It hasn’t taken long for the word to get out on the GLOCK 41 Gen4. What I have heard is that LE personnel, competitive shooters and military operators are calling the G41 Gen4 the ultimate tactical pistol. After firing the G41 Gen4, I found that it is indeed well balanced, powerful, reliable and exceptionally accurate. “Ultimate” is a strong word to describe a pistol, but so is “perfection.” What GLOCK has produced in the G41 Gen4 is an exceptional pistol in a knockdown caliber. But I needed to find that out for myself.
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I tend not to believe everything that I hear. A bit of skepticism is good, so I fed the G41 Gen4 a variety of ammunition from a variety of manufacturers. Hundreds of rounds were run through the pistol, and the G41 Gen4 created tight groups measuring less than 2 inches—in some cases the groups were clustered closer to 1 inch at 25 yards when using a rest. One factory load produced a 0.5-inch, five-shot group at 25 yards with standard ball ammo. I was becoming a believer in the Glock 41 Gen4 pistol.
This pistol is a beast. It’s everything you expect in a GLOCK Practical/Tactical pistol that’s chambered in America’s favorite caliber, the .45 AUTO. The G41 Gen4 is able to take on duties that are tactical, competitive and defensive. With a 13+1 capacity in .45 AUTO, it is a formidable weapon.
The G41 Gen4 is one of those GLOCK pistols shooters have been requesting for years: a long-slide .45 AUTO. Instead of elongating the slide of a GLOCK 21, GLOCK chose to approach the pistol’s design differently. The G41 uses a G21 Gen4 frame and mates it with a slide that is thinner walled and more sculpted than the slide of a G21. The G41 Gen4 duplicates the size of the GLOCK 34 and GLOCK 35 Practical/Tactical pistols that are very popular with competitors. And while the G34 and G35 calibers—9×19 and .40, respectively—are powerful chamberings capable of impressive performance, the .45 AUTO represents a true next-step upgrade in power and performance for the end-user.
When I asked Chris Edwards, a GLOCK firearms instructor and GLOCK Sport Shooting Foundation (GSSF) event coordinator, about how the pistol is being accepted at matches and within LE circles, he explained, “The G41 Gen4 is so new it has only started to ship to dealers, so it has not seen extensive use in competition or in LE/military circles.”
Edwards was being modest. The G41 Gen4 is already making its mark. “USPSA Grandmaster and IDPA champion Deon Martin is now using the G41 Gen4 in CDP division in IDPA, and kicking butt with it,” says Massad Ayoob. Shooters like Jerry Miculek are also doing some pretty amazing things with the new gun. Miculek hit a steel plate at 215 yards with a stock, out-of-the box G41 Gen4.
Edwards went on to explain that serious students of the gun have been clamoring to get their hands on a G41 Gen4. The barrel length and caliber are a combination operators truly desire. “Some SWAT teams are considering the G41 Gen4 as a replacement,” Edwards added.
The LE market is a sweet spot for the G41 Gen4. Ayoob thinks similarly: “Just as many departments with GLOCK 22s issue G35s to the SWAT team, and G17 departments issue G34s to SWAT, it makes perfect sense for departments issuing G21s to adopt the G41 Gen4 for SWAT. Usually, the 5.3-inch-barreled GLOCKs will be fitted with the same duty trigger setup as the patrol pistols.”
In hand, the G41 Gen4 feels agile and gets on target fast. The difference in the balance between the 4.6-inch-barreled G21 and the 5.3-inch barrel G41 Gen4 is quite noticeable. The G21 is an excellent pistol, but the G41 Gen4 has an edge. Even though the G41 Gen4 is longer in overall length compared to a G21, it is at least 2.3 ounces lighter than GLOCK’s three other full-sized .45 AUTOs: the G21 Gen4, G21 SF and G21. The slide is much thinner than a G21’s and is closer in size to the slides of the G34 and G35.
At first glance, the G41 Gen4 does look like a G34 or G35, but there are distinct differences other than the caliber that separate these pistols. The G41 does not have a cutout in the slide like the G34 and G35. The cut was made in the G34 and G35 to reduce weight in the pistol as well as give the pistol proper slide mass to function with the short-recoil-operated, locked-breech mechanism when firing 9×19 and .40, respectively, through the longer barrel. The G34 and G35 have excellent reputations in IDPA and other competitive shooting venues. Members of Team GLOCK have used GLOCK’s Practical/Tactical pistols to win major matches. It will not be long until the GLOCK 41 Gen4 marks its territory in competitive circles.
Like all GLOCKs, the G41 Gen4’s slide wears a surface-hardening treatment that is corrosion resistant and long lasting. The thinner slide is rounded at the muzzle so it is easier to holster. The G41 slide is equipped with the standard GLOCK white-dot front sight. The rear sight is a white-outlined notch that is adjustable for both windage and elevation via a small slotted screwdriver, which is included with the pistol. It is the same rear sight as found on the G34 and G35. The extractor serves as a loaded-chamber indicator and slightly pivots out from the slide when a round is in the chamber. It is both visible and tactile.
The frame is pure G21 Gen4. The Gen4’s frame features include a large, reversible magazine catch that can be swapped out for a left-handed shooter with a small, flat-bladed screwdriver. The four backstrap inserts—two medium and two large—come with and without beavertails. Without a backstrap insert installed, the grip size is the same as a G21 SF. A small pin is used to secure the backstraps to the G41 Gen4. The texturing on the sides of the frame, as well as the front and backstraps, is aggressive and provides for a sure hold. It was very humid when I fired the G41 Gen4, and my sweaty hands were still able to control the gun.
The slide stop is the standard GLOCK type, not oversized like on the G34 and G35. An accessory rail allows a user to clamp on a tactical light or laser. The G41 Gen4 uses a 13-round magazine, and three are supplied with the pistol. I tried G21 Gen2 magazines in the G41 and they worked fine. The G41 Gen4’s magazines were also compatible with the G21 Gen2 pistol. If you switch the reversible magazine catch for left-hand use, then older, non-Gen4 magazines will not work. The tapered design of GLOCK double-stack magazines, combined with the slight mag well flare in the G41 Gen4’s grip butt, makes reloading this big-bore GLOCK fast. Magazines drop free from the frame.
The G41 Gen4 strips down like all GLOCKs. After making sure it’s unloaded, retract the slide a fraction of an inch, pull down on the takedown lever and pull the slide free from the frame. Field-stripping reveals the dual recoil spring assembly. This setup helps mitigate felt recoil.
The trigger pull measured 5.2 pounds on average with a Lyman digital gauge. Taking up the trigger’s slack, the trigger felt smooth and broke clean. There’s no question that it’s a GLOCK trigger.
Fast On Target
At the range, I tested the G41 Gen4 with three 230-grain loads: Federal American Eagle FMJs, Hornady Steel Match HAP rounds and Winchester’s WinClean brass-enclosed base rounds. I also fired some reloads using 185-grain semi-wadcutter (SWC) bullets. From my initial shots it was obvious the G41 Gen4 was a shooter. The pistol recoiled softly with little to no muzzle flip, and it hit where it was pointed. Surprisingly, I shot slightly better with the G41 Gen4 than with the G21 Gen2 I carry everyday. The G41 Gen4 was also faster on target, slicing through the air to acquire the next target. The longer barrel also helped wring out slightly
For more information on the GLOCK 41 Gen4, please visit US.Glock.com.
This article was published in the GLOCK AUTOPISTOLS 2015 magazine. To see the rest of the issue, please visit Personaldefenseworld.com/publications/glock-autopistols/glock-autopistols-2015.
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