If I were teaching a class called “How to Be a Gun Writer”— (No, I am not qualified to do that. I’m setting up a narrative here. Work with me.)—I would challenge the students with an assignment: “Glock just released a new version of the 9mm pistol – make it interesting.” But when news of the new G19 Gen5 MOS was leaked (pronounced “artfully announced,”) I notified my local dealer to get me one ASAP and waved my hand in the air to our editor at GunsAmerica Digest, True Pearce, saying I wanted to write about it. And whether or not I was ultimately given the assignment, I was buying this pistol. This was the Glock I’d been waiting for.
Even people who don’t like Glocks usually like the Glock 19, or at least acknowledge its place in the handgun Hall of Fame. It’s the pistol that many feel is responsible for the overwhelming variety of 4” barrel, 15-round, striker fired handguns on the market today. And each new competitor introduced to market raises again the question, will this one be the “Glock 19-Killer?” Take a seat, boys. With the improvements Glock just made to the G19 in this new model variant, it looks like the new Glock 19 is the Glock 19-Killer!
The only bad thing about this new model is that Glock seems to be joining the party of alphabet soup gun names. Used to be just Glock 19 was all you had to say. Then we had to start including the generation. Now, the full name of this model is Glock G19 Gen5 MOS FS. They might have to stop making short barrel guns because the roll mark won’t fit anymore. The “MOS” distinction is familiar now as the abbreviation for Modular Optics System, which means the top rear of the slide has been milled to accept most commercially available red dot or RMR sights. The “FS” stands for Front Serrations. No, I’m not kidding you. The sky is the limit with abbreviations that can be added to the SKU description now. I’m holding out for them to honor the ambidextrous slide stop. I will buy the first Glock I see that has “ASS” on the label.
Why a New Glock 19 — What’s Different?
Alright, I’ve gotten the requisite snark out of the way, and with it, I think I have just about exhausted my list of things I don’t like about this new Glock. The moment I saw the carefully planned and perfectly timed “leak” about the new Glock offerings, my eye zoomed in on the G19 Gen5 MOS. Why? Something in my brain lit up and told me that this was the new Glock to get excited about. So much so, that I bought it immediately over-the-counter at my local gun store and got out the door with it for just over $600.
I’d never had much interest in the G19 MOS in the Gen4 version, I just didn’t see the point. Make mine the G34 please–that made sense. Even then, I kept my wallet closed, and for years the only MOS Glock I’ve owned was the G40. But the moment I tested the Gen5 Glock 17 over a year ago, I knew the changes were good ones. But I felt that Glock had still left money on the table. Not all the changes were well-received by the market, and even some disciples were disappointed with “features” like a huge cutout at the bottom of the front strap. This didn’t bother me on the G17 Gen5, but it was a key reason I had no interest in the G19 Gen5. That cutout is very annoying to squeeze the meat of your pinky into while shooting–and I know guys that have raised red blisters doing speed reloads. No, thanks. But along comes the G19 Gen5 MOS and lo and behold – it’s gone!
There are more changes with the Gen5s, in case you’ve been in a coma. I don’t want to re-hash the “what’s new for Gen5” topic here–GunsAmerica has thoroughly covered that subject.
What made the light go on in my head with this pistol is that I believe this is the Gen5 that we should have gotten from the start. Here is a quick list of things new to the G19 and G17 MOS Gen5 pistols:
- Deletion of the annoying cutout that I just mentioned. No one I’ve ever spoken to liked it. FBI insisted on it. Go figure.
- Front serrations added to the slide
- Milled slide for micro-optics, includes cover plate and four mounting plates. (MOS is not new to Gen5, but is specific to this model)
- Front of dust cover better molded to match the bevel of the front end of the slide for aesthetics.
But more importantly is that this seems to indicate something very un-Glock-like has happened: Customers complained. Glock listened. Glock made immediate changes. I don’t mean to imply that Glock is not a customer-oriented company, of course, they are. But watching them respond to changing market demand has often been akin to charting the movement of a glacier. If you doubt me, just remember how long the world waited for the G43. So, within a year of the debut of the Gen5 in all its glory—Glock has issued a facelift version that addresses the majority of complaints. Well done. In the manufacturing world, that is lightning fast.
Shooting the G19 Gen5 MOS
Before taking this new G19 to the range, I mounted a red-dot optic on it. After all, that’s what it is made for, and I’d never shot a Glock smaller than the G34 with a slide mounted optic, so I was curious if there would be any difference in how the sight presents and how it handles the recoil of the smaller gun. Glock provides with all MOS pistols a set of 4 mounting plates, configured to accept a wide variety of brands’ products. They also include mounting screws for the adapter plate and longer screws for the blank cover (the gun comes with this installed) as well as the small Torx tool for the screws. The only thing you’ll need is a dab of blue Loctite or similar thread lock to ensure they don’t easily walk loose. Installation is a cinch once you determine the adaptor plate needed for your chosen optic. I opted to use a new Holosun HS507C reflex sight. It’s become my favorite for combat-style shooting (and steel plates) because of its multiple reticle setting with a 32 MOA circle surrounding the 2 MOA dot. Fast acquisition when you need it, and precision when you want it. I was all set.
I shot this pistol exclusively and extensively over the course of two busy days at the range. One of those days included a five-stage IDPA match. If you’re testing a gun designed for personal defense and you want to find out how it runs–shoot a match with it! It’s like taking a car for a test drive on a racetrack. Any little problem will show itself, every ergonomic complaint will be amplified, and simply put–you’ll know whether this is a gun you can access and deploy quickly and accurately under stress. It excelled. In those two days, I put well over 500 rounds through the gun without cleaning or re-lubricating it. Not one hiccup of any kind. It was fed a diet of a variety of ammo from the highest quality SIG Sauer Elite Performance to my personal match ammo. Every single round ran with textbook perfection.
While shooting more than half a case of ammo in two days with this G19 Gen5, I noticed something that I hadn’t noticed yet with other Gen5s, and I think it is particularly noteworthy. I noticed that the ejection pattern was different than I was accustomed to with Glocks. The expended cases were traveling very consistently to the right of the shooter and slightly rearward. This is as compared to the more familiar Glock ejection pattern of over the shooter’s right shoulder (or occasionally off the shooter’s forehead). When I realized this, I carefully inspected the mounted optic and started to pay close attention. I even analyzed video footage in slow motion to be certain–and sure enough, not a single ejected case came in contact with the optic housing. If you shoot red-dots, you almost certainly know that many guns will beat the optic housing–even the glass lens to death with ejected brass. This chips the finish, scratches the lens and its coatings, and gets it so dirty you can’t see through it. After two days and 500+ rounds, I didn’t even need to wipe off the lens. On further inspection and comparison to Gen3 and Gen4 Glock 19’s I discovered that Glock has indeed changed the trajectory by very noticeable changes to the ejector. Little details like this don’t get mentioned in the ads or talked about much in glossy product reviews–but it’s one of the biggest improvements to the Gen5–especially those with the MOS option.
Just My Opinion
The Glock G19 Gen5 MOS FS is almost perfect, right out of the box. The only points I can take away are for the plain Jane polymer sights it comes with. I’m not so annoyed that they are polymer, nor do I terribly mind the Glock sight picture, but they are very low and don’t even come close to co-witnessing with an optic. I’ve experienced a number of electronic failures when shooting with red-dots, and having backup sights that will get me through a string of fire–or help me to stop a threat–is not an option. That means that I’m going to have to upgrade the sights right away. Yeah, I get that it’s a cost issue…but taller polymer sights wouldn’t cost enough more to change the MSRP of the gun. They could at least include those.
In every other way, Glock has hit a home run with this new G19. It is the best balance I have seen to date between new and old design features from Glock. The folks in Austria have suddenly answered the phone–and listened. There is a reason that the Glock 19 has earned its place atop the hill of 4” wonder-nines. It’s the perfect balance between duty gun and concealed carry gun. This new iteration of the pistol is much more than just a facelift on an old warhorse–it is the culmination of all of the progress that Glock has made with its handguns, and perhaps most importantly it is the embodiment of careful attention paid to customer feedback and desire. The evolution of the Glock 19 has once again raised the bar for all challengers. I think this might be the best Glock ever made.
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