Glock 19 vs Glock 19x: Similar, But Different

by Stephanie Martz

July 18, 2023



The Glock 19 is a household name for self defense firearms, both in law enforcement/military and civilian alike. So what’s this new Glock 19X all about? The Glock 19X was designed to meet the requirements of an Army contract, and now civilians can enjoy its benefits as they have released it to the civilian market. The largest benefit being the “crossover” aspect of having a full size frame and compact slide.

So what’s the difference between that and a standard Glock 19? There are quite a few. As many know as well, Glocks can get weird when it comes to their different generations between the guns. For the sake of this article, we will focus on comparing a Glock 19 Gen5, and the Glock 19X. We will then talk about the differences between the civilian version of the 19x and the Military.

Note: While the Glock 19x has a lot of updates that coincide with Gen5 Glocks, it is technically not a gen 5 for reasons such as not being able to run gen 5 magazines without modification to the gun, different spring cups on the striker, a nPVD slide coating instead of nDLC, and no “Gen5” listed on the slide. Glock also does not list the 19x as a Gen 5 on their website. More info on this can be found on GlockCollectorInfo.

Spec Comparison

Glock 19 Gen 5 MOS Feature Image

Glock 19 Gen 5 MOS

  • Final Grade : A
  • MSRP : $599.99
Caliber 9mm
Action Striker
Capacity 15+1
Sights Polymer Sights
Optics Ready Yes
Weight (empty) 21.34 oz
Frame Size Glock 19
Height 5.04 in
Slide Size Glock 19
Slide Length 6.85 in
Barrel Length 4.02 in
Slide Serrations Front and Rear
Overall Width 1.06 in
Color Black
Check Price
Glock 19x Feature Image

Glock 19X

  • MSRP : $619.99
Caliber 9mm
Action Striker
Capacity 17+1
Sights OEM Night Sights
Optics Ready No
Weight (empty) 22.05 oz
Frame Size Glock 17
Height 5.47 in
Slide Size Glock 19
Slide Length 6.85 in
Barrel Length 4.02 in
Slide Serrations Front
Overall Width 1.26 in
Color FDE
Check Price

Why the Glock 19 vs. Glock 19x?

Glock 19 vs Glock 19x

The naming convention from Glock can be confusing. But these two guns are very similar, and the name indicates that. Lets walk though them and discover the differences between the two and understand why the 19x was created.

The Glock 19 Gen5

The Glock 19 keeps the same dimensions of its previous generations as far as the 19 slide and 19 frame size. However, there are a lot more useful updates given to this Gen5 gun.

Marksman Barrel
The marksman barrel on all Gen5 Glocks and the 19x features an enhanced polygonal style rifling.

The Marksman Barrel – This is probably the first thing that users will bring up when they talk Gen5 Glocks. According to the instructor during a Glock Armorers class, these barrels will virtually never need to be replaced due to wear. The polygonal barrel, which is just a type of barrel rifling, has been changed to hexagonal rifling. According to Glock, this makes it a tighter shooting gun. Additionally, they modified the crown to a match type crown.

If you want to see these barrels put to the test as far as accuracy and velocity, see below for a pretty good video testing the older and new style barrels. Only 12 minutes!

Slide Coating – The updated slide finish is called nDLC. The jury is still out on if it is an actual upgrade from the Gen4 to the Gen5 as some say that it chips easier, but others say that it holds up to holster wear (WHICH IS TOTALLY NORMAL AND OKAY) better. You will notice by eye immediately though that it is a bit darker than previous slide coatings, so that is your first tell that the gun is a Gen 5 (besides the Gen 5 noted on the left side of the slide).

Slide Serrations – Front Serrations, woohoo! In the Gen 4 slides there were specific models that were listed as “FS” meaning front serrations. In Gen 5 guns, these serrations now come standard. Front serrations are great added friction when manipulating the gun. Many beginner or experienced users will use the front of the gun to push the slide to the rear. These serrations or “cuts” into the slide add extra grip.

Ambidextrous Controls – The Glock 19 Gen5 features ambidextrous controls, including an ambidextrous slide release and interchangeable magazine release. Simply put, with ambidextrous controls, you can access the levers, buttons, or controls from both sides.

The Grooveless Frame and Flared Magazine Well – Finger grooves are gone! A significant improvement from past generation Glocks. The frame is now grooveless and flat, making it easier to use your grip style instead of Glock telling you where to put your fingers.

The magazine well now has a bit of a flare to allow for easier and quicker seating of a magazine.

Glock 19 and 19x Magwell
Notice the flared magwells on each of the guns and the baseplates of the magazines. The Gen5 base plate shown next to the Glock19 is thicker meaning that these magazines will not fit into earlier generation guns. Some base plates will also not fit. Extended base pads also have issues in fitting into the Glock19x magwell due to the lanyard loop. If you run into that, simply take the lanyard loop out and you can use your intended magazines and base pads.

Single Pin Design – The Gen5 Glocks now have a single pin takedown design instead of the previous two pins. This means that takedown is much easier due to only having to play with the removal and installation of one pin inside the frame.

I strongly suggest that any owner of a Glock learn the proper way to takedown their pistol, including the slide. This is an operator level task, however, don’t just jump in. Watch and read prior to doing the takedown so that you don’t lose any springs as there are some under tension or bend any pins.

Remember, the trigger will need to be pulled after pushing down the takedown levers to fully unseat the slide. Clear the gun with eyes and touch prior to taking down the firearm.

Magazines – The Gen5 magazine base plates are now thicker than previous gen magazines. The magazine body is the same. However, the base plate, or bottom of the magazine, now has a thicker rim, allowing for easier tugging of the magazine if it doesn’t fall freely from the magazine well.

Below is a video talking the Glock19 Gen 5 magazines vs the Glock19x and which will fit into which.

The Glock 19X

First things first, to even find this gun on the Glock website you will need to go under the pistol dropdown and click crossover. It isn’t listed under the Gen 5 pistols.

The largest thing that users are loving about the Glock 19X is it being a crossover between two Glocks. The frame of the 19x is a Glock17 frame, or in other words a full size grip. However, the slide is that of a Glock 19, adding more of a compact slide. This enables the user to have the feel and recoil management of a full size gun, without the longer barrel that comes with the Glock 17. The shorter barrel is about a half an inch difference. This makes concealing the gun easier without that longer barrel showing in your pants, but still having a gun that is fun and easy to shoot due to the full size Glock 17 Frame. It’s a hit with a lot of larger framed men.

The 19x comes with night sights already on the gun. This is a huge plus since factory sights from Glock are total dog doo doo. Glock factory sights should be replaced immediately because they can break and drift out of place so quickly. Drifting just means that it will move within the dovetail that it is mounted in without you wanting it to….thus you will now be aiming in a different spot than intended. Night sights or not, aftermarket sights will often sit tighter in that dovetail and won’t move on you unintended.

The Glock OEM night sights with the 3 dot system are not my favorite, but they are better than the original factory sights.

A couple of other features or featureless..

Glock 19 vs 19x Striker
The striker on the top of the photo is out of the Glock19x. This striker features maritime spring cups. You can tell by the little divots/pockets on the black cup near the end of the striker. These pockets allow for water to drain faster if the gun is underwater. These spring cups were only made for the Glock19x and other special missions Glocks. Notice that the Glock19 Gen5 does not have these cups but instead has the standard cups.
  • No front serrations
  • Lanyard loop
  • Ambidextrous slide release
  • Removed finger grooves, smooth grip
  • nPVD slide coating
  • marksman barrel
  • 17-round magazine, two 17+2-round magazines
  • Maritime striker spring cups allowing for water dispersion
  • Flared magwell

Upgrades and Accessories for Glock 19 and 19x

Glock 19 OEM Magazine 15 Round 9mm
  • Impact-resistant polymer construction
  • Full-length steel insert
  • Numbered witness holes
  • Compatible with compact 9mm models
Check Price
Glock 19x OEM Magazine 19 Round 9mm
  • Durable polymer construction
  • Full-length steel inserts
  • Numbered witness holes
  • High-tensile steel spring
  • Injection-molded polymer follower
Check Price
Safariland 6365RDS ALS/SLS Low Ride Level III Retention Duty Holster
  • ALS and SLS Level 3 retention system
  • Various colors
Check Price
Streamlight TLR-1 HL
  • 1,000 Lumens
  • 1.5 Hour Run Time
  • 20,000 candela
  • 283m beam distance
Buy on Amazon

Civilian VS. Military 19X

Before going any further, let’s talk about requirements from the Army and why the need for the 19x was even a thing.

The Beretta M9 has been in service since 1985. While still a capable handgun, it just wasn’t there as far as modularity and modern capabilities. Coming from a smaller female in the Army, the M9 performed and held up mechanically. However, it was just tough to use. Small hands with a big grip and a 12+lb double action trigger made this thing tough to handle. I had to change my grip to even press the double action trigger. The modular portion in the grip to change the sizing out or even the ability to add a pistol red dot (let’s be real it is 2023, soldiers deserve a dot) was not there on the M9.

This began the Modular Handgun System (MHS) program in finding the right gun to meet Army requirements and standards. The MHS is a system in which the operator finally came first. Many of the standards allowed the operator to switch controls and parts out on the gun to make the gun more user friendly to that specific soldier, no matter the size of him or her.

Glock 19 and 19x Field Strip
The parts on the inside of the Glock19 and the Glock19x are the same except for the striker cups. In this photo there are some aftermarket parts on the Glock 19 such as the Kagwerks Extended slide release and the ApexTactical trigger.

These requirements specified that the company submitting their firearm has to enter both a full-size and compact pistol (or one pistol that met requirements for both sizes), an operator’s manual, accessories, and spare parts.

For the pistol specifically, it must have integrated picatinny rail for lights or lasers, an internal and external safety mechanism, adjustability for ergonomics and hand size such as replacing the grips and backstraps, trigger changes, ability to hold 17 rounds, can mount a lanyard, and cannot be single action only (SAO). There were specific requirements based around accuracy, wound channels, and colors of the gun (not black). Thus, the Flat Dark Earth (FDE) colors. There were also performance requirements based on stoppages and round counts.

A few of the guns that were submitted were the Glock 19x, FN 509T, SIG Beretta M9A3, and the SIG P320. Spoiler alert, Glock didn’t win. Fun fact though, Glock also only submitted one pistol that they claimed fit the bill for both the full size and compact requirements.

You can read more on the MHS program here.

Glock 19x and FN509T
Pictured on the left is the FN509T. This was another submission into the Army’s MHS program.

So is the civilian version the same as the one submitted for to the Army? It is not..just barely.

The only difference between the civilian and military submitted version is that the civilian version is lacking the external safety and markings.

Now that you know the differences between the Glock19 Gen5 and Glock19x, what is right for you? Is the Gen5 worth it? That is all questions you should decide on based on a few things. What is your need for the gun? Will you be concealing it? If so, what is your body type like and what holster will you be using? Will it be a match gun? Are you willing to replace sights? Is the marksman barrel and other Gen5 aspects such as flared magwells worth the purchase? Do you want serrations on both the front and rear of the gun straight from the factory? And maybe the most important..what color do you like right out of the box, FDE or Black? 😉

Happy shooting!


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About Stephanie Martz

Steph is a veteran Small Arms Repairman in the Army and former gunsmith in the Federal LE sector. She is very active in the Precision Rifle shooting community (including the National Rifle League Hunter Series and Quantified Performance Series). Keep an eye out for reloading for newbies tips and equipment DOs and DON’Ts, complete with the WHYs.

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