Glock announced its Gen 5 series in Fall 2017, much to the delight of Glock fans everywhere. Adding a new lineup to its already popular series of polymer pistols, the Gen 5 kicked the aesthetics up a notch with a few tweaks. Though I have reviewed both the Gen 4 and Gen 5 Glock G19 on separate occasions, I have yet to round up our thoughts on the platforms in one space – that is, until now.
Taking two of Gaston’s greats, I stacked the Glock 19 Gen 4 up against its newer Glock 19 Gen 5 sibling to see which one comes out on top.
AESTHETICS: LOOKS MATTER
While the Glock series will never win awards for its looks, the Gen 5 G19 does offer some aesthetical upgrades to the overall look and feel of the Glock 19 platform. The 9mm chambered Gen 5 originates from the M series pistol created to serve federal law enforcement. As hands tend to vary widely, Glock revamped its grip and ditched the finger grooves that appear on the Gen 4 platform. Despite some Glock fans objection to the removal of the finger grooves, the move was an intelligent one. Any shooter with smaller hands knows the uncomfortable nature that is the Gen 4 grooves. Their disappearance opened the Glock platform up to a wider audience of shooter who may have shied away based on hand fit alone.
Though the Gen 5 ditches the grip grooves, the Gen 5 adds a little more width to its overall size. Measuring 1.34-inches, in comparison to the Gen. 4’s 1.18-inches, the Gen. 5 doesn’t really feel any bigger than its predecessor. Length wise the two generations are exactly the same, measuring in at 7.28-inches.
Not available in the Gen 4 Glocks, the Gen 5 offers left-handed shooters an ambidextrous slide stop. I am no lefty, so this addition to the Glock didn’t equate much to me; but from what I hear from left handed friends of mine it’s welcomed and makes manipulation of the gun a tad easier.
Overall, the Gen 5 employs a more rounded design. In what we suspect is to create a lower profile for concealed carry, the rounded nose on the Gen 5 G19 somehow makes the pistol look nicer while also preventing any snagging on the draw. Does this really mean much in the grand scheme of concealment? Not that I could find. The Gen 4 conceals just as well as the Gen 5 and draws just as easy from both a StealthGear USA and Dark Star Gear holster.
Topping off the G19’s look in the Gen 5 is the addition of the nDLC finish. Out of the box the nDLC, a supposedly tougher and more durable coating, looks sleek; but when it easily showcases any oil, dirt, grime or fingerprints. I found myself continually wiping the Gen 5 down, whereas the Gen 4 seems more rugged in its coating. Out of the two, I prefer the finish on the Gen 4. While not as sleek and shiny, the Gen 4’s coating resists fingerprints better and for someone who hates a grimy gun, this won me over.
INSIDE IS WHAT COUNTS
Under the hood of the Gen 5 is where most shooters will note changes in the G19 design. Overhauling the internals, Glock engineers removed a locking block pin (the Gen 5 G19 now sports two instead of three) and added a firing safety pin similar to what’s inside the G42 and G43 models. The Gen 5 is also equipped with a new extractor and reinforced rails.
The icing on the metaphorical Glock cake, though, has got to be the upgraded trigger. The Gen 5 series welcomes an all-new trigger spring assembly and completely revamped trigger mechanism housing. The new assembly compresses instead of stretching for a smoother feel. The bottom of the actual trigger has been re-contoured and the trigger pin modified so that slots aren’t as deep. Rounding out the trigger work, Glock finished the package up with an updated trigger bar.