To date, Gen 4 Glocks have passed the 10,000 and 15,000 round marks with exactly zero replacement parts. And these guns continue to perform well.
There older Glocks that have even more rounds through them, also without any replacement parts.
The bottom line is that Glocks have a very long service life. So much so, that a quick check of used listings reveals that older models—Gen 2 and Gen 3 Glocks—are still going for around $400.
Clearly, Glocks hold their value well because they were designed for lifelong use. If you suspect that your gun is due for an upgrade, here’s why you shouldn’t be too hasty to trade in your old Glock.
Most Glock Generations are Pretty Much the Same
Additionally, the newest Glocks are strikingly similar to the older models.
With the introduction of the Gen 5 handguns, Glock introduced a handful of changes that made the Gen 5 Glocks more similar to the Gen 2 and 3 models than the Gen 4.
In fact, Glock continues to ship Gen 4 handguns. So, it seems the Gen 5 was never meant to replace the Gen 4.
On the Gen 5 guns, Glock removed the finger grooves, which were not present until the Gen 3 models were created. They added a magazine stripping notch to the front of the grip, a feature cribbed from the Gen 2 Glocks.
The new nDLC finish is also very similar to the original Glock Tenifer finish, which they did away within the Gen 4 models.
There are a few internal differences between the Gen 5 Glocks and the older models. However, they’re largely unnoticeable to the average shooter. And, given the track record of the previous generations, there’s no pressing need to get the newest Glock.
So, if you already have a Glock, it’s very similar to the newest iteration, and will perform just as well in the same range of shooting contexts.
There are More Aftermarket Upgrades for Older Glocks
Since the Gen 5 pistols have only been out for a couple of years, the variety of aftermarket upgrades is limited. Manufacturers are creating new Gen 5 upgrades every day. But, the aftermarket industry for Gen 5 Glocks is still developing. If you want to upgrade your gun, it’s easiest to get parts for Gen 3 and Gen 4 Glocks.
In fact, there are so many aftermarket parts for the older models, that it’s possible to build an entire Glock pistol without using a single factory Glock part. That sounds odd. But, you can see how diverse the upgrade options are.
Not All the New Features Are Great
One of the features on the Gen 5 is the magazine stripping notch on the front of the magazine well. It seems like a good idea until you run the gun under a bit of stress. Then it’s easy to see why they removed the notch after the Gen 2 models.
The trouble is that the magazine stripping notch is handy for getting the magazine out. But it can make it difficult to get a fresh mag in. If the magazine isn’t perfectly lined up in the magazine well, the front edge of the magazine can catch on the stripping notch. It makes a mess of your reload.
Some people manage it well or have thick enough fingers that their pinky finger helps keep the front of the magazine from catching on the cutout.
Although, if you’ve got thick enough fingers that you need to squeeze that real estate at the bottom of the grip, the cutout can be uncomfortable.
Something like this isn’t a deal breaker. But it’s not a deal maker, either. If your gun doesn’t have a magazine stripping notch, it’s probably not worth the price of a new gun just to get one.
Old Glocks Perform Just as Well as Newer Striker-Fired Pistols
Glock is the original striker-fired pistol. Since the origination of Glock pistols, several other manufacturers have created their own striker-fired designs. Many of them perform quite well.
However, they don’t vastly outperform an older Glock. Really, most of the differences are in the ergonomics. In terms of accuracy, reliability, and almost every other measurable data point, the performance of both the old and the new striker-fired guns is about the same.
So, a newer gun is more of a replacement than an upgrade.
All this isn’t to say that the newest Glocks are bad. Or that you shouldn’t get a new gun if it’s more comfortable or better meets your needs. However, the differences between the older generations and the newest handguns aren’t huge.
If you have an older Glock, and it’s working well for you, the newest guns will work about exactly as well, not much better. It’ll just cost you more. Guns keep getting more expensive.
So, you can save yourself some money by keeping that old Glock in your collection. If it’s been sitting in the safe for a while, maybe it’s time to get it back into service. That’ll feel almost like getting a new gun.
Spend that few hundred bucks you saved to get more ammunition for fun and training. That’s how you maximize the value from the money you already spent on your old Glock.