There a number of people in today’s world that are impossible to make happy. Chief among these are gun people, and the most notorious and outspoken are fans of GLOCK pistols. Today we will be taking a look at a gun that makes a tremendous amount of sense to me and many others, but has somehow irked some of the faithful: the GLOCK 45.
The G45 is a bit of a strange misnomer, as it’s not chambered in .45 ACP. The expectation was that it somehow would be, but seeing as how GLOCK has never released a gun with the model number corresponding to the chambering, I’m not sure how that could be that confusing.
The GLOCK 45 is in fact chambered in 9x19mm and GLOCK calls it a compact crossover, with a compact G19-size slide on a full-size Gen5 G17 frame. That makes a great deal of sense when the direction of handguns and end users are taken into account, but that still wasn’t enough for some I spoke to.
When the G45 was announced, it was met with vast amounts of disappointment. I heard from no less than two dozen of my usual contacts who said they hated the gun and had been anticipating another crossover design, this time with a G17-length slide on a G19 frame. Or maybe a G19 slide on a G26 frame.
The idea behind this is that you can always conceal a longer barrel, but not a longer frame. It’s hard to fathom who would complain about such a thing when so many good compact pistols are around.
The practice of long slide/short frame is at best a hilariously foolish attempt to extend a compact pistol’s range by increasing sight radius. It’s as if the proponents of this configuration are just going to, at a moment’s notice, have to make a precision shot at 100 yards with a cartoonishly long pistol like Jack Nicholson’s Joker gun. You’d have a better chance of convincing me that Die Hard is a Christmas movie than getting me to buy into the long slide/short frame idea.
You can’t accuse GLOCK of not knowing their purchaser base. The reason why they released their crossover designs the way they did is because the broad public wouldn’t buy a goofy, stunted-looking pistol that’s hard to control and has limited standard capacity.
The G45 and GLOCK 19X are extremely well designed guns and are in high demand as a result. In point of fact, the G45 is one of the most well-balanced pistols I’ve ever fired when it comes to weight distribution and recoil management.
The end buyer of this gun is one who’s concerned with comfort, accuracy, and capacity. The gun feels right in the hand, is easily manipulated, and has excellent capacity at 17+1 rounds. Three magazines are included with the pistol.
The G45’s Gen5 trigger, while not a night-and-day difference over prior generations, is an improvement in that it’s noticeably crisper and less mushy than its predecessors. Reset is about the same.
The grip geometry (no more Gen4 finger grooves) and improved trigger allow fir a great deal of control, thus allowing a short learning curve for new shooters. It’s a turn-key package for the average person, as it can be utilized in most every role most users will need in a full-frame pistol.
The GLOCK 45’s best quality, perhaps, is that it wasn’t inherently designed for the concealed carry market. Like the first GLOCKs that were so popular with law enforcement, the G45 is a duty-sized gun that has all the good features of the popular G19X, but with a few differences that make it a great gun for the outdoorsman and police officer alike, such as the lack of a lanyard loop and a nondescript black finish.
I tested this gun with a variety of excellent ammo and found that it’s a very solid, accurate performer. Testing was done over my Oehler 35P chronograph, which was situated five feet from the muzzle. Groups were fired from the bench at 25 yards and are the average of three, five-shot groups.
Lehigh Defense 90gr +P Xtreme Defense——1511fps, 1.5”
SIG SAUER 115gr V CROWN————————1259fps, 2”
SIG SAUER 124gr V CROWN ————————1260fps, 2”
Black Hills 115gr FMJ———————————1217fps, 2”
Black Hills 125gr Honey Badger Subsonic———987fps, 2.75”
Black Hills 100gr +P Honey Badger——————1375fps, 1.5”
Buffalo Bore 147gr Outdoorsman——————–1100fps, 3”
Buffalo Bore Barnes 95gr +P+ ————————–1501fps. 1.75”
Hornady 124gr +P Critical Duty————————1230fps, 2”
Hornady 135gr +P Critical Duty————————1150fps, 2.25”
Hornady Custom 147gr XTP——————————1027fps, 2.5”
Hornady Critical Defense 115gr FTX——————1211fps, 3”
I’e noticed something when it comes to the new GLOCK models. They tend to run a bit fast compared to the old barrels. The results I got for the G45 with the match grade GLOCK Marksman Barrel were interesting, as I have quite a bit of trigger time on many of these loads this year in several 9mm pistols.
The results for these rounds were a smidge faster than I’ve seen in the past, but I think it is a matter of the individual gun here. I tested these same loads in a G19 Gen5 and the G45 was slightly faster on all loads despite having essentially the same barrel length.
When it came to reliability, the GLOCK 45 just ran and ran. I had no issues at all and was easily able to shoot my steel plate out to 50 yards. Up close, the G45 handles well when shooting rapidly with its long, groove-less grip.
This may not be the gun that many GLOCK fanboys wanted, but it’s a gun that will make fanboys of the uninitiated. If this is the first GLOCK you fire, you’ll be very pleased. The G45 is an excellent choice in a full-frame gun handgun and is likely the best single handgun GLOCK has ever produced. I would choose this over a standard G19 any day of the week.
Specifications: GLOCK 45
Capacity: 17+1 rounds
Barrel Length: 4 inches
Overall Length: 7.44 inches
Sights: Polymer U-notch
Weight: 25oz with empty magazine
Street Price: About $550 new
Ratings (out of five stars):
Accuracy * * * * *
I never thought I would find a GLOCK brand GLOCK that shoots as well as the G19X, but this one does. The grip size combined with the compact slide makes this gun just bounce in the hand under recoil and it just wants to stay on target.
Reliability * * * * *
I had no failures to feed or fire at all with this pistol.
Ergonomics * * * * *
This pistol handles like a dream. There is ample room on the grip for even the largest hands, but the gun is overall fairly compact. Just like the very similar G19X, this gun has great balance and is easy to shoot in general.
Customize This * * *
The problem with many of the Gen5 guns is that they have a lack of good accessories, but that will all change in the days to come.
Aesthetics * * *
GLOCK has always taken the path of making sure the is farm working before painting the barn, even if that barn doesn’t get painted for some time. This is not an attractive gun, but it’s handsome enough for what it is.
Overall * * * * *
The haters out there will disagree with the proportions of this gun, but as the old adage goes, haters gonna hate. The full-size grip, generous capacity, better trigger, and compact barrel make for a gun that is only limited by the abilities of the shooter.