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.
Patricia Huff, Director of Marketing for Gunbroker and Cameron Chell co-founder and Vice Chairman of BitRail sit down to discuss their joint venture into various, new kinds of cryptocurrency solutions and different payments options for firearms.
Talking Guns Radio Getting Ready for SHOT Show 2019
It’s that time of year again as I prepare for SHOT Show 2019. Starting to get ready to setup podcasting guests, checking gear and making sure registration goes smoothly. I’ve added some photos to a gallery that I started sometime ago called Krueger’s View @ kruegersview.com . Check out “Bright Shiny Objects”. I’m also looking forward to posting a few articles before SHOT Show for our new group Talking Guns Media that I’ll tell you more about going forward.
Sorry it took so long for this follow up but like many who came back from SHOT we were also stuck with the creeping crude that goes around some of these events … LOL but its past time for my Part 2 review…
I left off with Springfield XDS series and as I said I can no longer be a naysayer… but let’s chat about some of the other offerings that I was able to test. There were many AR15’s out there and some of you will think I’m pretty mean but if you’ve shot some of the best out there it’s hard to judge 30 more variants of the same platform and be wowed. Different rail systems, barrel lengths, suppressors, triggers, dot systems, side chargers, stocks… not many changes. It could be that I work with a group of guys at Strategic Ops Group in Gilbert, AZ that build a very nice custom AR and do some gorgeous Cerakoting too so I guess I’m a little jaded about them. So other than Daniel Defense, Barrett and Colt I won’t be talking about AR’s this year.
But until I get to them let’s talk about a little gun that surprised me this year. Kimber’s K6s revolver is a 6 shot hammerless 357 magnum revolver that performs. It is stainless steel and weighs in at 23 oz but doesn’t feel that heavy. It’s been crafted with smooth edges for non-snag when removing from concealment and the trigger is no less than you would expect from Kimber smooth match grade with a clean action. I was able to shoot it with 357 magnum rounds and, of course, my expectations were that it was going to hurt. But, once again, I was surprised and it delivered much more controlled recoil than anticipated. Now it is 23 oz and it is stainless steel but I’ve shot 357 magnums out of other small heavy revolvers and it hurts. So call it voodoo magic but I was impressed. It comes in on the high dollar scale for a 2 inch revolver but for those who love Kimber it will not be a stretch.
Another manufacturer that I just cannot resist visiting is Barrett. This year they were unable to bring the 50 caliber due to range restrictions but did bring a beautiful MRAD in 308. And I just want to say that thank God for young men with a great deal of patience because as I stepped up to shoot this great piece of equipment the hardest part of the whole exercise was finding the target at over 900 yards. It appears that bifocals, old age and some of the scopes don’t always coordinate in a smooth sight acquisition but a little help from my trusty helper from Barrett I was successful and managed to pick off the long shot. It was a frustrating but had a very satisfying finish.
Our next stop was Ruger to check out their newest additions the Ruger “American” striker fired pistols in 9mm and 45ACP. I’m not sure why Ruger felt that they needed another full size 9mm and 45ACP but we took the time to check them out and there is really nothing to rave about. We actually liked the SR9 and SR9c pistols but we were completely under impressed with these new ones. They are big and heavier than other polymer framed guns. The trigger is nothing to write home about and to be perfectly honest they were not worth much more time or effort. Sorry Ruger but better luck next design.
Armscor / Rock Island is another brand that keeps delivering. If you want to get into a 1911 and you don’t have $1000
plus to do that thengive these guys a try. They’ve got them from the GI model down to the carry version Baby Rock 1911. They are performers but they are affordable. I had the opportunity to shoot one with a suppressor and one of the original GI series and truly had a blast. Great products … Great prices!! Check them out.
And I generally save the best for last stopping at Daniel Defense and they did not disappoint. I started with their beautiful DDM4 / MK18 300BLK SBR in Tan. What a sweet, quiet piece of high quality equipment to shoot. On to their DD5VI 7.62X51 (308) not only good looking but a reach out and touch kind of firearm that the 50 yard bay did not do justice to. But the accuracy and quality shines through. Daniel Defense has some great looking furniture that has very good ergonomics as well. And last but not least their DD4M in 5.56 full auto all in basic black. All I can say about this firearm is that they never give you enough ammunition. Sweet to shoot, accurate, functions smoothly and very easy to manage…can’t ask for much more.
The next day we spent at SHOT Show proper and checked out some new knives by Benchmade and visited with old friends like Bill Murphy of Surefire Institute, touched based with Medal of Honor recipients, Gold Star Moms, some of the industry’s great shooters like Julie Golob and some outstanding bloggers and podcasters like Kenn Blanchard “Black Man with a Gun“. By then I was really running out of steam but so happy that we were able to make the trip. SHOT Show is a huge hassle but the common bond and joy of being part of the gun industry is worth the hassle. Over the years I don’t believe I’ve ever felt a camaraderie like the one with other gun owners, whether it’s at a local match or at one of the top events of the year. I’m thankful every day that I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of it all.
Although my visit this year was short it was full of interesting new products, meeting new people and visiting with old friends.
We started out on Monday for Industry day at the Range and it was busy, dusty and loud as expected. Lots of walking but more importantly lots of shooting and I didn’t have to bring the ammunition. There were a great list of vendors that included 10X, 5.11, Action Target, Crimson Trace, MyTopo, Kimber, Glock, Daniel Defense, Federal Ammunition, Amscor and the list goes on…
There were a couple of obvious goals to meet and those were shoot Kimber’s new revolver, Ruger’s new pistols, Glocks CMOS additions and for me to stop at Daniel Defense and shoot full auto. Well I can say that those goals were met and more. We took our time and chatted with friends here and there and then got serious by checking out some of Federal’s ammunition. I tried their very cool 9mm 115gr TSJ range ammunition they refer to as Syntech with red plastic coating. It’s an easy shooting round to be sure but the one that really caught my attention was Federal’s 9mm 150gr JHP… that’s right 150gr. It really surprised me because as I cautiously shot it through a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield I was expecting a bit of a kick instead it was very easy to control. I really like the idea that I can carry a more powerful round in my own Shield and not take a lot of punishment shooting it. Nice Job Federal!
At the same booth Federal was utilizing its ammunition in a little survival rifle that I’d only read about. The Savage Model 42 Takedown… it’s an over/under 22LR / .410 that breaks down and can be carried in a back pack. It’s a real sweet shooting little gun. You will have to forgive me but I will be darned if I can remember the stats on the ammunition as I was too busy enjoying the gun. Nice Job Savage!
Photo by Brian Kovacs
My husband and I then stopped at the Glock booth to see what they had this year and I chose to shoot the Glock 43 again and did enjoy it (they never give you enough ammo) but my husband fell for the Glock 40 10mm long slide with CMOS. He just loves to shoot 10mm and has a particular fondness for Glock’s long slide models and this was no exception. He was also glad to find out that the model could be purchased without the dot sight.
Now as a favor to a friend I promised I would shoot Springfield’s XDS models … which I did. And those of you who know me well know that I’m not a huge fan of Springfield’s XD lines. BUT I have to be honest I did enjoy shooting the XDS line. The 9mm was an easy shooter, smooth, not a bad trigger (I’ve shot better triggers and worse triggers) and not much recoil. The 40 S&W on the other hand was a handful but not uncontrollable which did surprise me. Now the 45 ACP was the true surprise as I was expecting more bulk, more recoil and I got neither. In fact, it was a smoother shooting gun than the 40 S&W and I enjoyed it. So I guess I can no longer be a naysayer… LOL.
I’ll write some more tomorrow but wanted to start getting some of this posted so you didn’t think I was goofing off.