Concealed Carry

Range Report: Glock’s Best Pistol — Glock 22

Glock 22C on picnic table with ammunition

When the Glock pistol was introduced, like many, I was skeptical of the polymer-framed pistol. I had positive experiences with the HK P9S 9mm and did not regard polymer as cheap—far from it. The HK was an extraordinary pistol. Rigorous testing and experience removed skepticism.The Glock was a reliable, affordable, and durable service pistol chambered for the popular 9mm Luger cartridge.

Glock 19, Glock 22 and Glock 34
The M22 fits right in the middle in the scheme of things.

Many officers asked for a self-loading pistol, but chiefs and administrators were reluctant to issue or approve anything other than the .38 caliber revolver. One chief famously told the troops, ‘When they make a double action only self loader, I will approve it.’ SIG and Beretta made inroads into the police market with excellent double action first shot pistols. Training and transition time was demanding if properly done.

Requests for a DAO self-loader were made to American-based manufacturers, but they did not respond. As such, they abrogated the American police market to Europeans. No American competitor of the day was comparable in quality, accuracy, and reliability to the SIG. But the SIG demanded that officers learn to load, decock, fire the first-shot in double action, and then transition to single-action fire. The Beretta added the complication of a slide mounted safety. When Glock introduced the DAO pistol the manual of arms was load, holster, draw, fire!

I evaluated the first Glock 9mm at the insistence of my Chief and found the piece good. It was interesting and useful. Combat accuracy as opposed to precision shooting was good. I would have preferred a manual safety, but the Glock was a superior service pistol to any American self-loader or revolver—provided it was loaded with the +P+ 9mm loading. I continued to carry my 1911 .45.

Glock 22C on picnic table with ammunition
Glocks are reliable with a variety of ammunition.

Meanwhile, largely due to the adoption of the self-loader, many agencies had eliminated 50-yard qualifications. It may surprise many readers but at the time 6 to 12 rounds of qualification in a 60-round course involved firing from a braced position at 50 yards. These officers would not be helpless if under fire at long range.

Target sighted Smith and Wesson revolvers were capable to putting 6 shots into a 4-inch group at this distance. In comparison, a friend took a Smith and Wesson Model 59 9mm to a regional qualification for instructors. He felt loading time would be much less compared to his Model 19 .357 Magnum. Bill nearly failed the course at 25 yards.

We fired the M59 from the bench rest at 25 yards and found it good for 8 inches. Such was the state of police service handguns. Bill later specified the SIG P226 for agency use at a medium-sized department. With the issue Federal Hydra Shock, this pistol would group 5-shots into 1.5-2.2 inches at 25 yards.

Winchester PDX
Winchester’s PDX load is a good personal defense load.

Glock’s .40

When the Glock M22 .40 was introduced, I was interested. The first pistols had accuracy problems, but not all of them, and the problems have been alleviated. My personal M22 was fitted with Novak steel sights and a Bar Sto barrel. The blocky Glock sights were great for close range but limited a shooter at 25 yards. With the Bar Sto barrel and good sights, I now had a 50-yard gun.

The .40 began to post good results in shootings across the country. The 9mm cartridge gave mixed results, most poor, in police service. Every few years someone with less real experience than opinion tells us the 9mm’s problems have been solved. The larger caliber will always work better.

As time passed, I found a significant number of students arriving at class with Glock pistols. It was mandatory that I be able to use the pistol well and demonstrate. As such, I have kept a Glock 19 or Glock 23 on hand for training. I have come to prefer the Glock 22 for all around use for many reasons.

25-Yard Group

Load Group Size
Blazer 180-grain FMJ 2.8 inches
Fiocchi 165-grain JHP 2.65 inches
Fiocchi 170-grain MAJOR 2.25 inches
Hornady 155-grain XTP 2.5 inches
Winchester 180-grain PDX 2.75 inches

Glock has progressed from the first Glock to the Generation 4. Primary improvements are in the sights, recoil rod, and grip frame. The action is the same. Most Glock triggers are set at 5.5 pounds—ideal for personal defense. Aftermarket disconnects and trigger parts are for competition use only. Anyone fielding a pistol with an aftermarket trigger is asking for legal complications. If you can sprint 100 yards at full steam and then control that light trigger, you are a good man. If not keep the factory trigger.

target with bullet holes
At 15 yards the 155-grain loads struck a little low, but they were accurate.

Over the years there have been ill advised even ridiculous attempts to control recoil by porting the barrel or adding compensators. Among a very few that actually work well are the Glock M22c or compensated versions. The modest ports offer a degree of decreased recoil. The hotter the load the better the compensator works, robbing the load of a modest 15-30 fps. The 22C is no longer in production. The 22c came into my hands simply because it was on sale. I would be as well served with an M22 but I like my pistol very much.

An addition that is mandatory, in my opinion, for any Glock is night sights. This pistol is equipped with factory steel night sights. The daylight sight picture is better, and the 24-hour utility of the piece improved. I have also had the grip frame modified to fit my average-size hand better. Among the top-rated gunsmiths in the world are those at Robar, Inc, and they will modify your Glock if you desire.

The pistol is useful for concealed carry, IDPA, IPSC, and home defense, even for defense against wild animals. I have taken deer with the .40 S&W, and at 25 yards it was four hooves in the air with the Federal 180-grain Hydra Shock.

The Glock M22 has proven accurate with a variety of loads. If I were shooting an IPSC match, I would load the Fiocchi 170-grain MAJOR. As the name implies this load gives a MAJOR rating without excess pressure and has proven very accurate. Fiocchi’s 165-grain JHP has proven match grade accurate and is among the better choices for home defense.

Loads that have proven accurate in the Glock M22 include the Winchester PDX 180-grain JHP at 980 fps. This load exhibits little muzzle flash, usually a warm glow even in dim light conditions. The Hornady 155-grain XTP breaks 1100 fps from the Glock M22c. The balance of penetration and expansion is good and this load shoots flat to 50 yards. There are more expensive handguns, but none more reliable than the Glock M22. The .40 caliber cartridge hits hard. The M22 is a winner on all counts.

What is your favorite Glock? Share your Glock story in the comment section.

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 (40)

  1. I like the Glock 45s – I shoot a model 30 and a 21. I prefer the 30,which accepts the bigger 21 mags. It has been ported by magnaport and has tritium sights, which can only be seen at the shooter’ s angle.
    I agree on the trigger issue – stay with the long pull and just be smooth!
    I watched Clint Smith quickly take out the target center while moving but for most of us a trigger job would not help much in this quick-moving situation.

  2. I have a Glock 22, 23, 27, and 35. All great guns and each size has its niche. The .40 S&W is a proven round and I’m satisfied with it for self defense. But if you want to try the .357 SIG, a .357 SIG barrel swap with any Glock that has a .40 S&W barrel is all that’s required. The .357 SIG uses a .40 case that’s necked down to carry a 9mm bullet, so the .40 S&W mags will carry and load the .357. Some even drop in a 9mm barrel into a .40 S&W Glock and get a hold of some 9mm mags, although I’ve heard this setup isn’t reliable enough for self defense. One of many things that’s outstanding about the Glock pistol is its modularity, which allows and officer to carry a compact back-up gun that uses the same mags as her/his main duty weapon.

  3. As a career law enforcement officer I’ve carried the Glock 22 and Glock 21 on duty. But, in my opinion, the best gun to carry off duty I prefer the Glock 23. If I could only have one gun, the Glock 23 would be it. However, having a spare 9mm barrel and mags would be a plus, just in case I ran out of . 40 cal ammo!

  4. Most current analysis leans toward the .40 cal S&W chambering as one on the way out with most law enforcement agencies going back to 9MM or some other cartridge.
    Personally I’d opt for one of the Glock 20 models for service issue or home defense; a G29 for carry where an open or concealed carry piece of smaller dimensions was required or a G40 for sport, hunting or specialized needs.
    The 10MM will anything the .40 will do and can be downloaded to .40 levels. The 10MM series Glock’s can use .40 S&W barrels and magazines to allow a choice of .40 or 10MM.
    In fact, the Glock 45ACP series can fire several different calibers with only a barrel and magazine swap.
    I use the same principle with my G27. I can shoot it stock or with a 9MM barrel with only a barrel and mag change. The extractor and other part numbers are the same for both the G27 & the G26,
    The FBI just let an 80+ mil dollar contract to switch back from the .40 to the 9MM. According to a career ICE agent relative, ICE is switching back to G19 (9MM) from their Sig Sauer .40 Cal after switching to the Sig from a Baretta 92 (9MM) just a few years ago. Many state, county and city police departments are doing the same as the .40 costs more to train with, still offers more recoil than allows fast follow up shots and some are comfortable with.
    I just don’t see anyone getting excited about the .40 S&W anymore unless it’s just personal preference, in which case, I always support it.

    1. What we have is a writer with personal experience versus those that test with the type writer. The miles make the man and education also doesn’t allow me to attempt to warp the laws of physics to suit my personal opinion. The 9mm is controllable and some loads have a good track record but overall the big bores are much more suited to service use.

    2. Nearly every book based upon stopping power and real world shootings go directly against what you’re saying. Regardless of that, shot placement trumps caliber every time. Within reason of course. My point is that 9mm is far from inadequate for police or civilians.

    3. I am familiar with those books that are full of stories from ‘secret sources
      and which have other unsubstantiated data. Well, some time ago someone claimed that there had been a test of Alpine Goats shot with handgun bullets! The drugged goats, they said, were wired to a device that measured the time it them to drop. About as credible and believable as a comic book but far less entertaining. Gun writers quoted that ‘test’s for years! Take you own counsel and think about the science involved in testing ammunition. The 9mm is far from inadequate, I agree, with +P and +P+ loads. For most shooters probably the best choice. For highly trained shooters willing to master a heavier caliber there are better choices.
      Thanks for reading!

    4. Maybe Glock could make a 454 Casull? Wouldn’t that be cool? Six inch barrel, 16 round magazine, armor piercing… That’s what the police need to carry nowadays and could even hunt with it!

  5. Glocks are VERY reliable and one of the things I like the most is its simplicity – I can disassemble the entire gun easily and I’m not an armorer. I shoot the G21 (45 Cal) the best. Shooting a 45 better than a 9mm or 40 Cal may seem a bit odd, but I believe it must be due to the extra weight of the barrel and slide. The larger grip also fits my hand better (not the SF version). I own many different brands but Glocks rock!

  6. Shooting ‘at the range’ is fun and has value in marksmanship training. I have three ranges on my ranch and taught streshooting for many years to police, military and civilians before retiring.

    But I feel obligated to point out that range training skills rarely will have much relevance with the skill set needed in a gunfight. or self-defense situation. Everything changes under the adrenal stress of same, you won’t even know the handgun has sights, much less employ them. Some equate this statement of reality with what they have experienced as “fear’ in some other context. But this is not the case really. It is more like an involuntary knee jerk response.You need to be in your slef aware mind to expereince fear.

  7. A very nice safety feature of the Glock is the shooter can determine the cocked state by looking at the trigger, i.e., if the trigger is back then the gun is not cocked.

  8. When i decided to get my carry permit 10 years ago, i asked my brother in law, i 25 year veteran police officer and former firearms instructor, what he recommended. His first recommendation? Glock. Second? .38 revolver. He had used a number of differnt firearms, and taught at the police range for several years. He said the Glock is the best pistol he has ever used on the job.
    Well, a Glock was a bit out of my range at the time, so i picked up a Kel Tec P11 9mm. Not a fun gun to shoot at the range but a good CCW, and i still carry it, along with my LCP.
    About 5 years ago, a co worker and fellow firearms enthusiast asked me if i wanted to buy his Glock 17. He offered it to me at a bargain price, and i knew it had a low round count and was taken care of. I jumped on it.
    When it comes to shooting at the range, my 17 is my favorite pistol. Accurate and easy to shoot, with never a FTE or FTF. I don’t think i will ever sell it.

  9. My first handgun was a Glock 22 and I now own a few different Glocks. I have had 0 problems with them and I run them pretty hard. They work for me…

  10. Glock 43, 18, 34 all 9mm models serve me well everyday.
    I carry the 43 with Hornady CD. Small, easy to conceal yet confidence in 7 rounds of CD.
    The 19 stays in my bedroom. Accurate, high capacity, dependable, deadly. Complimented by a TLR-2s by steamlight this 9 is not an intruders friend.
    My favorite is my Factory Zev glock 34 dragonfly.
    It is fitted with all the Zev stuff and s Trijicon RMR.
    At $2500 this is one of the best performance pistols in the world. I would love to hear a prosecutors case against a dragonfly.
    20 round capacity and 20 oz heavy. Quick multiple target acquisition and a super hot trigger. Oh yeah not to mention a match barrel to make sure you +p a Critical defense rounds hit where you are aiming. Glock 9mm pistol models are the $hit.

  11. I love my GLOCK 43. I had a S & W Shield in .40. It was a great gun, even better after some Apex trigger and spring work. However, I became a GLOCK armorer and decided to trade the Shield for a 43. I shoot the GLOCK considerably better than the Smith. Nothing wrong with the Smith, I just like the way the 43 handles. I now have shot several GLOCKS and have no complaints about any of them. During my GLOCK armorer course we worked on GLOCK 22s all day long. Great gun!!! I too modify GLOCKS. There is a LOT you can do to them to make them better.

  12. I have owned a few Glock firearms. The 23, 29, and 27 with a .357 Sig barrel. I have owned S&W, Ruger, Taurus and others. Never owned a Sig or H&K but hopefully will one day. I believe if you have the right mindset with a Glock, it will be a very good self-defense weapon. At least you don’t have to remember if the safety is off or on. A good practice is not to have your finger on the trigger unless it is to fire . Most weapons made in this day and age will outshoot the shooter anyway! Glock has lost some of it’s luster over the years and I would not say it is the greatest firearm but will not say it is not as good as any of them in a gunfight either. It has a great reputation for it’s reliability that means a lot to me. It may not be “as pretty” and “popular” as some of the newer fangled pistols but is battle tested over the years and would I trust my life with it any time. I can honestly say that when that firearm is in my hand, I have a heightened awareness of where my trigger finger is. I will keep my G27 until I give up the ghost!

    1. I did just get my first Sig a few months ago and they are very sweet pistols. Between Sig and Glock, I need nothing more in my opinion…

  13. I have a M&P 9 compact and a Glock 26 Gen 4. I have shoot and carried both. I just sold the M&P 9 compact but I did keep my M&P 9. I did put a new trigger in it, made it much better, and my groups are very good at 25 yards now. . Will not part with either of them. I carry the Glock, love it. Shoots everytime I pull the trigger and I hit what I’m shooting at. Always remember gun safety. I felt the M&P 9 compact was not for me. But the M&P 9 with the new trigger was. I like it in my hand, the weight, the feel, and the way it shoots. It has a little longer barrel, so at 25 yards I can group my shots, but the Glock is my carry gun, and will not part with it. But that just me….

  14. As I am following this very entertaining blog, I have a Gen 3 Glock 19, it is one of my carry pistols, the trigger was a hard thing to master for me as a result to shoot the weapon well took a bit. The SA/DA semi-autos were easier to shoot for me out of the box as is my 1911. I agree the sites aren’t great, but keep your finger off the trigger unless you are shooting is a fundamental thing for me. Yes I have a recoil master in mine a 4.5 lb trigger but it is still a Glock spongy trigger with a crisp break. I have thought many times of trading it in for a Walther PPQ or an H&K VP9 or get a 1911 for carry, but then I shoot it like I did today. My Glock has never malfunctioned while shooting it, and still appears to be in near new condition even though I have fired thousands of rounds through it. I know it will do the job. Do I love mine, not really but I have to say I like to shoot it and cleaning it take less time than my other guns.
    I have worked on many holsters speed drills, and never have my finger on my trigger unless I am ready to discharge my weapon.

  15. thank H&K for the invention , Glock for perfection and Wesp for modernization ..

    the USP 45, g17/19 gen 2.5/3 and Walther P99 AS in 9mm are the finest polymer sidearms produced period !

    i own several of each and trust my life with H&K, Glock or Walther on my side . EDC is the USPc 45 in the N82 IWB .

  16. My first pistol was a Glock, and I carried a Glock 26 for years. They’re dependable pistols, but feel like a polymer brick in your hands and on your belt.

    Then the M&P Shield was released, and in the absence of a single-stack 9mm option from Glock I decided to try it. I quickly discovered its frame was much more comfortable and natural in my hand. That experience led me to try the larger M&P models, and shortly thereafter I sold all my Glocks.

    That’s my Glock story – a former owner who found something better and never looked back.

    1. Golly, Wally!
      We are here to read and learn about the Glock line of pistols. All of us, apparently except YOU.
      YOU arrive to add nothing but anecdotal misery to what WAS a good adult discussion but you add NOTHING to the discussion except rancor as well as showing your disdain for the Glock brand of handguns.
      Well, goody, goody, for you.
      We are ALL so enlightened by your wonderful diatribe.
      Perhaps you’d be better served to visit the S&W M&P Fan Boy site.
      We are ALL challenged by your response.
      Now go home and leave the adults in peace.
      SMDH

  17. I love Glocks, period! My favorite is my Glock 19, 9mm. It’s easy to carry concealed, and holds a decent amount of rounds (15 ). I can shoot wonderfully wth it and I feel it has minimal recoil. I too love my Glock 22 Gen 2. I recently fitted it with a 9mm Wolf conversion barrel and use Glock 17 9mm magazines. I must admit, my target shooting is greater with the Glock 22 than my Glock 19. Either way they have NEVER choked on any rounds of differing manufacture sent through them. Can’t say that about my SIGs, Rugers, S&W’s and others.

  18. THe reason the Glock has had more accidental shootings and police refer to the limp caused from cops shooting themselves with it on reholstering “Glock Leg” is it is striker fired weapon. This is an inherently more dangerous weapon than any of the new striker fired pistols that followed it. It is reliable and a very natural pointer but is suited only to experienced and well trained SWAT type offciers and not really the general public. Simply use the net and check on the Glocks safety record and thousands of lawsuits not just be individuals but by police departments and State attorneys against Glock.. These neeeds to be known as a whole new generation of shooters are sold these pistols with no concept of these safety problems with the Glock.

    1. Glocks are not inherently more dangerous than other striker-fired pistols, but may seem dangerous if you’ve developed fundamentally unsafe gun handling habits through past use of a DA revolver or DA/SA pistol.

      No matter what pistol they’re carrying, people really shouldn’t be doing things like hanging the pistol by its trigger guard from the flush handle of a toilet or attempting to reholster with their finger still on the trigger.

    2. I don’t understand why people continue to say negligent discharge is the weapons fault. If you don’t have your finger on the trigger it can’t fire. Now a drop fire or catching the trigger on something is a different conversation. Stop blaming the gun for unsafe handling. If you have your finger on the trigger and it goes off and shoots something you didn’t intend to shoot it has zero to do with gun and everything to do with unsafe handling

    3. Yeah. Uh, huh. Sure. YESSIREE!
      And automobiles should ONLY be allowed to be owned and driven by Race Car Drivers, right?
      I mean, because the masses of “Little People” are far too stupid to learn handgun SAFETY, Right?!?
      More like it is Operator Headspace and Timing which causes “Glock Leg.”
      If you are too stupid to learn handgun SAFETY, I agree with you. But then, too, you should be kept out of the knife drawer, NEVER run with scissors or be let out of your padded room.
      The REST of us are fully intact and unharmed, since we are SMART enough to be SAFE.
      Those unable to do the same should remain on the porch with he Timid Folk while the ADULTS go forth and live good and fruitful lives.
      (Some people’s kids, I SWEAR!) SMDH

  19. Glock, has always been one of those pistols you either loved of hated. Having fired 1st generation Glocks, I developed a disdain for it as any sort of weapon. The grip was awkward, no natural aim point like other revolvers, or self loaders, since it was not a true auto-loader, but a DAO, the trigger pull was abominable, exceeding that of most DA revolvers, even most DAO revolvers and certainly, the crisp let-off of SA & SA, first round auto-loaders. The reason many PD,s went to this p.o.s., was it took little, or no training to transition from a revolver to it. I have shot more recent generations of the Glock and found that there has been little, if any attempts to improve it’s point of aim, trigger pull, or otherwise. I yet have a passionate disdain for this p.o.s. and will retain my 1911 & various revolvers for sport, target & self-defense shooting. Now, go ahead and HATE, all of you that love this very inferior firearm.

    1. Having shot both Gen 2 and Gen 3 Glocks (the real first-gen Glocks were never sold in the US), I can assure you that the trigger pull is both lighter and shorter than that of a DA revolver.

      They certainly don’t compete with the feel of a well-tuned SA trigger, but that light and short trigger pull is the reason a 1911 needs multiple external safeties to be safely carried in a loaded state.

    2. ” I can assure you that the trigger pull is both lighter and shorter than that of a DA revolver.”

      THat is true in my experience. But there is more to it than just a light trigger, the Glock has also rather short throw trigger as well. This is in part accounts for its very bad safety record I feel. Remember when the L series SW 586 and 686 came out with very smooth and light triggers? There were negligent discharges, but the though light it was longer travel trigger and thus could be adjusted too. That revolver out of the box was great and very smooth DA revolver. I still have one.

    3. It does seem to be that there is a somewhat irrational love of Glocks. Glock has succeeded very well as marketing company really. and grudgingly I admire that. In fact, the film, US Marshalls they paid $100k to have Tommy Lee Jones give the line “Get a Glock”. Even though I feel the pistols have demonstrated themselves to be more dangerous and prone to negligent discharges for sure, still I do not despise them.But I do feel they are not safe choice for new shooter and concealed carry. Many think it is an Austrian design , but actually two machinists at Beretta developed the prototype. Beretta refused to manufacture it as it was striker fired and they were were worried about lawsuits. But the Austrian government was demanding a replacement for the excellent but too expensive to make Steyr GB. It had to come from an Austrian company so the Beretta machinist sold the rights to Glock. I had a Steyr GB and came in 3rd at the Israeli pistol and Uzi SMG ‘tournament’. And 3rd place in that group was dam good in my view. But I was having three of the best shooting days of my life then too. WE all know how that can happen somehow. I shoot very well with Glocks as many of my students bring them to my classes from all over the world really. At 66 I am retiring my “Stresshooting’ program though. I am also losing sight in my right eye and do not shoot as well as I once did. By the way good people, in an actual and real shooting incident (actual gunfight) not 1 person in 50 can use the sights of any handgun or even ‘remember’ there are sights on the pistol or revolver. The brain won’t allow the visual cortex to look at anything but the guy about to kill you. My friend the late Jim Cirillo who as a NYC detective had been in more than a dozen lethal gunfights with armed felons and he agreed with this as well.

    4. Personally, I find the rabid Glock haters more puzzling than the rabid Glock lovers. While the “perfection” slogan is (of course) marketing hype, a stock Glock pistol is very reliable and also accurate enough that the shooter and not the pistol will generally be the limiting factor.

      If you’re like me and discover you like the ergonomics and/or trigger of another pistol better, then shoot that instead and move on with your life. I don’t understand the need to spout vitriol and demonstrably false claims about a product that you’ve decided not to own or use.

    5. You shoot the way you train – just keep training many, many reps with sights – there will be no thought process involved. I am reminded of the FBI shootout when the empty cases were found in the agents’ pockets.

    6. “Let the Hate bubble forth?!?”
      WOW! You ARE a special kind of stoopid aren’t you?
      Go back to your Slab Sides. I carry them sometimes, too.
      But if you think the M1911A1 to be infallible, you must be some Newb and a New Kid On The Block and NOT a seasoned adult shooter.
      HAH! You crack me up.
      But thank you for your vitriolic line of BS.
      We are all suitably challenged by your silly comments and mind (?) set.
      Now, PLEASE, be quiet and let the adults have a nice discussion, won’t you, Sonny?
      (Some people’s kids, I SWEAR!) SMDH

  20. Glock 32- generation 3. It’s my EDC and the only pistol I own or need. Does everything I ask,even can hunt deer here in Tn. with it using hollow points. Plus have 13 round magazines and one in the chamber. Plenty of power, never need more, for its intended purpose. Reliable, goes bang anytime I pull the trigger. Has night sites on it, but they need to be replaced. Not glowing as brute as they used to after 7 years!

  21. I’ve had a Glock 23 for around 10 years now and it’s been a great gun. Something you didn’t mention is now that 23 has a threaded 9mm conversion barrel in it. Take your pick on a good silencer and you have it all in one package.

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