Is Your GLOCK Outclassed?

In the late 70s and early 80s, Gaston Glock, an engineer with no firearms experience, designed a curious prototype handgun. The project would later carry the title of the venerable GLOCK 17. While not the first polymer framed handgun ever produced, it was by far the most revolutionary for the time. What happens over the next 36+ years is nothing short of an all out takeover. The various GLOCK models go on to fill the holsters of countless law enforcement, military and civilian owners. They earned a name now synonymous with practicality, reliability, and cost effectiveness. As a gun enthusiast, you probably already know all that. What you may not know is that everyone else has been investing heavily and making newer, fancier polymer-framed handguns for years. Are these newer guns an improvement over the GLOCK’s now old hat design? Here’s a top five run down of some would-be GLOCK killers:



Walther PPQ M1

Originally based on the P99, the PPQ features an extended paddle style magazine release, a GLOCK-like trigger safety, ambidextrous controls, and a smoother overall trigger than an out-of-the-box GLOCK.





A made-in-the-USA striker fired design, the FNS series features fully ambidextrous slide stop levers and mag releases. An optional manual safety is available on some models. Ergonomically, it is one of the most comfortable handguns in this class to shoot, and the grip angle is nothing short of perfect.



Smith & Wesson M&P

S&W took on GLOCK head on in the law enforcement market with their M&P line back in 2005. The M&P line superseded the inferior Sigma line with a much better trigger (now improved further on the 2.0 models), better ergonomics and more controllable recoil. Unlike the GLOCK, you can field strip an M&P without dry firing the trigger.




Springfield XD/XD(M)

All metal magazines, grip safeties and cocking indicators help the XD and XD(M) series handguns stand apart from GLOCK. While heavier than comparable GLOCKS, the grip angle suits most users better, and they’ve become a popular alternative.





An increasingly popular firearm from the people who brought you some of the most iconic guns of all time, the VP9 is earning a top spot among poly pistol users. A superior out-of-the-box trigger to the GLOCK, the VP9 also sports better sights, insane reliability, incredible accuracy, and interchangeable side panels. Users constantly rave about the grip of the HK, while the GLOCK grip is often described famously as something similar to gripping a 2×4.

While the firearms listed above may have a feature or two that GLOCK neglects, can anyone say that they’ve superseded the Austrian juggernaut? Most would say no, and they’d be correct. GLOCK is just too far entrenched in the minds of most enthusiasts. They continually outsell the competitors in their class. Aftermarket parts are cheap and plentiful. Their mags are so good and so common that Kel-Tec, ATI and Lone Wolf use them in some of their carbines. Your average owner can’t outshoot a GLOCK’s accuracy and their reliability goes without saying. To unseat the GLOCK as the king of all polymer striker-fired designs, you’d have to come up with something as revolutionary as the first GLOCK that rolled off the assembly line in 1982. Ambidextrous controls are great, but a single feature rarely changes an industry.

Do you agree that GLOCK, despite not always holding all the latest features still holds the crown? Let us know in the comments below.

63 Comments On This Article

  1. Glock is the standard. Many differences are just a matter of taste. Any of the Glock firearms function beautifully, and can be up graded to individual liking. To me, grip angle is the one thing that Glock has nailed. Holding a Glock with a proper grip and a locked wrist insures straight alignment of the hand, wrist, and for arm. Now 1911 shooters won’t like this, but it’s a much better technique.

  2. I used Glocks, switched to SpringfieldXD’s, then returned to Glocks…I shoot Best with the GLOCK 34. Get one gun and stay with it…you won’t be sorry.

  3. Glock is the best handgun or us occasional shooters because it is reliable, accurate, and easy to clean. A little carburetor cleaner and some gun oil does the job. I have never even heard of a Glock not firing. I unfortunately have a Kimber Solo that is so bad that Kimber should recall the gun! I do not trust this Kimber!

  4. At points in my life I have owned 6 Glocks, wanting to really love them, but I have sold every one of them for more modern, dependable, and in my opinion better hand guns. Glock has been stagnant in their development and upgrades for a long time now. It’s no wonder many shooters are moving on to better quality firearms. I for one will never go back to the ugly black one.

    • InnocentBystander

      I could not agree more. Having owned several Glocks, I’m now down to just my G19, and I don’t shoot it that often anymore. For ME (the key phrase here), the Walther PPQ M1 (love that trigger and paddle magazine release) is what the Glock should have evolved into. Oh well, Gaston’s baby is what it is and if it works well for you, I’m happy for you. I’m just glad there are other polymer options today.

    • Rodger, I must have missed the industry reports showing “many shooters are moving on to better quality firearms”. It certainly was never mentioned in this article.

      You’ve obviously misunderstood the article, because all it showed was that these other weapons are now merely copying the “modern” design features already found in the Glock. Playing catch-up by no means surpasses Glock, let alone serves as an indicator of “better quality or dependability”.

      Aside from the desperate copycatting by these other weapons, the only variances mentioned really boils down to a difference in personal preference – some of which are quite controversially argued due to safety or shooting styles – but none of which should ever be confused as actual “upgrades”.

      And of the scat few feature differences actually mentioned, they consist of things that are not actually new or revolutionary – such as ambidextrous features which have been around for decades and only matter to 10% of the population of left-handers.

      Everything else worth mentioning as an actual “upgrade” can be easily modified into the Glock with inexpensive aftermarket components (this includes Back Straps with or without beaver tails). And I don’t know where you’ve been, but Glock incorporated an interchangeable Back Strap System into the Gen 4s about 7 years ago.

      Simply put, rarely does anyone find what they consider their perfect handgun when bought off-the-shelf anyway.

      So while not everyone cares for the Glock, they usually will figure that out after their first purchase (let alone their 6th); so just because it took you 6 times longer is no reason to slander the impeccable quality of a dependably proven firearm that has rivaled the industry for decades.

      • You have all missed the boat to some degree or another. The most popular, most “Numbers sold”, and most reliable pistol ever made is clearly the 1911. The 1911, which was actually made in 1905, has evolved in every way possible , which by all accounts, tops Glock and any other gun makers you want to put out here. Glock’s 30 years of existence is like penny’s in the water compared to the 1911’s 100 plus years. The 1911 is now made with polymers, much like the modern guns, has double stacked their magazines to allow for superior fire power with 16 rounds of 45 ACP. And converted their designs to allow for various calibers. The strikefire design was , by all accounts, a step backwards in the evolution of reliable firing systems. Nothing is more reliable than a hammer dropping on a firing pin and striking a primer with great force. So if we want to have an honest conversation about different manufactures outdoing each other, we must keep in mind that most manufactures include a 1911 variable in their line-up “except for Glock”. This small but very true fact keeps Glock out of the contention of manufacturing the most popular and reliable pistol ever made. I’ll take your questions now…

        • Very well said,and all truth!You left out the part about being able to shoot lead bullets through a 1911 without having to spend money for a new barrel as you do with a glock.You also left out the part about glock chambers being oversized and destroying most brass to the point of non-reloadability.Two reasons out of many that I don’t own,and probably never will own a glock unless somebody just gives me one of the things.Give me a 1911 any day!

      • Well said my man, well said! I could not agree more. As a retired Texas Master Police Officer, I carried a GLOCK for 24 of my 25 years on duty. The first year was a Springfield 1911, due to me growing up shooting them. My dad is a retired USA Sgt. Major (35yrs SF) and 1911’s were his goto. When I first held a GLOCK IN 1996, it felt like an extention of my hand “perfect”. I purchased that GLOCK 23 and carried it on and off duty for 5yrs before switching Departments. At that time I was issued a GLOCK 22 by my new department. I carried both GLOCKS along with a GLOCK 27 I purchased, until my retirement in some way or another (Patrol, CID, Narcotics, SWAT, SIS, and Off Duty). I have fired all three GLOCKS in the line of duty 6 time and the GLOCK 27 once off duty through out my career. I trusted my life to GLOCK everyday as a police officer and now under the OSA today. I have had the pleasure of firing many weapons as a child and in my career, but GLOCK is and always will be my choice for personal and my families protection! Now don’t get me wrong, I own a few S&W revolvers and my fair share of 1911’s (5 Colt, 7Springfield, & 2 Ruger). I love to shoot the 1911 but for pleasure only. I have the following GLOCKS in my arsenal 22, 23, 27, 35, 32, 17, 34…… I never sale a weapon I purchase just something my dad pasted on to me. The GLOCK 17 has I don’t know how many rounds down range. I got it used from a fellow officer in 2001. I have never cleaned it not once. I field strip it and check the barrel and function before every range session. I personally have 12,353 rounds down range with it (yes I keep an exact count with this weapon)! I have never had a malfunction with it as well with any of my other GLOCKS. 12,000 plus round no cleaning and no malfunctions says a lot!!!! I guess it is like Ford, Dodge, & Chevy all personal preference. GLOCK has always been good to me and saved my life or others on 7 different occasions as stated above, I’ll stick with them to the end!!!! Oh by the way, ol’dad is a GLOCK man now too, I believe he even has a few more then me now. He too loves them and wish he had had one in his SF career. He alternates between GLOCK & a 1911 of some sort for CWC (old habits die hard I guess).

  5. Those new pistols look great. Feel great. But the Glock shoots every time you pull and hits the center of the target. Parts available everywhere. Why change?

    • Glock does not fit every hand. Other manufacturers listened to the buyers and created multi backstrap adjustments. This is one reason Sig P320 won the military contract with its modular design. If Glock could just understand this, then they would dominate the market with no question. I may even consider one again but not until then!

      • I’ve played the Glock game and then have carried my P226 Sig E2. 2x the Glock and several thousand rounds later the gun has been flawless. I’ll do the P320RX next and not even consider the G.

      • Rodgers

        Perhaps you need to know a little about what you write. Glock has the generation 4 which have interchangeable back straps to help the gun fit many types. Is a Glock perfect? No but no firearm is. Alsour I have carried a Glock everyday of my adult life since age 23 and it has ALWAYS performed when needed. To say any gun is MORE reliable is just a be none statement. They might be AS reliable but not more.

      • It seems as though Glock has also listened to their customers here as well. The new Gen4 glocks (at least the mid/full size) now come with interchangeable back straps to help customize it to different fits.

      • NO gun fits every hand. Even with interchangeable backstraps, there are still a lot of factors affecting ‘fit.’ That’s why you buy what fits you the best, but NO gun is more reliable than a Glock.

  6. The Glock17 is one on the best 9mm Poly Guns ever made. Flock does need to make an effort to make the Glock series more ergonomic to compete with their sticker fire poly competitors.

  7. Frank Biddlestone

    I have a Glock 23 & 43. There’s a great amount of comfort and confidence knowing you have a Glock close at hand.


  9. Glock has many aftermarket accessories you can install yourself with only one simple tool to push pins in the frame in and out. You don’t have to pay a gunsmith hundreds of dollars to work on your Glock, like you would have to on many other pistols including newer Glock copy cats mentioned in the article. Also, consider the price and availability of spare magazines. They are more available for Glock and cheaper than for similar competitor pistols.

  10. Glock is dependable, spare parts everywhere, good aftermarket selection of accessories. Glock 19 was recently chosen as military special operation handguns. What is not to like?

  11. Everything else out there are Glock copy cats. Of course they’ll add a few gadgets and design as enhancement to attract the millions of picky unversatile shooters to purchase. As former USMC marksman and currently law enforcement I have shot and owned many different types of revolvers and semis, Glock pistols are efficient, safe, durable, accurate with simplicity and straight to the point- no non sense weapon, Gaston leads the way! Innovative! and who was thinking out of the box then and now. Many law enforcement agencies in the 80s and 90s refused the idea that of a plastic and striker type pistol should be given a chance! Many of the agencies including the alphabets, foresaw Glock pistols were unsafe. lol. Learn safety and train with your tools of trades- and or your guns. Well now most of them opened up their minds and carries Glock pistols. They traded their steel guns to arm their personnel with Glocks. Today, tomorrow, all the biggies are still copying Gaston’s design. Too bad the patent ran out! It’s an ugly black gun and Glock pistols are the weapons I would gladly present to the armed criminals and terrorists who would harm our community and country. If you want a cute, sexy pistols and of different colors the biggies would always make it for the willing consumers.

  12. I have tried to love or even like Glock. I’ve owned G17, 19, 21, S30 and 43. I Believe and agree that they are probably the most reliable hand gun out there. On the static range I shoot lights out with them but while moving and shooting, the grip angle is incorrect for a traditional pistol shooter and I shoot over the targets almost without fail. If the arrogant pricks at Glock would simply design a separate line of pistol with the traditional grip angle they could take over completely. Carrying a Glock on the street, in a firefight would get me killed. I carry a 1911. I would prefer a striker fired weapon and am looking at the HK’s or XDs.

  13. There’s nothing all those new models will do that my ‘Old Hat’ Glock won’t. Glock already has a myriad of long established and available aftermarket parts, too for those who need to tinker; doubt all the newbies have much yet. Mine’s already paid for, so no need to go run out to spend money on something that’s going to be mostly aesthetically better looking (window dressing). It works 100% to my satisfaction & that’s more important to me than just another new pretty face, filled with “innovations”.

    I also have an old Browning Hi-Power & haven’t found need to ditch it, either, for something a gun writer or advertiser says is “better”.

  14. Some of us are missing the point. Just because the Glock style grip does not work for someone does not mean that it doesn’t or won’t work for anyone else. Glock has been and always will be the go to gun when it comes to life and death situations and that’s because, as hundreds of thousands of LE, MIL and civilians around the world have learned, they can count on it to do exactly what it was designed to do, and that is every time you pull the trigger…IT GOES BOOM. I have Glocks, M&Ps, Rugers, Berettas, along with several 1911’s and each pistol model handles a little differently and some feel a little better in my hand than others do. Each pistol model is also made to meet the specific needs of a potential buyer..are you looking for a pistol to plink, shoot targets, compete, protect and serve in LE or the MIL or is it for personal protection? For me hands down the most consistently dependable, effective and dead nutz accurate firearms at 25 yds and under, are my G19 and G23. They have earned the position of being my hands down favorites. At 25+ yards, my choice moves to the G34/G35 (and the 1911’s) because of their longer sight radius. Does that mean there isn’t another brand and model that might be “better”? The word “better” is not a scientific observation nor a statement of fact…it is a subjective perception or an expression of a personal preference. No, not at all…what it means is that if it ain’t broken, why fix it. Glock has one and only one design and it can be found in the Glock 17, 17L, 18, 19, 26, 34, 43, 20, 29, 40, 21, 30, 36, 41, 22, 23, 24, 27, 35, 25, 28, 42, 31, 32, 33, 37, 38, 39. That’s 28 models all from the same basic, proven design. Name one other company (and 1911 is not a company) that can claim that accomplishment. The fact is that it is because of Glock innovation, ingenuity and quality that YOU have so many of these polymer pistols to choose from…and that my 2nd Amendment friends is the point. QYW&YB and buy another pistol like I am going to do this week.

  15. My wife and I have multiple examples of most of Glock’s competitors, as well as several Glocks, and in our opinion, there is NOTHING that could outclass a Glock. Aftermarket parts allow for customizing just about every objection that anyone can have toward a Glock. Should we ever have to use one in self-defense, and LE take it from us for awhile, there will be no tears shed. Glocks are very efficient tools, reasonably priced, more than accurate enough for defense, and absolutely reliable, but they are not loveable.

  16. People are just naturally inclined to new products. It is like women you have a beautiful one and you see another and your intuition is telling you you need to try the other one however at the end of the day it boils down to the same thing and most likely the original is usually better clock is a very good gun and it is going nowhere anytime soon.

  17. Glocks, love them or hate them (you seldom find someone in the middle) they are a great gun. Personally I don’t care for them and never have. As someone who cut their shooting teeth on a 1911 I never cared for the grip angle or trigger reach. I owned a Glock 19 and used it for IDPA. It was dead reliable but I was always about half an inch high. I shot it for a year and went back to a 1911. Much later I bought a Springfield XDm. I loved it so much I sold most of my 1911’s. G-Man mentioned you could modify a Glock with inexpensive (that is also debatable) aftermarket items to make it like the “copycat” pistols now on the market. My question is why? Why buy something I have to modify in order to be comfortable with when I can buy something that is already that way when I buy it, for the same price? I am not knocking Glocks. I have several friends that love them and shoot them well but they are not my preference. Users choice!

  18. I wouldn’t say that Glock has been “outclassed”, but the competition has caught up and the field has become much more competitive. There’s some excellent polymer framed pistols out there now, and some very decent & reliable ones that can be had for 1/2 the price of a comparable Glock. I’ve got three Glocks and I’m keeping them all. I’ve also got several other brands of polymer framed pistols, like ’em all and keeping them all. And…BTW,…I’ve got four polymer framed ARs, two with polymer uppers too; they take a beating and keep on running!! :-)

  19. I have been carrying and shooting a Glock-19 since 1983, both on duty and off duty, I must have 15 to 20,000 rds. through this pistol. I carry concealed when ever I go out of the house to protect my wife and family. If I felt the was a better firearm to trust, I would look into it.

  20. At the end of the day Glock is got some thing the rest of these guns don’t have. When you look at police officers most police officers in this country carry Glocks because they work all the time the first time. In some situations their weapon working when they need it to is the reason they went home that night

  21. Glock is a great pistol, I have carried a Glock 23 on duty for 23 yrs and a Glock 27 during undercover operations and off duty too. I recently purchased a G43 and I love it. Definitely the most comfortable and concealable pistol I have carried, that’s worth a damn. There’s a lot of other quality pistols out there today and it really comes down to personal preference and having confidence in your choice of pistol. My advise is buy a quality pistol, don’t be cheap and practice, practice and practice. Doesn’t matter what caliber you choose as long as you have good center mass shots on target.

  22. The others are just for the guy that has to have them, most are far less dependable as a glock, They work every time you pull the trigger. H ave shot others and also sold them, just are not as dependable.

  23. I don’t think Glock is ‘outmoded.’ It’s still the foundation of a large percentage of the new pistols being designed and offered each year, like the Ruger American Pistol. I own Rugers, XDs, 1911, Jericho and many more brands of guns, and I’ve carried Glocks since 2001 and have never had any reason to question that decisions. As for the whole, “you can field strip an without dry firing the trigger,” that is a lot of noise over nothing. How many trainers and articles recommend dry firing as an indoor practice technique? How many of you don’t dry fire your pistol after reassembling it to ensure everything is in the right place? Get real, if people are so stupid they don’t check their handgun, or any gun, to ensure it’s not loaded before disassembling it for cleaning, then they are going to have an accident no matter what the manufacturer designs. To me it’s just another lame argument coming from the “I hate Glocks” community.

    • Poorly written story by an anti firearm publication. How much of it is true? I assume you don’t watch any TV of movies either considering hollyweirds position on the 2nd amendment.

  24. Glock is still the best combat handgun ever. Its simplicity and proven dependability are what its all about. You can use and abuse it and it will keep firing. Started carrying the 17 when it first came out then the 22, 27, 23, 30 and 36. I would not trust my life with anything else!

  25. I carried a Glock 22 for 19 years in a 21 year police career. I never had one jam with a Glock and will nevere carry another gun. They are still the striker fire KINGS!

  26. I’ve had a Glock 21, 17, 31c, 42 and 3 Glock 19s. I still have one of the 19s – it’s a gen2. I’ve shot all of the guns listed above (as well as, several Rugers and Kahrs – not sure why they aren’t listed) and the Glock and Springfield xdm are the only ones I like. Also a glaring hole in that list in my opinion are the new CZ and Canik both of which I prefer over any of those listed. If you throw in cost factor the Canik TP9SF is without a doubt the best gun available – my G19 has started collecting dust since I purchased it.

  27. to if its not broken dont fix it i have a g19 i pack every day and a ruger lc9spro as a back up when glock came out i thought they were nuts but now i would not bet my life on anything else my friend next door has some very high end 45s i have been on the range with him and seen these high end weapons stove pipe and jam and thought for that money they should suck any type of ammo

  28. As a CCW trainer since 2003. We have had more GLOCKs than any other brand in class. Several times over half the class has a GLOCK. Failures to feed and eject or just to function happens rarely with a GLOCK. People don’t like polymer, triggers , grip , lack of mechanical safeties etc…
    How often is someone having issues with a GLOCK actually not working. Rock solid dependability and reliability.

  29. Glock pistols are one of the simplest designs on the market. I am certified by Glock as an armorer. I have also been certified by Smith and Wesson in the M&P line of pistols. The Glock is a far simpler design. Glock magazines are far more durable than any metal magazine that feeds the various pistols out there. Smith and Wesson has been trying to take back the law enforcement market that Glock took away from them years ago. If I recall correctly, Gaston Glock sued Smith & Wesson over patent infringements from production of the Smith & Wesson Sigma. I think if I remember correctly Gaston settled out of court with Smith and walked away a happy man. The FBI and MEUSOC (Marine Expeditionary Unit, Special Operations Capable) have both adopted the Glock after they both tried other designs. I think the design has proven itself over time. Anybody wanting “the latest greatest whiz bang gadgetry” over a “older” Glock pistol needs to seriously consider putting that money towards quality instruction and ammunition in training rather than being a member of the “flavor of the month” club.

  30. I’ve considered buying a Glock a couple times, but every time I hold it I know it is not for me. Sure I could shoot it well, but like a glove – if it does not fit you can’t commit. There are many choices of solid guns that look good and feel good and even my cheap Signa 40 cal never had a miss feed or issue in over 1500 rounds. I want a new 40 cal, but the Glock is out. If I could buy a Walther PPQ here in CA I would deal out the money tomorrow. The friggen laws here limit choices, so I might end up with the p320 or HK, but no 9mm.

  31. The gun industry looked down on the new wonder-nine when it started flooding into the U.S. They’ve been playing catch up ever since. Name a gun company and they probably have a product improved Glock. I own a Steyr M-9, Walther PPQ and a Sig 320. All of them have their “improvements” but I usually end up carrying a Glock. From my G43 for EDC or G35 with TLR-1 for uniform wear, Glock has been doing what i need it to do since i first picked one up in 1993.

  32. Glocks are turds. Period. If you own one ok. If you like it over all other guns and think they are the best your a fucking idiot, period. You probably also think you’re a good shot too. Your not! glocks and their owners remind me of that dude Corkey on That old tv show Life Goes On. Fuckig Corkeys ……

  33. Glocks are the cheapest gun that outclasses anything out there. they are accurate dependable and are ready to right out of the box and you can buy one for 5 hundred bucks and are good to go.

  34. Depends on the individual…to me my XDM and Mod2 feel better and fit me better than did the Glock. Really appreciate the extra safety of the Grip Safety…wont catch the trigger on a holster or something and shoot myself in the leg!

  35. Have used several different Glocks in the past. Currently have an FNS-9 on my hip for daily carry. It fits my hand more comfortably which lets me be able to shoot/control it better.