Glock GEN4 G41 – Is Longer and Slimmer Better?

On January 19, 2018 I penned an article on the Glock G41 (http://guntoters.com/blog/2018/01/19/range-gun-review-glock-41-gen-4/). Now, almost a year later, I get to pen another article. This time; however, it is about a Glock GEN4 G41, with which I am beginning to develop a long-term test and evaluation.

The original write-up was about a range-rental pistol while this pistol is not.  I can take an objective look at something that I don’t own, but I can also do the same with something that I do own, and if there were feelings of regret in purchasing a firearm I am freely willing to kick my self in the rear and admit it. Fortunately, I don’t have to do that with the Glock GEN4 G41.

When I write about handguns, for all intensive purpose I am gearing my writing toward concealed carry of those firearms, with a few exceptions like black powder pistols, single-action revolvers, and single-action revolver replicas. Modern revolvers and pistols are fair game for concealment as far as I am concerned – even “big ‘uns.”

The G41 is touted by Glock as a ‘Competition’ pistol, but also falls into the Practical/Tactical category, and the Glock GEN4 G41 definitely fits into the category of “big ‘uns.” With a slide length of 0.70-inches longer than a standard Glock G21, the G41 probably exceeds what most folks are willing to carry concealed. But, after carrying a “Government Model” 1911 with a 5-inch barrel for years, a tad longer barrel is not a deal breaker for me – if other things fall into place. And, I am going to talk about those ‘other things’ in this review.

For both new and experienced shooters, handling the Glock pistol in general for the first time is a learning experience. Although I have operated pistols other than Glock pistols, the transition between grip angles is the greatest challenge. The reverse is also true; transitioning from a Glock pistol to another pistol takes some getting used to. But, it always takes practice to master something, and usually it is best to stick with one thing unless, of course, you like to be a jack of all pistols and a master of none. The more that you can transition from one pistol to another, the better you will be at transitioning because you learn to recognize the mechanics of handling various pistols. Transitioning from a 1911 to a Glock pistol; however, is the most difficult of transitions for me to master due to grip angle and grip size.

The Glock G41 grip width; however, is not that far off from that of the 1911 due to Glock narrowing the grip width a bit over the G21. The grip width of my EDC, the Rock Island Armory 1911 FS Tactical that has Hogue Rubber Wraparound Finger Groove grips measures out at 1.3170-inches. The grip width of the Glock GEN4 G41 measures out at 1.34-inches, a difference not even worth mentioning in comparison to my 1911.

Another feature of the Glock GEN4 G41 is the reduced slide width, as compared to the Glock G21 and a 1911 pistol. The slide width of my 1911 is 0.913-inches. The slide width of the G41 is 1.0-inches. Again, there is not enough difference to consider between my EDC and the G41. The slide width of the G21 is 1.12-inches. So, the G41 has a slide width in between the G21 and a 1911. While that may not seem like much, it does make a difference in carrying concealed.

The barrel length of the Glock GEN4 G41 is 5.31-inches, an increase of 0.31 inches over the 1911 and 0.70 inches over that of the barrel in the G21.

On noticeable feature of the G41 is the thickness of the slide material. It is much thinner that that found on the G21. The barrel thickness of the G41 is also thinner than the G21, although they both weight the same. The result is that the G41 is around 2 ounces lighter than the G21 and about 0.6 ounces lighter than the fully loaded Rock Island Armory 1911 FS Tactical. So, the carry weight is about the same between the 1911 and the G41, but the big difference is that the 1911 carries 8+1 cartridges; whereas, the G41 carries 13+1. In defensive terms, and based on the ‘Mozambique Drill,’ the 1911 is a two bad-guy gun while the G41 is a three bad-guy gun.  With multiple bad guys being in operation at one time these days (it seems), the additional capacity is certainly not a bad thing.

The Glock GEN4 G21 comes with four grip adapters for sizing the grip to one’s hand. Of the four, two have beaver-tail extensions. For my hand, the G41 was outfitted with the largest beaver-tail grip adapter to not only lengthen the trigger reach but also protect my hand from “slide bite” because of my high grip. I like that beaver-tail firmly on top of my hand to help manage recoil and make the pistol feel as part of my hand rather than something I am just holding onto.

The Gen4 has a new Rough Textured Frame (RTF) surface designed to enhance grip traction, present on the frame as well as the interchangeable back straps.” – Source: Glock. The grip texture of the Glock GEN4 models, in my opinion, is much better than the previous versions. Yes, it is slightly rougher than before, but compared to the grip of the Springfield pistols it is very mild. The finger grooves are spaced well for my hands but may not agree with the hands of others. The grooves of the grip, and the forward finger rest, also have texturing to ensure a positive grip.

I was surprised that the G41 did not come with an extended slide lock, being that this was a ‘competition’ pistol. Personally, I like the extended slide lock, although many don’t care for it.  I know that Glock recommends the ‘sling shot’ method of closing the slide, but in a defense situation (or in competition) using the slide lock to disengage the slide is the faster method.  Since I happened to have an extended slide lock for the G21 that had not been installed yet, it found its way onto the G41. The fit and function is perfect for me.

The lighter slide of the G41 means, of course, a little bit more recoil over the G21, but nothing that can’t be managed. Being a polymer pistol, the frame helps to soak up some of that felt recoil as compared to the all-steel frame and slide of the 1911. But, that ‘push’ of recoil is still quite manageable if the operator does their part. “The Gen4 pistols have also been upgraded to a dual recoil spring assembly. The dual recoil spring assembly noticeably reduces the recoil you feel, while simultaneously increasing its lifespan.” Source: Glock. I found that while I could not return to my POA as quickly as shooting the G45 (or other 9mm pistols), sight recovery was still pretty quick.

Now I have to come back around to the grip angle. Once I realized how I needed to grip the Glock, compared to what I am used to with a 1911, impacts on the target are getting better. Having shot a few Ruger “Mark” pistols, with their grip angle (with the exception of the 22/45, which is more like the 1911) over the years, I should have realized this sooner. Once I understood this, shooting the Glock started becoming less frustrating. However, I found that with the thickest beaver-tail back strap I can simply get my hand as high as possible on the grip and tight against the beaver-tail and not worry about slide bite. The G41 just feels great in my hand even with its big butt, but I like big butts. As you can tell from the picture, I have no problem reaching any of the controls with the large beaver-tail adapter.

The magazines still hold thirteen cartridges (in ‘Free States’), but ten-round versions are available for those ‘not-so-free’ states or for those who just prefer having less cartridges (who?). The GEN4 G41 also uses the GEN4 G21 magazines and GEN3 magazines if the magazine button has not been changed over for left-handed shooting.

As with all Glock GEN4 models the reversible magazine catch makes it ideal for left and right-handed shooters.

The G41 has a fully-adjustable Glock rear sight, but other sight options can be ordered with the pistol or without the pistol. I wanted the GNS, as this pistol was to be used for defensive purposes (IWB or in the night-stand) and having GNS is an advantage; albeit, at an additional cost, but worth the money spent.  Unfortunately, G41 with GNS was not available and I opted for the standard sights. Since I live about thirty-five miles from the Glock establishment in Smyrna, Georgia I placed a call, gathered some information, and made the trip. I was told by Glock that about an hour after they receive the pistol, I would have a set of GNS on the G41 at a very reasonable cost and no installation fee.

Matt met me at the door, once I had cleared the front gate and the G41 nicely cabled by the friendly security guard. Information was exchanged and roughly twenty minutes later I was checking the G41 in at the front gate to have the cable lock removed. The new Glock Night Sights were sitting atop the slide just where they should be. The drive to and from the Glock facility actually took me longer than to have the sights installed, and I got to watch the late R. Lee Ermey (March 24, 1944 – April 15, 2018) in several Glock commercials. It was a good day all around.

Although the GNS dots are smaller than standard Glock sights, they are also more conducive to concealing this big beast, because they are more subdued and don’t ‘pop out’ like standard sights.

Now that the GNS was installed, a suitable holster was delivered (with another still yet to be delivered), the only thing left was to put a few more defensive rounds downrange for my edification and satisfaction that the G41 was ready for “Duty” use.

Author’s Note: The rear sight on the G41 range pistol that I had shot a year earlier had been changed out to the Glock adjustable sight for target use and they are ideal for that purpose, but also would work for competition and defensive purposes if the operator prefers the sights as is.

The Concealment Factor

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, my main intent is toward the concealment factor of pistols that I write about. The G41 is not, for most people, something that they would want to stuff down their trousers and carrying in a shoulder holster (vertical not horizontal) may not even be considered.

I am not going to say that the G41 is easily concealed, but it can be concealed effectively given the proper holster and proper attire. While there are many hybrid holsters on the market that would probably work well, I still favor leather and full coverage protection. I prefer a ‘Pan Cake” style of holster that distributes the weight of the pistol better than narrow mounting point.  Holsters like the CBST and others afford the wide mounting but fail in protecting the muzzle and front sight. And, you have to consider that pulling a pistol with a long barrel from a highly concealed holster can be challenging.

Long arms and high-ride holsters usually don’t work well together, and I look for a holster that positions the firearm well into the waistline of the trousers but yet keeps the grip as available as possible. Also, one obvious concern when carrying a Glock pistol is protecting the trigger. Many NDs have been recorded when holstering the Glock, but carrying one without a holster, or a poorly designed holster, is not acceptable in any way.

Finding a suitable, leather holster for the G41 is a challenge. And, don’t expect to get a diminutive holster. The G41 is a huge pistol, the holster for it is going to be huge, and it’s going to take up some serious real estate inside the trousers.

I found two resources that make all leather IWB holsters for the Glock G41; Savoy Leather (https://www.savoyleather.com/product-category/holsters/) that has some very beautiful OWB and IWB holsters, and Simply Rugged Holsters (https://www.simplyrugged.com/) that has two styles of holster (Cuda and Cumberland) that fit the G41, both of which can be worn in a variety of positions.

Having both the ‘Cuda’ and ‘Cumberland’ holsters (Springfield XDm 4.5 and 5-inch 1911), I can attest to the quality of Rob’s holsters. An order was placed for the ‘Cumberland’ holster and the wait was on. A review of the ‘Cumberland’ holster for the Glock G41 is in the “pending articles” mill. An order was also placed to Savoy Leather for a G41 holster, and when it comes in it will serve as a comparison with the Simply Rugged ‘Cumberland’ and also allow me to create a new article.

Now, allow me to digress a bit and talk about the grip angle of the G41 (or any Glock pistol, for that matter). While the grip angle of a 1911 is ideal for most shooters, the angle also makes it harder to conceal. The cant on my holster, when carrying a 1911, has to be a bit more forward to position the rear of the butt more forward on my body; this helps to conceal the butt of the 1911 better when bending over.

With the G41 and its more angled grip, the butt is automatically positioned more forward on my side by default when the holster cant is about normal (usually 15-degrees for most holsters).

The barrel of the G41 is long, and that means the holster must be long. And, let’s face it; the G41 was not intended to be carried in an IWB or shoulder holster, although some may work. The best place for this bad boy is still just behind the hip whether IWB or OWB. With that said, a shoulder holster tends to move with the body; if you bend over the shoulder holster will fall to your front thus preventing ‘preventing’ from the rear. However, with a good strap retention system on the holster, the forward travel is limited. A good vertical or horizontal shoulder holster system should work well with the G41.

Range Day

I am used to shooting the .45 ACP and really didn’t expect anything different with the G41. The .45 ACP is a big bullet and puts big holes in targets.  While the felt recoil of the .45 ACP is healthier than 9mm it is not as sharp as the 9mm or the .40 caliber, but is more of a push.  I enjoy the felt recoil of the .45 ACP, and the felt recoil of the G41 is no less pleasurable. Push a few 230-gain bullets out of a sub-compact G36 and you really see and feel how well a larger, heavier pistol handles recoil.

The G41 was ordered and purchased from the gun club that I belong to, and was picked up on one of my normal Sunday range days.

After the requisite 4473 was completed, it was time to make the G41 personal. The large, beaver-tail grip adapter was installed (the pin is a bugger to get in), the pistol was field stripped, a Bore Snake was run through the barrel, an internal wipe down to get rid of any remnant left over from Glock shooting the pistol was performed, a few drops of “Alpha Sauce” lubricant was put on the Glock recommended lubrication points, and the G41 and me went from the sales counter to the range.

I am able to get a high and secure grip on the G41 with the large, beaver-tail grip adapter mounted. That equates to getting back on target quickly after a round is fired. Getting back on target with the G41 is without angst regardless of the ammunition fired. For the first outing, Monarch 230-grain FMJ, Fiocchi 230-grain CMJ, Aguilla 230-grain FMJ, and Sig Sauer V-Crown 230-grain JHP was put down the barrel of the G41 using the three provided magazine; the G41 performed the way that a Glock is expected to perform – without fault. 

The more that I shoot Glock pistols, the more comfortable I am becoming with them, aside from the sub-compact versions that are extremely challenging for me.  The long 5.3-inch barrel doesn’t bother me, as I am used to a long barrel. Although the slide is a bit wider and more squared than my 1911, after the first few shots those differences in firearms melted away with each shot taken with the G41.  I had realized that I had, in the words of my shooting companion; “Taken a turn to the dark side.”

As I get more used to the Glock trigger, I find that I am better able to “roll” the trigger rearward rather than stopping at “the wall” and pulling rearward from there. The trigger on the G41 is not as smooth as the trigger on the G45, but there is no “wall” per se, and the trigger progresses smoothly through the take-up to striker release transition. The average trigger pull on this unit is 3 pounds 15.1 ounces.

With the longer barrel and lighter G41, as compared to the G21, I expected a little more felt recoil and possibly muzzle flip. Surprisingly, there was neither with range loads. With defensive loads; however, there is more felt recoil and a bit more muzzle flip.  The G41 did not like the Sig Sauer V-Crown 230-grain fodder as much as the G21 or my 1911.  A bit more research into defensive loads is in order.

Out of the box, the sights were right on. Once I figured out where to hold at a “Combat” distance, things went well.

The Glock GEN4 G41 is a “keeper.” Will the G41 be carried? That is a subject for a later article.

Summing it Up

The Harley-Davidson motorcycle is not for the newbie rider; The Glock G41 is not for the beginning shooter. While my first motorcycle was a Harley-Davidson, I can’t say that it was the wisest choice I ever made. And, I don’t believe that Glock pistol is a wise choice for a first firearm. Aside from that personal opinion (based on intelligent observation), I can say that the Glock G41 would be an excellent choice for an experienced firearms operator. Whether used for home or personal defense, thirteen rounds of .45 ACP at your disposal in a good defensive cartridge are pretty hard to beat.

The key is training through the recoil and muzzle blast until it is no longer an issue. The G41 is definitely capable of delivering the mail.

The G41, like other Glock pistols, is highly reliable. The GEN4 model provides some features that can make the pistol adaptable to different hand sizes and sight preferences. Features like a thinner slide and grip may also be an advantage, but that is up to prospective buyers to decide.

Due to the size of the pistol, effective concealment may be a challenge for some. The G41 is, after all, a Practical/Tactical pistol that was intended for competition and “Duty” rolls, and tucking one away will be challenging. It would be right at home in a drawer as a HD pistol or in a competition or duty holster. But, I am up to the challenge and will create an article later on concealing the G41.

As far as the Glock G41, don’t just accept my viewpoint, check out the viewpoints of HICKOK45 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95YAUBUK4rA) and Jerry Miculek (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eStUpDS-8wc), as well as others.

Resources

About Taurian

Taurian is an Oath Keeper, veteran, former LEO and Defensive Tactics Instructor. Until retirement, Taurian had over forty-seven years of experience as a Technical Writer and Training Program Developer. After leaving home at the age of ten without any shoes, Taurian continues on with many years devoted to the keeping and bearing of arms.

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