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Glock G22 GEN 4 Review

Category : Handguns, Self Defense, Tactical, Video

If you’re reading this article, you probably already know something about Glocks and would like to skip the part where we talk about what they’re made of and how many militaries and police departments around the globe use them.   I’ll start with the changes and the important stuff and then address  the over-discussed details that absolutely must be found in every article on a Glock handgun.

Glock G22 GEN 4 .40 S&W

As of right now, February 2010, the Glock GEN 4 is only available in the G22 and G17. The G22 is chambered in .40 S&W and is considered a “standard” size Glock. The G17 is chambered in 9mm (9x19mm) and is also considered “standard” size.  Glock is planning on releasing the GEN 4 in all of their models. As far as time frame goes, they will release the G19 and G23 this fall. The next models have yet to be determined and I was told their release will be based on demand.

All images can be enlarged by clicking on them.

New Features Found in the GEN 4

  • New dual recoil spring
  • Backstraps for the grip
  • Grip texture
  • Ambidextrous Mag Release
  • Oversize mag release
  • Minor Trigger Changes

GEN 4 dual recoil spring installed in the slide.

Dual Recoil Spring

The dual recoil spring is an all new design for the G22.  Glock has had something similar in some of its other models for quite some time.  It features captured springs that work together but at different rates. It might best be described as dual compression. The new dual recoil spring results in perceived recoil being lessened.  When I shot the new Glock G22 GEN 4 (.40 S&W) at the SHOT Show Media Day,  I thought I was shooting a 9mm. The Glock employees at the SHOT Show threw out numbers that were anywhere from 10-25% reduction in perceived recoil, but as of now there are no actual numbers being published by Glock. I spoke with Randi Rogers from Team Glock about the new G22 GEN 4.  She feels the Dual recoil spring reduces recoil 20-30% and it takes the “snap” out of the recoil.  In comparison, she feels the G17 GEN 4 is already very manageable but the recoil is definitely dampened.  She and Dave Sevigny used G17 GEN 4’s to win two National Pistol Championship titles at the IDPA Indoor Nationals February 25-27, 2010 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Randi won the High Lady category and placed 12th Master in the SSP (Stock Service Pistol) Class. Dave Sevigny took 1st in the SSP. The G17 GEN 4’s they used were completely stock other than the sights.  See Randi’s email to me below.

IDPA Indoor Nationals went exceptionally well for me last week. I was able to capture the High Lady title and I was 12th SSP (Stock Service Pistol) Master. At the IDPA Indoor Nationals I used the Gen4 G17 in 9×19. The pistol preformed perfectly. The only change I made was to put on a pair of Warren Tactical Sevigny Performance night sights. I used the smallest grip frame because I have small hands. Not only is the smaller grip frame easier for me to hold onto, but it puts my fingers closer to the magazine release catch and the slide stop lever. The enlarged magazine release made it easy for me to release the magazines, but did not stick out far enough for me to accidentally bump it on the table to release the magazine accidentally. The dual recoil spring helped to dampen the recoil and made the pistol even easier to handle. I was honored to shoot it in competition and look forward to using it again in the future. Dave Sevigny also shot the Gen4 G17 and he won the SSP.

The dual recoil spring is also supposed to be able to go several thousand more rounds in between recoil spring changes.  Glock has replacement springs available. Glock recommends changing the recoil spring in the GEN 3 at somewhere between 3000-5000 rounds. In a GEN 3 at 5000 rounds the spring is worn out.  The GEN 4 Dual Recoil springs have been tested at 5000 rounds and found to be like new. Glock has not published new numbers for changing the recoil spring. If you carry a Glock for Law Enforcement purposes or for personal defense, change the recoil spring at the 5000 rounds until Glock publishes a new official number.

Dual Recoil Spring

I asked Glock about retrofitting the Dual Recoil spring to older Glocks and their answer was that it isn’t possible.  There isn’t space inside the frame to accommodate the larger diameter of the dual recoil spring.


The Glock GEN 4 features the MBS (Multiple Backstrap System) handgrip.  It is without question an improvement over previous generations of Glocks. Without adding a backstrap, the grip is size small.  Having a size small is where the improvement is.  I have large hands and I like the feel of the GEN 4 without any backstrap attached.  The next backstrap is size M or medium and the last one is L or Large.  Size Medium is the size that Glocks have been in the past.

To attach the backstraps you punch out the trigger housing pin with the provided MBS tool, add the backstrap, and replace the trigger housing pin with a longer one provided by Glock. It takes less than a minute to change backstraps. It is my opinion that most of the GEN 4’s will be used with no backstrap as the size small grip still fits large hands just fine.

The grip is size small with no backstrap installed. Shown are backstraps in size Medium and Large. Also shown, longer trigger housing pin and MBS tool. It takes less than a minute to change backstraps.

I’m sure it will be argued by someone with smaller hands that size small should have been even smaller. Nevertheless, it is an improvement and a step in the right direction. After dry firing the Glock GEN 4 several thousand times as well as shooting it, I tried out the grips on a Springfield XD. Granted, I had just put in some serious time on the Glock GEN 4, but I liked the grip just as well if not better than the XD.  Some people don’t like the bulge/hump at the base of the grip frame on the Glock and think it should have been removed; I personally don’t mind it. I find that the Glock points very naturally for me. The backstrap option does open up the possibility that someone will produce aftermarket backstraps that are different in shape for those that don’t like the bulge. Glock assured me that they have studied the ergonomics of shooting and found the “hump” to be beneficial to the majority of shooters.

GEN 4 with Backstrap attached.

RTF (Rough Texture Finish)

Glock G22 GEN 3 RTF2 - Note the crescent slide serrations. THIS IS NOT A GEN 4 GLOCK!

The Grip Texture on the GEN 4 is also new. Glock is calling the GEN 4 texture RTF (Rough Texture Finish).  Glock had introduced the RTF2 (Rough Texture Finish 2) model in the GEN 3 in 2009. The RTF2 is extremely aggressive. They received complaints of it wearing out clothing and snagging.  The texture of the RTF is similar, but less aggressive.  The texture on the GEN 4 is an improvement over the GEN 3. The texture provides for very positive grip while not eating your hand. I’m sure it will be wonderful for extreme conditions i.e., rain, snow, sweaty hands, etc. Please note that if you have an RTF2 model you do not have a GEN 4.

Mag Release

The Mag Release is now larger, easier to feel and is ambidextrous; it can be switched to the right side of the gun for left handed shooters.

GEN 4 Mag Release is larger and can be switched to the right side of the gun for left handed shooters.

This photo is looking up the magwell at the mag release and mag release spring.

Switching the mag release is easy to do. You remove the slide and reach into the magwell with a pair of needle nose pliers. The spring can easily be seen and lifted out to allow the mag release to be freed.  Switch sides and put the spring back. The magazines that come with the gun are setup for the switch.

GEN 4 Mags have a cutout on each side for the mag release. You can use previous GEN mags as long as you are using the mag release right handed. You have to use GEN 4 mags if you are using the mag release left handed.

The GEN 4 magazines will work on older models of Glock but older model magazines won’t work in the GEN 4 when it is setup for left handed Mag release.  Obviously, the older magazines won’t have the cutout required to work with a left handed mag release.


The GEN 4 trigger bar geometry has been improved to increase the life expectancy of the trigger spring as well as give the trigger a crisper feel. The trigger pull weight is still the same and the springs are all the same. The trigger housing is also slightly different to accommodate the grip frame changes in the GEN 4. The trigger housing is the same as the GEN 3 SF (Short Frame) models.


According to Glock the GEN 3 and GEN 4 Barrels are interchangeable. *The barrel in the GEN 4 still doesn’t support the base of the case, but this design is what allows the gun to feed reliably even when it’s dirty.  There are tradeoffs for ultimate reliability. Aftermarket barrels are relatively cheap if this bothers you.   (*Note- this isn’t an issue unless you are planning on reloading your brass. The base of the chamber is purposely large to facilitate more reliable feeding and extraction in a dirty gun or with a wide range of ammunition. The larger unsupported base causes the brass to bulge slightly near the base of the case. The issue to reloaders is that it shortens brass life.)

Shooting the GEN 4

The Glock G22 GEN 4 was pleasant and easy to shoot, and shot well.  I shot groups at 50 feet prone and standing (no sandbags or rests). The results were excellent using Remington 180g FMJ. Better groups could be achieved using sandbags or a rest. I also shot steel at 25 and 50 Yards. I experienced no malfunctions of any kind with the G22 GEN 4 while shooting it. It functioned perfectly and reliably.

This 5 shot 1.502in group was shot prone at 50 feet. No support or sandbags. If you exclude the flier it would have been 0.8 inch group.

The Glock has its place and I love the simplicity involved in this modern state-of-the-art firearms design.  The Tenifer finish is extremely tough (69 Rockwell Cone Hardness) and is impervious to salt and sweat. It is more stain/rust resistant than stainless steel. The Tenifer is actually impregnated into the steel with heat during the coating process. Even if you can wear the finish down to the steel your gun still maintains rust resistance. Wearing it down could be more difficult than it sounds as 69 on the Rockwell hardness scale is just below diamonds.  The slide is CNC machined steel. Most of the parts inside the gun are steel. The polymer frame is tough, durable, and lightweight.

The gun holds 16 rounds with one in the chamber (15+1). Empty, it weighs almost a pound less than an empty Kimber 1911. Loaded with 16 rounds of 180g full power ammunition, it still weighs 8oz less than a fully loaded 1911 with 9 rounds. The 3 safeties found in the gun are all released by firing it; when you want the gun to shoot, pull the trigger. The gun cannot go off by dropping it. It doesn’t get any safer or simpler than that. Glock has great customer support and an ongoing training program for armorers.  Replacement parts are surprisingly inexpensive and readily available.

Overall, I’m impressed with the upgrades offered in the Glock GEN 4.  The improvements while small, make a significant difference in the ergonomics and shooting abilities of the gun without detracting from the features we’ve come to expect from Glock.

The GEN 4's all have GEN 4 on the slide.

The model I tested came with stock Glock sights. They are nothing fancy but work surprisingly well.

Glock features a loaded chamber indicator (extractor) that you can both feel and see. It is much easier to see in real life. My photos don't do it justice.

This photo shows the GEN 4 recoil spring resting in the frame.

The GEN 4's come new with 3 magazines, the backstraps, a magloader tool, the MBS tool, longer trigger housing pin, cleaning brush, and a lock.

This photo was used with permission from Glock

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Comments (50)

New recoil spring sucks! Too Heavy! Jammomatic on range ammo. Failure to feed, failure to extract, failure to lock back on last round. Very prone to limp wrist malfunction! Runs ok with the hot stuff. No one makes a reduced power recoil spring,,,,yet. I can not recommend this gun!

Thanks for the comment. Have you contacted Glock with your problems? We’re still shooting the Gen 4 and still haven’t seen a malfunction. Please elaborate more on what ammo you’re using.

I am also not a fan of the recoil spring on Gen4. I put about 200rds through my new 22 after I bought it. When I field stripped the weapon and removed the new style recoil spring assembly from the slide the larger spring came completely off the guide rod assembly and wouldn’t go back on. Upon closer inspection, the diameter of the larger spring was just wide enough to allow it to slip over the plastic end cap that was supposed to be holding it captive to the guide rod. My dealer had the assembly replaced quickly from the Glock rep but I am now less than confident to trust my life to this weapon on a daily basis.

I bought this gun to shoot uspsa production. It was EXTREMELY easy for me too limp wrist and cause a malfunction. Federal, UMC, and Winchester whitebox all jammed easily. FTF, FTE, Failure of slide to lock back. Called Glock and they said to shoot hotter loads like Fiocchi. Screw that. It costs more. So I bought an XDM and couldn’t limp wrist a malfunction at all and I tried hard. I Was a koolaid drinking Glock fan before my Gen 4 experience. I stand by my Gen 3 Glock 19 all the way though, despite the Gen 4. I can’t believe Glock screwed this one up so bad!

I had the same problems with the Gen4 (G 17) recoil spring. It would malfunction using anything less than a rock solid grip and the outer spring popped off the guide rod assembly if I looked at it wrong during field stripping. Have a new recoil spring on order, but I’m glad I didn’t trade in my Gen 2 for this. A shame, since I liked everything else about it.

Just wanted to say thanks for all of your comments had a G22 ordered and changed my mind, thought I would order a Gen4 G22. After reading all the comments I’m going with the Gen3 gun shop might be a little sore at me but better him mad then me dead

Yes! It’s been very frustrating that my Gen4 22 is having the failure to feed and spring problems. I’ve already had Glock send me one spring, but I may send the whole thing back this time. Failure to feed is happening even with Hornady self defense rounds.

Follow up my friend at the gun shop said he had never heard of this being a problem. I got to telling him all the thing I’ve read about the Gen 4 he tolled me to take it out and use it and if I had a problem he would make it right. So I took it out and spent about 345 rounds and did not have any hickups what so ever useing win white box. For the ones that do have a problem I looked around and fond what might help you out. javascript:popupWindow(‘′) at for $30 and change. It looks like a real nice fix as the springs are set in a cup on the guid rod.

Hmmm, I don’t like hearing about guns jamming. The Gen 4 is new, so there will be bugs to work out; just not when lives may be on the line. I am looking foward to the Gen 4 23, but will have to wait to see how the reviews go before considering purchasing.

Just got new gen4 22 yesterday and pmc 180 gr fmj for range. When should I start crying? or will glock stand behind this weapon?

Have a hellofatime re-installing the recoil spring in the slide assy. Is this normal? Traded my 23 for this?!

Just got a new G-22 Gen4.
Have only put initial 300 rounds through it so far but it has functioned flawlessly to date.

Use Fed, 180gr, JHP, “Classic Hi-Shok” exclusively.

Above comments seem to indicate NOT a universal weapon problem since many have “not a hiccup”.
Rather seems to indicate individual variables may be the precipitating factor.
“But Sarge… it’s the ________!” (Fill in the blank.)
“Let me have your weapon, Deputy.”

“Hmm… Doesn’t seem to be the weapon, Deputy.”
“Carry on.” ;-)
Be safe!

I traded in a gen2 17 for a gen4 17. Great decision. At first I was worried about all the bad press but I haven’t had a malfunction yet with all sorts of different ammo. Must be a lemon eh?
But seriously. I went over the gun very thoroughly and to someone who owned gen2 and 3 guns before this gun would appear a little unfamiliar and it doesn’t have the same little nuances the old gens do. That doesn’t mean the gun is broken or the design sucks. For instance- the guide rod on the gun can appear to catch on the outer edge of the slide so as to appear to be floating during field stripping or not sitting directly on the little seat in the barrel lug- not a big deal as the guide rod doesn’t sit on the barrel lug during operation. just one of the numerous complaints i’ve seen about the gen4 on gun forums. shoot the gun, learn about how guns work, clean the gun properly, talk to people who know about guns instead of reading every opinionated hobbyist’s 2 cents. It really is a great gun.

Well, I’m very much surprised after firing 150 rds in my 22 gen 4. It’s so smooth and accurate. I installed a light/laser combo since it will primarily be a nightstand gun. I do however have a concern as to how the rear of the guiderod seems to not seat in the lug half moon all the way down. I noticed this when field stripping, and after racking the slide a few times. Any comments regarding this will be appreciated !.

I’m a little concerned… I’m a first time gun owner and just purchased a G4 Glock 22. Should I trust that this will be a reliable weapon? Or go back to the dealer and try to negotiate a G3 23 instead?

(I got the 22 for the length and the G4 for the smaller grip size — fits my hand more like the 23).

TommyGun, I wouldn’t worry about it. Glock will stand behind the gun if you have issues. I don’t believe you will, but they will stand behind it if you do. I believe the people that were having issues were the first few to get the gun. I was at a steel pistol match yesterday and saw someone put close to 300 rounds through their Gen 4 without an issue of any kind. Glock is moving forward with the Gen 4 and it won’t be long until every model is available. Glock is committed to this. One other note, Glock originally shipped the G17 Gen 4 with the same spring as the G22 Gen 4. They have since issued a lighter spring for the G17. If you are shooting light .40 loads that lighter spring for the G17 might work better. I now personally know a handful of people with Gen 4 G22’s and none of them have had any problems.

Thanks for the reply. I haven’t been on here in a while; but, since my last post, I’ve picked up my G22 Gen4 and put 50 rounds through it with no malfunctions. I’m looking forward to my next trip to the range and love shooting the G22.

Are they making a g34 gen4 yet? ??????

No Gen 4 G34 yet. They just came out with the G35 Gen 4 though. We are going to try to get our hands on one to review.

I just bought a new Glock Gen4 model 23 and put two hundred rounds of winchester white box 180grain .40 cal through it with no problems/malfuctions. I look forward to trading in all my gen3 glock pistols for the new gen4 ones.

will glock introduce a gen 4 g31 and g32?

Glock has told us that eventually all Glock models will be available in Gen 4.

I’ve been a LE for almost 21 years and use a G19 Gen2 as a duty weapon, Ranger 9mm +P ammo. One shot, center mass stops, have been fatalities in my dept.. Recently bought a G22 Gen 4 as on off duty combat weapon from a police only distributor. I did not hear of any problems before I purchased. Not a good thing to hear about. I’ll keep you posted on the first range trip and any issues. I use Speer Gold Dot 165 LE ammo as carry fodder. Best regards, Willy.

After reading the comments on the spring I’m going with the Gen 3 model 22. Thanks for all the great comments, I figure if it is not broke why fix it.

Just stumbled across your web page. Great overview of the Gen4 changes. Thanks!

I just purchased a gen4 glock 19, and after about 250 rnds have had no problems at all. Not that this a tone of ammo of course. Running 200 rnds of winchester white box and 40 rnds of Federal Hydra-Shok 124gr.

Also, my firearm came with the new 04 Spring.

Just got my Gen 4 Glock 26. I love it so far, but found that the slide won’t go back on without resetting the trigger. I’ve already added an extension to the mags, giving me 11 + 1 capacity.

I just purchased a G22 Gen4 and I absolutely love it. The new recoil spring seems to have helped tame the snappiness of the .40 S&W round. Like the new grips larger mag. release. Have shot it and so far no malfuctions whatsoever. I wouldn’t worry about any malfunctions. Glock makes there guns like tanks. And if they don’t work, they’ll make it right!


I have a gen3 G23 EXO. I changed out guide rod and recoil spring. I put in a stainless rod and 20lb. spring. Made a big improvement. A buddy got a G22 gen4 and came by the house with it. Went out back and put many rounds through it. Winch. white box, some reloads, and some hot loaded H.P.’s. No problems and recoil in G22 was about same as my G23 with heavy spring. I liked the G22 and it shot great. Its a Glock and it shot and functioned like a Glock.

I purchased a G22 Gen4 and have put +450 plus in less than a week and have not had any problems.

I bought a Model 22 and I have put 300 > rounds of PMC through it with only minor problems. Soon as I pull the slide off for a field strip, I noticed that the spring assembly falls out.

I just bought a glock 22 gen 4 last month and its my first gun ive owned and so im not to good on the upkeep of it yet but ive shot at least 500 rounds out of it and havent had any problems at all with any ammo.

My glock 22 gen4 has been perfect no jams no failures just goes bang everytime. I hate to say it because I was so against glock for so long. BUt with the new recoil spring it is really nice to shoot.

I still prefer my rugers feel but the gen4 glock is a great weapon.

I bought a gen3 Glock 22. I never had any trouble with it. I left it in a bucket of water and sand mixture overnight and picked it up the next day and never had one misfire. I use this gun for work everyday and I have put it through strait hell and it has never let me down. I’ve shot over 700 rounds without cleaning it trying to make it jam and I cant make it. This is the only gun I trust to protect my life and the lives of my clients.

I am just waiting the G20 10mm Gen4… I want to buy one of these but it is taking too long to be released… Any ideas? Can’t wait anymore… :o)


Go buy a Gen 3 Model 20 SF. The SF stand for “short frame” and has a smaller grip than the regular G20. It could be a long time before the Gen 4 G20 becomes available.

I don’t know what everyone is talking about. I have ran hundreds of rounds through the 22 gen 4. and not one problem. I have a very limp wrist, had major surgery after a terrible fall. So I don’t know what the hub bub is?

I just shoot the 22 gen four and had no problems at all the new recoil spring is great and it felt like I was shooting a 9mm. I will be purchasing one this week.

I enjoyed your review of the Gen 4 G22. I just ordered one for myself and I am looking forward to running rounds through it. Doing some research I have learned that the Glock 22 is used by 90% of law enforcement. That is saying something about the Glock dependability. I have a Glock 17 that I have had for several years and have ran thousands of shots through never having one problem. Thanks again for the review.

You probably already heard but I did find one thing about the Glock voluntary recoil spring assembly (RSA) exchange for all Glock Gen 4 pistols sold before July 22 2011 except for G26 & G27 models. its free and you need to contact Glock @ 1-877-745-8523 with your serial # and model # they will send you a new improved RSA free. this is important as some pistols were shiped with a RSA that did not include the outer spring retainer bushing and your at risk of the outer spring comming of the the end of your guide rod which will prohibit the slide from functioning,or go to … g-exchange for more info. just thought you would like to no Glock is a company that stands behind their products and that’s a good thing for us Glock owners

the glock 22 gen 4 is perfect i use 500 rounds but no any problem

I am looking to purchase my first handgun, and have always heard how glocks are very reliable. Ive been researching the gen4 glock 22 for a while now and have read alot of both good and bad things about this gun. Have they worked out all the issues they were having? and is it a good 1st handgun purchase? Any info would be greatly appreciated thanks!!

I switched from a sigma to a glock 22 and it blows the smith & wesson out of the water. Best choice i ever
made for me the glock 22 is by far one of the best pistols i’ve ever bought… I guess gunny really knows whats best.

I have followed the ‘controversey’ over the RSA spring, and at this point it appears that if you purchased a Glock 22 after October, 2011, you will have an excellent gun. However, knowing the date of manufacture might be a problem, since it’s not stamped anywhere on the gun. Those who have dealt with this say that the best way is to look at the date of the test fire of your new gun (two shells are included in the case) which is written on the outside of the shell envelope. Mine was in February, 2012. No guarantee that that corresponds to the actual manufacture date, but it is suggestive at the very least.

Just bought G22 yesterday and put around 200 rounds through it with no problems what so ever. This was my first Glock purchase and so far i would recomend to anyone.

I purchased a Gen 4 Model 22. My son and I fired 30-40 rounds of factory ammo and the gun shot very well. When I went to reload, I noticed that the frame had cracked in two places. I sent it in and Glock charged me for a new frame and shipping. If this is Glock’s idea of perfection, then their stock had dropped significantly in my book.

If you limp-wristed fags would tighten up you wouldn’t have any problems! This is one of the best and cheapest handguns on the market. To limp-wrist fire a weapon is a travesty!

Better still, buy a .22 cal so you don’t hurt yourself!

eversince glock created, i have been using them. all calibers, you name it, i’ve used it. never indeed having any problem with them. from 9mm, 357sig, 40s&w, 10mm to .45acp, from gen 1 to gen 4, never encountered malfunction from all these calibers. from years of service as L.E. (heading to my retirement soon), i can only recommend all products from glock.

I have put near 1000 rounds through my G22 Gen4 with no malfunctions at all. I love the “Limp Wrist” malfunction and think of it as a training feature. Because of it, it got my wife to make sure she has a firm solid grip before she squeezes the trigger. It took less than 50 rounds of practice for her to not have these issues anymore. I had tried for months prior to work with her on that. I strip and clean mine about every 250 rounds, or 3 range days. I have never had any unusual wear, and I inspect random brass for marks and bulges. None have been found. I would trust my life and my family to this weapon without a doubt.

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