At a Glance: Best Glocks for Beginners
Comparison of The Best Glocks for Beginners
Our Top Pick
|Glock G19 G5||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|Glock G44 22LR||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|Glock G43||View Latest Price|
It’s no secret that Glocks are the favored firearms of the police force and other law enforcement agencies. But Glocks have become a household name too, with many civilians choosing to purchase a Glock for home defense purposes as well as range practice.
If you’re considering buying a Glock for the first time, you’re probably feeling a bit confused by the vast array of models on the market. Luckily, many of these models will make the best Glock for beginners. In this article, we’ll explain why Glocks are an ideal choice for a first gun and how to use one.
Our Pick of the Top 8 Glocks Suitable for Beginners
We’ve chosen 8 of the most popular Glocks currently on the market. We tested and reviewed each model to give you a thorough analysis of why they’re an ideal choice for first-time users. We’ve also listed the pros and cons of each pistol for a simple breakdown and easy comparison.
Glock G19 G5
The Glock 19 is a trustworthy, reliable, and accurate pistol that’s easy to carry around and conceal. Glock 19 fits 15-round magazines and features “backstraps” on the grip you can make longer or shorter to fit your hand size. It’s compact and lightweight, weighing just 1.47 lbs.
The long grip of the Glock 19 means better recoil control, which is vital for shooters with little experience. The generation 5 G19 also features a tight gas seal and less fouling thanks to the enhanced polygonal rifling on the Marksman barrel.
As this is a Gen5 model, it has an ambidextrous one-piece slide lock to give left-handed shooters a better grip. The magazine features an orange follower to easily see empties, an extended bottom lip for easy magazine extraction, and a flared magazine well for easy reloads. All these features make the G19 super easy to handle and operate.
The Glock 19 boasts impressive accuracy for a reasonable price. This makes it a fantastic option for those purchasing a Glock for the first time who may not be sure which features they’re looking for.
- Rates high in accuracy and reliability
- Easy to carry around and conceal
- Adjustable backstraps
- Features a long grip for better recoil control
- Nice well-rounded option and a good choice for first time Glock owners
Glock G44 22LR
The Glock G44 22LR is a compact size pistol that can adapt to almost every hand size by using the different backstraps supplied. This is great news for shooters with large hands who usually struggle to find a good grip on these small-sized Glocks.
The G44 was designed for maximum performance and went through vigorous testing to find perfection. The pistol features an innovative hybrid steel-polymer slide chambered in Glock’s first .22 caliber round. This results in a compact, lightweight firearm, with low recoil functionality for optimal control.
The G44 integrates the GLOCK Marksman Barrel for increased accuracy and precision that makes the pistol easy to fire and hit targets. It also comes with adjustable rear sights and two load-assist magazines, creating a complete beginner-friendly pistol.
The G44 makes an excellent compact plinking pistol suitable for the range. It’s not just a great Glock to start with, but it’s equally ideal to keep as your shooting enhances. It has the same dimensions as the much loved Glock 19 Gen 5 but without the recoil and cost of 9mm ammunition. For that reason, you may well find it to be the best Glock for beginners.
- Compact and lightweight
- Gives little recoil compared to other models
- Adaptable to most hand sizes
- Comes with adjustable rear sights
- A great pistol choice for range use
The Glock 43 is Glock’s first-ever single-stack, subcompact 9mm handgun. The unique design of the G43 results in a functional, easy to conceal pistol that can be carried in the most popular concealed carry positions. This makes it a great handgun for beginners.
The Glock 43 Gen3 features a thin slide measuring just 1.02 inches wide, while the gun has an overall length of only 6.26 inches. It uses the Glock Safe Action System, a striker-fired design with no pre-charged energy until the user pulls the trigger. This is a vital function for inexperienced shooters!
Other features include a generous beavertail incorporated into the frame to guard against slide bite. The grip gives a sturdy yet comfortable hold and the magazine release is placed perfectly. One thing to note though, because of its compactness, those with larger hands may not find a comfy grip on such a small pistol like this.
The small size of the pistol does mean that the magazine capacity is compensated, fitting 6-round magazines so more reloads will be required. However, for a novice, this is unlikely to be much of an issue.
If you want a compact but high-quality Glock for personal defense, the G43 Gen3 is the best Glock for you. It’s a great choice if you value concealed carry over magazine capacity.
- Easy to conceal and carry in multiple positions
- High-quality, rugged build
- Features the Glock Safe Action System
- Beavertail frame to eliminate slide bite
- Low magazine capacity means more reloads
- May not give a comfy hold for large hands
The Glock 43X is an upgrade to the single-stack G43. The highlight of this enhanced version is the new capacity of 10+1, allowing your gun to hold more rounds. This larger capacity is possible thanks to a slightly widened and lengthened magazine.
The G43X is still as lightweight as the G43 but it looks even better aesthetically, boasting a sleek, silver-finished slide. There are also serrations at the front and rear of the slide. The additional 4 rounds this model gives is a massive plus point too, meaning fewer reloads are required.
The G43X is slightly longer than the original G43 however, it’s still easy to conceal. This extra length allows for a full-height grip surface that the G43 does not give. This gives better placement for your fingers, allowing you perfect placement of all fingers without the need for a magazine extension.
The Glock 43X is reliable, light, and accurate enough for any personal defense usage. It’s also a pistol you’ll want to take to the range for an afternoon of plinking, easily making it the best Glock for beginners, and multi-purpose use.
- Larger capacity than the original G43
- High-quality silver compound finish
- Full-height grip surface for better finger placement.
- The lightweight design gives a comfortable carry
- Accurate and reliable
- Multi-purpose use
The Glock G48 is a slim, low-profile 9mm pistol with many similarities to the G43X. It uses the same widened and lengthened single-stack magazine, giving capacity up to 10 rounds. The G48’s slide also has the same military-grade, silver-colored coating.
It’s specifically designed for concealed carry as the slimline design allows users to hide their gun, even under the tightest clothing. What’s more, because it’s so lightweight at 1.29 pounds, it reduces the weight on your belt.
The G48 has an impressive sight picture as well as an increased sight radius. Another feature that makes the G48 stand out is the night sights. These ensure you have the sighting capability you need, day and night. This gives supreme accuracy that allows even newcomers to fire the most precise shots.
If you want to carry concealed, the compact, slimline frame of the G48 is ideal. This compact, single-stack design also means that it’s more comfortable for those with smaller hands who dislike a double-stack grip. The 10-round magazine capacity is not the largest but should certainly be sufficient for shooters just starting.
- Slim, low-profile design for concealed carry
- Improved sight picture and increased sight radius
- Comes with night sights
- Helps you shoot with more accuracy and precision
- Lightweight to reduce weight on your belt when carrying
- Gives a comfortable grip for shooters with smaller hands
- Lower magazine capacity means fewer rounds
Part of the single-stack subcompact family, the revolutionary Glock G42 is the smallest and lightest gun the company has made. It combines the two most wanted features of a pistol, concealability, and reliability.
Being the smallest Glock is both a pro and a con. The size makes it ideal for pocket carry and concealment but it does mean the magazine capacity has to be small. How much you plan to use your pistol will determine if the 6-round capacity is an issue.
The small size also makes it easier for shooters with smaller hands to hold. That being said, it could be uncomfortable for those with bigger hands. Even so, the grip does have a decent amount of texture, and a deep recess for the web of the shooting hand.
The tiny G42 has a total length of 5.94 inches including a 3.25-inch barrel. It weighs just 0.78 lbs and has a unique sleek flat dark earth coated finish.
The Glock 42 isn’t perfect. It could use an even better trigger with a lighter break. However, it’s extremely reliable so could still be the best Glock for beginners and those who need a slim, lightweight gun to carry regularly on their body, or in their pack.
- The smallest and lightest Glock on the market
- Rates high in reliability
- Effortless to conceal or carry around
- A good option for small-handed shooters
- Sleek design and finish
- Low magazine capacity
- The grip may be uncomfortable for big hands
Glock G17 Gen4
The G17 Gen4 9mm is favored by law enforcement personnel because of its impressive stopping power, accuracy, and capacity of a 17-round magazine. It’s also a lightweight gun, weighing just over 1.5 pounds.
The Gen 4 model brings enhanced performance and shootability to the G17 than the older versions. It maintains the stronger than steel polymer construction and the renowned safe action system.
The Gen 4 upgrades include rough-textured frames, making the pistol easier to handle in extreme conditions. This allows you to shoot whatever the weather, with or without gloves. However, the rough-texture does result in the grip feeling a little uncomfortable after a while
The G17 comes with three interchangeable backstraps to give a custom fit. Recoil and muzzle flip has been reduced too, giving new shooters trouble-free operation of the gun.
What I love the most about the Glock 17 Gen 4 is the longer than average barrel which results in greater accuracy. This precision means that the G17 could be used for multiple shooting purposes, not just self-defense.
- Boasts supreme accuracy and stopping power
- Reduced recoil and muzzle flip
- High magazine capacity
- Versatile pistol – Works well in all shooting purposes
- Dependable and easy to handle
- The grip could be more comfortable
- Not the best option for concealed carry
Why are Glocks so popular?
Glock has an almost 65% market share of handguns in the U.S, making Glock a celebrity in the gun world. Glock is the preferred pistol for both law enforcement and civilians. But, what is it that makes Glock pistols so popular?
Glock is known for having spent considerable time and effort working on the “pointability” of the pistol. Pointability refers to the pistol’s natural ability to act as an extension of the shooter’s hand and eye coordination. The high pointability that Glock has obtained makes the pistol easier to aim than most of its competitors as well as being more user-friendly and accurate to shoot too.
- Glocks are made in a plastic mold rather than being assembled from steel. This is what makes Glocks so lightweight and what allows them to have large capacities.
- The lightness of the Glock is one of the most desired attributes. Glock has produced many compact, feather-light models that are the perfect gun choice for shooters wanting to conceal carry.
- The low maintenance of a Glock also adds to its popularity. These pistols will function well even if they are not cleaned properly or regularly.
- Gaston Glock came into the game knowing nothing about handguns. Surprisingly this is what he credits his success to. The lack of knowledge gave him no preconceived notions about what a handgun should be. This allowed him to focus on just a handful of requirements: ease of use, simplicity, and reliability, mastering them all.
Why Glocks are perfect for beginners
A Glock is the ideal pistol for first-time buyers for many reasons. Firstly, Glock is a well-known and trusted gun manufacturer throughout the world. Even though they have only been around since 1981, in this short time they have created a new era of pistol design and become the favorite firearm of both law enforcement personnel and civilians.
Purchasing a Glock will guarantee high-quality and reliability but without breaking the bank. Glocks are surprisingly affordable, and as a beginner, you’re probably not looking to splash out on a firearm just yet. Glock pistols are extremely easy to shoot. To operate you simply squeeze the trigger.
The recoil on a Glock is very manageable, even in larger calibers. That being said, beginners may prefer a Glock that’s chambered in 9×19, as this round is slightly less powerful than other calibers but still effective.
Safety is a huge concern for all shooters, but even more so for beginners. All Glock pistols feature the Glock Safe Action system. This comprises of three individual safety mechanisms (trigger safety, firing pin safety, and drop safety) that operate on a single trigger stroke, meaning there is no double-action trigger to worry about.
Lastly, there are only 34 parts to the entire Glock, which increases reliability and reduces maintenance costs.
How to use a Glock’s controls
Most Glock models including the 9mm pistol family are built with a “striker-fired” design. This means the cartridge primer is struck by a spring-powered rod rather than a firing pin and hammer, leading to a simpler design and straightforward operation.
Remember, the rules of safety are there to protect you and others. Whether you have decades of experience with firearms or if you are a beginner to them, the same rules of safety apply, and for good reason too. The controls of a Glock include:
- The magazine release, which ejects the magazine when pressed inwards.
- The trigger and integral trigger safety.
- The slide release sends the slide back into the battery when locked back.
- The disassembly lever allows the upper receiver to be removed from the lower.
- The chamber (round) indicator, which raises outwards and becomes flush with the slide when a round is chambered.
Loading And Unloading Your Glock
Anytime you come back to a firearm and put your hands on the firearm to unload it, ASSUME that it is loaded, and go through the proper steps of unloading, clearing it and checking the chamber. There are many times that you will need to perform this operation: When doing dry-firing training, when you start cleaning your firearm, when you hand the firearm to someone else or when you are packing your firearm away before you head home. Never practice loading and unloading with live ammunition! You can purchase “dummy” ammunition from sporting goods stores and guns shops.
- Point the weapon in a safe direction with your finger outside the trigger guard: Do not point your weapon at a person or the walls. Do not point your weapon at anything you wouldn’t be willing to shoot if the weapon were loaded.
- Keep your finger off the trigger!
- Remove the magazine from your weapon: Press the magazine release and remove the magazine.
- Set the magazine aside: Just because the magazine is set aside does not mean the pistol is unloaded. Ammunition may still be inside the chamber.
- Lock the slide to the rear using the slide stop.
- Visually inspect the magazine well and the chamber: Look to see there is no magazine and there is no cartridge in the chamber.
- Use your index finger to check for a round in the chamber. Check the magazine well and the chamber. If there isn’t a round your weapon is cleared.
Unloading the weapon means removing the ammunition from the weapon, whether by removing the magazine or by ejecting all cartridges from the chamber. Clearing the weapon means to ensure the weapon does not have any ammunition seated inside of it: You are going one step further by locking the slide to the rear and visually and physically checking the chamber.
Shooting and aiming
- When the Glock is loaded with a cartridge in the chamber, it can be fired by simply pulling the trigger fully to the rear.
- The trigger safety is disengaged by depressing it until it is even with the trigger, allowing the trigger to be pulled rearward.
- Due to the Glock striker-fired action, the trigger pull will remain constant from the first shot to the last.
- The slide will lock in the rear position when the last round is fired.
- Glocks are programmed to misfire with a “stovepipe” malfunction if the pistol is shot with a limp wrist. Therefore, your grip should be firm enough to transfer recoil energy to the torso from the hands.
- You should aim your Glock with the “three-dot” method. Set up your front sight dot to be the point of focus, while the two dots on either side of the rear sight should be on-line, with even spacing to the front sight dot. Apply even rearward pressure to the trigger with the front dot set on the target.
We cover everything about the best aftermarket triggers here.
So, Which Model Is the Best Glock for Beginners?
Firstly, all the Glocks included in this list will make an awesome choice for first-time shooters or Glock users, therefore, any of these models will be a safe and reliable gun choice.
After testing these Glocks, the Glock G19 G5 9mm is ultimately the best Glock for beginners. There are a few reasons for this.
Firstly, it’s the most trustworthy, reliable, and accurate Glock on the market. It has great magazine capacity, fitting 15-round mags but is still compact and lightweight enough to conceal easily, should you wish. Lastly, as a gen 5 model, it’s performance and operation are enhanced further with less recoil and fouling.
What did you end up choosing? Let us know in the comments!