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By the end of the last year, Glock has come out with two new models, which were described as “revolutionary” and “fantastic”. Since Glock is Austria’s No1 gun maker and one of the most popular pistol brands, the gun enthusiasts were eagerly looking forward to the new models. They were premiered at last year’s Vegas Shot Show. The markings of the new models are Glock 41 and 42 and their design is somewhat different from what we would expect from Glock.
Glock 41 – The Big Guns
For all you .45 lovers who wanted to see a full size version of Glock 21, the day has come. Model 41 was created as a breed between 4th generation G-21 frame and the longer slide which is used on Tactical/Practical models G-34 and G-35 in 9 mm Para and .40 S&W. Unlike these models, the slide on G-41 doesn’t have the top groove, but it’s narrower than the G-21 one. Unloaded, the pistol weighs 775 g and it’s 266 mm long. Its height is 139 mm and it’s 32.5 mm at its widest part.
The good grip is achieved by the handle which is thinner that the rest of the frame. Every 4th generation Glock is delivered with 4 interchangeable inserts two of which feature the beavertail. These inserts are invaluable for people with big hands, as they keep the upper part of the hand away from the slide. What is more, beavertail protects the holding hand completely, while helping with consistent grip in fast draw scenarios.
The low barrel axis relative to the hand is something Glock is famous for, so the deep grip helps with controlling the recoil. Another feature that helps controlling the gun is the prominent depression near the disassembly lever, on both sides of the frame, where the thumb of the other hand rests when the pistol is held by both hands.
The interior of the 135 mm barrel is polygonal with octagonal cross section. It is corrosion-protected with a special coating which works fine even with careless users. The twist rate is 400 mm, a standard for .45 ACP pistols. The handle surface is checkered in a tiny, sharp pyramid pattern, enabling the secure grip. The sloping edges in the front part of the slide make retracting the gun into its holster much easier.
The lower front part of the frame is equipped with molded rail for tactical attachments, and the manufacturer is planning a longer barrel version which could support a silencer. The .45 ACP is an ideal caliber for silencers, as it’s subsonic even with standard charges, due to the heavy round.
This gun is definitely too big for concealed carry, while the caliber choice is a limiting factor in IPSC and similar competitions, where the .40 S&W offers easier control and increased number of rounds for the same pack. It’s more likely that it will be adopted by military and law enforcement special forces, and there is a great number of civilians who believe that a 13-round .45 is a perfect home defender.
Glock 42 – Call for Backup
Unlike somewhat over dimensioned G-41, the new G-42 is something completely different. It is a 9 mm Glock with a single-stack magazine. The big surprise is that it is not 9 mm Para, but its shorter cousin the 9×17 mm (.380 Auto). Many gun experts consider it to be the lowest standard when it comes to self-defense. On the other hand, with its reduced energy, this caliber still allows simple design features like simple blowback operation and compact size. Similar guns are often used as concealed back-up service weapons.
On the other hand, this is not the first Glock in this caliber. For almost two decades there has been the G-25, with 15-round magazine and dimensions similar to G-19. Also, there is a subcompact model G-28 with a 10-round magazine, which is similar to G-26. Those compacts, however, are not very popular, except maybe in Mexico, where some police units adopted them as service pistols.
The G-42 silhouette is reminiscent of the first Glock models, without finger grooves, 4th generation surface finish and straight lines with no rail nor handle inserts. Still, the beavertail feature provides the safe and secure grip. The gun is 151 mm long and 105 mm high. It certainly isn’t the smallest 9×17 mm pistol on the market, but with its empty weight of 390 g, 82 mm polygonal barrel and maximum width of 24 mm, G-24 still packs a powerful punch within its class.
In some states, the police officers are required to carry an “off duty gun”, a weapon that LEOs carry after their working hours. The people in Glock are hoping to launch the G-42 as an “off duty gun” because their full size pistols have already become the most numerous models in the US law enforcement agencies. And the best part is that all Glocks use the same trigger action so there is no need for the G-42 owners to get used to something new. It’s simple – once 2.5 kg of force and 12.5 mm of travel is reached, the shot is fired.
However, a number of users have reported problems with the operation of G-42. Several magazines and blogs have made lists of ammunition types which is prone to jamming. Among the problematic ammo is the Freedom Munitions 100 grs, Buffalo Bore (Standard and +P) Hickok45 100 grs, Federal FMJ 95 grs and Winchester JHP. Hornady Critical Defense has achieved best results when it comes to reliability as well as accuracy. The malfunctions that were reported can be divided into two groups. One, the pistol fails to eject the spent casing, and two, the slide remains in backward position after only two shots fired.