Glock pistols are popular (and often confusing!) but we’re here to break down the basics for you.
Glocks are all rather Spartan weapons in which one model could be easily mistaken for another, but there are subtle and significant differences between generations.
Having gone through the basics in Part 1, now we can move on to the specifics: sizes, categories, and which models fit into them.
Glock handguns are identified by their Generation and model number and further categorized by size which includes how they fit into the following categories: Standard, Compact, Subcompact, Slimline, Competition, Long slide, and Crossovers.
Standards Glocks are full-sized pistols that are designed for duty and home defense use. Barrel lengths are 4.49 inches and 4.61 inches depending on caliber. Standard-sized Glocks are some of the most commonly sold pistols and strike the right balance between size, weight, and controllability.
Compact is a relative term. These Glocks are still somewhat large with barrel lengths of 4.02 inches and grips that fill your hand. The slightly shorter grip and barrel length allow them to be easier to conceal and more comfortable to carry while maintaining control over the gun. That being said, this is the most popular category of the Glock sizes.
Subcompact Glocks are designed to be concealed carry weapons and backup guns. These guns sport ultra-short frames, and barrel lengths vary between 3.43 inches and 3.78 inches depending on caliber. These guns are straightforward to carry and conceal in almost any way you want.
These little beauties are designed for concealment. Glock’s slimline pistol designs are ultra-concealable, accurate, and comfortable for all shooters regardless of hand size. Its frame features an integral beavertail, a textured grip for easy control, and the magazine catch is reversible.
Competition & Long Slide
By bigger than full-size, we are talking about guns mostly made for competition shooting. They have standard sized frames but longer slides and barrels. The longer slide and barrel gives a longer sight radius and a higher velocity, as well as less recoil and muzzle flip.
Crossover Glocks are the combination of a full-sized grip with a compact slide. The design was driven initially for the Army’s MHS contest but has become popular in the civilian realm as well. Glock also considers the G43X a crossover, but it’s also a single stack, so Glock sizes remain controversial.
Don’t worry, we know you probably still have questions so we’ll break down which models fit into each of these categories to make it easy for you!
Glock Models by Category
So which models are in which category? Now that’s where people really start to get confused… and for good reason!
We’ve created a handy-dandy chart to make it easy to see which models fit where!
Outside the Box
Just when you think you’ve got it down pat, there are also some Glock models that aren’t (and can’t be) included in the chart above. Not available to the public, made for law enforcement, or full-auto, they are:
- Glock 18: Able to operate as a full-automatic machine or semi-auto pistol, the Glock 18 and the compensated G18C are highly desired, and not readily available to the general public. Chambered in 9mm, the G18 is capable of shooting 1200 rounds a minute while the G18C features cutouts in the slide and a ported barrel for gas to escape as well as reducing muzzle climb.
- Glock 25: Introduced in Germany in 1995, the G25 is a .380 ACP semi-automatic handgun created for South American civilians for self-defense, as they cannot legally carry “military caliber” weapons.
- Glock 46: Glock developed the G46 solely to fulfill the German police pistol requirement. The 9mm Gen 5 is G19-sized and features a larger beavertail, a rotating barrel, and can be taken down without having to pull the trigger.
- Glock 47: Created specifically for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the G47 is a Gen 5 crossover design that incorporates a full-sized G17 MOS-style slide with a G45 frame.
In Your Hands and Holsters
Glock has evolved their weapons, allowed them to fluctuate with market trends and consumer feedback. While Glock – like most firearms companies – is a slow-moving beast, once they make a change, it is guaranteed to both impress and stand the test of time.
Is your EDC a Glock pistol and if so, how do you carry it? Is there a particular Glock model you prefer for concealed carry or shooting sports? What’s your all-time favorite model?
Sound off in the comments, we want to hear from you!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record-setting 11 months at sea. Travis has trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines, and the Afghan National Army.
He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and pursues a variety of firearms based hobbies.
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