Rimfire is life – a recurring mantra on The Firearm Blog. And when an apex predator firearms manufacturer with a deep portfolio of world class defensive pistols changes course to focus on the .22LR cartridge, our beliefs become even more solidified. Today we get introduced to the GLOCK 44 .22LR pistol.
In spite of being chambered in the svelte little primer-less round, the new handgun has all the features, functionality and familiarity of the rest of the GLOCK Gen 5 pistols. TFB was fortunate enough to have early hands-on “beta test” access to some of the first G44 pistols outside of either the Austria or Georgia headquarters. For nearly three months I personally fed the GLOCK G19-sized pistols a variety of .22LR ammunition under various conditions and believe wholeheartedly that the G44 represents the Perfection attributed with the G17 through G48 GLOCK models.
TFB Exclusive: GLOCK 44 .22LR – Rimfire Perfection
Despite its reduced size and power, the .22LR cartridge is surprisingly difficult to build a firearm around – a reliable and accurate one, anyway. In fact it is those diminutive characteristics along with ammunition variability that cause most of the problems in rimfire pistols. Without consistent powder charges, firearm manufacturers are required to make semiautomatic rimfire handguns that have partial slide/bolts to keep reciprocating mass to a minimum. Bullet shape, coating/washing and weight can all also effect functioning and reliability.
Rimfire magazines can also drive semiautomatic pistol designs: the tiny cartridge usually requires careful feeding into chambers because of the lack of tilting barrel actions afforded their centerfire cartridge cousins.
Point being, the GLOCK G44 is designed to mimic a full powered combat handgun while shooting a low recoil, inexpensive round that allows for an increased amount of training time. All without sacrificing functionality. These features in a real defensive pistol represent the holy grail for new shooters, trainees and anyone else looking for an enjoyable shooting experience.
GLOCK 44 .22LR – Overview
Let’s switch things up a bit – I’ll answer what I consider to be the top questions racing around in all of your heads. Keep in mind, the G44 is a very secretive project with a lot of information compartmentalization. There’s a chance that my information with differ slightly from the commercial release.
Q: What’s a good GLOCK 44 size comparison?
A: It’s a compact handgun. The G44 is indistinguishable in size from a Gen 5 G19.
Q: What is the GLOCK 44 slide made of?
A. The G44 Slide is a hybrid steel polymer design (steel rails, polymer slide body).
Q. What is the GLOCK 44 magazine capacity?
A. These two G44’s use 10 round magazines, although there have been whispers of possible 15 round magazines in the future (my GLOCK carrying cases were marked 15 round).
Q. Are there GLOCK 44 threaded barrel versions available?
A. Factory G44 threaded barrels will be available on the commercial launch date.
Q. Which GLOCK 44 suppressor combination would you suggest?
A. Although I haven’t had a chance to suppress the GLOCK 44, I have purchased a Dead Air Mask specifically for this pistol.
Q. Do you have GLOCK 44 ammunition recommendations?
A. While standard and high velocity ammunition might be somewhat preferable, outside of some ammo with manufacturing irregularities (velocity/charge fluctuations) most quality ammo runs great in the G44. If I were buying a bunch of ammo for an upcoming range/plinking session, I’d grab a few sleeves CCI Mini-Mag without hesitation.
Q. What types of ammunition did you run during testing the GLOCK 44?
A. I used at least 20 different types of .22LR ammunition that varied in bullet weight, velocity and coatings/washings.
Q. How is the recoil and muzzle flip on the GLOCK 44?
A. Both are slight, especially considering the G44 weight compared to a G19.
Q. What does the GLOCK 44 trigger feel like?
A. The G44 trigger feels exactly like a Gen 5 G19.
Q. Does the G44 get dirty?
A. The G44 does not appear to run as dirty as some other .22LR platforms.
Q. Tell me about the GLOCK 44 disassembly process.
A. The G44 field strips for cleaning and maintenance like any other commercially available GLOCK pistol.
Q. Can I swap a G19 frame in for a GLOCK 44 Frame and vice versa?
A. While the G44 and Gen5 G19 Frames appear identical to me, I’ve been told the G44 frame is not interchangeable with other GLOCK pistols.
Q. Can I buy a GLOCK G44 barrel and slide assembly separately?
A. No, the new GLOCK rimfire platform is only available as the complete G44 pistol.
Q. What GLOCK G44 holster and magazine carrier options are available?
A. Any holster or carrier designed for the Gen 5 G19 will work with the G44.
Q. What GLOCK G44 light and laser combinations are currently available.
A. Any weaponlight or laser designed to work with current accessory rail-equipped GLOCK pistols will work on the GLOCK 44.
Q. How much does the GLOCK 44 cost?
A. At the time of this writing, the unconfirmed MSRP of the G44 is $400 USD.
Q. What about GLOCK 44 sights?
A. The GLOCK 44 comes standard with basic polymer sights but can use any sights designed for the Gen 5 G19 pistols.
Q. What is the official GLOCK 44 website?
A. GLOCK USA G44 – https://us.glock.com/en/pistols/g44
Q. Where is the GLOCK 44 manufactured?
A. The GLOCK 44 is made at GLOCK USA headquarters and factory in Smyrna, Georgia.
Q. What about a GLOCK 44 manual safety?
A. No, the GLOCK 44 uses the same Safe Action features found on their centerfire firearms.
Hopefully this basic GLOCK 44 Q&A will answer your most pressing questions. I will fill in additional questions and answers to the list in the days and weeks ahead.
Let’s take a look at the G44 weights and measures.
- Caliber: .22 Long Rifle (.22lr)
- Magazine Capacity: 10 Rounds
- Barrel profile: Hexagonal
- Barrel Length: 4.02 in / 102 mm
- Length (Rate) Of Twist: 15.98 in / 406 mm
- Weight (no mag): 12.63 oz / 358 gr
- Weight (empty mag): 14.74 oz / 418 gr
- Weight (loaded mag): 15.94 oz / 452 gr
- Trigger Travel: .49 in / 12.5 mm
- Trigger Weight: 5.8 lbs / 26 N
- Length (overall): 7.28 in / 185 mm
- Slide Length: 6.85 in / 174 mm
- Width: 1.26 in / 32 mm
- Slide Width: 1.0 in / 25.5 mm
- Height (with Magazine): 5.04 in / 128 mm
GLOCK 44 .22LR – Field Strip
As stated above, the G44 disassembles like any other GLOCK in history. Always read, understand and follow the instructions laid out in your owner’s manual.
- Remove the source of ammunition (magazine).
- Visually and physically inspect the magazine well and chamber. Check twice.
- Watch the slide close on an empty chamber.
- Point the pistol in a safe direction.
- Pull the trigger.
- Move the slide 1/4 of an inch to the rear, hold while pulling down on the takedown levers located on the middle of the slide.
- Ride the slide forward and off the frame.
- Remove the recoil spring and barrel from the slide
As a reminder, always follow the 4 Primary Rules of firearm safety. https://us.glock.com/en/learn/firearms-education/safe
- Rule 1: Treat all firearms as if they are loaded.
- Rule 2: Never point the muzzle at anything you are not willing to destroy. Always point the muzzle in a safe direction, away from yourself and others. A safe direction is where if the gun were to accidentally fire, it wouldn’t damage or injure anyone or anything.
- Rule 3: Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are aligned on the target and you are ready to fire.
- Rule 4: Always be sure of your target and what is beyond it. This includes making sure nothing is beyond your target that you don’t want to destroy.
Here’s a visual walkthrough of the G44 slide, frame, barrel and magazine.
The G44 disassembly process and its parts are all classic GLOCK.
GLOCK 44 .22LR – Range Time
For all intents and purposes, the GLOCK 44 handles, shoots and manipulates exactly like a 5th Generation G19. By design, the G44 is meant to be a drop in training replacement for GLOCK’s (and arguably the world’s) most popular concealed carry and law enforcement handgun.
I’ve bounced the idea of a G43X or G48 sized rimfire GLOCK pistol in my head, and while the slimmer size would seem to be more fitting for a smaller round, the real goal was to give new and old shooters alike a training platform identical to their defensive carry guns without the recoil concerns or ammunition costs associated with a centerfire gun. With millions of guns fielded around the world by civilian, law enforcement and military shooters, the GLOCK 19 sized framework was a perfect fit for the company’s rimfire debut.
Besides recoil and weight, range time with the GLOCK 44 is identical to range time with your Gen 5 G19. The trigger pull is classic GLOCK (love it or hate it). Because the G44 magazines are the same size and shape as G19 magazines, reloads are performed the same way. Magazines drop free easily, the slide locks back to the rear on an empty magazine and reloading with a fresh magazine is accomplished by pressing the side lock lever or by using the slingshot method with the slide.
From my unscientific testing with thousands of rounds through two G44s in nearly three month period, GLOCK has mastered the rimfire compact pistol. It cycles subsonic, standard and high velocity rounds equally well. Yes, I had failures to feed, extract and fire – the overwhelming majority of which occurred with one specific brand, style and lot of .22LR. Due to NDA limitations, I have not addressed the issues with the ammunition manufacturer directly.
A few of my observed cycling issues were related to the way the rounds sit in the G44 magazine. You should follow the examples in your owner’s manual (I didn’t have one to go by at the time) but the short story is that the top round should lay flat on the round below it.
I’d label the G44 as fun, reliable and accurate. We’ll be following up with a series of articles looking deeper into accuracy and reliability.
GLOCK 44 .22LR – Impressions
Why did GLOCK design a rimfire pistol in a compact frame? Here are my thoughts.
Inexpensive ammunition and light recoil in a GLOCK 19 package means that shooters can get more range time without sacrificing muscle memory or a learning new manual of arms. The G44 is designed to run all the normal G19 gear, mimic the same weapon manipulations and have the same combat/defensive handgun feel while pushing 40gr bullets at 1100fps.
For those of us with decades of trigger time behind us, we have forgotten the intimidation factor of centerfire firearms. Younger shooters can concentrate on trigger discipline, sight picture and weapon manipulations without the worry of the recoil “big flinch”.
Shooters who are involved in the shooting sports will find a place for the G44. Be it steel challenges or straight up target shooting, the new rimfire GLOCK will make its way into competitions around the world.
Pure fun plinking.
Remember, Rimfire Is Life. There are few things more satisfying than grabbing two bricks of .22LR ammo and heading out for an afternoon of plinking. Backyard-style range days don’t have to cost hundreds of dollars but shooters still get the benefits of the real defensive handgun feel.
Silencers are a personal and a semi-professional passion of mine (shameless TFB Silencer Saturday plug here). There’s nothing more satisfying than suppressed subsonic rimfire shooting – it’s as close to Hollywood Quiet” as you are going to get. I’m looking forward to picking up a threaded barrel and suppressing the GLOCK G44.
In conclusion, I believe the G44 will be highly successful, with current GLOCK owners buying at least one and new shooters or brand-curious converts taking the plunge. Street prices will be competitive with other rimfire pistols, pushing the GLOCK 44 towards the top of the “must buy” list for 2020.
Thanks for reading TFB.
Lastly, check out TFBTV’s preview of the Glock 44.