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“When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” So said my Grandma and yours, on down through the generations. When GLOCK, Inc. submitted their Model 19X in coyote tan color for the U.S. Army modular handgun system trials, they had high hopes. Unfortunately, rather than select a handgun design with a 35-year track record for success, the Army instead chose a new, more modular pistol design.

Rather than cry in their milk, GLOCK took the lemons that the Army handed them and made lemonade in the form of the G45. For the uninitiated, the GLOCK 45 is for all intents and purposes a black version of the 19X. The notable difference, besides color, is the lack of a lanyard loop on the G45.

GLOCK 45 Specs

For those attempting to keep up with all of the GLOCK model numbers, the GLOCK Model 45 is a 9x19mm, “Safe-Action” (striker-fired), semi-automatic pistol that uses standard capacity 17 round magazines. The barrel is 4.02 inches with a slide length of 6.85 inches and a height of 5.47 inches. Empty weight is 24.5 ounces.

The particular model featured here is their “MOS” version meaning Modular Optic System. This pistol came in a padded hard case with three 17 round magazines with the new orange followers, a magazine loading tool, a bore cleaning brush, the ubiquitous cable-lock, and an MOS adapter plate kit with all the hardware. The sights on the gun were the typical GLOCK plastic front and rear.

All MOS GLOCK pistols come with various mounting plates to allow the installation of either the Trijicon, C-More, Leupold, and “Docter Optic” mini red dot sights. Naturally, any optics that share the same footprint as the aforementioned will work. For instance, the Holosun line of compact pistol optics tend to favor the Trijicon RMR footprint. The new EFLX mini red dot from EOTech uses the Leupold “DeltaPoint” footprint. More on that optic later.         

Perfect Police Sights? 

While the old style GLOCK plastic sights are functional, from a practical and functional standpoint, they are too low (short). The short front sight causes the shooter to elevate the muzzle as distance to the target increases causing rounds to go high.

On the rear sight, there is three to four times as much light-reflecting white paint as there is on the small front sight. What that does is draw the human eye to the rear sight first, not the front sight, which is the most important of the two. Also, the rear sight, being angled plastic doesn’t offer a solid purchase if you need to rack the pistol single-handed.

Standard GLOCK sights

In 2018, we were approached by the Night Fision Tritium sight company and asked our thoughts about handguns sights, particularly those on GLOCK duty guns, to which the previous comments about the stock plastic sights were offered. Also, as a law enforcement veteran and small arms and tactics instructor, we understand that police officers need to qualify and feel confident that their rounds are going where they’re supposed to go. 

From experience, we knew that the most common distances for police handgun qualification courses were from 5 yards to 50 feet. We set out to create sights that were the perfect height to ensure that shots fired would be point-of-aim/point-of-impact from 5 yards to 50 feet.

Using the GLOCK 17 and the GLOCK 19 as test guns with Black Hills 124 grain Jacketed Hollow Point ammunition, we tried out various front and rear sight heights until we hit the sweet spot. The Night Fision Accur8 Tritium sights offer the shooter absolute accuracy, day or night.

After picking up the new G45 pistol, the first thing that I did was remove the plastic factory sights and install a set of Night Fision Accur8 sights. This version has the yellow or “safety green” polymer ring surrounding the Tritium vial in the front sight.

Night Fision uses a translucent polymer that allows the light from the Tritium vial to come through, making it appear visually brighter than other models from other makers who use opaque polymers.  

EOTech EFLX Optic

Most of you know the EOTech HWS (holographic weapon sights) for rifles and shotguns. What you may not be aware of is that EOTech recently released a mini red dot optic called the “EFLX.” They have two models; one with a 3 MOA aiming dot and one with a 6 MOA dot. I chose the 6 MOA model. You can also find them with black or coyote tan housings. 

The battery source is  the standard CR2032. EOTech intelligently put the battery compartment on top of the optic so that it doesn’t need to be removed to change the battery. Battery life on the mid setting for the 6 MOA optic is 20,000 hours. For the 3 MOA optic the battery life is a bit longer at 25,000 hours. Either way you cut it, that is over two years of constant run time.

GLOCK 45 with EoTech EFLX red dot sight

After I ran the G45 during my initial range session using only the Night Fision Accur8 sights, I decided to mount the EFLX optic on the pistol. Installation was simple using the tools and hardware included from GLOCK and EOTech. As mentioned previously, the EFLX uses the same footprint as the Leupold “DeltaPoint” so the #4 mounting plate from GLOCK was a perfect fit.

As the Accur8 sights were already zeroed for point-of-aim/point-of-impact, zeroing the EFLX optic was simple. I used the included tool and lined up the red aiming dot so that it was essentially sitting on top of the front sight on the pistol. 

Range Testing

Before I took the gun out for my first range session I disassembled it and applied some FrogLube “Extreme” CLP. I’ve been using FrogLube products on pistols, rifles, and shotguns for over a decade now and have supreme confidence in them. 

For my range testing, I wanted to work with ammunition that was likely to be used for defensive or duty purposes. For this I went with the Black Hills Ammunition 125 grain HoneyBadger load, their 124 grain JHP +P load and their 115 grain EXP (Extra Power Hollow Point). The HoneyBadger load is rated at 1050 feet per second and both of the others have a factory velocity of 1200 FPS.

Not surprisingly, the gun functioned with 100 percent reliability using all of the ammunition put through it. I ran the premium ammunition and a bunch of FMJ training ammunition as well. Up close, rapid hits on target came without issue.

For a challenge, I used the two super-sonic Black Hills loads and moved back to 50 feet and was able to ring the steel half-silhouette everytime. Then I moved back to 25 yards, 35 yards, and lastly 40 yards. At 25 the gun was “point-of-aim/point-of-impact” on steel. At 35 and 40 yards, I was too far away to spot bullet impact, but I did ring the steel. All told, I fired several hundred rounds through the gun before sitting down to write this piece.   

What’s the Big Deal?

During my review period, I told a friend what I was doing. “I don’t get it, what’s the big deal?” he asked. That’s a fair question and to be truthful, it’s one of those situations where you just have to do it to get a good feel for it. Police Departments coast to coast have been trading in their older GLOCK pistols for the G45 and the guys in the field are loving them. I have talked with several cops who love their G45 pistols. 

One reason could be that departments with the .40 caliber G22 and G23 pistols are swapping them and the officers are loving the shootability of the 9x19mm over the gun-busting .40. (Yes, the .40 S&W is a notorious and documented gun-breaker.) 

Is the G45 really all that much better than the G17? Well, I wouldn’t throw away a G17, however, as more and more people get their hands on the G45, it seems apparent that GLOCK has really hit the “sweet spot” with this design. Decide for yourself but, it truly seems that they took lemons and made some sweet tactical lemonade. 


Paul G. Markel is the founder of Student the Gun University and has been teaching Small Arms & Tactics to military personnel, police officers, and citizens for over three decades. He is the author of numerous books and is a combat decorated United States Marine veteran. 

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  1. I don’t know if I would call a Glock 45 the perfect LE duty pistol, but it is serviceable. I like my 19X. Enough that I intend to buy a second one when I get around to it.

      • Just watched a few police shooting Youtube videos, and the Glucks jammed in a couple of real world scenarios.

        That includes one where the police officer in Wisconsin died because he had to start clearing his jammed Gluck instead of returning fire.

        That officer maybe alive today if not for his Glock.

        There are way to many reasons to avoid this firearm, and this is just another.

        Pause at timestamp 3:18 to see the jammed up Glock.

  2. I’d rather see more police funding for training instead of the latest Glock. Most of the holes in the floor and roof at my local range come from cops (or so says the proprietor).

    I wonder how my neighborhood PD would score against our IDPA group of regulars?

    That said, I’m very grateful for the thin blue line in my area, and my IDPA targets don’t shoot back 🙂

    • I often laughed when I was shooting competition at comments like this. It was laughable because several of us were LEOs but just didn’t advertise.
      LEOs are people and like any group of people they can be broken down about like any office. There are good, bad and ugly. Those who try and believe and those who 8 n skate. Those who attend regular training and those who get out and get extra in all subjects not just tactical.

  3. “Unfortunately, rather than select a handgun design with a 35-year track record for success, the Army instead chose a new, more modular pistol design.” Out of curiosity what part of Glock’s entry was modular?

    • On a factory gun? The grip inserts.
      That’s about it.

      I mean; if you go aftermarket literally every part of the Glock is modular.

    • The Army required a manual safety and modularity. Glock tacked on a flimsy safety (which, no surprise, they then removed for the G45), but it was in no way “modular”

      The Sig also beat out Glock on price, and Government contracts are almost always “lowest cost/meets spec”.

      So, fail on price, and fail on specification

  4. After enduring so many amateurs with little or nothing to say and a disregard for the facts it is good to see this article on TTAG. Good work.

  5. RE: “While the old style GLOCK plastic sights are functional, from a practical and functional standpoint, they are too low (short).”

    OEM Glock sights were designed to be low which naturally lessens the chance of the front sight being knocked off. Glock attached the low sight with a micro size screw which worked however attaching a taller front sight increases leverage the micro screw cannot handle. The night sights I use for my Sar9s came with Glock style front sights and are held on by the same wimpy micro screw. The OEM Sar steel front sight is secured by a beefy screw that extends to the top of the sight…Glock should take a hint.

  6. The ability of the shooter plays a much larger role than the firearm, in regards to the perfect weapon for the job. A $600 firearm is no more perfect, than a sub $400 or $900 handgun. If the shooter can’t hit what they are aiming at.
    The Greatest Vince Lombardi Quotes “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” “The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.” “Confidence is contagious.

  7. Totally unrelated rant:
    I am not an ACAB fool. Yet I have lost much of my childhood respect for the police as an institution once the GWOT-influence polluted and militarized the culture, and have talked to enough retired chiefs to know this has 100% happened.

    Very few walk a beat anymore or even know their non-LEO neighbors; many stay inculcated in their squad-cars and develop a “Us and them” mentality by only ever hanging out with department buddies. Evaluating situations on a case-by-case basis of context is deemed a waste of time. That single mom with good manners accidentally crossed the PA/NJ border with a handgun? Toss her in prison just like any other drug runner/gang member. Never mind that the officer in question could have just told her to turn around and go home for her victimless crime. “The law is the law” sounds a lot more like “Befehl ist befehl” every day.

    Each new generation of police officers force-fed insipid m@rxism in their middle/high school years treads even further from the Constitution, BoR, and common understanding that people have inalienable rights some states choose to deny. By enforcing those states’ (NJ, NY, CA) treasonous policies, one becomes part of the problem. The more non-LEO friends the police have, the more likely it is they’ll hesitate if ordered to pull a nation-wide Hurricane Katrina style grab. Food for thought.

    • Yeppers.
      I’ve got my grievances against the “new breed” myself.
      And the bad thing is they mix up what you said to make you out a liar.
      “No I said, I found the wallet BY the trash dumpster, not IN the trash dumpster.”
      You’d have thought a possum would have got a hug for being honest enough to notify the Poleice about a wallet instead of trying to implicate I’m a dumpster diver.
      We are all guilty of something, we just ain’t been caught yet, is their perspective.

    • “That single mom with good manners accidentally crossed the PA/NJ border with a handgun? Toss her in prison just like any other drug runner/gang member.”

      That’s more of a condemnation of where you live, than cops in general. And who their masters are, politically.

      It’s considerably more laid-back where I am, crime isn’t that bad (considering). Compare that to Virginia, for example, where one mile an hour over the speed limit gets you a citation… 🙁

    • Milsurp, I worked the Hurricane Katrina aftermath for two weeks. The only time I seized a firearm was when I supplemented the Charlotte, NC SWAT team. They were tasked with security over the field hospital that had their first real world deployment. Many storm victims arrived seeking treatment. Armed. We would seize the firearm upon the patient’s entry. Return it upon their exit. If it was loaded when surrendered, it was loaded upon return.

  8. The perfect LE gunm would be a flamethrower.
    “Mamm, I need you to step out of the car please.,,,,,, No?
    Okay.” Whooooooosssshhhhh.
    “Dispatch, I need officers Barbquesauce and Coleslaw , 2501Briggs.”

    • There was an automobile modification available in South Africa that would shoot flames from underneath the driver’s side door in case of a carjacking. Can’t happen here because the carjacker would sue. I would think that there’s also the possibility that darling daughter might set it off when she borrows the car keys, but perhaps there are interlocks to prevent that.

  9. “Yes, the .40 S&W is a notorious and documented gun-breaker.”

    Mostly unconfirmed anecdotal and myth. Although its happened, its also happened with other calibers as well in different brands. Its all in the design and condition of the gun. If the firearm is well maintained and designed properly for it, and there are not any defects in workmanship or material, there is no reason to fear that .40 S&W will be a ‘gun-breaker’.

    I’ve literally put thousands of rounds through my .40 S&W pistols, even my EDC Glock 22, and I’ve never had .40 S&W be a ‘gun-breaker’ or cause any problems.

    Plus, if it does worry you that might happen and you have a Glock 22 you can put a 9mm conversion barrel in it and get some Glock 17 magazines and shoot 9mm with it and it works fine (and no, you do not need to change the ejector) – and if you want, you can get a Glock 17 slide and put on the Glock 22 (make sure you use the same gen). Heck, you can still even use the Glock 22 .40 mags and load them up with 9mm and still use a 9mm conversion barrel and the Glock 22 will fire 9mm just fine.

  10. I’d be interested in the Gluck19x the military tested only if they had the external safety. For that matter I’ve been wanting to send my old Gluck19 to that shop in Texas someday that installs the external Gluck safeties. I might even start using it again.for IWB carry if it had the safety mod.. The old Gluck doesn’t get much use these days as I don’t have a need or.use for an unsafe gun right now since I have very little opportunity to open carry and IMHO that’s the only way to carry an unsafe gun.

    • Most current factory-new guns aren’t unsafe in any way — their users are the problem.

      The fact that you think a gun is somehow “safer” if you install an additional level that can be deactivated by (or forget to be engaged by) the user, tells me where the problem lies.

      I’ve personally seen more ADs/NDs with thumb-and-grip-safety-equipped 1911A1s than all “safety-lever-free” striker-fired pistols of ALL types and brands. That could not be the case if more safeties made us all safer.

      If you need a thumb-safety as a crutch, go ahead and get it. But don’t try to tell the rest of us that we suffer from your phobia as well. The stats don’t bear that out.

  11. If I could choose my police carry gun it would be a Staccato P with HST +P 124 grain, Trijicon SRO, and a Surefire X300.

    • Why on earth would you drop $3K+ on a DUTY gun? That’s ridiculous. I’m buying an off the shelf Glock every time.

  12. Didn’t read it but just popped in to say:

    Everyone knows Glocks are “Ghey”

  13. I really don’t see the benefit of a shorter barrel with the same height as a Glock 17. Why is this better than a Glock 17?

  14. My Glock 17 works well. I bought it and didn’t even try the trigger, I immediately installed an Apex system. I also installed a extended length slide stop and a 3rd party barrel and better sights

  15. Oh! Look! It is a Glo-snore.
    This is like getting excited about a base model Toyota Camry.

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