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The First 5 Glocks You Should Own For Self-Defense

The First 5 Glocks You Should Own For Self-Defense

Glock 19


The Glock pistol has become so entrenched in the firearms realm that I recently heard it was common for outsiders to refer to handguns simply as “Glocks.”

Indeed, the word “Glock” has become synonymous with the word “pistol” or “handgun,” much in the same way that “Colt” or “Smith & Wesson” may have in the past, or even how the term “Buck knife” became a catch-all for “pocket knife.”

Yet with seven different calibers, nine different frame sizes and 12 distinct slide lengths, one Glock does not cover all bases.

There are Glocks made for duty use, competitive shooting, concealed carry and even hunting purposes. Some can fill multiple roles and some are very user specific.

Here, we took a look at all of Glock’s offerings in order to determine a well-rounded battery of five of these handguns for the dedicated Glock owner.

1. Glock 19/23

The G19 or G23 is a compact offering with a shorter barrel, slide and frame than the standard models 17 and 22. The main difference between the G19 and the G22 is the caliber, with the G19 being chambered in 9mm like the larger G17, and the G23 chambered in 40 S&W like the G22.

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For a pistol that is a “Jack-of-all-trades” it does not get much better than the G19/G23. It is large enough to serve as a uniformed duty pistol, small enough to carry concealed and the G19 holds 15 rounds in its factory magazines. These pistols also take the magazines of their larger counterparts.

2. Glock 42

The smallest pistol that Glock makes is the G42 chambered in 380 ACP. It runs a little on the large side when compared to other pistols in this caliber, such as the Sig P238, Ruger LCP or Kahr 380, but that slightly longer grip and heavier slide makes for a compact pistol that is accurate, controllable and actually pleasant to shoot.

3. Glock 30S

The First 5 Glocks You Should Own For Self-Defense

Glock 30S

For years we hailed the G30 as the perfect Glock pistol. It was chambered in 45 ACP, held 10 rounds and was accurate and comfortable to shoot.

Die-hard Glock fans took it a step further, customizing their G30s with slides and recoil assemblies from Glock’s slim-line 45 pistol, the G36. The end result was a thinner slide that could fit most of the holsters intended for the similarly sized G19s and G23s.

Glock listened to its customer base and made it a factory offering in the G30S. This is the compact 45 ACP fighting pistol that makes the most sense.

4. Glock 41

Some readers might think we are a few tacos shy of a combination plate for mentioning this offering, as it is chambered in the powerful 10mm auto cartridge.

For years, gun magazine writers have been calling for the death of the 10mm round and proclaiming its recoil is too powerful for use in most handguns for comfort or fast follow-up shots.

That may be the case with the smaller Glocks, such as the compact Model 29 with its light weight and short barrel. However, the G40 sports a 6-inch barrel, a Gen 4 grip frame and a heavy slide that has a mass capable of absorbing nearly all the recoil of this potent chambering.

The longer barrel increases the velocity of most 10mm loads to push ballistics closer to that of a 357 Magnum or lower end 41 Magnum.

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When we mentioned hunting with a Glock, we had this pistol in mind and it is rapidly becoming a favorite of feral hog hunters throughout the United States, especially when equipped with an electronic sight.

5. Glock 43

We tested the G43 before its official release in early 2015, and at first had contempt for the pistol, finding it too small for our hands, too large for pocket carry and we were convinced we were going to hate it.

Then we actually shot it and completely changed our mind.

The G43 was one of the most accurate out-of-the-box pistols we had ever fired, especially for a Glock. It may have taken a few years of tinkering to get it just right, and critics claimed Glock was a day late and a dollar short when the G43 hit the market, but those critics are eating those words as the pistol outperforms platforms put out by Smith & Wesson, Ruger and other competitors.

These five pistols from Glock offer a multitude of options from basic home or self-defense to concealed carry and even the hunting of dangerous game with the G40. They are definitely our choices for a range of options.

Which Glocks would you take off the list? What would you add? Share your gun advice in the section below:

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  1. I think you accidentally miskeyed when you mentioned the Glock 41. The Glock 41 is a .45 caliber. It is the G 40 that is a 10mm.

    By the way, the Glock 41 .45 is also worth recommending. It offers a full-size low-recoil .45 platform holding 13 rounds. But if one puts in a 22 lb. steel recoil spring it can readily and safely handle .45 super rounds (which are made with stronger casings).

    The .45 super comes not only in various loads for personal defense, but even a 255 grain hard-cast round (from Buffalo Bore similar manufacturers) that approaches the velocity of 10mm with the additional factor of greater mass.

  2. I should have added that if someone wants to use hard-cast bullets in a Glock you need to purchase an after-market barrel (usually around $160 from KKM).

    The Buffalo Bore 255 grain .45 Super gives excellent penetration for hunting larger game . . . if you are a good shot with a pistol.

  3. Better yet, buy a threaded barrel in .460 Rowland, a stainless guide rod, a 24# recoil spring, and a screw on compensator from Lone Wolf and you can make your G21SF a hog killing machine. It pumps out a 230gr hollow point @1350fps so you get .44 Magnum-like knockdown power.

    • I considered the Rowland setup for a while and it’s very nice.

      It is only about twice the cost of dropping in an after-market barrel from someone like KKM.

      But I also didn’t want the additional barrel length of the .460 compensator on a pistol that I also use to carry CCW.

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  5. There really aren’t any bad glocks

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