Late last year my department issued Glock 22 Generation 4 pistols. Let me first state that I am not new to Glock pistols. I bought my first Glock 17 in 1999. I now own several in 40 and 45ACP. I am also a Glock Armorer and worked for a Glock Stocking Dealer for several years. As a Law Enforcement Officer, I have carried Glock pistols as my duty gun, off duty gun and back up gun for over 10 years.
First, a few thoughts on the Glock in general; they are what they are. They aren’t the prettiest or most accurate pistol in the world, but, in my opinion, you can’t find a better or more capable combat handgun. With magazine interchangeability among common calibers, ease of maintenance, and general durability, they are tops. For Law Enforcement, I don’t understand why a Law Enforcement Officer would even consider another pistol.
Glock Generation 4 Changes
The first thing you notice when laying eyes on a Glock Generation 4 pistol is the frame. It now wears the more aggressive RTF 2 style texture. This is an advantage in my opinion, as someone who has Glock Generation 3 pistols whose grips are wrapped in skateboard tape. The grip is not aggressive enough to really tear into the skin, but you instantly notice a more positive grip on the gun.
Another feature of the new frame is the interchangeable back strap system. Each Generation 4 gun comes with 2 back strap panels, a medium and large. The frame without a panel is slightly smaller than a Generation 3 frame. I noticed this immediately upon gripping the gun. The straps are easily changed on the fly with an included plastic punch type tool.
The final major change one the frame is the reversible magazine catch. It features a larger button that I found easier to index without breaking my grip. As for the reversibility, I’m right handed, so I wasn’t that impressed. Neither were the two left handed officers in our group, who initially had me switch their catches to left hand, but after the first relay featuring reloads, promptly returned to the right hand configuration they had been shooting for several years with Generation 3 frames.
The frame retained the accessory rail originally pioneered by Glock, as well as the hollow back strap well, lanyard loop, and finger groves, much to the disappointment of Generation 1 and 2 frame fans. The frame did lose the cut out on the bottom of the front strap magazine well, also.
Some other changes to the Generation 4 Glock include a dual spring captured recoil rod assembly. This improvement features a metal recoil rod with two springs, one full length internal to the rod and one approximately two thirds the length of the rod on the exterior of the full length spring. This is a similar design to the recoil rod assembly featured in the sub compact or “baby” Glock pistols. Initially you do notice it takes more force to charge the pistol, and it takes a little getting use to when performing a press check, but the design is suppose to mitigate some recoil. We will address that later on in the review.
My duty issued Glock 22 Generation 4 wears Trijicon night sights. The only modification I have made to it was the installation of a Glock factory extended slide stop. I find the extended slide stop provides for more positive engagement, especially in a remedial action situation or when your hands are wet.
When we were first issued our Generation 4 Glock 22s, we were issued a case of Winchester white box 180 grain FMJ ammunition with it. We spent 6 hours on the range that day, firing a minimum of 450 round each. IT was a long, but fruitful day of training.
We started with a few close range drills intended for us to adjust to the feel of the new guns. Most of us had already been carrying Glocks in some form or fashion. I had been carrying a Glock 21 Generation 3 with Surefire X200A and DG11 pressure pad. This had been my duty rig for the last 4 or 5 years. My new rig crossed over to the Generation 4 Glock 22 with the X200 and DG pressure pad.
After the “fam fire” we shot a Louisiana POST Qualification course. As usual I qualified with 115+ out of 120 score. We then moved to some tactical based drills, shoot/no-shoot drills and finally some stress position drills featuring multiple targets.
At the end of a long day we shot one last Louisiana POST Qualification Course. I missed a perfect score by 1 point and felt at that point I was as comfortable and adjusted to the new gun as I could be in one day. Confident in my new rig and ready to hit the street, I packed my trash and headed to the house to do some cleaning.
Overall I was very satisfied with the gun. I had 450+ rounds down range with no cleaning and only the initial lubrication I did before loading the first round with no malfunctions of any kind. It did initially take me a few rounds to adjust to the smaller grip size of the Glock 22 verse the Glock 21. I will say the Large back strap DID NOT make the 22 grip feel closer to the 21 grip, in my opinion.
I found the gun to be adequately accurate out to 25 yards. It is definitely capable of achieving Minute of Bad Guy at 25 yards. I found it easy to deliver multiple head shots at 15 yards in rapid sequence, call it “hammered pairs” in USMC lingo.
Importantly, I did find the recoil to be, not necessarily less, but different, than a Generation 3 Glock 22. I found the muzzle flip was reduced and the gun recoiled similarly to my Glock 21, coming more straight back with less muzzle rise than I remembered. This opinion varied between the 8 shooters in my group. Some said they felt less recoil, others said it felt the same.
The important factor was reliability. Across the board we had no malfunctions out of 8 pistols firing 400+ round each. That speaks for itself.
All in all I am pleased with the improvements of the Glock 22 Generation 4, so much so that I also bought a Glock 23 Generation 4 to carry off duty and in plain clothes. I am also looking into upgrading my Glock 35 Generation 3 to a Generation 4. Who knows, maybe I’ll Upgrade all my Glock Generation 3 guns to Generation 4s, we’ll have to see.
As always, Thanks for checking us out. We have more to come, including a review of Ed Santos’ book RULE THE NIGHT, WIN THE FIGHT, a FNHUSA SCAR 16S review, and more training tips and ideas.