Glock has begun to slowly expand their line-up of Gen5 models that are being transitioned in from the Gen4 series. Right now, they have the G17 and G19 as well as the just announced G26 Gen5 and the G34 Gen5 Modular Optic System (MOS) pistols. An argument could be made for 5 total with the G19X, but that is a unique crossover that shares attributes from both the Gen5 and Gen4 series.
The New GLOCK G34 Gen5 MOS
The G34 pistol in general is a longslide 9mm meant to have more accuracy available for the shooter as a result of the long sighting radius and balanced weight. With a 5.34″ barrel, often shipped with an adjustable rear sight (some factory configurations come with fixed night sights as well), and with the ability to add a miniature reflex or holographic sight, you can quickly and easily shoot further distances than you may attempt with iron sights alone.
The manipulations, reliability and functionality of this pistol remains the same as G34 models you may have known in the past, but by being a Gen5, there are notable improvements and changes.
Glock was gracious enough to allow TFB to test-fire and review one of their G34 Gen5 MOS pistols prior to their public announcement date. Before we delve into the review portion, let’s take a look at the specs for this firearm:
- Glock Marksman Barrel (GMB) – Enhanced Polygonal Rifling & Improved Barrel Crown
- nDLC Finish on Slide including MOS Cover Plates
- No Finger Grooves
- Ambidextrous Slide Stop Levers
- Flared Magwell
- No Locking Block Pin
- De-horned Slide Nose
- Enhanced Trigger Spring Assembly Design
- Enhanced Magazine Floorplate w/ Orange Magazine Follower
- Re-Designed Trigger Mechanism Housing
- Frame Re-design Under Trigger Guard
- Trigger Pin Modifications
- Scallop Cut in Front of Frame Grip
- Modified Trigger Bar
- New Extractor
- Reinforced Front Slide Rails
There are some things that are noticeable about the G34 Gen5 MOS without even shooting it. For one, this is a two pin frame. If you have ever done a complete dis-assembly of a Glock before, you should remember that they have 3 essential frame pins. This model has only two. The locking block pin is absent, or more precisely, it is not needed for the Gen5 configuration.
The G34 Gen5 also has a flared magwell coupled with Gen5 magazines that have an extended front floorplate. The methodology or reasoning behind this for Glock was it is easier to quickly reload and insert magazines into the frame and you can equally remove them fast with the extended front floorplate to rip or pull from. To differentiate (aside from the different floorplates) Glock made the magazine followers orange. A color visual for most people should be a fast way to identify between their older Gen1, Gen2, Gen3 and Gen4 magazines versus the newer Gen5.
One thing that bothers me about the specific pistol I received from Glock is the rear sight. The G34 Gen5 I have for review features AmeriGlo Night Sights. The sights themselves serve their purpose and work wonderfully. Bright, eye-catching and easy to acquire and shoot at the range, but that is not my issue. The issue is the rear sight actually hangs off the rear of the slide by a good 1/8″ approximately. This will not impede your ability to holster and the sights have rounded enough edges where you will not snag clothing or potentially cut yourself. If you have an eye for detail though, this will bug the living heck out of you! I do not blame Glock for this minor oversight because it is not their sight, but it would have been better to see Glock voice input with AmeriGlo so maybe they could have had their own special sight produced for the G34 Gen5 specifically.
A final observation before shooting this pistol is the slide on the G34 Gen5 is not carved out like the Gen4; no relieving of metal material near the front. That is because Glock re-engineered the material used to create the slide. I was informed of this by Glock themselves. As a result, the G34 Gen5 has a closed top slide and still has a good balancing point while handling.
While actually shooting the G34 Gen5, it handled very similarly to a G34 Gen4 pistol. Knowing that the slide is constructed from a different material though one of the first things I watched for was the balance, ability to point and speed at which I could pick up the Vortex Venom reflex sight I placed on it. All elements considered, there was no difference than a G34 Gen4. This is probably a good thing because Glock’s intent was to have a closed slide design to keep debris out, not vastly change the way people shoot their pistol.
I test drove this G34 Gen5 at an indoor range since I hail from MN and had the ability to shoot this pistol at a max distance of 25 yards. With no Ransom Rest in my arsenal of tools, I simply rested the pistol on top of my 5.11 Tactical bag for support to try and test for accuracy. At 25 yards, rested and using a 6 MOA Vortex Venom, I had one large ragged hole in the bulls-eye. I later removed the reflex sight to see if I could duplicate that and my pattern opened up slightly; absolutely due to my personal shooting ability. All in all, it shot superbly in regards to accuracy. All of the tiny nuances of improvements Glock had made from the Gen4 to the Gen5 paired with the Glock Marksman barrel definitely helped make me look like a great shooter that day.
The recoil was very soft, which was to be expected in a 5.34″ barreled handgun; very little muzzle rise; and the pistol had fluid cycling. There was no loud, cringe-worthy “CLICK-CLACK” every time the slide cycled like you sometimes get with larger framed semi-autos.
Overall, the G34 Gen5 was a an enjoyable gun to shoot. If you already own a G34 Gen4, it would be an easy transition to upgrade to the newest model to continue sending lead down range.
The G34 Gen5 will come in two different options for consumers with both having an MSRP of $899. You can get either a 10 round magazine package or the standard high capacity (17 round) package. Both of which should be available or you will at least have the opportunity to order starting on January 22nd, 2018 at your nearest Glock retailer.