The Complete Glock 19 Gen 5 Review (Everything You Need to Know)

Key Takeaways

  1. The most noticeable differences between the Glock 19 Gen 5 and the Glock 19 Gen 4 are the new trigger, barrel, slide, grip, and flared magazine well. 
  2. The new trigger feels a little smoother, the barrel is (probably) a little more accurate, and the new slide, grip, and magazine well make very little difference in the gun’s shootability.
  3. If you don’t yet own a Glock 19 and you plan on getting one, get the Gen 5 version. If you already have a Glock 19 Gen 4, don’t worry about buying a Gen 5.

The Glock 19 has become one of the most popular pistols in the world for good reason.

It strikes an ideal balance between the feel, firepower, and accuracy of a full-size pistol, with the concealability of a smaller handgun.

Glock claims their new Glock 19 Gen 5 improves upon this design even further, but not everyone agrees.

Some say the Glock 19 Gen 5 is a step down from the Gen 4, and you’re better off sticking with or buying an older model.

Others say the new Glock 19 Gen 5 is better in a few key ways, but not enough to justify buying a new gun.

And others say Glock is right—the Glock 19 Gen 5 is a major improvement over its predecessor, and well worth buying. 

Who’s right? 

The short story is that the Glock 19 Gen 5 is an improvement over the Gen 4, but not in every way for every person. 

So, if you’re thinking about buying a Glock 19 Gen 5 but you aren’t sure what you’re getting into, you’re going to know by the end of this article. 

In this article, you’re going to learn . . . 

  • Exactly what changed on the new Glock 19 Gen 5 vs the Gen 4
  • How these changes affect the gun’s accuracy, reliability, feel, and function
  • Whether or not these changes made the gun better or worse
  • And more.

By the end, you’ll know everything you need to know about the new Glock 19 Gen 5.

Chances are good you’re already somewhat familiar with the Glock 19, but just in case you aren’t, let’s start off by looking at what makes this pistol special.

Why the Glock 19?

In case you aren’t familiar with the Glock 19, it’s a mid-size “compact” semi-automatic pistol chambered in 9 mm Luger and produced by Austrian pistol manufacturer, Glock.

It’s designed to offer the feel, firepower, and control of a full-size handgun, while still being small enough to conceal. 

Here’s what it (the Gen 5) looks like: 

glock 19 gen 5

At bottom, the Glock 19 is just a Glock 17 with a half-inch shorter barrel and a half-inch shorter grip.

This may seem like a small difference, but it makes the gun much easier to conceal than a Glock 17.

Despite its smaller dimensions, the Glock 19 feels like a full-size pistol, making it much easier to grip, aim, and control when shooting than smaller, sub-compact pistols like the Glock 26 or Glock 43.

This is why many people have dubbed the Glock 19 “The Goldilocks Gun.”

Like its big brother, the Glock 19 is a polymer framed pistol with a handful of metal components molded into the frame. This makes the Glock 19 exceptionally light for a pistol of its size.

It has a magazine capacity of 15 rounds, plus one in the chamber—just two rounds fewer than the Glock 17—and more than enough should you need to use the gun to defend yourself.

Summary: The Glock 19 Gen 5 is a plastic-framed, compact semi-automatic pistol chambered in 9 mm Luger.

What Is the Glock 19 Gen 5?

Glock has continually updated their pistols since the first generation Glock 17 was released in 1982, and the Gen 5 is the latest iteration of their design. 

Every couple of years, Glock makes a collection of design changes to their pistols, and each set of changes results in a new generation of Glock pistols.

The changes tend to be too small to have a noticeable impact on how the gun feels, shoots, or performs, but they’re worth considering nonetheless. 

The latest generation of Glock pistols is the Gen 5 series, released in late 2017.

In this case, most of the changes are due to a list of requirements released by the FBI in late 2015. 

The FBI was shopping for a new sidearm for its agents, and Glock created a new pistol to meet these requirements and promptly won the contract in 2016.

As is often the case, Glock decided to release the new pistol to the civilian market, which gave us the new Gen 5 series of pistols.

Summary: The Glock 19 Gen 5 is the latest version of Glock pistols, largely based on the pistol adopted by the FBI in 2016.

The Glock 19 Gen 4 vs. Gen 5: What’s Different?

There are a long list of differences between the Glock 19 Gen 4 and Gen 5, both inside and out. 

In fact, there’s only a handful of small parts that didn’t get some kind of makeover on the new model.

That said, most of the changes are so small they aren’t noticeable unless you take both guns apart and compare them side by side. 

So, what are the most important, noticeable, and noteworthy changes between the Glock 19 Gen 4 and Gen 5?

The Glock 19 Gen 5 has a new . . . 

  • Barrel
  • Trigger
  • Slide
  • Slide finish
  • Grip
  • Grip cutout
  • Flared magazine well
  • Ambidextrous slide lock
  • Front and rear sights

In addition to these changes, there are also some minor internal changes we’ll go over at the end.

New Barrel

One of the biggest changes to the new Glock Gen 5 series of pistols is barrel. 

Since Glock pistols were first released in 1982, they’ve used what’s called polygonal rifling (pronounced puh-li-guh-nuhl) in their barrels.

Traditional rifling features raised edges (lands) and valleys (grooves) arranged in a spiral pattern along the inside of the barrel. The bullet is forced against these spiral grooves as it passes through the barrel, which causes the bullet to spin. 

On the other hand, polygonal rifling is shaped like a polygon, typically with six or more sides. 

Here’s what traditional (left) and polygonal (right) rifling look like compared side by side: 

glock 19 rifling

The advantages of polygonal rifling are . . . 

  • It lasts longer than traditional rifling
  • It provides a tighter seal around the bullet, which results in higher velocities
  • It doesn’t hold as much copper, lead, or carbon fouling, which makes it easier to clean
  • It generally results in a stronger barrel

The downsides are that it can be harder to precisely control the shape of the rifling, which can (but doesn’t necessarily) result in reduced accuracy. 

If produced properly, polygonal rifling is superior to traditional rifling. 

The main reason it’s not used more often is that the benefits are small and it’s a more expensive process unless you do it on a massive scale. 

This is why many people were floored when they heard that Glock was doing away with the polygonal rifling used in the Gen 1 to 4 pistols in favor of traditional rifling with the new Gen 5 pistols.

That’s what people on the Internet said, at least, but it’s not entirely true. 

Instead of trashing polygonal rifling altogether, Glock instead created a hybrid between polygonal and traditional rifling for their Gen 5 series. 

Here’s what it looks like: 

glock 19 gen 5 barrel

And here’s what the new Gen 5 rifling (top) looks like compared to the Gen 4 rifling (bottom):

 Glock 19 Gen 5 vs Gen 4 Barrel

As you can see, the Gen 5 barrel features slightly more aggressive rifling, but it’s not quite traditional rifling, either. 

So, how does the new barrel perform? 

The short answer is—slightly better, but not enough for just about anyone to notice the difference.

Glock hasn’t released any formal testing on the new Glock Marksman Barrel, so us consumers are left to decide for ourselves how great it really is.

Seeing as how changing the machines used to create gun barrels is astoundingly expensive, though, the engineers at Glock must believe it’s a worthwhile change. 

Sure enough, unofficial testing from various shooters seems to confirm the new barrel is better.

Here’s a good example:

This guy compared the Glock 19 Gen 4 barrel against the new Glock 19 Gen 5 Glock Marksman Barrel on a number of tests, and found . . . 

Using 147-gr 9 mm ammo, the Glock Marksman Barrel produced an average muzzle velocity of 968 fps versus 1,047 fps for the Gen 4 barrel.

That’s a pretty significant difference (8%), but not that important in terms of real world performance.

What’s more, there was no difference in muzzle velocity using 115-gr 9 mm ammo.

In terms of accuracy, the Glock Marksman Barrel did seem to produce slightly tighter groups than the Gen 4 barrel, although the testing was too uncontrolled to say for sure.

So, where does that leave us?

On the whole, it does seem that the new Glock Marksman Barrel is slightly more accurate than the Gen 4 barrel, but not enough to matter. 

The fact is that people have been accurately shooting Gen 1, 2, 3, and 4 Glocks for decades now, and upgrading the barrel isn’t going to make a difference to anyone but the most elite shooters. 

While it’s nice to have the latest and greatest gear, the new Glock Marksman Barrel isn’t going to turn you into a marksman. It’s not even going to make you noticeably more accurate. 

What will make you a better shooter is improving your grip, fine-tuning your trigger pull, and refining your sight alignment. In other words, training. 

One thing to keep in mind with the new Gen 5 barrels, is they aren’t backwards compatible with Gen 4 pistols. So, you can’t put a Gen 5 barrel in a Gen 4 Glock, because the exterior dimensions are slightly different. 

Most of the currently available aftermarket Glock barrels are designed for the Gen 4 pistols, so you may have trouble finding aftermarket Gen 5 barrels.

Summary: The new Glock 19 Gen 5 has a Glock Marksman Barrel, which features a hybrid rifling between traditional and polygonal rifling. This may marginally improve the accuracy of the barrel, but not enough to notice a difference when shooting.

New Trigger

Glocks are known for having, well, crappy triggers.

Compared to most other handguns, Glock triggers are often described as “spongy,” “sticky,” and “gritty.” 

What people mean is that as you pull back on the trigger, the first half inch or so of travel feels inconsistent.

The trigger moves back a bit, hits a sticking point where it moves slower, moves back a bit more, and so forth. 

After the trigger is almost fully retracted, it hits what many call the “Glock trigger bump.” The trigger becomes considerably harder to pull right before the striker is released and the gun goes off. 

You get used to this trigger pull with practice, but it’s not ideal.

Glock sought to at least partially rectify this issue by modifying the trigger connector bar in their Gen 5 pistols, which changes the way the trigger feels when pulled back. 

So, did it work? 

Yes and no. 

The new Gen 5 trigger does feel slightly better than the Gen 4, but barely so. It’s noticeable, but only when you really focus on how the trigger feels when you fire the gun. 

When pulling back the trigger it does seem to have slightly less of the “stop-start” of the Gen 4 trigger, but the “Glock bump” is still there. Overall, it’s a minor, barely perceptible improvement.

Personally, I’ve found I slightly prefer the Gen 5 trigger over the Gen 4 trigger, but only when I consciously think about it. When I’m doing drills or dry firing, I don’t notice the difference, and most of the shooters I’ve spoken to feel the same way.

Summary: The Glock 19 Gen 5 has a new and slightly improved trigger which feels smoother and more consistent than the Glock 19 Gen 4 trigger, but barely so. You likely won’t notice a difference when shooting.

New Slide

One of the most obvious changes to the Glock 19 Gen 5 is the new slide design.

Glocks are known for their iconic boxy shape (so much so that Gaston Glock even tried to trademark the shape of his pistols), but the new Gen 5 departs from that design slightly.

Instead of the traditional box-shaped slide, the front of the new Glock 19 Gen 5 slide is tapered. 

Here’s what it looks like:

glock 19 gen 5 slide

Theoretically, the rounded edges of the Glock 19 Gen 5 slide should make it less likely for the front of the gun to catch on the edge of the holster as you reholster it. 

That’s the idea, anyway.

The reality is that I haven’t noticed any difference in holstering the Gen 5 vs. the Gen 4 Glock 19. 

Holstering your gun quickly mostly just comes down to practice, and a small design change like chopping a little metal off the front of the slide doesn’t change that. 

Of course, this also changes the look of the new Gen 5 pistols for better or worse.

Some people prefer the classic boxy Glock look, and others (like myself) like the new design. 

Summary: The new Glock 19 Gen 5 slide has a tapered forend, which makes it easier to reholster the gun and changes the look of the pistol.

New Slide Finish

Glocks are known for having an almost indestructible finish, although that reputation has eroded (har har) over the past few years.

One of the things that made Gen 1 Glock pistols so unique was the Tenifer finish on the slide and barrel. 

Tenifer, also known as Melonite in the U.S., is a manufacturing process that involves forcing nitrogen and carbon into the surface of a metal. This is also known as ferritic nitrocarburizing, or simply nitriding.

This process makes the surface of steel many times harder, stronger, and more resistant to corrosion, pitting, and scratching. It also makes the surface of the metal smoother, which reduces friction between the parts. 

This is why there are stories of Glock pistols being left on the bottom of the ocean for months, which no signs of rust on the slide.

Now, Glock has always been cagey about sharing exactly how they nitride their slides, but most experts agree it’s some form of Tenifer/Melonite process. 

At least they used to think so.

Starting with the Gen 4 Glocks, many users noticed a decrease in the finish quality on their Glock slides. In the past, it was rare for Glock slides to show any kind of corrosion, scratching, or wear with normal use, but this became increasingly common with Gen 4 Glocks. 

You can spend hours pouring through Internet forums where Glock users debate what changed, but the truth is no one knows except Glock. 

The most likely answer is they simply switched to a different form of nitriding which wasn’t as robust as the one they used on the Gen 1, 2, and 3 pistols.

Luckily, Glock seems to have gotten the message, and upgraded the finish on the Gen 5 pistols. 

The Glock 19 Gen 5 features what Glock calls their nDLC finish.

DLC stands for diamond-like carbon, a mixture of carbon, hydrogen, and silicon atoms that mimics the hardness of diamond. nDLC is simply a proprietary form of diamond-like carbon Glock uses on their Gen 5 pistol slides and barrels. 

Glock claims this new coating is harder, stronger, and smoother than the nitride finish on their Gen 4 pistols, whereas some people claim that it wears off faster. The new nDLC finish is also a shade darker than the nitride “frying pan” color finish on the Gen 4 Glocks.

As usual, Glock hasn’t revealed many specifics about their nDLC finish.

What we do know, though, is that DLC coatings are used in a wide variety of industrial applications that require extreme hardness and wear and corrosion resistance. For example, it’s often used to coat drill bits and gears used in oil wells and pistons in race car engines.

Glock also hasn’t said whether or not they replaced nitriding with nDLC, or if nDLC was added as an additional layer of protection over the nitrided slide. 

Most people seem to think it was the latter—that Glock added nDLC over the nitrided slide to make it even stronger, smoother, and more corrosion resistant.  

No matter what they did, I’m impressed with the new finish on the Glock 19 Gen 5.

I’ve fired over 7,000 rounds through this particular Glock 19, including many holster draws, and the slide looks the same as the day I got it: 

glock 19 gen 5 slide finish

The only signs of wear on the gun are where the barrel rubs against the slide, although I’ve never seen a semi-automatic pistol that didn’t develop this smile-shaped wear pattern eventually:

glock 19 gen 5 slide wear

All in all, the new Glock 19 Gen 5 finish is exceptionally tough, and should stand up to wear better than the Gen 4 finish. 

Summary: The new Glock 19 Gen 5 nDLC finish is likely stronger and more scratch and corrosion resistant than the Gen 4 finish.

New Grip

This is one of the most obvious changes: 

The new Glock 19 Gen 5 has no finger grooves. 

While this is new for the Gen 5, this feature actually harkens back to the original Gen 1 and 2 Glocks from the 1980s.

The first and second generation Glocks had a smooth grip with no finger grooves.

Then, Glock pulled a 180 and added finger grooves to the Gen 3 and 4 pistols, and now they’re pulling an about face again and switching back to no finger grooves on the Gen 5s.

Some people find finger grooves allow you to grip the gun a little more firmly. 

Others say they make it harder to grip the gun when wearing gloves, as the gloves don’t perfectly line up with the grooves. 

And others say that while finger grooves might help people with average size hands grip the gun better, they make it more difficult for those with very large or small hands (since their fingers overlap on the grooves). 

While arguments can be made for and against finger grooves, in the final analysis it boils down to personal preference.

From what I’ve observed, people with smaller hands tend to like no finger grooves, whereas people with medium or large hands don’t notice much of a difference one way or another. 

One nice aspect of the move back to no finger grooves on the Glock 19 Gen 5 is this stippling the grip a little simpler.

Summary: The new grip on the Glock 19 Gen 5 has no finger grooves, which you may or may not like. Many people find it makes the gun easier to grip when wearing gloves.

New (Annoying) Cutout on the Bottom of the Grip

If there’s one part of the new Glock 19 Gen 5 that’s universally hated, it’s the new grip cutout. 

Here’s what it looks like next to a Glock 19 Gen 4 grip: 

glock 19 gen 5 grip

The reason Glock added this feature was most likely because it was part of the FBI requirements. Unfortunately, this was a dumb requirement. 

The idea behind the new cutout is that it provides space for you to insert a fingertip so that you can remove a stuck magazine. 

While magazines can undoubtedly get stuck, it’s usually not difficult to remove them.

Even if stuck magazines were a common problem (they aren’t), the solution in this case is worse.

There are two main problems with the new grip cutout: 

  1. It makes it more difficult to quickly insert magazines.
  2. It removes a small portion of the grip, making it more difficult for your pinky to maintain contact with the gun.

This new grip cutout created a sharp edge on the front of the magazine well, and if you don’t insert the magazine perfectly, the front lip of the magazine will catch on this edge and slow down your reloads.

Here’s a video demonstrating what this looks like: 

Good reloads are all about consistency—consistently gripping the magazine, guiding it toward the magazine well, and inserting it into the gun. This new grip cutout requires you to be even more precise with your reloads, and slightly increases the likelihood of you making mistakes.

The good news is that with practice, you can learn to insert the magazines so they don’t get caught. 

Just don’t be surprised if you have a few bloopers when reloading at first.

The second problem is that this new cutout reduces the grip surface, which means your pinky may occasionally slip off the bottom of the gun (especially if you have big hands).

Here’s what this looks like: 

glock 19 gen 5 grip cutout

Although mildly annoying at first, I haven’t found this to negatively affect my shooting. As always, training is more important than gear.

Summary: One of the worst design flaws of the Glock 19 Gen 5 is the new grip cutout. This makes reloading slower and interferes with your grip, but you do get used to it after enough training.

New Flared Magazine Well

The magazine well, aka magwell, is the portion of the gun that holds the magazine in place while firing. 

On modern semi-automatic pistols, like the Glock 19 Gen 5, the grip also functions as the magwell. 

A flared magwell, is a magwell with a slightly wider, funnel-shaped opening, typically with all of the rough surfaces smoothed down. 

Here’s what they look like: 

magwell

Flared magwells make it easier to quickly insert magazines when reloading, especially under high stress situations where you’re more error prone. 

With a normal pistol magwell, the magazine has to be more or less perfectly aligned with the gun to properly insert. With a flared magwell, the magazine can be slightly misaligned, but will still slide home thanks to the magwell.

Glock decided to add a slightly flared magwell to the Glock 19 Gen 5. Here’s what it looks like: 

glock 19 gen 5 magwell

As you can see, it’s only slightly flared, so you still need to be careful and precise when reloading. This is an improvement, but a minor one. 

There is one downside to the new flared magwell—it makes the grip slightly wider, which means the gun is ever-so-slightly more obvious when concealed carrying. 

That said, the Glock 19 Gen 5 grip is only a few millimeters wider than the Gen 4 grip, and if some stranger is staring intently enough at your waist to notice, you probably have bigger problems than printing. 

Summary: The new flared magwell on the Glock 19 Gen 5 makes it slightly easier to reload quickly, although you still need to practice no matter what pistol you use.

New Magazine

Glock changed two things about their new Gen 5 magazine:

  1. They now have an orange follower, which makes it easier to see whether or not you’re magazine is empty.
  2. They have a slightly extended base plate, which supposedly makes it easier to remove the magazine from the gun should it get stuck.

The orange follower is a nice touch, but the extended base plate is pointless. 

Why?

Magazines virtually never get stuck in Glocks, when they do they aren’t difficult to remove, and the extended follower makes the magazines rub against one another when they’re stored on a belt. 

For example, here’s what Glock 19 Gen 5 magazines look like when inserted into Esstac Kywi mag pouches

esstac kywi magazine pouches

Granted, Esstac does make mag pouches with more space for these elongated base plates, but this was an unnecessary change by Glock.

Summary: The new Glock Gen 5 magazines have an orange follower and an elongated base plate. The orange follower is a nice touch, but the base plate is unnecessary.

New Ambidextrous Slide Lock

The new Glock 19 Gen 5 features an ambidextrous slide lock that can be depressed by both left and right handed shooters.

Here’s what it looks like: 

glock 19 gen 5 slide lock
glock 19 gen 5 parts

Pretty straightforward—you can release the slide with either your left or right hand. 

Glock already introduced a reversible magazine release on the Gen 4 pistols that can be switched from either the left or right side. Thanks to the new slide lock, the Glock 19 Gen 5 is more or less fully ambidextrous. 

Summary: The new ambidextrous slide lock makes the Glock 19 easy to use for both left and right handed shooters.

New Set of Sights (and Night Sight Options)

Glock slightly changed the design of their sights on the Gen 5 series of pistols.

Here’s what they look like: 

It’s a small change, but it does make it slightly easier to line up the sights quickly.

That said, it’s a moot point, as I recommend you upgrade your stock Glock sights as soon as possible. 

Luckily, Glock now offers versions of their pistols with either Glock Night Sights (made by Ameriglo) or Ameriglo Bold Night Sights.

Here’s what the Glock Night Sights look like: 

glock 19 gen 5 night sights

And here’s what the Ameriglo Bold Night Sights look like: 

glock 19 gen 5 ameriglo sights

Both of these options are better than stock Glock sights, but between these two options I recommend you get the Ameriglo Bold Night Sights. They’re much easier to see quickly when shooting during the day and night. 

Or, you can install my favorite night sights—the Ameriglo I-DOT Pro Night Sights

Summary: The Glock 19 Gen 5 comes with slightly improved stock sights (meh) and options for Glock Night Sights (better) and Ameriglo Bold Night Sights (even better). You can also install Ameriglo I-DOT Pro Night Sights, too (best).

Several New Internal Parts

Glock made a handful of changes to some of the internal parts on their new Gen 5 pistols, none of which are noticeable when shooting or all that important. For the sake of completeness, though, they are: 

  • A rounded striker safety plunger instead of a conical safety plunger. 
  • A new coil spring instead of a leaf spring that provides tension for the takedown pins.
  • A slightly different shaped firing pin.

What Are the Biggest Glock 19 Gen 5 Problems?

As you can probably guess at this point, I’m a big fan of the Glock 19 Gen 5. That said, it does have a three main faults that are worth addressing: 

  1. The new cutout in the grip forces you to be slightly more precise when reloading. 
  2. The standard version still comes with low quality plastic sights.

First, as mentioned earlier, the new grip on the Glock 19 Gen 5 has a cutout at the bottom that looks like this: 

While intended to make it easier to remove a stuck magazine, all this does is provide a small edge for the front of the magazine to catch when being inserted. 

You can overcome this problem by consistently practicing your pistol reloads, but it’s still an annoying, unnecessary feature.

Second, like all Glocks, the Glock 19 Gen 5 comes with plastic sights, which are less durable than metal sights. 

If you just want to shoot this gun at the range every few months, plastic sights are fine, but if you do a lot of running and gunning, holster draws, or use your gun for work, you should upgrade to metal sights soon after you get a Glock.

Summary: The only two significant downsides of the Glock 19 Gen 5 are that the new cutout on the grip can interfere with reloads and it comes with low-quality plastic sights.

What Is the Glock 19 Gen 5 MOS FS

You may have heard of another version of the Glock 19 Gen 5—the Glock 19 Gen 5 MOS. 

MOS stands for Modular Optic System, and its Glock’s way of saying “red-dot-ready.” 

All Glock MOS pistols feature a pre-cut slot on the top rear of the slide where you can attach a red-dot sight, such as a Trijicon RMR. 

Here’s what this looks like on a Glock 17 Gen 5 MOS FS:

glock 17 gen 5 mos fs

Each pistol also comes with a cover that protects the slot and ensures it doesn’t snag on anything, which you can remove at a later time. Here’s what this looks like on the same pistol:

glock 19 gen 5 mos fs slide

FS stands for front serrations, which are vertical cuts milled into the front portion of the slide. These serrations help you grip the gun when doing press checks (pushing the slide slightly to the rear to see whether or not a cartridge is chambered). 

Aside from this pre-cut slot and front serrations, there’s no difference between the Glock 19 Gen 5 and the Glock 19 Gen 5 MOS FS. 

If you plan on ever getting a pistol red-dot sight, get the MOS version. If you don’t plan on getting a pistol red-dot sight, get the regular version.

The MSRP for the basic, no frills Glock 19 Gen 5 is $647, which is on par with most polymer-framed pistols. 

The MSRP for the Glock 19 Gen 5 MOS FS is $745, so you’re paying $98 dollars for these two features—not a bad deal. 

Summary: The Glock 19 Gen 5 MOS FS is a version of the Glock 19 Gen 5 that can accept a wide variety of pistol red dot sights and features front serrations to make press checks easier.

The Bottom Line on the Glock 19 Gen 5

The Glock 19 Gen 5 is a compact pistol designed to offer the feel, firepowder, and control of a full-size handgun, while still being small enough to conceal. 

Thanks to its size, magazine capacity, and shootability, the Glock 19 Gen 5 is probably the best all-rounder pistol you could hope for. 

It works for concealed carry, duty, military, and competition use. 

The Gen 5 version is the latest iteration of Glock pistols, which are based on the pistol the FBI adopted in 2016.

Compared to the Gen 4’s, the Gen 5’s have a: 

  1. New barrel
  2. New trigger
  3. New slide
  4. New slide finish
  5. New grip
  6. New (annoying cutout on the bottom of the grip
  7. New flared magazine well
  8. New magazine
  9. New ambidextrous slide lock
  10. New set of sights (and night sight options)

And a handful of redesigned internal parts that don’t really matter. 

The two biggest problems with the Glock 19 Gen 5 are:

  1. The cutout on the bottom of the grip requires you to be more precise when reloading and slightly interferes with your grip on the pistol. 
  2. The sights are still low quality plastic sights.

As long as you practice reloads frequently, the grip cutout shouldn’t be an issue. Most people end up replacing the plastic sights anyway (and I recommend you do the same if you get this pistol), which fixes the second problem. 

All in all, the Glock 19 Gen 5 is a slight improvement over the Gen 4. 

If you already have a Glock 19 Gen 4, don’t feel like you need to upgrade, though. While the Glock 19 is hard to beat, there isn’t enough difference between the Gen 4 and Gen 5 to warrant the change.

If you don’t yet own a pistol, and you want one that will perform well in just about any role, you can’t beat the Glock 19 Gen 5. It’s accurate, concealable, easy to shoot, and superbly reliable. 

The Glock 19 Gen 5 Assessment

Reliability

5/5

After 7,000 rounds, I’ve had one malfunction. And most of that has been cheap steelcase ammo from Tulammo, Wolf, Winchester, and the like. 

Accuracy

4/5

Not noticeably more accurate than previous generation Glocks, although it’s perfectly sufficient for most tactical and defensive shooters. 

Ergonomics

3/5

You can find more comfortable pistols right out of the box, but with training you’ll find the ergonomics on the Glock 19 Gen 5 don’t hinder your shooting.

Modularity

5/5

You will not find a pistol with more upgrade options than this one, except perhaps the Glock 19 Gen 4 (and that will change as aftermarket companies produce more parts for the Gen 5).

Looks

5/5

Highly subjective, but I think the new Gen 5s look great. 

What do you think of the Glock 19 Gen 5? 

Have you had a chance to shoot one yet, or are you thinking about buying one? 

Have any other thoughts to share? 

Let me know in the comments section below!

Oh, and if you enjoyed this article and want to learn what kind of ammo you should shoot in your Glock 19, you want to check out the American Arms Guide to Cartridge Ballistics. 

This is guide shows you the muzzle velocity and energy, bullet weight, and bullet drop for over 50 different cartridges, including many different kinds of 9 mm ammo. Using this guide, you can choose exactly the right kind of ammunition for your shooting goals, whether they be defending your family from a home invader, stopping a criminal while on duty, or winning your next pistol competition.

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