Glock 45 MOS: America's Next Favorite Handgun?

— Jason MosherCADRE Dispatch

The Glock 45 MOS continues to grow in popularity as one of America’s favorite handguns. Have you checked it out yet?

Branded as a “Glock” pistol, Gaston Glock set a new standard for handguns in the 1980s that continues to dominate today. It took some time for people to realize the new “plastic” pistol was a serious contender. At the time, all-steel guns were the standard, and plastic seemed cheap. Now, some would argue that Glock pistols are the biggest innovation in firearms since Browning’s 1911 handgun.

Unlike 1911 pistols however, there are not many choices when it comes to style and color. Glock handguns all look the same. So why all the fuss over the Glock 45 MOS pistol?

Glock 45 with Sentinel II micro reflex sight.
the Glock 45 was designed for law enforcement. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

What is a Glock 45?

The Glock 45 is a 9mm handgun that was designed with law enforcement in mind. For decades, the Glock 17 has been the most popular choice of handgun for law enforcement, while the Glock 19 is the most popular outside of law enforcement. It only makes sense that Glock would blend these two iconic pistols.

Using the G17 grip and G19 slide for a crossover pistol is not a new design. In fact, Glock did this first with the G19X. In their bid to win the US Army Modular Handgun Competition, Glock developed the 19MHS, which was released to the public as the 19X.

The 19X was a popular handgun and Glock has sold more than 100,000 of them to date. But they also saw an opportunity for a handgun they could market to law enforcement as well. And so, the Glock 45 was born. Now, more and more agencies are switching to the Glock 45 because it provides the best of two worlds. At least for some…

I’ll admit, I’m a big fan of the Glock 49, which is the opposite of the Glock 45. But it’s still hard to ignore the benefits of the G45 MOS handgun.  

My agency switched because we wanted to upgrade to an MOS pistol, and we thought the Glock 45 had more to offer. The shorter barrel on the G45 gives it great balance and a faster time clearing the holster. Having a shorter barrel/holster is more comfortable sitting in a car as well.

While the barrel is shorter, however, the magazine well is the same as the G17, so you don’t sacrifice ammo capacity.  

Vortex Defender-ST on Glock 43 MOS
Vortex Defender-ST on a Glock 45 MOS. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

The G45 is not a .45 caliber handgun even though this is an easy assumption to make. Just like a Glock 22 is not a .22 caliber, and the G40 is not a .40 caliber handgun. If the models confuse you, thank Glock for the intuitive names they give their pistols. Following a simple number sequence, Glock names each pistol in order as it’s developed.

Some of the differences between the Glock 45 from the 19X are obvious. Color is among the most obvious as the G19X is produced with a nPVD Coyote slide finish and the G45 uses the nDLC finish.

One thing not noticeable when holding the G45 is that it’s about 1mm wider than the G19X. The G45 also has a flared mag well and comes in black, FDE, BFG, and Grey.

Another addition to the G45 is the front slide serrations, which were added so a “press check” could be done. This is one method of checking to see that a round is in the chamber.

What’s so special about the Glock 45 MOS?

As mentioned above, Glock developed the G45 with law enforcement in mind. A longer barrel has some advantages, but the shorter barrel on the G45 compared to the G17 is appealing. Even though I like the G49, I can’t ignore the balance of the G45 when firing.

A longer handle provides more support when shooting and a higher muzzle velocity. But a shorter barrel makes the gun lighter, and it’s easier to carry around all day on a duty belt. I’ve been carrying a duty gun for nearly two decades and it’s surprising how much difference the shorter barrel makes.

Vortex Defender-ST
The Glock 45 MOS has great balance and shoots like a champ. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

Regardless of the ergonomics of the gun, cops want lots of ammo and the G45 uses the G17 mags. Standard mags hold 17 rounds and extended mags are available as well.

When it comes to drawing the gun, a shorter barrel also makes a difference. The average time to draw and fire reduces by a fraction of a second on almost every shooter we have timed. A fraction of a second doesn’t sound important, but in a life-or-death incident, it is.  

What about Glock 45 holsters and optics?

Because the G45 is based on the G17 slide, just about all my G17 holsters work with my G45 duty gun. But, if you want a holster made specifically for the Glock 45, Safariland has you covered. The holster finder makes selecting a holster an easy task.

My favorite holster for the G45 is the 7360 RDS duty holster which has both the SLS and ALS retention systems. It also has a rotating hood that covers your optic when holstered. When selecting a holster, you can choose the size of optic and light you plan to use with the holster.

Safariland 7360 RDS duty holster with Glock 45.
Glock 45 MOS handgun with the Safariland 7360 RDS Duty Holster. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

Safariland offers a wide range of color finishes on their holsters along with different styles. I’ve used Safariland holsters for years for duty and personal use and I haven’t seen anything better.

When it comes to optics, Glock makes sure you can mount just about any style of optic to your handgun. A small bag of MOS plates is included with the G45 and each plate works as an adaptor to a different optic footprint. Simply choose an optic and attach the MOS plate that works with that optic.

Among my favorites are the Aimpoint P-2, Steiner MPS, Trijicon RMR, Vortex Defender-ST, and Holosun 407c. If you don’t want or use optics, Glock offers the G45 without the MOS option as well.

America’s Next Favorite Handgun?

As I mentioned above, my personal preference for Glocks is the G49 because I like the shorter grip/long barrel combo. But having said that, I have a lot of respect for the G45 and when it comes to duty guns, it’s hard to beat.

Glock 45 9mm pistol.
The Glock 45 is a 9mm crossover of the Glock 17 and Glock 19 pistols. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

You get reliability, high-ammo capacity, balance, and maneuverability with the Glock 45 handgun. It’s used by law enforcement around the country and is quickly becoming a favored gun for home and self-defense. Only time will tell if the Glock 45 MOS becomes America’s next favorite handgun. But right now, it’s putting up a pretty good fight.

Glock 45 MOS  

  • Caliber: 9x19mm
  • Weight: (without magazine) 21.73 oz
  • System: Safe Action
  • Magazine Capacity: 17-33
  • Trigger Pull: 26 N
  • Barrel Length: 4.02 inches
  • Slide Length: 6.85 inches
  • Slide Width: 1.0 inch

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