Image Source: Recoilweb.com
Photos and parent drawings from a German source appear to confirm the existence of a new Glock model called the 46, which at first glance seems like any other Glock – but under the hood, a lot of changes have been made, including a rotating barrel and a mechanism for disassembly without pulling the trigger. Needless to say, we want to know more, and here are our top questions.
1. What Happened to the Glock 44 and 45?
Since the last Glock to be released was the single stack 9mm Glock 43, we were expecting to hear about a Glock 44 next, not a Glock 46. There hasn’t been a beat missed so far in the Glock model lineup, although some pistols just aren’t available to us, like the G18, and some pistols wouldn’t make sense to American buyers even if they were available, like the G25 and G28, compact and subcompact pistols in .380 ACP that operate by the blowback method and are the same size as the Glock 19 and 26. I expect that the Glock 44 and 45 are at least as production-ready as the Glock 46, and maybe we’ll hear about them in less than four months at SHOT Show. Are they the exact same pistols that were submitted to the MHS trial with minor variations? Are they a single stack 9mm and 10mm with larger dimensions than the 43 and the 36? Do they include a 40 S&W version of the 43 that literally no one will enjoy shooting? Are we about to see another 45 GAP pistol? What about a dedicated 22 LR Glock?
2. Will it Be Sold in the US?
The G46 is reportedly part of a German police handgun trial to replace the P7, which would presumably make the new pistol the P8. Initial indications are that it was only intended for that competition, but there’s no doubt that it would sell like crazy in the US. The simple fact that disassembly without pulling the trigger is a major factor that drives people to purchase handguns other than Glock could mean the company would have a better chance at clawing back US market share. The fact Glock rotating barrel patents have been filed in the US is a positive sign in this regard.
Most puzzling is the switch to a rotating barrel. Glocks have used a modified Browning action since the early days – with the exception of the blowback 380s no one cares about – and it’s as much a part of the way we expect Glocks to work and shoot as pushrods are to the Corvette. Glocks in 9mm are very reliable handguns due in no small part to the design of the action, and this rotating barrel thingy is entirely different. Will a rotating barrel Glock have to win everyone over anew, or will they start with a lot of goodwill carried over from the standard Glock? This isn’t to say that rotating barrel actions aren’t good or that they can’t be as reliable as a Glock – I have lots of trigger time with and respect for the good old Beretta Cougar – just that experience in one area doesn’t necessarily translate to knocking another area out of the park.
4. Why the Sudden Focus on Accuracy?
Between the Gen 5’s “Marksman” barrel and the switch to a rotating design for the 46, a lot has been said about the improved accuracy of the new pistols. I’m confused because I have always been left with the impression from Glock marketing that the “old” Glocks were, at the time of their introduction, just as accurate as the competition, if not more. Is this an acknowledgement of the past Glocks not being as accurate as claimed or is it simply that competing pistols have improved and so too must Glock?
5. No More Glock Bite?
My friends with beefier hands have always told me that Glock bite is real and I’m inclined to believe them. I don’t think this is a matter of them not holding the pistol properly, and when I shot the Gen 4 six years ago with the then-prototype beavertail backstrap I definitely noticed an improvement in my shooting. The addition of the beavertail is something that I think a lot of people will appreciate and can benefit from. I can only hope that more Glocks have permanent beavertails like the 46 appears to.
6. Do People Really Care About That Grip Cutout?
Apparently, people hate the little half moon cutout at the front of the grip and magwell area on the Gen 5. I didn’t even notice it as being different because my primary carry pistols are Gen 2s, which, like the original Glock 17, had the same cutout. Neither model’s cutout bothers me, but I hear other people are upset over it. The Glock 46 doesn’t appear to have it, which I guess will make some people happy. I don’t care one way or the other.
7. Where is the Carbine?
Rumors of a Glock carbine have been buzzing practically since the first time Donald Trump considered running for president – in the 1980s. There’s a significant aftermarket for add-on components that turn a Glock pistol into a pistol caliber carbine. I’ve shot them, and they’re honestly pretty cool, in a put-a-classic-Mustang-on-a-Bronco-4×4-chassis-just-because-you-can sort of way, but a factory Glock carbine (or all wheel drive Mustang) would be a better solution. Between people who love Glocks and would buy whatever they sell and the current resurgence in interest relating to pistol caliber carbines, this is another item that would sell like crazy in the United States. Because of this, we can only hope that the answer to question #1 above is “They’re carbines.”