I bought a br& new Glock 20 3rd gen a few weeks ago & have now burned enough ammo through it to yield my thoughts. It is my second Glock, first one being a model 17 3rd gen I bought in 2002. Have been buying & selling quite a few guns since then but it was only until last year I felt like I needed a 10mm in my stable, & the Glock 20 looked like the latest 10mm: durable, reliable, weather resistant, high capacity & good accuracy. & as a nice bonus, it is inexpensive when compared to other pistols that offer the same kind of power.
The Glock Model 20 was revealed in 1990, with an official launch in 1991. Since its inception, Glock has been dedicated to producing reliable semi-auto pistols, primarily for law implementation & military purposes; thus the G20 was a full-size duty sidearm designed with uniformed organization in mind. At the same time, the company realized civilian shooters would find additional applications for this potent pistol & cartridge combination. They advertised the G20 as a “Perfect 10,” for secure, reliable h&gun hunting.
Common 10 mm bullet weights range from 135 to 200 grains, with some companies offering heavy hunting bullets weighing 220 or 230 grains. The standard .357 bullet weights range from 110 to 180 grains, while the .44 Mag. retains the title of a heavy-weight champion with bullets usually ranging from 180 grains to over 300 grains. Velocity & energy levels vary significantly between these three cartridges depending on the bullet weight, action type & barrel length. But from the G20’s 4.61-inch container, commercially filled 180-grain 10 mm cartridges can yield speeds around 1,300 fps with about 675 ft.-lbs. Of power at the muzzle. This energy level is in line with a 180-grain .357 Mag. cartridge shot from a 4-inch revolver. If hunters want to boost the power of the G20 a bit more, drop-in, factory-manufactured 6-inch barrels are available from Glock & third-party vendors, such as Lone Wolf Distributors & KKM Precision.
The original G17 with a blank sheet of paper & his polymer framed wonder pistol has had a more significant impact on autoloader device than any gun since John Browning’s famous Model 1911. Today, virtually every major pistol company, except Colt, offers a polymer framed model & several are shameless copies of the Glock design. If being copied is the real form of flattery, the Glock gun may well be the most “flattered” autoloader in history. All Glock pistols, from the smallest to the largest, are based on the same Glock Safe Action & most internal parts are interchangeable between models.
The G20 is Glock’s most potent pistol & one of the most potent autoloaders on the business. It is chambered for the potent 10mm Auto cartridge that delivers around 529-647 ft. lbs. of muzzle pressure with factory loaded ammunition, depending on the particular load chosen. 550 ft. Lbs. Is about average, which is similar to the full potential.357 Magnum revolver cartridge. The four major U.S. ammunition manufacturers, Winchester, Remington, Federal & Hornady, all offer 10mm Auto factory loads, as do most specialty ammo groups.
To illustrate how much influence the G20 packs in its 15 round glock 20 magazine, let’s make an (admittedly unfair) comparison with a typical .45 ACP gun with an eight round magazine & bullets of similar sectional thickness. We’ll use 550 ft. Lbs. As a typical average for full power 10mm ammo with a 180-grain bullet (SD .161) at an MV of 1180 fps & 405 ft. Lbs. As a typical average for .45 ACP ammo with a 230-grain bullet (SD .162) at an MV of 890 fps. With the .45 & a full magazine, you hold 3240 ft. lbs. of total energy in your h& (8×405=3240). With the G20 & a full magazine, you hold 8250 ft. lbs. in your h& (15×550=8250). Each 10mm shot is 36% more powerful than each .45 bullet & the G20’s entire available energy is over 2-1/2 times that of the .45. Also, the easy to carry G20 SF weighs 14 ounces less than an eight-shot, .45 ACP, 1911 pistol it freshly reviewed.
This illustrates why the G20 is the only standard autoloading pistol the recommendation for protection in the field if huge predators are a potential threat. The best 10mm loads for security in the area probably use 200-grain ammo (SD .179) to maximize penetration. Cor-Bon, for example, offers their 200 grain RN Penetrator bullet in a 10mm Auto factory load at an MV of 1125 fps & ME of 565 ft. lbs. That is load #HT10200PN/20. Incidentally, Glock offers a 6″ replacement for G20 owners who wish to hunt with their 10mm pistol.
The midrange trajectory of a 180 grain 10mm shot (MV 1150 fps) over 100 yards is on 3.5″, so a G20 can reasonably be zeroed at 100 yards for hunting without undue attention about shooting over at intermediate distances. It’d recommend limiting shots to about 50 yards on deer size (CXP2) game, due to the limited energy available. We support the same range limitation for full power.357 Magnum revolver loads, which deliver a similar amount of energy.
Glocks are probably among a complete autoloading pistol packages sold today. The test G20 SF came in a foam padded, double latched, double hinged, plastic carrying case. Inside, in addition to the pistol itself, were two magazines, a loader, cleaning rod, nylon bore brush, gun lock, two fired cases, owner’s manual & the usual paperwork.
The “SF” (small frame) designation on our G20 test gun indicates that it has a reduced circumference receiver in the backstrap area. This makes it fit medium & small h&s somewhat better than the st&ard size (large frame) G20 version. However, it allows the same double stack 10mm Auto magazines, which operate 15 cartridges, so this SF pistol’s handle is still rather large compared to the average frame (9x19mm, .357 SIG & .40 S&W) Glocks. This is good, as it increases the recoil of the powerful 10mm Auto cartridge across a larger area of the shooting h&. The lower bore axis of the Glock decreases muzzle rise.
The Glock’s polymer frame supports to recoil reduction. This element contains no fiberglass, is corrosion free, tight to climatic conditions, color stable, resistant to lubricants (including Prolix), absorbs recoil & requires virtually no maintenance.
Aftermarket manufacturers have devised a wide array of accessories to “improve” Glock pistols. Since the basic Glock is the best & most reliable autoloading pistol in the world, minimal improvement is necessary or acceptable. We would go so far as to council that the only worthwhile after the internal market part is a target trigger connector. (Glock company supplies this part only in their “Long Slide” target model pistols & refuses to sell it separately.) An aftermarket target connector will possibly set you back about $12, which is fantastic for a little piece of stamped metal, but a worthwhile buy nevertheless.
Glock trigger pulls with the st&ard connector are supposed to measure about 5.5 pounds. We have consistently got them to run about two pounds heavier & our test pistol was no exception. We installed an aftermarket “target connector,” which is supposed to produce a 3.5-pound trigger pull. Also, as usual, this reduced the trigger pull to about what Glock brand claims for the stock connector. In the example of our G20 SF, its trigger pulls measured 5.75 pounds after the installation of the end connector.
Changing connectors only requires using a punch (or something related) to remove the two pins in the frame above the trigger. Although a 3/32″ knock is the recommended tool for removing the bolts, we installed this target connector at the shooting range using the end of a small hex wrench for a punch. Install the smaller width top pin first when reassembling the pistol, then the larger diameter lower pin that retains the slide catch.
Check to see if the trigger bar drags on the inside of the frame when the trigger is pulled. If it does, bend the trigger bar slightly away from the structure. While the pistol is apart to install the new connector, it is a good idea to stone (polish) the principal engagement surfaces. These cover the end of the trigger bar where it bears against the connector & the end of the cruciform sear where it bears opposite the striker tang. Since we installed our target connector on the fly at the range, it postponed polishing these parts. When we get round to finishing our amateur trigger job, we expect about a five-pound trigger pull.
Glock pistols have changed especially little since they were introduced in 1982. One little change is the provision of a Picatinny accessory rail for mounting lasers, flashlights, etc. underneath the front part of the frame. Otherwise, the square Tenifer finished Glock slide, squared trigger guard with hollow front & polymer frame of our G20 SF looks like Glocks have always sought. The all matte black finish is businesslike, but could never be called h&some. Removing some metal from the corners to round the slide, beveling the front of all Glock slides (per the G34) & a healthy, rounded trigger guard would be aesthetic changes that we wish Glock would make on all of their pistols.
One thing that should not be changed is the grip angle. The Glock (also the Luger, Colt Woodsman, Ruger .22 & similar pistols) looks more natural than 1911 based pistols, at least for shooters not raised on 1911 clones. Try this experiment: point your index finger straight at something at eye level while curling your separate fingers around a long pencil. The angle of the pencil to the front of your pointing finger will probably be virtually identical to the grip angle of a Glock pistol & this is the natural grip angle of your h&.
The success of Glock guns is primarily due to six key factors. These are known by Glock as simplicity, durability, reliability, accuracy, safety & ease of maintenance.
Glock 20 Gen 4 Review
All Glock guns are made with 34 or 35 parts. &, as already noted, all Glock pistols use the same Safe Action.
Glock guns have routinely been subjected to torture tests that would disable other pistols. Many Glocks have fired over 100,000 rounds & still operate correctly.
Glock pistols have been tested & adopted by police & soldiery units all over the world (including NATO countries.) Almost the unique way to jam (“stovepipe” in this case) a Glock is to “limp wrist” it–not hold the pistol firmly when it is fired–& this is considered a user bug, not a pistol malfunction per se.
Glock pistols come with stick forged barrels using hexagonal rifling that is less likely to collect accuracy degrading lead, copper & powder fouling than barrels with st&ard l&s & grooves. Glock barrels often increase in accuracy after firing thous&s of rounds.
Glock pistols include three internal safeties: a trigger block safety, a firing pin safety, & a drop safety. Nothing needs to be remembered or manipulated by h& to render a Glock pistol safe before or after firing. All that is needed is to follow the basic safety rule of keeping your finger off of the trigger until you intend to shoot the pistol.
Ease of maintenance: A Glock can be field stripped for cleaning & regular maintenance without tools, & detail stripped using only a 3/32 punch to murder three pins. (In a pinch, anything that can be used to shove out the pins will do, including a small finishing nail, paperclip, etc.)
Minor benefits of the essential Glock design include an extractor that serves as both a visual & tactile loaded chamber indicator & a striker fired, the hammerless model that reduces the gun’s propensity to catch on clothing when drawn from a hidden carry position. There are no “enhanced” safety levers, slide stops or magazine releases sticking out from a G20 SF. The ultra-reliable Glock polymer-bodied magazines will drop free from the pistol when the release button, located right behind the trigger guard, is depressed. The Glock Safe Action, of course, means that there is no manual safety to fumble or forget.
Glock pistols come with high clarity, Patridge type, combat sights. The square front sight is marked with a white dot & the rear sight “U” is outlined in white. It is an easily aligned, highly noticeable sight picture. The dovetail mounted rear sight can be drifted laterally for windage & alternative height front sights are available to change elevation. Glock offers adjustable sights & tritium night sights as other cost alternatives.
- Action – Safe Action (constant quasi double action mode)Overall length – 8.07″ (slide)
Height – 5.47″ (including magazine)
Width – 1.28″
Sight radius – 6.77″
Barrel height – 1.26″
Caliber – 10mm Auto
Barrel length – 4.61″
Barrel rifling – Hexagonal profile, 1 in 9.84″ right h& twist
Magazine capacity – 15 (10 round mags available)
Weight – 39.51 ounces (with loaded magazine)
Full magazine – ~11.46 ounces
- Empty magazine – 2.64 ounces
Trigger travel – 0.5″
Weight – 27.51 ounces (without magazine)
2012 MSRP – $637
Naturally, we were looking forward to getting our G20 SF test pistol to the range for some shooting. For this review, Guns & Shooting Online’s Chuck Hawks, Gordon L&ers, Rocky Hays, Jim Fleck & David Tong were on h& for the hunting chores. Unlike some semi-autos, we expect Glock pistols to work right out of the box, so that is how we test shot the G20 SF. We didn’t attempt to clean or lubricate it in any way before shooting our groups for record.
We did our shooting at the Isaac Walton gun range south of Eugene, Oregon. At this outdoor facility, they offer covered bench rests & 25, 50, 100, & 200-yard ranges. For the record, we fired 25-yard groups at Hoppe’s 25 yard Slow Fire Pistol Games using a Pistol Perch rest on the shooting bench. Three shot groups, instead of our usual five shot groups, were used to conserve our short ammo supply. (Actually, three shot groups are probably appropriate for a field pistol, since you would almost certainly not get more than three shots on any animal.) The weather was warm & sunny with a high temperature of about 85-degrees & no wind.
Where we live, only a limited amount of 10mm Auto ammo is available locally & it is expensive to special order, so our ammo choice was limited. For test ammo, we had Federal Premium 180 grain Hydra-Shok JHP (MV 1030 fps) & PMC 200 grain FMJ Truncated Cone (MV 1050 fps) factory loads. Our friends at Winchester Ammunition contributed a few boxes of their potent Super-X load using a 175-grain Silvertip hollow end bullet at a catalog MV of 1290 fps, one of the hottest 10mm factory loads on the market. The good people at Remington sent us a single box of their Remington/UMC 180 grain Metal Case factory loads (MV 1150 fps), all they could scrape up. (Ammo seems to be in short supply everywhere at this time.) Gordon L&ers contributed some of his reloads, which use a 180 grain Hornady XTP-HP bullet & AA No.2 powder for an MV of 1024 fps.
- Winchester 175 grain STHP – Smallest group 1″; largest group 2-1/8″; average group size 1.7″
Federal 180 grain H-S – Smallest group 7/8″; largest group 2-1/4″; average group size 1.8″
PMC 200 grain FMJ – Smallest group 1-3/8″; largest group 2-1/2″; average group size 1.8″
Remington/UMC 180 grain MC – Smallest group 1-1/4″; largest group 2-5/8″; average group size 1.9″
Reload 180 grain XTP – Smallest group 1-1/4″; largest group 3-7/8″; average group size 3.1″
AVERAGE GROUP SIZE FOR ALL AMMUNITION = 2.06″
The subjective recoil of all the ammo examined was very controllable in the G20. This involves the potent Winchester 175 grain Silvertip plant load. We felt that the PMC 200 grain FMJ load kicked harder than the fearsome Silvertip. The subjective recoil of the G20 was well below the level of absolute power.357 Magnum loads, which are equal in ME.
We were able to chronograph three of the 10mm factory loads with our Chrony placed 10 feet from the muzzle. Here are the chronograph (instrumental velocity) results:
- Winchester Super-X 175 grain Silvertip – 1408 fps
Federal Premium 180 grain Hydra-Shok – 952 fps
PMC Bronze 200 grain FMJ – 952 fps
Those numbers are not a typo; the Federal & PMC factory loads averaged equal size groups & the same instrumental velocity from our G20, per our Chrony. Sometimes, change does happen. Also quite impressive is the unexpectedly high speed of the Winchester 175 grain Silvertip factory load (faster than claimed) from our G20. This is one great deer hunting or self-defense load.
For testing, I fired a five-shot rapid fire strings from 7 yards at a Birchwood Casey Shoot N’ C bullseye target. I went with the 200 gr hard cast & 135 gr hollow points first.
Three magazines, two back straps with exchange tool & pin, magazine loader, cleaning brush, hard case, lock, owner’s manual
In short, the course requires that a shooter fire 18 rounds & start from 25 yards going towards the target, utilizing cover, performing two reloads & firing two one h&ed strings. The results of this test were more than satisfactory. I hit 18 out of 18 for a perfect score. Obviously, this would be a very viable & powerful choice for CEOs who can h&le such a large h&gun.
In the end, I don’t think recoil is what turns people away from a gun like the G20. Opposite to internet lore, the recoil was pretty mild for a cartridge that’s putting up better ballistics than a .357 Magnum. The problem is size.
It takes a relatively large h&gun to h&le this round; that can be a dangerous turnoff. I’ve grown more comfortable with the gargantuan G20 as the weather has gotten cooler in the mountains & people have started donning their coats. But this is not the EDC you’re looking for.
As an free carry gun, the G20 has a loyal following among outdoorsmen as an excellent defensive weapon against all sorts of two & four-legged creatures. So much so that Denmark outfits their Sirius Patrols in Greenl& with the G20 to defend against polar bears.
The G20 has gained its niche: as an uber-reliable gun that can get any abuse, you throw at it while asking a hard-hitting round that will incapacitate large angry points in a hurry. The G20 in 10mm isn’t entirely suitable for civil conflict (unless it is), but it’s the perfect hiking companion.Buy glock gen 4