New Glock 49 Pistol: What is It? Why is It?

— Jason MosherCADRE Dispatch

We’ve had some range time with the new Glock 49 and were taking an in-depth look at Glock’s “new” pistol. TALO Distributors announced the release in late November, and it has had somewhat mixed reviews so far. Not about the quality because… well, it’s a Glock. The biggest question people are asking is why did they release a G49? It may be a “new” model, but it’s really a hybrid of two other pistols that have been around for ages.

9mm Glock 49 handgun.
The Glock 49 is a G19/G17 crossover. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

Glock is not new to what they call “crossover” guns. In fact, some of their most recent models are nothing other than crossovers — or at least a hybrid version of their other guns. The Glock 45 is a crossover model that consists of the G17 grip and the G19 slide. This provides a shorter slide and barrel but keeps the longer grip for 17-round mags. And the G45 is really a better version of the Glock 19X. Because of a change in the grip on the G19X, standard Gen-5 mags won’t fit in it.

I bring up the G45 because the new G49 is a crossover of the same two guns, only reversed. Instead of a longer grip and shorter slide, it’s a longer slide and shorter grip. In fact, you’re getting a standard G19 frame when you buy the G49. A G17 slide will fit on a G19 frame, but it exposes the recoil spring because of the added length. All Glock did was recess the G19 recoil spring and guide rod into an extended slide. It’s a weird miss-match combo of parts, but, I think I like it. 

What purpose does it serve?

People always want something different. I used to carry the G17 on duty when wearing a uniform. When I’m on duty in plain clothes, I carry a Glock 19. Recently, my agency switched to the G45, which provided a shorter barrel but kept the longer magwell. If you are carrying on duty, it only makes sense to have a higher capacity mag. A shorter barrel means a shorter holster which helps when sitting in a car constantly.

It’s not likely the G49 will be used as a duty gun, so what exactly is it for? My guess is that it’s for those people who like a full-size slide and barrel on a compact grip. My first handgun like this was the Walther PDP with a 5-inch barrel on a compact frame and grip. After carrying it and shooting at the range, it started to grow on me. I have medium size hands so a compact grip like the G19 is perfect for me. Regardless of how you carry a handgun (IWB or OWB), a shorter grip helps to conceal the gun.

9mm Glock 49 handgun.
9mm Glock 49 handgun. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

Some may not like the longer barrel for IWB carry, but some don’t mind either. A longer barrel spreads the sights apart, improving accuracy and helping just a little with recoil. I also just like the look of a longer slide on a compact grip. Everyone has their preferences and people like all different sizes and shapes of guns. I have some big “battle” guns and they’re great for carrying on duty or training at the range. But the compact grip just feels more comfortable for me.    

What exactly is the Glock 49?

As I mentioned above, the G49 has several parts from both the G19 and G17. Even though it’s the length of a G17, this new hybrid is more G19 than it is G17. Starting with the frame, it’s a standard G19 so I won’t get into any details about that. All the changes with the G49 are on the slide. I already mentioned the recoil spring and guide rod are G19 as well. Of course, the barrel is from a G17 which is the whole point of this new model. Glock used the same design as the G48 so they could keep a shorter recoil spring and guide rod.

Glock 17 and Glock 49 pistols.
The Glock 17 (left) has a longer grip than the Glock 49 (right). [Photo: Jason Mosher]

Normally the frame would extend far enough to cover up the end of the recoil spring. Because of the shorter G19 frame, they have added some length at the end of the slide to accommodate for this. This makes the frame of the slide the only real “hybrid” part. In the end, you get about one-half of an inch in added length which isn’t a lot. But on a gun, a half-inch can still make a difference. The idea of a longer barrel on a compact grip is growing in popularity, and I like it too.     

Do you need a new holster for the G49?

There’s no better reason to buy a new holster than when you get a new gun. One of the best things about buying a crossover gun is the amount of options on the market. Because the slide length is the same as a G17, you can use any holster that fits a Glock 17. I already have the Safariland 7360 RDS which accommodates a light and optic. I also have the Safariland 6005 which is designed for a tac-light only. But these are larger, duty-style holsters.

Safariland 7360 RDS holster.
Safariland’s 7360 RDS duty holster fits the new Glock 49 9mm handgun. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

If you want a classic leather holster, Bianchi makes the Shadow II, a pancake-style holster with a thumb snap. If you want an IWB holster, try their Professional Inside the Waistband leather holster. Bianchi also makes shoulder holsters for those who want a shoulder rig. I’ve carried my G49 on a shoulder holster multiple times and the shorter handle helps conceal it better than the G17. I’m used to carrying the G19 in a shoulder holster and I couldn’t tell any difference switching to the G49.

Here’s the end result

I’ve already read some back-and-forth discussions on multiple chat sites about the G49. Some are excited about it and others don’t see the point and think Glock has run out of ideas. So, here’s my take on it. Why not have another option? If Glock wants to make multiple platforms with different barrel/grip lengths, then go ahead. It may not be a gun everyone likes, but it provides another choice for those looking for the right gun for them. I mentioned at the beginning how much I like my Walther PDP. Other companies are mixing full-size/compact grips and frames because people like having options.

9mm Glock 49 handgun.
Glock 49 handgun, the newest edition to the Glock family. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

I’m fine with Glock producing a multitude of options for us to choose from. Would I like to see a completely new design from Glock? Sure. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t offer variations of their already famous and popular models. The Glock 49 may not be for everyone, but I’ve grown very fond of it after carrying it around. For me, the compact grip with a full-length slide is a perfect combo. Glock doesn’t have the G49 listed on the website (at the time of this writing) so I’m not sure what’s going on with that.

Right now, TALO Distributors appears to be the only one with access to the new model. They also mention on their website that the G49 will be produced on a limited basis. No one appears to have a clue as to what that means, but for now, it’s hitting some retail stores. I already have a G19 with plenty of Glock mags so another gun using the same holsters and mags is great. Check it out and see if the new G49 is right for you.   

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