Gun Review: GLOCK 19 Gen 5 9mm

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.

G19 Gen5 with 17-round mag

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

Caliber: 9x19mm
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.

 

comments

  1. avatar specialist38 says:

    Don’t care for the Gen 5. Not ambidextrous and the flare gets in the way for stripping a mag.

    I also don’t mind the finger grooves on the Gen4 . Not like they really fit but do give some additional leverage on my grip

  2. avatar MyName says:

    Another Glock post, really? Time to post my Spam sketch redu again.

    Scene: A gun shop. One corner is occupied by a group of customers wearing black t-shirts.

    A man and woman enter…

    Man: Morning!

    Gun Store Employee: Morning!

    Man: Well, what’ve you got?

    Employee: Well, there’s SIG and Ruger; SIG Walther and Ruger; SIG and GLOCK; SIG Ruger and GLOCK; SIG Ruger Walther and GLOCK; GLOCK Ruger Walther and GLOCK; GLOCK SIG GLOCK GLOCK Ruger and GLOCK; GLOCK Walther GLOCK GLOCK Ruger GLOCK Beretta and GLOCK;

    Customers in black: GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK…

    Employee: …GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK SIG and GLOCK; GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK Smith & Wesson GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK…

    Customers: GLOCK! Perfect GLOCK! Perfect GLOCK!

    Employee: …or a Benelli Vinci, a Mauser with a custom stock made in a Mannlicher
    style of Turkish walnut with ebony inlays and an adjustable trigger in a fitted case with a matching SIG and GLOCK.

    Woman: Have you got anything without GLOCK?

    Employee: Well, there’s GLOCK SIG Walther and GLOCK, that’s not got much GLOCK in it.

    Woman: I don’t want ANY GLOCK!

    Man: Why can’t she have SIG Ruger GLOCK and Walther?

    Woman: THAT’S got GLOCK in it!

    Man: Hasn’t got as much GLOCK in it as GLOCK SIG Walther and GLOCK, has it?

    Customers: GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK… (Crescendo through next few lines…)

    Woman: Could you do the SIG Ruger GLOCK and Walther without the GLOCK then?

    Employee: Urgghh!

    Woman: What do you mean ‘Urgghh’? I don’t like GLOCK!

    Customers: Perfect GLOCK! Wonderful GLOCK!

    Employee: Shut up!

    Customers: Perfect GLOCK! Wonderful GLOCK!

    Employee: Shut up! (Customers stop) Bloody Customers! You can’t have SIG Ruger GLOCK and Walther without the GLOCK.

    Woman: I don’t like GLOCK!

    Man: Sshh, dear, don’t cause a fuss. I’ll have your GLOCK. I love it. I’m having GLOCK
    GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK Smith & Wesson GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK and GLOCK!

    Customers: GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK. Perfect GLOCK! Wonderful GLOCK!

    Employee: Shut up!! Smith & Wesson are backordered.

    Man: Well could I have her GLOCK instead of the Smith & Wesson then?

    Employee: You mean GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK… (but it is too late and the Customers drown her words)

    Customers: (Singing elaborately…) GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK. Perfect GLOCK! Wonderful GLOCK! GLOCK GLO-O-O-O-O-CK GLOCK GLO-O-O-O-O-CK GLOCK. Perfect GLOCK! Perfect GLOCK! Perfect GLOCK! Perfect GLOCK! Perfect GLOCK! GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK!

    ht/ pythons

    1. avatar NikonKidF3 says:

      Sir, you owe me a new keyboard. And another cup of coffee.

      Well played, MyName!

      1. avatar MyName says:

        I do what I can. I’ll try to email a new keyboard and coffee.

        1. avatar Geoff "Jingle *this*..." PR says:

          The ‘Spam’ sketch will never die.

          Well, as long as I am alive, anyways.

          (Bloody Viking!)

      2. avatar Rad Man says:

        That was simply outSTANDing! Hadn’t heard that bit in many years.

        1. avatar Geoff "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!" PR says:

          Sure is wasn’t out Spamming, Rad?

    2. avatar TomD says:

      Can’t stop laughing!

    3. avatar JD says:

      And you owe me the time it took me to read that monstrosity. That was gayer than a bag of dicks.

  3. avatar John in AK says:

    That cutout on the front of the grip has been with Glock since the first M17 prototypes, and it’s there for exactly the reason you state: To allow a sticky magazine to be stripped from the gun with a fingertip. My pinkies aren’t made of stern enough stuff to do this often, but the others are well up to the task.
    Remember, the Glock was designed as a military pistol; Military pistols sometimes, and I know that all will be shocked, SHOCKED to find this out, get dirty, with mud or sand managing to make its way into the magazine well. Mud or sand, being somewhat gritty, CAN make it difficult if not impossible for a magazine to drop free, or even move at ALL when the release is pressed, despite shaking the gun with great vigour.
    Remember, also, that early Glock magazines were not metal-lined; They were just plastic shells with no firm internal support, and they would distort, swelling when filled to capacity and occasionally twisting enough to lose their shape. Those magazines are still out there.
    Even now, Glock magazine exteriors are relatively soft plastic, and so is the interior of the magazine well; A wad of grit or mud, some strategically-placed sand, and that magazine acts like it had been wrapped in sandpaper, and is NOT going to just ‘drop free.’
    That’s why there’s a cutout.
    For me, the guns with the cutout have never been any kind of issue, and I have used the thing for its intended use when the inner surface of the well/outer surface of a magazine have become ‘uncooperative’ in crappy conditions when that magazine REALLY had to come out; It’s understandable, though, that some folks have a problem with it. After all, if we were all the same, there wouldn’t be such a plethora of slightly-differing Glocks to buy.
    Ain’t it great?

  4. avatar Swarf says:

    Glock Perfectiozzzzzzzzzzzzz.

  5. avatar neiowa says:

    So they are one Beta .5? Let me know when Gluck is done screwing around and I might take a look at one. Nah

  6. avatar Joe says:

    Still think the G19 Gen 3 is the best of ’em all but wouldn’t my trying a G45.

  7. avatar Red Eagle1 says:

    I love it! I bought it! And I got it. I don’t care if you care or not!

    Glock is the best everything else is just that everything else.

  8. avatar Vicrattlehead says:

    So is Glock the only company making firearms now?

    Though I really have no brand preference, or hatred, it’s pretty clear why some people are vehemently anti-glock

  9. avatar Feral45 says:

    Usually, when I say, “Glock makes some of the best pistols ever issued”, nobody argues with me. People are beginning to understand.
    Just bought a Steyr M9-A1. $409 with a $50 rebate. Couldn’t say no. When you notice your fast groups getting smaller you will even like the sights. Will be a good EDC when I get used to it. Will replace a 32C. A little too “hot”.

  10. avatar The Realist says:

    TTAG = The Truth About Glocks

    1. avatar Yepnope says:

      Maybe Tendency Toward Austria’s Glock

  11. avatar Joe Upton says:

    I have never met anyone firing a 9mm Glock who could match my Colt Model 70 Gold Cup .45acp, I will fire against anyone at any distance we will shoot at a 4″x4″x12″ block of wood with an Orange Dot on the Dead Center, my Colt fires .5″ groups at 35 yards.

    1. avatar John in AK says:

      Your Series 70 Gold Cup is completely different in design and intended use from any Glock. One is a finely-tuned target pistol with adjustable sights and fitted components; The other one is a Glock.
      In combat, the person shot will not care if he is shot precisely in a 4×4″ square in the middle of his chest, or a couple of inches to either side; ‘Shot in the chest’ is pretty much ‘shot in the chest’. Contrarily, one is not going to take a Glock to a precision shooting contest at Camp Perry, either, where .5″ groups might be of some use.

      It’s nice that your pistol shoots accurately, as it is supposed to do; A Glock does equally well at what it does when used as intended within its design limitations, and not asked to do things for which it was not designed at all.

      1. avatar JD says:

        Amen, finally someone on here that has common sense! The rest of you pukes are retarded. Glock derangement syndrome!

    2. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      Glocks are not designed to be match grade weapons, they’re designed to be combat accurate (i.e., paper plate size accuracy, not sliver dollar size accuracy.)

  12. avatar MouseGun says:

    So Glock is just following the iPhone model now; “upgrade” as little as you can and charge full price? Oh well, plenty of mall ninjas and tac-tards out there who with buy it up in a heart beat.

  13. avatar Mark says:

    I sold ALL my Glock 19s. All you need is the 17/34 and a 26 in the pocket for back up.

    1. avatar Art out West says:

      The 26 is a bit fat for pocket carry. I almost exclusively pocket carry. The LCP is great. A J-Frame also works well. A Shield, G43, LC9, or P11 will also work. The G26 is a great gun but seems a hair large for pocket carry.

      Of course it all depends on your pockets. If it works for you, that is wonderful! The G26 is a proper gun, unlike many of the mouse guns out there. Still, I’d tend to run a G19 for general purpose use, and a J-frame of single stack auto for pocket carry.

      1. avatar PWinKY says:

        I have large cargo pockets, and a g26 does well in most of them.

        I can stuff it into normal jeans front pockets as well, but it looks slightly suspicious. Usually have it in a holster IWB.

        1. avatar Real Men (and Women) Carry 1911s says:

          Luckily I have generous junk, so a Government 1911 with 8 round Wilson magazine in appendix carry does not look out of place. I guess others aren’t so lucky and must carry Glock 43, 26 or if lucky 19.

  14. avatar AZguy says:

    “While the Gen 5 G19’s …. design (no more grooves) …… have certainly been improved,

    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.”

    NOPE, only took TWO generations! 🙂

    1. avatar Marinedoc says:

      Totally agree with you and all the positive, realistic comments about the Gen 5. Mine is a workhorse and I like the comments when saying such and such is better, except doesn’t conceal as well. Pretty intelligent statement. That’s why I own my 19 Gen 5; EDC concealed with T-shirt, shorts or any combination. And it’s yet to misfire and accurate enough for me to score high at the CC Course at Gunsite; five days of defensive shooting drawing from a position of concealment under different conditions and ranges. Still love my Wilson’s but carry my Glock..

  15. avatar rt66paul says:

    Unavailable to Ca residents unless they are LE.

  16. avatar Tdiinva says:

    Glock reviews are easy:

    It’s plastic. It shoots. It has a crappy trigger and sights but it works for self defense.

    Just substitute “The Gxx” for it or it is.

  17. avatar Lawbob says:

    The pinkie slot is for fast reloads.

    I asked Glock at Dallas nra show about it and they basically told me to f off

    I won’t be buying a g5

  18. avatar GS650G says:

    I really can’t tell one Glock from another. I guess that’s a feature.

  19. avatar Enuf says:

    All these complaints about another Glock post. You dunderheads need to understand that never in the history of firearms has a gun maker managed to make a gun that goes BANG! every time you pull the trigger. Gaston Glock was a certifiable Genius, his pistol designs working to such perfection that all other brands pale to a laughable insignificance.

    Why, Gaston’s Gun can practically load, aim and fire itself.

    And it is smarter than its owners, it knows bad guys from good guys. This is why all Glock accidental discharges into the leg of the police officer trying to holster the thing only happened because that was a bad officer. I don’t mean he was dishonest, only that he radiated less than harmonious Glock Love for which Glock’s are tuned to receive.

    Now then, other gun makers like Ruger and Smith & Wesson and Springfield all salivate over Glocks and desperately try to emulate them. That’s because their guns never hit a target or only manage to load, fire and eject every other round.

    Unlike Glocks, which do all their loading, firing and ejecting under the loving guidance of Valkyries looking down with warmth and affection from Gun Maker Valhalla.

    On the other hand, there are Sigs. Which have to work flawlessly for the United States Navy SEALs, because who in their right mind would want to piss off a SEAL anyway?

  20. avatar PWinKY says:

    Weird review. You’re somehow confused that a self-described “compact” firearm is slightly less suited to use on the range than its full sized cousins? The muzzle velocity of different ammo was…mostly irrelevant to any points you tried to make.

    And is the street price of a new G19 really $600? No way I’d pay that much for a stock Glock. Especially since my Gen4 G19 has several useful upgrades (added finger groves for better grip, no mag cutout for less finger pinching). I’ll simply have to deal with the single slide release as I wipe my tears with all this money I’m saving by not buying a new Glock.

  21. avatar Connie says:

    Thanks for the beta-male review. Seems to be a signature of TTAG these days! 🙂

    For Pete’s sake, there are so many different models of firearm… even of any PARTICULAR firearm, these days. If the grip cut out is not for you, it is not for you, but to make it the central feature of the review? Wow. I am not a Glock fanboy. I own plenty of other kinds of guns. However, it is silly to focus on such a trivial issue that could have been summed up at the end of the review.

    “The Gen 5 G19 has an improved trigger and all of the other Gen 5 enhancements, but the grip cut out pinched my hand. It may not do that to you. I prefer a model without the cutout on the grip.”

  22. avatar Osmani Rodriguez says:

    I owned a gen 5 glock 17 for a few months , being left handed I enjoyed the ambidextrous slide lock and the trigger was amazing, but unfortunately I could not get used to the pistol and I subjectively found it awkward to shoot. Strangely and subjectively I also noticed I missed the finger grooves . I actually traded the Gen 5 Glock 17 for a Gen 4 Glock 19 FS model with the extended slide lock and I shoot this pistol much better and the finger grooves feel right for me . When I owned the gen 5 glock 17 it ran flawlessly, I put around 350 rounds through it and no issues , sadly besides the trigger being fantastic and having the lefty option , the pistol just did not work for me.

  23. avatar raptor jesus says:

    Sold my G30 because it kept pinching my fingers.

    My G45 has been flawless. If not boring, like a Camry.

  24. avatar jimmy james says:

    just sold mine about a month ago. They got rid of those irritating finger grooves and put a giant half moon thingy on the front bottom of the grip in their place. Why did I ever get rid of the gen? 19 that I had that had none of that nonsense. It fit my hand and shot more accurately than the same gen 17.

  25. avatar Flying Fish says:

    If Glock magazines weren’t made of plastic, they might just smoothly fall out of the magazine well as with any other pistol, but as they are were are stuck with the cut out (btw, it does not bother me nor my pinkies in any way).
    I guess that’s why they are called “Glock Perfection.”
    As for me, I just bought another Colt 1911. Browning Perfection!

    1. avatar johnQ says:

      As I recall, the original mags didn’t have the liner because the Austrian military asked for the mags to NOT be drop-free type as they didn’t want to lose mags in the snow.

  26. avatar Salty Bear says:

    Most of my pistol shooting experience has been with my dad’s 1911. I have a subcompact DA/SA Taurus 24/7 that I never shoot because it sucks. I do not now nor have I ever owned a Glock. But…

    I put 50 rounds through a G19.4 a couple weeks ago and was impressed. Then I held a G19.5 in a gun store and liked it, except for the cutout. Then I held a G19 5 MOS FS (sans cutout) and *really* liked it. Then I held an HK VP9, which sat in my hand like it was made for my hand – a feeling I actually did not feel good about. The 2×4 shape of that Glock grip gives this great feedback to my brain that tells me where the gun is pointing which makes aiming and sight acquisition more of a hard science (aiming the VP9 was like social science lol). Was the VP9’s trigger better? A little. Is that going to matter in a defensive situation? Not one bit.

    My only complaint about that G19.5 MOS FS was that it cost nearly the same as the VP9, but came with plastic sights. I actually like the idea of shipping a gun with cheapo sights, cause I’m just gonna go buy my preferred sights anyway… But the Glock’s price tag didn’t get the memo – its like I’m still being charged for night sights.

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