Earlier this week, our editor asked me which Glock pistols I hadn’t reviewed yet. I replied something along the lines of, “Well, let’s see, there’s the Glock 30S .45 ACP, the Glock 27 .40 cal, and the Glock 19X 9mm.” Naturally, she asked me to review them all. As our longtime readers have realized, I’m quite the Glock fanboy, so I was only too happy to oblige.
I am not, however, a big fan of the .40 S&W cartridge, although I do acknowledge its effectiveness. I carried two different pistols in the caliber during my law enforcement days, but I never had a burning desire to personally own a .40. After firing the Glock 27, I have even less enthusiasm for the cartridge.
Glock 27 Early History and Specifications
The Glock 27 .40 S&W debuted in 1995 along with the 9mm Glock 26 — the first two pistols in the subcompact baby Glock series. The latest iteration is the Gen5 G27.
As the manufacturer’s official info page states: “Amazingly accurate and controllable, the GLOCK 27 puts 10 rounds of 40 S&W caliber at your fingertips in a package small enough for a pocket or ankle holster.”
Barrel length is 3.43 inches, overall length is 6.50 inches, height is 4.17 inches, empty weight is 19.40 ounces, and fully-loaded weight is 26.46 oz.
The Bloodletting, i.e. Personal Shooting Impressions/Range Report
On to what should have been the fun part: the live-fire session. To fulfill this portion, I was off yet again to the top-notch Silver Eagle Group indoor shooting facility in Ashburn, Virginia, to take advantage of SEG’s rental Gen3 Glock 27.
The ergonomics on the gun were fairly stubby, but pretty much on a par with the G26 that splits time with my 9x18mm Makarov as my everyday carry/concealed carry piece. With no magazine in place, the pinky of my firing hand was hanging out in space, but with the standard 9-round magazine locked in, I could place my pinky on the front of the mag floorplate.
The “Mak” and the G26 are very fun to shoot; the G27, not very fun at all. Shooting .40 S&W out of a baby Glock, I discovered, is the autopistol equivalent of firing full-house .357 Magnum loads out of a snubnose revolver.
Ammo used was 50 rounds of the CCI Speer Lawman 180-grain total metal jacket. Maybe 155-grain and/or 135-grain loads would have been more pleasant, but hey, gotta play the hand the dealer gives ya, right?
First of all, the safety on the trigger can lead to a slightly spongy or slightly abrasive feeling for the index finger of the firing hand on lower-recoiling Glocks (including full-size .40s like the G22). But with the caliber and size combo of the G27, the recoil impulse drove the trigger face against the pad of my trigger finger with a much more abrasive effect. Though it didn’t scratch off any skin, it probably would have had I fired an additional 50 rounds. Two days later, the pad of my trigger finger still feels raw to the touch.
Second of all, the pistol’s recoil stung my pinky, as it remained in contact with the front floorplate. My G26 doesn’t give me this problem, even though it’s essentially the same size as the G27.
Third and most aggravating of all, the pistol drew my blood. No, before you ask, I didn’t get slide bite. Rather, while using the Ayoob Wedge wraparound grip I have turned to for most of my two-handed pistol shooting since 1990, the recoil force sent the nail of my support hand pinky digging into the skin of the base of my already long-suffering firing pinky. Sure, maybe this is a sign that I need to trim my fingernails more often, but still, I hate it when a firearm makes me bleed. Combat firearms are supposed to draw blood from the target, not the shooter.
In spite of all the misery the G27 caused me, it still gave me the best accuracy and reliability of the three Glocks I tested that day. The G30S and G19X were both more pleasant to shoot, but they had their own issues, which I discuss in other articles. The .40 caliber pinky-buster, by contrast, functioned flawlessly.
The fact that the G27 gave me the best accuracy the three guns surprised me, not just because of the unpleasantness factor, but because, in my own experience as well as most other reports I’ve read, the .40 S&W has less intrinsic accuracy than the 9mm and .45 ACP. And in my experience, it has less practical accuracy as well, although I do have some respected shooting buddies who swear by the .40 as a competition round. As I’ve been saying half-jokingly for a couple of decades now, “40s are for drinkin’, .45s are for gattin’.”
Anyway, 21’ head shots were perfect, and all ten 50’ shots stayed in the 5-zone, with seven taking the 5x tiebreaker ring. At 75 feet, eight rounds took the 5-zone of the head, four strayed into the peripheral 2-zone, and three whiffed altogether. At 150 feet, I notched seven hits in the 5-zone — no 5xs — and three misses.
Want Your Own?
Since I don’t plan to buy one, I reckon that leaves more available for all you masochists out there to choose from. True Gun Value states that “A GLOCK 27 pistol is currently worth an average price of $550.33 new and $364.27 used. The 12 month average price is $559.78 new and $369.76 used.”
Guns.Com has a Gen3 Glock 27 with the standard matte black finish at $499.99, a Flat Dark Earth finish Gen3 at $634.99, and a standard matte black Gen5 at $557.99.
Christian D. Orr has 33 years of shooting experience, starting at the tender age of 14. His marksmanship accomplishments include: the Air Force Small Arms Ribbon w/one device (for M16A2 rifle and M9 pistol); Pistol Expert Ratings from U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP); multiple medals and trophies via the Glock Sport Shooting Foundation (GSSF) and the Nevada Police & Fires Games (NPAF). Chris has been an NRA Certified Basic Pistol Instructor since 2011.