The 9mm cartridge is so popular that many gun manufacturers make multiple pistols and even some rifles chambered in that round. Practically every firearms company has a variety of 9mm pistol options. Most of the time, the variations are very different from one another, but not always. Glock, long known for its consistent styling, has several 9mm handguns for a variety of applications. Let’s take a look at all the Glocks in 9mm, beginning with the one that started it all.
The granddaddy of the Glock family, the original G17 hit the European law enforcement market in 1982 and migrated to the US in 1986. It was one of the first polymer striker-fired pistols to hit the mass market, gaining it instant popularity for its simplicity and reliability. It is the patriarch of the 9mm Glock family, and is Glock’s bestselling model, with a full-sized frame and 17 round capacity. No, the 17-round magazine is not why it’s a G17. That’s pure coincidence. Glock numbers its pistols based on the patent number assigned; the G17 represented the 17th patent received by Glock. Model numbers follow after that, more or less in order of number of patents.
The G19 took the basic footprint of the G17 but lopped off about a half inch from the grip and the barrel. Cutting down the grip reduced the capacity to 15 rounds, but it also made the gun more concealable. Today, the G19 is one of the most popular concealed carry pistols on the market. Because it uses standard Glock 9mm magazines, larger capacity magazines will function through the shorter grip; they are just harder to conceal.
If there ever was a mashup of Glocks in 9mm, the G19X would be it. Originally designed for the US military’s modular handgun contract to replace the aging Beretta M9, the G19X is a mix of a G17 grip and G19 slide, similar to a commander-style 1911 with its shorter barrel and longer grip. This gives the G19X a standard capacity of 17 rounds. Of particular interest with the G19X are two features Glock had never used before: a lanyard on the bottom of the grip and a manual safety, both of which were spec'd into the military bid. The lanyard made it to the civilian version, but Glock ditched the manual safety after SIG Sauer was awarded the contract. If you can find one with the manual safety, it’s likely a collector’s item. The G19X also introduced Glock’s first departure from the Henry Ford color palette with an FDE look.
If you want concealability in a 9mm Glock, look no further than the G26, with its tiny yet shootable footprint. The G26 takes what the G19 started with its reduced size and shrank even smaller. The G26 features a 10-round magazine that feeds a 3.43-inch barrel and weighs less than a pound and a half empty. One criticism of the G26 is that it’s not great for large hands because of the shorter grip. This is a personal preference thing and can be easily remedied with a slightly larger capacity magazine that maintains concealability. The G26 is one of only a few Glock models in 9mm that does not have an MOS option in the Gen 5 version, and cannot mount a red dot without milling the slide.
More Glocks Chambered In 9mm
On top of the duty/self-defense Glock 17 and the other Glocks in 9mm for concealed carry, Glock also supplies the competition world with the longer barrel G34, a mostly G17 lookalike but with a nose job. The G34 comes standard with a 5.31-inch barrel connected to what is essentially a G17 lower. The longer barrel gives competition a bit of an accuracy edge, which is why it’s so popular with the practical pistol crowd. Like the other full-size Glocks, the G34 includes an MOS option in the Gen 4 and Gen 5 configurations.
The G43 comes in two versions, both of which are slimmer than the normal 9mm Glock models for easier concealed carry. Keeping with the smaller theme, the original G43 includes a diminutive 3.41-inch pipe and an equally small six-round capacity, a true concealed carry setup for a pocket or deep-concealment situation. Jump up to the G43X and you pick up a longer grip designed to accommodate 10-round magazines. Gen 4 and Gen 5 versions offer an MOS option, too.
Flashback to a few paragraphs ago where we talked about the G19X with its long grip and short barrel. Now take that gun, minus the lanyard loop, paint it black, and you more or less have the G45. This shorter barrel version features the 17-round magazine found on the G17 and G19X as well as an MOS option for mounting a red dot.
As the newest slimline in Glock’s lineup, the G48 is bigger than the G43 but carries more rounds standard and features a longer, 4.17-inch barrel for improved accuracy and balance. Since the grip is typically what prints, the longer barrel length will not compromise the G48’s concealability compared to G43X. Like the wider-frame Glocks in 9mm, the G48 comes with an MOS option.