Finally, the firearms industry’s best-worst kept secret is now official. We no longer have to use hushed voices or sneak into the shadows to discuss finger grooves and ambidextrous slide
release stop levers (ok, I never did either of those things). The Gen5 GLOCK pistols are set to be released publicly in both G17 and G19 models in a matter of days. And by some devine blessing from the 9mm gods, TFB is lucky enough to have two sets of the new handguns for review.
As reviews go, I am going to format this ‘first look’ a little differently than normal. Besides the lack of finger grooves and right side slide stop lever, these guns function as GLOCKs always have. Love it or hate it, the trigger feels the same, the grip angle is the same and the general feel is classic GLOCK.
Thats not to say that the Gen5 changes are insignificant – from the crown of the barrel to the magazine well, GLOCK has tweaked an already proven design and made it better (my opinion here). Are the new guns as drastic or groundbreaking as some would have hoped? Probably not. But we shouldn’t be surprised at the Austrian gun manufacturers decisions at this point – they make incremental changes on their own timeline.
As I mentioned in the earlier Gen5 GLOCK announcement, myself and TFBTV star James Reeves had the opportunity to spend a few days in Smyrna with the new guns. And while the topic of the GLOCK Operators Course will be the subject of a future article, it was the perfect vehicle to put the Gen5s through their paces.
Much of the new features found on these G17 and G19 pistols won’t come as a surprise. By design, the GLOCK team conducted a ‘soft launch’ of the M series contract pistols at select law enforcement agencies for at least a year.
Let’s take a look.
The GLOCK GEN5:
1. nDLC finish for barrel and slide –
GLOCK‘s nDLC provides tougher, more durable protection than previously used finish. The nDLC finish is exclusive to the GLOCK manufacturing process. The nDLC finish increases protection against corrosion and scratching and improves the ability of the pistol to function in degreased or adverse conditions. The nDLC finish will be exclusive to Gen5 pistols at this time.
The new finish is a return to the old “frying pan” style found on the first through third generation pistols. It looks and feels great and I’m pretty happy about the return to the old-school sTyler.
2. GLOCK Marksman Barrel –
The GLOCK Marksman Barrel (GMB) features new barrel rifling which delivers improved accuracy.
Personally, I will never be able to ‘out shoot’ the accuracy of a barrel found on any generation of GLOCK, however, there are others out there that can. Glock has improved the rifling in the Gen5 barrels, and you may be able to pickup the differences in the images below. I’ll see if I can get more details on the design and process to make the new barrels in the days to come.
Gen5 on top.
Gen5 on top.
Gen5 on bottom.
Gen5 GLOCK Barrel:
Gen4 GLOCK Barrel:
(Yes, I’m behind on my cleaning schedule.)
3. Removal of the finger grooves on the grip –
Removing the finger grooves improves the ergonomics of the grip. The absence of finger grooves improves the ability of the pistol to deliver a consistently comfortable grip to a wider range of consumers, regardless of their finger size and whether or not gloves are worn.
The biggest change by far on the Gen5 models is the lack of finger grooves on the front strap. Personally, I think this is worth the price of admission alone – the groves never fit my primary hand placement.
As for the magazine cutout, I think it could have been implemented at half the size and it still would work as designed. On the G19, my pinky finger falls into the relief cut, which is slightly annoying. However, I’d rather have a larger cutout than none at all.
4. Ambidextrous Slide Stop Lever –
The ambidextrous slide stop lever makes it easier for gun owners to quickly, safely and comfortably manipulate the slide whether they are left-handed or right-handed.
I am not left handed, so I have a hard time judging if adding an ambidextrous slide stop lever is a significant advancement over earlier variations. Most lefties I know have already adapted their grip and muscle memory to either use the standard slide stop release or an alternative method like the slingshot technique.
5. Flared mag-well –
The larger opening of the flared mag-well makes it easier to funnel the magazine into the mag-well, particularly in high-stress situations where fractions of seconds matter.
I like the addition of a flared magazine well. It is subtle enough to not to create extra bulk but wide enough to be useful for reloads.
6. GLOCK Gen5 Magazine –
The new GLOCK Gen5 magazine comes with an orange follower and a floor plate which is extended at the front for faster magazine change.
The real sleeper of this announcement is the orange follower In the new Gen5 magazines. This addition is like that small toy in your stocking on Christmas morning that you end up playing with as much as all your other gifts combined. It is much easier to see through the round windows versus the black follower.
The magazine floor plate has been extended slightly off the front. They are interchangeable between other generation magazines with the exception of the subcompact guns (G26).
Gen5 Glock Internals:
The Gen5 Glock recoil spring assembly (RSA) for the G19 appears to be the same as the Gen4 RSA. Gen5 on top.
Gen 4 slide left, Gen 5 slide right.
Gen 4 slide top, Gen 5 slide bottom.
Gen 4 slide top, Gen 5 slide bottom.
Ameriglo sights are available as a factory option.
Gen5 GLOCK Compatibility:
Holster compatibility will be on a case by case basis. The ambidextrous slide stop lever will be the biggest obstacle, depending on the height of the outside wall of a right handed holster. Gen5 G17 in a Surefire Masterfire holster.
The Gen5 GLOCK G17 with a Surefire x300Ultra weaponlight.
On threaded barrels –
My preliminarily and unofficial testing reveals that aftermarket threaded barrels for the Gen4 G19 will work in the Gen5 G19. I do not have a Gen4 G17 aftermarket barrel to test compatibility, but initial reports show that swaps may not be possible. I’ll keep you all informed as testing continues.
I’d like to thank the good people at GLOCK in Smyrna, Georgia who made this first look at the new Gen5 possible. In the coming days I will provide you with additional information and reviews. As always, if you have questions, I’ll try to answer them in the comments section below.