Test: GLOCK 19 Gen4 in 9x19 caliber

The Glock 19 – a compact version of the Glock 17 – was introduced in 1988. Measuring 185mm in length, the new version was just shy of two centimetres shorter than the Glock 17, and was also smaller – its overall height (127mm) being a good 12mm lower than the original's. The capacity had also been changed: the standard Glock 19 magazines hold fifteen rounds of 9x19mm ammunition, two less than a Glock 17 magazine, but anyone unwilling to give up those two additional rounds could simply use the standard Glock 17 magazines, although the Glock 19 would be rather unsightly with one. Technically speaking, Glock's own working system – a combination of a striker-fired polymer frame design and a Browning-Petter-SIG locking system – remains unchanged.

Glock 19 is currently available in three variants: the standard Glock 19, the Glock 19 Gen4 and the Glock 19C; this last one comes with compensation cuts on the slide and barrel. The Glock 19 is globally acknowledged as a reliable service instrument within Police forces and governmental agencies around the world, just like the full-sized Glock 17: when the Svenska Flygvapnet (Swedish Air Force) decided to replace their .38 Special caliber Smith & Wesson M12 Airweight service revolvers − known as the m/58 in Swedish service − it was with the Glock 19, adopted as the m/88B. Glock 19 is also used as a daily duty pistol by around 40.000 officers of the New York Police Cepartment (NYPD); is the standard issue handgun for the security staff of the United Nations buildings in New York and Geneva; and has been cleared for duty use by USAF pilots.

Test: Glock 19 Gen4 in 9 mm Luger
The Glock pistols are stripped by pulling down the two twin catches positioned over the trigger guard, and by removing the slide

The test results for the GLOCK 19 Gen4: 

Test results for Finishes, Sights and Chambering/Safety categories are no different than those obtained with the "bigger brother" of this model the Glock 17 (+/-0 points in each case). 

This also applies to the handling elements: like with the Glock 17, the testers were less than enthusiastic about the usual, approximately match head-sized takedown catch and the slide stop lever, which is only designed for right-handers (-2 points). 

The testers also criticised an overly pronounced trigger creep (-3 points). However, their assessment of the Glock 19’s frame design was slightly different than the Glock 17's: although Glock designers generously managed to accommodate three finger grooves on the front side of the smaller version’s grip, its form ensures that even meatier fingers will find enough space. The backstrap, however, doesn't seem to provide the same handling comfort: bigger handed shooters  complained that they could feel the lower edge of the grip pressing clearly against their palms (-1 point). Admittedly, all of the testers credited the factory for creating carefully rounded edges to deliver maximum comfort. And like with all Glock Gen4 pistols, the replaceable backstrap components supplied with the pistol allow users to customise the grip to match their own hands.

Test: Glock 19 Gen4 in 9 mm Luger
Like the Glock 17, the Glock 19 comes with a white U-notch on the rear sight
Test: Glock 19 Gen4 in 9 mm Luger
The white-dot front sight of the Glock 19 is screwed to the slide from the inside

Accuracy test: it is fair to assume that if the sight radius is shorter, the width of the front sight and the size of the notch on the rear side will be noticeable and may, under certain circumstances, affect test precision when shooting from a sandbag support. But you know what? None of the testers registered a striking difference in a comparison of the two target images. Similarly, there was no pronounced deviation in terms of shot accuracy – on both sides, experienced marksmen shooting from a supported position achieved good group sizes of approximately 60 to 70 mm. The tested gun’s top result was 66 mm (-13 points), a fairly impressive mark for a service pistol.

Summary of the GLOCK 19 Gen4:

The overall score of the Glock 19 is slightly lower than the Glock 17, owing to the somewhat shorter frame. But these slight markdowns from full-size to compact apply just as much to other pistol families. The bottom line is that, although a bit smaller, the Glock 19 offers the same quality as the Glock 17.    

VISIER score for the Glock 19 Gen4 9mm pistol:

VISIER scorePoints
Accuracy (max. 50 points)
37 points 
Chambering/safety (max. 10 points)
10 points
Trigger features (max. 10 points)    
7 points
Grip and frame design (max. 5 points)    
4 points     
Controls elements (max. 10 points)    
8 points     
Sights (max. 5 points)    
5 points     
Finishes (max. 10 points)    
10 points     
Total score (max. 100 points)    
81 points     
Test grade    
5 of 6 

Shooting test of Glock 19 Gen4

1.115 grs GECO JHP81 (66) mm354 m/s467 J
2.115 grs PMC Bronze78 mm 342 m/s436 J
3.123 grs Fiocchi FMJ122 (85) mm337 m/s453 J
4.124 grs GECO FMJ66 mm331 m/s440 J
5.124 grs TopSHOT FMJ87 (67) mm311 m/s389 J

The results of the accuracy test for the Glock 19; we obtained the best results with the heavy, 124-grain GECO FMJ balls

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Glock 19 Gen4

Test: Glock 19 Gen4 in 9 mm LugerMichael Schippers

€ 690,00
ModelGlock 19 Gen4
Typesemiautomatic pistol
Caliber9x19 mm
Trigger systemGlock Safe Action
SafetiesTrigger, firing pin and drop automatic safety
Barrel101 cm
Sightsadjustable rear sight, fixed front sight
Overall length185 mm
Weight (empty)672 g
Materials/FinishesPolymer frame, blued steel slide
NotesAdditional backstrap, accessory rail