Estimated reading time: 10 minutes
It’s a Glock. Love or hate them, Glock is the workhorse of defensive pistols in the US and worldwide. Hopefully, the G20 Gen5 MOS lives up to the standard of Glock Perfection.
Table of contents
Preface For The G20 Gen5
My affinity towards Glock began when I got a G19 Gen4 for my 18th birthday. It quickly became my favorite pistol. My hand-me-down Ruger P94 hardly saw the light of day after that.
I am not a brand loyalist but, for every rule, there is an exception that proves it. For me, that exception is Glock. I was initially sold when I upgraded from my P94, whose nickname was “the boat anchor”. Since then I have remained a fan simply because I have yet to find a reason not to be.
Master of One
My uncle Chuck often said, “A man should be a jack of all trades and a master of ONE”. This wording is less common than the “master of none” version but I like it a lot more. His saying does well to describe my view on defensive pistols. I want to be well-skilled with multiple handguns so that I can pick up any pistol and use it proficiently. But, to satisfy the moral burden of using a firearm in a defensive situation, I need to be a master with my own weapon.
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Can someone be a master in a trade if they switch professions every two years? It’s highly unlikely. For that reason, I don’t care to have variety in my defensive handguns. Switching brands and designs to get the latest thing has little appeal to me. I try to keep the mindset that my defensive gun is a tool and that when lives are on the line, I don’t want to be a jack in my trade.
A few months ago I started looking for a handgun to carry in the backcountry. Its role would be to protect my group from bears, cougars, and people alike. I could carry my go-to Gen5 G19 but it doesn’t quite have the punch to handle a bear. I could also use my dad’s S&W model 19-4 357 mag for a little more power but that doesn’t have a light and a light is a must on a defensive gun. Plus there’s my “master of one” argument so that option is out. At this point, a G20 is the obvious choice.
The G20 Gen5 MOS is one of Glock’s newest offerings. Sharing the same features as the other Gen5 models, this pistol does a good job of rounding out the product line by adding 10mm to the Gen5 lineup.
If you are familiar with other Gen5 Glocks then this pistol is no different but I will cover some of the Gen5 highlights. One of the most obvious is the new appearance. The blocky Glock slide has softened. The new slide has a chamfer on the front to facilitate easier reholstering and give the gun a sleeker look.
In addition to the chamfering, the Gen5 now features front slide serrations. I am a big fan of front serrations on pistols with optics. I usually favor grabbing the front of the slide but with a mounted optic that is where I grab almost exclusively. Even a wet hand can manipulate the slide thanks to the serrations.
The Gen5 coating is also improved. The new Glock nDLC surface finish is supposed to be harder and more rust-resistant than that on previous models. I have been carrying my Gen5 G19 for nearly two years and the surface finish seems to be wearing less than my Gen4 did.
The grip texture on this pistol is great. Comprised of hundreds of square blocks, the texture does a good job of gripping your hand and keeping the gun from slipping through the heavy 10mm recoil.
Gen5 pistols also offer a slightly flared mag well. It may make reloads a fuzz faster and I think it improves the feel of the grip as well. The grip also lacks the finger groves fielded on some earlier models. I ground the finger groves off of my Gen4 so this is a change I am happy to see.
Gen 5 Controls
This pistol features an ambidextrous slide release and a mag release that is easily swappable to the right side for left-handed shooters.
Glock is not known for notable triggers but they seem to have gotten better with this latest generation. The trigger in this G20 breaks just over five pounds and isn’t all that bad. The wall is firm and well-defined. You do have to pull a ways through the wall before the trigger breaks but the pull is smooth and consistent.
The pistol comes with three fifteen-round mags and a plastic mag loader. They are typical polymer over steel Glock mags and function reliably as expected.
As I said a moment ago, A weapon light is a must on a defensive gun, so I mounted a Streamlight TLR-1 HL. This light is robust, reliable, and covered by Streamlight’s lifetime warranty. In addition to providing crucial target identification in low light, It also adds a bit of weight to the front of the pistol which further reduces felt recoil.
Glock’s Modular Optic System (MOS) offers a good variety of mounting options. You can mount most popular pistol optics with the included adapter plates. There is also plenty of aftermarket support if none of the included ones work for you. I have a Holosun SCS MOS on my G20 and it doesn’t even need an adapter plate.
At The Range
The recoil of a 10mm is snappy, but this pistol does a good job of smoothing out the shock and delivering the recoil in a manageable way. A sign of good recoil management is if you don’t have to adjust or rebuild your grip between each shot. Thanks to the double-acting recoil spring and the aggressive grip texture I have no problem controlling this pistol.
Reliability is something Glock has built its name on so you could imagine my surprise when I had three malfunctions during my first range trip. It seemed as if the slide was short-stroking. The rounds were caught and pushed forward before they had time to be lifted up by the spring in the magazine. All three failures happened with cheap remanufactured ammunition and while I was shooting braced from the bench.
It would be easy to blame the cheap ammo but I had no issue with that ammo when shooting from a standing position. I think it was a combination of underpowered ammo and having a looser grip on the gun as I was trying to sight it in from the bench. There have been no issues when shooting freehand or with any other ammo.
I am not the most precise shot with a pistol but I have no issue maintaining effective accuracy with this gun. Even though the recoil is manageable I still find myself fighting the urge to preemptively compensate for it as seen in the vertical dispersion of the far left group. This is something I will continue to work on as I train with this pistol.
The best accuracy came from my defensive ammo, 180gr Golden Saber. I shot these five-round groups from ten yards.
In The Mountains With The G20 Gen5
My favorite way to carry a pistol while hiking is in a chest rig. This keeps my waistline free so as not to obstruct the hip strap of my pack. It gives me constant quick access to my pistol while keeping it concealed. Plus, I have found that carrying some gear on my front and some on my back is more comfortable than carrying it all consolidated in a bigger backpack.
I made this chest rig specifically for hiking. It has a first aid pouch and tourniquet sleeve on my right. A radio for emergencies and for HAM on my left. I attach my GPS to one of the shoulder straps and the front pocket holds miscellaneous stuff like a headlamp, batteries, compass, and space blanket. The main compartment is reserved for my G20 and one spare magazine.
I also made a Kydex trigger protector that attaches to the inside of the chest rig with a piece of paracord. It always covers the trigger when the pistol is in the pouch but pops off as soon as I draw the pistol out.
Between my G20 and the Mace Bear Spray that my wife carries, I think we are well-prepared for any and every Rocky Mountain predator.
Overall, I am very happy with my G20 and I have no problem recommending it to someone that’s in the market for a 10mm. Last I saw, the G20 Gen5 MOS was going for around $630. Prices may fluctuate a bit but that is pretty standard for a Gen5 with the optics cut slide. You can check out Glock’s Website for more information or to find a dealer.