TESTED: Glock 49 Gen 5 Merges the G17 & G19 with Glock’s Blessing

by Vern Evans

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Blending the best of both worlds, the Glock 49 Gen 5 is a reality with Glock’s blessing. The TALO Distributors exclusive is the successful marriage of the G17 and G19. As a result, the crossover is easy to carry concealed while offering the enhanced accuracy of a longer sight radius.

The Glock 49 Gen 5

A long barrel is easier to conceal than a long grip with the most common, vertically oriented carry methods. That’s why Glock enthusiasts have been swapping out the barrel and slide assembly of the short grip frame, 15-round, compact Glock 19, with the longer one from the full-size, 17-round Glock 17 for years now.

The hybrid pistol got the nickname G19L. In this moniker, the “L” signifies long. The payoff for this parts swapping was a slightly longer sight radius and a small increase in velocity. All thanks to the longer barrel, which was now 0.67 inches longer than the standard G19. However, it maintained its 4.9-inch overall height, making it slightly easier to conceal.

That might not seem like much. And if you’re a red-dot shooter it’s arguable if the extra 0.47 inch of barrel will improve your accuracy. However, this is America, and Glock owners have the right to pursue Glock Perfection as they see it.

Recognizing the trend, Glock formalized this improvisation in the Glock 49 Gen 5. The short grip/long barrel concept appealed to me. Not to mention the idea of a firearms manufacturer paying attention to its customers.

So, I made a point to take a look at it during SHOT Show 2024’s Industry Day at the Range. The visit turned out to be an epiphany at first trigger pull.

The Improved Glock Trigger

Truth be told, I recognize the merits of the Glock design, especially as a simple and reliable police/military weapon. However, I’ve never felt compelled to own a Glock pistol. And I really hadn’t shot one since they first appeared on the market in the mid-1980s. The deal-killer for me back then was Glock’s squishy, seemingly uncertain trigger pull.

The Gen 5 pistols appear to have finally addressed this, and I no longer have a reason to eschew Glocks. This new trigger feels similar to a conventional two-stage military trigger. It is fairly light and even in the take-up until you reach a wall. Then, a little more pressure is needed to move the trigger through to the break.

On the G49’s first stage, the finger moves through 0.25 inches of take-up, requiring about 3.5 pounds of pull to bring it up to an obvious wall. The second stage of the trigger pull increases to 5.75 pounds before it begins to move through the last 0.12 inch of travel to the break.

Overtravel seems short, perhaps 0.050 inches. This is not the best trigger I’ve experienced on a striker-fired gun. But it’s more than decent despite a springy feel, and its consistency is confidence-building. If, like me, you were initially disappointed in Glock’s trigger, it’s time to give the Gen 5 guns a try.

Twenty Design Modifications Leading to Gen 5

Glock says that the Gen 5 guns were the result of twenty design modifications of the previous Gen 4 guns. I’ll take the company’s word for it.

Not all of those changes are readily apparent. But many of them should add to the Gen 5’s market appeal for military, law enforcement, and civilian users.

This includes a flared magazine well for faster reloading. Likewise, the more accurate GLOCK Marksman Barrel features more aggressive polygonal rifling. Correspondingly, the recessed target crown protects the muzzle.

Tighter chamber tolerances, an ambidextrous slide stop lever, and a larger, reversible magazine release button help with the operation. Enlarged magazine floorplates provide a better grip for manual removal if a malfunction prevents them from falling free when released.

Finally, two larger frame backstraps with oversized beavertails increase the circumference of the grip. This is ideal if you have large hands or need more protection from the recoiling slide.

Glock’s Gen 5 guns returned to a flat front strap on the grip, abandoning the finger grooves. Additionally, the addition of grasping serrations at the slide is likely to meet with universal praise. Likewise, a more aggressive frame surface texturing, formed of even rows of rectangular nubs (0.30 x 0.30 x 0.20 inches high) on all four sides of the grip, helps with retention.

The Gen 5 Slide

The Gen V slides are now gently tapered at the muzzle to make holstering easier.  They also have a new matte black DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) surface treatment. This protects the metal from corrosion and wear, as well as adding lubricity to the metal surface.

One might argue that many of these improvements are long overdue. In any case, I found the pistol easy to carry, pleasant to shoot, and unfailingly reliable with every ammo type. Likewise, it was respectably accurate when I tested it from a bench rest at 25 yards.

The extra slide length of the Glock 49 provides more room for lengthy tactical lights than the Glock 19. I installed a powerful 500-lumen Streamlight TLR-8 AG tactical light/targeting laser combination unit. Thus optimizing this pistol for self-defense use in the hours of darkness.

It would be a mistake to believe that violent crimes are more prevalent after the sun goes down. However, darkness does degrade our ability to defend against those nighttime attacks, making them all the more dangerous.

I believe a good pistol-mounted light, especially one combined with a strobe, gives you a little more reaction time. Along with illuminating the threat, it can also momentarily blind and/or confuse them.

Add to this an eye-catching green targeting laser, and you’ve done about all you can do with technology.

The TLR-8-AG has all these features, customizable switches, and mounting keys to fit a wide variety of rails.  This unit’s high-quality build, features, and durability warrant the $300 or so investment you’ll make in it.

Holstering the G49

My go-to concealed carry holster for semi-auto pistols equipped with tactical lights is the Triple K Victor #778-XL. With an MSRP of $60, it’s economical as well as practical.

This all-American-made, vegetable-tanned leather, double-loop belt holster rides high and hugs the body. Additionally, I like the extended leather tab that protects my clothes from rubbing/snagging on the rear of the slide.

This holster is very versatile because the front is uncapped, and the area below the trigger guard is purposely left spacious. As a result, there is room for various length auto-loaders and brands of rail-mounted lights or lasers.

Because it’s unmolded, you can customize it to your specific handgun and accessory combination. Wet molding and boning a holster ensures a custom fit. And it’s a fairly easy DIY project that you can do in an evening.

In addition, the Triple K leather single magazine carrier #747-61 (MSRP $33) fits many double-stack 9mm & 40 caliber magazines. It was a perfect fit for the Glock 49’s 15-round magazine. Its metal belt spring clip fits any belt under 1.9 inches in width.

Adding an Optic Via the Glock MOS Adapter Plate System

Though I didn’t install a red-dot optic for my tests, the G49 features the Glock MOS adapter plate system. Correspondingly, it includes a #2 plate (RMR) and mounting screws to attach Trijicon, Holosun, and other popular red dots. Other footprint plates are available for about ten bucks each.

The downside of the plate system is that the optic window is generally too high to use the iron sight. But recently Holoson brilliantly addressed this issue with its direct-to-slide mount SCS MOS optics.

At around $410 bucks, it’s a premium solar-charging optic. However, if you’ve never said “the perfect is the enemy of the good,” I’d suggest you take a look at its features. There’s a lot more to it than a titanium housing and multiple green reticles.

At present, a survey of online retail prices showed that the Glock 49, a TALO exclusive, averages around $620.

For more information, please visit TALOInc.com.

Glock 49 Gen 5 MOS Specs

Caliber 9 x 19mm
Operation semi-auto, locked breech blowback, striker-fired
Capacity 15-round magazine +1
Barrel Length 4.95 inches Glock Markman polygonal groove barrel
Overall Length 7.95 inches
Overall Height 4.9 inches
Width 1.3 inches
Weight 22.4 ounces
Trigger two-stage, 5.75-pound pull
Sights Glock plastic white outline, windage drift adjustable rear and white dot front. Slide cut for Glock MOS optics system.
Accessories Glock Logo plastic case, Glock MOS plate #2 for Trijicon, RMR, Holosun base optics, 2 extra rear grip-strap adapters to customize circumference, 2 extra 15-round magazines & loading tool, bore brush, cable lock.
MSRP $745.00


Brand Bullet Weight & Type       Velocity Best Group
Hornady Critical Defense 115 FTX JHP 1,145 2.80
Black Hills Ammunition 115 FMJ 1,134 1.83
Winchester Super X 115 Silvertip JHP 1,176 2.37

Performance was tested with a series of five-shot groups fired at 25 yards from a bench rest with a Competition Electronics Pro-Chrono Digital Chronograph set 15 feet from the muzzle.  Bullet weight is in grains, velocity in feet-per-second and the group size in inches.

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