Why I Love a GLOCK 22

Since 1990, droves of both law enforcement and civilians have carried the GLOCK 22 for duty and personal protection. It remains one of the most common pistols purchased and shares many similarities to its smaller 9mm brothers, the GLOCKs 17 and 19. What makes the GLOCK 22 such a long-term winner? What features made this handgun the quintessential law enforcement sidearm? What advantages does the .40 S&W caliber have over 9mm or .45 ACP?

Long Term Winner

Reliability. Law enforcement firearms need to work every time. Personal protection guns need to work every time. I personally own two 1911s, a variety of Berettas, Tauruses, Kel-Tecs and some other brands I’d rather not admit, but my GLOCK sits within arm’s reach most of the time. I currently have no children in the house so I tend to have a gun nearby in rooms where I spend the most time. My kitchen gun is a GLOCK. I’ve put about 4,000 rounds through that thing and the only malfunctions I recall were caused by an abused magazine I borrowed from my brother. The ammo I was using was shoddy to boot. With a proper magazine and decent ammo, that gun goes bang every time I pull the trigger. That famous GLOCK reliability that helped build their reputation as a trustworthy firearm, no doubt helped their sales numbers.


There are much fancier looking guns out there. GLOCKs are like power tools. They are not exactly beautiful works of art and their design screams ruggedness, reliability and utility. Police departments use them not only because they work, but because they can train anyone to use them. Their safe action trigger works well as a deterrent to accidental discharges. The trigger system works in such a way that you essentially have two triggers in one. Unless you depress the first trigger, the main mechanism won’t budge. This makes it easy to use in an emergency since you don’t have to fiddle with a thumb safety. The trigger is light enough to produce accurate shots, but heavy enough that you almost can’t cycle the weapon by accident. Designers also intended to make sure the gun would not fire when dropped. An internal drop safety prevents any chance of the gun discharging if it falls from your holster. There is also a firing pin safety which disengages when the operator pulls back on the trigger.

The Numbers

GLOCK doesn’t have the easiest model number system to remember. A GLOCK 17 is a 9mm, so is a GLOCK 19. A GLOCK 20 is a 10mm while the 21 is a .45 ACP. The 22, 23, and 24, 27 and 35 are all .40 caliber handguns. Sorry about all the crazy numbers, but those model numbers are not that intuitive. In the case of the GLOCK 22, you get a standard 15-round magazine. The less powerful GLOCK 17 in 9mm holds 17 rounds. This means you only sacrifice two rounds while getting a substantial increase in kinetic energy. The exact differences vary greatly depending on the ammunition you are using, but as a rule, a standard non +P 9mm projectile hits with about 380-420 foot-pounds of kinetic energy. The .40 caliber delivers somewhere between 420-500 foot-pounds. For comparison, the huge .45 ACP rings in between 415-620 foot-pounds. This makes the .40 caliber a nice middle ground of magazine capacity and performance. Some argue that it is the best all-around cartridge for duty carry—I’m starting to become a believer.

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 (25)

  1. Buy a Glock 22 and then buy a 9mm barrel for it for plinking. The 40 S&W is probably the best defensive round . If you want power, underwood offers 165 and 155 gr loads that are amazing. over 1200 fps and 1300 fps with energy levels near 600 foot pounds out of a full sized Glock 22. The 40 performes much better in 165 gr and 155 gr. The design isnt optimal with 180 gr boolits. When designed the 10mm had 180 gr boolits and they just used those in the 40 S&W instead of designing it properly with lighter grain bolts. No 9mm or 45 amp loads compare to a 40 S&W with the correct boo lit and powder.. I fire my Glock 35 at lightup nite at my club. When I hit the 12 inch steel plates at 50 yards, they move and the sound is much louder than guys with 9mm and 45acp. Guys thought I was shooting 10mm instead of 40 S&W.

  2. Couple of other benefits to the G22 not mentioned:
    – Ammo availability. When another panic buying season is upon us, 9mm becomes hard to find and much more expensive whereas .40 cal stays the same sweet price. This keeps getting better as more and more departments are switching to 9 mil +p.

    – Police trade-ins: there are low use (for a Glock) Gen 4 G22’s with trijicon night sights, in the low $300’s, available as I write this. Lotta bang for the buck right there.

    1. Hi Jttk – I’m in the market for a G22 – would be my first gun, where could I find a police trade-in?

  3. I am 6’4″ tall and weigh 260 lbs. I’m new with firearms and was wondering if a guy my size could conceal carry a glock 22.

    1. I am 5’8″, weigh 165 and carry G22 regularly. It is not so much the size of the gun in this case, but the method of carry (inside the waistband, outside the waistband, off-body carry, etc.; how deep, cant and position—3, 4, 6 o’clock) and the cover garment. For instance under a t-shirt with a button up shirt over the top.~Dave Dolbee

    2. Ironically, my name is Steve, I’m 6’4″, and weigh 265. I carry my Glock 22 Gen 4 in a Blackhawk Serpa owb, usually under a hoodie, west, or light jacket weather permitting. I carry my Glock 19, under a loose t-shirt in warmer weather iwb, and my Glock 43 in hot summer weather. I invested in a heavy duty gun belt (Hanks Bull belt) and it really REALLY helped prevent printing and bulging when carrying my Larger Glock 22. I love the gun and shoot it better than any other, although it isn’t as fast back on target as a nine, but with practice I have trimmed that recovery time considerably. I love the extra power, and confidence this firearm affords me. I carry it whenever possible.

  4. Best weapon I have ever purchased. Put 2000 rounds of really dirty ammo (Wolf) and never had a malfunction. Had to replace the slide stop lever spring because it just wore out after 10k + rounds.

  5. When I first got my CCW some 25 years ago, I did considerable research on guns and cartridges. I already had a few usable guns (notice I said ” usable”). The FBI research settled on the .40 so that is what I settled on. Next I went with the gun most used by law enforcement, the Glock 22. For a backup I obtained a Glock 27. I chose it because it is a .40, can use the Glock 22 mags, and felt and worked just like the Glock 22. So, I carry 2 Glocks and 2 spare 20 round mags daily.

  6. I have a Gen 1 model 22. I love this weapon and will never work without it. I also have a model 26 as my off-duty carry. Both are excellent weapons. Can’t wait until I get my model 42 and model 27.

  7. I was searching to buy a gun ……when i was so ignorant that there is glock available on other store….which i never heard about glock…while looking at other brand. A man whisper that i should buy glock on the other store….which i did bought glock 22…..then after my trigger familiarization ..i was able to hit my aim target…..i was so happy that i can disassemble completely wash with no gun powder ordor when i carry it…..thanks to that person who whisper ….and thank to glock made it so easy to dismantle…..this is my only gun and can imagine if i did not listen to him….

  8. I always was against the Glock swore by 2 other major firearms makers but when I pick one up and started to train with mine it was all over I sold the other 2 it is my main carry gun have shot so many rounds lost track and I have never had one malfunction and I use my 1911 as back up that’s a bold statement to make too

  9. Great gun. Trust my family protection to it. Added Trijicons, Vickers Mag Release and extended slide release. Good recoil control and simple disassembly. Traded M&P for it after living with both for a test period. Made me a Glock believer after rejecting them. Buy with confidence!

  10. Ugliest gun when I first saw it. Dept. then decided to change to them. As we were allowed a size, I chose a .45 cal. Could not believe how well it shot right out of the box. Tried other guys 40 mm and 9 mm. I still care much more for my initial choice. Great weapon, simple, like I said shoots great out the box.

  11. Interesting to read your essay as I recently sold my Glock 22C because I really didn’t like it anymore. It was my first large-bore handgun, purchased for home/personal defense and selected mostly on the strength of it’s acceptance by the law enforcement community. Over time I added a Hogue grip sleeve to make the fit more comfortable (Gen-3’s didn’t have the backstrap options) and also a Lonewolf stainless guide-rod/spring assembly because I was (and remain) leery of plastic in this high-stress component. But it was reliable, easy to shoot and more accurate than I am (all my guns seem to have this trait), yet as time went on I disliked it more and more until I took the opportunity to sell it.
    I used the Glock as a home-defense weapon mostly (I have a S&W .380 for concealed carry that I’m very comfortable with), and as such it resides in steel vault-box in my nightstand drawer. I’m always analyzing my firearm activities and discovered that if I should be awakened in the middle of the night and try to access the Glock in the dark with the mind-fog of age and sudden wakefulness I found that my finger found the trigger before the rest of my hand located the gun. After several snap-cap drills using an alarm clock at odd hours of the night I determined that the possibility of triggering an UD (unintended discharge) was far too high with the Glock’s passive safety system. Since such an incident would send a .40 Hydra-Shok through the wall of my bedroom and into my granddaughter’s, I decided the G22C had to go.
    A Rock Island 1911 in .45 ACP now resides in the Glock’s spot in my drawer. It is in condition-one (cocked-and-locked) with both a thumb and a grip safety to be manipulated before it can shoot. I am trained on these operations and have no difficulty with them. The only loss is the 1911 doesn’t have a rail for the combination light/laser the Glock carried but a 260-lumen hand-held is beside the vault, ready for use. I don’t really miss the Glock; I’m more of an antique/traditionalist/1911 guy anyway but I wonder how many other people own guns that aren’t really right for their intended uses like my plastic-pistol was for me?

  12. You start out a little confusing, the 22 and 17 are identical in size. The 19 and 23 are identical in size as well, so yes the 19 would be a smaller sibling, but not the 17. At any rate they are great guns, that’s why in have a 17, 19, 20SF, 21, 22RTF, 22, 23, 26, 27, 29SF and 30SF, all gen 3’s except the 17 is a gen 4. Conversion barrels are great. I have 10mm to 40S&W for my 20 and 29, and I have 40S&W to 9mm as well as 357Sig for my 22’s and 23. That really gives you a lot of options for the range as well as bug out. I know a lot of you will say 1911 is the only way, I like those too, I have 2 Kimbers and 1 Colt, along with 3 Kahr’s, 4 Smiths and 3 Springfield XD’s. Nothing beats Glock reliability.

  13. You forgot the Glock 18!

    Glocks got popular because they they came out at a time when police agencies wanted to change from revolvers to autos and they made a well functioning pistol as apposed to some of the other junk out there. The pistols are also cheap in price. Time has shown that they are also durable and won’t fall apart. I prefer a SIG P220 .45 but I have a 1st Gen Glock 19 that I won’t be getting rid of.

  14. I have one (G22) and love it . I’m having a hard time finding extra mags right now . Anyone know where some are at a good price ? I also have a mag I would like to rebuild , spring , floorplate ect.ect. but cant even find the parts .

  15. Another advantage of the .40 over the 9mm is that a 9mm barrel can be dropped into a .40 slide for a multi caliber option. Add a couple of 9mm mags, and your 22, 23, etc can shoot both .40 and 9mm depending on your budget and ammo availability. That swap does not work in the opposite direction from what I have read.

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