G21 Gen 3 .45 ACP

GLOCK 21 .45 ACP

If you aren't wedded to 1911-type guns, you will be impressed with this full-size .45 pistol. We were. We thought its accuracy and great reliability more than offset its squarish look. If it's your only gun, you can get used to the trigger, though you will never shoot it as fast with the same accuracy as you could a 1911.

45 Caliber GLOCK

Our recommendation: If you aren’t wedded to 1911-type guns, you will be impressed with this full-size .45 at $668. We were. We thought its accuracy and great reliability more than offset its squarish look. If it’s your only gun, you can get used to the trigger, though you will never shoot it as fast with the same accuracy as you could a 1911.

The 10-shot GLOCK is here to stay, and it’s a proven winner. Grab a GLOCK after shooting a 1911 for a day and you notice the great difference in grip angle. The  G21 points skyward, and some of our shooters preferred the grip angle of the GLOCK because they felt like it helped them align the sights quickly. This gun has fixed sights made of plastic, and they give a slightly tighter sight picture, less daylight on the sides of the front sight, than the 1911 clones. The frame of the GLOCK is “polymer,” and the textured grip panels are molded in as part of the frame. We liked the grip they afforded to the hand. The back grip strap is checkered, and that helped the gun stay put. Lighter than the 1911 clones, the Glock recoils more, but not so much that it bothered us. The GLOCK 21 holds 10 shots in its double-stack magazine and that gives the gun a larger grip than the 1911. The grip circumference was 6 inches, versus 5.25 inch for the 1911 types. The slide of the GLOCK is about as wide as the grip section of the 1911, which means either type gun is about as easy to conceal. However, because of its weight advantage, the GLOCK will be easier to pack all day. Trigger reach of the GLOCK is 4 inches, versus 3.5 inches for the 1911. (We measure this from the center of the trigger to the midpoint of the backstrap.)

The GLOCK is one accurate handgun. It did the best of all these test guns with the Blazer 200-grain JHP ammo, shooting 1.6-inch groups on average. Also, after shooting paper targets, we tried it at the Elmer Keith Ranch in Idaho, plinking casually at rocks at long range. It shot so well we had one of our former bench-rest competitors shoot it from a bench at a 1-foot-diameter rock at well over 100 yards, and once he got the sight picture he hit the rock with every shot. The gun was also extremely reliable.

The GLOCK came in a plastic box with a lid like your average Tupperware, and none of us liked the box. We did like the two magazines that came with it, the magazine loading device, and the cleaning rod and bristle brush. The instruction manual was more than adequate.

Gun Tests Recommends: If you want a full-size .45 autoloader, don’t cheat yourself by avoiding the GLOCK  21. It may not be pretty to you, but it’s growing more and more attractive to us.

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Originally published in June 1999.


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