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  1. #1
    Master Rob377's Avatar
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    Gen4 Glock 31 review

    G31 Gen4 Review
    I had been searching for a Gen4 G31 for some time now and, thanks to a fellow INGOer, found one at Steven R, Jenkins Police Supply in Indy. Nice shop that mostly sells to LEOs, but they do honor the GSSF program. GSSF, for those that aren’t familiar, is the Glock Shooting Sports Foundation. The company does a lot to promote the shooting sports, and even has their own league. GSSF shoots are like Friday night steel in some respects: not from the holster, short strings, no movement- all of which make it extremely beginner friendly. Glock is also quite generous with the free schwag at these events, with all kind of Glock goodies going to match volunteers, winners, and just random people. I helped setup at the Eagle Creek match a few year back, and for a few hours labor (OK, maybe a 50/50 mix of labor and BSing with fellow gun nuts), I got a Glock field knife and range bag. Not too shabby, eh?

    But I digress. Back to the G31 itself.

    Out of the box impressions:
    The gen4 Glocks are noticeably “tighter” than their Gen3 predecessors. I’ve owned about a half dozen Gen3s over the years, and I can say that none of them locked up like this one. Nice.

    The RTF grip is fantastic. It’s aggressive, no doubt; but the grip tape, grip sleeves, grip whatever that I thought a “must-have” on my Gen3s does not even cross my mind as a requirement.

    It came with interchangeable backstraps, but they’re freakin’ ugly and cheap looking compared to the competition M&P or XDm series. Seriously, it looks like you just glued a piece of plastic to the back the fit and finish is so poor. So, I left them in the bag. The grip size is somewhat smaller than the older Glock without them, and I left it at that. (note chintzy seam/poor fit with medium backstrap installed)



    The sights: .For ****’s sake, they suck. However, I assume Glock knows that I’m going to change them anyway, so no real harm done I guess. The front is way too wide at .155, the rear is way too busy, and they’re ridiculously cheap plastic. I know from previous experience, they are also prone to being flung off, landing somewhere in the vicinity of Jimmy Hoffa’s body.

    The trigger: what can I say, it’s a Glock trigger. The Gen4s seem to add a touch more crispness, but a little more weight than the older guns. It’s still fairly gritty out of the box. Overtravel is somewhat less than older models, and this is the first Glock I’ve owned that I don’t feel the need for a Ghost Connector with overtravel tab.

    I did give it a $.25 trigger job, which smoothed things nicely. It's still not as a good as my CZ, or an Apex-equipped M&P, or a Powder River XDm, not even the same league. But, it's good enough that with a bit of practice it shouldn't be a tremendous disadvantage.

    One of the best things about the 357SIG is that even loosey-goosey Glocks fully support the case, which is not something you’l l find on the G31’s 40SW sibling, the G22. Reloaders have a term for brass with a large feed ramp bulge from lack of support: “Glocked” The 357Sig Glocks don’t need a generous feed ramp relief cut because it’s bottlenecked, sticking a 9mm bullet into a 10mm hole. (that’s what she said )



    If I ever wanted to shoot 40, it’s a barrel swap away, but I doubt I will. 9mm bullets are cheaper, and the 357SIG can use many readily available .355/9mm bullets. (bullets, not cartridges. DO NOT try to fire a 9x19mm cartridge in a G31, for those of you in Rio Linda) Because bullets are the biggest cost in reloading, I can actually reload 357SIG cheaper than I could 40, and just a bit more than 9x19. Brass for the latter is virtually free, its tough to beat that. But, on the flip side, I like reloading 357SIG more. None of those cursed .380 casings to deal with, no split 9 Major brass to sort out, no pulling 9mm cases that are stuck in 40 brass, and so on.

    On the range:
    I’ve only put about 400 rounds through the new Glock so far, and as one would expect, it has gone bang every time. The ammo has been a mix of factory stuff, and my own reloads. The reloads have ranged from powder-puff 9mm+p level stuff (124gr@1200fps) to my special bowling pin loads which send a 125gr projectile downrange at an average 1420fps.

    One of the things I noticed was the ejection pattern, or lack thereof. While my CZs lay brass in a nice neat pile about 6 ft directly to my right, the Glock throws brass everywhere. Ejection was strong, but random. Some cases went nearly straight back. Indeed, during the first 50 rounds or so, one did smack me in the forehead. Others went about 15ft to the right, and judging from my inability to find them, some cases made it into low orbit.
    It appears that the random ejection is getting somewhat better as the gun wears in. The last few hundred rounds haven't left me with any new divots in my forehead, and I'm finding groups of cases instead of singles in a given location.

    Ejection issues aside, the G31 shot quite well, and actually surprised me in a few ways. One of the first drills I ran with it, was the Bill Drill. The idea is to put 6rds into the A-zone of a USPSA or IDPA target as fast as you can. I didn't have a holster, so I went from low ready, mostly to see what kind of splits the G31 could generate. I was shocked to see a slew of metronomically consistent .15s. For comparison, with my CZ Shadows, I'm usually in the .14-.17 range, the .16 being the most common split. With the stock trigger and stock sights, this was a WTF moment.

    The RTF grip was nice to have for these drills. The aggressive texture didn’t squirm one bit. The bottom of the trigger guard is fairly rough, and left the knuckle of my right driving finger (middle) on the verge of a blister after 300 rounds or so. I'll just have to HTFU.

    Next session was some slowish fire group testing. This group was fairly typical -5 shots, 12yds, unsupported, ~.75ish splits. Stock trigger, stock godawful sights.


    The 357SIG is reputed to be inherently a very accurate cartridge. The G31 gives me no reason to doubt that.

    All in all, I'm impressed with this gun. It has its faults: It's cheap with poor fit and finish. It has its strengths: It's cheap with good functionality. I've got this crazy idea that I just may be able to take this thing (with some Warren Tactical sights of course) and do just as well in local USPSA/steel matches as I do with my CZ shadow.
    Last edited by Rob377; 04-14-2012 at 10:00.
    Do you even see your sights lift, bro?

  2. #2
    Expert RBrianHarless's Avatar
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    Nice review. Have not fired the .357 Sig caliber. Good grouping also.
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Robert...31461053543502


    NRA Instructor for Pistol, Rifle and Shotgun
    Range Safety Officer
    Certified Glock Armorer

  3. #3
    Plinker
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    Thanks for the review, well done!

  4. #4
    Master Rob377's Avatar
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    Another 200 rounds today. Ejection is getting better, but still a bit erratic. See video (2nd gun is my CZ Shadow)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbL7XWdzRvo

    One thing I've noticed doing some work from the holster is the Glock hates me. Glock bite on the web of the hand, and I've got one heck of a callous developing on my driving finger from the underside of the trigger guard.

    Do you even see your sights lift, bro?

  5. #5
    Plinker
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    What ammo are you shooting in that video?

  6. #6
    Master Rob377's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neal View Post
    What ammo are you shooting in that video?
    7.3gr of VV N340 pushing a Montana Gold 124gr JHP in the Glock. Did chrono testing just before this vid was taken - 1330 fps avg. 340 is a bit too fast for hypervelocity 357 Sig.

    Same powder and bullet in the CZ, but obviously the charge is quite a bit less.
    Do you even see your sights lift, bro?

  7. #7
    Plinker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob377 View Post
    7.3gr of VV N340 pushing a Montana Gold 124gr JHP in the Glock. Did chrono testing just before this vid was taken - 1330 fps avg. 340 is a bit too fast for hypervelocity 357 Sig.

    Same powder and bullet in the CZ, but obviously the charge is quite a bit less.
    In that case, WOW! I have never tried shooting my 31 that fast, but I doubt
    if I could.

  8. #8
    Marksman
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    I thought Glock fixed the .40 guppy brass problem with the Gen 3?

  9. #9
    Master Rob377's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by windellmc View Post
    I thought Glock fixed the .40 guppy brass problem with the Gen 3?
    They might have. However, my Gen3 G20 was all but useless for medium to full power 10mm with the OEM barrel. Huge unsupported feed ramp area and big ol' bulges and smilies once you started getting some respectable velocity.

    No Glock I've owned has had full, complete case support, except this 31. The chamber is actually fairly snug as well. I was prepping some of the brass from the last session, and it took noticeably less effort to resize than the Sig (I think, judging from the primer strikes) once fired brass I'd picked up not too long ago.
    Do you even see your sights lift, bro?

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