Gun Review: GLOCK 19C Gen 4 9mm Pistol

There’s something to be said about shooting a fire-spewing handgun. Specifically, most people don’t want one. Should they?

This is not the first compensated/ported GLOCK. Back in the day, Gaston’s gang sold a compensated Gen3 GLOCK 19. It was not a hit. In fact, I only saw it once in the hands of a southern gentleman whose neck may have been a certain shade of crimson.

GLOCK ships the 19C Gen4 in the standard plastic lunchbox with three magazines, a loader, cleaning tools, lock, back straps and the standard manual (that I read from cover to cover).

As you’d expect, the 19C is about as visually distinct from the standard 19 as one Olsen twin is from the other. Aside from the “made in the USA” roll stamp, the slide and barrel are what set the gun apart from the standard model.

GLOCK’s machined a small angled slit into to the top of the chamber, right where the slide and the chamber meet. I’m guessing that it reduces friction on the compensated model. (It sure isn’t a style thing.)

There are two slits about a quarter inch apart at about the midway point between the GLOCK 19C’s chamber and the muzzle. As you know, these allow the gasses to escape out the top of the slide when the gun’s fired. The basic idea; those escaping gasses reduce muzzle rise and recoil.

Given that we’re talking about a 9mm handgun, is this an answer to a question nobody asked? OK, not nobody. Somebody who couldn’t manage the 19’s “heavy” recoil. I’ve never had a problem with it. I’ve trained hundreds of shooters with 19’s and never once thought to myself, you know what this gun needs? Less recoil!

That said, it’s always nicer to have less recoil. It should make it easier to maintain a sight picture between shots, enabling faster shooting with the same degree of accuracy, if not more.

Shooting the GLOCK 19C, I felt a slight but noticeable difference in muzzle rise. Still, after 800 rounds, I discovered that I wasn’t shooting the 19C any faster or more accurately than a standard 19. YMMV but I doubt it. 

This lack of advantage comes with a drawback. Shooting subsonic Cap Arms 9mm 115gr FMJ, I experienced a double feed malfunction every few rounds. This didn’t occur shooting the same ammo through my standard Gen4 19, or when I fed the 19C some Sellier & Bellot 115 gr FMJ or Remington 115 gr JHP.

As you might expect, shooting the 19C from the retention position (close to the hip) has it challenges. The hot gasses expelled against my body were noticeably uncomfortable. After a few hundred rounds, the gasses dirtied the front sight to the point where it was obscuring the forward white dot.

The 19C’s accuracy was average for the pistol, comparable to the standard GLOCK 19. Shooting from a supported benched position at 25 yards, the average group size was roughly four inches, regardless of the ammo fired. At extended distances of 50 yards, accuracy was also consistent on C- zone steel.

A lot of people shun compensated pistols; they fear shooting one at night will blind them. And they’re absolutely right. Shooting the 19C in the dark I was surprised by just how much I was blinded by the flash. Every round fired created two giant fireballs that eliminated my night vision for at least five seconds.

For me, that makes the GLOCK 19C a non-starter. If you don’t use your GLOCK at night and feel that the standard gun’s recoil is too much, then the 19C is for you. But I’m thinking it isn’t.


Caliber: 9mm
Length: 7.28 inches
Barrel Length: 4.01 inches
Width: 1.18 inches
Height: 4.99 inches
Weight: (loaded): 30.18 inches
Price: ~$580

RATINGS (out of five stars):

Reliability * * * *
Lightly loaded ammunition doesn’t cycle consistently. Everything else goes bang every time.

Accuracy * * * *
Standard for a stock GLOCK

Aesthetics * * *
It’s a GLOCK…what else is there to say?

Ergonomics * * * * 
Very similar to the G19 – larger magazine release, back-straps options for the grip, finger grooves

Overall * * * 1/2
Overall it’s a decent pistol. For me it missed the mark in its intended use – a compact defensive gun. The flash issue at night along with the discomfort of retention shooting was an issue.


  1. avatar Vitsaus says:

    A little late isn’t it? This gun was two perfections ago now.

  2. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    Glad this was finally brought to market.

    Everyone has been complaining about the mighty recoil of the stout 115gr 9mm.

  3. avatar Anon in CT says:

    Compensated pistols are range toys. Problem is, Glock 19s are not inherently fun range toys, so no point.

    Subsonic 115 grain is an inherently weak round. I don’t blame the gun for choking.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      It’s light-loaded 115 grain 9mm — it’s range ammo — but it’s still supersonic. I need to chronograph the stuff, as I have a ton of it here. While it says on the box something like “985 FPS” it definitely isn’t. When I shoot it suppressed, it’s obviously supersonic. At any rate, it’s still light enough that the compensated G19 didn’t like it. The porting definitely reduces the rearwards impulse on the slide.

      1. avatar Snatchums says:

        With those ports halfway down the barrel, what’s that doing to the muzzle velocity? You’re going to lose a bunch of pressure behind that bullet before it’s out of the muzzle.

        1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

          I tend to agree.

          It would have been nice if the reviewer chronographed this gun vs. a standard Glock 19 to test that theory.

        2. avatar Snatchums says:

          Also, would have liked that picture of it stripped to have the barrel right side up so we could clearly see where the ports are on the barrel. Yep, pretty sure the barrel cam looks the same as every other Glock….

  4. avatar GS650G says:

    Bet it gets real dirty too.

  5. avatar BobS says:

    Did you compare compensated vs. uncompensated muzzle flash when using a cartridge marketed for less flash in short barrels, like the Federal Premium P9HST5S (Micro HST) or Buffalo Bore’s 9mm +P+ line?

  6. avatar Weskyvet says:

    Finally! Something to help with the tremendous recoil of that 9mm!!! Now I can finally sell my .9mm and 44 mag to get a big boy 9mm!

  7. avatar little horn says:

    lol love these comments

  8. avatar When Bullets Collide says:

    On my fantasy list of the next 500 guns to buy, the Glock 19C isn’t even in the top 1000.

  9. avatar Parnell says:

    Recoil of a 19? Hell, I don’t notice recoil from my 26 or 27.

  10. avatar DJ says:

    I have a friend with RA who can’t shoot a 9mm for any length of time because it hurts her wrists. This might be good for her.

  11. avatar BLoving says:

    “GLOCK ships the 19C Gen4 in the standard plastic lunchbox”
    And now I’m pondering the wisdom of taking all the doodads and foam out, loading it up with a PB&J and a baggie of Cheetos for the kid to take to school.

    1. avatar Snatchums says:

      Sadly he’ll probably be expelled.

    2. Teach her how to hold the gun

  12. avatar ram360man says:

    I have a gen 3 glock 20C. With full power loads I can’t tell a difference with the ported and normal barrel. Just more noise and blast. Front sight is completely sooted over after around 150 rounds. Got it for a good price used otherwise I’d have went with the normal model.

  13. The truth about Glocktards. A sad bunch of sheep being led around by the little bo peep media stooges.

    1. avatar BLoving says:

      …if only the major media were actual Glock fans and not simply ignorant that not every handgun is a Glock…
      But Glock fans are a lot of fun to provoke… 😎

      1. avatar Snatchums says:

        But Glock fans are a lot of fun to provoke… 😎

        It’s so easy too.

  14. Aww, come on …

    Opinion: A compensated gun has an expansion chamber, which forces the expanded gasses through the porting, to push the muzzle in the desired direction.

    Gaston Glock simply pirated the name, “Compensated”. The 19C is NOT a compensated gun. There is no expansion chamber. The 19C is a “Ported” gun. All the ported gun does is bleed off some of the pressure. Practically the same results may be achieved by burning less powder.

    Gaston Glock went to the PT Barnum school for fooling the public. He learned well. But then, we are easily fooled.

    1. avatar Scoutino says:

      You are right that this is ported gun. But the jets of gas still do push the barrel down.

    2. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      Ported pistols are pretty much standard issue in competition shooting. I don’t think those guys would use them if there wasn’t an advantage.

      1. It’s all about “Tacticool”

  15. avatar Ralph says:

    A ported 9mm makes as much sense as a suppressed blow gun.

  16. avatar Tile Floor says:

    So you act surprised that a compensated gun has a lot of flash at night and knock it down a star and a half?

  17. avatar The Old Miner says:

    Have a Gen 3 22C I bought several years ago. Very accurate. Have shot it at night several times. Have never noticed any “fireballs”, “blindness”, etc. The one thing I DO notice is that it has a lot less muzzle flip than the standard 22, or my G23 Gen4. My .357 revolver puts out a hell of a lot more flash than the 22C, and I never really notice that, either.

  18. avatar DaveInAK says:

    Ports are cool. I carry a ported M&P Shield in 9mm and own the standard non-ported version. The ports do make a small but noticeable difference. I’ve shot the ported gun in competition and every little bit helps. The fire out the ports looks awesome on video but has been a non issue when doing flashlight stages. Am I worried about holding the gun close? No. In a defensive situation it is a non issue. During practice where I shoot a lot I just deal with it. Is there a downside to ports? The gun is noticeably louder. I’ve shot the ported Glocks and liked them. I don’t think I’d pay more just for the ports but I think there is a small benefit and sometimes something small makes all the difference.

  19. avatar Tom Of Toms says:

    Ain’t about recoil. It’s about sight lift. It is intended to increase one’s ability to track the front sight through recoil, not “taming the mighty 9mm”, funny guys.

  20. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    it’s fun to lean a pair of nickels in the slide slots and try to hit them in the air after they launch from the first shot.

    i have a ported .44mag revolver. i don’t really notice the “v” flame unless someone else is firing it. very pleasant after dusk. not sure about recoil, but porting tames the jump some.

  21. avatar t2203 says:

    Thats funny. I’ve carried a 19C both a 3rd and 4th generation for about 8-9 years now as a duty gun. I’ve fired quals in the day and night. In a self defense shooting you will not notice the flash. At all. This is not only true with compensated handguns, but even with short barrels rifles at night. Most won’t even recall seeing their front sight. With 147 grain American Eagle training ammunition it is negligible. With 147 grain Federal HST duty ammunition it is very low with no meaningful FPS loss that would matter. As far as blast when shot in a protected position, such as a speed rock, you will not notice it in a defensive use of the weapon. In a range situation you just tilt the weapon further over and carry on. This a a training issue and one easily worked thru by a competent shooter. The compensated version of these guns are winners. Those sensitive to recoil, particularly with the torque of the 40 in a 23 platform, and making the gun track flatter and quicker on target is measurable and a real thing. Real life is slow to catch up with the competitive world and is about 10-15 years behind the curve. Compensation and red dot sights took over IPSC and USPSA for a reason. Split times, shot recovery and tracking are the reason. Things that are also important when you are trying to reverse which way most of the rounds are going in a gunfight.

    1. avatar Paul E says:

      I agree with Mr. T 2203! I am a retired trauma Hospital x-ray tech; had officers helping me with maniacal patients flipping out! With my experience I feel compelled to Conceal carry and train. Never hurt had judo & Kempo being a light framed dude, I traded my 19 for a 19C 3rd gen 13 years ago, so less recoil I need and love my 19C! This year added 3.5 lb trigger et. set, quicker second shots. From my experience a quick and accurate response is needed to try and stop a drugged up maniacal individual! (In my opinion) legal ease. 🙂

  22. avatar Mahilo Jackson says:

    Unless I am just plain stupid and the weight of a Gen 4 G19C, barrel ports, lightning cuts and all, IS somehow the exact same as the Gen 4 G19, PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING. First, you wrote “30.18 inches” under “Weight (loaded)” when it should be ounces, not inches. Second, you obviously copied the specs off the Glock website which obviously states incorrectly that the weight (both loaded and unloaded) of the G19C Gen 4 is the exact same as the standard G19 Gen 4: “23.65 oz unloaded; 30.18 oz loaded”. I only came across this page attempting to find the ACTUAL weight difference/reduction of the G19C compared to the G19 because of the error on Glock’s website. It’s one thing for Glock to make such an obvious mistake, but to copy & paste those erroneous numbers from Glock’s site instead of weighing the gun yourself is pretty discouraging. I do hope you see this comment or realize this on your own and perhaps do the specs yourself from now on, especially if you’re going to list them again. P.S. the standard specs given for the weight of a gun are more commonly the unloaded weight (with an empty magazine), not loaded. I’d either just give the unloaded weight or both moving forward.

  23. avatar Allen says:

    Bad review. I carry a 19c and have shot it many times at night and the flash is not that bad. And in a self-defense situation, you may be shooting 3-4-5 shots in rapid taps -the lower recoil of the 19c is a noticable advantage in quickly getting hits on target in smaller groups. And there is never a problem cycling any +P JHP ammo.

    1. avatar Trapper says:

      Agree with your post. The Glock 19c is excellent edc gun. Firing from retention is not comfortable, but neither is fighting for your life. The author is an idiot.

  24. avatar Chris G says:

    The Author must have been using some really trashy range reloads for the night pic. Real duty or self defense ammo does not create any flash at all. I usually like the reporting from Truth about Guns. This was very sub standard.

  25. avatar Tim says:

    Just picked up an Austrian made gen 4 19c. Some kind of contract over run.

    Anyway, I ran 100 rounds of federal +p+ through it and it loved it. Indoor range, light off, flash was a non issue. The concussion on the first shot was noticeable on the first shot after firing my 17, but not an issue after expecting it.

    Also fired 100 rounds of 115 gr UMC. Ejection was very weak. Thought the shells would bounce off the rear of the slide and scratch the gun. But no malfunctions. Hoping the rsa will break in some and give me better ejection.

    It was very accurate and double taps were side by side. Recoil was considerably less than the 17 with +p+.

    Considering the weak ejection with target ammo, I would consider this more a defensive gun, loaded with +p+, it has the advantage in my opinion.

    1. avatar Paul says:

      Hi Tim,
      I agree with your findings; my 3gen 19C is for defense. Now on ammo, for defense and packing in the woods in bear county; look in to what I use; Buffalo Bore 9mm +P 147 gr solid cast low flash; they call ” the out doors man” load. Watch the video where that load stoped a grizzly bear, impressive! 🙂
      PS, they state that load can penetrate up to 3ft of gel; car doors, house walls and such.

    2. avatar Ray Phillips says:

      I have owned several glock 17 handguns including 3rd gen 17 and 17L, 2 4th gen 17, and I presently own a 3rd gen 19c. As a defensive or concealed handgun I have no complaints. Have fired 1000″s of rnds. of all types without a single malfunction. most of my training is on the move, using barricades, kneeling, standing, etc. I do a lot of point shooting inside 7 yards and my controlled pairs/dbl taps are within 1-2″ of each other. This weapon is highly accurate and I have never had issues in low light. I also shoot 8.5″ and 10.5 ” ar pistols in all types of lighting and have no issues. is there flash? yes but as someone who fires between 5 and 10 thousand rounds a year through a variety of weapons over the last 44 years I find that training, training and training are the three most important aspects in shooting. Compensated guns are definitely an advantage as the earlier post stated. Top competitors use them for a reason. That being said I purchased the 19c used at a substantial savings. you shoot what suits you that’s the awesome part of being in the USA. I wouldn’t trade my 19c for any other handgun out there.

  26. avatar Scott A Williamson says:

    My favorite Glock

  27. avatar James says:

    And I quote “Given that we’re talking about a 9mm handgun, is this an answer to a question nobody asked? OK, not nobody. Somebody who couldn’t manage the 19’s “heavy” recoil.”

    OK, but for those of us with Rheumatoid Arthritis anything that reduces recoil allows us to continue to enjoy shooting. The statement above is more than a bit condescending. That’s like saying wearing a dark blue shirt as opposed to a light blue shirt decreases your femininity.

    There IS a difference between a G19 C and a G19. It may not be a huge difference but reducing the “snap” at the wrist of the handgun makes a world of difference. So just call me Mr. Nobody.

  28. avatar Doug Taylor says:

    Just received a 19C Gen 4 and took it to the range with bulk ammo. FTE and FTL/jamming with the expelled cartridge was about every second or third load. until I got down to 8 rounds in a 15 round magazine. With a rigid grip it ejected and fired the last 8. However, my wife never got a triple shoot off without A FTE or feed/jam on the spent cartridge left in the chamber area. Will try some $1.00 a piece bullets and see if that helps. Nice size and feel, but will stick with mt Stacata and Walther PPQ M2. Get what you pay for.

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