Here’s a comparison of the Glock 19 Gen 3 and Gen 4.
When I first acquired the Gen 4, I thought it was close to magical, and saw no reason to use any other handgun. However, as time went on, the magic wore off, little by little. I found that I really do prefer the Gen 3. Everything I thought was better turned out to be what you might call the result of a “placebo effect” – it was new, so it had to be better, right?
However, the grip texture is more ideal for those using gloves and carrying the weapon outside the waistband. The backstraps are a neat idea, and I don’t harbor the same animosity towards them that some other folks have, but I don’t think they’re the most ideal design, either.
The mag release is larger and seemingly easier to hit, but extended releases like the Vickers mag release, designed for the Gen 3, were actually easier to activate, I found.
The new recoil spring assembly introduces a host of issues, from incompatibility with 22 conversion kits to impaired function with weaker 9mm factory ammo. This is a change due to issues with the 40 caliber Glocks, and the new design carried over to the 9mm handguns for production simplicity. However, this may not be the best decision on Glock’s part – they’ve returned the 40 cals to excellent reliability, while reducing the 9mms to less-than-perfect reliability.
In the video, I reference the G17 and G22 springs – for those not familiar with the issue, the Gen 4 G17 and G22 were initially released with the same spring. This caused the Gen 4 G17 to not function as well with some ammo. The spring has reportedly been revised, and now the 17 and the 22 have different versions.
Whether the Gen 4 19 and 23 have the same spring or not is not entirely clear to me, unlike my statement in the video; however, I did encounter issues that would seem to indicate that the weapon is not functioning in an ideal manner. My statement in the video about not thinking I’d have an issue in that regard is therefore apparently not correct.