Glock 35 Long Slide .40 S&W: Serious Business for Serious Shooters
This Glock is an out-of-the-box racer with the company's best trigger and ergonomics yet. Accuracy is rewarding. On this model, Glock added an adjustable rear sight, extended mag and slide releases, a slicked-up trigger, and they even snuck in some much needed extra weight under the muzzle of its 5.2-inch barrel. This is one of the best Glocks we’ve ever shot.
The rise in popularity of the .40 Smith & Wesson cartridge can be attributed to at least two characteristics of the cartridge. First, it delivers a payload nearly as wide as the venerable .45 ACP slug but at higher velocities, resulting in the delivery of more energy. Also, competitors in the practical shooting sports found they could fit more rounds of forty-cal into their pistols and still maintain the advantage of a major power factor, while their guns’ slide velocity increased, making it possible to fire successive rounds faster.
Glock added extended mag and slide releases and put a slicked up trigger on the 35. This greatly improved the gun’s ergonomics.
Glock has all but conquered the police market. The improvements it made to its full-size .40 Auto frame created the 35, which takes aim at the IPSC competitor. When we took a careful look at these three pistols, we found that proponents of full-sized .40s have three action-ready pistols they can choose from. The face of the Glock trigger is further complicated by a spring-loaded insert that acts as a safety. It must be compressed for the gun to fire.
The rear-sight assembly is dovetailed in, but it remains in low profile, riding a mere 0.160 inch above the slide. The rear notch is adjustable.
We set up three Millpark cardboard targets at a distance of 36 feet spaced 6 feet from edge to edge. The Millpark is a silhouett-style target that resembles a torso and head. The preferred hit area is the A-zone, which corresponds to center of mass on a human. This zone is a rectangle that measures 11 inches high by 6 inches wide.
The test procedure here was upon audible command raise the gun from low ready and hit the A-zone on the three successive targets in the shortest time possible. Timing was done with a Competition Electronics Pocket Pro timer. We tried a series of five runs counting one hit on each target and another five runs requiring two hits on target. For this session we used the Winchester 180-grain FMJ ammunition exclusively. The purpose was to test sight acquisition, trigger response, recoil and recovery time. These are three main elements of practical shooting competition. They also happen to be a very good gauge of how shootable a gun is.
The slide has a cutaway area to allow later porting of the barrel. Additional weight on the forward portion of the slide serves as a channel for the plastic guide rod.
Low-slung and stretch-limousine long, this is a Glock pistol with charm. Our 35 gave us more confidence than any Glock pistol in recent memory. Maybe it is the 7.6 inches of sight radius that aided the ability to point and shoot. Perhaps it was power and precision. The 35 produced the most muzzle energy, the most velocity, and the most accuracy of the trio, and we had fun doing it. Accuracy from 25 yards averaged just 1.3 inches firing the Black Hills 180-grain JHP, and only 1.4 inches firing the Speer 165-grain GDHP. Five-shot groups from the Winchester ammo measured an average of 2.2 inches from the Glock. We had no occasion to adjust the rear sight for either windage or elevation, since the gun was dead on out of the box.
Nonetheless, we think the front-sight blade is much too wide. With the gun’s long sight radius, we do not feel that the huge white dot nor a 0.150-inch-wide blade is necessary. The rear-sight assembly is dovetailed in, but it remains in low profile, riding a mere 0.160 inches above the slide.
Other features include a molded in sight rail under the dust cover. The slide has two curious features; one is a cutaway area just behind the front sight. This is to offer the option of porting the barrel. One of the reasons why this gun is easier to control during recoil is the additional weight on the forward portion of the slide, which serves as a channel for the plastic guide rod. The addition of a steel guide rod may be a good way to bring even more recoil-fighting weight to the front end. Magazine capacity for our pistol reflected the civilian limit of 10, making it a natural competitor in the United States Practical Shooting Association’s (USPSA) Limited 10 division. Law-enforcement magazines carry up to 15 rounds of .40 caliber Smith & Wesson.
During the practical test, the Glock was competitive with three-shot strings of 1.96, 1.71, 1.74, 1.67, and 1.68 seconds respectively. Where time might have been lost negotiating the longer trigger pull, the lack of a mechanical safety let the shooter concentrate on staging the trigger. In the six-shot drill where two hits are required on each target, the combination of staging the trigger and tracking the long sight radius made for times of 2.5 to 2.8 seconds. This was slightly behind the ET of our runs with the Browning, but here we could get into a consistent rhythm of an average 2.7 seconds, and all 30 shots were A-zone hits.
Gun Tests Recommends: Glock 35. Buy it. Even the Glock doubters on our staff liked this gun. We’d still like to see an external thumb safety, but this model does offer Glock’s best ergonomics yet. It could be a sleeper as a police sidearm, but for fun shooting, you can grab one, get to a practical match, and be competitive. If you already own Glocks, buy this gun before the others. You won’t be disappointed.
Originally Published In September 2000.