Glock Goes Generation 5: New Springs and Other Things
I recently attended the Glock Armorer Course again for recertification. The main pistol we worked on was the new Generation 5. In my quest to present truth versus the half assed ignorance so prevalent on the internet, I will share facts, not the ranting of the usual suspects that apparently do not possess the ambition, or likely, credentials, to become an Armorer.
I can say that after using their products for a quarter century now, the Gen5 has some pretty redeeming features, and the Gen 5 has those features due to long term study from previous generations. This long term work ascertained exactly which parts were prone to wear/breakage, and how to make future iterations better.
The ignorant and malicious nay sayers are already out there polluting the internet with stories about using up old Generation 2 frames to sell deceptively “new” product, and this is simply not true.
Back in the day, a mindset was born, from the love/hate affair that has popularized( and equally polarized) these pistols. The mindset was (and for some, STILL is) -don’t bother to ever clean or repair anything, as this is a Glock, and needs neither cleaning, or maintenance. You can rest assured that this is not how professionals work. Every tool you possess needs to be clean, and maintained.
Anything built by MAN will eventually fail- it doesn’t matter WHO makes it. If you’re someone at home, i.e.- NOT professional, and you choose to do some half assed evaluation of this type- by all means. You paid for the firearm, it is yours-feel free to do whatever floats your boat. Even Glock themselves shows all sorts of testing to prove (time and again) that they make prety damn good pistols. Swell. The points have been established, there is a new one now, Gen 5. If I knew a new person wishing to purchase a Glock for the first time, I would recommend the Gen 5.
Of course, now the nay-sayers come out, and they’re dragging their dead horses about- “well, if the motto is PERFECTION”, why is there a new variant? Obviously, the goal must simply be for monetary gain”. I’m not paid by Glock, but I am an Armorer, that’s all, one of thousands to be sure. If this is a statement that will get me “excommunicated”, I don’t care, I’ll say it anyway. At what point was anyone ever in some sort of enclosed “session” and heard the management for Glock imply that “perfection” was an eternal statement, versus a pursuit FOR perfection?
At this point I would deeply love to call out some of the biggest , absolute buffoons on the internet, but to do so caters to their reductionist behaviors, and fuels their own Narcissistic fires. The only way to strangle ignorance is the steady application of truth. Enough digression, let’s commence with strangulation, shall we?
Let’s say that you have a Gen 1, and you’ve carried it through hell and back, and just can’t/won’t part with it. That’s okay, there are still parts available for it. There are plenty of departments out there who have various iterations of the pistols for various reasons, and thus, there are parts. This is true for private shooters as well. You will find that there are those who have deep bonds for whichever variant, and simply refuse to switch. That’s your prerogative, regardless of reason, so carry on, Gridley.
The sweeping change with Gen 5 is springs. There are parts in previous generations that resemble bent paper clips (Slide Lock Springs, for example). Other parts, like Ejectors, look as if they were bent by the goober reassembling the firearm becoming a bit over zealous. This same type of goober carries a Leatherman (to be sure), and he will attempt to straighten a piece of metal NOT designed to be straight, and cause damage. I remember looking at my first Gen 1 back in the day and wondering just HOW this combination of parts would ever do all of the miraculous things that were being said, but I sure as hell didn’t perform any sort of Leatherman autopsy to “fix” anything. The gun worked, just like all of them work.
The “paper clip” springs flex, and eventually break, at the juncture where they curve. Glock replaced these with coil springs. If you dont know what this means, hopefully you have a click type ink pen in the house. Take that ink pen apart, and the spring that allows the wonderful “clicking” sound is wrapped around the tube that contains the ink, and the pen nib. That is a coil spring, friends. Obviously, the springs in a firearm are far superior with heat treat, etc., but you get the gist/analogy. If you’re not an Armorer, stick to disassembling ink pens. This can only cause the INK PEN to malfunction, not the firearm you/your family rely on to defend the ranch.
Glocks have been steadily creeping into law enforcement holsters for the last 30 years, and that’s a fact. Here is another fact- most people who carry firearms may NOT be deeply in love with them- it’s merely another couple of pounds on their already-overloaded “Bat Belt”. Believe it or not, a lot of departments will not allow their “ordinary road people” the option of taking all that weight off the hips with something like a tactical vest, because the vest “looks intimidating”. Let’s get away from the ignorance of most politics, and common sense at this point.
We were discussing coil springs- they can take flexion, and distribute it better and longer than a spring resembling a bent paper clip. I personally applaud this, as it shows that Glock does indeed care about their customers by putting in parts with an extended working life. Knowing that the average person is not going to be doing Armorer type work on their firearm, and that same user feels that they should have a firearm that won’t ever require any maintenance, you get the coil springs.
This coil spring change wasn’t just by blind chance. Believe it or not, Glock tabulates data, and they have wonderful sources of data out there- police departments, various law enforcement entities, some military units, competition shooters, and the ordinary people who use their stuff. Perhaps all of the other major pistol makers out there do similar tabulation- I don’t know. My department has 1 pistol, and it has been Glock for a long time. If the other players gather information, someone wiser than I can distribute the facts.
Another new feature is the ambidextrous slide stop levers, if you care.
I personally do not care, because, after having carried various generations over the years, I can adequately manipulate the firearm with either hand. Having said this, let me also share this tidbit with you- when you run out there to get your Gen 5, this means you need to get new holsters, too. Why? I just said to you that it has ambidexterous slide stop levers, and this is going to change holster fit- particularly with kydex. If you’re of the mindset that everything has to have a light on it, things will get even stranger. Personally, I would just make the holster myself- and I’m sure the major makers are busy doing exactly that.
The finish is new, and here is why. The original finish was Tenifer. It was originally used for automotive applications, and Glock did some proprietary chemical changes, and used it to coat pistols. Long story short, it was not exactly ideal in terms of worker health, so Nitration came along, (2011). Nitration made things easier, safer, and cost effective. The new finish is Nitration with ion bonding. There has been a lot of rock throwing about this, but, if they feel it’s good enough, perhaps the rock throwers should take a seat and see what happens. Likely, nothing bad will happen- have either of the previous finishes failed?
From the Gen 4 to the Gen 5, there are 27 changes, with far fewer interchangeable parts. The finger grooves are gone, and the mag well is flared. Those who’ve railed against the finger grooves can now save money on Tums, as this surely, nearly, ended Western civilization as we know it. My personal favorite part of the Gen5- no .40 caliber offerings, so, those of you who feel that a number overtakes placement for terminal effectiveness will be sad.
I mention this in nearly every article, and it bears repetition- the BATF says Glock is DAO (Double Action Only). There are other polymer striker fire pistols out there that are NOT DAO. Something to be aware of- if you use a handgun to defend yourself, don’t be surprised if the firearm falls under scrutiny (it will). Glocks also have the Trigger Safety to prevent inertia fire, if the pistol were to be dropped in less than ideal circumstances (this would not ever happen, as there are all SORTS of rules about organized combatives, correct?) T
here have been other makers out there who have had issues with this exact type of thing, but I’m not attempting to throw anyone under the bus. You can look this information up on your own accord. If you possess a poly striker pistol that is NOT a Glock, you owe it to yourself, and anyone in your general area to do your homework to ensure what you’re doing is safe. The safety set up on the Gen 5 should last indefinitely.
In the event you didn’t know- Glock makes all of their own parts- inhouse. How many other makers can HONESTLY say that? Glock also goes the extra step and makes the very tools that make their firearms. Ask that same question, again, about the other major players. To be fair, the mechanisms employed in the Glock firearms were taken from other proven concepts, but the majority of the working parts are unique.
The Gen 5 barrel is new/different, and CAN NOT be dropped into younger generations. It is very accurate, based on information gathered from the class. In essence, the gun is more accurate than the shooter. This testing has been performed in house .Again, to be fair, so are most modern firearms of good repute. Most likely, some “expert” with magnified self-importance has done a You Tube video of absolutely zero worth to prove, and disprove, the new barrel. This is the same type of person who feels that melons are an accurate analog of human tissue, through some warped version of reality.
The extractor juts out on the Gen 5, as it does on some earlier versions, as a tactile aid to verify a round in the chamber under low light conditions.I can honestly say that I’ve done this for years, and that there are cautions against “rubbing the extractor”, and “false positives” on this very issue. I’m happy to report that we’ve not ever experienced a “false positive” of this type, and we have a significant amount of pistols in service. I’ll also make the same argument that others have used as well- the pistol is used to get the rifle into play, and lighting where I work is different than in most places.
In the class, the same warning was given that comes up in EVERY class, and that is- do not lubricate your mag springs (Gen 4 mags won’t work in Gen 5 pistols) and do not lubricate your striker channel. This can turn the pistol into a Crud Magnet, and MIGHT induce malfunction. The Gen 5 magazines have orange followers, and will NOT work in the new G19X. The rear sight on the Gen 5 is also different, so be aware of this if you’re pondering removing the cheap plastic ones that come stock (you should indeed do that ASAP.)
So, what did we learn?
ALL types of firearms need maintenance. If made by MAN, it will eventually fail
No matter what type of pistol you may possess, you owe it to everyone to investigate the Drop Safety
The Gen 5 is NOT a nefarious plot by Glock to take your money
If you have older Glocks, they still make parts for you
The coil springs in the Gen 5 are for firearm longevity
There is a “new” finish, that’s not exactly new
The new barrel is very accurate, but can’t be dropped into earlier generations
Glock makes their own…EVERYTHING, and farms out…NOTHING
No more finger grooves (perhaps Chicken Dance appropriate at this time)
No 40 caliber offerings(Chicken Dance definitely appropriate at this time)
Featured image courtesy of Glock.