2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A quick opinion on the Glock 4th Gen pistol…

A couple of days ago an anonymous reader from a bit farther North in Ohio left me this kind comment in response to my post Quote of the Moment..

“Hello Huey my friend! Let me just first apologize for leaving this comment here since it is off the topic. I couldn't find your email address anywhere so I figured I would post here. Also I would like to say that I love your blog. I too am an Ohioan (up in the Ravenna area) shooter as well as a south paw. I find your reviews of firearms to be very helpful in choosing my next one. Which is what I'm posting about now. What are your views of the Glock gen. 4? I'm looking at a Glock 22 Gen. 4 but I've heard mixed reviews about their reliability with this new duel spring. I was wondering if you could give me any information you might have with them personally. Thank you kindly, and sorry once again for the off topic comment.”

First off, I love the comment, thank you so much..I am truly flattered.  I originally set out to create this blog purely for myself but I get great satisfaction in knowing it is enjoyed by others as well.

To my anonymous friend, I am sorry this took a few more days to post than I had thought it would, but here goes better late than never…

Honestly, my personal experience with the Gen4 Glocks has been shooting Kev’s Gen4 G17, which I like greatly.  While I am not totally sold on the grip texturing on it, the use of the replaceable back straps is very worth the effort on their part.  I must admit they come to the party offering those a few years late since S&W and others have had them predominantly featured on their pistols for a few years, but they work. While I do not have any problems using the standard grip profile of the Glock, the “small” grip on the Gen4 (the use of the stock grip without the addition of a back strap insert) does feel a bit better.

Roughly the grips available on the Glock Gen4 fall into these categories (my opinion):

Size Grip Panel Notes
Small none Glock SF size
Medium Medium Standard Glock
Large Large Glock 21

Kev’s Gen4 G17 (top) and my Gen3 G19 (bottom)

The texturing on the grip is Glock’s rough text finish (RTF), not to be confused on the previously offered RTF2 (yeah, I am confused about that naming convention also being introduced before the standard RTF) on my G23 (which I eventually traded for a Gen3 G19).  While the RTF2 was very “bitey” in the hand and rough to the touch (think sandpaper, hurt to wear next to my skin under a shirt) the RTF finish is more “civilized” and comfortable.  Either would be a blessing if you used the pistol with gloves in combat with all types of weather conditions (especially the RTF2), but for my use I eventually chose to eschew the RTF finish all together for a Gen3 grip finish next to my baby soft skin…ok, love handles.

The reversible mag catch is a nice touch also..if they can pull off a slide lock design that works on both sides at one (a la M&P series) the pistol would be a truly ambidextrous shooter.   The enlarged size of the catch is a nice touch also, but I find using an extended release on my Gen3 feels just as usable.

But you know, his question was about the reported reliability issues with the new dual spring design that the Gen4 utilizes.  Frankly, I have not seen any widespread reports of this online or in the usual gun rags by reputable testers who spend thousands of rounds at the range testing these pistols to substantiate any of these claims.  The use of a dual spring in the “baby Glocks” (G26 and the like) has been standard for years now.  I would think that by this time the design of such a system would be worked out.  But then again, the dual spring’s “newnesss” did play a minor role in my decision to go with a Gen3 over a Gen4 G19.  I mean, if the Gen3 reliability is supposedly a legendary bell weather that is used to measure other pistols against…why change?  I couldn’t come up with a reason either…and with the smoother stippling of the grip of the Gen3 vs the Gen4 against my flanks on my mind..the Gen3 was my choice. This is not to say that the Gen4 is unreliable..quite the contrary.  It seems to have inherited Glock’s self promoting “Glock Perfection” from the Gen3 lineage and they are not being found all over the internet broken at ranges across the globe.  The dual spring is reported to aid with recoil and accuracy as well as extend service life.  I can honestly say with a 9mm I cannot really tell a difference in recoil, but I did shoot an excellent group with the Gen4 G17 that I have not been able to reproduce with my Gen3 G34, for what its worth.  As far as service life of the spring…springs are cheap for the amount of time that they are normally expected to be utilized.  For those SHTF types, buy a few now for $40 and have for later.

Gen3 spring on the left next to the Gen4 G17’s dual spring design.  Please note that the standard Glock guide rod is plastic,

I have replaced it with a stainless steel rod from Glockmeister on the Gen3 G19.

g26 spring

The dual spring of the G26 that has been used for years, I would venture to say it is

safe to bet that the Gen4’s spring is similar and just as reliable.

There are some other minor changes to the angling of the Gen4’s connector bar and some other modifications to the trigger mechanism that are really not worth going into here other than the fact that you cannot retrofit a Gen4 trigger assembly into a Gen3…so much for compatibility for spare parts if needed. 

So between the Gen3 and Gen4 I guess my recommendation would be to use the one that simply meets your tastes the best.  There is only a slight size difference in the dust cover size with the new spring assembly (the part of the underside of the frame right below the muzzle) so most holsters will accept either.  RTF or not, you decide.  Performance wise both will fit the bill and go bang when you need it to.

Now as for your caliber selection….I had a G22 for a while (matter of fact it was my first Glock) and while I do respect the .40, my reasons for switching to the “lowly” 9mm have been laid out here before.  For self defense shooting within 25 meters I find that modern 9mm rounds are more than adequate on most scenarios and the added round count opposed to .40/.45 is a nice insurance policy in my book.  There have  been volumes written on the subject online and in print so just take my opinion with a grain of salt. 

There is a ton of info out there on the Gen4…much of which is more detailed and informative than what I have given.  Sure, I have shot one and have been satisfied but like most thing, your mileage may vary.  I recommend Glock highly, but there are enough subtle differences between the Gen3 and Gen4 (and Gen3 RTF2) that I cannot say one over the other definitively. the fact that Glock continues to produce and sell both at the same time also muddies the waters.  If Gen4’s were all that were available that would simplify the selection process, wouldn’t it?

The “business end” of the Fen3 G19 (left) and the Gen4 G17. There is a slight size difference in the dust cover of the frame due to the larger spring diameter in the Gen4..can you see it?  Me neither, you shouldn’t have any problem finding a holster for it, especially if made of leather or nylon.  In either case, as with all Glocks, make sure you get one that adequatly protects the trigger and trigger guard area to avoid negligent discharges.

Sorry if I couldn’t give you a more definitive black/white answer, but going out and shooting one yourself is probably the best advice I can give you. I warn you though..many a pistol has found its way home after being handled at a range in a “just testing it out” moment… 

And I guess that was more than just a “quick opinion” on the matter..but hey, that’s just me in a nutshell.  Give me a penny for my thoughts and I will make sure I don’t have to give change back.

Oh, and as for that “I couldn't find your email address anywhere “ part of your comment, I just created a new email address for this blog, it is as follows..prepare to copy”

 

hueysgunsight@gmail.com

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