Available in the United States for more than a quarter of a century now, the Glock pistol dominates market here. There are many good reasons why, and one of them is its versatility. Let’s look at the broad array of Glocks presently available. One or the other will probably serve your particular needs a bit better than the rest.


The very first Glock, the G17, established itself as a “service pistol” par excellence. That length, in turn, became the “standard size” Glock: a 4.5-inch barrel with slide of commensurate length, and a full-length grip-frame housing a full-length magazine.

That Glock 17, now in its fourth generation of design advance-ment, is chambered for the 9×19 cartridge, also known as 9mm NATO,9mm Luger, and 9mm Parabellum. Safe to carry fully loaded with a round in the chamber, it holds 17 more in its standard magazine.

In 1990, the same Glock format was introduced chambered for the then-new .40 S&W cartridge. Known as the Glock 22, this pistol is believed to be in use by more American police departments than any other. Its standard magazine capacity is 15 rounds.

Next, Glock chambered the same gun for the .357 SIG cartridge, and called it the Glock 31. That bottlenecked round shares overall length and case head dimensions with the .40, so by simply interchanging the barrels the shooter can change his Glock .357 to .40, or vice versa. G31 magazines will work with .40, and G22 magazines will work with .357 SIG cartridges.

With one caveat, the Glock 37 pistol in caliber .45 GAP is the same size as the pistols listed above. That one difference is slide thickness: on the G37, the slide is wider, sufficiently so that it comes standard with the oversize slide-stop lever that is merely optional on the other standard size service models. A G37 magazine is designed to hold ten rounds of .45 GAP.

Standard Compacts

“Standard compacts” sounds like a contradiction, but is used here intentionally to describe the frame size of the standard models made shorter at muzzle and butt. The first of these, going back to the late 1980s, was the Glock 19. Take the G17, shorten the barrel by half an inch and the slide proportionally, and stub off the butt until you can only fit 15 9mm rounds in the magazine, and you have the original compact, the G19.

The same format in .40 is the Glock 23, and in .357, the Glock 32. Each of those will hold thirteen cartridges in their standard magazines. That size Glock in .45 GAP is the G38, which comes with an eight-round magazine.

Standard Subcompacts

In the mid-1990s, Glock hit the next level of miniaturization with the pistols that instantly became known as the “baby Glocks,” the G26 and G27, soon to be followed by the G33 and eventually, the G39. A generation of cops has proven that these guns are small enough to carry in ankle holsters as hideout backups; in fact, at this writing, troopers of one state with Glock 27s and troopers of another with Glock 39s are required to carry these issue baby Glocks in issue ankle rigs to back up their full-size service Glocks whenever working in uniform. With sufficiently capacious trousers, they have been successfully carried in pocket holsters by some users.

The G26, probably the most popular of its size range today, carries ten 9mm rounds in its short little standard mag-azine. The G27 carries nine rounds of .40, and the G33, nine .357 cartridges. The fat .45 GAP cartridges top a G39 magazine at six rounds.

Long Slides

The standard (i.e., G17) size is actually the middle ground of “original frame” Glocks in size, with two models longer.
The first of those, going back to the 1980s, was the 6-inch barrel with proportional length slide. Dubbed the G17L in 9mm, it would be known as the Glock 24 in .40. In either caliber, these guns take the same full-length magazines as the standard models. These are now only produced sporadically to meet demand when warranted, having been largely supplanted by Glock’s own Tactical/Practical series.


By the turn of the 21st century, Glock had come out with guns in a length between standard and target length, their barrels 5.3 inches long and specifically engineered to fit the “footprint” of maximum sizes mandated for two of America’s most popular action shooting sports. Called the “Tactical/Practical” Glocks, the Glock 34 in 9mm took G17 magazines and was destined to become the most popular Stock Service Pistol in the International Defensive Pistol Association, while the G35 in .40 used the same magazine as the Glock 22 and proved immensely popular in Limited class shooting under the auspices of the International Practical Shooting Confederation. Some departments that appreciated the accuracy potential afforded by the long sight radius of the actical/Practical have bought them as standard issue for police patrol. The G34 and G35 are roughly the same size as Government Model 1911s.

Larger Frames

In 1990, Glock introduced the G20 pistol, essentially a scaled-up G17 whose larger frame contained 15+1 rounds of full-power 10mm. While the 10mm cartridge itself did not take off in popularity as expected, the G20 proved to be the most rugged 10mm auto out there when fired constantly with full power ammunition, and quickly became a “cult favorite” among fans of the caliber. Its compact version, the Glock 29 with 10-round magazine packs an amazing amount of ballistic potential for a gun its size.

Almost immediately after the G20 came out, Glock introduced the same format in .45 ACP, the Glock 21. This 13+1 round pistol became the most popular standard-issue .45 ACP in American police circles. By the late 1990s, it had been joined by a chopped and channeled version, the 10+1 round Glock 30. Both pistols were remarkably accurate and soon established themselves as highly reliable. .45 fans particularly liked how “soft shooting” they were for their caliber, something 10mm Glock fans discovered also.

Pages: 1 2
Show Comments
  • Ángel Guzmán

    Hello did You where i cant recived a catálog for glock 22-9 mm etc,,thanks