It really is too bad that Glock already consumed the model designation “22” in 1990 with the release of the Glock 22. Being a full sized frame variant of the famous model 17 (circa 1988) chambered in 40 S&W. Fast forward a scant 30 years and we see the release of the Glock model 44 chambered in 22 LR. The same missed opportunity for synergy goes down like the Glock 45 chambered in 9 MM and the Glock 40 chambered in 10 MM.
Glock has a well deserved reputation for innovation and reliability. They are also in a position to use their prowess and capability to stand the entire concept of a pistol on its head, again. The industry is ready for something like they saw in late 80’s. With their plastic frames and a design that has been built upon ever since.
Leading up to the 2020 release, as is typical of the industry, the hype and marking machine speak of “something new” coming from Glock. There was much teasing and build up starting mid 2019. The Glock 44 is billed as the next big thing. When unveiled and it is as a Gen 5 compact frame chambered in 22 LR the online reaction oscillated between let down and confusion.
Being open to new ideas, our initial judgment was withheld. The concept was studied and considered. Admittedly, it is a nice idea and it might have a place. Picture range day, with just one of those spiffy Glock factory cases. Inside is a Gen 5 model 19 and a Gen 5 model 44. Ammo needed is just a box of 9 MM and a couple bricks of 22 LR.
Spend a morning working on fundamentals of pistol marksmanship with the cheaper 22 ammo. Associate each pull of the trigger with only the recoil of a pea shooter. Then finish with some 9 MM to apply and gauge effectiveness of the training session. Since the ergonomics of the 22 LR pistol match the 9 MM. There are no training barriers to overcome or changes to manipulating the pistol. No recoil induced bad habits have been introduced. All this without even the need to change a holster.
However, does the experienced pistol shooter and long time Glock customer really need this? Consider an every day carry Glock 19 Gen 3. It has a couple of million miles on it and it is just starting to break in really nice. The user might have elected to skip a Gen 4 upgrade for a few reasons. The biggest of which is likely the fact that there is nothing wrong with the tool that they already had.
Also consider something like the Ruger Mark III pistol in 22 LR. There are also millions of these in circulation. Most fill the role of the fun gun on outings or range day with newbies. That newbie will often shoot a couple magazines though it. Then when asked if ready for something bigger, they give the affirmative and rarely look back.
Now after producing millions and millions of pistols, four previous generations, for 30 years. Glock has done a good job meeting the needs of experienced shooters. So the target audience to really jump onto the Glock 44 and maximize on this nice idea, are really going to be new shooters. While the new and inexperienced should be welcomed and given tools to succeed. Glock gave little consideration to their existing user base. Proof of this is seen in the feature set of the launch.
The Glock pistol mag is considered an icon. They are bomb proof, feed well, and set the bar for what a standard capacity magazine should be (15 rounds on a standard G19 mag). This is one reason why you see it cloned, often poorly, by other manufacturers. The form factor is often used in everything non-Glock. From the pistol caliber AR to something like the KelTec Sub2k.
However, the initial 44 release only sees a single stack 10 round mag with a new first, a thumb assisted follower. While Glock reports they are working on a higher capacity variant. It’s worth noting the physical area occupied by a G19 magazine (15 rounds of 9 MM). Will physically hold upwards of 30 rounds of 22 LR. There was no attempt shown to improve upon that round count. This really only keeps that “nice idea” afloat for the new shooters. There is a lot of room for innovation in this area but Glock chose not go above and beyond their competition or serve the more seasoned shooter.
Staying on theme, the rest of the unexciting initial release has no skus with barrel threading, Again, Glock reports that they will have one, but they are not on shelves today. There is no MOS (Modular Optic System) support. The only sighting system supported in the classic polymer sights with no enhanced options offered. Understand that with the slide top being polymer Glock only recommends polymer sights as installing metal ones might damage that polymer. While these issues might be resolved in future releases or in aftermarket. No attempt has been made to compel existing customers.
As expected, range time spent with the model 44 reveals that it is fun, just as expected. The lighter slide is easy to articulate, the magazine is easy to load. Ergonomics aside, the behavior of the polymer steel hybrid slide performs like any other blowback 22 LR. However it still manages to leave the shooter wondering where the innovation is. It is not found in the features, design, or performance. While there are some shooters who will benefit from his nice idea. It is simply too little too late for the majority.
Talking Guns Founder Brian Kovacs joins Newsmax – America Talks Live – with Guest Host Jonathan Gilliam for an in depth discussion of the Unconstitutional actions of the Virginia Governor and his State of Emergency declaration ahead of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Gun Rights Rally scheduled for 1/20/2020.
Talking Guns and www.talkingguns.net Founder Brian Kovacs appears on Newsmax TV to discuss the Constitutional Crisis unfolding day by day in the great state of Virginia. We talk about the plans of Sheriff’s departments and civilian agencies, as well as the fact that the governor wants to disarm the state of basically all type of Firearms.
People have been shooting hand held weapons since the 13 th century, and the weapon has been moving
ever since. You’re going to move when you shoot – whether you’re using the Isosceles, Weaver,
offhand, or any other stance – the pistol will not be stable during the shooting sequence. Our goal
should be to not ADD to that natural movement by disrupting sight alignment or using poor trigger
control. Shooting within your natural movement will produce tight groups well within the capabilities of
almost any modern weapon. Let’s accept that the pistol is moving, and deal with what we can control.
Pistol sights are on the weapon to align the point of impact with the point of aim. We are all familiar
with the various types, but regardless of type, keeping them consistently aligned during the shooting
sequence is priority #1. Whether you’re shooting IPSC or International Free Pistol, the first thing to
practice and perfect is your grip. The pistol must be comfortable (my Free Pistol has Bondo all over the
grip to create a perfect match for my hand), correctly sized, and naturally form a straight line from
forearm/hand/barrel of weapon. Any kind of physical discomfort, whether due to injury (my friend
broke his dominant wrist and has an unorthodox grip) or unnatural positioning will result in the body
resisting that position, which will cause subconscious movement away from it. This subconscious
movement away from a natural position causes added variation to our group…which is bad.
Some people love the 17° angle of the 1911, others love the 20° angle of a Glock, and all variations in
between. Be comfortable in your grip. The pistol should be an extension of your arm. It should raise
and be aligned without effort. If it isn’t, you won’t be able to consistently shoot with precision.
Here’s your first practice lesson to maintain sight alignment: put a full-size target on a frame backwards
so that the white of the target is facing you. No bullseye, no silhouette, nothing but a white sheet
staring at you. Holding your pistol at the ready position (45-degree angle toward the ground), raise the
pistol quickly while looking down at the sights, and fire ONE round at the center of the blank white
background, and return to the ready position. Repeat this exercise 50 times – one full box of ammo.
You’ll be surprised at the size of group you shot…all without an aiming point.
Since 1288, when that first guy tried to hold onto his hand cannon while stuffing a lit match down a hole
in the barrel, people have been trying to release rounds downrange without inducing more movement
in the pistol. Triggers have come a long way since then, from Matchlock’s in the 16 th century to today’s
ultra-precision two-stage set triggers and digital triggers, but one thing is the same: anticipation of a
shot still creates flinching, jerking, and movement of the pistol during the firing sequence and induces
MORE variability in our groups.
The first order of business is to make sure your pistol has a great trigger. Whether this is a trigger job
from a gunsmith, or an aftermarket trigger, or a combination of both, your pistol has to have a trigger
that is free from creep, roughness, or excessive pull weight. For tactical applications it is prudent to
have a heavier trigger pull of greater than 4 pounds, while precision shooting allows for much lighter
trigger pull within the rules of the discipline. In either case, a crisp clean trigger break is mandatory for
shooting with precision.
In releasing a shot, the trigger must be touched from the front and pulled backward toward the aiming
eye. It may seem simple to mention this, but you’d be surprised how many people I see on the range
with half their finger inserted in the trigger guard, pulling the trigger with the meat between their first
and second knuckle on their index finger, or barely touching the trigger with the very tip of their index
finger. Both of these mistakes induce sideways movement (right and left, respectively) and add
movement to an already moving pistol.
The area of your index finger between the tip and the first joint is a very sensitive instrument, and when
you place it against a trigger and start pulling, you’ll be able to quickly tell how much effort you’re
exerting. Pulling the trigger should be a steadily increasing application of pressure, rather than a one-
time flick of the finger. Simply add pressure slowly until you’re surprised that the shot has gone off.
Releasing the trigger is one of the most difficult things a shooter can learn. It must be practiced over
and over thousands of times – whether on the range or dry firing at home – until it becomes
Here’s your practice lesson to master trigger control: using a revolver with a nice trigger, do what is
called Ball and Dummy practice. Have your range buddy load your weapon for you using 2-3 rounds of
live ammo and 2-3 rounds of spent brass. Don’t watch him load the weapon. Once he hands it to you,
start at the ready position, cock the weapon (shooting single action only), and raise it quickly to the
center of mass of your target and release the trigger. The pistol should not move if the hammer falls on
a chamber without a live round. If the pistol moves at all, any visible movement, continue practicing the
exercise until it doesn’t. This could take years (kidding) but I guarantee that it’ll take years to master
and to make subconscious.
The pistol is going to move – accept that fact. By making sure you don’t ADD to that movement by
inconsistent sight alignment and poor trigger control you’re going to start shooting with precision,
regardless of discipline. In our next article we will start talking about conscious versus sub-conscious
shooting – when shots should break and why.
Let me sound off first by saying I have never been a tactical wizard with pistols. Hell, we
barely even trained with them in the Marines until you were an NCO or above, or in MARSOC.
My first professional training with a pistol was the Beretta M9 on an impromptu range in the
middle of the artist formerly known as Khorasan. It was weird because Marines train and qualify
with the M9 and MSOB (Marine Special Operations Battalion) were running 1911’s in the field. I
guess that’s what happens when you are the brand new bastard child of the Special Operations
Community… Adapt and overcome. Anyway let’s get back to the point: I originally had minimal
pistol training or pistol systems exposure until later on in life, and I still consider myself a student
in pistol work. However, I do have enough experience now to bring you a stellar pistol
recommendation that I’ve seen dropped into a novice shooters hands that made them shoot on
the next level.
My first pistol purchase out of the Marines was what I was familiar with, so I picked up a
1911 chambered in .45. I later swapped the 1911 for a Glock 21, keeping that old mindset that
you need .45 for stopping power. I began to really enjoy the reliability and magazine capacity of
the Glock, and was glad I made the swap. Around this time I started to look into different
calibers more, as a by-product of training with more serious shooters. I began to grow
accustomed to the idea of the 9mm, having more rounds in the mag, similar ballistic capabilities
of .45 (with proper rounds), and ultimately less recoil, allowing for quicker follow-up shots.
So I picked up a Glock 43 for concealed carry initially and began to train draws from concealed, as
well as multi-target drills. At that point, I was ready to make the swap to 9mm on all my pistols
because nothing the .45 offered outweighed the bonuses of running 9mm in my opinion.
Once I had made my decision on caliber, the next step was to look for a full size carry
weapon to go with my kit. My Ole Lady was a police officer at the time and we got her a Glock
34 to run on duty, so naturally I used it to train drills in the off time with her as well. Although I
was becoming a better shot, I still wasn’t great. Then one day while training pistols I was offered
to try out a buddy’s H&K VP9, so we swapped holsters and weapons and got to work. I drew
from holster and fired a perfectly centered up head-shot at 25 meters on the first shot. Not a feat
by any means, but what I’m getting at is this gun is so natural to fire, that on the first shot I hit
exactly where I wanted, without ever touching the gun prior. I surprised myself, and knew in that
same moment, that this was the pistol for me.
First off, the VP9 is an H&K so toss your worries aside about its quality because it has all
the qualities. I have short thumbs so I always had to rotate to the side of any pistol to release
the mag, which almost always un-seats a good deep, high grip for firing. This weapon rectifies
that problem and then improves upon it with an ambidextrous mag release lever that you push
down. That means you can release the mag with your pointer or middle finger without
compromising your grip at all. It also feels more natural pointing a lever downward, where you
want the mag to go. The grip is absolutely the most ergo grip of any pistol I have ever held,
period. Not only does it feel great with the default grips installed, but there are six side panels
and three back straps you can interchange out in ANY combination in order to fit your personal
It is a striker-fired pistol, which most people complain about the trigger pull on striker
fired pistols but let me tell you, H&K has done wonders on this one. The pre-travel is a flat,
consistent pull and the break and reset are crisp and pronounced. The slide has front and rear,
aggressive milling for grip, as well as what they call charging supports near the rear. These are
great for when you have a weak grip or were unable to obtain a positive grip while charging the
weapon. They will stop your hand from slipping back off the slide, allowing for charging in less
than desirable conditions. The factory night sights are ridiculously bright, surpassing many of
the aftermarket sights I’ve used on other pistols, which makes for one more thing you don’t have
to worry about after your purchase. It comes with quality, P30 steel 10 or 15 round magazines
from the manufacturer and finally, a picatinny rail for accessory mounting.
In my opinion no other pistol I have tried on the market has the VP9 beat on overall
quality, ergonomics, or function. I cannot give this pistol enough praise. However, I have found
that pistols -more so than rifles- are not a one-size-fits-all. I had to go through shooting multiple
pistols from multiple manufacturers before I found something that felt natural for me to shoot. So
while I suggest the VP9 as a great place to start your hunt for the perfect pistol, it may not be
what you end up using when it’s all said and done. Please do yourself a service and try as many
different pistols as you need, to find the one that fits your style of shooting and tactics. Do not
under any circumstances let yourself be chained to a platform or manufacturer by blind loyalty
when there may be another option out there that takes your shooting to the next level.
I’ve noted a lot of posts on the web and social media regarding folks interested in purchasing a firearm for defense. Hopefully this game plan may help with the process.
Do your research before rushing out and buying a gun. Revolvers are good as far as ease of operation, but limited in capacity. Semi autos have the capacity but operation can be somewhat difficult (not impossible but require more training in operation). Glock, S&W M&P, Ruger SR9 & Springfield XDM are four semi auto handguns in 9mm that I suggest. It is only a suggestion but they really top the market in ease of operation and reliability. Go to an indoor range that rents handguns, explain you’re a new shooter and ask for a basic introduction lesson to go along with your rental (some will, some will not). Rent the handgun, along with eye and ear protection and purchase your 9mm ammunition and a target from them.
Do NOT fall into the trap of buying a gun then and there. Ask if you can rent two guns on the same visit and have a note pad and pen to put down your likes and dislikes. Next visit do the same with the other two guns. Then go home and look at your notes and make your decision.
Along with the gun you’ll need a good gun belt, holster, mag pouch, (I like International Handgun Leather at IHLUSA.com) eyes and ears, a baseball cap, ammunition and cleaning supplies.
THEN most important go and get yourself some TRAINING from a qualified trainer in the basic handling of a firearm, most quality ranges and clubs will offer or know where to direct you.
After this you should START to learn how to shoot, moving on to how to tactically shoot, finally how to FIGHT with the gun. After doing all of this you are now ready to really learn more about your equipment and more importantly to have a warriors mind set.