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      Deagle.

    • maodeedee

      A Browning Hi-power on 40 S&W.

      • AC97

        I consider 9mm to be a better choice than the .40, so a 9mm CZ 75 it is.

  • “Some argue that it is the Glock line of pistols are some of the ugliest guns on the planet. Frankly, I wouldn’t argue with you on that front. ”

    The entire Glock vs Something else is really an example of the ‘Tool vs Object of affection’ argument.

    I can love some gun for its history, its lineage, its… whatever but When I need a tool I don’t much care what it looks like if it works. I can do both and so can you.

    1911’s are about tradition, John Browning, and America. It is an American design. I have owned perhaps twelve of them. They now remind me of the Scandinavian axes that are traditional in design and cost about a grand to buy.

    None of the 1911’s I have owned liked hollow-point ammunition. They needed extensive gunsmithing to do so. Expensive gunsmithing – and then they worked well with whatever ammo I told the ‘Smith to make them work for.

    I don’t care what my axe looks like if it works well. That puts me in the large group who believe that the advantage of Glock pistols is that they work – every time.

    Why can’t we all just get along?

    • As a fan of the A-10 Warthog, I’ve never understood the concept of calling a simple, purpose-driven form “ugly”.

    • retfed

      Well said. I’ve said the same thing, less eloquently, here many times. A carry pistol is a lifesaving tool, and its looks shouldn’t matter; you should carry what works for you. If you like a Glock, a 1911, or a Colt Dragoon, it’s your business, but function is what matters. Graceful lines or coolness factor won’t save your life.

    • My one and only major complaint with the glock is the ergonomics, and it’s the one area where you either really love them or really hate them. And it’s true of any tool out there, too, though I’d argue that a gun to be used as a life-saving device is a case where it’s much more critical that the tool fit the user.

      In short, for some the glock points naturally, while for others it does not. And, while you can “train” yourself to point a Glock, it may not put your hands and wrists in a comfortable position, which may cause issues down the line if you shoot a lot.

      Also, this issue is also important because when shooting under stress, fine motor skills and the ability to clearly think and adjust to the gun’s ergonomics are unlikely to be present.

      Say what you will, but you can’t argue that Glock vs. $thing is entirely about Tool vs. “Object of Affection”, since there are pros and cons to many weapons systems and the weapons system should fit the shooter, whatever it may be, and each shooter must individually weigh the pros and cons of each system in order to adopt the one that will allow them to shoot comfortably and be effective with their chosen tool.

    • maodeedee

      “Some argue that it is the Glock line of pistols are some of the ugliest guns on the planet. Frankly, I wouldn’t argue with you on that front. ”

      Pretty is as Pretty does. It’s hard not to like a gun that you know will go bang every time you pull the trigger and after a while they become more pleasing to the eye.

  • JD

    $525.00? I’m assuming that’s + sales tax. I spent $480 out the door on a blue label G19 with night sights. Now I need to find a reasonable deal on a Keltec Sub 2000 to match mags :0)

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      That is correct.

  • Austin Wainwright

    sights on that?

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      They are AmeriGlo Hackathorns. Expect a review later this week or next week.

  • Sinbad 1

    Didn’t these have a recall because of the recoil spring?
    Glock seems to be a gun people love it or hate it . My analogy is it’s like having sex with a ugly women it probably feels good but I just can’t do it.

    • Wolfgar

      I would change your analogy. It is closer to Glock being a plane looking woman that is a great person in all endeavors of her life who would make a wonderful wife and mother who will lead you to success and happiness or do you go with a trophy wife who would fail miserably as a wife and mother and lead you to bankruptcy, ruin and misery.

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      If you read the review, you would see where I mentioned the recall.

      • Sinbad 1

        F Y

        • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

          Well that just isn’t nice.

    • DonDrapersAcidTrip

      Kind of a double standard considering how hideous you are?

  • JustAHologram

    As much as I love shooting 1911s, the Hi-Power/P35(what the first Glock was based on) is what most police should have gone to by 1940. It’s a bit annoying that there aren’t more tactical/carry versions of it.

  • W.P. Zeller

    There’s a big “wait?!” moment right at the start: why would “you 1911 guys out there” dispute that the 19 is the “gold standard for striker fired handguns?
    I’m a “1911 guy” and I think the Glock is indeed the gold standard for such handguns. From where in the world does that dispute come from?
    I think the 19 is an excellent device, that despite its unappealing looks- and having been a carpenter for forty years, I can appreciate a good tool that works right and is not pleasant to look at- is a quality tool for personal protection and even sport.
    Yet, I own one in course of business and understand that the 19 is not a gun I’d ever carry or consider for serious use.
    The ergos don’t work for me at all. My wife has a Gen3, which is worse in my hand than the Gen4, and I don’t trust myself to get good hits at full speed while under pressure. The Gen4 is only a little better. I struggle with the trigger. It’s simply not to my liking, custom, or choice. Perhaps others likewise struggle with elements of the 1911; that’s a way people are different.
    The squared slide does not give good instinctive sighting for times when the regular sights are not in play. Not just the John Browning, but most handgun designers understand that the shape of the top of the gun matters for non-sighted shooting, and design their guns that way. Mr. Glock apparently did not think so. I’ve been to hundreds of action pistol matches and when a Glock shooter loses his front sight, as too often happens, the stage is going to be a zero score.
    The 19’s caliber is not satisfactory to me for such a large gun. Not wanting to open that box, all I can say is shoot the biggest thing you can. We’re not all walking around with .25ACP personal protection guns here for a reason.
    The article mentions the gun’s empty weight. It could be hard to think of a more irrelevant specification. You’re not carrying it empty. You’re not carrying it without a magazine installed.
    In the several comparisons here talking about carrying a 19 vs. a 1911, when it comes to weight, it’s a draw, if the 1911 is a Commander. My Commander with a full 9-round load of 230s weighs an ounce and half less than the wife’s 19 charged with 15 125s. (Yes, 15, because few bother to Barney these in my experience, but still.)
    There’s a six-round difference. I carry a spare mag; it’s easy with a 1911 mag. Not so much with a chunky 19 mag. Capacity win, still, goes to the Glock, should it ever matter.
    The Commander is far easier for me to wear comfortably and conceal well than the 19. I’ve actually tried it, even going so far as to use the same (superlative) holster design for both with its excellent butt-pulling design. The 19 prints, on me, worse than the Commander does.
    In the end, I repeat that the Glock 19 is a truly excellent handgun. Those who prefer and trust it should use it.
    Why the 1911 is an issue with that, I don’t know.

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      I edited the post to be more clear. It is the gold standard for combat handguns.

  • Disarmed in CA

    Too dangerous for Kalifornia inmates, err citizens

  • Geoff Timm

    But why are the Glocks so expensive, when the S&W SD9VE, a clone, is $290? Geoff Who suspects commercial sales are supporting the LEO guns Glock gives away.

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      I can’t answer that. I personally feel they are priced a tough high. I would like to see them with a MAP price of $499.

  • whamprod

    Patrick, I’m with you, man. I still love my 1911s, and you’ll remember the USP Compact, but my EDC now is a Gen4 G19, and I’ve decided that it’s about perfect for it’s intended use. Yes, it’s fugly (I don’t even have the cool OD Green frame you have), but its size/weight ration is about perfect, and the addition of the beavertail grip enhancement keeps it from biting my hand. I’ll be on the market for a G26 soon.

  • maodeedee

    I prefer my Gen 2 G19 without the finger grooves and with a simpler recoil spring assembly but with a stainless steel recoil spring guide.

    I further upgraded the gun by getting a G23 and swapping slides and barrels and then sold the 23 with the G19 slide and barrel and kept the resulting FrankenGlock with the .40 S&W slide & barrel and the Gen 2 “Lower”. Then I bought a KKM 40-to-9 conversion barrel so I can still use my 9mm ammo supply and all my old 9mm mags and plink with less expensive ammo. Then just for fun I got a 357 sig barrel an now I have 3 Glocks in one.