We took five subject matter experts, and over the course of a day, we put all 9mm pistols through their paces with a series of exercises. They were:
- Bill Desy: Concealed Carry Expert and Owner of CCW USA
- Greg Hake: Retired Navy SEAL Operator
- Mark Cochiolo: Retired Navy SEAL Operator
- Matt Mellinger: Lead Instructor at the Glockstore
- Shane Coley: Captain of Team GLOCK
The idea behind our tests was to see how each shooter performed with each pistol so that we could get a better idea of the strengths and weaknesses among each platform, ultimately serving as a buyer's guide, so you can make an informed decision when you buy your next GLOCK.
Each subject matter expert ran through the same course of fire for testing and evaluation.
With each model, they drew from the holster for a total of three iterations, 6 shots total per gun. This was done from 3 and 7 yards at a 6-inch standard Hyve target, both from overt duty holsters and concealment.
For every pistol and subject matter expert, we recorded the times of each iteration and measured the groupings' spread.
For our testing, we used the same Fiocchi 115 grain ammo throughout the day.
Our complete article will highlight the data for all SMEs and all pistols at each distance; however, this video will focus on the average among all expert in three categories: compact, mid-size, and full-size/competition
Compact / Sub-Compact GLOCKS
We started out with the pistol models that many people use for concealed carry.
They were the 19, 26, 43, 43x, and 48. Each subject matter expert drew each pistol from concealment at 3 yards with the same course of fire.
We noticed that the 19 is superior in terms of average times and groupings; however, it is considerably larger than the other pistols and more difficult to conceal.
We noticed that the GLOCK 26 had the second-best average groupings, followed closely by the GLOCK 43. We found this to be one of the biggest surprises of the day, seeing as how the 26 and 43 outperformed the 48 and 43x.
We then moved on to the mid-sized platforms, i.e. the 19, 19x, and 45. Each expert drew from an overt duty style holster at 7 yards, firing 2-shots at a 6-inch Hyve target for three iterations.
It was clear from the data that the 19x performed the best with an average draw time of 1.95 seconds and an average grouping of 4.6 inches.
We expected our subject matter experts to shoot as well with the 45, but the average spread for the 45 was increased by an inch because of some zingers.
Full-Size / Competition GLOCKS
Finally, we moved on to the full-sized GLOCK models, which were the 17, 17L and 34, using, again, the same course of fire as the mid-size pistols.
Surprisingly, the GLOCK 17 performed the best with an average draw time of 1.98 seconds and an average spread of 3.95 inches.
We feel that this due to the longer sight radius on both the 34 and 17L. The added length and weight make drawing to the first shot more unwieldy for those who do not train with the longer side pistols regularly.
Supporting this thought, if we take a look at Shane’s spreads among the full- size pistols, we can see that he performed best with the 17 and performed worst with the 17L, which has the longest barrel.
Matt’s performance, however, didn’t coincide with the trend we noticed with the others. He performed best with the GLOCK 34 by far, rather than the 17.
From the day, we noticed there wasn’t a clear winner.
The shot grouping was less than a 2-inch difference between the tightest and widest shot pattern at 7-yards among the mid to full-size guns.
In terms of speed, the times varied from 1.9 to 2.1 seconds, which from a practical standpoint, is more or less the same.
For the compact-sized guns, we were surprised that there was less than an inch spread with draw times being more or less the same, as well.
Overall, we were surprised that all ten GLOCK platforms performed about the same. Knowing this, based on our review, selecting the right GLOCK for you should come down to your hand size, body type, and what feels most comfortable to you.
Keep in mind, all subject matter experts have a lot of shooting experience, however, their experience levels specifically working with GLOCK pistols vary greatly. We had Shane who is a competitive shooter for GLOCK versus, Coch and Greg, former operators who have a lot of shooting experience but hardly any with GLOCK handguns.
The video above shares some of the highlights about what each expert liked and didn't like. Keep your eyes out in the coming weeks as we'll be releasing unedited versions of their final thoughts.
What's your favorite 9mm GLOCK?
Have you shot all of the 9mm GLOCK pistols? What are your thoughts? Do you have a favorite one?
We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!