With the surge in demand for semi-automatic rimfire pistols, Glock has finally decided to release the G44 in late 2019, which happens to be the Austrian manufacturer’s very first .22LR semi-automatic, recoil-operated pistol since its inception in the early 1960s.
Is the G44 worth it or is it just hype? In this comprehensive Glock 44 review, we’re going to give you our two cents on Glock’s new addition to the .22LR market after weighing up everything about the pistol, from its stats and ergonomics to its reliability and accuracy when you need to defend your home or go to the range for some target practice.
Glock 44 Review
The G19 is by far Glock’s most popular release, which doesn’t really come as a surprise considering the excellent balance between size and capacity that it offers compared to G40 we covered here. Despite being a very popular manufacturer with a grand catalog of releases, Glock was yet to put out a Glock 22LR until the latest part of 2019 when it released today’s subject, the Glock 44.
One question that might come to your mind: What’s all the fuss about semi-automatic rimfire pistols? The reason why semi-auto rimfire pistols, like Glock 20, are getting a lot of momentum as of late is due to their notably low recoil and inexpensive ammunition. So, why exactly did Glock wait such a long time to release its very first semi-auto rimfire pistol?
While we’re not quite certain why Glock has waited that long to release the G44, we can only speculate that it was because of the difficulty associated with creating a striker-fired rimfire pistol. This is actually solid reasoning since the vast majority of rimfire pistols that we know of have been designed with an internal hammer, even if they’re just replicas. If you are a Glock fan, my Glock 48 review is a must.
Before we move forward, we feel the need to point out the fact that there’s a barrage of aftermarket parts for Glock modifications. As a matter of fact, you can easily get a 22LR rimfire conversion kit like the Tactical Solutions TSG-22 for popular Glock models, which converts any generation of the Glock 17/22 and 19/13 models into a 22LR pistol.
Unveiling & Initial Response
Many were somewhat let down when it was unveiled that the “legendary” G44 was only a 22mm gun. Not to take anything away from the G44, which we think very highly of, but it’s just that the word “legendary” kind of alludes to something striking and grandiose like a Glock carbine. Nevertheless, we think that the idea of a plinking Glock is very smart.
For starters, rimfires are excellent pistols to resort to when trying to teach someone how to shoot. They’re just a complete joy to use. In addition, the Glock 44 is about the same size as a full-sized pistol. So, as you’re training or plinking, you’ll concurrently be getting used to how a standard pistol feels. You can even use the same holsters if you want!
With the introduction of the highly compact Glock 44, the Austrian manufacturer is going to take a serious hold of the market share, unless met with formidable competition from other manufacturers that are willing to make a similar move. That’s pretty much our take on the Glock 44. Now, enough with the rambling and let’s get into our review of the gun.
10 round standard magazine
12.63 oz (empty) - 16.40 oz (loaded)
Standard Glock notch style
Standard Glock white dot
Who is Glock 44 For?
The Glock G44 surely isn’t for everyone. In our opinion, this is a pistol that’s suitable for trainers. Like we’ve mentioned previously, this is a 22LR pistol that flaunts a very similar build to standard Glocks like the G19, and it has much lighter recoil. This combination is the holy grail trainers are looking for, as it’ll ease the learning curve for most first gun users.
We also feel that plinkers who are in search of a cost-effective pistol will absolutely love the G44 because it’ll help them save some pretty penny on ammunition. Not to mention that the gun itself isn’t quite expensive. When it hit the market, the Glock 44 MSRP was $430. Nowadays, the Glock 44’s price is considerably lower than its initial MSRP.
Fit & Feel
Weighing only 12.63 oz when empty and 16.40 oz when loaded, the Glock 44 is notably lightweight. Just to put things into perspective, Glock 19 weighs around 32 oz when fully loaded, so it’s twice the weight of the Glock 44. A question that might arise in your head: How could the Glock 44 be much lighter than the Glock 19 when it’s the same size?
The difference in weight between the two guns is a result of the G44 having a 5-section hybrid steel slide that helps intensify the blowback action of the 22LR in order to ensure proper cycling.
Aside from the slide, everything else is made of metal. As we’ve already mentioned, both the Glock 44 and Glock 19 have an almost identical build.
Even if you’re a self-proclaimed expert in firearms, you might not be able to tell the G44 and G19 apart at first glance. Having nearly the same construction as the G19, the G44 can fit into virtually all holsters designed for the G19. However, you might need to adjust your holster’s retention, as there are very minor differences between the two Glocks.
The Glock 44’s trigger isn’t very different from that on other Glocks. Some people might be pleased with that, others might not. If you’re not a fan of Glocks in the first place and hoping for the G44 to win you over, we hate to burst your bubble by telling you that G44 is just like all other Glocks. If you’re a fan of Glocks, however, you’ll love the Glock 44.
Unlike the majority of 22 firearms, the Glock 44 features a barrel that isn’t secured to the receiver. Rather, the G44’s barrel, like that of the G19, is installed in the slide. Sadly, the G44’s barrel isn’t threaded, so you can’t mount a silencer by default. However, there are threaded barrels that are designed mainly as an upgrade to the G44 sold by Glock.
But keep in mind that the threads aren’t 1/2x28, which is arguably the most popular rate of 22 silencers, they’re actually M9x75. This essentially means that you’ll need to utilize a Glock adapter in order to convert and extend the barrel if you wish to mount a silencer onto your G44. Hopefully, one day Glock will release a 1/2x28 option for their G44.
You may not know this, but we’ve noticed that most centerfire semi-automatic pistols are equipped with some sort of a locking mechanism that helps seal the action when firing the pistol. With these pistols, you’ll need to unlock the mechanism before attempting to extract or eject. Rimfires like the G44, on the other hand, don’t have this functionality.
Rimfire pistols rely on direct blowback that mainly consists of the slide mass and spring tension since the 22LR isn’t quite potent for an unlocking action. This is the reason why Glock 44, like all other 22s, is equipped with a fairly light slide that isn’t made from steel like its similar-sized 9mm counterpart. Glock got creative with the G44’s slide, though.
Most manufacturers resort to zinc, aluminum, and junk metal to build light slides for their 22s, but the problem with such materials is that they reduce the durability of pistols, and so Glock decided to utilize a polymer/steel hybrid slide for the G44, combining durability and lightness. The rest of the G44’s construction is solid metal, just like the G19.
To ensure the proper fit for your hand size, the Glock 44 has convenient backstraps. It’s also equipped with the same sights as the G19, with the rear sights being adjustable for your convenience. When it comes to breaking down the G44, it’s the same as breaking down other Glocks. Here’s a quick YouTube tutorial on how to break down a G19.
How Does it Shoot?
Before we discuss how the G44 shoots in terms of recoil and accuracy, you must know that the G44 takes a 10 round magazine rather than 15 rounds.
This decision was made to improve the pistol’s reliability, as it’s really hard to double-stack rimfire rounds. But the good news is that the pistol features a very convenient load-assist mechanism.
If you’re used to seriously pushing down a pistol’s front muzzle to compensate for recoil, you’ve got another thing coming! Let’s just say that the Glock 44 is virtually a recoil-free pistol, which is one of the two primary reasons why trainers and plinkers will love using this pistol, next to reducing the cost of ammunition. It’s a complete delight to use, really.
Wondering how the G44 is able to flaunt recoil-free shooting? We’ll tell you how. Like we stated earlier, there aren’t too many striker-fired rimfire pistols out there because they’re insanely difficult to make. Feel free to let us know of any striker-fired rimfire pistol aside from the Taurus TX-22, which is the only striker-fired rimfire pistol that we know of.
If you have a fully-cocked, striker-fired pistol like the SIG Sauer P365, for example, then it’s imperative for the pistol to come equipped with a recoil spring that’s capable enough to feed the next round and chamber it completely by pulling the slide forward. Not only that, but it also needs to pull the slide forward against the striker’s spring tension.
A slide spring that’s as strong as the one found on the SIG P365 wouldn’t be effective at all since the spring will be way too powerful for the diminutive 22 round to cycle. This is pretty much the same deal for partially-cocked, striker-fired pistols such as Glocks. This is why the G44’s recoil spring is made of lightweight material, as it enables cycling.
Some people might cavil at Glock not adopting innovative or exclusive designs for their newer releases like the G44, but the fact of the matter is that Glock’s pistol design is extremely effective. Why try to fix what isn’t broken, right? It might not flaunt eccentric aesthetics, but the Glock 44 is far from derivative. It’s quite impressive, so say the least.
Equipped with the G19’s trigger pull and workable sight radius, and being an incredibly low-recoil pistol, the G44 is remarkably easy to shoot. The Glock 44 is also very steady, despite weighing around approximately 1 lb, and it hangs on the target quite well. As far as punching paper, the G44 performed quite well. Not the best we’ve seen, but good.
Similar to all generation-5 Glocks, the Glock 44 is equipped with Glock’s new Marksman barrel, which happens to be pretty darn accurate. We placed a target at about 25 yards and this new rimfire pistol just punched through the center time and time again. None of the ammo we used was match-grade ammo, making the G44 even more impressive.
Glock 44 Reliability
We noticed a recurring theme when it came to gauging the Glock 44’s reliability. Lots of people have tried the G44 at the SHOT Show 2020, and it seems like virtually everyone was satisfied. However, some problems arose when we got our hands on a Glock 44 of our own and used it at our leisure. The problems had to do with the ammo we used.
We started out our testing with Remington bulk ammo, and we didn’t encounter any sort of problems with the first few magazines. In fact, the pistol shot splendidly. After a while, feeding the first round out of the magazine became quite the hassle. We used different ammo for the following number of magazines, and things got a little worrisome.
The pistol suffered from a failure to feed for a notable period of time, which was mainly due to the top round taking a dive into the front of the magazine. Two possibilities could be the cause of the problem here. Either the follower’s angle was incorrect or the spring was too weak. Note that the whole problem is with the top round of a fully-loaded mag.
It seems like the upper round sank down slightly into the magazine, therefore, it wasn’t properly held against the feed lips. The top round can be manually lifted into its position with ease, but that won’t be the end of it and you might end up needing to do this whole thing all over again. We didn’t encounter any problems with the rest of the mag, though.
The problem with the Glock 44 is its soft-cycling slide. It just doesn’t carry any weight to it, which doesn’t just affect cycling but also closing. When we tried the G44 again, and it ran better than the last time, surprisingly enough. However, it still suffers from common problems that most rimfires suffer from, like a stove-pipe failing to eject every so often.
It turns out that the reason why the Glock 44 performed better the second time around is that we needed to break-in its magazines. We’re not really sure what that’s all about, but a pretty reasonable explanation would be that the feed lips are causing some sort of drag, so when the slide pushes on the round’s base, the round sinks down slightly.
What exactly happens when you break-in the Glock 44’s magazines? We really have no idea, but it seems to have worked. Some problems that were present the first time we tried the G44 were non-existent when we gave it a second attempt. So it’s safe to say that you’ll have to shoot a hundred rounds or so before the Glock 44 performs ideally.
Glock 44 vs. Taurus TX22
Like we already mentioned, the only semi-auto rimfire pistol that we know of, aside from the G44, is the Taurus TX22, which automatically makes it the G44’s main competitor. In this part of the review, we’re going to briefly compare both firearms in order to determine which .22 is superior in terms of accuracy, reoil, ergonomics, and reliability.
The Taurus TX22 is a very impressive pistol. It’s ideal for almost every application. With the right ammunition, the pistol displays remarkable accuracy. One user claimed to have achieved consistent 0.8-inch groups at 50 feet after having installed a red dot onto their Taurus. Check out this Taurus TX22 accuracy review on YouTube for more insight.
Being a stock pistol, the Taurus TX22 features a fairly good trigger. As far as the grip, it fits perfectly into the average-size hands of an adult male. The TX22’s barrel can easily be removed if you know how to normally disassemble the pistol. The barrel isn’t fixed, but that doesn’t affect the pistol’s accuracy one bit. So, what about magazines?
The Taurus TX22 is a semi-auto pistol, so we’re going to judge its magazines as harshly as we judged the Glock 44’s, as they’re the factors that influence reliability the most. It’s equipped with plastic magazines, except for the spring, of course, marked as “1” and “2.” We didn’t encounter any sort of malfunctions with the magazines whatsoever.
The TX22 feels a lot like a Glock. In fact, it’s almost the same size as a Glock 19, which means that it’s almost the same size as a Glock 44 since the G44 is modeled after the G19. In terms of weight, the TX22 is around 2 ounces heavier than the G44, weighing 17.3 ounces. All things considered, the TX22 is certainly an excellent G44 alternative.
The primary advantage that the Taurus TX22 has over the Glock 44 is reliability. As we mentioned more than once before, the Glock 44’s magazines require a bit of a break-in period in order to function properly, whereas the TX22’s magazines are good to go right off the bat. Aside from that, both 22s aren’t far apart as far as accuracy and ergonomics.
The G44 is surely a welcome addition to Glock’s superb catalog of firearms. If you’re a trainer or plinker, you’ll certainly see a ton of value in using the G44. However, this is far from a perfect firearm. To wrap up our Glock 44 review, we’ve decided to rate every vital aspect of the pistol so that you get a very abbreviated version of our take on the gun.
The G44 flaunts Gen-5 Glock ergonomics. It’s definitely not for everyone, but we’re pretty fond of it.
It might not be as accurate as the Mark IV 22/45 Lite, but the Glock 44 is accurate enough for training purposes.
Recoil is almost non-existent with the Glock 44, thanks to the use of diminutive 22LR ammunition.
The Glock 44 has a lot of customization options, including a metric M9x75 threaded barrel.
For people who enjoy shooting Glocks like ourselves, shooting the Glock 44 will be a complete delight.
During the break-in period of the magazines, the G44 suffers from some magazine-related malfunctions.