Glock G44 .22LR — Training and Fun

Glock 22 .22 Long Rifle pistol on a paper target with 5 holes in the bullseye and a box of CCI Mini-Mag ammunition

For years we’ve been shooting Glocks made in Austria. The .22 caliber Glock G44 is made here in the USA. It’s not the first Glock made in Glock’s Georgia facility. My Glock 19 was made in the USA. It was kind of a big deal when we first started seeing those, since all the Glocks my associates and I had seen before had been made in Austria.

A little investigation revealed Glocks made in America were all sold overseas while Glocks sold in America had been made in Austria. It has something to do with import/export laws that wouldn’t make sense to most of us. It took the severe gun shortage during the Obama years to get Glocks made in America on American shelves.

Glock G44 .22LR semi-automatic handgun, left profile
The Safe-Action trigger is in the rear position, indicating the gun is not cocked.

Enough of that. Let’s get to the subject at hand — Glock’s semi-automatic handgun chambered in .22 Long Rifle, the G44.

Glock G44 Familiar Look and Feel

The case the Glock G44 arrived in looked like every other Glock case I’ve seen for as long as I can remember. The Glock within looked like a G19 Gen 5 with an extra magazine and four extra backstraps to adjust the grip size. Picking up the gun made the difference obvious.

It has a familiar feel, but it also is very light. The Glock G44 with an empty magazine in it weighs less than 15 ounces. The 9mm G19 weighs almost 24 ounces. My G19 is a Gen 4 with finger grooves, and no cocking serrations on the front part of the slide. Other than that, a feature-by-feature comparison makes this new .22 look very much like its 9mm cousin. That’s good because it allows every Glock owner to appreciate how the similarity can carry over into using the G44 as a training tool. It’s also fine for just plain fun.

I already owned another new .22 that looked, felt, and handled like a 9mm. The Taurus TX22, also shipped from Georgia, but it was made in Brazil. I enjoy that gun immensely and had it at the range with me while shooting the Glock.

They both handle superbly and put a smile on my face. I shared them with other shooters in nearby lanes to get their reaction. Among them were some Glock owners who were surprised to discover they could shoot a gun similar to their carry gun but without recoil and with less expensive ammo. Way to go, Glock!

Glock G44 .22LR semi-automatic handgun, right profile
The G44 is made in Smyrna, Georgia. It has all of the Gen 5 enhancements, stippled grip with no finger grooves, front cocking serrations and rounded edges on the front of the frame and slide.

Making a semi-automatic .22 cycle reliably presents a challenge. There’s just not enough pressure in the little rimfire cartridges to cycle a heavy slide. That’s why most .22 pistols have been blowback models with fixed barrels and some sort of charging handle. They just don’t operate like our heavier caliber guns.

Glock solved the problem by making the slide from lightweight materials. The slide on the Glock G44 is made of a hybrid steel-polymer material that is lighter than steel, while retaining the strength necessary for long-lasting durability. Although the frame is very similar to the G19, and other Glock models, the rails are smaller and lighter. This results in less friction.

Glock 44 on a G19 with the slides removed
This comparison of the G44 with a G19 frame shows the inner workings are much the same.

The resulting engineering makes for a gun that functions reliably when using clean, modern ammunition. Does it work perfectly with everything? No, and I’ll get to that in a minute. However, it will work with enough ammo brands and types for you to enjoy your outings without the aggravation of failures to feed or eject.

Definitely a Glock

Glocks are familiar to so many people, I could probably skip over a lot of the details. However, that would be a disservice to those who are not Glock users. I’m in that camp myself, in a way. Glocks are popular, the way Toyotas are popular — you can always count on them to work as designed and to accomplish the mission for the masses. They handle well, they shoot well, and they do it in such a variety of conditions, even abuses, that you can’t really say anything bad about them, except they’re boring — boringly accurate, boringly reliable, boringly familiar. You get the idea.

The Glock G44 frame is polymer, 7.28 inches long, 5.04 high and 1.26 thick — G19 dimensions exactly. The barrel is 4.02 inches long. The grip is aggressively stippled, including the front strap and back strap. The four additional back straps allow you to increase the circumference of the grip (two increase the beavertail, two do not).

Side-by-side comparison of the G19 And G44 slide
Comparing the slides the G44 and G19 are the same except for barrel and recoil spring size.

The small-frame grip on the gun fits me fine, so I didn’t alter it. There’s a rail in the correct place for accessories. The front of the trigger guard is flat with a slight recurve that provides a perfect place for the support hand forefinger for shooters who use that hold. The back of the trigger guard has a nicely-sized undercut to allow a high grip with the shooting hand.

Being a first model, the G44 is not a Gen anything, but it has the Gen 5 enhancements of the other models. These features include cocking serrations on the front of the frame, no finger grooves on the grip, and the front edges of the frame and slide are rounded to aid in holstering. The sights have the familiar Glock white dot in front with a squared off U for the rear sight that is adjustable for windage and elevation. You’ll need a small screwdriver for that.

The sights on my test gun are right on the money. The slide lock is a small metal tab that’s easy to operate. The mag release is rectangular shaped with lines that help with friction. It may be reversed for left-handed shooters. Magazines dropped freely when the button was fully depressed.

The trigger is Glock’s bladed, Safe-Action trigger with the same 5.5-pound pull found on virtually all Glocks. The magazine’s external dimensions are similar to those of the G19 magazine. Thank you, Glock, for putting large plastic tabs, one on each side of the magazine, for pulling down the follower so you can load rounds.

Ensure the rounds are dropping in and lying flat as you load each cartridge. It’s a 10-round magazine. I was hoping for more since the Taurus TX22 magazine of similar size holds 15. The spring in the Glock magazine is strong, so perhaps that was needed rather than space for more rounds.

Understanding the Glock G44 Trigger

Glock’s Safe Action trigger was designed to be simple to operate. It has two positions. If it’s in the forward position and there is a round in the chamber, pulling the trigger will fire the gun. If it’s in the rear position it does nothing.

Glock G44 .LR with additional backstraps and .22LR magazine
The G44 is comes with two 10-round magazines and four interchangeable back straps.

When the gun is cocked, pulling the trigger releases three safeties. The first is the blade in the trigger which is designed to keep the pistol from firing if dropped or the trigger is jarred sideways. As the trigger moves rearward, the trigger bar releases the firing pin safety, allowing the firing pin to move forward. The third safety is a drop safety that is moved out of position to allow the firing pin to move forward when the trigger is fully to rear. If a shooter begins a trigger pull then decides not to shoot and releases the trigger, the safeties move back into place rendering the gun safe.

For many, this may be their first Glock. The Glock G44 is ideal for learning the ins and outs of a Glock — regardless the caliber. Understanding the two positions of the trigger (fully forward and fully to the rear) is an important part of understanding how to safely disassemble a Glock for cleaning. This process seems to get people in trouble from time to time.

First, unload the gun by dropping the magazine, retracting the slide, and checking to ensure there is no round in the chamber. Then, let the slide go forward. The trigger is now forward because the act of retracting and releasing the slide will cock the gun.

Field stripped Glock G44 .22LR semi-auto pistol
Takedown is standard Glock, and all parts look familiar.

To remove the slide for cleaning, the trigger must be in the rear position. You just unloaded and triple checked the gun, right? So, point the gun in a safe direction and pull the trigger. Next, reach across the top of the gun with your right hand putting your thumb under the beavertail and your four fingers across the top of the slide. Squeeze the slide and retract it about ¼ inch.

With your left hand under the trigger guard, use your thumb and middle or first finger to pull down the two little tabs on the frame located above the trigger guard. If this is hard to do, one of two things is holding you up. Either there’s a magazine in the gun or you didn’t pull the slide back quite enough. With those tabs held down. Push the slide off the front of the gun. From there you can remove the recoil spring, lift out the barrel, and commence with cleaning.

I purposefully tried a lot of different ammo in the gun, so I could give advice as to what you may want to avoid. Subsonic ammo didn’t cycle slide. Round nose lead bullets sometimes nosedived instead of feeding. There is a rather steep, small, feed ramp built into the magazine designed to lift the rounds to meet the feed ramp on the barrel. Some of the lead, round nose bullets hung on that.

9-year-old girl shooting a Glock G44 handgun
This nine-year old chose the G44 as her favorite over several other .22 handguns.

The best results were with normal or high velocity rounds with a tapered nose, regardless of brand or whether they were lead or copper. This gives you a lot of ammo to choose from. I shot CCI Mini-Mag, Remington Golden Bullet, Federal Premium Target, Federal Premium Match, Winchester Super X, Norma TAC-22, and Browning BPR with no problems throughout an afternoon of shooting.

A friend with a nine-year old daughter who enjoys shooting was at a recent range outing. I took some .22s along. Although there were smaller, and in my mind cooler, guns to shoot she kept coming back to the G44, even to the point of telling her father that was the gun he should buy for her.

I recommend the G44 as a tool for new shooters to learn the ropes before graduating to a 9mm home defense or carry gun. Every skill you learn with the .22 can be transferred to other shooting scenarios. If you’re way past that, get one for fun. It’s everything a Glock has become known to be.

The Glock certainly has its share of fans and haters. There are those who do not like the Safe-Action trigger system, but the overall reliability of a Glock to go Bang! when the trigger is pulled is undeniable. Would you train with the Glock 44? Share your answer in the comment section.

About the Author:

David Freeman

David is an NRA Instructor in pistol, rifle and shotgun, a Chief Range Safety Officer and is certified by the State of Texas to teach the Texas License to Carry Course and the Hunter Education Course. He has also owned and operated a gun store. David's passion is to pass along knowledge and information to help shooters of all ages and experience levels enjoy shooting sports and have the confidence to protect their homes and persons. He flew medevac helicopters in Vietnam and worked for many years as a corporate pilot before becoming actively involved in the firearm industry.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (20)

  1. Great gun , only thing I don’t like is the fact they don’t come with all 4 back straps , only the beavertail straps , I have large hands and like the large backstraps but not the beavertail, so I am forced to cut one of the beavertail straps up to make it work, so far I have been unable to find or purchase the regular straps without buying the complete set . Bean counters, out to destroy the world one company at a time !

  2. I use crappy walmart ammo to train misfeeds and jams on my G44. If you never clear them in training it will take you longer to clear them in the wild. The 1450 count bucket of cheap-o Remington’s do not disappoint, Jam on reload, stove pipe, fail to cycle, fail to eject, ect about 1 per mag; always different and occasionally the dreaded double feed. Weirdly every now and again if you don’t load the mag straight it bends the round and jams on mag swaps, not sure a 9mm pistol could ever do that. CCI ammo, or more or less hard cast ammo with consistent powder, run 1000 rounds between jams and no fouling the barrel. Soft cast do foul the rifling in the barrel so I snake every 200 rounds at the range while the barrel is hot. I finish up with my G17 or G43x but the first mag you have to adjust for weight and recoil. I think this gun with cheap ammo helps you train for the unexpected (I like it that way), proper ammo runs great.

  3. I have had no problems with my Glock G44, it feeds most anything I run through it and shoots reliably and accurately! There may have been a few lemons in the early production, but that is not the case with my G44. I probably have between 7000 and 10,000 rounds through mine without any problems except maybe a dud in some bulk ammo occasionally. I also shoot competition in the Glock Sport Shooting Foundation, and have won a few hundred dollars with mine in the rimfire class of the outdoor matches. Good pistol no matter what the critics say! My G44 WILL run Federal bulk pack 36 grain hollow points flawlessly!

  4. I have had no problems with my Glock G44, it feeds most anything I run through it and shoots reliably and accurately! There may have been a few lemons in the early production, but that is not the case with my G44. I probably have between 7000 and 10,000 rounds through mine without any problems except maybe a dud in some bulk ammo occasionally. I also shoot competition in the Glock Sport Shooting Foundation, and have won a few hundred dollars with mine in the rimfire class of the outdoor matches. Good pistol no matter what the critics say! And no matter what 22Plinkster says on YouTube, my G44 WILL run Federal bulk pack 36 grain hollow points flawlessly!

  5. Several Glocks in my inventory of self defense pistols but I’m not sure I see the logic of the G-44 if it does not function well with most or all ammunition, and when it is not as accurate as the many Rugers and the Taurus- with the latter having a higher round capacity to boot – while I see the positive aspect of having a like .22 to train with, overall accuracy, magazine capacity and digesting all brands and types of ammo trumps that training point

  6. I have a 19 gen 3 , since 09. I can carry it all day and forget it is there. It is deadly accurate. I’ve changed the recoil spring to the 15lb. The only thing is sometimes the rail doesn’t lock back on the last round fired.
    I bought the conversion kit to shoot 22s. It’s like carrying a water pistol. The manual has the suggested Brands of ammunition that will operate in the gun. I have not had any problems so far. Two years now. And swapping out the kit takes 20 seconds on a slow day. And if you become familiar with the Glock safe triggers, you’ll appreciate them.

  7. IMO the Beretta M9-22 is a far better pistol, having shot both the Glock 44 and the Taurus TX. The Beretta is far more accurate and never jams, holds significantly more rounds, and also is a exact Replica of its big brother for training purposes. The TX is also far cheaper, just as reliable, holds16+1 and is light as a feather, IMO Glock got its ass handed to it here.

  8. Retired police Sgt and I have shot a lot. My bride and I each have 9mm Glocks, mine a 19 and hers a 43x. The 44 is a great practice weapon for us. Ammo is cheap. Staying in the same family (Glock) means that in a crisis, you default to training and practice and will do what you need to do. As to jams, so what? In training, these are of great value. Every serious shooter should know jam reduction drills and do them fast. Your life could depend on it. I had one stovepipe in about 80 rounds on our new Glock 44. I knew just what to do. So, yeah, I embrace as few jams. Keeps me on it!

  9. I recently bought the Glock from a gun shop in Baltimore and so far, have yet to have a jam. I have been using ammo with no less than 40 grain. I’ve read in one article that anything less than 40 grain LR has resulted in some jamming. I also have a Glock 23 and enjoy shooting it but having more fun with the G44. A great firearm.

  10. My wife started with a G19 Gen 1 a long time ago. But a few years later her wrist was shattered in a fall. Six pins were placed into her wrist to allow her some movement and controlled. With the pins in her wrist, the recoil from the 9mm made it extremely painful for her every time she pulled the trigger. So much so that she stopped shooting entirely. And she loved going to the gun club.
    When the G44 came out I grabbed the first one I could get my hands on for her to try. She can handle the .22lr round as long as she doesn’t shoot too many. She has rediscovered the fun of shooting. Her confidence has returned, and she is taking the G44 with her everywhere she goes.
    Manufacturers are making much better ammunition now for the .22lr. I would not want to be the guy on the other side of her sights.

  11. This gun is a Jamamatic. There are numerous reviews on the internet by respected gun reviewers that had extreme issues with this weapon. If you want an accurate reliable .22 auto, go buy a Taurus TX 22.

  12. Glock G44? I believe the complete model name for this firearm (or most other name brand pistols), on Cheaper Than Dirt is “Glock G44-NOT IN STOCK”…

  13. Over 12K rounds through mine. Still runs like a champ. One of the most fun guns I own. Great training tool. Get one !

  14. I suppose the training aspect makes sense for the newer shooter, of which there are many. I see no advantage of “just like my Model 19″ for the more experienced pistolero. Maybe its just me, but 2” groups at 21 or 30 ft. aren’t good enough. There is a pistol on the table in the little girl photo that will give the same size groups at 50 yards. The Ruger, especially one that has had the Volquartsun (SP?) trigger kit.

    I suspect I am no different than other experienced shooters. I can pick up any of my pistols and muscle memory or some such kicks in. In fact before I even touch the gun, I know what it going to feel like. IMO, to paraphrase Col. Whelen of long ago. “Only accurate guns are interesting.” Even if just a plinker, actually hitting what you aim at is far more satisfying than lots of near misses. Just my opinion.

  15. Nice article on the G 44. I have one and have shot it a little but not nearly as much as I would like. It shoots great, I do wish that it had higher capacity magazines because with a 22 you have a tendency to just blaze through ammunition. I particularly like it for practicing “Bill Drills”(draw from holster, 6 shots in “A” zone, 7 yards, IDPA target scoring, using a timer to track improvement). I found it to be very reliable just as you did but your information on bullet shape is very useful. I am actually a Glock fan, even though I have other platforms, but the Glock trigger is an acquired skill. This little gun helps practice and learn to use the striker fired trigger system on Glocks and on other striker fired guns.

  16. Having a G-19, I said if Glock ever makes this in a .22LR I am getting one. So when they first came out, our local range had a big event, I was there when the door opened and picked one up. You may have heard the rumors that the first ones had issues. Unfortunately, those were not rumors, and I was very disappointed in mine, as it had FTF, FTE issues, but the worst was in less that 100 rounds it would not only lead the barrel so bad the rifling could not be seen, it did something I have never heard of and that is it would lead up the crown of the barrel. It is the only firearm I have ever had lead, even a little, in the barrel. On the second return to Glock, I was given the option to exchange it for a whole new gun. I took that option, and it was well worth it, as this one runs like a Glock, and just runs, it has no issues (other than the occasional dud round), even after a couple thousand rounds now, it just runs, and zero lead in the barrel or crown issue. For those who have the G-44 and are having jamming issues, be sure and watch the video on the Glock webpage for properly loading these magazines. When loading them per the video they run like a Glock. If you have another brand of .22LR that is having jamming issues, I have found the information in the magazine loading video also applies to other manufactures. I believe in the best of businesses, the best process, the best people, well sometimes “stuff” still just happens, but it is what happens next that matters. Glock realized they had some “stuff” out there that wasn’t quite up to perfection, and replacing it with one that lives up to the Glock standard was the correct resolution. I now really enjoy mine, so if you have one of the troubled original ones, do yourself a favor and work with Glock for a good resolution, because it is worth it to get it right. I even found a Pro-mag 25 round magazine, which also runs flawlessly in the G-44 a hoot to use, well other than loading the last 5 rounds in as the side tabs are not as large as the G-44 ones, and can get painful. Just a thought here: For those of us who are now waiting for the Glock Pistol Calibre Carbine, picturing the block shape of Glock, how awesome would it be if Glock’s Pistol Calibre Carbine looked like an updated version (Picatinny rails, red dot, etc) of a “Tommy Gun”? I want one.

  17. I am considering getting this to help train my wife with shooting. a 22 caliber is much cheaper and it is easier to teach a new shooter. plus it would be fun and easier (on the wallet) to go out shooting for a day.

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