Forty-five. The mere mention of this century-old round creates images of fight-stopping authority, and for many, brings back memories of pistols on their hips in places no rational person would ever want to go. Now instead of coming in a full-size Government Model, the .45 has a new home in the Glock G41 Gen4 pistol, a semi-auto with a 5.31-inch barrel cut with eight lands and grooves on a right hand twist that really wrings the most out of this legendary cartridge.
I have to offer this full disclosure right up front: I’m not a Glock devotee. I never owned one, and I don’t have a problem saying so. Striker-fired pistols, regardless of brand name, have simply never caught my fancy, even though I’ve fired a lot of them and was pleasantly impressed with more than several that I’ve shot.
But just because it hasn’t been my thing, it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with them. Striker-fired pistols have a pretty good track record. A lot of people compete with them and even more carry them for personal protection. They have performed well in gunfights on the streeets and on battlefields around the world and have a very proven track record. They’re the choice of so many police agencies you can’t count them all–Glock in particular is a favorite of many law enforcement agencies. So, when I say that this big bore is going to just delight the hell out of Glock fans, sit up and pay attention because that’s coming from a guy who balances personal preference against the public popularity of a gun.
Not long ago, a pal of mine got hold of a G41 Gen4 to evaluate as a duty sidearm, and when he showed the pistol to me, I have to admit I was intrigued. It looks like a Glock. It functions like a Glock. It has that low slide profile like a Glock. It’s a Glock!
Ahhh, but it shoots like the proverbial house on fire. Get used to the trigger and pretty soon you’ll be bouncing a tin can around at 25 yards with 230-grain ball launched from a pistol that holds 13 rounds in the magazine. That is darned near twice the capacity of the original Model 1911, and find yourself in a gunfight and you’ll definitely like that math.
Some folks have said this is a lot like a longer-barreled version of the G21 Gen4, but that’s not entirely accurate. It definitely has a thinner profile, and I like that.
I seriously tried to screw with this pistol by using all kinds of ammunition, which it cycled without fail. The rounds I finally settled on for the range evaluation performed without a hiccup. By the time the dust had settled, I had a new respect for a sidearm that is very likely going to find its way into duty holsters all over the landscape. My guess is that the G41 Gen4 is going to acquit itself rather well on the mean streets.
Unloaded, this pistol weighs 27 ounces and loaded, it hits the scale at 36 ounces. Now, here’s where the longer barrel and slide profile make a real difference. There is more weight forward that balances well against a fully-loaded magazine, which makes for a better feel in the hand, improved recovery after each shot for quick follow-ups if necessary and the 7.56-inch sight radius contributes to more consistent accuracy.
In the Hand
Recoil is extremely manageable, thanks in large part to the weight and to the double recoil spring setup. That soaks up a lot of punch, and your hands will benefit as a result. The polymer grip frame is textured all the way around, even in the front finger grooves. Translate this to a positive hold even in a Pacific Northwest rainstorm, which is what I shoot in more often than I care. That’s one thing about Washington, if you want to test a gun in the rain, you’ll get the chance. Just go outside and wait.
According to Glock’s website, this pistol has a 5.5-pound trigger pull with a 0.49-inch travel, but it also has a very short reset. I found this rather appealing and managed to plug a couple of targets repeatedly before turning my attention to some broken chunks of clay targets, turning a few of those into even smaller particles.
Stripping down this pistol goes like it does with every other Glock. Clear the chamber, drop the magazine, check clear, press trigger and move the takedown control and off comes the slide. A good aerosol cleaner will get the Glock clean inside and then you can quickly reassemble for a return to shooting action.
Like so many pistols today, the G41 Gen4 has an accessory rail molded into the polymer frame ahead of the trigger guard. One of the main reasons this pistol got my attention was because it comes with interchangeable grip adapters that may be installed to let users tailor the pistol to their hand size. To install, simply pop out the small pin at the top of the grip back-strap, slide on one of the four adjustment sections and then tap in a longer retention pin to hold the additional piece in place. The whole operation takes less than a minute.
Two of these grip adjusters have full beavertails and two do not, sized instead to marry up to the backstrap below the top rear of the frame.
In addition, the pistol comes with a magazine loader, rugged case and lock, and a synthetic cleaning rod and brush. It’s an impressive package.