This post was originally published on 14 April 2013 on The Arms Guide.
The Glock 22 is one of the most widespread pistols in the United States for both civilian use and law enforcement. Part of its appeal is the .40cal Smith & Wesson round, which is in effect a scaled down 10mm round and serves as a nice gap in power and magazine capacity between the 9mm Parabellum and the .45ACP round. It is the standard issue sidearm of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the US Marshals Service, and has spread to many notable police departments, including the Los Angeles Police Department, Miami Police Department, and the Baltimore Police Department. With so many users, it can’t be wrong, right?
Well, let me point something out before I begin my review. Just because a lot of people with experience in what to look for in a firearm pick a certain weapon does not mean it is automatically the weapon for you. You have to account for your needs in a firearm and yours alone. The individual shooter often has a list of different requirements for their duty firearm than a police department or a military unit. Take my review with a grain of salt, check out the pistol for yourself, and compare it to others you are considering before you drop $500 or $600 on a new pistol. Having said that, here are my thoughts on the Glock 22. Keep in mind, my comments apply only to the Generation 3 pistol, as I have not shot a Generation 4 Glock 22.
The Glock series has a reputation of reliability, and that is not without reason. The Glock is the AK series of pistols: you can shoot them several times between cleanings, drop them in the mud, get dust in them, get rain on them, submerge it in water, and you can still operate it with little to no maintenance. The Glock is a workhorse, and the G22 is no different. You can go months without cleaning it and be assured that every time you pull the trigger, the weapon will go “bang.”
Let’s talk about ergonomics. The Glock is not the most ergonomic pistol out there, but neither is it the least. To me, the 1911 is the most ergonomic pistol out there, but that is in large part due to it being a single-stack magazine weapon. That aside, I also feel that the Smith & Wesson M&P series of pistols are superior in ergonomics, but the Glock 22 has something over the M&P: finger grooves. I used to not notice the finger grooves, but now, having felt the difference, I cannot get enough of the grooves. My shooting hand fingers feel so strange without the grooves to provide a buffer between each finger. In that aspect, I love the Glock 22, and basically any full-sized Glock pistol.
That’s another factor to consider: size. I am six feet tall and I weight 270 lbs. I have the ability to semi-comfortably conceal a full-sized Glock. Others may not have this ability. So, if you are looking for a pistol for concealed carry, you may want to look into another handgun that better suits the mission of concealed carry. If you’re a bigger person or if open carry is allowed in your municipality, then size probably isn’t too big a consideration. It’s not the biggest handgun ever, but it’s combined length and thickness do provide a challenge for concealment.
Now, let’s talk accuracy. You will have the 1911 gurus preach up and down that nothing is as accurate as the 1911, and will commonly use that talking point to talk down against the Glock. I used to be one of those 1911 gurus. A friend of mine then pointed out to me that while the 1911 is indeed more accurate when you measure at match-grade, tactically they are indistinguishable. You can put two rounds at center mass in an acceptable grouping with the 1911, just as you can do the same with a Glock. The Glock is combat accurate, and unless you’re looking to get into IDPA or something of the sort, that is all you should be concerned about. The Glock has never given me any accuracy problems. If you think otherwise, you may want to inspect your shooting fundamentals. The vast majority of accuracy errors stem from user error.
As far as kick goes, I used to find the Glock 22’s kick a little sharp for me, but in-between owning a Glock 22 (this is the second time I’ve owned a G22), this go around, I find the kick to be very manageable. It doesn’t throw me off in any fashion, and it’s quite possible that my complaints before stemmed from user error on my part back then. Of course, this is one place where your mileage will vary greatly depending on preference and body size.
Accessories is the final aspect I will cover. Another friend told me when I was considering whether to buy a Glock or an M&P that the big downside to the M&P is the total lack of accessories for it, whereas one could throw a rock and hit a pile of Glock accessories. I learned that lesson the hard way before I switched from the M&P to the Glock 22. There are definitely no shortage of Glock accessories (aside from the magazines at the current moment), and if you can’t find the accessories you want in store, you can definitely find them on the internet. Ranging from holsters to new sights, from grips to holsters, and even weapon lights (all modern Glock full-size and compact models allow accessory attachments), it is incredibly easy to find pieces of kit for your Glock.
Bottom line, I find the Glock 22 to be an easy to shoot, customizable pistol with great power, solid magazine capacity, solid accuracy, and legendary reliability. At least in my case, I can see why all these federal and local law enforcement agencies have converted to the Glock 22. Remember, though, do your own research, use this review as a starting point, and find out what works best for you!