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The GLOCK Gen 5 is here, complete with 35 new or upgraded 35 parts. GLOCK also made twenty design changes to the Gen 4 pistol. I had the opportunity to handle and shoot the newest G17 generation, first at the GLOCK facility in Smyrna, GA and then on my home range.

There are no finger grooves on the GLOCK Gen 5. For me, this is all the difference in the world when picking up a GLOCK. Removing the grooves, was a big step toward GLOCK making a pistol that I can get on the gas and quick-draw from a holster, without sliding my fingers into the right spaces.

The magwell is now flared. While not a competition-style magwell, it’s ideal for faster reloads. Some potential buyers may be disappointed by the lack of front slide serrations (seen on their summer special model). GLOCK beveled the Gen 5’s muzzle, similar to the shape of the G34 Gen 4s. The reshaping is designed to catch less material as shooters draw the Gen 5 GLOCK from a holster. It also moderates the boxy look of other GLOCKs, giving the Gen 5 a more modern look.

GLOCK also updated the sight picture. Although the polymer sights are still available, Gen 5 GLOCKs will leave the factory with new styles of night sights, including the Ameriglo GLOCK Spartan Operator sets shown here. At night these sights are extremely visible; ideal for facilitating accurate shots in all lighting scenarios.

The Gen 5 is equipped with ambidextrous slide stops. Lefties will be happy with this (left-handed shooters, that is). With my offhand (left-hand) I could easily release the slide stop with my thumb — as easily as I could with my dominate hand.

From outward appearances, Gen5  looks like every other GLOCK, minus the finger grooves and some new sights. To understand why this Generation Five is an improvement to the G17, you need to check out the internals — and shoot it.

The picture above shows the G17 Gen 5 next to a G34 Gen 4 (right). The order in the picture is a bit mixed up, but this is how it goes: 17 frame, 34 slide, 17 slide, and 34 frame. Side-by-side, you can see some differences between the Gen 4(left) and Gen 5(right).

First, GLOCK reshaped the firing pin safety. Instead of the circular metal pin, the Gen 5 squared firing pin safety fits into a squared ledge with ramping on either side. The ramping makes the trigger bar move more smoothly against the firing pin safety. Less noticeable in this picture: the GLOCK Marksman Barrel. The new barrel features a smaller crown, providing a tighter fit for projectiles. At 50 yards I had zero issues putting dings on a 6” steel plate.

The trigger mechanism in the Gen 4 (top) and the Gen 5 (bottom) have some differences. The trigger bar no longer attaches to a spring that sits on the connector. In the Gen 5, the trigger bar slides into a space on the trigger mechanism housing. The trigger return spring in the Gen 5 has been replaced and moved inside the mechanism housing.

Finally, GLOCK added a new ion-bonded coating to all Gen 5 handguns. The new nDLC finish is more resistant and offers better protection than previous generations. Also, GLOCK has returned to a two-pin system and eliminated the Locking Block Pin. In my opinion, fewer parts is always a good thing.

[Those of you flush with Gen 3 and 4 GLOCK mags will be glad to know they work with the new Gen 5 models. Holsters that accommodate previous Generations should also function with the Gen 5.]

After shooting the Gen 5, it’s now my go-to pistol. If you want to know why I am going to make the switch, the science of a lower bore axis really cannot be disputed. Follow up shots and reacquiring a sight picture are much easier with a GLOCK, especially while moving and shooting. The removal of the GLOCK’s finger grips was also an important factor; I can now comfortably get my hand on the gun.

And then there’s reliability . . .

During the media event at GLOCK headquarters, ten writers fired a minimum of 700+ rounds each without a single mechanical issue. I also ran some 147 gr, polymer coated handloads that worked flawlessly in the G17 Gen 5. Again, as I said above, hits to 50 yards proved no challenge with this firearm.  Overall, I really could not ask for more out of this or any other handgun. Reliable, accurate, and safe.

About Duncan Johnson:

Duncan Johnson is a graduate of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. His focus of studies were on History and Government. Duncan is a regular contributor to AmmoLand and assists in the everyday gun-news publishing as an assistant editor.

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  1. The G17 is (IMO) the best duty-size pistol ever made, and I’m no fan of Glocks. If the Gen V actually improves on it, that would be impressive indeed.

  2. Interesting improvements, but the words “plain as paper” come to mind about its appearance.

  3. Not sure I like the rounded edges on the front of the slide but everything else sounds good.

    When my local shop gets some I’ll go give’em a squeeze. If they feel good I’ll get one.
    Without the panic buying of the past 12+years I’m suddenly flush with cash.

  4. The Glock reminds me of an old joke. “What did the Asian & an Native American call their first baby? UG-Lee!”
    Ever since I handled the Glock back in the 1980’s I hated the grip angle. Till that is changed to me Glock is not even looked at as a great gun. I would buy a Sig, Ruger, or any defensive hand gun that has the features I want….

    • Is there any reason for the hump other than to insert a stock attachment? How many people actually use that, civilians or LEOs? Probably not many. Glock could have made Gen 5 models without that hump, while concurrently manufacturing Gen 4 guns the way they are for those who want that ‘classic’ look and functionality. I bet a lot more people would find the slimmer grip and no finger grooves much more comfortable. They could then take that concept and make a single stack G19 and have a real CCW winner. But that would make too much sense and it would actually require them to take a risk, which obviously they are not willing to do. I hope the folks at CZ take the P10 and create many more variants around it. Looks like they have a great platform that can do some real damage to Glock’s market share if they do it right.

      • +1 on the single stack G19. Give it the profile of the 43 and you have a GLOCK I would actually buy.

        • I would live in California for a week if it meant Glock would release a single-stack G19. Only one week though.

  5. Glock keeps redefining perfection. It’s a never ending quest. I like this version the best so far, except for the price point.

    • When one gets proficient enough at shooting, grip angle makes no difference. There’s different grip angles everywhere out there on both pistols and rifles.

    • About a $20 premium at distributor pricing for a vanilla G19 without NS. Although it looks to me like Gen4 pricing is being lowered, so NOW there is a bit of a premium, but not over what you were used to paying.

  6. I like. Probably not enough to sell my Gen4 17 or 35, but enough to use as an excuse to add to my collection (e.g. 19, 22 or 20) when they become available.

  7. kinda boxy. where’s the hammer? what’s that dringus on the trigger?

    note: dingus on the hoo- hah was the traditional terminology, but then i found out about dr. steven brule.

    i certainly love an injection molded palm swell, but none of my pistols have them.

  8. Nice that Glock says that they’ve pushed up the reliability. Then again, the proof will be in the pudding. We’ll have to see what the next 6 months brings.

    • Indeed. I seem to remember claims of improved reliability when the Gen 4’s were announced. Then they were recalled for problems with…reliability.

      I never buy a new model of anything until the early-adopter suckers have beta-tested it…

  9. Never really cared that much about a flared magazine well on a double stack magazine, now on a 1911 (or any other single stack mag) it does offer a noticeable improvement on reloading.

  10. Well I guess I’m going to purchase a new Glock 19 Gen 5 as soon as they’re available. And I’ve had a Gen 4 Glock 19 for quite a few years now I feel as if my wife made divorce me if I bring home another Plastic Fantastic box under my arm, I may have to sneak this one in LOL. It’s almost like they’ve gone full circle back to no finger grooves and to two pins. I can’t help but be a little excited to get one.

    • What kind of stupid comment is this? Exactly what does the Gen2 offer over the Gen5. I guess having a light rail, better internals, better barrel, better finish, better grip texture is a negative in your book? The Gen5 is as close to a Gen2 since the Gen2. It’s a 2-pin and it has no finger grooves.

  11. Meet the new Glock…
    Same as the old Glock…

    I hope we don’t get fooled again!

    • Were you expecting revolutionary changes vs. evolutionary? It’s not the same as the old Glock. It has updated internals, a better barrel, etc. I’m not some Glock fanboy (my “go to” is a HK VP9 and yes, I know HK hates me) but I really don’t understand some of these laughably idiotic comments and “opinions”.

  12. How can Duncan Johnson, the author of this article, be any kind of an editor for anyone when he hasn’t even mastered basic English?

  13. Evolution to Glock means going back to a Gen2 grip? Still offering the crummy plastic sights? Did they cure the ejection problems that throw brass right in your face? What about the creaky trigger takeup as it depresses the plunger? Or do you still have to pay a gunsmith to fix it right out of the box?

    No new size model, like a G19 size frame with a G26 size slide. No new finishes like a factory stainless slide. No front slide serrations. No new frame colors, or a Glock Custom Shop where you could mix and match frame styles/slides and order your idea of the right gun.

    Unimpressed. This Gen5 is a step backwards. Glock has lost its way with the semi retirement of Gaston.

  14. Love reading the morons comments about glocks. It has taken the other manufactures 25 years to catch up and now be competitive. To not respect/understand its greatness is to be one of them morons..

  15. Glock went backwards with the grip. I like the finger groves on my Gen 4. Now the Gen 5 grip feels as bad as my Gen 1 grip when I held the gun in a local gun shop. All of the negative comments about the Glock are from some pathetic haters that don’t know very much about Glocks. I’m left handed, I never use the slide release anyway even on my Gen 1 that I bought when the guns first came out.

  16. i have purchased a 17 gen5 love it i love the plastic sights that came on it dont need the palm fillers i like no finger grips i dont need the flared magazine the dlamond like carbon finish is a great feature i have many other glocks. dumped all the 1911 old fashiond pistols ive ownede except the one i took from the navy. glock glock glock i have an mandp 2.0 pmm also

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