In January of 2013, Glock debuted its Glock 30S, a G30 with the narrow slide of Glock’s slim-but-lower-capacity G36. Originally put together for the LAPD’s high-risk felony squad, the Special Investigations Section (SIS), it proved to be a huge hit. This year, Glock followed by extending the barrel in the opposite direction. A slide assembly almost identical in configuration to its Tactical/Practical series, the G34 9mm and G35 .40 with 5.3-inch barrels, was assembled in .45 ACP and mated to the G21 Gen4 frame. Voila, the Glock 41 Gen4. Click here for an exclusive look at this pistol.
The G41 Gen4 weighs only 27 ounces unloaded, and its length is roughly comparable to a 5-inch-barreled 1911, long a favorite of plainclothes and off-duty officers as well as uniformed personnel.
Receiving a pre-announcement G41 in late 2013, we were able to test it in the hands of police instructors with experience from coast to coast. From retired California SWAT officer Steve Denney to Florida SWAT team commander Wayne Musgrove, none could tell any difference in recoil between the G21 Gen4 and the G41, which also has Gen4 characteristics and is 2.3 ounces lighter. The only tester who perceived a difference was IDPA Five-Gun Master and state and regional champion John Strayer, who felt there was a slight advantage in muzzle flip that favored this newest Glock. What the test team unanimously liked was the feel of the Glock 41.
There is a reason why, at International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) events, the 4.5-inch-barreled Glock 17 tends to be the most popular gun at local matches, but the 5.3-inch-barreled Glock 34 tends to be the single most popular handgun at the national championships. Top shooters appreciate the wand-like effect of a long, slim barrel/slide assembly for fast and accurate shooting, both in terms of multiple hits on one target and quickly tracking between multiple targets. We see something similar with the Springfield XDM in its 5.25-inch barrel configuration versus the shorter ones, and the longer-barrel M&P Pro versus standard service-size Smith & Wesson M&P series pistols.
The longer sight radius has always, historically, improved most officers’ accuracy. The G41 Gen4 did fine in that department. Shooting from 25 yards with a Caldwell Matrix rest on a concrete bench, the G41 Gen4 proved to be more than twice as accurate as the commonly touted “4 inches at 25 yards” standard for acceptable service pistol accuracy. The LAPD’s standard-issue load for its thousands of patrol officers and detectives carrying optional .45s, Federal’s 230-grain HST +P, put five rounds into a cluster measuring 1.95 inches center to center. The best three of those were in an exactly 1-inch group. Remington’s 185-grain JHP ammo, long proven effective “on the street,” also delivered a 1.95-inch group for all five shots, and put its best three into an even tighter group measuring 0.9 inches. That second “best three” measurement is taken to factor out human error, and in testing has been shown to be roughly equal to what the same gun and ammo will do from a machine rest with all five shots.
“The Gen4 pistols come with “dot” connectors that bring the pull weights up past 5.5 pounds, and I’m told by Glock that these will be shipped with “blue label” Glock 41 Gen4s intended for law enforcement use…”
How about its trigger pull? The test G41 Gen4 came with a connector rated for 4.5 pounds of trigger pressure. My Lyman digital gauge showed our test gun’s pull was 5.4 pounds at the toe of the trigger, and 7.28 pounds at the center where the trigger finger actually contacts. The pull was smooth and clean. All of the several test-shooters were comfortable with it. At the same time, Glock armorer’s classes and literature have a long history of recommending against 3.5- to 4.5-pound connectors for duty use, unless they’re mated with the NY-1 trigger module, which brings the pull weight up into the 6-pound range. The other 5.3-inch-barreled Glocks, the G34 and G35, come with 3.5- to 4.5-pound connectors, but it has long been Glock policy that G34s and G35s sold for police use be fitted with 5.5-pound connectors. The Gen4 pistols come with “dot” connectors that bring the pull weights up past 5.5 pounds, and I’m told by Glock that these will be shipped with “blue label” Glock 41 Gen4s intended for law enforcement use.
Longer barrels generally allow more powder to burn before the bullet leaves the muzzle, thus accelerating the velocity of the projectile and “making it hit harder.” On the chronograph, the Federal 230-grain HST +P bullet averaged 966 feet per second (fps) out of the G41 Gen4’s 5.3-inch barrel, and twice broke 980 fps. By contrast, the 4.5-inch barrel of my comparison Glock 21 Gen4 averaged 938 fps with that same load. The Remington 185-grain JHP averaged 1,010 fps out of the standard G21 Gen4, and averaged 1,041 fps from the longer barrel of the Glock 41 Gen4. Interestingly, Winchester 230-grain hardball ammunition was almost 20 fps slower from the longer barrel.
The first tactical priority is reliability. Our test G41 ran 100 percent with everything from 185 to 230 grains, from downloaded competition ammo to +P, from round nose to jacketed hollow point. We lost count of how many hundreds of rounds were fired by the various testers. It even worked when fired with a deliberately limp-wristed hold.
For a “shootability” test, I ran the Glock 41 Gen4 over the 50-shot indoor course of the Glock Sport Shooting Foundation (GSSF), firing with both hands and standing in five- and 10-round strings under time limits and using full-power Winchester “white box” 230-grain hardball ammunition. The pistol gave me 500 out of 500 possible points, with 40 of the hits in the 4-inch-diameter X-ring. Distances were 12 to 75 feet.
“The G41 Gen4 has the thinnest profile of any duty .45 from Glock, with the same high order of reliability that has made its G21 predecessor the most popular issued .45 in modern police work…”
Weapon-mounted lights are important in today’s policing. We had no problems with Streamlight and SureFire lights on the G41 Gen4. We did notice that with the longer barrels, the lens sits well behind the muzzle. The good news: There is much less muzzle-blasted residue to have to wipe off the lens of your light. The bad news: Since it does sit behind the muzzle, it doesn’t give you a standoff capability if you have to press your gun into an assailant who’s on top of you when you have to pull the trigger.
I also carried the G41 Gen4 concealed in an inside-the-waistband holster from Leather Arsenal in Middleton, Idaho. The pistol was perfectly comfortable. I didn’t abrade my forearms if I brushed against the textured grip of the G41 Gen4, though it might have grown uncomfortable if I were to carry it against bare skin under a shirt. Testers agreed that the grip texturing felt comfortable and secure in the hand.
With a longer barrel for slightly more power and a longer sight radius, which should enhance practical accuracy for most, the G41 Gen4 has the thinnest profile of any duty .45 from Glock, with the same high order of reliability that has made its G21 predecessor the most popular issued .45 in modern police work. Check it out at your local gun shop or FFL police equipment dealer.
For more information, visit http://us.glock.com/g41compete.