Top Glocks! The Best of The Glock Pistol Lineup

Michael R Crites

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Best Glocks - Cover

Chances are if you’re a gun owner looking for a new pistol – either for self-defense or something new for the range – a Glock handgun can do the job. These pistols are consistently top sellers  in the civilian market charts thanks to their durability, consistency, and variety. 

In general, handguns designed for concealed carry have contrasting characteristics to home defense pistols. A shorter barrel and lower capacity is important for concealing a firearm on your person, while grip length, accessory option, and more capacity will be desirable for a home defense pistol. You’ll need to determine what your Glock will be used to to ensure you find the right fit.

Let’s break down the best of the best so you know which one to choose.

In This Article:

Glock Handgun Comparison

Below are my selections of the best Glocks for a variety of roles & use cases. I list the best choices in terms of value, fit, design, and cost.

Click on the name to head to the product page, read reviews and check prices or skip ahead to the list of Glocks.

ImageNameSelectionCapacityWeight
Glock 17Best Overall1722.05 oz
Glock 22Best .40 S&W1522.1oz
Glock 34Target Pick1723.1 oz
Glock 19Best 9mm Compact1521.16 oz
Glock 23.40 S&W Compact Pick1321.16 oz
Glock 43XTop CCW Option1016.4 oz

Glock Handgun Reviews

1. Best Overall: Glock 17

Specifications:

  • Weight: 22.05oz
  • Length: 8.03”
  • Barrel Length: 4.49”
  • Capacity: 17
  • Height: 5.47”
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Action: Striker-fired

Pros

  • The Orginal Glock
  • Best developed in terms of reliability and updates
  • These fit well in most people’s hands
  • Shoot accurately for most people

Cons

  • Same iffy Glock factory trigger
  • The all-black standard sights are not the best for fast shooting.
Glock 17 Gen 4
The Glock 17 Gen 4 -- immediately recognizable.

Beyond being “The Original” Glock, which won the company favor with the Austrians then the world, the Glock G17 is arguably the most popular Glock pistol model on the planet.

There are tons of features that make it worth your consideration, starting with its trademark durability and flexibility. It features a modular backstrap that will let you customize the grip for your unique hand size. The entire surface is also textured for easier handling, making it difficult to lose your hold on the weapon, even in a confrontation.

If you want more on the G17 check out our hands-on review

The G17 grip hasn't change a lot over the years, with the only major change being the Gen5 moving away from finger grooves.
The G17 grip hasn't change a lot over the years, with the only major changes being the Gen5 moving away from finger grooves and adding a flared magwell.

It features a dual recoil spring assembly to make it even more durable and an enlarged magazine catch, which can accommodate either left or right-handed shooters, that makes changing the magazine easy and fast. A Glock accessory rail is available for any attachments you might want to include.

2. Best .40 S&W: Glock 22

Specifications:

  • Weight: 22.1oz
  • Length: 7.95”
  • Barrel Length: 4.49”
  • Capacity: 15
  • Height: 5.47”
  • Caliber: .40 S&W
  • Action: Striker-fired

Pros

  • Most controllable .40SW Glock
  • Same size and controls as the G19

Cons

  • .40 SW is fading in popularity
  • Non-replaceable sights

Glock’s first entry into the .40 S&W game is arguably their best; with the G22 they just got a lot right. 

Shooting the G22
Shooting the G22

Beyond the fabled reliability, the .40 SW packs a punch, and the full-sized G22 helps tame the recoil impulse better than its smaller .40 S&W brethren —  the compact G23 and subcompact G27.

You’re giving up concealability with the G22, but it’s a significantly easier pistol to control than its .40 SW siblings. 

While it doesn’t feature the modular backstrap, the textured grip is sufficient, plus you get the captive recoil spring, steel guide rod, and ambi mag release found on other Glocks, and a rail for all your home defense needs.

It’s also the same size as the G19, so accessories should work between the two of you want to add a .40S&W Glock to your roster.

We went deep on the G22 in our hands-on review if you want more detail.

Glock 22 Review (Controls)
The G22's controls are decidedly Glock-like.

3. Best For Target Shooting: Glock 34

Specifications:

  • Weight: 23.1oz
  • Length: 8.82”
  • Barrel Length: 5.31”
  • Capacity: 17
  • Height: 5.47”
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Action: Striker-fired

Pros

  • More accurate than other Glocks.
  • Heavier frame aids in felt recoil reduction

Cons

  • Long slide could use more serrations
  • Proprietary rail system

This fifth-generation G34 pistol is another fantastic choice, featuring an extended 5.3” barrel for enhanced accuracy and larger slide dimensions. As a result, it’s a particularly good target shooting pistol, especially since it features a special marksman barrel that includes enhanced polygon rifling and an improved barrel crown. 

The gun is somewhat unique in that the grip doesn’t feature any grooves, though it does include ambidextrous slide stop levers for added versatility and even more control. A non-corrosive finish increases the pistol’s durability even further, and you get a 10-round magazine with your purchase.

4. Also Great: Glock 19

Specifications:

  • Weight: 21.16oz
  • Length: 7.36”
  • Barrel Length: 4.02”
  • Capacity: 15
  • Height: 5.04”
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Action: Striker-fired

Pros

  • More concealable than the Glock 17 but with similar ergonomics
  • Come standard with improved white sights

Cons

  • Loses two rounds of capacity to the G17
  • Large despite shorter barrel length 

This Gen 5 G19 Glock pistol comes with night sights built into its frame, making this a great duty carry pistol or self-defense weapon.

Glock 19 Gen 3 9mm
My Glock 19 Gen 3 has never let me down.

It also comes with the same adjustable grip back strap as the Glock 17 making it easy to customize the grip to your hand shape. Finger grooves can also be removed for added versatility and customization, helping to increase hand feel and control. It comes with an enhanced trigger spring assembly design, so each trigger pull is smooth and snappy.

Other additional benefits like an enhanced magazine floorplate, and the 15+1 capacity gives the most capacity of any Glock handgun.

All these, plus the non-corrosive finish, make this a great pistol for tons of uses.

If you’re on the fence we have a hands-on Glock 19 review and compared the G19 and G17 to help you make sense of the two. 

Comparing the Glock 19 (left) and Glock 17 (right) side-by-side you can really see how consistent the pistols are -- and in turn the broader Glock platform is.
Comparing the Glock 19 (left) and Glock 17 (right) side-by-side you can really see how consistent the pistols are -- and in turn the broader Glock platform is.

5. .40S&W Runner-Up: Glock 23

Specifications:

  • Weight: 21.16oz
  • Length: 7.36”
  • Barrel Length: 4.02”
  • Capacity: 13
  • Height: 5.04”
  • Caliber: .40 Smith and Wesson
  • Action: Striker-fired

Pros

  • Additional stopping power
  • Cartridge is still relatively easy to find

Cons

  • Lower capacity to the Glock 19
  • 9mm is cheaper ammunition than .40 SW
  • Compact frame can create handling challenges

The compact G23 Glock pistol offers 13+1 capacity, and it’s chambered in 40 S&W rounds, breaking from the traditional focus on 9mm Glocks.

It features a modular backstrap designed to let you customize the grip, plus a dual recoil spring assembly for added durability. The reversible magazine catch lets you use it whether you’re right or left-handed.

We also like that it’s relatively affordable and comes with three magazines. 

The Glock G43’s 4” barrel-length cuts down from the full-size G22, which ups the concealability while still keeping it well within accuracy and self-defense application range. 

Plus the 13+1 capacity gives you all the rounds you’ll need to have a good time at the range or feel secure in a self-defense situation.

6. Best Concealed Carry: Glock 43X

Specifications:

  • Weight: 16.4oz
  • Length: 6.5”
  • Barrel Length: 3.41”
  • Capacity: 10
  • Height: 5.04”
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Action: Striker-fired

Pros

  • The most concealable stock Glock
  • It feels larger in hand
  • Easy to shoot

Cons

  • Only 10 round capacity
  • Short sight radius
  • Challenging for new shooters

This last Glock pistol is a Glock 43x model with fixed sites and chambered for 9mm Luger rounds.

It has a relatively limited capacity of 10+1, but the 3.4” barrel paired with the 1” width and weight of just over 1 pound makes for an excellent self-defense or concealed carry pistol. Plus, the 5” height gives you enough grip to maintain control in any situation. 

Overall the 43X is an extremely sleek and slim firearm, with a silver finished slide specially coated for added durability.

The Glock 43 Vickers in 9mm

It ships with two 10-round magazines and comes with Glock sights from the factory – but you can easily switch these out for your own optics if you like.

We dove deep into the G43 in our review if you want more details.

Glock 43 Vickers 9mm (6)
The Glock 43 Vickers 9mm

Important Glock Handgun Considerations

Glock 22 Taken Down
Glock 22 Taken Down

Glocks occupy a specific – if broad – niche in the firearm market, serving as versatile home defense and target shooting weapons.

There are plenty of things that distinguish each model from its cousins – be it full size or compact –  so keep these aspects in mind as you buy to ensure you get a Glock that’s perfect for your unique needs.

Caliber

9mm 10mm 45 JHPs
The 9mm vs 10mm vs 45 JHPs

Firstly, consider the caliber a given Glock might be chambered for. The majority of Glock pistols will be chambered for 9mm cartridges, which suits the platform’s versatility.

However, you may be able to find a Glock suited for more niche purposes if it’s chambered for different rounds – such as the larger 10mm or a .22LR option.

You may also want a Glock that’s chambered for the caliber of your other handguns  – or simply for the ammo you have stockpiled at the moment.

Capacity

Standard double-stack Glock magazine compared to G43. The standard Glock sticks won't work with single-stack Glocks, like the G43.
Standard double-stack Glock magazine compared to G43. The standard Glock sticks won't work with single-stack Glocks, like the G43.

The magazine capacity of a Glock also matters, as it dictates how many shots you can fire before you need to reload and impacts things like weight & grip length, so capacity indirectly impacts control and hand feel.

Most Glock pistols have capacities hovering around 12 cartridges or so, either in the magazine or magazine plus a chambered cartridge. A double stack magazine may offer up to 16 rounds, while the single stack Glock 43 will offer just 6 rounds.

Keep in mind that higher capacities will generally weigh more – which may prevent them from being a top choice for concealed carry, and double stacks can’t be used with single stack pistols (and vice versa), so if you’re rocking a G17 don’t expect those 17 rounders to work with your new G43X.

Barrel Length

The barrel length of a Glock can also impact whether it’s better suited for self-defense, as a concealed carry weapon, or both. Glocks with shorter barrels are easier to use with small concealed carry holsters and are generally better for close-quarters self-defense.

However, if your Glock has a longer barrel, it’ll be slightly more accurate (since your sights will provide more of a benefit) and more intimidating. Often longer barrelled Glocks will also have longer/thicker grips, which means higher capacity as well.

Conclusion

Overall, the best Glock handgun for most people is the Glock 17, which features a versatile design with extra durability and plenty of customizability.

You’ll be able to tailor the grip according to your needs and use this capably for either self-defense or target shooting. Consider each of the options above, though, and choose the one that works best for your needs. Good hunting!

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