First Impressions: Gen4 Glock G17, G19 & G26

I’m not a Glock guy, never have been. I choose a Springfield XD over the Glock as a duty weapon and never gave it a second thought. The XD was better looking, had more safeties than a chastity belt and a grip angle that was light years ahead of the club-footed Glock. Sure Glock may have been “first” to the polymer pistol prom, but everyone knows it’s better to be fashionably late. I was never going to be swayed from the premise that Glocks were homely looking and uncomfortable to shoot. So if that was the case why do I find myself considering joining the brainwashed masses at glocktalk.com?

Gen4. Right out of the box you notice that these aren’t your daddy’s Glocks. The grip is now as svelte as Alina Vacariu in a little black dress. According to the slightly less libidinous Glock website . . .

It is based on a full size… MBS (multiple back strap) frame with a reduced short frame trigger mechanism housing. The multiple back strap system allows the user to change the circumference of the grip to fit their individual hand size. The grip has three options; a short frame version, medium frame or large frame that are easily changed and secured with a single pin.

The G4′s short frame setup reduces the grip by 2mm from the standard Glock grip. That may not seem like much to all the bear-pawed members of TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia, but it makes a world of difference to those of us with bantam-sized phalanges. For this humble scribe, 2mm marks the thin line between hatred and adoration of Gaston’s guns.

The moment I wrapped my mitts around latest iteration of the Glock G17 [above] and G19, I felt like they’d been specifically manufactured to illustrate the old saying “If it fits, the bad guy’s got to quit.” Glock as brick? Try Glock as that leather coat that feels perfect from the moment you slip it on ’til the day your wife forces you to donate to some charity.

The G17 grip is a little long for my liking, but that’s really more of an aesthetic and conceal-ability issue. The belle of the ball was definitely the G19 with its SF reduced “hump” filling the palm of my hand more gratifyingly than words can explain. May I be struck dead if I lie: no gun has felt this perfect in my hands since I played with a CZ SP-01.

The spritely little G26 [above] felt puny in my hands in the SF set up. When I added the largest grip insert, the gun gained substance and solidity. But the grip is still so short that even a small-handed man such as myself will find there’s nowhere for your pinky to rest. I know that’s way it goes for a conceal carry pistol this size. As this Gen3 demo by Hickok45 proves, size is no impediment to accuracy. For him. For me, it drives me crazy.

The second thing Glock did to the exterior of their Gen4 models: add frame texture. I’m the kind of guy who likes a grip that threatens to rip your skin off. Do I have an irrational fear of my gun slipping out of my hands? If so, so do Glock’s G-meisters. The Rough Texture Frame (RTF) is a very grippy, aesthetically pleasing addition to the Gen4 guns. Raised dimples are located all around the grip creating an ample, sandpaper-like surface that lets you know that this pistol is in your hand to stay. It’s purposeful not painful. YMMV.

The slide’s finish as a no-frills dark black parkerized look, over a hardened Tenifer coating. As a lover of simple gun finishes (like on my old Victory model revolver), the I appreciate the simplicity and utilitarian qualities of the Glock’s finish. You know this gun was built to be an effective tool, not look pretty at your next BBQ.

As you’d expect from a Glock, the trigger on all of these pistols is crisper than a box-fresh Saltine. The initial pull is your typical longish DAO pull, but with no slack or sloppy take up. Just smooth even pressure leading up to a break that’s as clean and beautiful as a starlet just out of rehab. Reset is surprisingly short; I didn’t expect to hear the sear re-engage as soon as I did. The trigger pull after the reset is short and sweet.

Field stripping the pistols you see that Glock has made some pretty drastic changes to the recoil spring assembly. The Gen4’s sport a dual recoil spring. Supposedly, this little part drastically reduces recoil and extends service life. Only range time will actually prove the first claim. The web is full of gun surfers claiming that their stock Gen4’s are much more accurate than their tricked-out and ported Gen3 pistols.

I’m not ready to drink Gaston’s kool aid yet; final judgment rests on the shoulders of the upcoming carry and range tests. I will tell you this though; the G19 is starting to earn a special place in my waistband. The more time I spend with these pistols the closer I inch towards the point of no return. Maybe I’ll dip into the punch bowl after all. Watch this space.