Reader Heather Myers writes:
One of my first gun purchases was the Gen5 GLOCK 19. As a fairly new shooter I had just spent the past two years trying out every single gun I could rent at the range.
I was looking for something that fit my hand, was easy to use and fairly simple to clean and maintain. Something I could carry concealed daily and be confident that if needed I could hit my target.
Concealability was a big concern for me. With a little trial and error and bit of holster swapping I think I’ve figured out a good system for me and my particular body shape.
The size of the GLOCK 19 shouldn’t scare you away from carrying it concealed, but a quality Kydex holster is a must. With no external safety other than the trigger, it’s important that your holster completely covers the trigger and won’t mold itself into the trigger guard. That can cause a negligent discharge during the draw or holstering process.
Right about the time I had decided to get the Gen4 G19, the Gen5 was announced and I made an impulsive decision to get the Gen5 instead. I liked the idea of some of the upgrades, so ended up buying before I’d ever even fired it.
I’ve had the G19 Gen5 for more than a year now and use it as my main daily carry gun. I’ve put almost 50,000 rounds through it and had zero malfunctions.
The GLOCK Gen 5 pistols have about 20 upgraded features over the Gen 4 and I’ll hit some of the highlights here.
The most noticeable change is the lack of finger grooves. Some people loved them some people hated them. I was in the undecided category. They weren’t the best fit for me, but didn’t interfere with my accuracy or a good grip.
The next notable change is the ambidextrous slide stop on the G19 Gen5. Some people have reported that because of hand size and grip placement, the slightly larger, slide stop lever has caused them issues. I haven’t experienced that and probably never will because I have smaller hands.
I do like having the slide release lever being just a little more pronounced, as it allows for a smoother, more sure release for me.
The diamond-like nDLC finish coating on the barrel and slide looks good and it’s supposed to be more durable. I find that in the heat of the summer when it’s pushing 115 degrees, my sweaty hands tend to slip a bit.
It does clean up nicely, but I’m not sure that’s a good trade-off. I may end up adding an Arachnigrip for a better hold when racking the slide.
Next up is the beveling on the front of the slide. It doesn’t affect the function much (possibly easing re-holstering), only the look, so if you are into prettier guns this one is still a GLOCK.
Later versions of the Gen5 have a beveled frame as well. Personally I wish they had made them all that way, but it’s a mostly a cosmetic gripe.
I like the changes they made to the barrel, adding the recessed crown and the change to non-polygonal rifling is a step in the right direction.
The GLOCK Marksman Barrel is one improvement I’m glad to see. Other manufacturers have had recessed crowns for a long time and the polygonal rifling of previous GLOCKs have made using lead ammo a no go. Versatility in ammo choices makes sense for a lot of shooters reloading with lead..
The magazine and magazine well received quite a few of the upgrades with the Gen5 version. Some were reportedly the FBI requested in the 19M pistol they use. I’d love to check out the duty weapon version to see what differences there are from the civilian model.
The flared magwell allows for a smoother, surer reload when combined with the tapered top of the new magazines. The finger cut-out should make pulling a stuck mag out much easier. I’ve never actually gotten a mag stuck in my GLOCK, though, so not sure I’ll be making use of that one anytime soon.
Gen5 magazines now come with a hi-viz orange follower and an extended floor plate in the front. That should allow for faster, smoother reloads. You can now also switch the magazine release to the other side so left-handed shooters can have an easily-modified, fully left-handed gun.
The sights on the basic model are very similar to what GLOCK sights have always been. There are three options for sights. I ended up getting the basic sights, but wish I had splurged on the new Ameriglo night sights.
The basic sights are still plastic, but got something of a makeover. The rear sight is slightly larger and has a bit more definition to it and alignment is a little better straight out of the box. I’ll be upgrading to new sights eventually but these will do for now.
The guts of the Gen 5 GLOCK 19 have been upgraded as well. The locking block pin was replaced with their two-pin system of previous generations. The firing pin was reshaped and the trigger return spring was moved into the housing mechanism.
The trigger on Gen5 GLOCK 19 is much smoother than on others I’ve used and has a decidedly cleaner break than the GLOCK trigger we’ve all some to know. The improved trigger pull alone is probably the best of the Gen5 upgrades.
Price point on the new GLOCKS vary a bit based on what sights you end up getting but range from $540-$650 at stores local to me.
Specifications – GLOCK G19 Gen5 9mm Pistol
Overall length: 7.28″
Overall height: 5″ (with magazine)
Barrel length: 4″
Weight: 21.5 oz. (without magazine)
Capacity: 15+1 standard
Price: about $560 to start, more for night sights.
Ratings (out of five stars):
Style * * * *
If the beveling had matched the slide and frame this would have been stars. Even for a GLOCK.
Ergonomics * * * * *
Losing the finger grooves from the Gen 4 GLOCK and adding in the flared magwell are huge improvements.
Reliability * * * * *
It’s a GLOCK pistol. Reliability is kind of their trademark. I’d be disappointed if this gun didn’t live up to that reputation.
Customization * * *
The aftermarket products have a bit slow in rolling out for the new model, but they are coming so this will improve greatly as time goes on.
Carry * * * *
Easily carried comfortably all day with a variety of good holster options available.
Overall * * * * 1/2
GLOCK listened to their customers. With the Gen 5 G19 they’ve delivered many improvements on an already excellent firearm.