- Model 17 polymer frame
- Model 19 slide and barrel assembly
- Ion-bonded, nDLC slide coating
- Modular Backstrap System
- No finger grooves
- Marksman barrel
- Beveled slide
- Ambi slide stop
- Rough textured frame
- Integral accessory rail
Gun Review: GLOCK 45 9mm
There a number of people in today’s world that are impossible to make happy. Chief among these are gun people, and the most notorious and outspoken are fans of GLOCK pistols. Today we will be taking a look at a gun that makes a tremendous amount of sense to me and many others, but has somehow irked some of the faithful: the GLOCK 45
The G45 is a bit of a strange misnomer, as it’s not chambered in .45 ACP. The expectation was that it somehow would be, but seeing as how GLOCK has never released a gun with the model number corresponding to the chambering, I’m not sure how that could be that confusing.
The GLOCK 45 is in fact chambered in 9x19mm and GLOCK calls it a compact crossover, with a compact G19-size slide on a full-size Gen5 G17 frame. That makes a great deal of sense when the direction of handguns and end users are taken into account, but that still wasn’t enough for some I spoke to.
When the G45 was announced, it was met with vast amounts of disappointment. I heard from no less than two dozen of my usual contacts who said they hated the gun and had been anticipating another crossover design, this time with a G17-length slide on a G19 frame. Or maybe a G19 slide on a G26 frame.
The idea behind this is that you can always conceal a longer barrel, but not a longer frame. It’s hard to fathom who would complain about such a thing when so many good compact pistols are around.
The practice of long slide/short frame is at best a hilariously foolish attempt to extend a compact pistol’s range by increasing sight radius. It’s as if the proponents of this configuration are just going to, at a moment’s notice, have to make a precision shot at 100 yards with a cartoonishly long pistol like Jack Nicholson’s Joker gun. You’d have a better chance of convincing me that Die Hard is a Christmas movie than getting me to buy into the long slide/short frame idea.
You can’t accuse GLOCK of not knowing their purchaser base. The reason why they released their crossover designs the way they did is because the broad public wouldn’t buy a goofy, stunted-looking pistol that’s hard to control and has limited standard capacity.
The G45 and GLOCK 19X are extremely well designed guns and are in high demand as a result. In point of fact, the G45 is one of the most well-balanced pistols I’ve ever fired when it comes to weight distribution and recoil management.
The end buyer of this gun is one who’s concerned with comfort, accuracy, and capacity. The gun feels right in the hand, is easily manipulated, and has excellent capacity at 17+1 rounds. Three magazines are included with the pistol.
The grip geometry (no more Gen4 finger grooves) and improved trigger allow fir a great deal of control, thus allowing a short learning curve for new shooters. It’s a turn-key package for the average person, as it can be utilized in most every role most users will need in a full-frame pistol.
The GLOCK 45’s best quality, perhaps, is that it wasn’t inherently designed for the concealed carry market. Like the first GLOCKs that were so popular with law enforcement, the G45 is a duty-sized gun that has all the good features of the popular G19X, but with a few differences that make it a great gun for the outdoorsman and police officer alike, such as the lack of a lanyard loop and a nondescript black finish.
I tested this gun with a variety of excellent ammo and found that it’s a very solid, accurate performer. Testing was done over my Oehler 35P chronograph, which was situated five feet from the muzzle. Groups were fired from the bench at 25 yards and are the average of three, five-shot groups.
Lehigh Defense 90gr +P Xtreme Defense——1511fps, 1.5”
SIG SAUER 115gr V CROWN————————1259fps, 2”
SIG SAUER 124gr V CROWN ————————1260fps, 2”
Black Hills 115gr FMJ———————————1217fps, 2”
Black Hills 125gr Honey Badger Subsonic———987fps, 2.75”
Black Hills 100gr +P Honey Badger——————1375fps, 1.5”
Buffalo Bore 147gr Outdoorsman——————–1100fps, 3”
Buffalo Bore Barnes 95gr +P+ ————————–1501fps. 1.75”
Hornady 124gr +P Critical Duty————————1230fps, 2”
Hornady 135gr +P Critical Duty————————1150fps, 2.25”
Hornady Custom 147gr XTP——————————1027fps, 2.5”
Hornady Critical Defense 115gr FTX——————1211fps, 3”
I’e noticed something when it comes to the new GLOCK models. They tend to run a bit fast compared to the old barrels. The results I got for the G45 with the match grade GLOCK Marksman Barrel were interesting, as I have quite a bit of trigger time on many of these loads this year in several 9mm pistols.
The results for these rounds were a smidge faster than I’ve seen in the past, but I think it is a matter of the individual gun here. I tested these same loads in a G19 Gen5 and the G45 was slightly faster on all loads despite having essentially the same barrel length. GLOCK G45 Compact Semi-Auto Pistol
When it came to reliability, the GLOCK 45 just ran and ran. I had no issues at all and was easily able to shoot my steel plate out to 50 yards. Up close, the G45 handles well when shooting rapidly with its long, groove-less grip.
This may not be the gun that many GLOCK fanboys wanted, but it’s a gun that will make fanboys of the uninitiated. If this is the first GLOCK you fire, you’ll be very pleased. The G45 is an excellent choice in a full-frame gun handgun and is likely the best single handgun GLOCK has ever produced. I would choose this over a standard G19 any day of the week.
Specifications: GLOCK 45
Capacity: 17+1 rounds
Barrel Length: 4 inches
Overall Length: 7.44 inches
Sights: Polymer U-notch
Weight: 25oz with empty magazine
Street Price: About $550 new
Ratings (out of five stars):
Accuracy * * * * *
I never thought I would find a GLOCK brand GLOCK that shoots as well as the G19X, but this one does. The grip size combined with the compact slide makes this gun just bounce in the hand under recoil and it just wants to stay on target.
Reliability * * * * *
I had no failures to feed or fire at all with this pistol.
Ergonomics * * * * *
This pistol handles like a dream. There is ample room on the grip for even the largest hands, but the gun is overall fairly compact. Just like the very similar G19X, this gun has great balance and is easy to shoot in general.
Aesthetics * * *
GLOCK has always taken the path of making sure the is farm working before painting the barn, even if that barn doesn’t get painted for some time. This is not an attractive gun, but it’s handsome enough for what it is.
Overall * * * * *
The haters out there will disagree with the proportions of this gun, but as the old adage goes, haters gonna hate. The full-size grip, generous capacity, better trigger, and compact barrel make for a gun that is only limited by the abilities of the shooter.
Glock 45 Gun Review
Glock pistols have long been the sidearm of choice for the American police forces for a number of reasons. Glocks are easy to operate and maintain, but even more importantly, they are reliable enough to count on when lives are on the line. It doesn’t hurt that Glocks are relatively inexpensive compared to metal-framed pistols and durable, making them a popular choice for police departments with constrained budgets.
Depending on which stats you believe, about 65 percent of U.S. police officers have a Glock on their hip. During my 22-year law enforcement (LE) career, I’ve never carried any other pistol on duty. When I became a gun writer, anything that wasn’t a Glock felt foreign to me. GLOCK G45 Compact Semi-Auto Pistol
I like Glocks for their point-and-shoot simplicity. There’s no external safety or decocker to contend with. This may not seem like a big deal, but under duress, these seemingly mundane tasks can be surprisingly difficult. In my view, the simpler your gun is to operate, the better, especially given the limited firearms training many officers receive.
As a rookie in 1997, I was issued a 9mm Glock 17. Since then, I’ve carried a Glock 22 in .40 S&W and a Glock 21, a .45 ACP version of Gaston Glock’s oft-imitated design. My latest-issue sidearm is again a 9mm, but this time it’s not the Glock 17.
A New Partner
After about 15 years of service, my department’s Gen3 Glocks were deserving of a retirement. Of course, when a cop retires, their spot is filled with a new recruit. In this case, the recruit was to be a Gen5 Glock.
First, we conducted testing and evaluation of the Glock 17 and 19. The G17 is a full-sized pistol with a 4.5-inch barrel and a magazine capacity of 17 rounds. The G19 is a compact pistol with a 4-inch barrel and a 15-round magazine. Just as my agency was about to purchase these pistols for our officers, Glock introduced the G45, which is essentially a hybrid of the G17 and G19.
The Glock 45 incorporates the G17’s full-length grip, making it an 18-round pistol with the chamber loaded and takes the G19-length barrel, making it a hair faster out of the holster. The combination of longer grip and shorter barrel/slide assembly makes for a well-balanced pistol. GLOCK G45 Compact Semi-Auto Pistol
Ultimately, after shooting the G45 side by side with the G17 and G19, about 95 percent of our officers chose the newcomer. Although many couldn’t articulate why, I thought it just felt better than the other two 9mm Glocks and the larger Glock 21 that we were transitioning from. But, the G45 isn’t a perfect fit for all LE applications.
The Glock 45’s full-size grip makes concealment more of a challenge than with the compact G19 grip. For plain-clothes detectives, officers working in an undercover capacity or for off-duty carry, the G19 is the more sensible choice. Small-handed officers also preferred the G19’s shorter grip.
The few officers on my department who chose the G19 over the G45 did so based on these criteria. One officer with rather large hands went with the G17 because he preferred the longer barrel.
GEN5’s Modus Operandi
The Glock 45 has all the features of Gen5 Glock pistols, including a Glock Marksman barrel, which is based on the polygonal barrel design for enhanced accuracy. The pistol’s slide sports front slide serrations for better purchase during loading and unloading, malfunction clearing or press checking to ensure there is a round in the chamber.
The G45 features a loaded-chamber indicator, allowing the operator to confirm whether a round is chambered by observing and feeling the extractor protrude from the slide. This tactile confirmation that the pistol is loaded may come in handy in a darkened environment. The barrel and slide assembly are finished with Glock’s proprietary nDLC finish for better durability, reliability and corrosion resistance. GLOCK G45 Compact Semi-Auto Pistol
The polymer frame is equipped with an ambidextrous slide-stop lever, which is a welcomed feature for left-handed shooters or perhaps even more so, shooters relegated to shooting one-handed due to injury. The magazine catch is reversable. The flared magwell facilitates smooth and efficient reloads without adding bulk, which could hinder concealment. It comes with standard backstraps in two sizes, as well as two beavertail backstraps, allowing for a highly customizable grip. A mounting rail allows for the addition of a light, which is critically important for duty pistol.
Of course, like all Glock pistols, the Glock 45 features the Safe Action System (SAS) that’s comprised of a trigger safety, firing pin safety and drop safety. The SAS provides a measure of safety without requiring the operator to deactivate a thumb or grip safety. All three safeties disengage as the trigger is pulled and re-engage when the trigger is reset.
Our officers are thrilled with their new G45 pistols. Both qualification scores and officer confidence have skyrocketed. Our agency purchased the model with Ameriglo Bold night sights, which were a hit. GLOCK G45 Compact Semi-Auto Pistol
On a duty pistol, nights sights are a must, and the Ameriglo sights are easy to see in daylight thanks to the bright orange front-sight dot. In low light, tritium inserts in the front and rear glow for fast sight acquisition and accurate aiming.
Admittedly, there were a few officers who were skeptical of the G45’s 9mm chambering, especially given that we had been issuing the .45 ACP G21. However, they were soon won over by the ergonomics, magazine capacity and most of all, the controllability of the 9mm. Even the firearms instructor cadre were impressed, and that’s really saying something.
The overwhelming sentiment was that the Glock 45 was the most well-balanced gun the officers had ever shot, and I couldn’t agree more. Having the full sized, customizable grip allows officers to get a solid, comfortable purchase on the pistol. Not surprisingly, our female officers and even our male officers with smaller hands commented that the G45 fit their hands much better than the G21.
These days, many police agencies realize the importance of setting their officers up for success by equipping them with a pistol that fits their hand. This is a great first step toward ensuring shooting proficiency. Even from a liability mitigation standpoint, a perspective all too familiar with police administrators, it makes sense to issue guns with grip options rather than default to the one-size-fits-all approach.
I’m no engineer, but I suspect the fact that the G45 is so often referred to as “well balanced” has a lot to do with the compact slide having less reciprocating mass as compared to the full-length G17 slide. Coupled with the full–length grip, less felt recoil is encountered. That’s the impression we were left with. GLOCK G45 Compact Semi-Auto Pistol
I ran my department-issued G45 at a recent five-day firearms instructor course and came away rather impressed. Not only were there no malfunctions, despite adverse weather conditions including heat, 100-percent humidity and a driving rain, but the standard-sized grip also felt just right in my hands and the texturing helped lock the pistol in place, despite the moisture.
It was easy to keep the pistol on target when firing multiple rounds, and it was intuitive to shoot when transitioning from one target to another. In fact, I feel this is the biggest advantage the G45 has over the G17 and G19.
During the customary 25-yard testing, I obtained impressive albeit not surprising results with ammo ranging from the department-issued Hornady Critical Duty 135-grain load to economically priced training ammo. Testing consisted of five five-shot groups. Of the ammo available, the Critical Duty produced the best results with a best group of 1.36 inches and averaging 2.56 inches. GLOCK G45 Compact Semi-Auto Pistol
It’s no coincidence that my agency and many others switched to Critical Duty after it was adopted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The load is accurate, reliable and performs well in terminal ballistic testing in both bare gelatin, meant to replicate human tissue, and through intermediate barriers like sheet metal, plywood, wallboard and vehicle glass.
Hornady’s 147-grain Custom XTP also proved plenty accurate, turning in a 2.56-inch best group and a 2.9-inch average. Fiocchi’s 115-grain FMJ printed its best group at 3.07 inches, with a total group average of 3.49 inches. Winchester’s white-box FMJ, which my department uses for training, produced a 3.69-inch best group and an average group size of 4.4 inches.
It’s important to test a duty gun and ammo for compatibility. Since I’ve never heard of an officer-involved shooting taking place from a bench at 25 yards, a more realistic barometer is probably how fast, accurate and reliably an officer can hit the target inside of 10 yards. According to Law Enforcement Officer Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) stats, half of the officers killed by gunfire are within this distance from the suspect when shot. This is where the G45 really shines. The recoil impulse is very manageable, allowing for the delivery of rapid and accurate fire.
As a veteran police firearms instructor and gun writer, I’m not often wowed by a new pistol. Most are “different” more than they are “better.” However, I couldn’t help but be impressed with the Glock 45. Not only was I able to shoot it better than any other Glock, so were our officers. As the saying goes, “The proof is in the pudding.” GLOCK G45 Compact Semi-Auto Pistol
In this case, the “pudding” was improved qualification scores and increased officer confidence. Officers who tended to struggle with the G21 shot surprisingly well with the G45. This was not a result of additional training but rather a better designed, user-friendly pistol chambered in a more manageable caliber. As a LE duty pistol, I can’t recommend the Glock 45 highly enough.