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Glock 19 Gen 3 and Gen 4 - Upgrades on the Glock Standard

Posted by Ghost Inc on

It did not take long for the Glock to cross the Atlantic Ocean to the U.S. and make its way into the hearts and hands of gun enthusiasts. The polymer frame was not unique but was the first marketed in large numbers. Of course, the military and law enforcement’s interest in the Glock did not hurt its sales and following.

The gun industry has its own naming system for its line, and the Glock is no different in that aspect. Historically, if there was an interest in learning the year of the handgun, a serial number search was necessary. The Glock stands out from many models because it keeps the same number but uses ‘Generation’ to note the differences in the models.

Glock 19 Gen 3 vs. Gen 4

Gaston Glock was not a gun maker when he started his gun line. What he was, on the other hand, was an innovator who lived by the motto, ‘If it is not broken, do not fix it.’ This worked out exceptionally well for his Glock lines. The Glock 19 is no different. Glock refers to the Glock 19 as the "all-around talent" that is versatile and well suited for a service pistol and as a backup weapon for concealed carry.

Dimensional Measurements

  • Length – Gen 3: 7.36 inches | Gen 4 7.82 inches
  • Slide length – 6.85 inches
  • Overall width – 1.26 inches
  • Slide width – 1 inch
  • Height – 5.04 inches
  • Line of sight – 6.02 inches

Primary Similarities on Glock 19 Gen 3 and Gen 4

  • Trigger pull weight
  • Saftey
  • Grip
  • Reliability
  • Aftermarket parts

These are great. This does not really show precisely what is different between Gen 3 and Gen 4. Never despair. We have that covered. In fact, there are a few things that were upgraded.

Glock 19 Backstraps

The grips are the easiest to notice a difference in the two generations. The Gen 4 has a bit more texture on the back for the webbing of the hand.

The next upgrade came from the Glock competition team. The grips were a bit too much for smaller hands. Glock heard the complaints and sent smaller backstraps for the smaller-handed shooter.

Glock 19 Grip Texture

The grip texture is rougher on the Gen 4 than the Gen 3. This was, again, from the information from the shooters who would roughen their grips for a better feel. Do not mistake thinking the rougher texture will rub your hands raw like it was sandpaper. The grip texture is better and different, and not much else.

Magazine Release Button

This is the most easily recognizable part of the differences between the Gen 3 and Gen 4. the mag release button is larger and ambidextrous for the left-hand shooter. The release reaches back more than on the Gen 3, making magazine changes much faster – perfect for the serious competition shooter.

Glock 19 Magazine

Returning to the southpaw shooter, the Gen 4 magazines have notches on both sides, so the mags will slide out. The Gen 3 mags have the notches only on the right side. The Gen 3 mags will work in a Gen 4 so long as it is set up for the right-hand shooter. Apologies, southpaws.

Glock 19 Gen 3 and Gen 4 Slide and Recoil Spring

Before we discuss this, it is imperative that you practice gun safety. Repeat: DO NOT BE STUPID WITH YOUR GLOCK.

You can look directly down the muzzle and see that the Gen 4 uses a larger spring guide rod.

It should be obvious why we were so adamant before discussing this particular feature.

The Gen 3 spring guide rod will fit a Gen 4 but not vice versa and only with an adapter.

Non-Interchangeable Parts on a Glock 19

  • Slide and Recoil Spring
  • Frame
  • Trigger housing
  • Magazine release button

Glock 19 Interchangeable Parts

  • Trigger bar
  • Connector
  • Ejector
  • Magazine

Suggested Aftermarket Parts for Glock 19

Since there are so many different parts on the Glock 19 Gen 3 and 4, it is best to consider aftermarket parts that are universal to the Glock system. Ghost Inc. has a few such parts. We would recommend one or more of the following:

  • Slide cover plate – Choose from a variety of different looks and designs
  • MOAB – Mother of all Baseplates – These easily change out with current magazine base plates and provide a bit more surface to take hold of during magazine changes.
  • Night sights – The standard Glock factory sights are plastic. Excellent upgrades make a huge difference in the Glock look.
  • Weapon light – A quality weapon light and night sight could be the difference between you seeing another day and being a statistic.

Ghost Inc. offers a huge variety of universal Glock products for your specific Glock Gen 3 or Gen 4. 

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