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Glock 45 vs Glock 19: A Compete Guide

Glock 45 vs Glock 19: A Compete Guide

Posted by XS Sights on Feb 20th 2024

The Glock 19 has been the undisputed “king of the hill” of American handguns for decades. It is the de facto concealed carry gun, the plainclothes cop gun de rigueur, and the preferred sidearm of the United States Special Operations Command. The Glock 19 enjoys a popularity and ubiquity that no single handgun has ever enjoyed with the possible exceptions of the 1911 and the Single Action Army. This popularity is due to the Glock 19’s awesome combination of size and weight, magazine capacity, and – above all – reliability.

The Glock 19 is losing some ground to other Glock pistols. For a long time, the only three 9mm Glocks that really mattered were the Glock 17, 19, and 26. This has changed and now there are many Glock pistols in 9mm that meet various concealed and open-carry needs. Perhaps the most popular among these is the (relatively) new Glock 45. Combining the shorter slide of a Glock 19 and the longer grip frame of a Glock 17, this pistol has proven popular with law enforcement and armed citizens alike.

Both of these pistols have some pros and both have some cons. Because they appear so similar, these differences may not be immediately apparent. In this article, we hope to better distinguish two iconic Glock models that share several strengths and not so many differences.

Understanding Glock 45 vs Glock 19

The Glock 19 is a semi-automatic pistol chambered in 9mm Luger. It is categorized as a compact pistol and has been in Glock’s catalog in some form or fashion since the late 1980s. It has been around in every “generation” of Glock pistols, including the latest, Gen5. It combines shortened grip and slide, while still boasting an impressive capacity of 15+1. Primary intended as a concealable firearm for carry by armed citizens, plainclothes police officers, or military operators in low-visibility capacities, the Glock 19 was an instant hit.

Released in 2018, the Glock 45 is quite a bit newer. Glock calls this model a “Compact Crossover” because it shares dimensions with both the duty-size Glock 17 and the compact Glock 19. It can rightly be considered a hybrid design of the two. The G45 shares the compact slide and barrel length with the smaller Glock 19, but has the longer grip of the Glock 17, creating an interesting combination that has found a substantial following.

The Glock 19 and Glock 45 share a number of important features. The most readily apparent is the upper half of these two guns – the slide and the barrel. Comparing the two most recent versions (the Gen5 Glocks) the upper halves are identical. The barrel of both pistols is 4.02 inches in length. The barrel, in both cases, is the Glock Marksman Barrel, which is button-rifled and offers superior accuracy. The sight radius between the two is identical, as well: 6.02 inches with the polymer sights in place. Both are available cut for mounting a pistol-mounted optic, and both have forward cocking serrations.

Grip Frame and Control

The differences between these two guns lie mostly in the grip frame, but even here there are a lot of similarities. First, all the controls are identical. The trigger reach, the distance between the backstrap of the grip, and the face of the trigger are identical. The trigger pull, 26 Newtons (or approximately 5.5 lbs) is the same, as well. The magazine releases in both Glock pistols are reversible for right- or left-handed use, and the slide release on both pistols is ambidextrous. And of course, both of these semi-automatic pistols are chambered in 9x19mm.

Both pistols have the Gen5 grip without the finger grooves that were common Gen3 Glock pistols. Both also have similar grip texture and flared magazine well, as well as the accessory rail. The only substantive difference between the two is the grip length. The Glock 45 has a longer grip than the Glock 19. This grip is the same length as the Glock 17, and it accommodates the Glock 17's larger magazine, as well. This is still a fairly small difference; the overall height of the Glock 19 is 5.04 inches, while the height of the Glock 45 is only 5.47 inches.

Choosing the Right Glock - A Matter of Preference, Need, and Comfort

The Glock 19 and the Glock 45 are very similar pistols. But which one is right for you? How do you choose between two guns that are so apparently similar, but also fill very different use-cases? First, there is absolutely an element of personal preference involved in choosing between these two guns. They do look different, and looks appeal to some shooters. But there are also other, more practical reasons for choosing one of these two pistols above the other, and these relate to the user’s specific needs.

Technical Specifications: Lengths, Magazines, and More

First, the larger grip of the Glock 45 may appeal to shooters with larger hands, as it can allow more meat on the frame. While the longer grip may be irrelevant to shooters with smaller hands (or perhaps even a superfluous inconvenience), getting the right fit on the grip is a huge factor in shooting accurately. The longer grip also increases magazine capacity by two rounds…though this benefit is somewhat dubious considering the Glock 19 can also use the longer Glock 17/45 magazine.

The Glock 45 also has another advantage that might be clear to uniformed law enforcement, but less so to non-sworn Citizens. The longer grip length provides the same grip and magazine capacity as the larger Glock 17, but the shorter slide allows the use of a shorter holster. This can make sitting in a patrol car a lot more comfortable when the holster is not pushing the duty belt up but at the expense of the longer sight radius of the Glock 17. On the other hand, the shorter grip of the Glock 19 certainly aids in concealment. When concealing a pistol, the grip is often the hardest part to conceal. The full-sized grip of the G45 is harder to conceal than the Glock 19.

Handling

The great news is that it’s hard to go wrong with either of these pistols. They both share Glock’s legendary reliability so both will serve you well when the chips are down. Both will handle similarly, though again, the G45 has a slightly longer grip for those with larger hands. Otherwise, they share the same sight radius, same controls, same caliber, same front serrations, and there is less than one ounce of weight difference between the two.

Leveling Up Your Glock 

Both are also well supported by the aftermarket. Since the Glock 19 is one of the most popular pistols in history – and certainly the most popular in recent history – you won’t have trouble finding any accessory your heart desires for either of these pistols. This includes lights, lasers, and holsters. A critical component of any concealed carry system is the holster, and the Glock 19 and 45 can both use the same holsters, in most cases without holster modification since the slide, forward portion of the frame, and trigger guard are exactly the same. Additionally, these guns come with the same subpar sights…and share the same aftermarket sights.

The OEM sights found on Glock pistols leave a lot to be desired. Though Glocks can be had with steel sights and steel night sights, most ship with polymer “dovetail protectors.” They sit low to the slide, provide a blocky sight picture, and are prone to breakage under even moderate handling. They should be replaced as soon as possible. Owing to the popularity of Glock pistols, XS Sights offers sights for every Glock model.


Not only are XS Sights constructed of steel, but they are also optimized for defensive handgun uses. The R3D 2.0 Night sights offer a traditional three-dot arrangement but with a twist: the front dot is large and highly visible. Its tritium tube is surrounded by a huge green or orange photoluminescent ring for quick acquisition and easy discrimination between front and rear dots. The DXT2 Big Dot is the tritium version of the sight that made XS famous – the huge front dot coupled with a shallow V-notch rear for the fastest sight acquisition possible. All of our sights are far more rugged, provide better accuracy, and offer faster target acquisition than the OEM Glock sights. And all these options are also available in suppressor-height, so even if you’re shooting an optic you can enjoy top-notch iron backups.

Glock 45 vs Glock 19: Making a Purchase Decision 

The newer Glock 45 has a larger grip and holds a flush-fitting 17-round magazine. That’s really about the only difference, but this small difference has some serious implications. The Glock 45 can be better for those with larger hands. The extra rounds are doubtlessly appreciated by uniformed law enforcement officers, and the reduced slide length can be a boon to sitting in a patrol car all day. On the other hand, the Glock 19 is the darling of the concealed carry world.

The Glock 19 and the Glock 45 are very similar pistols. Both have the same length slide, 4-inch barrel, and sight radius. Both are available with optic cuts, both have forward cocking serrations, an ambidextrous slide release latch, and a reversible magazine catch. Most importantly, both have that legendary Glock reliability. Oh, and both come out of the box with infamously bad sights. Whether you choose one or the other, or both, the Glock 19 and Glock 45 can be seriously upgraded with a set of rugged, high-visibility sights from XS Sights.