Long slide and ‘Pro’ model self-loaders with elongated slides and barrels are popular. Used by tactical teams as well as serious shooters, the long-slide GLOCK pistols in 9mm and .40 are great competition handguns. If you have never handled one, well, you have missed something; they shoot like a dream. But GLOCK has not offered a long slide .45 until this year.
Debuting at the 2014 Shot Show, the GLOCK Model 41 has generated a lot of interest. GLOCK shooters have pushed for a long-slide GLOCK to run against the long-slide 1911 in competition. The long-slide 1911 is a dream and handles better than it seems it should. The extra inch of barrel and slide add to the balance and natural point. The long-slide 1911 is often quite accurate: The rub is they are heavy. A long-slide GLOCK isn’t nearly as heavy.
The new GLOCK isn’t as thick as the standard Model 21 .45. The slide is the same width as the Model 34 .40 caliber slide. However, the pistol is lighter than the standard Gen 4 GLOCK .45; a neat trick. There are a number of advantages including a longer sight radius that makes practical accuracy better. When you consider that the GLOCK 21 is already a soft recoiling .45, reducing muzzle flip by use of a long slide is another big plus.
To understand the GLOCK 41, lets look at the Generation 4. After all, despite the new slim slide, the pistol is a variant of the Gen 4 GLOCK Model 21. The Model 21 features four extra backstrap inserts, small, medium and large… and then one more! For those of you that did not like the RTF (rough texture finish) pistols, the new GLOCK has less abrasive dots. My hands are average to average small, and my complaint with the GLOCK 21 was the girth of the frame.
A double-column 13-round magazine requires space, and that space demanded a larger grip frame than I could comfortably handle. It is one thing to fire a pistol on the range, and another to control it in fast-paced combat drills. This is particularly true if your hands are cold or sweaty. The new grip design is more comfortable and fits my hand well with the small insert. With the medium insert, I can still use the pistol okay, but the smaller insert suits my hand size.
Once learned, the GLOCK trigger is manageable and, like many firearms, performs best for those who practice. It has been said that if you use a GLOCK, stick with the system and do not use another type of handgun—this is true of any firearm. The sights are standard GLOCK plastic, bold, easy to acquire quickly and give a measure of precision when properly lined up.
The Gen 4 pistol features a new recoil guide and spring design, which is similar to the various types of recoil reducers available for GLOCK pistols. This dual recoil spring design helps tame the recoil of compact pistols and should work well with the GLOCK Model 41. It did not give any problems and doesn’t add complications with the pistol. As I mentioned, the GLOCK 21 was already a soft kicking .45 ACP, and the Model 41 is produces even less felt recoil.
I am certain the Austrians are aghast that we fire lead bullets in their wonderful polygonal barrels—At least, we did before we knew better, including handloads! The polygonal barrel of the GLOCK features a form of rifling that is quite different from the lands and grooves we are used to. Polygonal rifling actually produces a better seal for propellant gas and may exhibit great accuracy. However, polygonal rifling is best suited to jacketed bullets. When using lead bullets, there is simply nowhere for the lead build up to go, which means the lead can build up in the barrel rather than in grooves.
Over time, this buildup may restrict the bore and create a dangerous condition. I have enjoyed excellent results in loading 9mm, 10mm and .45 ACP cartridges for the GLOCK, although you must take care. I stuck with jacketed bullets. Hornady bulk bullets—including the FMJs, various encapsulated bullets and the XTP—proved good performers.
DO NOT USE LEAD BULLETS IN THE GLOCK—unless you purchase a conventionally rifled aftermarket barrel.
I like big guns and carry the largest gun I can comfortably conceal. (Sure, I have to resort to the SIG P229 and CZ RAMI sometimes, and I prefer a .45 or .357) These include the SIG P220, Colt Commander and a four-inch barrel Smith and Wesson .357 Magnum. These are go-anywhere, handle-any-problem handguns. The GLOCK is longer, larger and lighter than any of these. On a combat course, the GLOCK 41 is a great shooter. Frankly, it makes shooting look easy even though it is not.
When you who pay attention to detail and practice, you will be rewarded with good results with the GLOCK 41. You can carry this handgun all week and then run the IDPA course on the weekend and make a good showing. It is also a great piece for taking care of pests and predators around the back 40. With a combat light mounted, you also have an efficient home defense piece.
As for the firing test, the pistol kicks little for the weight and is at least as comfortable to fire as any other full-size polymer frame .45. I used a quantity of Remington UMC 230-grain FMJ in this Shooters Log test. The pistol is controllable and in firing off-hand, it demonstrated good accuracy. The front sight simply hangs on the target as you press the trigger and get a good hit. Recoil and muzzle flip were modest. Moving to the hot Remington Golden Saber 185-grain +P, the greater push was there although nothing difficult to control. This is an enjoyable shooter.
There is a lot more to come on the GLOCK M41 and I am just getting the hang of it. Believe me, it is worth the wait and the GLOCK long slide .45 is going to make a splash.
During the test and evaluation, I used a Tagua belt holster slide-molded for the GLOCK 21—a perfect fit, good security and excellent finish. The Tagua holster is well finished, features double stitching in the right places and is affordable. It may be a while before the makers are up and running on holsters; meanwhile, the belt slide will suffice. I have to admit, among the pistols I have tested in the previous year, the GLOCK 41 is a standout and perhaps the one I will use the most.
How do you like the GLOCK M41? Share your thoughts about the GLOCK M41 in the comment section.
Bob Campbell is a former peace officer and published author with over 40 years combined shooting and police and security experience. Bob holds a degree in Criminal Justice. Bob is the author of the books, The Handgun in Personal Defense, Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry, The 1911 Automatic Pistol, The Gun Digest Book of Personal Protection and Home Defense, The Shooters Guide to the 1911, The Hunter and the Hunted, and The Complete Illustrated Manual of Handgun Skills. His latest book is Dealing with the Great Ammo Shortage. He is also a regular contributor to Gun Tests, American Gunsmith, Small Arms Review, Gun Digest, Concealed Carry Magazine, Knife World, Women and Guns, Handloader and other publications. Bob is well-known for his firearm testing.