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Glock 19 Gen4 vs. Gen 5: What Makes These Guns Different?

Glock 19
Glock 19 Gen 5 with some modifications. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Glock 19 Gen4 vs Gen 5: What is the difference? The 9mm Glock 19 Gen 5 is virtually the same pistol you’ve been carrying around in your holster for the last 5+ years. Yeah, it’s worth buying if you can find a good deal, but if you already have a Gen 4, you’re not missing out on much.

I bought this because I’m a bit of a Glock fanboy.

To put it simply, it’s more of the good stuff. Since it performs identically to its previous iterations, this review is focused primarily on what’s really new about this pistol. Read on to find out everything you need to know about the Glock 19 Gen 5.

The Gen 5 Glock remains largely the same as its predecessors. You’ll find the classic Glock look including its boxy slide and notoriously mediocre trigger. There is a minor difference between the Gen 4&5s at the nose of the slide. The edges have actually been rounded off to allow for easier holstering.

I personally like the way it looks, but many people were not fond of removing some of Glock’s signature “boxy” look. Functionally, it doesn’t make that much of a meaningful difference. I say that as someone who’s been using Glocks for years. I can’t really speak to how a newer user would fare with the older designs.

Among the list of small changes in the magazine well. Now it has a little bit of a flare. And by a little bit, I do mean little. It’s barely noticeable to the point that someone had to point it out to me. After careful attention to how it felt, I can say it does feel a little bit easier to seat magazines. Even still, it’s more of a “quality of life” change more than anything. It’s not designed to be a selling point. To be clear the selling point of this pistol is that it’s the “New Glock.”

Onto a more dramatic change is the slide stop. Glock has made it fully ambidextrous. The 19 is super friendly to lefties. All that’s needed to convert this fully is reversing the mag release and boom, you have a pistol perfect for left-handed shooters. I, however, am right-handed so this made no difference to me.

They’ve also deleted the finger grooves on the grip. I ended up being pretty indifferent since the previous generations fit fine in my grip. The lack of grooves wasn’t too much of an issue to me, but there are plenty of people unhappy with this design choice.

You’ll also find that the included magazines have a larger base plate in the event you need to rip a magazine out for whatever reason. I don’t think I’ve ever needed to manually remove a magazine, but I suppose it’s a nice addition.

Other than some minor internal changes, the barrel is the biggest deal here. All Gen 5 Glocks come with their proprietary Marksman Barrel. I think this is a good design choice but overall a little bit underwhelming.

Glocks are already pretty dang accurate and I’ve never been able to shoot better than my pistol (Glock or otherwise), so I find that the difference is pretty imperceptible as far as normal shooting goes. You’ll definitely be getting superior accuracy at farther distances, especially if you’re braced up on something.

My opinion on the Glock 19 Gen 5 is complicated. I think the Gen 4 was fantastic. I think the Gen 5 is fantastic. It’s just that the quality of life upgrades aren’t that strong of a selling point for me. The bottom line is if you can get a Gen 5 for the same as a Gen 4, go for it.

The MSRP is $599 but I picked mine up brand new at a pawn shop for $535. If you can find that, it’s definitely worth a buy.

Bonus Photo Essay: Meet the Glock 19X

Glock 19X and Glock 44

Glock 19X and Glock 44 side by side. Image Credit: 19FortyFive Original Image.

Glock 19X

Glock 19X. Image Credit: Original Image from 19FortyFive.

Glock 19X

Glock 19X. Image Credit: 19FortyFive Original Image from August 2022.

Glock 19X

Glock 19X. Image Credit: 19FortyFive.

Richard Douglas writes on firearms, defense, and security issues. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at the National Interest, 1945, Daily Caller, and other publications.

Written By

Richard Douglas is a long-time shooter, outdoor enthusiast, and technologist. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at The National Interest, Cheaper Than Dirt, Daily Caller, and other publications.