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First Gear | Special: Glock Gen5s Appear

First Gear | Special: Glock Gen5s Appear

Characterizing the impending release of the Gen5 Glocks as a successfully kept secret is a dubious business. The features list and/or changes thereto have been the object of considerable speculation for many months. Those entrusted with even a bit of the truth have been sweating because, frankly, the Gen5s are just that good. It’s been doubly tough to shut up about two of them.

No more, happily: The cats are unbagged, and nosing at the spilled beans with decided interest.

The most ballyhooed feature of the new G17 and G19 is more accurately a disappearance, namely of the finger-grooves on the front of the grip. If you fancy you’re hearing a distant rumble, it isn’t Hurricane Harvey heading prematurely north, but rather the en masse cheering of the particular sort of Glock purists who’ve always detested these. Congratulations, we guess, are in order. Either way, knuckle-bruising on the middle finger or Dremeled remediation are a thing of the past, especially on the G19.

Coming soon to Production Division near you—all-but-unmissable magwells like those other CHEATERS have had for years!

We admire the adds more: A molded-in magwell, dehorning of the “nose” of the slide, and factory-available high visibility sights (from AmeriGlo, and including low-light tritium lamps) are favorites. Close behind, though, are barrel improvements that aid accuracy noticeably (especially with 147-grain or heavier bullets), a full ambi slide release/lock, and several magazine enhancements. Small internal changes were in evidence, and hinted strongly at “lessons learned” in the G42 and G43 space. The most conspicuous is a return to two pins, and a correspondingly less-perforated (stronger) locking block.

Surviving the Gen jump are four swappable backstraps—two with beavertail, and two without—the switchable mag release and grip texture. MOS guns, however, are not yet available.

A full review will be forthcoming, of course, but our assessment is not merely cosmetic. The roughly 1,000 rounds of our recent Glock Operator Course were split between the Gen5 G17 and G19, and we found the transition from our own pistols all but seamless, as well as utterly trouble-free.

Only irrational determination should be able to keep a dedicated handgunner from owning the Austrian—and Georgian—masterpiece now.

Frank Winn has been studying arms and their relationship to tyranny, meaningful liberty and personal security all his adult life. He has been a firearms safety/shooting instructor for more than 20 years, and earned state, regional and national titles in several competitive disciplines.