Glock G23 Gen 4 40 S&W

GLOCK 23 Gen 4 40 S&W

Slick and smooth with nothing on it that's not needed, the GLOCK 23 has been the best 40 caliber GLOCK pistol we've tested recently.

 g23 rear sight

The sights were excellent, and though fixed, didn't need any adjustments. Tritium sights are an option many would choose, ourselves included, but they're not absolutely necessary. The top edges of the slide were smooth enough to not cut the hands during clearance drills. The Glock is all flat black, with a minimum of controls.

Out of the box the GLOCK felt mighty good. This version of the popular gun comes with several different back-strap contours that the owner can easily swap out to better suit his or her individual mitt. Neither of the two add-on grips make the grip any smaller, however. We liked the grip as it was. The grips were very well made for control, and we appreciated that right from the start.

g23 trigger

We liked the contoured trigger that Glock now uses. That little tab is the only external safety.

The GLOCK is all flat black, with a minimum of controls. There’s the trigger with its tiny but effective leaf that gives the gun all the safety it needs. We noted the contour of the trigger has been improved, and we liked it. The magazine release is reversible, and worked like it was supposed to. There was the slide stop, left side only, and protected with a molded-in ledge right below it. Finally, there were the take-down levers above the trigger opening. The “levers” are actually two ends of one plate-like piece. There was an accessory rail in front of the trigger guard.

g23 gen 4 disassembly

The Glock was the easiest to take down for maintenance, and the easiest to get back together. This is a long-proven design.

The sights had a wide, square, U around the rear notch and a white dot on the front. Tritium sights are optional items. There was a tactile loaded-chamber indicator in the form of a slight step on the extractor that could be easily felt with the (right-hand) trigger finger. The top edges of the slide were smooth enough to not cut the hands during clearance drills. However, if you do many of them with stiff-spring guns, you’re going to hurt your hands, as we found out.

Takedown was simple. With the gun empty and the magazine out, drop the striker, pull the slide back slightly and pull down on the takedown levers on both sides, and ease the slide forward off the frame. The captive spring comes easily out, and then you can get the barrel and guts as clean as you’d like. Reassembly is even simpler. We like to put some of Brian Enos’ Slide Glide ( on the rails. Then, with the barrel and spring in place in the slide, simply slip in back onto the frame and tug on the slide. The takedown levers will click up into place, and you’re ready to go. We thought the workmanship inside the GLOCK was excellent, just as it was on the outside.

On the range we had zero problems. The trigger was decent and clean, and we were able to shoot groups in the 2.5- to 3-inch range with ease at 15 yards. The gun shot essentially where it looked, unlike the Taurus. The groups centered all three test loads within 2 inches of the aim point. The gun got the best groups with the heaviest bullets.

Our Team Said: We liked this gun a lot. It handles the hotter 40 caliber cartridges well, and gave exactly no problems. We would buy this one far and away over the other three guns tested in this 40 auto caliber grouping.

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Originally Published In May 2003.

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