In my recent review of the new GLOCK 45, I discussed some points that make it one of the best shooting 9mm pistols I’ve fired, and certainly the best GLOCK I’ve had to the pleasure to holster. Today we are going to be looking at the latest variation of the ever-popular GLOCK 19, this time in its Gen 5 iteration.
I have to say that I am somewhat disappointed by this gun. I know that’s a rough way to start a review, but I’ve owned about a half dozen versions of the G19 over the years and have a good understanding of what makes them tick. The design choices on the G19 Gen5 are somewhat late to the game and many are questionable.
My bias here comes from the fact that I tested this gun alongside the new G45, which is a spectacular pistol. The G45 is so easy to handle and shoot that it made this gun appear to be the runty sibling by comparison.
The very source of complaints by some about the G45 — its G17 size grip — is what makes the gun so damn shootable. That’s a good place to start with the G19 Gen5, as the grip is a mixed bag.
The most noticeable and ungainly feature of the grip is the front area. The much-hated finger grooves of the Gen3 and 4 pistols have been thankfully removed in the new gen. But a large cutout has been introduced right where most people place their pinky.
I found myself getting pinched a bit due to the extended front lip of the magazine base pad and the gap it generates in tandem with the frame. I’m not sure what the intent of this cutout was — possibly for yanking a stubborn mag that won’t easily drop — but it shouldn’t be there.
Maybe the GLOCK designers believe that people rip the magazines out with their pointer and middle fingers on the supporting hand, but I don’t know anyone who does that. At best, if they are mag rippers, they cut a small radius on the base of the grip so that they can wedge their thumb in to pull down on a sticky mag. A saving grace to this design is that the magwell is flared a bit, which aids in reload speed.
As far as accuracy is concerned, the pistol isn’t quite as good as many I have tried and certainly not as accurate as the G45. This GLOCK 19 has the same upgraded Gen5 GLOCK trigger and even with an identical barrel length and sight radius in the nDLC finished slide, the longer, more comfortable grip of the G45 handily bested the G19 in everything but the area of concealability.
Testing for velocity was done over my Oehler 35P chronograph, which was located five feet from the muzzle of the G19 Gen5. Groups were fired from the bench at 25 yards and are the average of three, five-shot groups. Note that I tested the exact same ammo as the G45 in my prior article here on TTAG.
Lehigh Defense 90gr +P Xtreme Defense——1490fps, 2.25”
SIG SAUER 115gr V CROWN————————1205fps, 2.75”
SIG SAUER 124gr V CROWN ————————1230fps, 3”
Black Hills 115gr FMJ———————————1199fps, 3”
Black Hills 125gr Honey Badger Subsonic———980fps, 3.5”
Black Hills 100gr +P Honey Badger——————1297fps, 2.75”
Buffalo Bore 147gr Outdoorsman——————–1050fps, 4.5”
Buffalo Bore Barnes 95gr +P+ ————————–1469fps. 2.75”
Hornady 124gr +P Critical Duty————————1198fps, 2.25”
Hornady 135gr +P Critical Duty————————1135fps, 2”
Hornady Custom 147gr XTP——————————1011fps, 3.5”
Hornady Critical Defense 115gr FTX——————1194fps, 4”
I wouldn’t say that these were terrible groups by any standard, but not as good as I was expecting having just fired two other GLOCK 9mm pistols with the same Marksman barrel length. This on-paper accuracy was comparable to other G19 pistols I’ve owned in the past, if not slightly better.
I’ve never considered the G19 to be an accuracy machine by any standard, but I was expecting more considering the G45 did so well.
Reliability was great, as was the gun’s ability to quickly put fire on plates and paper at close ranges, but it was more difficult to obtain fast follow-up shots. I just can’t for the life of me understand that cutout in the front of the grip.
Maybe my hands were just the right (wrong?) shape to get pinched as every few rounds I’d somehow wedge my finger meat into the gap and it nipped me. It’s disappointing because this gun would have been near-perfect for many if not for that annoyance.
All in all, the GLOCK 19 Gen5 is somewhat if a hit and kind of a miss. The gun is certainly an upgrade on the Gen 4 GLOCKs in that it addressed many of the concerns (lack of finger grooves, trigger) and added an ambi slide stop as well as rounding some edges. I just wish it hadn’t added some new problems that will hopefully be addressed in future iterations.
Specifications: GLOCK G19 Gen5
Capacity: 15+1 Rounds (three magazines included)
Barrel Length: 4”
Overall Length: 7.25”
Sights: Polymer U-notch (Night Sights featured)
Weight: 24oz (with empty mag)
Street Price: about $600
Ratings (out of five stars):
Accuracy * * *
The accuracy I got was a letdown considering how stunning the other Gen 5 guns I’ve tested have been in that department. Yes, it’s more than minute of bad guy good. It may have just been this particular gun, as the other two Gen 5 GLOCK pistols I’ve tested, the G19X and G45, were amazing.
Reliability * * * * *
No disappointment here. The gun ran perfectly with everything I put in it and had no issues with cycling or ejection.
Ergonomics * * * *
The ergonomic features of this gun are a mixed bag, but are a solid generational improvement over its predecessors. The grip style isthe most comfortable of all GLOCK models in terms of angles and texture (and no grooves), but that cutout in the front of the magazine well is prone to pinching fingers and is completely unnecessary.
Customize This * * *
Three stars for a GLOCK? What? Well, the Gen5 guns aren’t compatible with many parts that can be used on the older generation guns, which isn’t to say that the same problem didn’t exist when Gen 3 or Gen 4 guns were first introduced. In time, the market will surely catch up.
Aesthetics * * * *
The lines of the Gen 5 guns are a big improvement over prior generations. At the end of the day, though, it’s still not a beautiful gun.
Overall * * * *
The average guy won’t see a huge difference between this and other G19 models in the sense of general function. While the Gen 5 G19’s trigger pull and design (no more grooves, ambi slide release), have certainly been improved, the changes are cosmetic but surprising in their delivery. This is the gun the G19 always should have been (sans cutout), with the only real disappointment being that it took five generations to get here.