Whether you are looking to upgrade an existing Glock model or looking to go for something completely new, the Glock 22 should be at the top of your short list.
There is little to be gained by denying that the Glock 17 set the standard by which pretty much every Glock has been judged. Thus the G22 is a tad longer featuring a 7.95 overall length compared to the 17’s 7.32 overall length. Likewise, you will have to heft about 3.5 more ounces. The grip is also wider to accommodate the larger .40 S&W cartridge, but even with smallish hands that does not seem to present a problem for the majority of shooters. However, it is the because of this beefier design that you should favor the G22 over is 9mm brethren. The beefier design allows the shooter to swap a specially designed 9mm barrel and Glock 17 magazine to shoot 9mm. This is a great option when you want a little less recoil or cheaper practice ammunition.
However, that is not all. The Glock 22 is much, much more than a one-trick pony. You can swap to a .357 SIG barrel and load the G22 .40 S&W magazines with a heavier load for increased stopping power! That means for about and extra $250 or so, you can shoot three different calibers for increased stopping power or cheaper practice rounds as your mood suits. If the .357 SIG feels a little too squirrely or you get a deal on some .40 S&W… you have options. And let’s not forget a survival or SHTF scenario where you could be forced to scrounge for ammo (although given the pressure on the ammunition market over the past couple of years, many feel as though they are already there). The difference is that you have to start with the beefier design; i.e. you cannot swap one of the 9mm variant (G17, G19 etc.) to shoot .40 S&W or .357 SIG.
Gen 4 – Evolution or Revolution?
The Gen 4 is best described as an evolution over the Gen 3 models, so you can decide for yourself whether or not saving a few extra dollars on a deal is worthwhile. The main differences between the two include: interchangeable backstraps (three sizes); reversible, enlarged magazine release; dual recoil spring assembly and rough textured frame (RTF).
Gen 4 Glock pistols such as the G22 come standard with multiple backstraps, which allow the shooter to adjust the grip size of the frame between a small, medium and large. The small is slightly smaller than the Gen 3 pistols. The medium and large increase the grip size by 2mm and 4mm respectively. The medium should be the same size as the Gen 3 guns, so the option to go smaller or larger is significant from a dealer point of view, but aids in resale or comfort at the range if multiple family members will be shooting.
Enlarged, Reversible Magazine Release
This is an awesome upgrade for Glock that Glock shooters had be clamoring about for some time. It also eliminates one more common after-market upgrade. The magazine release can be set up on the left- or right side of the gun and the enlarged size makes it easier to engage when under pressure or while wearing gloves. Also worthy of mentioning, during the 1,000 rounds and several dry fire sessions, I have never once experienced any unintended magazine drops due to the increased size.
Dual Recoil Spring Assembly
The dual recoil spring assembly looks similar to a Glock 26 or 27 assembly (but longer). So far, the reports have been positive and many people have retrofitted the assembly to earlier generation pistols. Whether or not you will be able to feel the difference when shooting is debatable, but reliability will be enhanced regardless. If lighter recoil is something you are looking for, you can opt for a machined slide such as the one I recently received from J&L Gunsmithing. The machining also allows the shooter better hand purchase (grip) when racking the slide.
Rough Textured Frame (RTF)
The RTF caused quite a stir among some shooters when it was first introduced; they felt it was too rough. The RTF texture is fairly aggressive, but provides a positive grip. The enhanced texture is certainly welcomed if you ever have to shoot in the rain or in when the mercury rises and you start to sweat. For those who think it is too rough, my first recommendation would calluses earn from a bit of manual labor. Alternately, you could knock down the edges with a light sanding or opt for a custom stippling from a reputable gunsmith. In fact, for a few dollars, you can buy a soldering gun and stipple it yourself, but be sure to practice on another polymer or plastic product first.
For the money, it is hard to beat a Glock. It has a hard-earned reputation for reliability and accuracy. That said; I could find no advantage to buying a 9mm variant. It simply limits your options. Instead, look to a .40 S&W model such as the G22. That way, you have the option to swap barrels and shoot the .357 SIG or with a new barrel and magazine you will be set up for 9mm.
While customizing a gun is not for everyone, Glocks can certainly benefit for a few upgrades. The author’s latest gun to be built by J&L Gunsmithing includes a short-reset trigger, extended rear sight to increase the sight length and increase accuracy potential. The steel front J-hook sight allows the slide to manipulated one-handed by hooking it on a pocket or vest should the shooter become injured. The machined slide lightens the gun overall, reduces felt recoil and muzzle flip for faster follow-up shots. Rounding out the build, the Glock 22 was Cerakoted for a custom look and enhanced protection from the elements.
Does the Glock 22 top your list? Share you favorites in the comment section