Our Glock 20 review covers this iconic 10mm glock specifically the Gen 5. The Gen 5 model at the time of writing this only comes with the MOS system. This means you can mount a red dot sight to the gun.
The 10mm cartridge is well respected for it’s power as a handgun cartridge when loaded to full pressure.
What Is The Gun Used For?
I bought this gun for a trip to Alaska for bear defense. Using a handgun against a bear is the last thing I want to have to do. Any handgun, even a 454 Casull or 500 S&W Magnum just isn’t going to match a rifle.
It’s impossible to have a rifle on your person and accessible at all times when you’re in the bush.
This past year I’ve been in a nostalgic mood and have become really interested in revolvers. Most of my range time and training budget has been spent on revolvers.
I had a long conversation with a fellow revolver enthusiast and he gave me lots of reasons to go with the Glock 20 over revolvers.
When looking for a gun for this trip the other considerations were the Ruger Alaskan in 454 Casull, HK USP 45 shooting 45 Super(essentially a hotter 45ACP), a S&W Model 69 and the S&W 329PD.
I quickly dismissed the Ruger Alaskan due to weight.
I had concerns about velocity with the 44 Magnum from the 2.75 S&W Model 69 barrel and the 329 is so light I had concerns about shooting it effectively with the recoil.
Another reason I decided to go with a semi auto is controllability and practical accuracy. I can fire a lot more rounds accurately at a quicker cadence with a semi automatic than I can with a revolver.
So even if the revolver is more effective per shot from a terminal ballistics(killing power) perspective I can still get a lot more rounds on target with a semi auto. That means more total terminal ballistic force with a semi automatic.
The HK45 was only there because I wanted a unique gun and an excuse to get a USP.
The USP 45 is one of the only 45 ACPs that can shoot the 45 Super without modification but I wouldn’t have been able to get a holster shipped to me in time for my trip so that also went out.
Availability and Price
It’s widely available and easy to pick up at almost any local gun store as well as being the most affordable of the options I was looking at. I paid a little over $600 out the door for the gun.
My local gun store has a good selection but most well stocked gun stores will have one in stock. At the time of writing this if a store doesn’t have one in stock they can normally have one ready for your in days.
Politics and demand can always change availability.
My buddy who I was visiting up in Alaska said you could find Buffalo Bore and Underwood Hardcast 10mm that was designed for bear defense at most gun stores up there.
The biggest upside was I was able to get a Kenai Chest Rig before a left for me trip. All the other guns I was looking at had a longer lead time.
Is the Gun Unique
A Glock 20 Gen 5 isn’t a unique gun and if that matters to you then get the USP 45 and shoot 45 super or look for something like a 475 Wildey Magnum(Any Deathwish fans?).
The contrarian side of me really wants a unique gun for every task. Often that doesn’t make sense and in this case it didn’t.
An affordable gun that I wouldn’t cry over if it got scratched or even if I lost it in the bush made more sense.
Are The Ergonomics Good?
I’ve been fortunate enough to shoot both Gen 2 and Gen 4 Glock 20s and I’ll say this. The Gen 5 MOS is definitely a step up from both!
The Glock 20 Gen 5 has ergonomics that are similar to a Glock 17 Gen 5 with the large backstrap installed. So even if you have medium sized hands you’ll still be able to
Like all Gen 5 guns the Glock 20 Gen 5 MOS comes with 4 removable backstraps. 2 without a beavertail in sizes medium and large and 2 with beavertail.
So if you have massive hands you can build the grip up to be even larger. I wear large male gloves and the gun fits my hand perfectly.
If you wear medium size you’ll still be able to get a good grip on the gun although it will feel large.
In its stock form out the box the gun doesn’t have a beavertail. But you can easily add one with one by using the medium or large backstraps with beavertail that the gun ships with.
These will increase the length of pull on the trigger which could help or hurt your shooting depending on the size of your hands and length of your fingers.
The texturing on this Gen 5 Glock 20 MOS is standard Glock Gen 5 texturing. It’s not crazy aggressive but it’s aggressive enough to give you a decent grip with wet or sweat hands.
Personally I wouldn’t mind it being a little more aggressive. That said, it’s good enough in its stock form.
When you read a Glock 20 Gen 5 Review how the gun feels to the author will depend on whether or not they’re a Glock guy.
I myself have shot Glocks over 10 years and have no real complaints with their feel.
They’re definitely square and not as ergonomic as other guns like the HK VP9.
It’s a Glock. Glocks are blocky and don’t feel the best in the hand. The good news is the ergonomics of a glock generally do help control the gun well.
Is the gun easy to load and unload?
Loading the Glock 20 is identical to loading another full size glock. The recoil spring is heavy but not so stiff it presents problems.
If you have a good technique for racking the slide it’s an easy gun to load in normal conditions.
The serrations on the Glock 20 are unfortunately standard glock. In writing this Glock 20 review an obvious downside will be these serrations.
In field conditions if your hands are wet and cold you might have to put a little more effort into racking the slide.
The serrations aren’t as deep or aggressive as I’d like. They’ll do the job but not as well as aftermarket serrations or the serrations on guns like the Sig P320 or Smith & Wesson M&P which have more aggressive serrations.
Are the Controls Good?
Glocks are notorious for their simple controls and the Glock 20 is no exception. In this Glock 20 MOS review we’ll cover how they work with all different hand sizes.
All the Safeties on the Glock 20 are internal or mounted on the trigger show. Basically there is no thumb safety. So once you draw the gun all you have to do is put your finger on the trigger and shoot.
It does have a trigger safety and firing pin block safety. The trigger safety must be depressed for the trigger to be pulled. So if the gun were to be dropped momentum won’t be enough to pull the trigger back.
Inside the slide is a firing pin block safety.
This means if the firing pin where to break the block will stock it from falling forward and hitting the primer on the round in the chamber.
From the factory Glocks triggers from the trigger are also considered partially cocked while most striker fired triggers like the Walther PDP are fully clocked. So even if the striker were somehow drop unintentionally it wouldn’t have enough force to ignite the primer.
Trigger jobs can change this.
So the Glock 20 is a very safe gun despite not having an external safety.
It’s a Glock so the magazine release will work but isn’t going to be super positive. We’re all sized a little differently so in our Glock 20 review we wanted to account for that.
I wear a large glove and have to slightly break my grip to press the magazine release. If you have medium sized hands you’ll have to fully break your grip.
The corners are slightly sharp but most won’t feel it from the angle they’re pressing the release.
The magazine release is reversible so you can switch sides if you’re left handed.
I can easily reach the ambi slide stop. If you have medium hands you’ll likely still be able to reach it without breaking your grip.
It’s reasonably low profile and won’t be a snag point but large enough to easily hit. It functions the same as all other Gen 5 Glock releases.
Like all Gen 5 Glocks the Glock 20 has a very large mag well. So it’s very easy to get the magazine in. Is it as generous as a competition style bolt on magazine release?
No it isn’t. If you’re reading this Glock 20 review expecting to find a competition style magazine well then you’ll be disappointed. It’s large for a carry style gun but not a competition gun.
Are The Overall Ergonomics Good?
This gun is essentially a scaled up Glock 17 Gen 5. It feels incredibly similar to the Glock 17 with a large backstrap installed.
Overall in my opinion the ergonomics are good for a 10mm pistol that holds 15 rounds in the magazine.
If you don’t like Glocks then chances are you aren’t going to like the Glock 20. It’s big and chucky and square but rounded where it needs to be.
Does it have a good Trigger?
Again it’s a Gen 5 Glock so the trigger is pretty decent. In my option the Glock 20 Gen 5 trigger is very serviceable. It doesn’t have the weird quirks of the Gen 3 and 4 triggers.
It’s a duty grade trigger but there are lots of aftermarket options if you want to try to improve it.
Like all striker fired triggers there is a bit of light take up. This happens while you’re disengaging the Glock 20’s trigger safety. Once the trigger safety is disengaged you’ll feel more mushy resistance as you approach the wall of the trigger.
There is a wall but it’s very slight. I’d consider the Glock 20’s trigger to have more of a rolling break than a definitive wall.
The reset is reasonably short and returns a little in front of the wall where you have to pull through some of the mushy resistance before breaking the trigger again.
It’s identical to other guns like the Glock Gen 5 17 and 19. If you’ve felt those you’ll know what it feels like.
How Does It Look?
It’s a Glock! Notice a theme in this Glock 20 review? To me a glock is like a Toyota Camery. It’s not a head turner but it doesn’t look bad either.
It’s the standard baseline on which all guns are judged. At the end of the day it comes down to personal preference.
Are The Sights Any Good?
From the factory the Glock 20 MOS comes with plastic glock sights. They’re usable and will do the job if they’re on the gun but personally I’d switch them out.
The best feature is they’re low profile and your chances of snagging them are low.
I replaced them with dawson precision sights that 1/3rd co witness with the Aimpoint Acro I mounted on the gun.
One thing I like about these sights is the rear sight has a set screw. I’ve had multiple rear sights come loose over time on Glocks. Having a set screw on a rear sight is highly suggested.
Red Dot Options
All current production Gen 5 Glock 20s are MOS variants. MOS stands for Modular Optics System.
This is a cut in the slide that accepts plates which are used to mount the optics. Different pistol optics have different mounting systems.
Glock ships the gun with a variety of plates for most of the optics patterns on the market.
It can get confusing though. They have it covered in their manual.
There are also a wide variety of aftermarket plates out there.
In the past the Glock plates were known to have issues with falling off or not allowing for a proper zero.
I’ve heard most of those have been fixed.
It’s still very common to just run after market plates from a company like Forward Control Designs or CHWPS.
The Glock 20 Gen 5 MOS uses standard Glock 17/19 MOS plates from these aftermarket manufacturers. So finding plates is easy.
I use a CHWPS aimpoint Acro plate to mount the Aimpoint Acro P1. I removed both the Acro and plate from my Gen 5 Glock 17. The Acro P1 is a good optic but doesn’t have the best battery life.
The Acro P2 has an improved battery life and if I were buying new that’s why I would have gone with.
This gun will solely be used for trips lasting a couple weeks at the most and the P1’s battery life is more than sufficient.
Does it Shoot Well?
Shooting this gun was surprising. Depending on who you ask, 10mm is underpowered and loaded to 40 S&W specs while forcing you to use a much larger gun.
Others say that it’s very heavy recoiling and uncontrollable.
Like most things the truth lies in the middle. A lot of 10mm is loaded to 40S&W power. But this is not the ammo I’d suggest for any kind of defensive use against 2 or 4 legged attacker.
I’d shot a rare Glock 20 Gen 2 a couple years back and then I was surprised that the recoil wasn’t that bad. I was shooting handloads loaded to 10mm pressure. The Grip on the Gen 2 was huge which didn’t help but shooting the gun was managable.
This Gen 5 was a complete improvement. Glock has made a lot of improvements over the years and one of the big ones is the recoil spring assembly.
Shooting both Blazer Brass and Buffalo Bore loads the guns was surprisingly tame. It’s definitely snappier than a 9mm +P+ from a Glock 17 but not by much.
The gun was surprisingly controllable.
I picked this gun up a couple of weeks before heading to Alaska and I didn’t have much time to verify the function and zero the gun. So I was verifying reliability while zeroing the gun.
At 10 yards I was shooting consistent 4-5 inch groups. For me this is highly abnormal. With a Glock 19 or Glock 17 I’d normally shoot a 10 inch group when zeroing.
Once I got back to 15 yards the groups tightened up to 2-3 inches.
What I suspect happened was the brand new barrel needed some fowling. Every new Glock I’ve bought normally gets a couple boxes of ammo through it before I zero the gun or start shooting for groups.
Next new Glock I buy I’m going to test this theory but I found it interesting.
Is there a Good Aftermarket?
There are a lot of Glock 20 Gen 5 parts out there. Not as many as the 17 and 19s but still a ton. You can easily find sights and most of the parts for the gun.
How Easy Is The Gun To Maintain?
It’s a glock so maintenance is easy. The slide is easy to take off and field strip. With a recoil spring assembly that’s captured you won’t be reading a Glock 20 review that says this gun is hard to take apart.
It’s a Glock so all you need to do is make sure the gun stays wiped down and it’s lubed. With minimal maintenance it’ll run well.
Is the Gun A Good Value?
The price of the Glock 20 Gen 5 MOS is right around $620. For that price I think it’s a fair value.
The Glock 20 has been around a long time and benefits from this.
It’s less likely to have problems than most other 10mm options on the market. It has an awesome aftermarket that exceeds all other 10mm handguns besides maybe the the 1911.
Let us know your thoughts about our Glock G20 review below in the comments.
- Holster Options