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.

 

 

 

 

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About Ryan Finn

Ryan Finn is the Director of Operations and an Associate Instructor for Montana Tactical Firearms Instruction as well as a contractor for Vanguard Security Consultants when he isn't writing for TTAG. In his free time he is a volunteer firefighter and enjoys spending time in the mountains with his family.

33 Responses to First Impressions: Gen4 Glock G17, G19 & G26

  1. avatarPat C says:

    Not a big Glock fan either, but nice ring. Is that class of ’08?
    (India Co., Class of ’86)

  2. avatarPat C says:

    25-year reunion coming up this fall. 10 years didn’t feel like that long, neither did 20. But now I’m definitely starting to feel like Old Corps.

  3. avatarandy says:

    Can’t beat the Glocks ;-)

    I would stay as far away from GlockTalk as possible, however… Bunch of prepubescent teenage boys over there…

    Enjoy!

  4. avatarTheDentalWarrior says:

    My first pistol was a 2nd Gen G19. I still have it. Still love it. Since then, I’ve bought two more Glocks (both 3rd Gen) – a G23 and a G27 (EDC). I am a big fan of form follows function. I don’t care much about aesthetics of tools. I like them to do what they’re supposed to do… consistently and reliably… for a long time. After thousands of rounds, my old G19 has still never malfunctioned. Not once.

    More recently, I’m lusting over almost anything made by FNH. :)

    That all said.. I like your writing style, Mr. Finn. For a young buck (class of ’08), you’ve got the writing “chops” and a certain future in the field. Kudos.

  5. avatarINDYeric says:

    Wow….Citis.

    USMA ’00

  6. avatarsdog says:

    i have a g17 gen 4. I cannot being to tell you the difference between the gen 3 and the gen 4 grips, they feel completely different. This i think helps address the ergonomic issues that some have always found with glock models. Check any of the gen 4 models, you will not be disappointed. This is not to say that glocks are superior to all other pistol models (as some in the glocktalk forum, which i avoid like the plague, you will find little information and more opinion here) but the gen 4 models definitely address issues of thee previous 3 generations.

  7. avatarGaryinVT says:

    Well hello, Ryan. We have been waiting for you Ryan. Won’t you have a seat? You’re among friends, Ryan. There, now isn’t a Glock much better? Glocks are good, wouldn’t you agree? Say it along with us, Ryan. Glocks are gooood……

  8. avatarBlake says:

    I don’t like Glocks…because I find them aesthetically unappealing.

    I fell in love with the 1911 40 years ago and I’ve yet to run into any other semi auto pistol that tugs at me quite like the 1911.

    I will never engage in a “which is better” argument, because I think they’re fruitless. Bottom line argument for me is: Can you hit what you shoot at and do you have confidence in your sidearm?

    If you’re more comfortable with a Glock, carry the Glock. If you prefer the 1911, then carry the 1911.

    • avatarBen says:

      How many rounds does a 1911 hold again? Because I’m pretty sure firepower should be added to your list of qualitites needed in a firearm. to me, 8 rounds is nowhere near what the modern combat handguns carry & is therefore less than them. 1st gun I ever shot was a S&W 1911. Good gun. 1st gun I ever bought was a Glock 19. Better gun. Just poking fun, man. Have fun with the dinosaur on your hip!

      • avatarJason says:

        the average “gun fight” will end within 5 rounds fired. I really don’t see where capacity is an issue. Granted it is nice when on the range, but doesn’t matter much on the field. ultimately the only thing that truly matters is, can you hit your threat, and end the fight within 2 rounds. *always double tap*

      • avatarJason says:

        I really wouldn’t call it ancient by any means. I’d call it proven.

  9. avatarjay says:

    Ryan, so is the 19 in above review a SF model?

  10. avatarBarry Roberts says:

    “Ryan Finn is a cubical commando”

    Wow, I’d like to see that. Does he look like this?

    Maybe he’s worked in a cubicle for too long ;-).

  11. avatarGAKoenig says:

    It will be interesting to see what happens with the Glock Gen 4 issues.

    I’m a die hard G19 guy and would very much like the 2mm LOP reduction, but the upgrade’s problems have been keeping me from moving from a Gen3.

    Todd Green at pistoltraining.com had a G19 Gen 4 with major issues. Glock kept it and sent him (by his choice) a new Gen 4 G17. He than bought (with his own money) a G17 Gen 4 for this year’s Pistol Training endurance test (the same one he ran an M&P, HKp30 and HK45 through). Unlike the previous tests though, Glock is not sponsoring him or helping out in any way. The tester G17 so far has had 5 failures and Green had fitted numerous extractors to it in an effort to fix it (which it appears he has).

    The whole Gen 4 thing is a complete cluster.

  12. avatarJOE MATAFOME says:

    Glocks are ugly and I’ll stick with my 1911′s forever.

  13. avatarJim Fairhurst says:

    Blake,
    I too am a dyed in the wool 1911 fan (I compete with them or with clones). However I live in southern New Mexico and a 1911 is not always practical (when was the last time you saw someone in Wal-Mart wearing a coat in 110 degree heat?). That said I bought one of the 1st Glocks to come out (17) and despite it being an ugly sucker I found it to be one of the most pointable guns I own (and there are more than a few).I also have a 2G 17 . Neither of them have ever burped. I took them both to the USPSA Production Nationals several years ago (Don’t ask me how I did) and my 1G ran like a champ. I have small to medium hands and have never had a problem with the grips. I also have a G36 and with the 1 round extensions it’s very easy to shoot

  14. avatarJoe Doakes says:

    Ok I admit. I’m a pistol whore. There isn’t one pistol I wouldn’t buy if I can afford it and have room to lock it up. I’ll be trading up soon for the G19 gen. 4. Very comfortable to carry and easily concealed in the winter and with a pre-ban magazine I’m legal and I’ve got 15 chances to make it home. In the summer in NY it’s the PPS. If I could find a Glock 25 I would pay big bucks for it.

  15. avatarhobo says:

    “The XD was better looking.”

    “I don’t like Glocks…because I find them aesthetically unappealing.”

    “1st Glocks to come out (17) and despite it being an ugly sucker..”

    Sounding more like a beauty contest here, boys.

    Glocks have a proven reliability, are easily serviceable and offer a host of aftermarket upgrades like no other (besides the ever popular 1911) Kudo’s to Gaston for offering the long awaited improvements.

    Glock has recently increased their share of the law enforcement market to 73%. I don’t think LEO’s are too concerned about how their Glocks “look”.
    Neither am I.

  16. Excellent writing, Ryan. (And photography, if that’s yours…). Not a devoted gun guy, but you make me want to be. Great work- keep it up….

  17. avatarErik Wood says:

    I wonder if the Gen 4 reliability issue includes the G26. Considering the dual recoil spring system is already part of the Gen 3 model, it could be that the Gen 4 redesign for the subcompact is simply a grip redesign. In such a case, I’d opt for that one knowing that it had been proven already, that it was the most concealable, and lastly that I could still have a lengthened grip a la the G19 with a simple sleeve on the 15 round mag.

    Anyone have data on the changes made between the Gen 3 and Gen 4 G26? I called Advantage Arms to ask if their conversion kit would work on the G26 due to the apparent sameness of the mechanical components. They didn’t say “no” but were interested in my points. They haven’t come out with their Gen 4 conversion kits, yet, so time will tell…

    -Erik

  18. avatarRK says:

    I had night sights installed on my G22. My consistency and groupings ever since has been making me wonder why I waited so long. No it’s not as ergonomic as my 1911, but at least I can now shoot it almost as well as my 1911, to the point where I now feel comfortable enough to keep it in my night stand. A state trooper once told me no, the Glocks aren’t the best shooting, but you can drop them in the mud and they keep on shooting.

  19. avatarTommyGuns4169 says:

    All I own are Glocks and Springfield XD/XDM’s ! I love Glocks and their durability ! No they are not the prettiest, but they have an all buisiness look that grows on you ! When they first came out, I hated them all the way into the late 90′s until I bought a Gen 2 Glock 30. From then on I knew I was in love with the polymer playmate ! Now I own three a Gen4 17, 21, and Gen3 26. At first I thought the Gen 4 finish was not as good but in fact it’s better ! The top of the ejection port does not discolor from racking the pistol now. any holster marks are easily wiped off with an oiled rag. Instead of using a black oxide top coat, Glock switched to a gray organic phosphate finish on top of the Tennifer. I wish Springfield would use a Tennifer finish like Glock instead of Melonite. Melonite is good but Glocks Tennifer beats all ! It’s just a matter of time until you get the Glock Bug !!

  20. avatarDrew with a new glock says:

    I bought a glock two days ago and I have to say I got a lemon. My first glock I thought I could depend on. I have a g17 gen 4. At the range I fired several shots and on my second clip of ammo I had 3-4 FTF (failure to feed) prior to that I read on another post that another person had several failures as well also a failure to eject. Another problem I face also is that when I field disassemble and reassemble, it gives me a hard time to slide the top half *i don’t know the name* on. I figured out that I must push down on the square part of the barrel in order to allow me to complete the assembly. I’m call them tomorrow, Monday, hopefully they offer new parts for me otherwise I lost hope on glocks. I want something reliable with enough capacity that I’m not worried over multiple attackers. That’s my story. I hope for the best.

  21. avatarMark says:

    Glock or not. If you can’t hit it with the first two then you don’t need to own a gun period. I carry a 1911 and a G19 gen 4. Both are great weapons.

  22. avatarJohn Liberto says:

    Love the Glock, but like the ring better. Class of 80 here. Know its an old posting but I just started looking at the 17 or 19 to go with my 30. Up in Bozeman house hunting several weeks ago. -10 when we landed right after the snow storm went through. Moving up that way this summer. Go Dogs…

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