Glock 41 Gen. 4 – New Gun Review – Competition/Duty/Home Defense .45 ACP
Gunslingers agree on very few things, but one of them is that bigger, longer guns are easier to shoot, and to shoot well. This is doubly true when you have to do a lot of shooting. Glock owners are a fierce bunch of gunslinging devotees, and now they have a Gen. 4 version of what is essentially a bigger, longer .45ACP Glock 21. This is the last of a competition trio that joins the G34, a long slide 9mm G17, and the G35, a long slide .40 G22. This new G41 has a barrel about .6 inches longer and it has about 3/4 inch more sight radius than the G21, but it actually comes in a couple ounces lighter. The G41 holds the same 13+1 .45ACP rounds as the G21. Our test gun was one of the first in the country back at SHOT Show 2014, and after over 1,000 rounds in casual shooting from visitors to our shooting complex since that time its performance has remained very good, and consistent. The G41 was built for competition, and that means it could be subjected to tens of thousands of rounds over the course of its lifetime. We found the G41 to be solid as a rock. The MSRP for this gun is $775, with a significantly lower street price.
If you are asking yourself, why would anyone want such a behemoth (I think this is the biggest Glock made), the answer is physics, and the way this effects ergonomics. I didn’t have a G21 side by side to compare this gun to, but against my other plastic .45s and even 1911s, this gun has significantly less muzzle flip. It is fairly easy to muscle the gun to not flip hardly at all. Having a little more metal at the front definitely changes the feel of the G41, but somehow they made the gun actually lighter, without a cutout like you see in many other competition pistols. The extra distance between the sights, which is 6.77 inches in the G21 and 7.56 inches in the G41, increases your ability to finely aim at distance. The further apart the sights, the more degrees there are between any point on the rear sight and the front sight, when you look at it as a slice of a circle, called a radius. All other forces being equal, the average person should be able to shoot the G41 a little better than the G21. In competition that little bit can mean winning and losing.
As a duty gun, there is one disadvantage to this gun over the G21, if you choose to carry .45ACP as your round. The extra length will not allow you to clear your holster as fast when drawing the G41. It also requires that you lift your arm higher. Both of these factors can be trained for, but in a gunfight, micro-seconds can count. Old West gunfighters used to cut their Colt Peacemakers down for this reason. Your gun isn’t in the fight until you clear your holster, and you want to do that as quickly as possible.
There are advantages to the G41 from a home defense standpoint though. If you are keeping one handgun in the house for defense against a possible intruder, the G41 is going to have some advantages over its shorter brother. Besides the muzzle flip and sight radius, there will be slightly more power behind the .45ACP bullet. A longer barrel means more powder burning before the bullet exits, which translates to slightly more velocity. Is this significant? Not really, but if you are buying one gun, and you want to get really good with that gun, there is no reason not to buy the G41 over the G21. A lot of people want a Glock and only a Glock. Hang out at any gun counter for a day and you’ll see. This is probably the biggest baddest Glock, and it shoots really well.
Testing accuracy with a double stack .45ACP is always a challenge as it applies to how you, the reader, will actually shoot the gun. The G41 has a big fat 2×4 feel to the grip, because in the case of the .45ACP, there is no way to make the big, fat, cartridge thinner. My hands are large, but I have short fingers. Rested, I was able to put all 14 rounds into a couple inches at 25 yards, which is my estimation of “the end of the driveway.” In competition that is generally going to be the longest handgun target distance, and it is easy to keep the gun right where you need it. As expected, the carry rounds were less accurate than the lower powered plinking and competition rounds. Ultimately nobody can tell you how “accurate” a handgun will be for you, because your hands and your ergonomics are yours alone. This gun has the potential to be very accurate if it fits you. That would be true of all Glocks in my experience, but not all of them fit me well. This gun will not fit everyone, and I count myself among that group, though I was able to shoot it acceptably well.
The Federal rounds that they sell at Walmart shot especially well in this gun, so if you are looking for casual competition rounds, don’t think you’ll lose anything buying the cheap stuff. These rounds are somewhat novel because they use a small pistol primer instead of the large pistol primer required by the SAAMI specification. Just be aware of it if you reload. Federal most likely uses a slightly different powder to compensate for the primer, but your load data won’t be exactly the same when you do use standard powders in your manual.
The nice thing about Glocks is that they are all the same, and they all work great. Doing one thing well is a lesson many companies could take from Glock, that that is why they have an army of devotees who refuse to shoot anything but. There is no other gun like a Glock, and this G41 is a nice addition to the line for which many have been waiting. Stop into a gunshop and see if the gun fits you. If it does, this is a great choice for a lot of different applications, including the competition space for which it was created.