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Big-Bore GEN 4

Big-Bore GEN 4
The Glock G21 .45 ACP.

My how time flies. Glock pistols still seem like the new kid on the block to me, yet they are already in the 4th generation. Actually, Glocks haven’t changed much since they were first introduced, at least not in terms of operating features and function. For the most part, newer versions have incorporated relatively minor handling features. I like this approach. One reason I like guns is they have remained relatively unchanged over the years. I hate buying something and a few months later having it become obsolete when a “new improved” model appears. I get enough of that from cameras and computers.

The only feature which might have caused me to trade in an older Glock for a new model was the addition of accessory frame rails. On a concealed carry gun I can do without the rail but on a home-defense pistol it’s nice to have the option of adding a light or laser.

The Generation 4 Glocks add the capability to change grip size to suit hand size. Two additional backstraps marked M (medium) and L (large) can be fitted over the standard backstrap.

Compared to the RTF (rough texture finish) previously used, the Gen4 grip surface is a bit less aggressive, with the “dots” on the sides and in the finger grooves being larger and flat-topped. Personally, I liked the RTF finish, but there were complaints the texture could be hard on hands over long training sessions. The newer design is still secure but easier on the hand than the RTF.

The Glock 21 SF is a full-size pistol chambered in .45 Automatic Colt Pistol. “Full size” is a relative term. Compared to other high-capacity .45 ACP pistols, the G21 is lightweight and average in size, but it is full-size compared to other Glocks. For concealed carry I’d rather have a 9mm or .40 S&W such as the Models 19/23 and 26/27. I could tuck away a G21 in a waistband holster from the Leather Arsenal, and in fact wore it as my CCW for a few days. Realistically, for most shooters the G21 works better as an open-carry duty sidearm or for home defense.
By Dave Anderson
Photos Robbie Barrkman

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Guns September 2012

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  1. Mack Missiletoe says:

    Technically a revolver with 5 rounds is faster to reload than an autoloader with 5 rounds. If you ran out of mags with an autoloader you’d be in worse shape than a revolver–if you had loose rounds to load.

    I’ve loaded 3 cartridges at once before in my revolver. Try doing that with a Glock!

    Also, I am a better shot with my friend’s old Security Six in .357 than with my .40 Sig. His .357 has better sights… but they are probably not as robust since they are target sights.

    Either one will do for self defense but if you feel like you need more shots than go autoloader with a mag or two. Learn how to use both and practice.

  2. This is a great issue from a consistently great Mag. Thanks. One criticism though. While it is true that “The Glock 21 SF is a full-size pistol” I am pretty sure that the SF refers to this model’s “short frame.” I don’t see mention of that in the article. I’ll go back thru my hardcopy. My computer won’t display the next page from the site.
    Though this model is more full-size than other options from other mfgs, the grip distance or reach to the trigger is noticeably shorter than the previous model. I didn’t see that mentioned here.
    That said, when it comes to plastic, I’m a Smith M&P guy. Wow! What great weapons! Here we have a .45 compact, a full-size 9mm and the Shield. With Apex Tactical’s trigger tweak it is even better. All that and Smith makes ‘em here in the US.
    I also shoot a Colt CCO (.45 APC) and a similar sized Kimber .45.

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