Glock 45: The Best Compact Handgun?


The Glock 45 is a carry pistol version of the Glock 19 with slight mods that might just make it the best every day carry 9mm pistol out there.

Glock G45 Gen5 9mm Pistol For Sale

  • Price: $549.00
  • Action: Semi-Auto pistol
  • Barrel Length: 4.02 inch
  • Total Length: 7.44 inch
  • Width: 1.34 inch
  • Weight: 1.8lb
  • Magazine Capacity: 17+1

The Glock 45 9mm is upon us and although we are not Glock fanboys round these parts, we have to say this gun has staked a claim for the best EDC and personal defense handgun for sale in 2023.

Now the Glock alternatives are making a compelling case for themselves right now and this is by no means clear cut. But we do have to say that the Glock G45 does a pretty solid job of fixing all the problems with the Glock 19 and have turned it into a real contender for your Every Day Carry gun.

What are the differences between the Glock 45 and Glock 19?

When you compare the Glock 45 and Glock 19 Gen5 9mm, it’s a slight apples vs oranges comparison, because the 45 is actually a full size frame from the Glock 17 and a G19 compact slide. It’s a compact crossover, pistol, in automotive terms.

In truth, though, the Glock line-up has carved itself up into niches we’re not sure we needed and you’d need the whole Glock pistol line-up for sale in your hands to really see the subtle differences.

Glock 45 is a Service Pistol For Cops

The Glock G45 was designed firmly as a law enforcement service handgun and was a response to requests from cops who wanted the G19X, but didn’t want the Coyote Tan color-scheme. Is it more than a black G19X. Well, a bit more…

It comes with front slide serrations, which means no more tiresome additional slidework. The trigger is also much sharper and it comes with a flared magwell.

Now the Glock 19M with a rounded slide stop and not much else, has muddied the waters. That is the official model for lots of Law Enforcement Agencies these days. The G45, though, is arguably a better gun.

Technical Highlights of the Glock 45

The Glock Marksman Barrel is match grade and nDLC coated. There is an ambidextrous slide stop, reversible magazine catch and one of the simplest operating systems you’ll see on a defensive pistol.

Glock on the Offensive

The sharper trigger, reworked slide, pronounced stippling and undercut trigger guard mean this is one of the first Glock pistols you don’t have to modify at all.

It’s all done for you and torture tested to death. So you get all the Glock OEM goodness, like reliability and accuracy, as well as ease of concealment, without the old trade-offs.

And it is still just 1 inch wide at the slide assembly and 1.34 inches overall. It still conceals like a CCW Champion, and now it shoots like an EDC Compact champion too.

The Glock 45 really could be the best carry gun out in 2023. At least it looks it right now.

Problems With Glock 19 and DIY Solutions

That was always our main beef with the polymer frame Glock 19. The semi-auto pistol is manufactured to a price point, in part due to the generous police subsidized sale program, and up to the Gen 4 it always felt like the start of a gun.

It needed a new connector plate, or preferably a new trigger. It needed better stippling, especially the front strap, an aftermarket magwell and those front strap finger grooves had to go. A Glock pistol was really the start of a DIY project if you actually want to have fun with it.

If you just want it for self-defense, then you don’t need to do those things. But most of us can’t resist in the end. There’s a massive market in Glock Parts & Accessories for that very reason and new products all the time.

Glock Took Ideas From Custom Gunsmiths

Glock appears to have learned lessons from the wealth of tuners out there making big bucks from optimising the basic Glock 19 gun parts. Agency Arms, ZEV Technologies and more came up with a lot of the same solutions for custom Glocks.

Check the best custom Glock pistols on the market and you’ll see the same parts & accessories.

So the Austrian firearms icon watched and learned. Then it went to work on the Gen 5 Glock G45 compact for sale.

New Slide a Step Forward For Glock G45

Those front slide serrations mean you can live with this slide now. It seems to balance the design of the Glock 45 Gen5 9mm and turn it into a much more elegant gun as well.

The proportions are right, it’s still minimalist and yet it has that touch of, dare I say it, flair.

That is not a word you hear in connection with Glock design all that often. Reliability? Yes. Accuracy? Yep. Durability? Natch. Those are the Glock trademarks. But the Glock 45 Gen5 9mm is actually almost pretty.

Glock is Still Not Pretty

We won’t say this semi-auto pistol is a stunner, it’s not. It’s a 6. But it’s no longer an ugly, frumpy, Plain Jane. It’s a step in the right direction and we have to applaud that.

It’s a Glock 17 polymer frame and people have been trimming the frame for concealed carry for years. But if you don’t mind the added height and are used to carrying a service pistol, this could well be the best EDC for sale in 2023.

And we don’t say that lightly…

Red Dot Ready with a MOS Slide

More and more of you are using red dot sights on your handguns these days for recreational shooting and defensive duties.

Call it the John Wick effect. Call it what you like really. It’s happpening.

The Glock G45 MOS is red dot sights ready and means you don’t need to spend extra money on an aftermarket slide.

That’s a big deal, so spend the extra on the optics ready Glock G45 MOS if you think you might want to use a red dot on your semi auto pistol.

No Manual Safety is Part of the Glock Life

The Glock 19 Gen5 9mm pistol holds the dubious honor of being the most returned handgun in North America. The reason, more often than not, is the lack of a thumb safety and the whole Glock Safe Action concept.

Now honestly it is part of the Glock DNA that the trigger pull is the safety on this semi auto pistol. So you need to use a Kydex holster with a Glock, or a gun safe, and only draw your gun when you mean to fire it. From there, your trigger discipline is the only safety.

Some people wouldn’t have it any other way. Others want a frame mounted thumb safety. You’re both right, but Glock isn’t changing the Glock Safe Action approach for anybody. You get the Glock safe passive safeties that are better and better, but no safety lever.

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Sig P320 Compact

Glock 45 vs Sig Saur P320

This is the real battle for the title of the best compact handgun for sale in 2023, although you might want to include the Sig Sauer P365 XL, too, with its similar barrel length.

We thought the Sig Sauer P320 Compact smashed the Gen 4 Glock 19. So did the military and lots of law enforcement, wit varying results. Most like theirs lots, but a few have reported accidental discharges and there is a pesky lawsuit thing…

So while Sig Sauer was busy shooting itself and some officers in the foot, the Glock G45 has closed the gap to a hair’s breadth.

Better Concealed, Close in our Hand

Now the Glock G45 icompact crossover is the better gun for concealment and the minor evolutions, the improvements, have eaten into the Sig P320 Compact’s advantage when the gun is in your hand and firing.

Sig has fired back with the more expensive X Carry series that is really, really good. So that one is an intriguing battle and you have to look at the full line and your budget for the best gun.

Other 9mm Pistols to Consider

The compact 9mm handguns from Sig Sauer, FN, Springfield Armory and even Walther are absolutely pushing the envelope right now, though, and it’s just down to you whether you think Glock has done enough to take the crown.

Check out some of that regal competition in these posts before placing your firearm orders:

Where to Buy Ammo

If you’re buying Glock 45 9mm pistol ammo, rifle ammo, handgun ammo, rimfire ammo or shotgun ammo, try these places first to fill your empty magazine collection.

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