Glock’s Gen 5 series offers a variety of significant improvements over previous generations. Considering your purpose, frame type, caliber and capacity preference can help you confidently select the best pistol. A reversible magazine catch and flared magwell enhance ergonomics, while the Glock Marksman Barrel delivers increased accuracy with polygonal rifling. A DLC finish on the slide protects against corrosion and increases durability.
While Glock pistols come in various sizes, they all generally share the same general layout and functionality. The differences between models include caliber, barrel/slide length, magazine capacity, overall width and the ability to mount accessories like tactical lights or optics. Some of the most significant improvements made with gen5 Glock pistols are their handling and accuracy. These improvements were largely motivated by the FBI’s contract requirements. Specifically, the requirements specified that new FBI-issue Glocks have traditionally rifled barrels (Glocks had previously used polygonal rifling), a reversible magazine release to prevent accidental disengagement of the magazine catch and an enhanced polygonal rifling profile and crown that Glock would later refer to as its “Marksman Barrel”.
Other changes included pyramidal texturing molded into the grip frame for added traction, a reversible magazine release and ambidextrous slide stop lever, the Modular Backstrap System for individual operator adjustability and a bright orange magazine follower to aid in easy identification. Also, the trigger systems were reworked for better feel and performance.
Glock pistols are primarily designed for law enforcement officers. Many law enforcement officers carry a gun at work to protect themselves and others, so they need a firearm that can perform consistently under adverse conditions. With the Gen 5 guns, Glock made some improvements to make them more durable. Some of these changes are only sometimes readily apparent, such as removing finger grooves on the grip (some people love them, some don’t), ambidextrous slide-stop levers, and the availability of swappable backstraps to fit various hand sizes.
The Gen 5 guns have a cold-hammer-forged barrel with an advanced surface treatment to increase durability. They also use a new extractor designed to visually and palpably indicate whether a chamber is loaded, a feature that may help meet some jurisdictions’ requirements. The Gen 5 also features a locking block pin that’s larger and more robust to ensure proper function. It’s a small change that makes a big difference in reliability.
Glock pistols are classified by their generations, with each new one adding incremental improvements. Generations are marked by the letters “G” and a number, like Gen 3 or Gen 5. The Glock 19X was developed to meet an FBI request for a new full-size 9mm pistol, and it incorporates many Gen 5 features. These include a new polymer frame without finger grooves, interchangeable backstraps for hand positioning, an ambidextrous slide lock and flared magazine well for easier loading, an enhanced Glock Marksman barrel for improved accuracy, and front cocking serrations on the slide.
This new frame also has a reversible magazine release to eliminate the problem of accidental mag drops during tactical operations. It can be mounted with the optional Glock Performance Trigger (GPT), which provides a crisper trigger pull and allows users to calibrate their pistol to suit their preferences. The GPT is compatible with second and third-generation Glock models and the G19X.
In the end, the Glock 19 Gen 5 is a well-rounded defensive pistol worthy of consideration by modern shooters. However, it is important to consider the potential drawbacks of this particular firearm before deciding to purchase one for defense use. Some of the most notable upgrades on this version include the nDLC surface finish that provides:
- Improved resistance to elements and damage.
- A new, flared magwell for better reloading.
- Ambidextrous slide-stop levers.
However, the most controversial addition was to remove finger grooves—a feature some users love and others hate. Also noteworthy is the inclusion of front slide serrations, previously only available as an aftermarket upgrade or on special-run guns. These changes are designed to make the weapon more tactical for those who might carry it in a concealed carry situation. The new rifle also rolls marked with “Gen 5” to differentiate it from previous models. The gun is offered in standard, coyote tan and FDE finishes.