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The Gun Safe

Glock 41 Gen4 .45 ACP: This Gun Is a Big Disappointment

Reliability was the biggest letdown of all on the Glock 41. There were two premature slide locks and three failures to go into battery when sending the slide forward to chamber a round.

Glock 43
Glock 43. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Meet the Glock 41 – As our regular readers know, I am very fond both of Glock pistols and of the .45 ACP cartridge.

From the full-size Glock 21SF, to the compact Glock 30S and the subcompact “baby Glock” G36, my experience with this brand & caliber combo has been extremely positive.

So it was with high expectations that I recently tried out the Glock 41 Gen4 in the same caliber.

Did the gun live up to those expectations? 

Glock 41 Gen4 Early History and Specifications

The G41 Gen4 made its debut in 2014 as essentially the long-slide version of the G21. It is in this way analogous to the G34’s long-slide relationship to the original G17. As noted back then by B. Gil Horman for American Rifleman, “Designers reduced the weight by using a narrower, thinner-walled slide with external dimensions much like those of the G34, albeit a fraction of an inch longer. The result is an upper assembly with enough room for a 5.31-inch extended, octagonal-rifled barrel, no cut out in the top of the slide and an overall pistol weight that’s 2.84-ounces lighter than the standard G21.”

As the manufacturer’s official info page states: “The GLOCK 41 Gen4 is a 45 Auto caliber pistol designed to maximize sight radius while achieving perfect weight distribution and balance. The longer barrel and slide help to reduce muzzle flip and felt recoil whereas the extended sight radius provides better accuracy. The Modular Back Strap system makes it possible to instantly customize its grip to accommodate any hand size. The reversible magazine catch makes it ideal for left and right-handed shooters.”

Overall length is 8.78 inches, height including mag is 5.47 inches, empty weight is 26.81 ounces, and fully-loaded weight is 36.51 oz. Standard magazine capacity is 13+1 rounds.

Personal Shooting Impressions/Range Report

Off I went to Cindy’s Hot Shots indoor shooting facility in Glen Burnie, Maryland, to take advantage of Cindy’s rental Glock 41. For the occasion, I procured a 50-round box of PMC Bronze 230-grain full metal jacket “hardball” and a B27-IMZ Life Size Silhouette Paper Target courtesy of Thompson Target.

Since this was my first time using the B27-IMZ for one of my 19FortyFive evals, a quick aside is in order. As noted by the maker: “Fusing immobilization zone mapping with the widely recognized B27, we have produced the next generation in law enforcement and military training targets. What sets Thompson’s B27-IMZ full-torso target above the rest is the first of its kind breakthrough design. The assailant’s key immobilization zones are superimposed against the skeletal structure for effective comprehension in extreme response and immobilization training.”

Back to the gun itself.

Being a pre-Gen5 specimen, the slide stop lever was the old stubby, darn near vestigial lever that sits practically flush with the frame. But it was still easy to reach and manipulate with my thumb, as was the magazine release button. Heck, at one point during the test firing, I inadvertently hit the magazine release button prematurely in mid-firing string, which I don’t remember doing with any other Glock I’ve fired over the past 33 years.

Trigger pull quality was not great, but okay, which is typical of a Glock without the aftermarket 3.5-lb. trigger connector. It was slightly abrasive to the pad of my index finger, but nowhere near as bad as, say, the Glock 27 .40 S&W

Practical accuracy was well below the performance level that has endeared the Glock brand to me over the years. At 7 yards, 23 out of 25 rounds took the 10-zone of the mid-brain, while two landed low-left in the 5-spot of the outer brain, with one of those just barely nicking the scoring line. Not bad a’tall. But it was the 25-yards torso shots that were the biggest letdown: A mere ten hits on the 10-zone of the heart, eight in the 5-zone of the lungs, and seven in the non-scoring zone of the silhouette. Three of those seven went low right, one low left, and two high left into the shoulder. Granted, against a real-life bad guy, those rounds would still strike heavy bone or internal organs, but for target scoring purposes, meh. 

Even the G27 – the one Glock that I dislike – shot way better for me.

Reliability was the biggest letdown of all. There were two premature slide locks and three failures to go into battery when sending the slide forward to chamber a round (two from thumbing the slide stop lever, one from a manual slide rack). Granted, as the Cindy’s range staffer admitted to me after I returned the pistol, “This one’s at the top of my cleaning list.” Maybe so, but one of Glock’s biggest selling points has always been its incredible reliability in the face of all sorts of neglect and abuse. For example, as I’ve written about several times before, the Glock 17 attained legendary status after the late Chuck Taylor fired 10,000 jam-free rounds through it without a cleaning

Long story short: As far as .45 caliber Glocks go, I’ll stick with my beloved, sweet-shooting G21SF, thank you very much. 

Want Your Own?

Mind you, while my own experience with the G41 was unsatisfactory, several of my shooting buddies report excellent experiences with the pistol, including one professional firearms instructor who reports getting torso hits with it out to 200 yards. My experience with the gun might be the exception and not the rule, so readers shouldn’t necessarily be deterred from buying one.

True Gun Value states that “A GLOCK 41 GEN4 pistol is currently worth an average price of $625.58 new and $478.33 used . The 12 month average price is $625.58 new and $478.33 used.” Impact Guns is currently selling one for $596.59, while Sportsman’s Warehouse charges an extra $3.40 for theirs. (Sheesh, you could almost buy an entire gallon of gas with that whopping differential.) 

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. 

Note: The image is of a Glock 43. 

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Written By

Christian D. Orr is a former Air Force officer, Federal law enforcement officer, and private military contractor (with assignments worked in Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Kosovo, Japan, Germany, and the Pentagon).