GLOCK G44 Compact Semi-Auto Pistol- Pure GLOCK! New caliber! The innovative design of the GLOCK® G44 Compact Semi-Auto Pistol is GLOCK’s first hybrid steel-polymer slide chambered for the .22-cal. round. This gives it a naturally low recoil for total control and easier follow-up shots. With its compact design and backstrap adaptability, it’s perfect for almost any hand size. The G44 comes equipped with the GLOCK Marksman Barrel (GMB) for top-notch accuracy and repeatable precision. The Safe Action® system boasts 3 automatic independently-operating safeties that provide consistent trigger pulls. Adjustable rear sights. Includes two 10-round magazines.
Manufacturer model #: 119218.
- Chambered for the .22-cal. round
- Low recoil for total control
- Hybrid steel-polymer slide
- GLOCK Marksman Barrel for maximum accuracy
- Perfect for almost any hand size
- 3 automatic independently-operating safeties
- Adjustable rear sights
- Includes two 10-round magazines
Range Review: Glock G44
A little over a month ago, GLOCK released its G44, a G19-size, 10-round, .22 Long Rifle handgun. Interest was high, as is the case with most of Glock’s new products. The pistols began hitting dealer’s shelves in early January 2020, and I was able to shoot one to provide some first impressions. A detailed technical review will follow from the staff in due time, but this may answer some initial questions.
The pistol, at first glance, is easily mistaken for its GLOCK 19 counterpart. A closer look reveals the unique slide and pencil barrel with the tiny hole at the muzzle. The G44 frame is indistinguishable from current Gen 5 G19s, and it fit perfectly in each of the standard Glock-style holsters I tried.
The trigger on the Glock G44 feels identical to the Gen 5 pistols I’ve examined. In sampling three G44s at the local store, each had minor variance typical of the design but were good Glock triggers with the usual weighted take-up and a predictable ‘wall’ with a somewhat crisp release. There was a hint of roll and movement through the break. My example’s pull was 6 lbs. straight through and approximately 4 lbs. at the wall.
Many rimfire conversions use aluminum or some type of alloy to lighten the slides and allow the pistol to function as a blowback. Glock went a different route, using polymer for most of the slide with steel inserts. It’s an interesting approach that makes for a lightweight pistol. The weight with a full 10 round magazine is only 16 oz. That’s inSmith & Wesson Airweight J–Frame territory. A Ruger 22/45 Lite is a respected trail gun and is 25 oz. by comparison. The Glock G19, for which the 44 is a surrogate, runs 30 oz. with a full magazine.
The Glock 44 compared to the Ruger 22/45 Lite.
This light weight makes the G44 accessible to many first-time shooters. It is not intimidating for even a relatively young shooter to hold on target. On the other hand, the light weight gives very little mass to counter the movement through the striker-fired trigger, forcing the shooter to be even more mindful of pulling through the resistance than with its centerfire counterparts. GLOCK G44 Compact Semi-Auto Pistol
I did not do the full American Rifleman accuracy protocol of five separate groups of five shots per load, but I did get a couple of groups just to get a sense of potential accuracy and compatibility with on-hand ammo. It stacked hits consistently into attractive 1.25” to 1.5” groups with a variety of loads. The initial accuracy is well beyond expectations and was a welcome surprise.
Many shooters are often surprised by just how little velocity difference there is between standard and high-velocity rounds in a short-barreled .22 handgun; both are typically subsonic and separated by very little compared to the rifle-length velocity gap of ~200 f.p.s. This is one reason I tend to choose standard velocity whenever a semi-automatic .22 will run it. The round is going about the same speed for all practical purposes with less noise, often running more cleanly and accurately, to boot. GLOCK G44 Compact Semi-Auto Pistol
The rimfire Glock G44 is going to appeal to a number of audiences: plinkers, first-time buyers who recognize the ubiquitous handgun profile along with the brand name, outdoorsmen and shooters looking for a rimfire understudy to their defensive pistol.
I started shooting the G44 thinking it was more likely to be a training tool than a legitimate small-game pistol. However, the accuracy it was showing made me step back and reconsider. I was easily knocking shotgun shells off of a rail, shot for shot, at 15 yds. and was able to put 4 out of 5 rounds on my 3” wide by 6” tall steel plate at 35 and 40 yds., with the fifth shots off the plate called fliers that will probably settle down as I get more familiar with the gun. I can’t think of many trail-gun type scenarios or instances where I couldn’t make the shot with this Glock. I hadn’t necessarily expected this, and it was a welcome surprise. GLOCK G44 Compact Semi-Auto Pistol
Results of the accuracy test on the Glock 44.
As a young man, a Ruger Single Six Revolver in .22 Long Rifle revolver was my constant companion in the woods. At some point, after the novelty of being armed diminished and following many long days with the steel revolver on my belt, I wished for a lighter handgun that I could shoot as well as the Ruger, but the market had little to offer on my budget. Now there are a variety of good options that are light enough to carry easily and plenty accurate. The Glock G44 is going to be a particularly attractive option for many.
Many shooters will be interested in the G44 to build their skills with a rimfire surrogate for their duty or carry gun. There are mixed feelings on this among serious students and trainers, but I am firmly in the camp that rimfire used thoughtfully can go a long way in skill development. I tried the G44 against a variety of drills, some that slanted toward accuracy and others speed or movement at more urgent distances.
I found the G44 to have a unique recoil impulse; it’s certainly light overall but with more movement in the sights and slight bounce in the slide’s reciprocation than with hammer-fired .22s such as the Beretta 92 and 1911 rimfire conversions. Although the recoil is mild-to-gentle by 9 mm Luger comparison, my shot-to-shot times (splits) on 10 yd. plate racks and six-shot Bill Drills on steel were about the same as my usual 9 mm Luger splits. These might come down with more familiarity or a different ammo choice, but I suspect many shooters will shoot better on drills due to the decreased muzzle rise but not necessarily faster. GLOCK G44 Compact Semi-Auto Pistol
However, even with the decidedly marginal OEM Glock sights, the G44 was very useful in focusing on trigger manipulation with the Glock Safe Action system. The precision of the little pistol allowed me to outshoot my normal stock Glock scores on 25 yd. bullseyes. Once the sights were adjusted, my groups piled into tight, little knots in the 10 ring.
The Glock piled up center hits in the head of Wilson Combat’s new scoreable steel silhouette at 25 yds. With the high contrast of the steel head box, I was able to see the trigger break clearly in the slight movement of the front sight and precisely call the shot. This is maybe the greatest training strength of the Glock G44; a stepping-stone linkage from deliberate dry–fire to easily seeing the front sight all the way through the striker release and calling the shot with the mild report and rise of the rimfire. Many shooters struggle to break a Glock trigger cleanly at distance with a number of factors in play, but the result is a challenge for most in calling the shot amid the blast and recoil. The G44 should help here.
More results from testing the Glock 44.
50-yd. plate racks were possible with the rimfire, something that is not particularly easy for me with a stock Glock 9mm. As long as the lighting was good, I was going five for five on the 8” MGM Plate Rack in a Bucket steel plates. On one 5-shot string, the ‘tink!’ ringing back from the steel had a virtually identical tone, and the movement of the steel plate behind the front sight was similarly cloned. That is not normal with a .22-cal. handgun at 50 yds. so I was pleased to find one of those ‘bragging-rights’ groups with lead splattered into a challenge coin-size cluster.
I finished up my first day with the G44 with a couple of my staple drills. The lightweight trainer aced the 5-Yard Roundup on the first go with time to spare in each of the 2.5 second strings. Much like the 50yd. plates I was able to really feel the trigger cleanly through the multiple shot strings, where the time pressure and recoil can cause many shooters to crash through the break with a service pistol.
I ended with runs of the 10 Seconds Showdown. My first had a hiccup or two and ended at an 89 with the second a solid ‘A’ well under 10 seconds at 98. My strong first impression is that the G44 will be distinctly useful as a trainer for Glock shooters.
Reliability. My Glock 44 had about six stovepipe stoppages, where the ejected brass is pinched by the breech face as the action attempts to chamber the succeeding round. Four of these were with Aguila Standard Velocity and two with Winchester bulk pack ‘333’ HV 36 grain hollow-points. I have had issues with the 333 load in multiple semi-automatic guns, so that wasn’t a huge surprise. The Aguila is not usually a finicky load so I tried some from the same carton in a couple of other semi-autos and also had some similar issues, leading me to believe that this particular lot may be slightly underpowered. It is pretty common with rimfire semi-autos to have some ammo that is less compatible and others that a gun prefers. The overall feel of the cycling was consistent across the six loads, and I suspect that the G44 will prove to be reliable with plenty of common, inexpensive loads. There were no failures to fire in the 400 or so rounds fired. GLOCK G44 Compact Semi-Auto Pistol
The only other issue I encountered were four instances of the first round hanging up on the feed ramp as the slide is released. I believe that this can be traced to the positioning of the topmost round. The shooter may need to jiggle the top round a bit after the filling the magazine to ensure a good angle and presentation upon reloading. It would be better if that wasn’t required, but my hard-used Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 rimfire carbine magazines require the same thing.
A look at the 10-round magazine used in the Glock 44.
The magazines are pretty simple to fill, with prominent tabs on either side to depress the follower as the cartridges slide into the feeding slot. The Beretta 92 conversion magazine are still, in my mind, the high-water mark, with a quality, 15-round steel magazine in a polymer ‘wrap’ to bring it to 9 mm Luger size. I wish that Glock went this route to give more capacity and a more consistent top-round positioning, but the magazines are fine as is and feel similar enough to centerfire G19 mags to have some training benefit.
Overall, the Glock 44 has potential to please each of the markets that will have interest in it. In my shooting so far, the G44 was significantly more accurate than I expected while not quite as reliable as I had hoped. The little pistol will be extremely useful, as well as fun to shoot, and I expect Glock will sell trainloads of them.
Glock G44 Rimfire Pistol Review
I am a fan of Glock pistols. I bought my first one about a year after they first hit the United States in the late 1980s, and over the decades, I’ve owned just about every model that’s been produced. I have used them for home defense, concealed carry, and competitive shooting with complete satisfaction.
Surprisingly, until this year, Glock’s product line lacked a model chambered in .22 LR. I say surprisingly because I have always thought that .22 rimfire firearms are some of the most practical any shooter could own. Plus, a lot of Shooting Times readers have asked for a .22 LR Glock for decades. GLOCK G44 Compact Semi-Auto Pistol
As readers know, .22 LR ammo is inexpensive. While the price has gone up over the years, even the thriftiest shooters can afford a couple of boxes without busting their weekly budget. In addition, .22s don’t make a lot of noise, which means they can be fired in areas where touching off a 9mm or a .223 might cause anxiety among those living nearby, the results of which might be a visit by the local constabulary. And on top of all that, firearms firing the .22 LR produce almost no recoil, making them perfect for new shooters to learn on as well as enabling experienced shooters to practice more. Because .22s have much less penetration than larger/more powerful cartridges, they are especially practical for use on indoor shooting ranges. And the .22 LR is capable of taking small game and vermin, everything from prairie dogs to foxes, without undue noise or meat and hide damage. With match-grade ammunition, a .22 pistol can be extraordinarily accurate All of which leads me to Glock’s new G44 .22 LR pistol.
The G44 Inside & Out
No one has ever accused Glock’s marketing department of not understanding their potential customers. And while it has taken them a fair amount of time to come around to the notion, in late 2019 I received a very hush-hush press release from Glock’s headquarters in Smyrna, Georgia, informing me that the company was going to introduce a new pistol at the 2020 SHOT Show in Las Vegas. A bit of inquiry to sources that will remain unnamed led me to believe that the new pistol would be chambered for the .22 LR. It turned out I was right!
Over the years I have said “a Glock, is a Glock, is a Glock.” By that I mean every Glock pistol has the same operating drill, functions the same way, disassembles in the same manner, and many of the parts are interchangeable. Those elements make Glocks especially useful for training, maintenance, or transitioning to new equipment. The new G44 looks just like every other Glock. It has the same squared-off profile, the same dull black finish, the same Safe Action trigger. However, its construction and operation are radically different. GLOCK G44 Compact Semi-Auto Pistol
Unlike many .22 pistols, the G44 does not have a metal or alloy slide. Instead, Glock devised a two-part, hybrid slide that provides durability with lightweight performance. The steel rail system of the slide reciprocates on the frame rails and is surrounded by a polymer shell that contains the firing mechanism, extractor, passive safety, and other components.
The G44’s frame is dimensionally identical to that of the G19, which happens to be Glock’s most popular pistol, so it is compatible with all holsters intended for the G19 and the larger G17. The magazines also share the dimensions of their centrefire brethren, which means you can use the same magazine pouches.
Because of the low operating pressures of the .22 LR cartridge, the G44 is blowback operated. That means when the pistol is fired, the weight of the slide and the tension of the recoil spring hold the slide closed long enough for the bullet to leave the barrel. This form of operation negates the need of a tilting barrel and steel locking block in the frame, simplifying the manufacturing process and thereby holding down costs.
The G44’s barrel is 4.02 inches long, and it is a genuine Glock Marksman barrel with enhanced hexagonal rifling and a counterbored muzzle. A threaded barrel kit is offered for shooters who live in regions where a suppressor is legal, and it includes a right-hand-threaded barrel, 500-28 adapter, and a thread protector. The MSRP of the kit is $155.
Like all Gen5 Glocks, the G44’s magazine release is reversible, and it has ambidextrous slide releases. The firing pin has a square profile with ramping on both sides, the striker safety plunger has an angled ramp configuration, and the trigger return spring has been moved inside the mechanism housing. A more aggressive undercut trigger guard allows the shooter to get a higher grip on the pistol. And the grip frame features interchangeable backstraps with RTF3 texturing for an extremely firm purchase even with wet or oily hands. GLOCK G44 Compact Semi-Auto Pistol
Enlarged magazine base pads allow complete seating during reloads and permit the shooter to pull a recalcitrant magazine free if necessary. Magazine capacity is 10 rounds, and Glock’s engineers thoughtfully included loading assist tabs on both sides of the magazine follower that allow you to depress the follower, greatly easing the process of topping off the magazines to capacity without tearing your fingernails. The gun comes with two magazines.
As with other Gen5 Glocks, the G44’s slide has forward grasping grooves. I approve of them as they make press checking (retracting the slide slightly to verify if there is a round in the chamber) easier and allow the shooter to retract the slide with a number of different holds.
A fully adjustable white-outline rear sight graces the rear of the slide, and the front sight has a white dot. Both are made of polymer.
The G44 at the Range
When I received the G44 for this report, I was taken aback by how lightweight it was. It weighs only 14.6 ounces with an empty magazine inserted. When I handed it to my wife, Becky, she said, “It feels sort of like a toy gun.” While I have to admit she was correct, I assured her that it was indeed a real pistol.
Longtime shooting buddies Richard Cole and Dick Jones met me at the Piedmont Handgunners Association Range in Lexington, North Carolina, on a very cold morning. Our first tasks were sighting-in the G44 and testing it for accuracy with five types of .22 LR ammo. A few turns of the rear sight’s adjustment screws were necessary to get the G44 hitting where we wanted, and we were pleased to see that it was capable of producing groups in the 2-inch range. The accuracy results are listed in the accompanying chart. GLOCK G44 Compact Semi-Auto Pistol
Then we moved over to the club’s steel range and ran racks of plates at a distance of 10 yards. The .22 bullets did not consistently tip over the plates, so we decided ringing them was sufficient. The G44 handled very well, and the three of us went six for six on most of the racks, although we found an extra round or two very useful on a few of our runs.
After that, we put the G44 through a “combat” drill by engaging a pair of USPSA targets at seven yards. Starting with the G44 held in the low-ready position, on the signal, the shooter lifted the pistol and engaged the first target with 10 rounds in rapid fire, performed a combat reload, and engaged the second target in the same manner. The drill was then repeated a second time for a total of 40 rounds fired by each shooter. GLOCK G44 Compact Semi-Auto Pistol
After this profligate expenditure of rimfire ammo, we were pleased to see that the majority of our rounds impacted inside the A zones of the targets. This caused one shooter to comment, “While I wouldn’t choose a .22 LR for a defensive pistol, you have to admit we put a lot of rounds in the A-zone very quickly!”
It is common knowledge that .22 pistols can be finicky about the type of ammo you run through them, and the G44 was no different. We experienced a number of failures to extract/eject with the standard-velocity Remington ammunition, although the pistol performed quite reliably with the faster-stepping brands and ran flawlessly with the Winchester Wildcat 40-grain ammo. I recommend that G44 owners test-fire their pistols with a variety of .22 LR ammunition to find which loads provide the best reliability.
In closing, I must voice two minor complaints about the trigger and the magazines. Anyone familiar with Glock’s Safe Action trigger knows that it tends to be gritty, and that can be problematic for precision shooting. While this is understandable on pistols intended for defensive/police/military service, on a .22 designed for target shooting or hunting small game, it can be a disadvantage. A number of aftermarket manufacturers and gunsmiths offer upgrades for Glock triggers, and I hope Glock takes advantage of such technology to improve the trigger on the G44. GLOCK G44 Compact Semi-Auto Pistol
From the size of the magazines, it would appear that that they could be designed to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. And I wish they did because I like to shoot .22 LRs quickly, and it would be a lot more fun if I didn’t have to reload magazines so often.
My two compadres and I found the G44 to be reliable with the proper ammunition, easy to use, simple to maintain, and accurate enough for its intended purposes. In other words, it’s a Glock!
Glock G44 Specs
- Manufacturer: Glock; us.glock.com
- Type: Blowback-operated autoloader
- Caliber: .22 LR
- Magazine Capacity: 10 rounds
- Barrel: 4.02 in.
- Overall Length: 7.28 in.
- Width: 1.26 in.
- Height: 5.04 in.
- Weight, Empty: 14.6 oz.
- Grips: Integral to polymer frame
- Finish: nDLC
- Sights: Fully adjustable white-outline rear, white-dot front
- Trigger: 6.1-lb. pull (as tested)
- Safety: Glock Safe Action trigger
- MSRP: $439