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With the FBI testing new guns, Glock has had some images released of its 17M model. Some pretty key changes were made by Glock to suit the FBI requirements. These changes may or may not get released to civilians but I am sure some will carry over to the new Gen5 Glock. While we aren’t sure yet if all features will carry over to the civilian version or what they will call the next generation specifically, but let’s discuss why some of these changes are important and what it means for the future of Glock.
Based on the images some features are pretty obvious and some are not. Glock hasn’t ever came out with a completely redesigned pistol, each new version has simply been an evolution of the previous generation. Glock has also stayed true to their design and appeal by making all models look very similar, for some customers that’s a good thing. The 17M, as we have seen the most images of, is clearly an evolution of the current Gen4 based model. Grip texture and modular back strap carries over as is shown by the image above from Military Arms Channel.
Other obvious changes in the frame is the lack of finger grooves and a ambidextrous slide release. The finger grooves being gone are a welcomed change, however the existing finger grooves really don’t bother me in the least. The ambi slide release may be useful for some southpaws out there, as a right handed shooter it doesn’t affect me. One not so obvious change is the cutout in the front of the grip to strip your mag out, this used to be the norm and was phased out in the middle of the Gen3. So this cutout and the lack of finger grooves are features Glock had on the Gen2, sounds like they are listening to their customers or going backwards. The last feature of the frame is the addition of flaring at the bottom of the grip to allow a larger mag-well. This is new and a nice touch, I don’t think it’s opened up much but every little bit helps when you’re trying to hit that reload in a timely fashion. For you competition guys that compete in Stock Service or Production divisions will find this as a very welcomed feature.
Other changes were made on the slide, externally, the only major change is the front is rounded. This makes it look a little better and makes re-holstering a little easier. Internally there are several changes to make the new features work correctly. The safety plunger has been updated, similar to the Glock 42/43 design. This is the single most important design change that I find important. The reason is, with the previous generations you have a round safety plunger which the tab from the trigger bar engages as the trigger is pulled. In a Gen3 and earlier design the trigger bar was common to twist to the side on the plunger right before the break, inducing creep in the trigger pull. Glock addressed this with the Gen 4 trigger bar by putting a bump in the side of the trigger bar tab, this helps keep the trigger bar linear in its travel which, in my opinion, yields a better trigger. So with the new design the plunger is angled helping keep the trigger bar linear and with less unnecessary motion.
Another major change that is difficult to notice is that the recoil system was lengthened, which should help absorb recoil and make for a smoother shooting gun. However the barrel lug also had to change making the frames’ locking block smaller and thus only having room for a single pin. This isn’t the first time Glock has had a single pin design on the locking block. All Gen2 and early Gen3 9mm guns were a single pin design here, they introduced the 2 pin locking block when the 40 S&W cartridge was being testing. So I’m not sure how this will play out actually, we don’t know if these will make it to the full Gen5 production where the 40 S&W will be used or if further design changes have made it strong enough to only have a single pin in the locking block. The other issue with this change is that all the aftermarket barrel and guide rod companies will have to adapt and make new versions of all their products.
Features I want to see in the Gen5 Glock models
- No finger grooves
- Flared magazine well
- Rounded front slide
- Improved plunger design
Features I don’t really care about
- Ambi Slide Release (affecting complexity and trigger mechanism)
- Longer Recoil System (affecting the barrel, guide rod, and locking block)
Glock usually keeps their new models under wraps until they’re ready for us to know about them. I’m expecting an update hopefully coming at SHOT 2017 just a few months away.
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