Gun Test: Glock 19X Pistol
Released early in 2018, Glock’s new G19X 9mm pistol is the civilian model of the company’s submission to the U.S. Army’s Modular Handgun System (MHS) trial. It features a Gen5 G19 slide assembly, a Gen5 G17 frame and—with the exception of lacking a bilateral thumb safety present on the MHS model—features most of the unique design and finish changes intended to meet the military’s requirements.
The G19X is a striker-fired semi-automatic pistol with the same internal and external safety systems as its Safe Action predecessors. Coyote Tan coloring is found on the slide, polymer frame, interchangeable backstraps, magazine bodies and the hard-sided pistol case. The sights, slide plate, barrel, controls and magazine followers are black. This model is available with factory-standard polymer sights or steel night sights.
The pistol’s G19 slide profile reduces its length compared to full-size models like the G17, making concealment easier for daily carry. The slide features a beveled nose for easy re-holstering, rear cocking serrations and the proprietary nPVD finish that Glock touts as tougher and more durable than previous finishes. The barrel is also treated with nPVD, which is currently available only on Gen5 models.
One of the noteworthy upgrades made to the G19X is the inclusion of Glock’s new Marksman Barrel, which features enhanced hexagonal rifling and an improved barrel crown. It should be noted that despite the rifling pattern update, consumers should not fire non-jacketed, soft-lead bullets through these barrels.
Removing the slide reveals a captured, dual-recoil-spring assembly with a mix of polymer and steel supports. The slide-mounted safety plunger (the component that makes the Glock drop-safe) has been changed from a round shape to a more angled profile, which improves the feel of the trigger pull. The striker’s tip and firing pin hole are now teardrop-shaped, instead of round, to decrease the chances of a light primer strike due to dirt or grime. The takedown lever is now supported by a more robust coil spring instead of a leaf spring.
The grip frame has returned to a two-pin configuration instead of the three pins found in Gen4 models. The Gen5 trigger group has been modified, resulting in a cleaner trigger pull and a more distinctive trigger reset. While the factory trigger weight is still listed at 5 lbs., 8 ozs., the other improvements are clearly apparent. However, the Gen5 trigger groups are not compatible with previous generations of trigger disconnectors or aftermarket upgrades.
The dustcover has a molded-in, 1.50″ accessory rail for light and laser modules. The trigger guard is textured and profiled along the front edge, to act as a finger rest, with an undercut where it meets the grip for improved shooting comfort. The slide release is now bilateral to allow for right- or left-handed operation. The reversible magazine release retains the more generous profile of the Gen4 guns.
Like Glock’s original Gen1 models, the frontstrap of the grip bears no finger grooves, while featuring the same rough texturing found on the sides and backstrap of the Gen4s. The result is an improved purchase that fits a broad range of hand sizes. This pistol is compatible with the company’s interchangeable backstrap system. It arrives with a total of four backstraps in two sizes—with and without beavertail extensions—along with an installation tool.
Three interesting modifications are located in and around the magazine well. The walls at the mouth of the magazine well have been thinned and beveled to make magazine insertion easier. Previous models have had a circular cutout at the front of the magazine well that allows the magazine baseplate to be more easily gripped in case the magazine needs to be removed. On the G19X, that cutout has been replaced with a short extension that makes the grip slightly longer along the front edge. The opening at the base of the hollow backstrap is fitted with a removable polymer plug that also provides a lanyard loop. Although the G19X will accept Gen3, Gen4 and Gen5 G17 factory magazines, the changes around the magazine well are not compatible with some aftermarket models and upgrades. This pistol ships with one standard 17-round magazine and two additional 17-round magazines fitted with two-round extensions.
At the shooting range, the G19X pistol’s performance was typical of Glock products. There were no ammunition-related malfunctions or problems of any kind. It ran reliably with hundreds of rounds of various types of 9 mm Luger ammunition, including both practice and defensive loads. The combination of the G19 slide and G17 frame provides an excellent sense of balance to the pistol, allowing it to point easily. The weight of the G19X sits straight down in the shooting hand without the sense of muzzle heaviness present in some pistol designs.
The new Gen5 Glock 19X provides the flexibility of the G19 compact models with the hand-filling grip and ammunition capacity of the G17. Much like a Commander-sized M1911, this pistol can comfortably fill a variety of roles including home defense, concealed carry and competition.