Gen 4 Glock 21

Gen4 Glock 21The Gen 4 Glock 21 is now a reality.  The Glock 21 is one of the more discussed models from the company:  on the one hand, it gives the shooter 13+1 rounds of the powerful .45 ACP to handle whatever threat may present itself.  On the other hand, the gun is noticeably thicker than other Glock models, creating problems for many shooters with small to medium sized hands.

With the Gen 4 treatment to the model 21, Glock will hopefully satisfy all of their fans who like the cartridge developed some hundred years ago.  One of the major changes to the Gen 4 pistols is the modular back strap system that allows the owner to custom fit the size of each gun to his or her hand.  While the “Does size matter?” argument will never go away, Glock has certainly made a credible effort to make the 21 comfortably useable by most shooters.

Gen4 Glock 21 logoThe other Gen 4 upgrades are standard on the new model 21:  enlarged and reversible magazine release, the dual recoil spring assembly and the rough textured frame.I really like the new magazine release and the new texture Glock is using.  I have had my doubts about the dual recoil spring assembly, though.

It seems Glock has experienced some reliability problems with certain springs and calibers (see Gen 4 Glock recall information here) in the Gen 4 guns.  I hope the problems have been wrung out and the new G21 will run smoothly.

I know the dual recoil springs are supposed to reduce felt recoil, and they might.  I’ve shot Gen 4 versions of the model 17 and model 22 Glock pistols, but I couldn’t tell much difference.  They seemed to have slightly less recoil, but that may have been nothing more than my mind telling me they had less recoil instead of actually feeling less recoil. Caleb over at Gun Nuts has a Gen 4 Glock 21 already for review and said this about the recoil:

…the recoil system, which Glock says helps to reduce felt recoil. The answer to that is a resounding “yes it does?” The problem is that measuring something like that is very difficult to actually quantify in real numbers. It feels a little less snappy to me than the non-Gen4 models, but…well, you get the idea.

So, I guess it’s not just me.

Gen4 Glock 21

Gen4 Glock 21 logo

Gen4 Glock 21 Specs
Factory spec sheet on the Gen 4 Glock 21. Click the image for a larger view.


By Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, amateur historian and - most importantly - a dad. He's done a lot of silly things in his life, but quitting police work to follow his passion of writing about guns was one of the smartest things he ever did. He founded this site and continues to manage its operation.