Glock pistols have a few different generations. They’re all the same, but some differences might make one age better than another for a shooter. Glock Gen 5 is their latest attempt at perfection, and they’ve added a few things like an ambidextrous slide stop and the new front serrations. They’ve also removed some things like finger grooves and the modular back strap panels.
The first generation revolutionized duty and service handguns when types of Glocks were introduced about thirty years ago. It was the first to use a polymer frame, striker firing mechanism, and only automatic safeties, among other innovative features. A redesigned grip with finger grooves and a thumb rest on the front strap to promote the purchase and prevent trigger rotation were two novelties added to the second generation of Glock handguns. Glock also redesigned the magazine to make it easier to reload, adding angles and flares to the magazine well. Glock also introduced the option for interchangeable backstraps to customize fit and comfort. Glock also made the slide stop lever ambidextrous to accommodate left-handed shooters.
The Glock 19 was first released in the second generation of Glocks, which debuted in 1988. The Glock 19 was created in response to the need for a more compact version of the well-liked Glock 17. It made the 19 simpler to carry hidden and aided law enforcement during covert operations.
Glock Gen 3 was the most recent update before the current Gen 5. This generation features a grid-like grip texture that improves the shooter’s grip on the gun. It also removed the controversial finger grooves and made the slide-stop lever ambidextrous. This generation also introduced a new telescopic recoil spring larger than previous models. It allows for the use of interchangeable back straps with two different thicknesses to accommodate various hand sizes. It also lost the ability to use magazines from other generations. Another interesting innovation was a molded-in accessory rail located under the dust cover. This feature is only sometimes used on duty and service guns but is useful for personal carry. Some Glock owners still swear by this model even today.
Glock Generation 4 brought a couple of significant changes. First, interchangeable backstraps allowed for a more customized fit. Second, ambidextrous slide locks and rounded slide noses. It was also the start of the MOS line, which features a railed frame for optics. Carrying on duty in California is a great option, with limited red dot sight compatibility. It is also where the infamous finger grooves made their debut. They’re a hit or miss with some, but they certainly add to the grip’s comfort and help stave off hand fatigue. Gen 3 also brought single-stack subcompact models for concealed carry, including the Glock 42 and 43.380 ACP. Longslide models also entered the lineup, with the Glock 34 and 17L in 9mm.
The Austrian manufacturer began rolling out Glock Gen 4 models in 2010. These introduced several changes that were both subtle and significant.
The most visible change was a move away from polygonal rifling in favor of traditional rifling with a much thicker barrel wall. Glock also replaced the finger grooves in their grips with a simpler, more functional RTF2 checkering texture. Other changes were made to the recoil spring and allowed the addition of a removable back strap insert for those with smaller hands. It is important to know which Generation your Glock has as some features are only backward compatible if you have a Gen 3 or earlier model. Also, some states, like California, have strict handgun regulations that require certain Generations to be certified for sale in the state.
Glock’s fifth-generation pistols were introduced in 2017 and are currently available for purchase. This new generation has a few noticeable changes over the previous generations. Glock redesigned the slide to allow for front serrations, introduced the Dual Recoil Spring Assembly and made magazine alterations.
The magazine well was beveled and flared for easier stripping of an empty mag and loading a fresh one. Glock also redesigned the pin system to make full takedown easier and created a simpler marker mark on the frame to distinguish Gen 5 models. Many of these changes were influenced by law enforcement and consumer feedback. So far, no Gen 6 has been released, but we’re sure it’s coming soon. We can’t wait to see what Glock has in store!