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GLOCK: the military G19 MHS goes civilian?

Glock 19 MHS 9mm semiautomatic pistol during live fire testing

The handgun proposed by GLOCK was finalist for the US military XM17 Modular Handgun System competition and now it’s rumored that it could soon hit the civilian market. 
The team of all4shooters.com had the opportunity to test the gun for real. We enjoyed it, and here is the exclusive story - a world premiere including a first video.

The Team of all4shooters.com / Piergiorgio Molinari; Images / Video: Franco Palamaro

Let's begin from the end: the 9 mm GLOCK 19 MHS is a great pistol. It couldn't be otherwise, since this is the gun that was selected as a finalist for the XM17 Modular Handgun System (MHS) competition, the US military tender for replacing the decades-old Beretta M9 (we have already reported it on all4shooters). 


Ultimately another gun, the SIG Sauer P320, was declared the winner. But this decision was contested and somewhat controversial, so when GLOCK invited us as the first medium worldwide to their headquarters in Deutsch-Wagram / Austria to test the G19 MHS, we were both thrilled and intrigued. 

Glock 19 MHS 9mm semiautomatic pistol, left side with 17 and 19 magazines
First images by all4shooters.com: GLOCK 19 MHS 9mm semiautomatic pistol, left side with 17 and 19 magazines.
Handling of the Glock 19 MHS 
Handling of the GLOCK 19 MHS is extremely intuitive for anyone that has previously shot a GLOCK pistol .

Our first contact with the new pistol has been very positive: the GLOCK G19 MHS is aesthetically pleasing, providing a “feeling of familiarity” to anyone that previously handled a GLOCK pistol. 


Yet, the more we looked at it, the more differences from any other GLOCK handgun we found. Starting with the color, of course. Over the years GLOCK has offered desert tan, olive drab, battle field green (BFG), flat dark earth (FDE), and gray colored frames. But this is the first time that a factory-manufactured GLOCK has a colored slide too. And the GLOCK 19 MHS's coyote tan slide has something fascinating, even “sexy”, with its soft, almost golden hues. The actual finish process used on the slide is presently an industrial secret, though. 

Glock 19 MHS 9mm semiautomatic pistol, left side view.
GLOCK 19 MHS 9mm semiautomatic pistol, left side view.
Glock 19 MHS 9mm semiautomatic pistol, right side view.
GLOCK 19 MHS 9mm semiautomatic pistol, right side view, on all4shooters.com

GLOCK 19 MHS: the proportions of the modular pistol

The GLOCK 19 MHS appears to blend the frame of a full-size G17 with the slide of a more compact G19. But it's not altogether true: the grip is the same height of a G17's, but the dust cover is obviously shorter. 


The grip of the the Glock 19 MHS 9mm pistol
The grip of the the GLOCK 19 MHS 9mm pistol is identical to the GLOCK 17 Gen4, minus the finger grooves, of course. A 19 round magazine is inserted. Image: all4shooters.com

As far as the slide is concerned, the measurements are unequivocally those of the G19.

The line of sight is 151 mm (5,94 in.) and the front of the slide is also beveled to facilitate holstering. The barrel is 102 mm (4“ in.) long, and the muzzle features a deeper crowning recess to protect the rifling. 

GLOCK 19 MHS, the manual safety dilemma 

Then, there is that (in)famous manual safety. Actually, this isn't a novelty either. In the past GLOCK produced a variant with an external manual safety, the G17S, for some security forces around the world, and both the Austrian and the British military tested GLOCK 17 variants featuring a manual safety. But these models were made in very small numbers and are now collectors' pieces.

The Glock 19 MHS feature fully ambidextrous controls
The GLOCK 19 MHS feature fully ambidextrous controls, easily operated only when needed.

Moreover, GLOCK has always claimed – with some reason – that adding a manual safety to the three independent automatic safeties already integrated in their products is a useless complication for guns specifically designed to fire immediately without the need to manipulate levers of buttons.


Anyway, the thumb-operated external manual safety was a specific requirement of the MHS competition, so here it is: an ambidextrous system made up of a paddle on the left side and a lever on the right, operable only with a cocked striking pin.

The manual safety of the Glock 19 MHS 9 mm
The manual safety feature of the GLOCK 19 MHS 9 mm is out of the way during handling and shooting...
The ON safety of the Glock 19 MHS 9mm semiautomatic pistol
...but is easily operated when needed. The safety is ON when pushed upwards...
The OFF safety of the Glock 19 MHS 9mm semiautomatic pistol
...and is OFF when pushed downwards.


Other noteworthy details are the grips featuring a smooth front strap without finger grooves, a classic military lanyard ring insert in the bottom of the grip, and a flared magwell with a flange that extends over the front of the magazine baseplate. The frame can be easily adapted to the individual shooter's hand thanks to GLOCK's Modular Backstrap System that includes a set of four more backstraps of different size. 

Glock 19 MHS pistol: detail of the manual safety lever 
Detail of the manual safety lever on the right side of the GLOCK 19 MHS. The safety will NOT be featured in a possible commercial version of the pistol.
Glock 19 MHS: all controls on the right side
All controls of the GLOCK 19 MHS are replicated on the right side: manual safety and hold open lever; the magazine release is easily reversible.

Additionally, the G19 MHS curiously doesn't have the third cross pin introduced since the “Gen 2” GLOCKs to better support and distribute the energy transmitted to the polymer frame by the locking block. The current design of the locking block and its positioning in the frame does not require it.


The gun comes with three double-stack coyote tan magazines, one “standard” and two “extended”, with a capacity of 17 and 19 rounds respectively. Apart from the color, they are stock GLOCK 17 magazines. With a loaded standard magazine, the G19 HMS weights 908 g (32 oz.).


More subtle differences and improvements have been introduced from standard GLOCKs, but these are the most obvious. 

GLOCK 19 MHS, the fire test from all4shooters.com

After examining the gun, we unceremoniously moved to fire-test the G19 MHS in GLOCK's internal shooting range. There were other nice surprises for us. We were able to test the gun not only with standard GECO 9 mm 124gr FMJ factory ammunition, but also with the authentic SP (Special Purpose) military loading. We are not allowed to disclose any information on make, build, or specs on this classified ammunition, except that it is indeed very powerful (+P+ ammo, around 20% more powerful than the mil spec ball loading), and very accurate, as attested by our groups. 

Glock 19 MHS 9mm: live fire testing
A moment of the GLOCK 19 MHS live fire testing. Live and exclusive by all4shooters.com
The sight of the Glock 19 MHS pistol
The sight picture of the GLOCK 19 MHS 9mm pistol is absolutely standard.

Our pistol perfomed extremely well with both loads. Not only the gun is very accurate, but the trigger is exceptionally uniform and smooth, breaking with an almost “rollover feeling”, and no over-travel at all. Reset is crisp and very short. Credit for this goes to the new trigger pack that integrates the manual safety but also uses a different type of springs than standard GLOCK 17 and 19 handguns. The manufacturer claimed trigger travel is 12,5 mm (0.49 in.). 

Glock 19 MHS, 5 rounds group shot at 15m using the classified 9mm "SP" ammunition
GLOCK 19 MHS, 5 rounds group shot at 15m, using the classified 9mm "SP" (Special Purpose) ammunition, each square is 1cm wide.
Glock 19 MHS, 15 rounds group shot rapid fire at 10m using GECO 9mm 124gr FMJ ammunition
GLOCK 19 MHS, 15 rounds group shot rapid fire at 10m, using GECO 9mm 124gr FMJ ammunition, each square is 1cm wide.
Glock 19 MHS, 5 rounds group shot at 15m using GECO 9mm 124gr FMJ ammunition
GLOCK 19 MHS, 5 rounds group shot at 15m, using GECO 9mm 124gr FMJ ammunition, each square is 1cm wide.
Glock 19 MHS, 5 rounds group shot at 25m with the pistol in a mechanical lock
GLOCK 19 MHS, 5 rounds group shot at 25m with the pistol in a mechanical lock, using the classified 9mm "SP" (Special Purpose) ammunition, each square is 1cm wide.

Thanks to the perfect angle and texture, grip is firm and comfortable even without the finger grooves – actually, many shooters claim it is even better without them. Both with standard GECO and the powerful special purpose ammunition, recoil and muzzle flip are easy to control. As a result, we were able to print excellent and quite rewarding groups with the pistol up to 25 meters (27yds), right from the start. We were unable to find any fault in the operation and cycling of the GLOCK MHS pistol. The gun functioned flawlessy. Spent cases are ejected positively, always falling in the same area one meter/yard to the right and slightly behind the shooter. 

A “civilian” GLOCK G19 MHS? Maybe soon…

As stated in the first line of this article, the G19 MHS is definitely a great pistol, in our opinion one of the best GLOCK ever made. But after being defeated for price reasons in the prestigious competition for arming the US military, what will become of it? Will it remain a simple exercise in style? Well, maybe not. 

Glock 19 MHS 9mm semiautomatic pistol
GLOCK 19 MHS 9 mm semiautomatic pistol, GLOCK's candidate for the US Army's XM17 program.

After repeatedly stating in the past that the G19 MHS would not be offered to the public, now it's rumored that GLOCK could change its mind.


There is no official confirmation yet, but it's more than pure speculation. The same rumors also point out that the “civilian” G19 MHS would not have the added manual safety feature.


This clarification, so true to GLOCK's philosophy, indirectly confirms that GLOCK officials are seriously considering that the civilian market could be a good option. We must stress the fact, that GLOCK also developed a .40 caliber version for the Modular Handgun System competition, the G23 HMS. 


If not with the military, the GLOCK G19 MHS can be a true winner with the civilians. It would be a well-deserved revenge. 

Glock 19 MHS disassembled
The Glock 19 MHS field stripped, with its 17 round magazine. Five parts including the mag, easily maintainable, and very easy to disassemble/reassemble. Image: all4shooters.com

GLOCK 19 MHS (prototype)
DATA TABLE
 
ManufacturerGLOCK
https://us.glock.com/
Model19 MHS
TypeSemi-automatic pistol
Caliber9x19mm
ActionSemi-auto, Modified Browning Locking System
Trigger systemSafe action
SafetiesAutomatic on the firing pin, automatic drop safety, trigger, and manual safety lever on the frame
Capacity17 or 19 rounds
Barrel102 mm / 4.02 inch
SightsFixed, with self luminous H3 Tritium inserts
Overall length185 mm / 7.28 inch
                      Overall width
34 mm / 1.34 inch
Weight (empty)708 g / 24.97 oz
Materials/FinishFrame: polymer; Slide and Barrel: steel. Metal parts finished with a proprietary protective coating in Desert Tan
NotesSpecial model for the US Army's XM17 Modular Handgun System competition
Price / market appearanceTo be defined

Further information about GLOCK USA , you will find here on the website.




Our special thanks go to the GLOCK management for inviting our team to the Austrian Headquarter and allowing us to collect this valuable and exclusive information personally. There are some more details, we are preparing for you in the next days.

Keep on reading and following all4shooters.com.

08/09/2017

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