Duncan Johnson gives AmmoLand News our first look at the GLOCK Gen 5 Safe Action Pistols.
GLOCK fanboys rejoice, a new generation is born, and as always it’s GLOCK perfection. The fifth generation has arrived for the G17 and G19 handguns.
U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- K.I.S.S. Keep it Simple, Stupid. Not so long ago, I had a teacher tell me that.
When he said to keep it simple, that didn’t mean do the bare minimum. He was saying to do what was needed, without trying to look cool or flashy. Still doing what was asked for, without comprising what your goals are. For GLOCK, their goal is creating the perfect defensive pistol, right out of the factory box. Reliable, accurate, and safe.
If ever there was a firearms company based around the concept of, K.I.S.S., it is almost certainly the polymer pistol kings, GLOCK.
GLOCK Gen 5 Safe Action Pistols
Proudly claiming new or upgraded 35 parts, the Gen 5 is almost everything that consumers have asked for. Between the Gen 4 and Gen 5, there are twenty changes in the design of the firearm. I had the opportunity to shoot the newest G17 generation, first at the GLOCK facility in Smyrna, GA and then a whole bunch after. I will tell you all now: out of the box, from the factory, this is hands down the best GLOCK Generation I have had the chance to shoot.
If you think this is comparable to an iPhone release, or a Gen 4.75, I would advise you to think again. I am not a GLOCK fanboy. In fact, this is the GLOCK that changed my mind. Before the Gen 5, I was in love with my SIG P320. Now after shooting the G17 Gen 5, I feel a change in my heart and my head. If you think it has to do with the lack of finger grooves your right, it does, but it is also because of how undeniably smooth shooting GLOCKS are. If you were hoping for the GLOCK Carbine so was I. Instead, we got the best GLOCK Safe Action Pistols yet to exist. Here are my thoughts on the ins and outs of G17 Gen 5.
Outside of the Glock 17 Gen 5 Handgun
When you look at this newest Generation of GLOCK pistols you will obviously be drawn to the immediate aesthetic differences from previous models.
The first change you will see is that there are no longer finger grooves on the GLOCK Gen 5. For me, this is all the difference in the world when picking up a GLOCK. Removing the grooves, was a big step toward GLOCK making a pistol that I can get on the gas and quick-draw from a holster, without sliding my fingers into the right spaces.
You might also notice the flared magwell. This is not a competition-style magwell that you can fit your entire hand in, but it is ideal for faster reloads, without being in the way. In reality, this shows the core of GLOCK’s design, an accurate, defensive pistol. This is just one upgrade that shows that ethos in implementation.
Next, you will undoubtedly shift to the muzzle, where you may be slightly disappointed at the lack of front slide serrations. I must admit I was hoping for them, but this is part of the K.I.S.S. strategy. Functional as they might be, it still works without them. Keeping it simple, stupid.
What GLOCK did do to the slide, was bevel the muzzle, similar to the shape of the G34 Gen 4s. This reshaping will catch less material as you draw from a holster, it also removes the boxy look that other GLOCKs fall victim too. This slide, from outward appearances, is pretty sleek and gives the Gen 5 a more modern look.
Taking a view down the slide you have to be pleased with the updated sight picture that you will see. Although the polymer sights are still available, Gen 5 GLOCKs will now leave the factory with new styles of night sights, including the Ameriglo GLOCK Spartan Operator sets shown here. At night these sights are extremely visible, and ideal for providing for accurate shots in all lighting scenarios.
Further inspection of the slide will reveal ambidextrous slide stops. Lefties will be very happy with this GLOCK, at least left handed shooters will be, not so much the political ones. With my offhand (left-hand) I am easily able to release the slide stop using my thumb, the same way I would with my dominate hand.
Overall, from outward appearances, you may be saying this looks like every other GLOCK, minus the finger grooves and some new sights. Wait until you see the internals, and then the gun shooting, to really understand why this Generation Five is such an update and improvement to the G17.
Inside the GLOCK 17 Gen 5
Side by side you can see some differences between the Gen 4(left) and Gen 5(right). First among them is a reshaping of the firing pin safety. Instead of the circular metal pin, GLOCK has reshaped the firing pin safety into a squared ledge with ramping on either side. This ramping will assist in the trigger bar moving more smoothly against the firing pin safety. Less noticeable in this picture, yet still another improvement is the GLOCK Marksman Barrel. This barrel features a smaller crown, providing a tighter fit for projectiles. At 50 yards I had zero issues putting dings on a 6” steel plate.
As a quick side note, those of you already flush with Gen 3 and 4 magazines, will be happy to find out they will all work with the new Gen 5 models. Holsters that accommodate previous Generations, should also function with the Gen 5.
The trigger mechanism in the Gen 4 (top) and the Gen 5 (bottom) have some differences. The trigger bar no longer attaches to a spring that sits on the connector. In the Gen 5, the trigger bar slides into a space on the trigger mechanism housing. The trigger return spring in the Gen 5 has been replaced and moved inside the mechanism housing.
Finally, GLOCK added a new ion-bonded coating to all Gen 5 handguns. The new nDLC finish is more resistant and offers better protection than previous generations. Also, GLOCK has returned to a two pin system and eliminated the Locking Block Pin. In my opinion, fewer parts is always a good thing.
Shooting the G17 GLOCK Gen 5 Safe Action Pistol
Out of the box, I have never been one to fall in love with a GLOCK, until the Gen 5. In all honesty, I shot a P320, until I started shooting the Gen 5. Now it has become my go to pistol. I might not even change anything about it, I like it that much. People’s heads are probably spinning with comments, but I am telling you to go find someone with a Gen 5 and shoot it. This is a GLOCK above the rest.
If you want to know why I am going to make the switch, for one the science of a lower bore axis really cannot be disputed. Follow up shots and reacquiring a sight picture are much easier with a GLOCK, especially while moving and shooting. Second would be the removal of the finger grips, which was huge for me, now I can comfortably get my hand on the gun. Third, during the media event at GLOCK headquarters, 10 writers fired a minimum of 700+ rounds each without a single mechanical issue. I also ran some 147 gr, polymer coated hand-loads that worked flawlessly in the G17 Gen 5. Again, as I said above, hits to 50 yards proved no challenge with this firearm. Overall, I really could not ask for more out of this or any other handgun. Reliable, accurate, and safe.
Now, I am proud to say I have been converted. My SIG P320 will be taking a rest, and enjoy some vacation time while it goes in for a “voluntary upgrade”. Meanwhile, my new best friend will be hitting the range with me.
The G17 Gen 5, keeping it simple and still achieving GLOCK perfection.
About Duncan Johnson:
Duncan Johnson is a graduate of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. His focus of studies were on History and Government. Duncan is a regular contributor to AmmoLand and assists in the everyday gun-news publishing as an assistant editor.