I’ve handled the Glock Model 45, but haven’t fired it… But I have fired the Glock 19X. Here’s my take on the G45: It’s the best handgun Glock has ever made. Period. It takes that “Glock Commander” form factor that make the 19X a pleasure to shoot, but improves it. True Glock Gen 5 features, forward slide serrations, and no droopy lip on the bottom of the front strap like on the 19X. And no lanyard. All you need to do to the G45 is to put Night Sights on it. Done. It’s the first Glock that I’ve ever looked forward to seeing hit production.
Message this morning: “Why do you hate Glocks?”
If I’ve given anyone that impression… My apologies. I do not hate them. In fact, I respect them a great deal. For a long time, my EDC pistol was a Glock 23. Solid, good gun. They are reliable and accurate and have a great balance of size, weight, and firepower. A Glock is just fine.
For me though, personally, it’s just not a favorite. I like guns with some character to them. Just like I prefer motorcycles with character to say, a Honda Nighthawk. Nothing wrong with a Nighthawk at all… Fine bike… even a great bike. But like a Glock, I find them to be a very pedestrian, soulless lump that I don’t appreciate spending quality time with, and would rather be spending it with something more interesting. And something that improves on the characteristics that I find important. Like a really really good single action trigger.
If you really groove on your Glock (Or Honda Nighthawk) that is totally good. Join the hundreds of thousands of other people who feel the same way too. Sure, there’s something to be said for them.
There’s also a reason McDonald’s has so many busy locations around the world.
There was a time… 2013, where the Glock 30s was the object of my desire. Having spent some quality time with one… I’m not all that hot to trot for it anymore.
At 30 feet, that’s a respectable group. But I just feel… “Meh” about it. Not that there was anything wrong with it. The gun shot very well. And 10+1 Capacity of full bore .45 Auto is nothing to sneeze at. That’s more ammo on board than a full sized 1911, in a package that is much smaller and lighter. Trigger was typical of Glock’s 5.5 pound trigger… You feel one, you’ve felt them all. And I know that can be altered at will thanks to our friends at Lone Wolf Distributors. And the sights too. The sights on factory Glocks… Why THE HELL are they so stupid? Seriously. They suck. Balls. They suck balls.
The grip needs a bit of work being rather slick in my hands. To me, really, Glocks are project guns. Spend some time with them, making them feel and fire how I want them too. And then once the project is over, I just feel done with them. I like them enough to want to play with them… But I am not emotionally attached. Like Vegas hookers or something.
I know all the arguments for the Glocks… I do. I sang them myself when I was drinking the Glock-Koolaide. But… I’m just… Done with Glocks. They are just not me. I don’t feel that connection with them. I don’t feel that connection with my Microwave Oven either. But I do with my old fashioned Weber Grill. One is an appliance that I use to get a job done. The other gets that job done, but takes time and care… and I spend more time with it and come to love it all the more every time I use it. Not the Microwave. And not the Glock.
But if you like it – I understand way. I respect your opinion. Mine just differs.
No, I didn’t go to SHOT. And I really don’t think I missed out on much this year. Looking at all the new Products that came out at the 2015 SHOT Show – very little impressed me.
SIG’s new Electro-Optics – Very cool. But damn, the market really doesn’t need another 1200 ACOG Alternative. Granted – this Bravo 4, is nicer. Better glass, better field of view, yada yada yada… But it’s 1200 bucks. And then there is the Leupold D-EVO. Which is cool and different, but for hell’s sake it’s a 3 thousand dollar package.
What the Market really needs – are some new good, solid AR type Optics in the 200 to 400 dollar range that don’t suck and are not made in China. Is that too much to ask? Has the Gun Industry not realized that we’ve had a losing economy for the last decade?
You know what I’m sick of?
Teases. Companies that Show us something cool and here’s the next SHOT SHOW, and you are still pimping it – and still not taking orders because it’s Vapor Ware. Show us what we can order. I want to see what I can have. That being said – I’m also really sick of all that MILITARY LAW ENFORCEMENT ONLY crap. Stop making Fantasy Guns for Storm Troopers and make some Available Guns for the Sheepdogs. What can I buy that I can use to defend my Liberty with? So me THAT. That’s what I want to see. Something new and innovative and cool and not too expensive and something that I can place an actual damn order on. THAT’s what I want to see.
CORE MOS line is nice… Finally that Longslide 10mm we’ve been wanting. That’s cool. But not really cutting edge.
The SIG P220 10mm’s are awesome. We’ve only been asking for that for a Decade and a Half. FINALLY! That’s almost the coolest thing at SHOT… but we’re not there yet.
That Taurus Curve – Stupid. The TCP with Wings – Stupid. The View – Stupid. Taurus – instead of trying to come out with new stupid shit, how about you start making good, simple, solid guns? How about you try that?
CZ I think has nailed it with that new Scorpion Evo pistol. Make it a simple Carbine and it would be a real home run. CZ remains a steady climber in quality and consistency and making guns I would be willing to spend my own money on.
Speaking of spending money… Beretta’s 92 Centennial looks amazing. But it’s 3 grand. Make a regular Bruniton finished version that’s… oh… say… Not more than 1200 bucks… make it a regular production item… WINNER.
You know what – That frame mounted safety would sure go a hell of a long way to help silence a fuckton of critics. But it’s only on the Centennial and was on the Billenium. The A3 should have had that. That with a Vertec frame… Damn. I’d buy two. Seriously.
But you know what the coolest thing at SHOT show was? For me that is…
This. The Crye Precision Six12, with the Salvo Suppressor on it.
I want that Six12. That’s the coolest damn shotgun – but even then the thing came out last year. But that Gun Muffler packaged like that… Damn. That’s cool. So there’s that. The coolest thing at SHOT.
I had intended to write this list before the Worst list… But had too much fun with the Worsts. Here’s my favorites from all the handguns released in 2014.
#1. The Glock 42. Despite being a .380 Auto, a subcompact .380 is just what some folks wanted, and has resurrected general interest pocket .380’s after the surge crested about 4 years ago. Concealed Carry remains a top reason for new gun purchases, and according to GunBroker.com the Glock 42 is #4 for Semi Auto pistol sales. Yes, this pistol was on my Worst list because of the disappointment factor. But for those wanting a .380 Auto pocket pistol the G42 has been the Go-To option for most people. It offers good sights and a good trigger in a compact package. Other options that offer this are the SIG 238, the Kimber Micro, and Colt Mustang… and all of them costing as much as 200 dollars more.
#2 Ruger’s GP100 Match Champion. This classic revolver has the features that I want on a general purpose carry revolver. Big visible front sight, fixed rear that isn’t just part of the frame, good grips, target crown, and a good trigger. I was mulling over the idea of getting another revolver… and the Match Champion is the one that pushed that desire over the edge as it’s everything I wanted to do with a GP100. The half lug is a give or take sort of feature, but I find it visually appealing on this gun.
#3 Walther PPQ 5″. This gun was probably the most interesting new pistol I handled at 2014 SHOT. It’s simply a long slide version of the PPQ, which already had a ton of great attributes. Now, you get a good sight radius and barrel length to go with that great trigger the Walther has. Walther is Germany’s 3rd great Gun Maker… behind HK and SIG (You guys can argue which is first and second) and it’s been the one with the most ups and downs. 10 years ago I said that Walther was struggling to maintain its significance. In 2014 it has certainly found it. This is one of the very best handguns on the market. Period.
#4 The HK VP9. This is the pistol that HK needed to build years ago. Not because it’s just a Striker version of the P30… but because it’s priced where HK pistols should be priced. It’s about 200 bucks less then others, and that’s were they should have all been. It also has something rather new to HK since the P7… a damn good trigger. Not just a good trigger for HK, but it’s just a damn good trigger. Not as good as Walther’s PPQ trigger – but then again nothing is. But this trigger in an HK pistol was unexpected. Really, I think this makes it the best pistol HK has ever made.
#5 S&W Model 69 Combat Magnum. What makes this model 69 so sweet, other than the innuendo of the name, is that this .44 magnum is built on the smaller and lighter L frame instead of Smith’s normal N frame from .44 mags. The L Frame is Smith’s frame for the delicious 686 series of revolvers. So now you have that, but with full .44 Mag power. That is just a fantastic balance of size and weight and power. I had a 3″ 696 in .44 Special and loved it. But it was incomplete due to the lack of horsepower. When you say “.44” you are not looking for a mild and pleasant plinker… you are wanting a ferocious monster slayer. Here you go.
There are a couple Honorable Mentions: Springfield’s XDS 4.0, Ruger LCRX, Ruger LC9S.
I know my Glock 23. I trust my Glock 23. I’ve put thousands and thousands of rounds through my Glock 23. I’m pretty dang accurate with my Glock 23. It really and truly is the optimum balance of Size, Weight, and Firepower in a package that makes it the ultimate Jack of All Trades.
I’ve talked about the best choices for Concealed Carry, but what about for the guys who have to carry openly? Law Enforcement, PMC, Security Contractor, or general Open Carry use, these are going to require a different type of handgun. Basically as much gun on your hip as you can get. Full sized, full capacity, none of the compromises required for Concealment.
SIG 226/220. This full sized SIG is a classic and the choice of a great many gunslinging professionals. A big capacity and rugged construction combined with reliability and accuracy. It’s everything you could want in a Side Arm. Unless you want a larger caliber. The 220 everything you like about the 226, but in .45 Auto. This big bore auto is known as “The Thinking Man’s .45” and that does indeed make sense when you’ve spent time with the gun. Same capacity as a 1911, but offers a decocking DA/SA fire control profile. This is probably the safest autoloading handgun I know of. (226 included) They are also very accurate.
Glock 17/22. Depending on your choice of 9mm or .40 cal, these guns are probably the first choice of more police departments than anything else. Very low bore axis, and a simple striker fired trigger mechanism makes these guns very easy to shoot well with once you get used to the triggers. 17 rounds of 9mm was an improvement over the typical 15 rounds others guns had, and 15 rounds of .40 cal is nothing to sneeze at these days.
Glock 20/21. 10mm or .45, these full sized beasts give you everything you need to pull duty on a dark and storm night. A lot of Law Enforcement Officers are running the 21 and I know a few that are running the 10mm. 15 rounds of 10mm is a lot of firepower. With good accuracy and legendary reliability – A Glock is never a wrong choice.
Beretta 90 Series. The 92FS, 92F, M9, M9A1, 92A1, 90-TWO, 96, 96A1. Shooting the big Beretta is like driving a Cadillac. Big, comfortable, comforting, reliable and accurate all with Hollywood good looks. Beretta has a lot of visual style, but what I like best is the almost straight line feeding. Mine can feed empty casing. Super smooth action as well, thanks to it’s unique locking block. The Beretta won the US Army contract for a good reason. Like it or not – and I know I’m going to open a can of worms here – it kicked SIG’s ass in the Trials. It kicked everyone’s asses in the Trials. So much so that the Army actually had to “dumb down” the test just so the SIG could stay in the race and the Beretta wouldn’t be a lone competitor. The 90 Series is battle proven around the world.
Beretta Px4 STORM. This is Beretta’s newest service auto. It uses a unique rotating barrel action with a traditionally Beretta like DA/SA trigger mechanism. This action makes the Storm a soft shooting pistol as it takes more energy out of the recoil. Like the 90 Series, the sights and the barrel maintain their relationship, they are very accurate shot to shot. With good triggers and comfortable recoil – it’s easy to be a good shot with the Px4 STORM. Even the Mid sized version… But the full sized is seriously just a pussycat. You can get it in 9, .40, and .45 auto. It’s one of my favorite new autos.
S&W M&P. S&W decided to get serious with the Poly Striker platform and forced Glock to rush the Gen 4 to market. Smith took a lot of LEO sales away from Glock. The Swampy as some call it, is a good pistol and a huge step up from Smith’s prior Glock Attack, the SIGMA. *shudder*. I bought one for my eldest Son, who upon getting the pistol, loading it, and having never fired it before – drilled the X in the target as perfectly as an Olympic Marksman from 20 yards. They are accurate guns. Like my Glocks, his Swampy has never failed.
Walther PPQ. This gun surprised me. The prior P99 was a gun that surprised me too. 500 rounds of mixed ammunition, it never failed. But it had a couple characteristics that made it an oddity. Such as the push down mag release and the top of the slide decocker button. The PPQ does away with the decocker on top and gives the gun a normal and familiar mag release. Honestly I didn’t mind the P99’s mag release and I found that I would use my trigger finger to drop the mags, just like I did with my HK. The PPQ is now available in either 4 or 5 inch barrel lengths and in 9mm or .40 caliber. The PPQ feels good in the hand and is probably one of the best and most under-rated service autos on the market. Let me put it this way – I really want a PPQ and will be buying one this year. Or Trading for it. A few years ago I had said that Walther was struggling to maintain it’s validity. The PPQ anchors it.
Springfield Armory XDM. Good trigger, good sights, and huge capacities make the XDM a solid choice. If you can get passed it’s “only a mother could love it” looks. While I’m not the biggest fan, I have to respect it. They are super accurate and easy to shoot well with. I know owners who have dumped a lot of rounds with astounding accuracy through their M’s.
HK P30 and HK45. The Germans really do engineer some fine hardware. But the P30 and the HK45 are both over priced and in my opinion over rated. With a standard trigger package, I find their triggers to be lacking in the quality of trigger pull that I would expect from such expensive guns. And I don’t like glow in the dark toy like sights that come on them stock. Again, for such an expensive gun, I want Tritiums on it right out of the box. Don’t get me started on the price of spare mags. For what you pay for an HK, it should come with Tritiums and 4 spares. All that aside – these guns deserve consideration. They are sharp looking, and they feel good in the hand. You can not go wrong with an HK, you really can’t. They are very well made. And after you dump enough rounds through it… Cost wise, would be enough to put a kid through a 12 credit semester of college, the trigger does feel pretty decent. They do look good… Like new BMW or Mercedes good looking. Pistol-Training.com’s Todd Green did a long term test on the P30 and it ran some 93,000 rounds before forced retirement. You could buy a new car for that much… Or you could afford to get sick or even have a (small) accident under Obamacare for that much money. I believe that none of his other tests have run that distance… Which ultimately makes the HK’s probably the best choice out of the lot.
It’s all about simplicity, really. Nothing needs to be tuned or tweaked. Nothing needs adjusted. Out of the box, you could take it, unprepared to a 500 round pistol course and run it without problems. Then when you get home you can throw it in your gun vault and neglect it for as long as you like. When you take it out again, it will still run.
Any “upgrades” are optional. Such as sights. You can shoot it just fine with the factory sights, but may find improvement with some aftermarket options. But that doesn’t effect the reliability. It’s out of box performance is exceptional. Easily the best I’ve experienced. Even better than S&W M&P’s and XDM’s, both of which are outstanding systems. And while many complain that Glock is uncomfortable – that’s something that is easily changed like the Sights. You can do it yourself. At home. With some sandpaper and a soldering iron that you can buy for 10 bucks from Harbor Freight. I did.
I knew I was going to catch some flak from my 1911 Brothers out there for selecting, of all guns, the Glock in a .40. The Anti-1911. You wouldn’t believe the amount of flak I’m catching from work! They have been merciless. Let’s just say I don’t work at a Glock Shop. Guys, I am not turning my back on the 1911. I am still a 1911 Guy. But before I am a 1911 Guy, I’m a Gun Guy… which means I like guns… all guns.
The Glock’s biggest criticism is that it’s ugly. Many owners think it beautiful. Regarding the Glock’s beauty. I’ll be the first to say… it’s not Pretty. However the Function of it is what can make a Glock absolutely gorgeous. The low bore axis helps reduce muzzle flip. Combine that with that funky grip angle that helps return the gun to point of aim faster… now lets add in what really is a fine trigger pull… consistent and the same every time… with a super short Trigger Reset… And it’s simple. Nothing complicated. Nothing “trick”. It’s about as straight forward of a mechanism as it gets. The Glock really is the whole enchilada when it comes to Function. That’s why I am going to give the Glock another chance. I didn’t contact Glock for a Review gun, I ordered one for my own outright purchase.
When my Glock 23 arrived, I took off my SIG P229R and picked up the Glock. I had to carry it. I loaded it up with some 165 grain PDX1’s from my SIG Mags, and tucked it in. I know I usually advocate the test firing of your carry gun with your choice of carry ammo, but in this case, I had no concerns. There are 3 lines of guns have always felt comfortable with right out of the box. HK’s, SIG 22X series, and of course, Glock. See, I’ve owned a Glock before. A Gen1 17. I’ve been to this rodeo before… I know the Glock well enough and have always respected it’s reliability.
I dismissed them when the Gen2 came out, and I’ve not paid any attention to them since. They just didn’t feel right in my hand. The RTF2 grip feels much better to me, I don’t know why. I started looking at the Glocks again when we got in a 17RTF2 and I thought, “You know, this isn’t bad at all.” I’ve got friends who are into Glocks and they all kept recommending them. A lot of guys I respect recommended them. LittleLebowksi from WeTheArmed.com is one of them, but the kicker came Las Vegas. At SHOT Show, my friend Mark Walters and I sat down at Ceaser’s Palace and we had a good conversation. During which Mark gave good testimony about his favorite gun, the Glock 23. It was a convincing argument. I promised I’d give Glock a second look. So I did.
I borrowed a Glock 17 and shot several magazines through it. After a few mags I got used to the grip angle. It shot just as I expected it would. Reliable and predictably accurate. I had no problem with it. However I’m just not all that interested in a 9mm. I’ve become reacquainted with the .40, a caliber I used to stake my life on back in Virginia. My 229 is incredible with the .40 when it comes to shootability, but it’s heavy. When I carry I do the “AllDamnDay” Carry and that usually means from 6AM to 10PM. That’s a long time to have a Heater strapped on. As much as love the SIG P229… and I really do… I want (no, not need… just want) a lighter gun for all day carry. A mid-sized gun, not a compact, not a mouse gun for pocket carry… a Mid sized gun in a mid sized caliber. From Glock that means Mark’s beloved model 23. The balance of form, function and firepower is just perfect for what I was looking for. The Glock 23 is just “it”.
The RTF2 grip texture is said to be too rough, but it does perfectly what it was designed to do. Lock the gun into your hand so it wont slip. Oh, it does that. But it isn’t “Fabric Friendly” so you gotta watch what you wear over it, and you sure as hell want to wear something under it… it can be… abrasive. But when you draw the gun, and it’s in your hand. It’s going nowhere.
The large Tritium front sight post of these Warren Tacticals.
The trigger is one of the things that Glock Owners like to brag about. It’s worth bragging on, because it’s pretty dang good. The pull is consistent, shot to shot. But the trigger reset is what really sets it apart. The distance which you let the trigger move forward, to where it resets so you can fire it again… very short in the Glock. One of the shortest, if not the shortest resets on the market. What this does for the shooter is to allow that trigger to be run quickly and efficiently… which makes for fast and accurate shooting. Something Glocks are very good at. When I roll into an IDPA match, I note who’s shooting Glocks. More and more frequently it’s the guys with those Glocks that are on the tops of the Leader Boards.
Accuracy? That goes without saying. Glocks are going to just as accurate as any other service auto. And when it comes to practical accuracy, they can be even more so. From the holster to putting rounds into the target, they are just as fast as the classic old 1911 while shooting groups that rival John M Browning’s Masterpiece. This is why so many Law Enforcement Agencies have adopted Glocks. Combine this accuracy, the utter reliability, and the simplicity of the Glock system, you have something a Department can issue to all its officers with little more training necessary than with a service revolver. Many departments have reported improvements in qualification scores overall after a Glock adoption.
Does this mean I have gone over to “The Dark Side”? Why, yes, I think it does..