Glock 19 and 17 Gen 5 Unleashed — Full Review

For those of you who are fans of the combat Tupperware, the wait is over! The Glock Gen 5 has arrived. GA team got their hands on the new Glock 19 and Glock 17 Gen 5. Aside from some cosmetic changes and few functional changes, they function just as we come to expect from Glock — flawlessly.

Updated Ergonomics
Goodbye to the finger grooves. The Gen 5 gets back to the roots of the original. Considering this is one of the first things requested when customizing, it just made sense. The Gen 5 grips look like a Gen 1 and Gen 4 hybrid. It has the texture of the Gen 4 with grip of the Gen 1. Although similar to the Gen 4 models, it comes with the modular backstraps and beavertail that allows users to swap out from two different sizes of backstraps each with or without the beavertail.

A left side slide release makes the Gen 5 models finally fully ambidextrous, as it retains the Gen 4 reversible magazine release. I have only owned one Glock from the pre-finger groove times, so this is relatively new to me. I don’t feel it is a huge difference, but I like the feel of the new model. The coating is a “nDLC” finish on the barrel and slide. According to Glock, this is more durable and tougher than previous finishes. It’s currently exclusive to Gen 5 models.
The magazine well has been flared, which is nice for both tactical and competitive shooters. Looks like Glock caught the fever of the SIG P320X5 on this one, but it is a nice touch. Reloads with the Gen 5’s are a snap. Competitive shooters are going to love this update, and it will pretty much make the purchase of a Gen 5 mandatory. For Production class add on magwells are a no-no. But if your gun happens to come from the factory that way — it’s good to go. The new Glock Gen 5 magazines feature an orange follower and floor plate that is extended in the front for faster mag changes. These mags are also interchangeable with previous models.

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The biggest upgrade is what Glock calls the new “Marksman barrel.” This change supposedly halves the accuracy of the old Glock standard. Before, the barrels came from the factory with 4 inches at 25 yards as the standard. Now the bar has been raised to 4 inches at 50 yards.

Time will tell if this matters to most shooters, but it is nice to know the possibility is there. When I field tested the guns for accuracy against a Gen 4, the new model did have a slight edge. It also remains to be seen, if Glock will make the new barrels in Gen 3 for all the poor people stuck in Commie-fornia.  An interesting point is the new barrel drops the polygonal rifling in favor of regular rifling.

There have been major changes to the geometry of the safety plunger. This is the part that makes the Glock drop safe. It is now angled, which makes for a better trigger pull out of the box. The entire trigger group has changed, meaning your 5-gallon bucket of disconnectors and different springs is now a boat anchor. No doubt the aftermarket will be scrambling to catch up. The Gen 5 is still not a custom-tuned single action, but it is an improvement.

The coating on the Gen 5 is a Glock proprietary finish called nDLC. This, we are told, is the toughest wearing finish every applied by Glock. I suppose it will take a few thousand draws from the holster to tell, in my experience the Glock finish was already among the best.

The internals got a bit of a facelift as well, with the return to a two pin rather than 3 pin frame. Glock says the Gen 5 will only be available in 9mm, and much of the old pin design was directly related to the 40 Cal. As a believer in 40 S&W, this is a bit of bad news to me. The takedown lever has been fully redesigned, switching from a leaf spring to a coil spring. The striker has changed, along with the firing pin hole. It is now tear-drop shaped, to allow more tolerance for foreign objects in the firing pin channel. This is supposed to offer a substantial decrease in the odds of a light strike due to grime. We were told that the Gen 5 Glock has set a new record in testing for mean stoppages between rounds at 11,000.

The Gen 5 comes with the Glock standard plastics sights, but also now offer Ameriglo tritiums as an option. I used these sights at the Glock Operators Course earlier in the month, and they are a great set up. If you plan on using your Gen 5 as a duty or carry gun, I recommend them highly.

Glock Operators Course

Earlier in the summer, I had the opportunity to run an abbreviated Glock Operators Course with the new Gen 5. The Glock Operators Course (GOC) teaches you to drive or “operate” a Glock. And at least the chief architect of the course can lay some claim to the word, my friend Joseph Parent. Parent is an old hand from 2nd Force Recon, a former SOTG instructor, and a 3 Division USPSA Master class shooter. Parent can sling a pistol, as can all of his assistant instructors. He has assembled an all star cast of other gunfighters. I really liked that his crew had a mix of U.S. military, police, and SWAT members. No one organization has a monopoly on the best training or ideas. Every one involved in GOC is a consummate professional, bringing years of experience to the venue.  Or in the case of his instructor named “Gen1” four decades.

I hesitate to call the GOC a basic course because no one likes a basic course. The market demands a Level 54 Paladin with ninja stars and SWAT rolls course. A better description would be a course with something for shooters at all levels. It is not for new shooters that is certain. To even get in the door, you must be active Military, Police, an NRA instructor or a Glock Shooting Sports Foundation (GSSF) member.

Much like my preferred teaching style, the course begins with a rapid overview of the basics. This is very important. You can’t build a foundation on sand. The overview is designed to offer tweaks to existing skills or identify missing parts. You would be amazed how many experienced shooters have chunk of knowledge missing. Every skill is both explained and demonstrated, then done at speed live fire.

The course involved lots of work from the draw, and we utilized BladeTech holsters. Every skill imaginable with a pistol is covered, from draws to one handed shooting, to shooting on the move. Our course was compressed from two days into one, so the pace was kept high.

There is enough here to challenge anyone, and if you carry a Glock, it is worth checking out.

For more information about the Glock Gen 5, click here.

To purchase a Glock pistol on GunsAmerica, click here.

{ 39 comments… add one }
  • kw September 28, 2017, 8:33 am

    need to practice your reloads.

  • Dave C September 27, 2017, 3:01 pm

    How does a left hand slide release make it ambidextrous? Please proof read your stories.

  • Sam Herbeck August 28, 2017, 7:39 pm

    This article is misinformed. The barrel is still polygonal.

    • Johann September 2, 2017, 12:11 am

      what? no it’s not

      • Sam September 11, 2017, 5:44 pm

        Yes it is. Look at the chart in this article. “Hexagonal”

    • Dana September 5, 2017, 1:32 pm

      Also, gen 1-4 has had the left side slide lock. This is ambidextrous because of the *RIGHT* side slide lock.

  • Mike H. August 28, 2017, 5:15 pm

    Oh Boy! More plastic Junk!!!

    • Nicks87 September 1, 2017, 2:01 pm

      It’s 2017, time to leave that 1911, wheel gun nonsense in the past. Glocks, just work and keep working. Show me a metal framed pistol that’s as reliable and accurate as a Glock.

      • shizzle nizzle September 1, 2017, 2:58 pm

        Sig. Beretta. Ruger. HK. FNH. Walther. Springfield. And some others I cant quite think of right now.

      • Michael Davidson September 15, 2017, 8:39 pm

        Exactly

  • Doctor Burnett August 28, 2017, 4:39 pm

    Sirs: I own a Gen 4 Glock 19 and Gen 3 Glock 34. But, I no longer carry either for protection, due to my lack of faith that I can keep everything away from accidentally firing the trigger. Sooner or later I believe there will be an accidental discharge with this so-called safety system of Glocks\’. I do carry another brand with a trigger/hammer disconnect, manually operated.
    When Glock offers a manual safety or manual disconnect, I will consider them. I note the US military required that Glock put a manual safety of their submitted guns for the new standard military handgun qualification. But, it is not on their commercial guns.
    Than you; Dr. JRB

    • Sedonabear August 29, 2017, 12:51 am

      If you use the term, “accidental discharge” you are betrayed by your ignorance and lack of training. The gun is the “tool set”. Your training is your “skill set”. You have to have both in order to be both safe and effective. At the most basic and practical level of firearms training, you immediately learn that there is almost no such thing as an “accidental discharge”. There is only and almost exclusively “negligent discharge”. If you experience any kind of unintentional discharge you have likely disregarded and broken one or more of the Universal Rules of Firearms Safety. Hire an instructor, then go pick out your Glock to carry in comfort and confidence.

    • Michael Todd August 29, 2017, 6:12 am

      Maybe you need to buy a better holster and practice proper draw techniques. That was without a doubt a rookie comment.

    • Infidel762x51 August 29, 2017, 8:37 am

      The Cominially safety is a reasonable upgrade. The model submitted to the Army for testing had a factory installed safety but Glock decided they would not release that to the public.

    • Gun chick August 30, 2017, 8:00 am

      Definitely agree with everyone else. Accidents happen all the time, but that doesn’t mean it’s the guns fault. There’s only one way a gun is going to go off, and that’s if someone pulls that trigger. keep your finger out of there, unless you need it in a life/death situation, or target shooting.

      • 454jim454 September 22, 2017, 7:08 pm

        I’ve seen 1911’s fail to fire because the manual safety was not disengaged. I’ve seen officers shoot themselves with 1911’s putting back in the holster. I’ve seen stupid things with revolvers too. The gun has no brain, you do. If you are careless or suffer a lack of concentration you become dangerous despite the gun’s safety equipment. It all depends on you, not the gun.

    • Roger October 29, 2017, 5:01 pm

      A Glock could be buried in a mud hole for a year and would still fire when picked up. I just finished a tactical handgun course. Virtually every non Glock experienced a malfunction while the Glocks had none. In addition I understand that if given a choice, Tier 1 operators carry a G19 or G17. 4
      Rule#3: You do not place your finger on your trigger unless you are ready to destroy something. That rule alone eliminates “accidental” discharges.

  • Doctor Burnett August 28, 2017, 4:38 pm

    Sirs: I own a Gen 4 Glock 19 and Gen 3 Glock 34. But, I no longer carry either for protection, due to my lack of faith that I can keep everything away from accidentally firing the trigger. Sooner or later I believe there will be an accidental discharge with this so-called safety system of Glocks’. I do carry another brand with a trigger/hammer disconnect, manually operated.
    When Glock offers a manual safety or manual disconnect, I will consider them. I note the US military required that Glock put a manual safety of their submitted guns for the new standard military handgun qualification. But, it is not on their commercial guns.
    Than you; Dr. JRB

    • Glock Guy August 29, 2017, 6:46 am

      In a life or death situation I wish you the best of luck to remember to flip off your safety you moron.

      • Max August 31, 2017, 1:06 pm

        Lmao

      • Dave C September 27, 2017, 2:57 pm

        LMAO also.

    • Barry Soetoroe August 31, 2017, 5:08 pm

      Then do us all a favor and don’t carry a firearm at all. Apparently your training is missing altogether and on that point you are correct: you are afraid of a negligent discharge for a good reason. You have never been trained, or what little training you have had has lapsed by years.

  • Bobo August 28, 2017, 11:08 am

    Yawn. There isn’t enough here for me to trade in my 19/4 for the five. I like the finger grooves. What they could have done was change those crappy sights

  • Bee August 28, 2017, 10:56 am

    The comment about USPSA Production Division legal with the magwell changes (“For Production class add on magwells are a no-no. But if your gun happens to come from the factory that way — it’s good to go. “) is not entirely correct. The current rulebook Appendix D4, Production Division, 22.4 Magwll opening says, “The longitudinal (front-to-back) dimension of the
    opening may be more than 1/4” greater than the corresponding dimension of a magazine. External flaring remains PROHIBITED.” I believe there is an error in the USPSA wording. I suspect what USPSA meant to say is ‘The longitudinal (front-to-back) dimension of the opening may NOT be more than 1/4” greater than the corresponding dimension of a magazine. External flaring remains PROHIBITED.”
    Regardless of the proper wording, I believe Glock did its best to ensure the pistol is compliant with USPSA Production Division rules.

  • Michael Douchette August 28, 2017, 10:48 am

    They’ve made an Austrian FNS. Flared magwell, ambi slide lock, no finger grooves… FN’s had it perfect for years.

  • Andrew August 28, 2017, 10:34 am

    9mm…only.

    Well, there you go.
    If I didn’t already have Gen 1, 2 and 3 and a bucket of parts, I’d ponder one of these “sooner”, but I’ll give one a whirl one of these days, and probably buy one “later”.

  • Mark Are August 28, 2017, 9:34 am

    I wonder how much longer before the Gen 5 in REAL calibers are released. Especially .45 or 10mm.

    • Overkill September 4, 2017, 12:57 am

      9mm is plenty. .45 and 10mm are fine but you don’t need them.

  • Chuck Petersen August 28, 2017, 9:28 am

    I wish Glock would have offered as an “option” the TFX Pro sights.

  • Marcu August 28, 2017, 8:10 am

    This is the greatest, super duper and most spectacularly exciting thing to happen to Glock’s since the Gen 2!!!!!!

  • Mitch Spence August 28, 2017, 6:59 am

    They are good guns, but “the finish was already among the best.?” If you look at a Glock hard, the finish comes off.

  • The Equalizer August 28, 2017, 6:23 am

    Looking forward to buying the Gen 5 G26 and G42 when they become available. My CCW applications have been submitted to the “Big 4” states (IL, AZ, UT and FL) and I will soon be able to carry in 36 states!

    • Mark Are August 28, 2017, 9:36 am

      I was thinking, but am most likely incorrect…that SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED was a carry permit. OH wait, I forgot there is the NEW Second Amendment of the amended US Bill of Rights… (sorry, we no longer follow “proper procedure” for amending these pain in the rear listed rights)
      A well regulated militia being necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed EXCEPT:
      You are buying the firearms for yourself.
      EXCEPT: you are under indictment or information for a felony for which the judge could imprison you for more then one year.
      EXCEPT: you have been convicted of a felony or any other crime for which the judge could have imprisoned you for more then one year, even if you received a shorter sentence including probation.
      EXCEPT: you are a fugitive from “justice”
      EXCEPT: you are an “unlawful” user of or addicted to marijuana or any depressant,stimulant, narcotic drug or any other controlled substance.
      EXCEPT: you have ever been “adjudicated” mentally defective or you have ever been committed to a mental institution.
      EXCEPT: you were dishonorably discharged from the armed forces.
      EXCEPT: you are subject to a restraining order restraining you from harassing, stalking or threatening your child or an intimate partner or child of such partner.
      EXCEPT: you have been convicted in a court of a MISDEMEANOR crime of domestic violence.
      EXCEPT: you have ever renounced your “United States” citizenship
      EXCEPT: you are an illegal alien
      EXCEPT: the firearm fires more then one round with the pull of the trigger
      EXCEPT: the firearms doesn’t have a vertical grip attached if it is a pistol
      EXCEPT: the barrel on a shotgun is not shorter then 18″
      EXCEPT: for sound suppressors
      EXCEPT: the rifle has a barrel no shorter then 16″. (It used to be 18″, but we accidentally sold some 16″ carbines to the public so we had to fix this and so we shortened the length to 16″ to cover our screw up.)
      EXCEPT: if it is a pistol there is no shoulder stock attached.
      EXCEPT: you carry it concealed, with a permit, which of course we issue and charge you for.
      EXCEPT: it has a magazine that can contain more then 10 rounds
      EXCEPT: the magazine is removable
      EXCEPT: it is black and looks scary
      EXCEPT EXCEPT EXCEPT…stay tuned for updated version. We the psychopaths who own you have now concluded that this new 2nd amendment is in force and effect and that you have no rights guaranteed by ANYTHING UNLESS you are in the “big club” which of course you are NOT. So screw your rights. We are in control of your television set, your phone, your computer, your air, your water and especially your pretend rights. Oh, and by the way, just in case you are wondering…we have ENFORCERS for this who are willing to shoot your children in the back, your wife in the head, burn down your church with 17 children inside just in case you think we are kidding.
      One other thing…none of these exceptions apply to us. We are allowed to have whatever we want to kill you and maim you any time we want for whatever excuse we want. Just take a look at some of the wonderful things WE get to have by looking up Dillon Aero on YouTube.

      • Tenbones August 28, 2017, 10:13 am

        EXCEPT: you have ever been “adjudicated” mentally defective or you have ever been committed to a mental institution.

        You need to take a hard look at this one!

        • David Hamilton August 28, 2017, 11:57 am

          Indeed

      • Chet Hribal August 29, 2017, 9:19 am

        Mark Are, You’re absolutely right.

    • Bobo August 28, 2017, 11:13 am

      Be careful. Many states will recognize another state ccw only if you are a resident of that state.

  • Jesse Scott August 28, 2017, 6:16 am

    Let the complaint engine begin….

    • Kojack August 28, 2017, 7:00 am

      Hahah, no kidding.

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