Gen5 Glock 17 and Glock 19 (Glock 17M and Glock19M) 9mm Combat/Tactical Pistol Models Take a Step Forward, and a Step Back: Best 9mm Glock Pistols Ever? Recoil Magazine Gets First Detailed Look!

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By David Crane
david (at) defensereview (dot) com

Images Credit: Recoil Magazine (Gen5 Glock pics) and (NDAD Blackside SwiTCH Trigger pics)

August 29, 2017
Last updated on 8/30/17.

DefenseReview (DR) has been monitoring the development of the Glock 17M (G17M) and Glock 19M (G19M) 9mm combat/tactical pistols for several months, ever since an FBI contact of ours told us he’d already bought a Gen5 G19M as his new personal/duty pistol, and was just waiting to receive it. All we knew about it from him was that for the new Gen5 Glock pistols (essentially the G17M and G19M), Glock did away with the finger grooves on the grip (gripframe), hexagonal/polygonal rifling in the barrel, and locking block pin, that they added an ambidextrous slide stop (or, slide lock)/release lever, and that they modified the internals a bit.

What we didn’t know was the exact nature of those internal mods. We’d heard and read the rumors, the conjecture of course, but we didn’t really know. Well, thanks to one David Merrill at Recoil Magazine, now we do, in considerable detail. DR recommends that you check the Recoil piece out for full details when you get a chance, as it’s a good piece. However, before you do, below is the rundown of ALL the Gen5 Glock pistol mods (more than 20 design changes, according to Mr. Merrill), some info we got from an FBI source of ours, and some of our thoughts.

– New trigger group/module design, with all parts being changed, according to Merrill.
– Glock 43-type ramped rectangular firing pin/striker safety plunger.
– Gen5 Glock 17 and Glock 19 share a common locking bloc, most likely to streamline manufacturing/production and cut both manufacturing and replacement costs.
– Locking block pin goes bye-bye.
– New striker design.
– New extractor design.
– Back-to-the-future-style Gen-2 Glock-pistol-type grip with Gen-4 stippling. Finger grooves go bye-bye, the front cutout comes back to help strip out stuck mags while clearing malfunctions and jams, and an integral flared magwell goes in.
– Traditionally rifled barrels with match crown for increased accuracy (we’ll see). Hexagonal/polygonal rifling is gone. The new barrels are unique to the Gen5 Glock pistols, and are therefore incompatible with previous models. So, no swapping with your Gen-2 through Gen-4 Glocks.
– Gen5 G17 recoil spring is slightly longer, and thus proprietary to the Gen5 G17.
– Ambidextrous slide lock (slide stop/release).
– Gen5 G17/G19 slide lock now utilzes a coil spring, rather than a leaf spring. Not sure we’re cool with this, but more on this later.
– Gen4-type hot-swappable mag release button.
– Gen-4 style modular backstrap, so you can replace the standard backstrap with an extended beavertail grip tang backstrap, which DR prefers.
– New nDLC slide finish/treatment, which holds fingerprints, according to Merrill.
– Three sight configs available: 3-dot night sights, Ameriglo sights with a tritium and photoluminescent front sight, and plastic OEM sights.
– Gen5 Glock mags get a new orange follower, ambi-mag-catch/release cutouts, and larger/longer floorplate.
– New cover plate design.

No Gen5 Glock factory threaded barrels are currently available for silencer/sound suppressor use, although the Gen4 Glock 19 factory barrels may work for the Gen5 G19, according to Merrill.

Merrill reports that a reliable source told Recoil that the Gen5 Glocks’ “Mean Rounds Between Stoppage (MRBS) is 11,000 and there’s at least one Gen5 with more than 30,000 rounds through it with no parts replacement.”

Considering all the design changes, Gen5 G17 and G19 owners will most likely have to wait for new aftermarket parts to be designed to be able to utilize their favorite aftermarket parts.

If we missed any of the major points or changes, we apologize, but we think we got most of them.

Anyway, DR’s cautiously optimistic about the Gen5 Glock pistols, base on what we’ve heard from an FBI contact of ours. He bought a Glock 19M (G19M), which is to our understanding the same as a commercial Gen5 G19. According to him, the FBI-spec’d service life of the Gen5 barrels is now 10,000 rounds between mandatory barrel changes, instead of 3,000 rounds for his old G19, thanks to Glock’s new barrel bore finish/treatment/coating. That’s a 300% increase in functional barrel life, which is impressive. He also told us that the FBI Special Agents that have received their new Glock 17M (G17M) and Glock 19M pistols are really happy with them, so far. We realized that this is just anecdotal feedback, but positive feedback by FBI end-users is important, anecdotal or not.

We’re of course not saying that the FBI is necessarilyalways the best/ultimate arbiter of advisable firearm development or “improvements” historically, but they’re a major federal law enforcement agency, and their Special Agents rely on their guns daily to defend themselves and protect their lives, so their opinions count. Ideally, we’d like to talk with some of our professional contacts from the military Special Operations Forces (SOF) and 3-Gun competitive shooting communities to get their respective takes on the Gen5 G17 and G19, but we’ll take what we can get at the moment.

One disappointing aspect of all the Gen5 Glock trigger module mods is that DR’s current favorite aftermarket Glock trigger, the Nous Defions Arsenal Democracy NDAD Blackside SwiTC/H Trigger system for Glock pistols, also written SwiTCH Trigger system, most likely isn’t compatible with them. However, we spoke with Arsenal Democracy, and they said they should be able to modify the SwiTCH very quickly to be compatible with the Gen5 Glock pistols, once they get them in house for examination, and know what mods have to be made. More specifically, they told DR that that they should be able to develop a new compatible SwiTCH Trigger system within a few weeks. The SwiTCH is very well designed, in our opinion. It sports an instant on/off trigger action, and yet appears to be both very safe and durable. You really have to try it to appreciate it. Words won’t do it.

We also hope that the current factory and/or aftermarket Glock 17/19 maritime firing pin/striker spring cups are compatible with the new Gen5 Glock pistols, as we like them for waterborne ops/over-the-beach capability/reliability, and thus utility. This is doubtful, considering the Gen-5 Glock striker mods, but we don’t know. Regardless, we hope Glock and aftermarket Glock parts companies offer Gen5 Glock 17/19 maritime firing pin/striker spring cups soon.

Defense Review would of course like to get our own hands on the new Gen5 Glock pistols as soon as possible, and run them at the range. In the meantime, however, we’ll wait to see what the Recoil team thinks of them when they publish their hands-on range review in their upcoming Recoil Concealment issue. We look forward to reading it, since Merrill did a nice job on this one.

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About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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