If you have any of these two pistols and you want to convert to a different caliber, feel free to do so, but be informed that you will be paying for half the parts of a complete handgun (you can use the same frame but you’ll need a new barrel, a new slide, a new trigger system, new magazines, etc.) and there might be fitting involved.
We would recommend to just buy the other gun if you want a dual caliber systeminstead of spending more $$$ for a conversion kit as it just doesn’t make any financial sense. But if you still want to explore your options, feel free to call Glock’s customer support. You’ve been warned.
If your Glock has feeding issues with JHPs (i.e. after firing the handgun, it ejects the case, and the next round in the magazine fails to feed in the barrel’s rear end) but it properly cycles with FMJs, you can try Federal’s Expanding Full Metal Jacket (EFMJ), Hornady’s Critical Defense or Corbon’s Pow’rball.
These bullets were designed to feed as reliably as traditional FMJs and expand to quickly incapacitate bad guys like JHPs.
NOTES OF CAUTION
Glock barrels don’t play well with non-jacketed bullets (LFNs, LRNs), i.e. cast lead gas-checked bullets without copper jackets.
If you have any Glock handgun and JHP ammo in your area are too expensive that you have no other choice, buy only the jacketed ones (FMJs).
DON’T EVER buy cast lead bullets for your Glock.
EXTREME PRESSURE AMMO
Some 9mm ammo are labeled +P+. These are not to be mistaken with those labeled +P.
The +P designation denotes an increase in pressure, resulting in higher bullet speeds and better overall ballistic performance. SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute) pegs the pressure limit for the 9mm +P at 45,000 psi (310 MPa).
To date, they have not set any specifications for a +P+ 9mm load.
I personally have never shot any +P+ rounds before, but just looking at available data online, the 9mm +P+ can get to around .357 SIG or 9×23 Winchester levels of ballistic performance. Sounds like a great idea, right?
Not really. All Glock pistol barrels are rated for +P ammo but not for +P+. Thus we can not recommend any +P+ ammo for use with any Glock pistol.
Nothing much can be said about pricing. Both handguns are priced exactly the same, info taken from Glock’s website. The Gen4 variant for each costs $549, while the Gen3 is considerably cheaper at $475 base price.
If you want to know why the Gen3s are cheaper than the Gen4s, you can find them here. If not, then feel free to jump to the Conclusion.
For the recoil-sensitive, we recommend the Glock 19 for the following reasons:
It will have a milder felt recoil due to its 9mm chambering which will allow for faster follow-up shots and faster target acquisition. In self defense situations these could be the difference between life and death.
It will also be great as a range and target practice piece as the softer recoil will make shooting a pleasurable experience for hours on end.
However, we cannot dismiss the merits of the Glock 23 for the following reasons:
For those who have issues with ammo availability in their area, the Glock 23 will be the better choice. With its .40 S&W chambering, the user will not have to rely solely on JHPs and other special bullet designs because by default, the 40/100 inch-diameter bullet will make bigger holes.
If loaded with JHPs, the Glock 23 will make even bigger holes than the Glock 19 loaded with JHPs.
You can’t go wrong with either the Glock 19 or the Glock 23. Both are superb choices for an everyday carry (EDC) piece and both were made by the same company known for their guns’ reliability.
Therefore, it is with great pride and a bit of dismay that we have to declare this showdown a draw. Furthermore, if you’re looking to buy one of these, or already own a model, you might want to check out this article about the best Glock 19 holster.
This article by Mike Ramientas originally appeared at Gun News Daily in 2019.