Glock 19: Gen 3 vs. Gen 4

This is a test of a new format, narration over photos and video, in an attempt to make the video shorter. Let me know what you think. It pretty much cut the length of the video in half.

Here’s a comparison of the Glock 19 Gen 3 and Gen 4.

When I first acquired the Gen 4, I thought it was close to magical, and saw no reason to use any other handgun. However, as time went on, the magic wore off, little by little. I found that I really do prefer the Gen 3. Everything I thought was better turned out to be what you might call the result of a “placebo effect” – it was new, so it had to be better, right?

However, the grip texture is more ideal for those using gloves and carrying the weapon outside the waistband. The backstraps are a neat idea, and I don’t harbor the same animosity towards them that some other folks have, but I don’t think they’re the most ideal design, either.

The mag release is larger and seemingly easier to hit, but extended releases like the Vickers mag release, designed for the Gen 3, were actually easier to activate, I found.

The new recoil spring assembly introduces a host of issues, from incompatibility with 22 conversion kits to impaired function with weaker 9mm factory ammo. This is a change due to issues with the 40 caliber Glocks, and the new design carried over to the 9mm handguns for production simplicity. However, this may not be the best decision on Glock’s part – they’ve returned the 40 cals to excellent reliability, while reducing the 9mms to less-than-perfect reliability.

In the video, I reference the G17 and G22 springs – for those not familiar with the issue, the Gen 4 G17 and G22 were initially released with the same spring. This caused the Gen 4 G17 to not function as well with some ammo. The spring has reportedly been revised, and now the 17 and the 22 have different versions.

Whether the Gen 4 19 and 23 have the same spring or not is not entirely clear to me, unlike my statement in the video; however, I did encounter issues that would seem to indicate that the weapon is not functioning in an ideal manner. My statement in the video about not thinking I’d have an issue in that regard is therefore apparently not correct.



Filed under Firearms

5 responses to “Glock 19: Gen 3 vs. Gen 4

  1. Redchrome

    As always, an excellent review. I won’t feel bad about buying a used Glock now instead of waiting for a Gen4.

    Thanks much for the deliberate limp-wrist videos. Very informative. It looked like the slide went forward on them… did you use dummies for the second round? I think I would have only put one live round in when just pinching the pistol between thumb & forefinger… if it came out of my grasp it might have bounced around enough on my finger to go off again.

    What do you think would be a better interchangeable backstrap design?

    Glad to know I’m not the only one who likes a 3.5# connector + a NY1 spring. 🙂

    Btw, how many others out there think that finger grooves on the frontstrap were a poor idea?

    • Andrew (Vuurwapen Admin)

      Actually, I only loaded one round for those shots. Having the weapon come out of my grip was definitely a concern. When the slide went forward, I am positive that I wasn’t touching the slide stop/release – I think the slide just didn’t go back far enough (possibly because of the limpwristing).

      I don’t know, the backstraps are functional enough for me – the only thing I really don’t like is the different pins that are required for the backstraps vs. no backstrap. I think the M&P backstraps are probably “better” – but I have other reasons for finding the Glock to be more suitable for me.

      By the way, I’ll try to answer the questions you posed about the SCAR that I didn’t get to in the video(s) fairly soon.

  2. Tim

    Andrew, thank you for the time you put into bringing us this review. I was initially hopeful that the Gen4 would result in a glut of Gen3’s on the used market. It would appear this may not happen. Keep up the good work and I’m still waiting for a review of the Lancer L5 AR magazine. 😉

  3. Scott

    I have had Glocks in all calibers and models, and in my opinion, the Gen4 19 is the best yet. It’s smooth and very reliable. Fit and finish is excellent, new grips are great, and it’s accurate enough. Sigs seem tot have the best accuracy out of the box, however I use this as my daily carry and it’s large enough to feel “safe” with, yet small enough to conceal. Extended mag release, rough grip, plus adjustable backstraps are all great advantages. Shoots super smooth…maybe due to the new coil-over recoil spring. Have had zero malfunctions thus far (@ 1000 rounds and counting). Great weapon.

  4. Brian

    Your review of Gen 4 vs Gen 3 is the most informative in the Web! Good job!

    Glock should have hire you as a consultant before they release the Gen 4. So far, what I have seen with Gen 4, the product is still in development stage.

    I believe, Glock should never release a new product until it is proven. My conclusion is that Gen 4 is still in Beta, Glock should not release a new product until it is 100% reliable.

    Glock is hurting their own reputation if the company continue to use customers to beta test their new product.

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