the introduction of the Glock model 21 chambered for the
legendary .45 ACP cartridge, it has been a steady seller, with
those who shoot them developing an almost cult-like devotion to
the big pistol. The only complaint that I have ever heard
leveled against the model 21 is regarding the size of the
pistolís grip. It was designed to hold thirteen of the fat .45
ACP cartridges in a double column magazine, and the grip is
necessarily large. This is fine if you have large hands, but is
a bit awkward for shooters with small to medium hand sized hands.
I wear a size large glove, but find the model 21 grip to be a
bit too bulky for my hand. I can shoot it fine, but it just
doesnít have the comfortable feel of the model 17 size grip
an effort to accommodate those who do not possess large mitts,
Glock has introduced a .45 that uses a shorter case and still
delivers .45 ACP performance. When first introduced at the 2003
SHOT Show, the model 37 had a frame and slide that was
very close in size to the medium frame models 17 and 22. The
production model 37 received for testing has a frame that is
indeed the size of the 17/22, but the slide dimensions are
closer to those of the model 21. The thickness and height of the
slides of the models 21 and 37 are the same, but the model 37
slide is a bit shorter, and is beveled at the front for easier
holstering and improved smoothness compared to the model
grip frame dimensions are where the two guns differ, and the
smaller size of the model 37 does indeed offer improved
ergonomics for those who prefer the feel of the medium frame
Glocks. A comparison of the critical dimensions are as follows:
||Glock 21 .45 ACP
||Glock 37 .45 GAP
|Grip Front to Back
As seen in the chart, the numerical differences are small, but
they do make a significant difference in the feel of the weapon.
The model 37 grip frame has three finger grooves, and has a
small thumb rest on each side. The front of the
frame has an accessory rail for attachment of a small flashlight
or laser sight, if desired. While the weight of the two pistols
is almost the same at roughly twenty-nine ounces, the new model
37 does feel smaller. With the slide dimensions the same, the
model 37 fits a model 21 holster quite well. With the smaller
grip size, the commercial model 37 magazine holds ten rounds of
.45 GAP, with the magazines for law enforcement being of the
same ten round capacity.
case length of the .45 GAP is roughly three quarters of an inch.
The fired cases measured between .750 and .756 inches. The
shorter case allows the grip frame to be smaller and still hold
ten rounds. The .45 GAP is loaded to the same velocities
as the .45 ACP, with Speer and Winchester offering
loaded ammunition at this time.
had available for testing some Speer Lawman 200 grain TMJ
flatpoint ammunition, along with some Speer Gold Dot ammo in
both 185 and 200 grain hollow point configuration. I also
loaded a few rounds using my .45 ACP dies, and plan to do a
follow-up article on loading for the .45 GAP in the future. I
fired the ammunition for velocity and accuracy. The 200 grain
TMJ bullet crossed the screens of my PACT chronograph at
an average speed of 969.8 feet per second ten feet in front of
the muzzle. Interestingly, the Speer Lawman .45 GAP ammo
functioned perfectly from a model 21, but clocked in a bit
slower at 928 feet per second. It is not recommended to
fire the GAP in the longer ACP chamber, but I did it just to see
if it would work. The Gold Dot 185 and 200 grain ammunition
chronographed at 1044 and 1002 feet per second, respectfully.
accuracy of the .45 GAP was very good, with initial testing at
fifteen yards producing tight one-hole clusters. Moving the
target out to twenty-five yards opened the groups up to an
average of two and one-half inches for five shots. The Lawman
ammo shot to point of aim at fifteen yards, and was just an inch
high at twenty-five. The 200 grain Gold Dot shot to the same
point, with the 185 shooting just a bit lower. The model 37
functioned perfectly; feeding, firing, and ejecting every round
without a problem. The magazines dropped free with a push of the
felt recoil of the 200 grain load was relatively mild, due in
large part to the excellent ergonomics of the model 37. The
trigger pull measured a smooth six pounds, five ounces.
Glocks, there is usually no middle ground. Some people love
them, and others do not (Ed. Note: see Jeff's early article, I
Hate Glocks - Boge). The model 37 will most likely
be received the same way. It should be welcomed by law
enforcement agencies who desire a big-bore cartridge, but find
that the model 21 grip is too large to fit the hands of some
officers on their force. The .45 GAP offers a greater bullet
frontal area compared to the .40 S&W, and I find the felt
recoil to be less when loaded to the same velocities, offering
faster follow-up shots. Whether you are a Glock fan or not, one
thing is certain....they work, and they work well. I have found
that a new shooter can learn to shoot well with a Glock very
quickly. Glock is one of a very few handguns that I would trust
to work in extreme conditions.
those Glock fans who want to carry a .45 concealed, the model 37
offers a relatively lightweight pistol that still packs ten
rounds into a reliable and accurate weapon. The model 37 comes
shipped in a hard plastic case with two magazines, a magazine
loading tool, cleaning rod, brush, instruction manual and cable
shooters who find that the .45 ACP model 21 fits their hand
well, the model 37 offers no advantage. For those who want .45
power in a full-sized Glock with a nine-millimeter sized grip
frame, the model 37 chambered for the new .45 GAP is your baby.
Glock online at www.glock.com.
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