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Glock 19 Gen 4

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.

Gen 4 Glock 19

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:

Caliber 9mm
Length 7.28″
Height 5.00″
Width 1.18″
Barrel Length 4.02″
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

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.

Wrapping Up

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.

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24 Responses to Glock 19 Gen 4

  1. James October 17, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    Nice to see a review by someone other than a Glock fan boy…awesome review! By the way, I’m a Glock fan boy LOL.

  2. FTE October 17, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    1.26″!! That’s an awfully short barrel! LOL 🙂

    • Brandon October 17, 2012 at 8:58 am #

      Haha, thanks for the catch, fixed.

  3. John Frank October 17, 2012 at 8:58 am #

    Hey Moderno just to point out the barrel height is 1.26 inches, the barrel length is 4.02 inches. I found this on Glock’s website. Just trying to help 🙂

    • Brandon October 17, 2012 at 8:59 am #

      Thanks John, FTE beat you but not by much!

  4. TK October 17, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    Man I wish Smith & Wesson would make a Glock 19 sized M&P…

  5. John Frank October 17, 2012 at 9:06 am #

    I blame cheap college WiFi connections…..

    • Brandon October 17, 2012 at 9:08 am #


  6. Shea October 17, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    I recently purchased the 19 Gen 4 and I couldn’t be much happier. I really don’t even mind the stock sights, but do plan on replacing them with nights sights sooner or later.

  7. Ben October 17, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    Excellent review. When we switched to Gen. 4s, a lot of the 19s were having stove-pipes and double-feeds. The dealer sent new ejectors for all issued Gen. 4s, including the 17s, and that seemed to fix the issues (we were issued after the recoil spring recall, so all pistols had the new version). My 17 has never malfunctioned, before or after the new ejector. I love the new texturing compared to the slick-sided Gen. 3s, but I wish I could get a grip reduction done. I’m sure the department wouldn’t mind . . .

  8. Dr. L. October 18, 2012 at 3:41 am #

    Told you.

    • Brandon October 18, 2012 at 8:34 am #

      And you were right.

  9. Patrick October 18, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    Looks like we need a M&P, PPQ, G19 shootout!

  10. Frank Sharpe November 1, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    I generally could care less what the trigger press weight is, as long as it’s upwards of 4-5lbs, or heavier. (I don’t like light triggers on defensive handguns.)

    What really concerns me is the trigger reset, and Glock has the best reset in the business. The M&P’s have one of the worst.

    • Shea November 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

      I couldn’t have said it better myself. I need at least 5 lbs trigger pull for my carry weapon and Glock provides a nice stock 5.5 lbs. Not only is the trigger pull perfect(in my humble opinion), but the forced trigger reset is consistently beautiful. I’m a utilitarian guy. I like things that work and do so when needed. To me, it doesn’t get any better than Glock.

  11. glenn sailer March 16, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    I am quite concerned over the safety issues of the glock i.e., accidentily firing and no safety.

    Any suggestions

    • Brandon March 16, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

      I’m not sure what you’ve heard, but Glocks don’t fire themselves. They DO have safeties, three actually:

      1. Trigger Safety – prevents inadvertent firing by lateral forces on the trigger.
      2. Firing Pin Safety – blocks the firing pin channel, rendering the igniting of a chambered cartridge by the firing pin impossible.
      3. Drop Safety – prevents unintentional firing of a shot through hard impact.

  12. Buffy May 8, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    I’m a fan of Glock 19 old style & never had any problem with it after 3000 rounds. It still shoot great & best of all it is the best concealed carry I’ve ever had.

  13. Mikey August 10, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

    I am brand new to hand guns and just purchased a 9mm gen4. I hope I am as happy with it as you seem to be. Your review was quite helpful. I look forward to many years of accuracy and gun safety (I have three young boys)

    • Brandon August 10, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

      Great choice Mikey. I think you’ll be pleased with it. The good news is that firearms in general, and definitely Glocks, hold their value well, so if you aren’t happy with it you can always sell it/trade it in. Are you planning on getting some training?

  14. Mikey August 12, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    Not at this time. What is the advantage of training? I think the only thing I am in need of is help cleaning and oiling the weapon. I was very pleased when I used it yesterday. I was very smooth. Any advice on the cleaning end if it? I am a little anal about making sure I am careful about that stuff

  15. Patrick K September 17, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

    Training can teach you everything you need to know about firearms, from safety and cleaning to improving your accuracy and modifying your own weapon. I would highly reccomend you take a basic firearms course followed by a handgun course. You would learn a lot.

  16. scott February 6, 2014 at 7:02 pm #

    To anyone searching for pistol bliss look no further.I have had them all and came back to the g19. Now I want a 17 just cause they aren’t as big as they look in pics. I like shooting 45 for fun and a nice 1911 is the trick for that just as a 357 now and then is fun. .corbon 9mm is my HD load