Glock 41 Longslide .45

   05.12.16

Glock 41 Longslide .45

When Glock 41 was announced, I remember thinking: “such a great package, pity it’s too thick for my hands!”

Having owned both G30 compact and G21 full size 45ACP Glocks, I had reluctantly let go of them due to the thick, chunky grips. I could shoot those guns just fine with two hands, but one-handed grip wasn’t very solid. For combat pistols which may have to be fired one-handed, that was a problem.

About a year after G41 was announced, I got my hands on one along with half-dozen standard magazines and a 25-rounder originally obtained for a compatible carbine.

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G41 and G42 that arrived with it were the first Generation 4 Glocks I’ve examined closely. The fit and finish were far superior to everything I’ve seen up to that point, with the slightly textured slides resisting dirt and wear in a truly impressive fashion.

Handling G41 gave a pleasant surprise: the grip fit my hand well. While very similar to G21 in girth, it felt slimmer than the shorter Gen.3 gun. The longer 5.3″ barrel balanced the pistol so it pointed naturally and stayed balanced in hand. Grip texture, subtle to the eye, worked very well to keep the gun in place. It’s worth noting that the current Gen.4 G21 would have the same grip shape as G41, and 21SF would be even smaller — but G21 slide is much thicker and the shorter gun is actually heavier by two ounces.

G41 backstraps are easily interchangeable, so the girth of the grip can be adjusted, along with the amount of beavertail. This improved fit translates directly into shooter comfort and increased endurance: firing about 200 rounds in a row through G41 is a very comfortable process.

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Even the best fighting pistol wouldn’t be of much use if it’s too large for carry. G41 proved a very good fit. While it is 2/3″ longer than a 1911 (with only 1/3″ of barrel to show for it), it’s the same width and substantially lighter. A loaded M1911 (8+1) with a spare 8 round magazine weighs in at about 3.5 pounds, same as the 13+1 G41 with a spare. Total ammunition count is 17 vs. 27, a substantial advantage to the Glock. Wearing it in a, Eagle Defender from Nelson Holsters, I didn’t notice it any more than I would a G17 — which is to say, not at all.

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For curiosity, I had a 5’2″ tall instructor wear the gun and she found it as easy to carry as any shorter model. The grip is similar enough to her 1911 and full-size M&P models, while the extra inch or so of barrel made no difference for comfort. My photo retoucher Tiffany found that the pistol goes just as readily with her armor and load-bearing vest as her own mid-length handgun.

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Tatiana Whitlock of Sentinel Concepts with G41

The difference in barrel length is insignificant in terms of velocity: relative to the 4.6″ G21, the long slide weapon gains only 30 to 50fps and a slightly reduced muzzle flash. The real advantages of the long slide pistol are improved balance for less muzzle flip, a little more room under the dust cover for light/laser unit and greater sight radius. The little extra distance to the front sight really helps bring it into focus and keep it consistently sharp during firing. If increased muzzle velocity appeals to you, shoot lighter bullets: they gain proportionally greater edge with the increase in barrel length.

In keeping with the Glock reputation, the pistol digested every type of ammunition fed to it, from steel cased ball to defensive hollow points to lightweight frangibles. Point of impact differed visibly even at 7 yards, with 150gr L-Tech frangibles impacting two inches below 230gr Pierce FMJ. Accuracy was good with all loads, even the cheapest plinking ball. The absolute best accuracy came from HPR and Federal defensive loads.

Rather than take my time with every shot, I took careful aim once and then fired in a cadence as soon as the front sight returned from recoil. Shooting a bit faster than I could with 9mm G17, I kept the magazine in one inch groups at 7 yards. The range had a pair of Cro Magnon 3D targets┬áset at about 15 yards, and I practiced quick failure to stop drills, with two to the torso followed by one to the head. No misses at all! Typically, at indoor ranges, I have trouble with my eyes losing front sight focus. This wasn’t a problem with G41. Recoil and muzzle rise were unremarkable, about on par with G17.

Rapid fire at 15 yards.
Rapid fire at 15 yards.

Compared to double-stack 1911s, it’s far lighter and easier to grip. Magazines cost 1/3 to 1/4 as much, and the gun itself retails in the mid-$650s. Glock also offers a variant mounting a red dot on the slide. Enough of the slide metal is milled away to compensate for the weight of the diminutive optics like Trijicon RMR. If you select the optical sight version, I highly recommend going with taller iron sights to provide co-witnessing. Not only would it give a backup sighting option, but also speed up the acquisition of the reticle.

Having shot Glocks since 1998, I have previously regarded them as functional but unexciting. G41 is the first model to get my enthusiasm as we as my respect for the utility. Smaller calibers with light bullets, such as 9×19 and 10mm Auto, gain a little more from the extra barrel length and so would be worth re-visiting as well.

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