Bad Glock Guns? Yes, it can happen: Yes, dear readers, rest assured y’all are reading that title correctly. No, you haven’t accidentally ingested any hallucinogenic drugs, and even if you have, that won’t alter the reality of what this journalist is about to write about.
That’s correct. Yours Truly, arguably the Ultimate Glock Fanboy on the 19FortyFive writing staff, is writing about what he considers the Worst Glock Pistols.
Does that make me so kind of a hypocrite, like some politician talking out both sides of his mouth, seeing how I’ve consistently praised Glocks – particularly the original Glock 17 9mm – as the most reliable and durable pistols ever made?
Nope, not at all.
As self-defense guru Massad F. Ayoob – himself a big fan of Glocks – pointed out in his superb book “The Semiautomatic Pistol in Police Service and Self-Defense,” any manmade object can fail, and last I checked, Glocks didn’t come down from heaven alongside manna.
So then, without further ado, in the spirit of journalistic integrity…
Glock 22 .40 S&W
I’m going with this one first, and no, it’s not just because of my oft-restated lack of enthusiasm for the .40 S&W cartridge (though that certainly helps).
It stands out as the first Glock model to be officially acknowledged by the gun press as actually breaking, a drastic contrast to the G17’s legendary near-indestructability.
This happened back in 1990, reported in GUNS Magazine and sister publication American Handgunner, and though granted, it transpired with a prototype version, it was enough to prompt California Highway Patrol (CHP) to instead go with the Smith & Wesson Model 4006 in the same caliber when that department made its transition from revolvers to autopistols.
Now, mind you, my own (admittedly limited) experience firing the G22 has been positive.
But as I noted in my standalone review of that gun, “(T)he infamous ‘Glock Kaboom’ incidents that have cropped up in the last couple of decades seem to transpire more with the .40 and 10mm models than with the lower-pressure calibers, so buyer beware.”
Glock 44 .22 LR
This one is probably the least surprising selection, as I’ve seen and heard more complaints about reliability issues with G44 than any other product offering from that company, including from some of my own 19FortyFive colleagues.
In my own hands-on experience with the gun, I only experienced one malfunction in 49 rounds fired – using the Aguila Prime Super Extra High-Velocity 40-grain copper-plated bullet – and got good accuracy results with it, but since I’ve been so spoiled with ZERO malfunctions from centrefire caliber Glocks…yeah, I’d be skittish about buying a G44.
Glock 27 .40 S&W
Aahh yes, the “baby Glock” (subcompact) .40 cal.
If y’all have been reading my recent articles, you shouldn’t be the least bit surprised with my inclusion of this one either. Accurate and reliable, yes, but absolutely miserable to shoot, as it beat up my firing hand pinky and made me unintentionally bleed myself at the same time.
Mind you, some of my shooting buddies actually like their G27s. Meh, more power to ‘em; as Burt Reynolds (portrayed by Norm Macdonald) said to Alex Trebek (played by my fellow USC alum Will Ferrell) on SNL Celebrity Jeopardy, “Yeah, well, that’s your opinion.” (May Burt, Norm, and Alex all R.I.P., by the way.)
Glock 29 10mm
Okay, yeah, sure, let’s just go ahead and take those same undesirable characteristics from the G27 .40 cal and carry ‘em over to the even higher-pressure 10mm Auto cartridge!
Um, no, thank you!
And lest any of y’all start assuming I’m some recoil-shy wimp, au contraire! I can handle the recoil of a full-sized 10mm, such as the Colt Delta Elite and S&W M1006 just fine, thanks.
And don’t forget what I just said a few paragraphs earlier about Glock “kabooms” in 10mm and .40 alike.
Three-Way Tie: Glock .45 GAP Trio (Glock 37/Glock 38/Glock 39)
Actually, I’m not labeling this trio “the worst” in terms of range & field performance, but rather in terms of failed marketing execution, i.e., failure to really catch on with the general gun-buying public and law enforcement alike. On-paper, the .45 GAP cartridge seemed like a really greater concept, i.e. .45 ACP-sized bullet & ballistics in a 9mm-sized cartridge case & gun, and I was particularly fond of my G38, using it for a little while as my home defense, CCW, and competition gun alike.
And a buddy of mine who owned a G37 was quite fond of his as well. The ultracondensed explanation of the problem was, to cite Mas Ayoob again, “In essence, GLOCK’s own .45 ACPs were making their .45 GAPs redundant.”
Christian D. Orr is a Senior Defense Editor for 19FortyFive. He has 34 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.
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