In the world of handguns, few names command as much respect and admiration as Glock. Renowned for their reliability, durability, and adaptability, Glock pistols have earned their place in the holsters of law enforcement, military personnel, and responsible gun owners worldwide.
Our team of special operations veterans and pro shooters have been shooting Glock models for years, on active duty, in competition, and as civilian concealed carriers. Together, they have over 200 years of experience shooting Glocks and can provide valuable insight to anyone looking to buy a Glock pistol.
In this extensive guide, we’ll delve deep into the realm of Glock pistols, exploring their history, shared features, model variations, and, most importantly, the best Glocks available today.
Before we dive into the specifics of Glock pistols, let’s briefly touch on their origin. Our journey begins with the visionary engineer Gaston Glock, an Austrian entrepreneur with a polymer and synthetic materials background.
In the early 1980s, Glock responded to a request from the Austrian military to develop a new handgun, marking the inception of the Glock pistol.
Gaston Glock’s innovative design incorporated a polymer frame, a striker-fired mechanism, and a straightforward yet reliable operation. These groundbreaking elements catapulted Glock to the forefront of the firearms industry, forever changing the landscape of handguns.
Best Glock Pistols
Choosing the Right Glock for You
First, determine the primary purpose for which you intend to use the firearm.
If it’s concealed carry, opt for a compact or subcompact model like the Glock 19, 43X, or 26, which balance concealability with firepower.
For home defense, consider a full-size or compact Glock, such as the Glock 17 or Glock 19, offering a blend of size, capacity, and accuracy.
In professional or duty settings, prioritize reliability and durability, making the full-size Glock 17 or Glock 22 popular.
Competitive shooters will want pistols optimized for accuracy and performance, with the Glock 34, designed specifically for competitions, being an excellent option with its extended barrel and improved trigger.
Frame type is another crucial consideration. Glock offers three main frame types: full-size, compact, and subcompact, though there are also some other variants on these.
Full-size frames provide a comfortable grip, making them ideal for duty use and competition, while compact frames, like the Glock 19, offer versatility, suitable for concealed carry and general use.
Subcompact frames, such as the Glock 43X and Glock 26, prioritize deep concealment and portability.
Full-size and compact frames are great duty sized handguns, while compact and subcompact frames are both good for shooters looking for a carry gun.
Your choice of pistol cartridge matters as well. 9mm is the most popular for its manageable recoil, higher capacity, and affordability, suitable for various purposes.
.45 ACP delivers substantial stopping power but with more recoil, favored by those prioritizing larger caliber rounds. .40 S&W provides a compromise between 9mm and .45 Auto in terms of power and capacity, often chosen for law enforcement.
Next, consider magazine capacity. Standard capacity magazines range from 10 to 17 rounds, striking a balance between capacity and concealability.
However, extended magazines, available as aftermarket accessories, can increase capacity, offering extra rounds, sometimes even without altering the pistol’s overall size.
Carefully assessing these factors ensures you’ll choose the right Glock pistol that aligns perfectly with your specific needs and preferences.
MOS or Standard Models
“MOS” in Glock terminology stands for “Modular Optic System.” Glock MOS models are equipped with features that allow for the easy attachment of optical sights, such as red dot sights or reflex sights, directly onto the pistol’s slide.
The Glock MOS system typically consists of a milled slot or plate on the slide that accommodates various mounting plates or adapters. Shooters can then attach compatible optical sights to these mounting plates, allowing them to co-witness with the pistol’s standard sights or provide an unobstructed view through the optic.
Gen 4 vs. Gen 5
Glock has introduced several generations of pistols, with Gen 4 and Gen 5 being the most recent.
Perhaps the most noticeable of these changes is removing the finger grooves previously found on Glock grips to accommodate shooters of all hand sizes better. Glock also improved the grip texture to help ensure a firm grip and front slide serrations to make racking the slide easier.
While the overall dimensions between the Gen 4 and Gen 5 remain relatively similar, eagle-eyed enthusiasts will spot a slight increase in width for the Gen 5 model. This minor alteration, though subtle, might pose compatibility challenges with specific Gen 4 accessories, particularly holsters.
Glock also widened the mag well, facilitating faster reloads, though it’s essential to remember that proper training remains crucial for mastering the art of swift magazine changes.
For southpaw shooters, Glock took another step in the right direction by adding an ambidextrous slide stop on the Gen 5. This thoughtful addition makes it much easier for left-handed shooters to engage the slide without the need to adjust their grip.
Finally, Gen 5 Glocks boast both a barrel upgrade and trigger upgrade, promising improved accuracy and a more refined shooting experience.
However, you can’t go wrong with Gen 4, either. Both generations are well-regarded and have their devoted followers, so if you’re not too worried about these differences, you may be able to save a bit of money by going with a Gen 4 model.
Do Glocks have a safety?
While Glocks don’t have a manual safety or grip safety, Glocks do feature a unique safety system called their “Safe Action” system. This three part safety system includes a trigger safety, firing pin safety, and drop safety to ensure that Glocks cannot be fired unless the trigger is directly and completely pressed.
What are the best Glock sights?
Glock factory sights are known for being, well, not the greatest. For that reason, many Glock owners opt to upgrade the stock Glock sights for aftermarket sights. Choosing the best Glock sights largely depends on your personal preferences and use cases.
Some popular options include tritium night sights for low-light shooting and red dot sights for enhanced target acquisition.
What are the best Glock triggers?
The best Glock trigger is a matter of personal preference, as different shooters have varying preferences for trigger weight and feel. Some aftermarket options include the Apex Tactical trigger and the ZEV Technologies trigger, which allow customization to suit your liking.
Why are Glocks so popular?
Glocks have achieved popularity due to their reputation for reliability, simplicity, and versatility. These reliable pistols are known for functioning flawlessly in various conditions and requiring minimal maintenance, making them a dependable choice for a wide range of users.
The Bottom Line
That brings us to a close on the best Glocks. Glock pistols have rightfully earned their place as some of the most trusted and widely used firearms in the world.
Whether you’re a seasoned shooter or a novice exploring the world of handguns, there’s likely a Glock model that aligns with your needs and preferences, and with this guide to the best Glock pistols, you should have all the information that you need to choose the perfect Glock for you.
Remember, responsible firearm ownership entails not only choosing the right firearm but also obtaining proper training and adhering to safety practices. Embrace the responsibility that comes with gun ownership, and enjoy shooting responsibly.
By considering your purpose, frame type, caliber preference, and capacity requirements, you can confidently select the ideal Glock pistol for your specific needs. As you embark on your journey with Glock, prioritize safety, continuous training, and responsible firearm usage. Happy shooting!