Glock 34 GEN 5 Review – Out Of The Box Battle or Race Gun Ready

The Glock 34 Gen 5 is a long slide 9mm that is equally capable on the battlefield or at a competition. The longer slide allows for greater sight radius and it’s easier to control recoil and have the gun “track” back on target.

Glock has been updating the line up to Generation 5, as seen here on the 17/19 and here on the 19X. We aren’t going to rehash all the changes for the Gen 5 here, but a highlight reel is helpful if you haven’t been paying attention. The accuracy is improved by a factor of half, the new triggers are better, gone are the finger grooves, and there is a right side slide release for the devil handed. This week, we got a chance to look at the new Glock 34 in all its glory.

Now I have to caveat this review with the fact that I am a Glock 34 fan, so I carry some bias towards the gun. Not only do I prefer the 34 as a tactical pistol, I used one as a race gun in both USPSA and 3 Gun for years. In my mind, nothing is more fun that curb stomping some clown with a $4000 pistol at a match, using your $500 Tupperware and talent on loan from Ares himself. And on the tactical side, if we are talking armor and helmets level event, why not take the extra ¾ inches of slide over a G17?

So, I am very happy to report that the new Gen 5 34 is, in my opinion, Glock’s first ever out of the box race ready pistol. The trigger isn’t as good as some aftermarket jobs, but it is an improvement over the Gen 3 factory options.

The biggest change, however, is in the sights. Glock offers a new option called the Bold sights, made by Ameriglo, which are fantastic. Do plastic Glock sights work? Yes, they work. But they are a less than ideal option and the first thing most people change. The old style night sights worked too, but they were a less than ideal option. I prefer a thinner front sight with a wider light gap in the rear, I find them faster to employ. The original Glock night sights had a wide front, with a very narrow light gap. This is preferred in accuracy intensive disciplines but is slower to line up. The new Bold sights have a ratio closer to the preferred options of champion shooters. Check them against the Sivigny Performance options. Dave Sivigny is the only man to ever win a National title in USPSA Limited with a Glock, I think he has this one dialed.

Bold sights made by Ameriglo.

The Bold sights are tritium front and rear, satisfying the tactical requirement for seeing in the dark as well. The front isn’t fiber optic, but it does feature a large, bright, orange dot, hard to miss at close range speed shooting drills. In use, I find the sights to be a fantastic compromise of tactical and sport, and good enough for either.

I also like that the Gen 5 34 is a MOS configuration, which means it is red dot ready. The slide is pre-cut with a cover plate in place. The gun comes with the adaptor pack for red dots, most of them under the sun. This is a fantastic move by Glock. Many of us aren’t ready to fully switch to red dots, but at least you now have the option in the future. Or if you are invested in red dots you just saved $200 at the gunsmith.

The last two changes worth noting are also dual use competitor/tactical. First, the Gen 5 guns feature a right side slide release. This is awesome for lefties. And the G34 has always come from the factory with an oversized slide release. So for the Gen 5, Glock combined those two. Left and right, we have a slide release similar in profile to the Glock original extended slide release. There was some concern this would require new holsters, but it fit my Safariland ALS just fine.

 

The changed magazine well is also an improvement worth noting on the Gen 5. The Glock 34 is most commonly used in USPSA Production class, which specifically bans a bolt on magazine well, or modifying the factory one. The new, wider factory opening is a huge advantage for Glock racers, and probably worth the price of the new pistol alone. With some USPSA stages requiring up to 5 mag changes on the clock, every advantage matters. And for use as a tactical gun, the need to reload quickly is a given.

As much as what changed, what stayed the same is also important. Much ado has been made about the Gen 5 magazines. Nothing to worry about, they are backward compatible. And older gen magazines work in the 5, provided you don’t swap the magazine release to the right side. Then only Gen 4&5 magazines work. To prove this, I reached out to my boys over at GunMagWarehouse. They sent me ETS 31 and 22 rounders, which ran flawlessly. The 22 rounders are also 140mm, therefore competition legal. And at a sale price of $16.99, very hard to pass up.

 

All in all, the Gen 5 34 is a winner. The changes aren’t Earth-shattering, but they are changes that matter. I am liking the steady improvement we are seeing in the Glock family while staying true to the roots. If you don’t have a 34 yet, this one is hard to argue with.

Learn more about the Glock 34 Gen 5 by clicking here.

***Shop GunsAmerica for a Glock 34 Gen 5***

Glock MOS red dot plate adapters allow you to mount just about any red dot out there to the slide of your 34.

About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website, Off-The-Reservation.com

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Gregory Gio September 19, 2020, 5:52 pm

    Thank you Clay!

    Always look forward to your awesome videos!

  • Angel Bogart April 5, 2019, 2:24 am

    I\’m glad that you mentioned how the improved magazine with wider factory opening on a Gen 5 Glock pistol is well worth the price of buying a new pistol. Not only would this give Glock racers a huge advantage for quick loading tactical guns, but it would also enable the 5 mag changes required for USPSA stages. Should my dad consider getting a pistol, this new quick draw and fast reload model is the best value-for-money unit for him.

  • Marco October 27, 2018, 6:54 pm

    Very nice video and excellent shooting.
    I recently ordered a Glock 34 gen 5 as i had the pleasure to try one at a range a couple of weeks ago and i really enjoyed it. could you tell me what kind of holster is being used in your video.
    i am having hard time finding one for this Glock model.
    thank you
    Regards

  • Mike May 29, 2018, 5:06 pm

    My go to gun is a Glock 34 gen 4. I put a Leopoldo delta pro red dot on it and have won a few matches at my local gun club. And I’m no hot shooter so it must be the gun. I’m so glad I was recommended this pistol that day at the gun club! Nice Review! Which upgrade should I use to improve the trigger?

  • Dave May 28, 2018, 1:51 pm

    Sweet. That pistol is a far cry from the 34 that I’ve had for many years. I only hope the new ones are better than mine. My 34 shoots well out to 25 yards, further out the rounds go up and to the right. I thought it was me, but pistol shooters tried it and the same thing happened with them. They told me not even a match grade barrel would cure it.
    So, in the end, I only shoot it at 25 yards, and under.

  • Daren May 28, 2018, 10:59 am

    Easy to upgrade the trigger to make it just right for each shooter, as it should be.

  • Daren E McBroome May 28, 2018, 10:56 am

    Great review! I have been wanting a 34 for a long time. Looks like the time is NOW.

  • Sky Buster May 28, 2018, 9:29 am

    It still has the typical Glock trigger (it sucks) and it feels like your holding
    a plank. Almost all the other polymer guns have moved past Glock, especially
    in terms of a good trigger pull.

  • zorro May 28, 2018, 9:20 am

    You keep getting fatter you will BLOW up …

    • Ted May 28, 2018, 9:40 am

      I am thinking that you need to lay off the fat jokes. I have a family member that was in SF and now has weight issues. They have found that some of the shots and pills that these service men were given have been proven to have had very nasty side effects, some relating to uncontrolled weight gain ! other countries have limited these substances, where the US military had our guys on them for years straight. This coupled with some of the nasty stuff that they were exposed to are causing low testosterone, memory loss and a host of other issues. They volunteered to join and protect this great country, the least that you can do is have a little respect for them !

      • Butch May 22, 2019, 4:27 pm

        When you see Clay breathing hard he will be on top of you with his knee on your chest
        Ready to bang the shit out of you
        Lose the weight crap

    • Larry May 29, 2018, 10:56 am

      I’ll never understand why people have to make boorish comments about other peoples looks. If you don’t have something nice to say about someone just don’t say it.

      I wonder if you’d have the cojones to say that to his face? No you wouldn’t …

      • Larry June 10, 2018, 1:38 pm

        Yes he is gaining too much weight and also wearing clothing to steal the valor of Native Americans. Shameful on both accounts…

  • Marc May 28, 2018, 7:38 am

    Nice, very nice,but I’m shooting the G-34 Gen 4 with the original plastic sights and getting good hits at the IDPA matches. I’m also shooting a G-19 Gene 4 with Ameriglo orange dot front/ U-shape on back; in the CCP (carry compact pistol) division and also getting good hits. I’m no great shooter but usually stay in the middle of the pack.

  • Philip Hansen May 28, 2018, 6:08 am

    Glocks are ugly guns.

    • Joshua May 28, 2018, 12:27 pm

      Ugly….in a beautiful way!!!!

    • FirstStateMark May 28, 2018, 1:08 pm

      They sure are. You show your friends your Kimber. You show your enemy your Glock.

  • Martin B May 25, 2018, 7:18 pm

    If all the competitors in a shooting event have a Glock, does that make it a Glockenspiel?

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