Still Champion: The New Glock 19 Gen5 MOS

The new Glock 19 Gen5 MOS FS is another great step in the evolution of one of the world’s most popular guns.

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.

The G19 Gen5 MOS as it comes in the box with cover plate. Higher sights for co-witnessing would have been nicer.

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.

The Gen5’s all include an ambidextrous slide stop control. The mag release is reversible.

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!

For this new G19 Gen5 MOS, Glock fills in the half-moon cutout that no one liked. The flared mag well remains, even though some complain that it adds to the “printing” factor.

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.

Front serrations in the slide have been requested for years and are a welcome addition. Also addressed was the aesthetics of the frame’s dustcover to slide-bevel profile.

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.

Shooting off-hand from 11 yards with Magtech 115 gr. FMJ, produced consistent results, such as this sub-3″ group.

The Glock 19 is the quintessential 4″ barreled pistol.

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.

The author shot a full IDPA match with the new G19 Gen5 MOS.

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.

The Gen5 ejector (arrow) has been greatly improved and helps prevent ejected brass from hitting the mounted optic. Left to right, Gen3, Gen4, Gen5.

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.

The sights are low-budget and don’t even come close to co-witness height.

The milled cutout and adapter provide a low position for the optic. The dovetail for the rear sight has been pushed rearward.

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.

Glock’s millwork on the slide is among the best in the industry for optics-ready handguns.

MOS pistols come with a smooth cover and four adaptor plates. All finished in nDLC to match the slide.

The Gen5 Glock has reached maturity with this new G19 MOS. Best Glock ever made? The author thinks maybe so…but that’s just an opinion.

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{ 35 comments… add one }
  • GEORGE BILL November 26, 2019, 1:18 pm

    I have been carrying guns for 46 years if you want something that you can carry fairly easily and goes bang every time, , has decent accuracy and a shit load of aftermarket parts, then this is your gun. It’s not a high end 1911, or a CZ shadow. It’s a utilitarian pistol that millions of people stake their lives on daily. If you want a high end pistol, then go and buy one, but when you pull it out, there is a bigger chance of it not functioning properly because you forgot to clean it or it is just too tight for carry. For under 600 bucks the rest are all copies, and you don’t know their probability of working if they sat around in a holster for a year. I have had Glocks in my safe for 10 years loaded that I took out and they fired like the day I put them in there.
    It is what it is, reliable accurate and impervious to most things that will outlast most other guns, it ain’t pretty it ain’t a nail driver, but it does do everything you are probably ever going to need it to do. That’s why Cops and Military take them into combat. They don’t take Wilsons or Ed browns, “they can “but those guns operate only under ideal conditions

  • Darryl Dixon February 24, 2019, 11:02 am

    The only perfect Glock in my opinion is the Glock 45. It is the only full featured Glock on the market. The Glock 19 Gen 5 mos is what the Glock 19 gen 5 should have been without the mos in the slide that forces aftermarket sights to extend pass the end of the slide.

  • david a mourino November 12, 2018, 9:48 am


  • James Shumate November 9, 2018, 9:18 am

    Traded my G19 Gen4 in for the G45 FS. WOW! G19, G17, G45, G34….these new handguns are OUTSTANDING!

  • Bill November 6, 2018, 11:22 am

    Get rid of the flared mag well and it would be perfect. Wait for Gen6.

    • Nicks87 November 7, 2018, 6:17 pm

      …But but but, I thought shooters wanted the flared magwell? Isnt that a big talking point against glock? They dont listen to their customers? I think they should stop listening to dummies and just continue to make pistols that are accurate and reliable. Since that’s what most Glock “fanboys” want, right?

  • Qhorse13 November 6, 2018, 1:45 am

    It looks the same as they did in the past with the exception of the rounded corners and slide serrations. Actually I think the grip looks a lot like the FN FNX. Kind of a hard stippled composite instead of the old style more rubbery feeling composite. But anywho. It’s a glock. And I would have NEVER paid no $600 For it. There are much better guns out there for that or just a hair more. And look a hell of a lot better too. I’ve never liked the way the grip angle was, the half cocked standby, The finish, and most of all the owners that think there is only one gun in the world and if it’s not a glock it’s a piece of shit. Yes it’s a reliable weapon. Yes it has German engineering which makes it a fine work horse weapon and yes it’s well balanced. It it’s clunky, ugly and too high for what it is. I owned a 21 first gen. Kept it forever. But when I traded it for a Springfield XD I never looked back. I’m just not a fan of the glock. And as said before, for the same or a little more there are better guns IMHO out there. FN, Kimber ultra carry and Sphinx just to name a few. All of those are right at or just a hair more than $600 and are high quality and respected firearms.

    • Nicks87 November 7, 2018, 5:58 pm

      This comment is so full of ignorance I cant tell whether its trolling or just some dumb old man with an axe to grind. I dont even know how to address this nonsense.

    • Dan December 21, 2018, 6:18 pm

      The springfieldis junk. The trigger is like squeezing through ten pounds of broken glass. I got rid of mine and got a 43 for that reason.

  • lukeum November 5, 2018, 11:28 pm

    now where’s your manners young man?

  • LJ November 5, 2018, 9:52 pm

    I love Glocks. As a GSSF member I currently have eight. But if they want to get me excited they need to come out with a small frame .22LR, threaded barrel, and double stack mags …

    Otherwise, I’m going back to bed ,,,

  • archangel November 5, 2018, 12:24 pm

    So, Glock improved it?
    Where’s the hammer?
    Where’s the manual safety?
    Why is there still that silly little tab on the trigger?
    And worst of all, the metal slide and frame still looks like it’s made out of cheap plastic!
    If there was an improvement, I can’t see it!

    • andykz November 5, 2018, 2:31 pm

      You probably have a hard time seeing anything cause of how stupid you are. Better replaster the SIG posters in your bedroom… or basement.

    • AJ November 6, 2018, 10:47 am

      Hmm, manual safety, that’s that little tab on the hammer… You have to manually depress it in order to fire. Hammer? Seriously? It’s a Glock, made to be practical. “Cheap plastic”? The Glock family has proven itself in reliability since it’s conception. That “cheap plastic” is why Gaston Glock drives a Royce all while you probably drive a beater.

      And I’m not even a Glock guy.

    • Kevin T November 13, 2018, 7:35 pm

      I appreciate the sarcasm and was able to understand this was a joke even before I got to the LOL! Others, not so observant.

  • Tail Gunner November 5, 2018, 11:15 am

    Glad to see Glock has reintroduced my Glock Gen 2 with a rifled barrel and optics. Good job!

  • Charlie November 5, 2018, 11:03 am

    Those who like them ,good news. I had two of the Glocks in the past.I now have HK.No more Glocks. Nice article even if you are not a Glock follower.

  • R B November 5, 2018, 9:37 am

    Great article and video, as usual, from Justin Opinion. I wonder when Glock will come out with a Model 45 MOS.

  • Stephen Graham November 5, 2018, 9:34 am

    An extraordinarily excellent review! Glock appears to listen in very small increments. I wonder what it is with the Glock that they maintain such lack of attention to sights. Glock could really increase its market penetration if they made a version that has slightly less gt angle and improved/appropriate sights. Thanks for superb review!

  • jim88 November 5, 2018, 9:01 am

    Good review and yes, a great weapon. I also think a co-witness sight set is required for any platform with these optics but if Glock wants to capture a significant share of the market, and in sales, just listen to the market and offer an alternate G19 with a grip angle improvement. Why is this so hard for them to realize ?

  • andy November 5, 2018, 8:16 am

    Where is the 19X MOS? What is the point of front serrations if you have a red dot sight that you can knife edge instantly to rack, rather than grab the front serrations to rack. I know they came out with front serrations on the new black 19X … as if that is an actual feature. I would not even add grabbing the front of the pistol into any of my drills, serrations or not. And if you injure one of your hands, you can easily rack the slide off your thigh, forearm or any edged surface with your dominant or non dominant hand. How did these damn front serrations even become a factor? I have several Gen 4 G19s that are awesome. I have the Gen4 MOS that is awesome. I have the 19X, which is my favorite… the next logical step in evolution was the 19X MOS… but I guess we had to wait till these stupid serrations came first with the 19x, then maybe they will come out with the MOS for the 19X. I guess I should just be thankful they didn’t make changing the placement of the Glock Logo on the grip or slide a reason or feature for making a new model…. that would add another year onto the wait.

    • Johnny Raygun November 5, 2018, 7:52 pm

      You are correct, I have a red dot on my PMR30 and racking is a joy. Glock serves the after market industry quite well. Rather than come out with a bang whiz pistol to begin with, they tinker. Leaves the specialty company’s plenty of meat to put on a bare bone pistol.. Someday a good pistol, from the get-go, will appear.

  • Dr Scip November 5, 2018, 7:58 am

    Great review!
    It would be of interest if you had described the difficulty and method of sighting in the MOS sight.
    Also can the ejector you pictured in the article be retrofitted into the Gen4 to change the casing projectile to the right. Would this be a DIY or a Gun smith job?

    • Justin Opinion November 5, 2018, 9:31 pm

      Thanks for the comment. I felt that spending any time discussing the optic, aside from just identifying which brand I was using, would detract from the subject and it would become partly a review of the sight – outside the scope of the article. That said – it’s a breeze to adjust and holds a zero pretty well. It’s one of my favorite red-dots.
      As far as the ejector, that is an integral part of the rear trigger group assembly and not a replaceable or changeable part. And, if you notice in the photo, there are additional changes to the geometry versus previous generations – and beyond what you can see there are more significant changes to the Gen5 trigger group configuration. So, short answer is “no”.

  • Bad Penguin November 5, 2018, 7:34 am

    I’d like to shoot one to feel the differences myself. The Gen 2 triggers made a decent pistol close to unshootable. A trigger job fixed that along with a ghost site to get rid of the worthless stock plastic sites. New mags made reloads easy and not a chore like the old ones. The effect is a weapon that shoots and feels and shoots as well as a Gen4 (to me) so why spend the money on a new model unless its a big improvement.

  • HDmoto3 November 5, 2018, 7:29 am

    I don’t see much improvement personally, They still haven’t corrected the grip angle, Same cheap plastic sights, and that’s what everyone complains about. The 4″ 15 round hand gun was started by S&W Sigma, I did not like the Sigma because of the trigger pull, but I loved the way it felt in my hand. I have the gen 3 model 19, nothing about this one would make me go out and buy one.

  • Link Lackluster November 5, 2018, 7:01 am

    Great review….watch the full video. Nice editing job. Subtle humor. Excellent sound. Plenty of close-up Glock action.

    Am I the only one out here who doesn’t know what Justin Opinion’s actual name is? Probably.

    • Justin Opinion November 5, 2018, 9:33 pm

      Not even my mom knows…. 🙂

  • Richard Scipione November 5, 2018, 6:53 am

    Very good article! It would be helpful if you added how much trouble mounting and SIGHTING IN the MOS sights is.
    Also can the ejection control bar that you pictured be put into a gen 4 MOS? To change its ejection projection to the right. If so how difficult is it to do. Is it a DYI project or a gun smith issue?
    Thanks for a great review.

  • Rick Lavoie November 5, 2018, 6:42 am

    I like all of the changes made to the Gen 5 19 MOS compared to the standard Gen 5. However, my gripe with the MOS are the adaptor plates. They bring the mounted optic height too high as opposed to a milled slide. I wish that Glock would mill the slide to a specific RDS, particularly the Trijicon RMR. I would buy that gun in a heartbeat! I wonder if a gunsmith could mill the MOS to be optic specific so that the adaptor plate would not be necessary?

    • gunbob November 5, 2018, 9:49 pm

      It would take a real gunsmith about 30 min or less to mill that MOS opening flat and then tap it for your chosen site mount pattern. Then your good to go, this is pretty much exactly what I’d do also, but, since I am a machinist, I’d simply do it myself.

  • THOMAS MCNALLY November 5, 2018, 5:31 am

    Are all Glock 19 mags interchangable?

    • Pad Penguin November 5, 2018, 7:38 am

      Absolutely they are all interchangeable. G19 mags can even be used with G28s but they need to have an adaptor slid on them for comfort,

  • EDOGZ818 November 5, 2018, 4:34 am

    “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.”

    Literally spit perfectly good A.M. coffee all over the screen after reading that!

    • AJ November 6, 2018, 10:49 am

      That makes two of us.. cheers

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