The original pistol, developed by GLOCK in 9 Luger, has been followed by various versions for larger ammunition. The first GLOCK 21 Automatic Colt Pistol ACP for .45 ammunition was released in early 1990. GLOCK then began to expand into the US civilian market.
Today, the GLOCK is still known as the “American Dream” pistol. Twenty-five years later, the fourth edition design is out (Gen 4). While technology is the same, the restyling of every G21 generation always introduced some new features.
The Gen4 GLOCK 21, as tested for you, has all of the characteristics of the fourth generation. It has an interchangeable backstrap to suit an individual shooter’s hand size.
Like all fourth-generation models, it uses a telescopic recoil spring to increase the lifetime of the system. GLOCK has varied the texture on the handgrip (RTF3) and the magazine release button has been made bigger.
GLOCK 21 technical details
The handgrip design achieves maximum score (- 0 points). The G21 is larger than its other 9 mm counterparts, but the grip and ergonomic finger grooves guarantee excellent handling. The size of the grip can also be changed, using one of the grip panels.
There’s nothing more to be said about cycling operations or safety. Whether fired using one hand or two, or even with a light grip, this pistol works safely and with no problems (- 0 points). The bigger magazine release button is an excellent feature, but like the G41 M.O.S., the GLOCK 21 has a rather heavy slide to release with just the thumb (-1 point). The slide also needs to be larger or have a better grip (-1 point).
The trigger is preloaded for single action. Unfortunately, there is a noticeable rubbing in the initial stage (-3 points). The release point is clear and the weight of the trigger is not excessive.
The sights are excellent – an adjustable rear sight with white outline and a front sight screwed inside (-0 points). There is a perceptible backlash during the preparatory stage (-2 points). The coating of the barrel and metal parts have no marks, while the polymer parts are without any stains or signs of wear.
All of the parts are perfectly assembled. With a 50 mm dispersion, the accuracy falls within the standard of a regular full-size model (-4 points).
The solid barrel, together with a full magazine, means that the weapon has a notable weight – at least for a polymer handgun. However, the pistol is not too heavy when it comes to pointing it.
GLOCK 21 analysis
|Accuracy (max. 50 points)||46 points|
|Cycling/safety (max. 10 points)||10 points|
|Trigger characteristics (max. 10 points)||7 points|
|Trigger-grip design (max. 5 points)||5 points|
|Control elements (max. 10 points)||8 points|
|Sights (max. 5 points)||5 points|
|Workmanship (max. 10 points)||8 points|
|Total score (max. 100 points)||89 points|
|Rating||5 out of 6|
GLOCK 21 characteristics
13 + 1 rounds
|Size (L X W X H):||193 x 32.5 x 129 mm|
|Barrel length: ||117 mm|
|Trigger weight:||2.450 g|
|Weight:||1085 g (loaded)|
Composition: polymer striker-fired pistol, single action, extra grip, rail for accessories.
GLOCK 21 Gen4 pistol - summary
The GLOCK 21 is to all intents and purposes, a bigger GLOCK 17 in a .45 calibre ACP. It has all of the features of the popular version in 9mm, with more material on the slide and a slightly larger grip.
The pistol comes in a GLOCK case with two magazines, a loading aid, cleaning kit, and backstrap.