I’ve carried the G20 Gen3 at work and as an EDC for years. I even killed my first mule deer with it about two decades ago. It’s been reliable, faithful, and in thousands and thousands of rounds fired and hours in the field, I only had one spring fail. In other words, it’s a Glock. Accurate enough, extremely reliable, and easy to maintain. When Glock gave me the opportunity to review a Glock 20 Gen5 MOS, I took them up on the offer because I’ve had so much time and experience with my old G20. You know what you’re getting with a Glock, but is it worth it for people who have previous generations of the G20 to upgrade to this latest and greatest Gen5? I have carried and shot it extensively over the past nine months, so let’s find out.
G20 Gen5 MOS Specs, Per Glock:
|205 mm I 8.07 inch
|191 mm I 7.52 inch
|35 mm I 1.38 inch
|28,5 mm I 1.12 inch
|140 mm I 5.51 inch
|Line of Sight (Polymer)
|176 mm I 6.93 inch
|Line of Sight (Steel)
|175 mm I 6.89 inch
|Line of Sight (GNS)
|174 mm I 6.85 inch
|72,5 mm I 2.85 inch
- Weight: 26.63oz empty without magazine, 38.8oz loaded
- Barrel length: 4.61″
- Trigger Pull: 26 Newtons (my example was lighter, around 21 N converted from lbf)
A note on price: MSR is technically $745, but the majority of retailers sell the Glock 20 Gen5 MOS for around $620-$630 as of writing this review.
First Impressions Out Of The Box
The first thing I noticed about the Glock 20 Gen5 MOS pistol was that it sits so much more securely in the hand. I wear XL gloves, and the Gen3 G20 was still quite the handful and lacked the appropriate grip texture for such a wide grip. The G20 Gen5 comes with three different-size interchangeable backstraps, but the medium backstraps fit the best for me, so that’s what I rolled with for the rest of the review. For weak hand shooting or left-handed individuals, the G20 Gen5 also has ambidextrous slide lock levers and a reversible mag release.
The magwell on the Glock 20 Gen5 MOS has a bit of a flare. While it is easier for loading, and for magazines to drop free, I did notice there was a bit more play and movement if I touched the baseplates when the magazines were inserted in the grip.
I disliked the Gen3 G20 trigger so much that I did a complete trigger job on it years ago. Luckily, I was able to test the Gen5 directly against a co-worker’s G20 Gen3 that had the original trigger. The Gen5 trigger is much better and far less “squishy” than the stock Gen3 trigger. I hope, however, that Glock releases their performance trigger for the G20/21 frame soon.
A Sight Towards Sights
Given that the Gen5 G20 still comes with plastic stock Glock sights, I was thankful to have the added MOS capability. Hat tip to TFBTV’s James Reeves who informed me that the Holosun SCS MOS mounts directly to the slide, no plate needed (though the Glock 20 Gen5 MOS does come with a Trijicon RMR footprint plate in the box). I gave the SCS a try on the G20, and it was super easy to mount and get zeroed.
I had my doubts about the durability matchup between the famously reliable Glock and the Holosun SCS, but over nearly a year, I have had zero reliability issues with the SCS and it remains securely attached to the slide of the G20 MOS.
At The Range
My initial range testing with the new Glock 20 Gen5 MOS was done with every variety of 10mm I had on hand, and with a mix of old and new magazines. I fed all different types of bullets through the gun, such as Lehigh Defense style copper solids, hollowpoints, hard cast lead, Syntech, and everything in-between. Unsurprisingly, I had zero failures to function with any ammunition or magazines. This includes the ammunition I most crucially rely on at work and while hunting, Federal Trophy Bonded Bear Claw P10T1. I did not notice any dramatically bulged cases either, an issue that has been addressed since my previous Gen3 model of G20.
I shot the G20 Gen5 side by side with my co-worker’s stock G20 Gen3 and my customized G20 Gen3 with a trigger job and upgraded sights. The captured dual recoil spring assembly of the Gen5 did make a noticeable impact in felt recoil. This aided in more rounds on target in a shorter time period due to faster reacquisition of the target.
I can say definitively that the Gen5 stock trigger is noticeably better than the Gen3 trigger. It is lighter at an average of 4lbs 12oz and has a vastly better reset, but it is still “Glock squishy” compared to a trigger with a tuned connector. Despite the stock trigger, the longest distance I could reliably clang steel was at 100 yards, but that’s about as far as you would expect to shoot a pistol any day.
Despite the stock trigger, I was instantly able to shoot the Glock 20 Gen5 MOS better than my Gen3. The major factor in this is the way the Gen5’s grip circumference is improved and reduced on the front, back, and sides. There is no bulge on the sides of the grip, unlike the Gen3. The second factor is the grip texture itself, which provides for a rock-solid purchase in a gloved or ungloved hand in my case.
The third factor is the major upgrade of having an optic on the pistol rather than iron sights. I am somewhat of a latecomer to the pistol optic game, as the G20 Gen5 MOS is the first pistol I have EDC’d with an optic on it. I have found, however, that a pistol optic is a major advantage when it comes to quickly acquiring your target and reacquiring your point of aim shot to shot, and is easier to use in low light than night sights as long as your optic is not occluded with fine dust, misty rain, or snow.
As far as accuracy goes, I was able to get most loads to average about 2-2.5 inches at 25y off a rest.
On The Hunt
Due to extremely poor weather conditions affecting most of my hunts, I did not get to harvest any medium or large game with the G20, but I did make a significant dent in the varmint population on my ranch with it, out to distances of roughly 100 yards. Not much left for the hawks after using a 10mm on vermin, but it got the job done time and time again.
The Glock functioned perfectly through pouring rain, a very hot, dusty and sweaty bowhunting season, and a frigid and frosty muzzleloader season. It survived multiple times that I fell in the mountains, and functioned perfectly even after I crawled through a ton of fallen pine needles and sagebrush litter that got into my Bianchi 84UM holster I had attached to my pack. I have had pine needles and various outdoor debris clog up custom 10mm 1911s that cost 4x more than the Glock 20 Gen5 MOS on hunts in the past, and that’s part of the reason they’re retired to the safe and the range. Not so with the Glock.
On The Ranch And In The Truck
I EDC a G20, and a lot of that time is spent doing ranch work. The Glock 20 Gen5 MOS regularly rode either OWB in the Bianchi 84UM or IWB in a Raven Concealment minimalist holster. Hundreds of hours of sweat did not phase the finish of the G20 Gen5’s slide one little bit, though the left-hand side of the ambidextrous slide lock lever is looking more silver-white than black now. Mud and rocks from wrangling bison calves in a working pen also did not phase the G20. The G20 Gen5 is one rock-solid reliable pistol.
Carrying comfort has been much improved with the Glock 20 Gen5 MOS. There is a bit of a melt treatment to the front of the slide taking away the sharp corners which makes all the difference in IWB carry comfort. I can handle the G20 IWB on long drives now, something that became quickly uncomfortable with the G20 Gen3.
The front cocking serrations are also an upgrade versus previous iterations of the G20, but I find myself using overhand pressure against the optic and the rear cocking serrations most of the time.
My Only Issue…
The sole issue I had during thousands of hours with the Glock 20 Gen5 MOS was with the magazine release. 5-10 times over the course of nearly a year, I noticed the magazine release was getting pushed in a little too easily by dynamic movement such as hiking, climbing, running, or low-crawling while being carried IWB. This did not result in a total departure of the magazine, just a not-fully seated magazine. It is a small enough quibble and possibly could be solved with an aftermarket magazine release or magazine release spring, but it was not an issue I recall encountering with the Gen3.
I am strongly considering two possible upgrades to the Glock 20 Gen5 MOS. One is the trigger. Despite being better than a Gen3 trigger, I am still bothered by the squishiness of a Glock trigger break. If Glock puts out their performance trigger with the integrated sear, for the G20/21 size guns, I will go with that. If not, a simple connector swap can improve the trigger quite a bit. The other improvement I may make is to replace the stock sights with high-quality metal night sights.
Is It Worth The Upgrade?
Objectively: The Glock 20 Gen5 MOS retains the reliability and durability of the G20 platform while offering tangible improvements in ergonomics, customization, and capability.
Subjectively: In the opinion of someone who has carried and hunted with the G20 Gen3 extensively for over a decade, absolutely yes the upgrade to the Glock 20 Gen5 MOS is worth it. For around $620, presently less than the cost of a case of (some) 10mm ammunition, you can have a better trigger, better grip texture and size, swappable backstraps, an optic cut, a better barrel, a better slide, and a better recoil spring assembly. I liked my review copy so much that I purchased it.
If you are an owner of an older generation of G20, or considering any 10mm pistol for EDC, hunting, bear defense, or otherwise, I highly recommend the Glock 20 Gen5 MOS, and I stake my safety and the safety of my livestock on this pistol with confidence.
- Better Trigger
- Slide improvements such as optics cut, carry melt, and front cocking serrations
- Ambidextrous controls
- Extremely reliable
- Much-improved grip
- Magazine release was a bit too easy in certain circumstances
- Magazines have a bit more play in the grip, a noise factor to consider when carrying as a backup firearm while bowhunting.
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