Glock 34 Review
The latest 9×19 is the new model GLOCK 34. This new model is a competition pistol when used in IPSC stock gun class, and it will fit inside the IDPA box. Also since it has the length and balance of a service pistol, it will double as a tactical pistol.
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In 2010, Glock began offering new Generation 4 versions of their pistol lines. The .40 caliber Models 22 & 23 were first, followed by the 9mm Models 17 & 19. A few other types have been introduced since, including the 21, 32 & 34. The new Generation 4 9mms had a few use problems with light target loads, but this was fixed with a proprietary recoil spring assembly designed for the 9mm.
The Generation 4 Glocks highlight several changes from the earlier versions. These include a different grip surface (following in a non-slip surface without having to resort to aftermarket grip tape or stippling), two (medium & large) backstraps which can be connected on the backstrap to “customize” the feel of the frame in the shooters hand, & a more significant, reversible glock 34 magazine statement. For the opening time, left-handed Glock shooters can have a release designed for them. The other notable change involves the recoil spring assembly. Full-size & mid-size (compact) Generation 4 Glocks now have a dual recoil spring assembly, designed to replace the perceived recoil of the gun (resulting in less muzzle rise) as well as having a much longer service life. Less muzzle rise ends in faster follow-up shots during competition or self-defense situations.
The Glock 34 was introduced in 1998 as a competition-ready 9mm gun. The main differences between the full-size Type 17 & the long slide Model 34 include a 5.32″ barrel for the 34 (0.82″ greater than the 17) with corresponding longer slide, elongated magazine & slide releases & a reduced trigger pull. The more extended slide results in a longer sight radius & a slightly better balance of the pistol, resulting in quicker recovery between shots.
This is one feature of the gun that is well documented at this point in the antiquity of the internet. Put simply; the GLOCK is a traditional looking gun. The slide is a hollowed out piece of bar stock with all of the hard corners rounded & some cocking serrations cut in the rear.
This variant features a lightening cut along the top of the slide to keep weight down. The roll marks are plain jane & nowhere near as exciting as the theater that gets place on the XD, M&P, or PPQ slides. The block is pure vanilla with no exciting “GRIP ZONES” or fancy castings barring the small “GLOCK” logo. Due to GLOCK’s marketing victory, the iconography means a lot of people think a GLOCK is what a handgun looks like…for reliable or worse. There’s not much more than can be said about the gun that seeing the photos won’t tell you.
I suspect the slide is as easy as it is for a reason. Fewer cuts, contours & gingerbread mean less machine time during production, making finishing the slide likely faster & more comfortable. There is some Spartan excellence in a GLOCK’s plain-ness, but not approximately enough to earn it the positive moniker, “sleek.”
Fit & Finish
GLOCKS are very consistent from example to an example within a given generation. The slides are all “space without the stars” in color with a very smooth finish in the more modern Gen 4’s. Earlier Gen 4s (pre-beavertail notch) had a rougher texture to them. The termination the 34 wears well & is exceptionally resilient.
As with each finish, the slide will show minor holster wear with extended use. Rusting will typically only result from wanton negligence (leaving it in salt water for days) or desire (intentionally going it in saltwater for days). GLOCK barrels are treated with the same finish, but the barrel will begin to show wear on the hood after 500-700 +/- rounds & the tip of the barrel will start to show damage in the finish (“smiley”) after north of 1000 shots (generally).
Glocks are designed to have comparatively looser slide to frame fit. This allows for better operation in disadvantageous conditions. That’s not to say it’s by any means “loose,” but it won’t come off the shelf like a higher end 1911 that needs a herculean attempt to cycle the slide until it’s been broken in. An off-the-shelf GLOCK will handle about as well as a “broken in” model, maybe somewhat stiffer. The barrel locks up pretty tightly when the gun is in the battery, but the whole slide will have any minor side-to-side play. The extractor will sit crimson to the slide when unloaded & slightly point from the slide with a shot in the chamber.
The frame is done about as well as a frame of this design can be made. There are no seams anyplace your hand interfaces with the structure. On my Gen 4 examples, there is a seam/rough edge around the mag well, which is annoying. Loading the magazine into the gun is moderately easy, but when you’re on the clock in game, it’s easy(er) to flub a reload with a GLOCK. I don’t like the layout of the mag well. The FNS-9 has a brilliant mag well, & I hope GLOCK takes a hint in the next iteration.
Buy glock 34 Gen 4