The Glock 45-Compact Crossover 9mm

The Glock Gen5 guns provide some nice enhancements over previous Glock generations.

Posted by on

"Compact Crossover" normally refers to one of today's modern sport utility vehicles-ones that are built on a car frame rather than a truck frame. The Compact Crossover SUV combines the more civilized qualities of traditional automobiles with a some of the capabilities of truck-based SUV's thus enhancing the resulting vehicles usefulness and practicality. Glock has quite cleverly applied this term to one of their newest pistols in the form of the 9mm Glock 45.

The Glock 45 is a Gen5 pistol that mates the slide and barrel of the compact Glock 19 with the full-size grip frame of the Glock 17. But before I talk about the excellent handling qualities of the Glock 45, let me provide a refresher on the Gen5 pistols.

The Gen5 guns provide some nice enhancements over previous Glock generations, with a "back to the future" frame. Gen5 frames have lost the built-in finger grooves of the Gen3 and Gen4 guns and replaced them with an updated groove-free Gen2 style frame that has a uniform textured gripping surface all around. A flared magazine well has been added, and four backstrap adaptors are available to adjust the grips to fit the individual user. My hands are medium size and the out of the box grip fits my hands just fine, but they will certainly come in handy for those of you with larger mitts.

Other additions include ambidextrous slide releases. Glock has subtly improved the leveraging capabilities of the slide release lever so that they are easier to manipulate by the shooting hand thumbs. The large magazine release is not ambidextrous but can be reversed for left handed users. The frame has a molded in Picatinny rail up front. The slide of the G45 features both front and rear cocking serrations, and the barrel is Glock new "Marksman" type, which is designed to enhance accuracy over previous versions.

Now about the G45's handling qualities. The Glock 45's barrel and slide length has been reduced to 4.02 inches from the original Glock 17's barrel length of 4.49 inches. The shorter barrel and slide of the Glock 45 results in a small 1.8 ounce reduction in weight between a fully loaded Glock 17 and a fully loaded G45. Surprisingly, these relatively minor dimensional changes in the barrel and slide, combined with the full- size Glock 17 grip make the G45 feel significantly different when compared to the Glock 17 or Glock 19-which is what the concept of "Compact Crossover" is all about.

When I first heard of the Glock 45, I was somewhat "ho-hum" about it. What difference could a 1/2 inch shorter barrel and slide make? I quickly realized that my initial thoughts about it were wrong as soon as I picked it up out of the box!

What putting a Glock 19 slide on a Glock 17 did was to deftly alter the point of balance which centers the Glock 45 better in the hand which is its biggest and most important attribute. Sometimes minute adjustments make all the difference in the world. Taking that half-inch off the barrel doesn't make the Glock 45 any more concealable than the Glock 17-you will need the same holsters for both guns. If a real improvement in concealment was wanted while retaining superior 9mm ballistics, then reducing the grip size would be the way to go-like putting the Glock 19 barrel assembly on a Glock 26 frame-a protruding frame is what prints on clothing, not a longer barrel.

The Glock 45 has superior "pointability"-the ease of which a particular gun comes up on target or move laterally lining up on multiple targets. The Glock 45 is "right there". You have to pick one up to truly appreciate the change in feel.

I took the Glock 45 to the range with an assortment of 9mm ammo-Winchester's 124 grain "White Box" and Sig Sauer's new Elite M17 Nato +P ammo-both ball and V-Crown 124 grain loads. If you haven't tried Sig's ammo, you should. Both the ball and V-Crown loads have a velocity of 1198 FPS from the muzzle, resulting in 395 FPE. Those are some pretty serious ballistics.

The Glock 45 handled all three loads as one would expect and demand a Glock pistol to-flawlessly and without complaint. The recoil of all the loads were easily controlled, in large part due to the longer Glock 17 frame and the Gen5 grip. Test firing was done at 30 feet, and the rounds from 10-shot strings of fire easily resulted in palm sized groups.

If you are looking for your first 9mm Glock for home, trail, or concealed carry, or looking to add another full capacity Glock to your battery, check out the new Glock 45 and testfire it at the Vance Outdoors range-I think you will be pleased with the results.