Glock 19 Gen 4: Gun Review

Glock 19

Customers often ask me to recommend a semi-automatic handgun for carry or home defense. When they do, I start by mentioning the Glock 19 Gen 4. The G19 is a medium-sized lightweight polymer-framed 9mm. Its standard capacity magazines hold 15 rounds and features Glock’s “Safe Action” trigger system with three passive safeties.

Glock‘s metal treatment (called Tenifer) and finish ensure it is practically impervious to the elements. The new Gen 4 version also features a smaller grip circumference than earlier models and includes the Multiple Backstrap System allowing the pistol to accommodate those with larger hands. Glock’s sight options are the standard polymer fixed sights, steel fixed sights, adjustable sights and Glock night sights.


The primary reason I recommend the Glock 19 Gen 4 is its efficient size. I feel it strikes the perfect balance between being big enough to handle well and compact enough to be easy to conceal. The Glock 19 grip is just long enough to make sure your pinky finger isn’t left hanging from the bottom of the gun the way it is with most compact pistols.

The size is just right to take a full shooting grip on the gun. That’s important because a good grip on your pistol translates directly into ease of shooting comfortably, accurately and quickly. Most manufacturers don’t produce an intermediate frame size between their full-size and sub-compact pistols. Glock got this one right.

The Gen 4 version of the Glock 19 is an upgrade from the earlier models in several important ways. The most obvious difference is the grip texture. A flat-topped pyramid stippling replaces earlier models’ orange peel feel. The new texture provides more traction without being harsh like some stippling.

Perhaps the most significant change in the Gen 4 Glock 19 is the grip circumference reduction. Glock made the grip width (front to back) 2mm shorter than it was on previous generations. I’ve handled a lot of Generation 2 and 3 Glocks and always felt like they just barely fit my hand. The new Gen 4 G19 actually feels much more comfortable to me.

For some shooters with smaller hands, this may even allow them to reach the trigger more easily than before. For those shooters with larger hands, or for anyone who really likes the size of the third generation guns, Glock includes two additional grip backstrap panels to increase the grip width.

  • The medium-sized panel adds back 2mm, making the grip the same width as a Gen 3 Glock .
  • The large panel adds a total of 4mm to the grip, putting the grip width somewhere near that of a Glock 21 SF.


Another important reason to recommend the Glock 19 Gen 4 are the controls, which are pure simplicity. When there is a round in the chamber, the pistol is ready to fire. However, until the trigger is pressed, there are three separate safety mechanisms to guard against an unintentional discharge. Pressing the trigger deactivates each safety in turn until the pistol fires. In this way a Glock is both safe and ready for immediate use.

The trigger pull of the Gen 4 Glock 19 is slightly different from earlier versions. It is just a little bit heavier than earlier models, at 5 pounds, although seems crisper overall. The trigger reset is as positive as ever.

Another big change on the Gen 4 version is the enlarged magazine release button. The new button makes it possible for a much wider range of shooters to eject their magazines from the pistol without rotating the gun in their hand or moving any part of their shooting grip other than their thumb. In addition, the new magazine release is reversible. Now a left handed shooter can set the gun up with the magazine release on the right side of the grip.


There are more expensive, and less expensive, brands available and the Glock 19 is priced low enough that it’s reasonable for anyone who is looking for a quality pistol. Additionally, the Glock brand is very common, meaning Glock Parts and Accessories are easy to find and less expensive than for most other pistols.

Perhaps the most important reason to consider a Glock is reliability. Glock’s 9mm models have long been known as some of the toughest and most reliable pistols ever made. The Glock 19 is a utilitarian pistol to be sure; when that’s what counts, the Gen 4 G19 is one you can trust.

Click here to purchase your own Gen 4 Glock 19.

Have you used the Gen 4 Glock 19? What are your thoughts? Share 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 (32)

  1. I own a Glock 19 Gen 4 9mm which is my CCW .Owned a Sig Sauer P320 9mm before that. Will most likely buy another Glock soon too.

  2. The safety on the trigger has always bothered me and I got rid of all my Glocks after witnessing a guy giving himself a “Glock leg” during a PPC match. A loose shirt in the holster pulled the trigger as the pistol was holstered.

    1. I simply do not believe that you sold “all your Glocks” after seeing someone do something stupid with one.

  3. Looking to trade a rifle for another guy’s Glock 19 gen 4 pistol. He stated it was brand new. Sent me pics and gun looks good. However, on the side of the slide it reads USA and does not say Gen 4 . Also reads Made in USA on the grip. It this correct for a Gen 4 Glock model 19? He told me the Gen 4 model 19’s are still made in Austria but assembled in the USA.


    1. My G19 says gen 4. Take the slide off and see if it has a double recoil spring. If not, it’s not a Gen4, or at least not a gen 4 slide.

  4. I’m interested in the glock 19, having recently shot both that and my husband’s new sig sauer 238 (?). We both liked the glock.
    Question – would this be a good handling gun for a woman? I’m tall, long fingers, medium sized hands. I’m not much of a shooter, but age and a recent experience has me rethinking carrying protection.
    The glock 19 I shot didn’t bother me much with recoil – is it about the same on this one?
    Weight of gun while concealed in purse has me looking at the glock rather than the sig sauer.

    1. I just got my wife a new Gen 4 19 to replace her xds 9.
      She loves it. Watch all the different youtube videos you can find on it Dated within the last year. Then just the average search. The trigger is confusing to some, but its like all guns, only put finger on gun when, aimed, and ready to shoot. Be sure to look up videos on the Gen4 Glock reset trigger.
      If you are comfortable with a pistol, which sounds like you are. I think you will be very happy like my wife.

  5. I got my new Glock 19 Gen 4 a few weeks ago and just had the occasion to shoot it last weekend. I am 6’2″ with hands that I would assume are proportional to a person my size. My pinkie does rest comfortably at the bottom of the grip without any fear of coming off when firing. I shot a number of WWB 115 grain rounds and had issues with 2-3 rounds. I had one failure to fire and one where the round did not chamber properly. Have read many articles on 115 grain not being the best round to fire; that 124 is the one with enough power to cycle properly. I subsequently bought a box of 124 but have not fired them yet.
    My biggest complaint about this gun is the crappy little Slide Lock. The little serrations are there but very smooth (this is a brand new weapon) is thus it is very difficult to get a purchase on each side to pull it down far enough to remove the slide. I will probably go to an extended Slide Lock ($10 from Glockmeister; can’t go wrong).
    Regarding the open cavity in the back of the grip (behind the magazine well) I looked but they do not yet make a “plug” for that so I went to Home Depot and bought a “Crown Bolt, Black 1-1/8 in. x 15/16 in. Rubber Stopper Part# 16088.” I cut it vertically, removing about 40% off it and then about 50% off it cutting horizontally, leaving me roughly a half-circle that was about half its original height. I then trimmed/decreased the arc a little to fit it against the rounded part of the grip. I worked it down into the cavity with a small bladed screwdriver. It looks clean, doesn’t move at all, cost me $1.56 and took all of about 10 minutes max.
    Back to the gun: I conceal carry this in a Blackhawk CQC holster and with a semi-loose fitting shirt the back of the grip barely is visible and the muzzle does not protrude past the bottom of my shirt.
    I really like the pistol and so does my petite wife. Now if I can just stop her from wanting to put a pink grip on it.

  6. Great review! I purchased my Glock 19 gen 4 a few weeks ago. This is my first pistol so I don’t have alot of experience with all the different types of pistols. I have a brother in law that is in law enforcement that owns a 19 gen 3 and another brother in law that had just purchased a 19 gen 3. After talking with both of them I was convinced that the Glock 19 was for me. Their 19 gen 3’s felt great in my hand. I traded in a couple of older guns to buy mine. I wanted a gen 4 just because it was the newest out there. I didn’t know about the difference in the grip but knew that it fit my hand perfectly.

    I’ve only put a little over 100 rounds through it but have had absolutely no problems. A buddy of mine shot several rounds of 115 grain ammo through it shooting very limp wristed on purpose and was able to make it jam doing that.

    I wanted to get some practice in before my concealed weapons class and could not believe how accurately I could shoot with this gun since I have limited experience shooting a pistol. I’m taking my concealed weapons permit class this weekend and cannot wait to carry this gun for a long time to come.

  7. hey folks chad, for wa – here. i own a pawn shop and i have shoot more guns then you can name with a book. and i probly own more than that…. but my G19 is the gun i carry on my side everyday…it is what it is,,, my friend.. the best

  8. Hi love my gen 4 19 it was sending brass to the face,sent it in to glock on there dime,returned to me in two weeks. 300 rounds of different loads 115,147 grain ,perfect. This is my carry weapon,love it. Go shoot it and have fun.

  9. Had a little problem with brass in face. Called Glock and they sent me a recoil spring. NO MORE PROBLEMS. This is one sweet shooting 9mm. I am 67 years old and with perp target can keep shots in kill zone. Even with old eyes. I am a old revolver man. But cleaning a Glock spoiled me. LOVE IT.

  10. Fired 50 rounds through my new Glock 19 Gen 4 yesterday, flawlessly. Love how it feels in my hands. I’m still working with break-in period and my muscles adjusting to the recoil of a new gun, so it may be too early to comment on accuracy.

    Disassembly and cleaning is a cinch. I just like to sit on the couch and play with the darn thing, which annoys my Colombian fiance. I thought that guns were as natural to them as coc…(you know my friend Pablo). I tell her this and she shows no expression. Hmmm. Of course I’m from Pakistan so who am I to poke fun at her! Anyway, to everyone outhere, go get the G19 Gen 4. No regrets here.

  11. I have a Gen4 19 and it’s been perfect through 473 mid-range rounds. Glocks don’t have a true break-in period as other autoloaders sometimes do. How they perform out of the box the first time is how they’ll perform for the next 100,000 rounds baring breakage. There were [undocumented] problems with the OEM extractors on some very few Gen4 19s but some judicious polishing on the flats will fix that, or you can install a quality after market third party one for $15. The current RSA is version 04-1 and 04-2 (maybe 04-1-1 or 04-1.1) is in the works and may help with those few guns experiencing certain low-power ammo problems. But those numbers are extremely small world wide notwithstanding the loud protestations of those who can’t accept that all things mechanical are not perfect.

    The Gen4 guns are new models and as such they are subject to some of the anomalies often associated with new model cars, planes, DVD players and the like. However, in this case the fix is simple, quick and cheap. Concerned about having to “fix” something you purchased NIB? Meh … just part of the game…get over it.

  12. I got me a new Glock 19 Gen 4. It cam with the newer 04 spring since the original 03 spring was causing jams.

    Did not clean the weapon before firing.

    Tried 5 types of ammo (115 grain)- Hornady XTP, Winchester, Federal and Monarch(Serbian made, Steel lacquer coated case). The monarchs would jam on almost every 3/4th round on 3 different mags. The other brands shot real good. Wasn’t going for accuracy but just trying to break in the pistol. Maybe next time it will work good on all brands – after all it is a Glock. Rounds fired – 175.

  13. Picked up a Gen 4 19 two days ago. Really impressed with it. Just as reliable as the Gen 3, but the grip stippling is superior and the slightly smaller grip makes the gun more comfortable. I love that it comes with enlarged controls from the factory, so you don’t need to modify the gun (almost everyone I know added an enlarged mag release to the Gen 3). Previous generation mags work in the Gen 4 and the Gen 4 fits all Gen 4 holsters and accessories. Recoil is a lot more controllable on the Gen 4, thanks to the dual spring setup.

    I see no problem with the Gen 4, it is the update that the Gen 3 needed to keep up with designs like the XD and M&P. The ONLY thing I don’t like about it is the fact it says “Gen4” on the slide, since previous Glocks never had that on the slide to denote “Gen2” or “Gen3”. It seems a little cheesy to me, but it’s only a small superficial issue.

    If you’re on the fence about getting a Gen 4 Glock, don’t be afraid, take the plunge! It’s a better gun than the Gen 3 and will most likely entirely replace the Gen 3 in another year or two.

  14. Just recently purchased my new Gen 4 Glock 19 and I’m very pleased and happy to say it shoots great and feels perfect in my hand.

  15. Now, if they would just get rid of those finger “humps” on the frontstrap–especially the middle one on the G19/23–I’d be a happy camper!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.