If you’ve been following Monderno for very long, especially on our Facebook page, there’s a good chance you’ve noticed my Smith & Wesson M&P persuasion. You could say that I’m not a believer in Glock Perfection, at least not in the way that it’s sold to you by Glock. Having said that, neither Glock nor M&P get everything right out of the box, I just tend to prefer to the M&P once I change the things I don’t like.
A few months back I bought my first Glock, a Glock 19 Gen 4, to see if the Gen 4 Glocks could win me over, and because I wanted to see if Glock had gotten the Gen 4 problems figured out. So after several months and a little over 1K rounds (hey, I’ve been busy!), here’s an M&P fan’s perspective on the Glock 19 Gen 4. Hint: it might surprise you.
One thing to note, I left the Glock 19 stock for the duration of this review aside from the Grip Force Adapter discussed below.
Nothing new here, but for the sake of completeness:
|Weight||20.99 oz. empty|
Gen 4 Glocks have been out for a while now, so I won’t go through every single feature. Instead I will focus on the features that matter most to me, both the good and the bad.
One of the big changes to the Gen 4 pistols is the addition of the interchangeable back straps, which allow you to change the pistol’s grip size. With no back strap, the grip is a little shorter front to back than a Gen 3 grip. With the medium back strap, the grip is essentially the same as a Gen 3, and of course with the large back strap the grip is a bit longer front to back than the Gen 3. I prefer no back strap.
The grip angle, as near as I can tell, has not changed from the previous generation Glocks. In order to change this grip angle slightly, I added a Grip Force Adapter that I really like, at least from a grip angle perspective. It makes the Glock point a bit more like my M&P.
What does seem less pronounced is the love it or hate it Glock grip hump. Perhaps this is why some people swear the grip angle has been changed, or perhaps I’m just not remembering the Gen 3 Glocks all that well. Either way, my perception is that the hump is less pronounced.
The grip texture has also been changed, and is a bit more rough textured than previous generations. Some love this, some hate it. I think it’s fine actually. The somewhat aggressive texture can rub a bit when carried IWB up next to your skin, but it’s not a huge amount of discomfort for me.
Overall, with no back strap on my Gen 4 and the addition of the Grip Force Adapter, the ergonomics have improved somewhat over previous generations. Does it feel as good to me as my M&P or my Walther PPQ? Nope, but it’s better.
Dual Captive Recoil Spring
Another change that has been somewhat controversial is the new dual captive recoil spring. My understanding is that this was added to the Gen 4 design to correct some reliability problems with the .40 S&W caliber Glocks, and that they were added to the 9mm Glocks to simplify production. I had no issues with the design in my testing. Recoil was mild as expected, and I had no feeding issues.
The stock sights on the Glock are plastic and I’m not a fan. I have already purchased a set of 10-8 Performance sights and will be installing them soon. Why Glock insists on these crappy plastic sights I do not know.
The stock Glock trigger is pretty good. It’s not great, but it’s certainly better than an M&P in my opinion. Glock rates the factory trigger pull at ~5.5 lbs. My Glock 19 came in a bit heavier than that at 6-6.5 lbs. This is a heavier trigger pull than I prefer, so I will probably install an aftermarket connector like this one by Lone Wolf to see if I can tame it a little.
One of the things I really love about the Glock trigger is the audible and tactile trigger reset. Glock also has a fairly clean break out of the box after a little take up. All in all a good but not great trigger. It’s better than the M&P, but it’s nowhere near as nice as the Walther PPQ.
Magazine and Magazine Release
The magazine release is now larger and can be swapped from the left side to the right side. To support this feature, the Gen 4 magazines now have cut outs on both sides to retain the magazine. As far as backwards compatibility goes, if you’re a right-handed shooter, Gen 3 mags work just fine. If you’re a left-handed shooter, you’ll need Gen 4 mags with the proper cut out. I love the polymer mags and out of the 10 or so that I have, they have all been 100% reliable.
The magazine release is a different story altogether. I’m not a fan of it in the least, in fact, it drives me nuts. Yes it’s larger than previous generations, but it’s still hard to press for me without modifying my grip significantly, especially compared to the M&P. And even then, sometimes the mag doesn’t want to come out. I will be replacing the stock magazine release with an aftermarket one ASAP. The Vickers mag release comes highly recommended by a lot of folks.
As mentioned, reliability is one of the reasons I purchased a Gen 4, to see if the initial bugs have been fixed. A sample size of one doesn’t prove anything of course, but my Gen 4 Glock 19 has been 100% reliable with a little over 1K rounds fired. Like all guns I test, I didn’t just feed it high quality ammunition either. I’ve tested at least 10 different types of ammunition, from full metal jack reloads to premium hollow points like Federal HST and Speer Gold Dot, both brass and steel cased ammo, and so far I’ve had zero malfunctions of any kind.
So while Glock did indeed have problems with the Gen 4 pistols (as is evidenced by the recoil assembly recall), they appear to have solved the problems.
Glocks are very accurate pistols, and my Glock 19 is no exception. I found that if I did my part, even with the less than ideal trigger pull, I could shoot sub 2″ groups offhand at 7 yards with most loads. For most people, and certainly for a defensive tool, the Glock 19 is all the accuracy you’ll ever need.
Concealed carry is where the Glock 19 wins me over. I really love the size/weight/firepower ratio that the Glock 19 provides. The pistol weighs just over 20 ounces empty, holds 15+1 rounds, and can still be concealed relatively easy.
Now granted, I typically carry my Smith & Wesson Shield in the hot and humid Houston summers, but now that the heat has finally let up a bit, I’m mostly carrying my Glock 19 in a PHLster Skeleton holster or an ADR by Off The Grid Concepts.
Glock gets a lot right out of the box. While it’s not perfection, I have to admit it’s pretty darn close.
I wanted to find out if the Gen 4 Glocks were better than previous generations – for me, they are. I wanted to find out if the Gen 4 Glock 19 was reliable – for me, it has been. While there are a few things I don’t like about the gun that I’m going to change (sights, mag release, trigger connector), overall, Glock has officially won me over.
Am I getting rid of my M&P’s? Umm, no. But the bottom line is this – the Gen 4 Glock 19 is a reliable, accurate handgun that holds 15+1 rounds that is both small enough to conceal and big enough to fight with. Hard to argue with that.