Glock introduced their first rimfire pistol with the Glock 44 in 22lr.
Was this a smart move for Glock? Is the G44 a good pistol? Read on to see what we think in the rest of our Glock 44 review.
Glock’s First Plinking Gun – Glock 44 Background
Glock makes the most popular handguns in America – there are more Glock pistols in the market than from any other manufacturer. And, the Glock 19 (compact-sized 9mm) is Glock’s most popular model because it’s just the right size and capacity balance between a gun to shoot at the range and concealed carry.
As a testament to the popularity of Glocks, there are a mind-numbing amount of aftermarket parts for upgrades to Glocks. Multiple companies have even come out with 22 lr rimfire conversions for Glocks.
Glock 44 Specs
|Operating System||Semi-auto Recoil Operated|
|Barrel Length||4.02 in|
Why would someone want to have their Glock fire the diminutive 22 lr cartridge? Easy – shooting 2lr is cheap and fun training while also being easy to silence that also makes a PERFECT pistol for teaching someone new how to shoot a gun.
The G44 is Glock’s first rimfire pistol. Why have they waited so long? One reason might have to do with the fact that it is very difficult to make a striker-fired rimfire pistol. That’s why almost every other rimfire pistol we know of, even if it’s a replica of a striker-fired centerfire gun, has been made with an internal hammer (except for the Taurus TX22 pistol).
Glock 44 (22LR) Features
122 LR Marksman Barrel
A non-fixed barrel rimfire! Truly innovative.
2Front Slide Serrations
Thankfully Glock is continuing this trend on their new pistols.
3Polymer/Steel Hybrid Slide
To reduce weight for a rimfire but retain the durability of steel, Glock is using a unique design.
4Glock 19 – Sized
This results in training familiarity with the most popular Glock pistol and holster compatibility.
The G44 magazine comes with a easy-load tab and round count indicator.
Glock 44 Review – Our Take
Despite what many others think online, we think that this is a REALLY smart move for Glock and we’ll be purchasing one for ourselves.
Why do we think a plinking Glock is a great idea?
First, 22’s are a TON of fun to shoot. Second, when we teach a new shooter to shoot, we love to start with a rimfire to help them get used to shooting a firearm. And third, if we’re going to be using a 22 anyway (whether for plinking, training, etc.) why not have a 22 pistol that is the same size and has the same features as a full-sized firearm? You’ll be getting great practice and you can use the same holsters!
I really wish more manufacturers would follow this lead… we’re looking at you, Sig. By coming out with a 22 trainer, Glock is going to take back some serious market share. I’ve slowly migrated away from Glocks lately but this alone is really enticing me to go back – a Glock 22 trainer is AWESOME!
Striker Fired Rimfire Pistol
We mentioned above that it is very hard to make a striker fired rimfire pistol. So hard, in fact, that we only know of one other, the Taurus TX-22.
Why is it so tough? If the striker fired pistol is already fully cocked (like a Sig p365, Smith and Wesson M&P, or Springfield XD) then the recoil spring on the slide must be strong enough to pull the slide forward to feed the next round from the magazine and chamber it completely into the chamber AND be strong enough to pull the slide fully forward agains the spring tension o fate striker which is being cocked.
Surely, a strong recoil/slide spring can be used but… then the spring is too strong for the weak 22 round to reliably cycle the gun.
The same problem exists with striker fired guns that are partially cocked as you pull the trigger (Glocks)… if the striker spring is strong enough to fire the round, then it’s likely going to overpower the recoil spring that has to be light enough for the gun to cycle. It’s a balancing act.
This is why the rimfire Smith and Wesson M&P looks like the 9mm M&P from the outside (great for training familiarity and holster compatibility) but it is actually a hammer fired 22 lr on the inside.
Glock can sometimes get picked-on for their lack of innovation but, they make a pistol design that works very well (so why change anything) and we think that this striker fired G44 is pretty darn innovative.
In fact, we’re blown away that Glock came out with features that most everyone else hasn’t been able to incorporate into a rimfire pistol thus far.
Polymer and Steel Slide
Along with potential spring issues on a rimfire semi auto pistol, there comes an issue with slide mass.
If you didn’t know, most centerfire semi-auto pistols have a locking function that locks the action while the pistol is fired and which must be unlocked prior to extraction or ejection. Rimfire pistols, on the other hand, are typically direct blowback (spring tension and slide mass only) and don’t have a locking mechanism because the diminutive 22 lr is too weak to unlock an action.
This is why 22 pistols have very light slides. To get a light slide, many manufacturers use junk metal, zinc, aluminum, or something other than steel. Of course, this reduces the pistol’s durability but a steel slide would just be too heavy.
Glock took their patented design of a polymer/steel hybrid slide that they use in their simmunition guns and brought it to this pistol – another innovative idea!
The barrel on the Glock 44 is fairly novel in that it isn’t fixed to the receiver like most 22 pistols and instead is installed in the slide effectively like it’s full-powered counter part.
Besides being accurate and reliable, there’s one feature that we want to see on all 22 lr firearm barrels: THREADS TO MOUNT A SILENCER!
Glock kinda’ missed the mark here.
The Glock 44 does not come with a threaded barrel, however, Glock does sell a Glock 44 threaded barrel as an upgrade. However, the threads aren’t 1/2×28 (by FAR the most popular thread rate for 22 silencers). Instead, you’ll have to use an adapter from Glock to convert AND extend their M9x75 threaded barrel (what were they thinking???).
Glock should offer a 1/2×28 threaded barrel option from the factory so that it can actually be used without an adapter. I get that M9x75 might be popular in Europe, but where is their target market for this pistol?
The trigger feels like…well…a Glock. This is great news for us (and bad news for others).
Some people just hate Glocks. If you’re one of them, this isn’t for you because the Glock 44 is exceptionally Glock-like.
However, for the rest of us that can appreciate Glocks, this is great news because getting a a trigger to feel like an actual Glock is GREAT for training!
We tested the accuracy of the G44 with three different brands of 22 long rifle ammo: Remington Bulk Ammo, Federal Bulk Ammo, and CCI Mini Mag 22 lr.
I shot a group of five shots for each brand of ammo standing off-hand at 10 yards. Not the most scientific method, but I’m a big believer of finding out what a gun actually does do vs. what it could/should do.
The average group size I shot was 1.39 inches and the best group I shot was with Remington Bulk ammo and it measured 0.77 inches.
Here are the stats on our Glock 44 accuracy results:
|Spec||Group 1||Group 2||Group 3|
|Distance||10 yds||10 yds||10 yds|
|Handgun||Glock 44||Glock 44||Glock 44|
|Ammo||Federal Bulk||Remington Bulk||CCI Mini Mag|
|Group Size (In.)||1.64"||0.77"||1.75"|
|Group Size (MOA)||15.69||7.34||16.68|
Our first experience with the Glock 44 was when we shot it at the SHOT Show 2020 media day. From our experience, we can tell you that the Glock 44 ran GREAT! We fired it as fast as we could in a timed challenge and we watched MANY people shoot the Glock 44 without fail. The number of rounds fired through these guns (even by mid-day) was staggering and they were still going strong whereas plenty of guns from other manufacturers were already failing (and the Glock 44 was one of the most popular firearms there).
However, once we finally purchased one for ourselves and took it to the range, we started noticing some troubles.
The first few magazines full of Remington bulk ammo ran great! Everything we had experienced at SHOT was being reproduced at the range – this little plinker was a fun gun.
However, after that, we started having repeatable issues with feeding the first round out of the magazine. For the next 20-30 magazines we shot with various ammo, the top round nose-dived into the front of the magazine and therefore caused a failure to feed more than 50% of the time.
Oh no! The gun that we claimed was reliable was anything but. It appeared that either magazine spring was too weak or that the angle of the follower was not correct – the top round of a fully loaded magazine “sagged” a bit and was not firmly held against the feed lips. We could manually lift the round into position, but sometimes the force of the slide trying to feed the round would cause it to nose-dive again.
As far as the rest of the magazine went, we had a very little issues (no more than I’d expect with any other 22lr semi-auto pistol). I did notice, however, that the slide of the G44 operates… softly. It does not cycle nor close with authority and I can see this being an issue.
We left the range that day bummed because we wanted the Glock 44 to be success. Without cleaning the pistol, we returned to the range to test it some more and, to our surprise, the Glock 44 ran great.
Sure, there are still occassional rimfire pistol issues: we had one stove-pipe fail to eject and on fail to fire (which could have been the ammo) for the whole range session. That’s pretty good in my book.
Apparently, the magazines need to be “broken-in?” Perhaps the plastic feed lips are causing too much drag when they’re new so that the slide pushing on the base of the round makes the bullet tip down instead of having the cartridge slide?
We’re not sure why it works better now but there was a noticable period wherin there was a problem with magazine induced malfunctions for a couple hundred rounds thatseems to have resolved itself.
There have been some reviewers online that have had significant troubles with their Glock 44. I’ll share some of their experience below but that does NOT change my comments about my experience with the reliability of the handgun.
“Why would I call a gun reliable when others have had different experiences?” GREAT question! It’s what separates Gun University from some other reviewers: our goal is to share our actual experience with a firearm instead of simply looking up what others think and repeating the same information. If I simply echo other’s thoughts, then there’s zero value to our review.
For example, we’ve given some gun some horrible grades on our site because we had horrible experiences with them. We are giving you the straight truth on our experience. If someone else online had a good experience with that same gun that didn’t work for us, should we change our opinion of it and give it a good grade? Of course not!
Our review is our review. Sometimes we’ll be the reviewer that has a good experience while someone else has bad and the opposite is true, sometimes we’ll have a bad experience while someone else has a good one. If there’s clearly a different trend elsewhere, like there may be with this gun, we’ll give you our experience and then let you know about other’s thoughts too. However, we won’t change OUR review based on someone else’s review and you shouldn’t want us to.
So, here are what some other have experienced (that we have not – we’ll get our own soon):
22 Plinkster had issues with the sights not being able to be adjusted properly for elevation and issues with the magazine that resulting in feeding reliability:
The Military Arms Channel also had reliability issues and has shared reports of firing out of battery (not good):
G44 Pros and Cons
- Same size as the G19 (familiarity and holsters)
- Steel slide components for durability
- Same trigger operation/feel as regular Glocks
- Awesome training/practice pistol
- Failure to feed from top round for a “break-in” period
- Reports of firing out of battery from others
|For us, this was awesome to shoot (but, we enjoy shooting Glocks). But, Glock really missed the mark with their option for a threaded barrel.|| |
|We HATE using other’s reviews to bias our review (see above) but even though the Glock 44 is running great for us now, it clearly seems to have issues for others and there was clearly a bad patch with thtis gun for us.|| |
|For what it was, a 22 lr Glock, it was accurate enough. However, it’s not near as accurate as something like a Ruger 22/45.|| |
|It has Gen 5 Glock ergonomics. If you like those, you’ll love this. If not, well, then you won’t. We liked it!|| |
|As a trainer/teaching aid for a Glock 19, the Glock 44 is awesome! However, as a strictly 22 plinking pistol, you may like other options more.|| |
The Glock 44 22LR is a great compact plinking pistol suitable for the range. Same dimensions as the Glock 19 Gen 5, but without the recoil and cost of 9mm ammunition. Here are some things we recommend along with purchasing this pistol.
- Magazines–Glock 44 22LR Magazine at Brownells
- Barrel – Threaded Barrel for G44 and adapter
- GUN CLEANING KIT: Gloryfire Universal Cleaning Kit on Amazon
- EYE & EAR PRO- See our Best Eye/Ear pro Review
Once you’ve got these basics, it’s time to move on to more fun stuff. And there’s plenty to customize for the Glock 44 22LR.
Best Sights for the Glock 44 22LR
With most guns, sometimes you need sights and sometimes you don’t.
However, if you own ANY type of Glock, the one thing you’re going to need is new sights. The standard sights that come installed with Glocks are junk plastic. So here’s our top sight recommendations for the Glock 44 22LR, but, you should get whatever sights you have on your other Glocks (if you have any) so that you have some training continuity.
Ameriglo GL-436 Hackathorn Sight
Not much needs to be said for Ameriglo, they have nice tritium dots and excellent durability. The standard sights you get with a Glock 44 22LR are not great as I mentioned, but these will replace nicely and I found in low light they are almost PERFECT. For this reason alone, I gave this our Editors choice! Check Amazon Price
Because the Glock 44 22LR is the same dimensions as the Glock 19 Gen5, there are a ton of options when it comes to sights for your firearm. There is no way to see them all, however this is another good set that we like that has excellent tritium dots along with a lifetime warranty. This gets our Best Night Sights Award! Check Amazon Price
How to Care for Your Glock 44 22LR
Glocks are generally regarded as one of–if not, THE–most reliable handguns available on the market.
However, the Glock 44 does NOT share the same design nor internal operation of other Glocks. Rimfire semi-auto firearms are notoriously finicky if not maintained well and 22 lr ammo is filthy (especially bulk ammo).
You are going to need to clean and maintain your Glock 44. This is an excellent video showing you exactly how to break down this gun, so you can clean, lubricate, and put it back together safely.
- GUN CLEANING KIT: Gloryfire Universal Cleaning Kit on Amazon
Important Links And Manuals For Your Glock 44 22LR
There’s so many Glock models out there. So I have compiled some more info on the G44, take some time to check it out.
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