For weeks and weeks we’ve seen rumors about two upcoming Glock pistols, the Glock 41 and the Glock 42. Following the Glock model naming convention, this would also imply that there is a Glock 40, but there have been no leaks or rumors involving that particular model number.
At first there was little to substantiate these rumors; we of course contacted Glock but they did not comment, which isn’t a huge surprise when it comes to new products. But the leaks kept on leaking, and now there’s a body of photos that amounts to a lot more than wild speculation.
We won’t really know anything until SHOT Show when Glock makes things official. But it’s really starting to look like the Glock 42 will be a single-stack subcompact .380 for concealed-carry or backup and the Glock 41 will be a full-size extended-barrel “practical-tactical” .45 ACP pistol.
And while a competition-centric .45 will make a lot of people happy, it’s the single-stack subcompact that’s making waves. Like a meteorite striking the Pacific. It’s a big deal and a lot of people are upset.
The thing is, people want Glock to make a single-stack subcompact (that isn’t the, er, big-boned Glock 36) and have for years. The majority of them, however, were thinking something a little more 9mm, original Glock 17-flavored.
In fact, after the first Glock 42 leak started to make the rounds, people were so skeptical of a .380 single-stack subcompact that many just assumed that the 42 would just be an American-made Glock 28, or maybe an American-made Glock 25. These are existing .380 ACP pistols that for legal reasons, can’t be imported to the U.S. and are largely made for export to countries that limit private ownership of firearm to small calibers.
Of course, that wouldn’t fit the Glock naming convention and with subsequent leaks, is looking very unlikely. At this point it seems like the Glock 42 really might be a single-stack subcompact chambered for the humble .380 ACP cartridge.
If this proves to be the case than the gun will have a few strikes against it. It’s a bit large compared to its .380 competition, sized similarly to popular 9mm and .40 S&W concealed-carry pistols.
Still, that will make it a soft shooter, especially with a low-recoil cartridge. It will have bigger, easier-to-use sights than the majority of .380 pistols and have the familiar controls and trigger pull Glock users have come to love.
If these images are real, the Glock 42 will have a place with a large audience disinterested in snappy, teeny pocket pistols and want something bigger and easier to shoot. The Glock 42 will no doubt be popular with law enforcement as a backup and off-duty gun.
It also appears to get a lot of other things right. Glock got rid of the finger grooves, went with a rail-free frame and the grip texture looks pretty nice; something with purchase that isn’t likely to snag on the draw.
In truth, Glock can’t really do wrong and this gun, while disappointing to some, will fly off shelves. People no longer avoid .380 for self-defense with modern loads and at the end of the day, it’s a Glock. It comes with an unbeatable reputation and will have a solid aftermarket the instant they hit store shelves. Ruger’s recent LC380, a .380 ACP pistol built on a 9mm frame, has already proven that there is a consumer base for this type of handgun.
There is a silver lining with a single-stack subcompact .380 of this stature. It is clearly big enough to be a 9mm or a .40 S&W pistol. Glock likes nice, uniform, interchangeable parts and frames. We don’t know what’s going on with the Glock 40. Could that be the missing 9mm?
It’s possible that Glock is leading with a .380 because it’s what works best. Even Springfield and Smith & Wesson have run into problems bringing — some might even say rushing — their single-stack subcompact pistols to the market. Small, reliable guns are hard to make.
There could be any number of reasons to step into the single-stack subcompact world with a .380 first. If they run into any issues with a less-popular .380 they can address them quietly. If Glock screws up a single-stack subcompact 9mm they’ll never be able to repair the damage.
And lastly, it could be a matter of production. Glock might have the design down pat but not the manufacturing to keep up with instant and predictably huge demand for a single-stack subcompact 9mm. If they announce a 9mm and can’t deliver in quantity that would mar their reputation no less than if the gun had any mechanical flaws.
In the end, it would be very surprising — not to mention bad business — if Glock stays out of the service-caliber single-stack subcompact market forever. Glock would be leaving far too much money on the table for Kahr, Ruger, Springfield, Smith & Wesson and all the others to happily pocket.
What’s your opinion of the Glock 42 rumors?
(Video credit The Yankee Marshal.)