The Glock 20 handgun has established a reputation for itself as one of the most powerful semi-auto pistols on the market. The 10mm Auto caliber opens the doors to a variety of ammunition while offering a large magazine that can fit 15 rounds at a time. Such a combination makes it a reliable choice for target practice, home defense, hunting small animals, and more.
In my Glock 20 review, I will walk you through the features that define the Glock 20 experience, and why it’s a worthy contender to secure a spot in your arsenal. On another note, here's the article if you're looking for the best .22 caliber pistol.
Glock 20 Review
What a better way to kick off my review than give you some context on Glock 20’s significance in the handguns’ space. Ever since first introduced back in 1990, the Glock 20 (G20) lineup has remained relevant and adaptable. In 2010, Glock announced its Gen 4 updates, and the new additions brought a breath of fresh air to the familiar model.
Furthermore, the Glock 20 still holds a legendary status in the .22 Long Rifle (LR) space. Let’s rewind a little bit and tell you what’s so special about such ammunition; the .22LR cartridge is by far the most popular ammunition available to civilians, and for some good reasons.
Such wide adoption helps push the price down significantly, making it among the most affordable ammo you can get. Moreover, as a gun for novice shooters, first time users won’t feel overwhelmed when first shooting a .22LR round, as it produces minimal recoil.
Finally, you can get away with forgetting your trusty protective earmuffs, as the .22LR doesn’t produce much noise. Now that you’re all caught up on what the .22LR cartridges bring to the table, you can appreciate that the Glock 20 makes excellent use of such ammo alongside Glock 44.
First impressions always stick, and to me, this is especially true with handguns. During my testing, I could tell that the Glock 20 doesn't mess around when it comes to reliability. This means you won't have to deal with your gun jamming on you and make you miss some irreplaceable moments. People always expect their sidearms just to work, and the G20 won't disappoint.
Aside from the raw firepower, my next priority in a handgun is always a comfort. No matter how great the gun can be on paper, if it doesn’t feel good in my hands, all those specifications won’t matter. The Glock 20 leans towards the big side, unlike much smaller Glock 48 we reviewed, and people with small hands won’t feel confident enough holding the gun in one hand. Size-wise, there are better options for pocket pistols and concealed carry handguns.
I have big hands myself, so the bulky grip is no issue. However, I’m not a fan of the smooth textured-grip found in some G20 models. The gun can feel slippery at times. Nevertheless, most of the time, you’ll find yourself going for a two-handed grip, making the pistol feel more secure.
My initial thoughts about the Glock 20 are a nice segue to a more in-depth look into this 10mm caliber beast. Buckle up for a detailed dive in the Glock 20’s features, and why I believe it’s a worthy addition to your gun collection.
Unveiling & Initial Response
When the Glock 20 was first unveiled 30 years ago, it received positive reception for nailing the 10mm caliber formula in a full-sized pistol. Fast forward three decades later, the Glock 20 still garners the attention of its loyal fans who have stuck around since then, while implementing new updates with each iteration to appeal to newcomers.
The classic design updated with Glock’s Gen 4 changes ensures the G20 lineup keeps up with today’s standards. Small additions like a forward accessory rail, a more reliable recoil system, and an updated trigger all add up to deliver an enticing package for gun enthusiasts.
The Gen 4 model also comes with a reversible magazine release, allowing you to seamlessly switch it to the right or left side without the need for any special tools or extra parts.
For better or worse, the Glock 20 lineup has been synonymous with a thick grip. Gen 4 brought some noticeable changes to make the pistol accessible to more people. For instance, the handgun comes with multiple backstraps that help you adjust the grip’s thickness.
Furthermore, the dual recoil system is a welcome addition to grace the Glock 20. The new system, coupled with the .22LR cartridges helps reduce the gun’s recoil. This makes the shooting experience more manageable regardless of your skill level. The dual-recoil also adds to the pistol’s longevity.
In my initial thoughts, I ranted about how some models come with a slippery grip. It seems that Glock has listened to its customers’ feedback and introduced a rough textured frame with its Gen 4 models. The new grip feels more sturdy in the hand and solved all my previous complaints.
The new changes have seen an excellent response among Glock’s community, and since 2010, many law enforcement agencies all over the globe adopted the updated Glock 20. This is a testament to how you can transform a good, reliable gun into an excellent one with some meaningful tweaks and revisions. To compare the grip convenience, here's my Glock 40 review.
It’s also worth mentioning that Glock delivers exceptional post-purchase support rarely seen in the firearm space. All Glock 20 handguns come with the limited lifetime warranty to ensure you’re satisfied with your purchase for years to come.
No review is ever complete without a comprehensive overlook on the spec sheet. To start with, Glock 20’s full-sized frame is made of durable polymer to ensure the handgun can be your heavy-duty, trusty companion.
It also comes with a Parkerized Tenifer finish. The gun's frame is coated with a chemical phosphate conversion layer for added protection, ensuring the shiny Glock 20 handgun maintains its looks even after rigorous use in the field. Your pistol will look as good as new for years to come with the added corrosion-resistance and protection against wear and tear.
I already touched on how the Glock 20 handgun comes with a 10mm auto caliber. It's now time to explore further what this means and how it can change your shooting experience. The uninitiated caliber is a measure of the gun barrel's internal diameter. It's also used to determine the bullet's diameter.
Before we proceed, here’s a side terminology note for you. Only the front metal part of the projectile is called a bullet, while the whole housing with the powder chamber at the back is referred to as a cartridge. Just remember this piece of information, as it’ll come in handy as we move forward.
Back to our caliber talk! What if I told you that the two variables measured by the caliber don’t necessarily have to be equal? Caliber isn’t a mathematical unit, and it can be tricky to understand how the bullet’s diameter and that of the barrel might go in different directions at times.
To cut it short, you have to know that other factors contribute to firing a bullet. For example, the amount of powder and the cartridge's length as a whole are key players in determining the force by which the bullet is projected.
I know the ballistics part might have given you a headache, so rest assured that all the remaining specs are straightforward. The Glock 20 handgun comes with a barrel length of 4.60 inches and an overall length of 7.59 inches. Unless you’re a hardcore gun enthusiast, such measurements might not ring any bells.
The takeaway is that the Glock 20 is a big boy. Don’t expect to rock a stealthy look with this full-sized gun that happens to have a full-sized chambering. The extra bulk comes at the advantage of expanding the magazine’s capacity. The Glock 20 comes with a magazine capacity of a whopping 15+1 rounds. This alone justifies the big size for many people.
Finally, the gun feels substantial in the hand, as it weighs around 27.68 ounces when empty. The weight can go up to 39.86 ounces when the Glock 20 is fully loaded. The pistol is relatively light, without tripping into the TOO light territory and losing its accuracy. In other words, the Glock 20 is your handgun of choice if you’re looking for a lightweight yet precise sidearm.
Who is Glock 20 For?
After exploring the gun’s specs, the natural follow up question is whether the Glock 20 is the right fit for you. With its .22LR cartridges, it’s suitable for a number of firearm sports. For example, Olympic competitors in a 25-meter rapid fire pistol or biathlon can depend on the Glock 20 handgun in their training.
Furthermore, the Glock 20 is the perfect entry for people who want to get into target practice thanks to its reasonable price point. It also reserves its value down the line if you decide to sell it and upgrade to a more expensive model.
The gun’s semi-auto design is the real reason it excels in target practice, as the trigger pull is consistent with each round shot. You won’t have to interrupt your streak with long reload times as reloading the Glock 20 is lightning fast.
Hobbyists looking for the most versatile entry-level pistol will be happy with the Glock 20. The gun can be customizable with long barrels, springs, or even compensator vents to become more suitable for different applications. The icing on top is that you don’t need any gunsmithing tools to get started. All the parts are easily swappable without any special equipment.
When it comes to hunting, the gun’s light polymer frame is capable of absorbing a great deal of the recoil force. This boosts the gun’s accuracy significantly even at distances up to 40 yards. Hunters can make use of such pin-point precision and target their game from a long distance.
However, there is one catch! The .22LR cartridges can present some ballistic limitations against large animals. Nevertheless, you will have no problem incapacitating small games as long as you place your shots properly.
Farmers can also make good use of the Glock 20 to protect their livestock. Coyotes and other predators are always looking for the right opening to target your unexpecting herd. Glock 20’s reliability, fast reload times, and accuracy can be the only thing to come between a predator and your cattle.
You have to bear in mind that the .22LR rounds are relatively quiet and don’t produce the roaring noise you’d want from your gun to terrify predators and push them away. So, it all boils down to your personal skill in hitting the moving target and scoring a kill.
The powerful 10mm caliber rounds can be just what you need for pest control and livestock protection. This time around, you get extreme noise that can be heard from yards away, in addition to aggressive recoil. Such changes come at the expense of accuracy, so do the math and pick your cards wisely.
Ergonomics & Feel
By now, you can tell that the gun ergonomics are what make or break a sidearm, and the Glock 20 is far away from realizing a universal grip that suits anyone. The thick grip together with the far-stretched trigger, can feel awkward and not sturdy enough if you’ve got small hands.
Non-seasoned shooters with weak fingers can also struggle to master a thumb forward grip, and they might find difficulties pressing the trigger at times. The grip angle might also not work with all people. I’d recommend you test shooting the gun from a bench, and check whether the angle feels natural or not.
On the other hand, if you’re anything like me with big mitts, the gun just sinks effortlessly in your hands. I believe most people will find themselves more confident when holding the Glock 20 10mm in their two hands to compensate for any grip weakness.
The main takeaway is that the Glock 20 is a serious gun with a bulky feel in the hand. When coupled with a 10mm caliber cartridge, the recoil can be overwhelming. I won't recommend such a beast if you have arthritis, or have a weak grip, as there are other better options for you.
Nevertheless, the Gen 4 revision managed to deliver significant changes to make the gun more accessible. The rough-textured backstraps allow the user to change the thickness of the grip to their liking.
That's not all, as Gen 4 Glock 20 also comes with modular grip frames that can be swapped till you find the size that clicks with you. Glock offers three options; short, medium, and large frames. With a single pin, you can seamlessly change the whole grip frame and get the most comfortable experience with the 10mm Glock 20.
Finally, the Parkerized finish gives the gun a better, more sturdy grip, in addition to doubling as an effective protective coating that can withstand extreme conditions. Even if you drop your gun in saltwater, it’s less likely to rust. Such build quality makes the Glock 20 among the most durable sidearms on the market.
How Does Glock 20 Shoot?
The Glock 20 manages to strike the balance between raw power and sizable magazine capacity. We used to get one or the other before, and having both in the same gun makes the Glock 20 a force to be reckoned with.
You can experiment with different ammunition to tweak the Glock 20’s power and accuracy. The wide selection of supported ammo alone gives it the edge over its competition from other wide-barrelled handguns.
The shooting experience differs a lot according to your ammo of choice. However, it’s worth mentioning that the unique polymer alloy body is excellent at reducing the recoil, no matter which ammo you go for. Compared to steel or aluminum guns, the Glock 20 makes the recoil force more manageable and removes the unpredictability factor that we might see with the former models.
The semi-auto design helps create a straightforward shooting experience. The idea here is that the recoil force is used to dispose of the empty cartridge and load a new one in its place. This means that pulling the trigger is all that you need to do to fire your next round. You don't have to worry about pausing between each shot and the next to load a new cartridge to the shooting chamber manually.
For such a closed-bolt firing system to work, the first bullet has to be loaded manually. The only moving gun part from now on is the firing pin and its attached hammer. It’s worth noting that the Glock 20 is an example of a firearm using the Rimfire ignition method (see also centerfire).
The rimfire cartridge comes with a small amount of flammable powder, and upon the impact of the firing pin with the back of the cartridge, the powder explodes. The explosion produces enough force that is capable of propelling the bullet along the gun's barrel.
As the bullet travels along the 10mm caliber barrel, it gains momentum as it proceeds. Such firing mechanisms, together with the barrel’s length, go hand in hand to deliver a powerful shot.
Finally, you have to know that the Glock 20’s firing pin is slightly off-center. Such an unusual position ensures it hits the rim of the cartridge, and creates the ignition reaction every single time without missing. I deliberately emphasized this point because all guns will need maintenance at some point, and you might think that something is wrong with your firing pin if you don’t know its normal position.
Recoil, or Lack Thereof
Along the way, I mentioned the term recoil a dozen of times already. It’s now time to discuss such a concept in more detail and have a full understanding of where the Glock 20 stands on the recoil scale.
A firearm’s recoil is the backward movement of the weapon after a bullet is fired. With some basic physics knowledge, you can appreciate that any forward momentum force must be balanced by an equal, yet opposite reactionary force.
On applying this simple fact on the gun’s ballistics, you can tell that the recoil is the reactionary force that compensates for the bullet’s projection along the gun’s barrel. This means there is no way around eliminating recoil completely, as the only way to do so is not to fire the gun!
Gun manufacturers toy around with such concepts and start to calculate the forces on each side of the equation to predict how their gun reacts to firing various cartridges. The Glock 20 aims at absorbing some of the backward, reactionary force to alleviate the recoil you get. This is achieved by adopting a relatively soft polymer frame that can better disperse force.
Furthermore, the force by which the bullet itself is fired is the major determinant of the recoil you get. Some ammo like the .22LR trade-off the firing force with attaining less recoil and less noise. This can come in handy if you’re favoring accuracy over power. You can compensate for the lack of power by shooting at a closer range.
On the other hand, a 10mm caliber cartridge is an absolute powerhouse. Each round is fired at maximum force at the expense of wild recoil and loud noise. On using a soft gun grip, part of the recoil produced can be absorbed, and your gun won’t move backward that much.
Think ahead to see whether you’ll need more force or more precision, and accordingly, you can choose which ammo to go with. More power is especially useful for defensive uses, hunting large animals, and livestock protection. You can find yourself leaning towards more precision when hunting small animals at long distances or bird shooting.
Once you understand that your choices come with a trade-off, you can effectively work your way around compensating for your power or accuracy build and getting the best results in each situation.
By now, you're an expert in physics and gun ballistics. You can tell that accuracy and recoil go in opposite directions. Enough of the science talk! In this section, I will help you boost your Glock 20 handgun's accuracy to hit targets as far as 100 yards.
For starters, aiming contraptions like iron sights can make a huge difference. During my experience, I find the iron sights good for mid-range targets. However, if you’re going all in and aiming for far targets at 100 yards or more, I’d recommend you stick with the dot sights.
Such accessories can be mounted on the Glock 20’s upper rail. I always like handguns that encourage me to experiment and improvise on the field. I feel like once you understand your gear, and what different pieces are capable of, you can reach your own creative combinations that suit your particular style.
Furthermore, with enough practice, you will learn how to compensate for the gun’s recoil to maximize your accuracy. You will develop the sense of how much you need to move your hand to the side off target, in order to get the recoil work on your side and correct your stance.
When shooting at long distances, you will also have to account for external forces that can impact your bullet. Friction with the air and gravity can slow down your bullet a little bit and make it drop faster. By aiming higher than your intended target, you can find a way around such opposing forces.
As you can tell, it’s all a process of trial and error, and by time, you will get a better grip over what works and what doesn’t. Nevertheless, the Glock 20 gives you a solid, well-balanced foundation to get you started.
It’s worth noting that I also tested the optional 6 inches long barrel. Bear in mind that the stock Glock 20 comes with a 4.6 inches barrel out of the box. The idea behind the longer barrel is to increase the bullet's momentum before it passes through the muzzle. This can increase the bullet’s speed and help it travel over longer distances. Now, you understand why snipers and hunting rifles come with long barrels.
Nevertheless, I was let down by the accuracy I got out of the longer barrel. I tried to give myself more time to adapt and let myself sink in the new form of my Glock 20, but it never clicked for me. If an accuracy build is your goal, avoid the long barrel accessories.
Reliability When Hunting
Hunting is among the top reasons why people get firearms. I believe that throughout our journey together discussing different aspects of the Glock 20; you already have a solid idea about how it fairs during hunting.
The 10mm caliber is a natural fit for a hunting handgun. Even at its most vigorous recoil, I managed to quickly readjust my aim on the target. The firepower can also come in handy to defend yourself against angry bears. That said, the Glock 20 handgun makes a great companion in the wilds.
Furthermore, a red dot sight can help you regain your aim more effectively, especially while hunting at night-time. I’m not a big fan of using my sidearm to fire shots at long range; however, I still managed to find the red dot sight useful to my particular style of hunting.
To me, part of the thrill of a hunting trip is to find a way to approach my game stealthily. Tracking a hunt is as exciting to me as landing the shot. When I'm calculating my steps and holding my breath as I get closer to my target, I don't want to worry about my long rifle hitting any foliage, and alerting the animal to my presence.
My trusty Glock 20 is just the right size to feel like an extension of my hands and comes with enough firepower to incapacitate even a large game at a reasonable shooting distance.
My main takeaway is that you have to adjust your expectations. A pistol can never replace a hunting rifle. However, it opens up new experiences and outperforms rifles in numerous situations. A good hunter can alternate between their different gear, and find just the right firearm for every encounter.
Finally, the Glock 20 handgun comes with some drawbacks that you have to find a way around. The learning curve for effectively scoring your shots can be a bit steep, so be patient and practice until you master the feel of the gun. It would be a good idea for beginners to start with revolvers and then jump to pistols once they are more experienced.
Semi-automatic pistols also require a good chunk of your attention and care. You can’t just ignore your gun in a drawer and come back after years and expect your Glock to work flawlessly. Maintenance will be part of your experience with a pistol, so you have to accept it.
The pistol safety systems today won’t be the same without Glock’s innovative strides in this area. The Glock Safe Action system deserves all the credit for pushing the automatic trigger safety, and making people as confident to use it as the traditional manual safety.
Glock pistols come with three independent mechanical safeties that are sequentially activated once the trigger is pulled. They automatically re-engage upon releasing the trigger. Such a system has contributed to reducing gun accidents, as each round has three separate safety gates to get across before being fired.
First up is trigger safety. This mechanism ensures the trigger is never pulled accidentally in situations like dropping your pistol or getting lateral force acting on the trigger. A lever is in place to get in the way of the trigger's backward movement unless you deliberately disengage the safety lever and start shooting.
Next is the firing pin safety. There is a mechanical barrier that guards the way between the firing pin and the back of the cartridge. This comes in handy in situations like holding the trigger midway then deciding not to shoot your bullet. The firing pin safety quickly re-engages and prevents the cartridge from being primed.
Finally, drop safety is the third link in Glock’s brilliant system. Think of the trigger bar as the communication between the trigger and the firing pin. If this connection is cut, the bullet won’t be shot.
The good part is that your Glock pistol orchestrates all these moving parts in the background without you even thinking about it. The reliability and speed of Glock’s safety truly shines and ensures Glock users feel safe while handling their pistols.
I can confidently say that the Glock 20 Gen 4 is among the best 10mm pistols for hunting. It manages to deliver considerable power while retaining a manageable recoil profile thanks to its malleable polymer frame.
I also appreciate how every time people think that the G20 lineup has become stale, Glock delivers just the right updates to make its most powerful sidearm relevant once more. The Glock 20 Gen 4 adds an accessory rail, reversible magazine release button, and textured grip. It also comes with a dual recoil spring system that gives you more control and adds to your pistol's long-term longevity.
I don’t usually use my sidearm for long-range targets. However, when I do, the Glock 10mm models never disappoint. The non-overwhelming recoil, coupled with an iron or dot sights, delivers significant accuracy to score a hunt up to 100 yards away.
The icing on top is that the semi-auto design comes with a considerable magazine capacity, sitting at 15 rounds. This means you can hit more targets before you run out of ammo and pause to reload.
Finally, I’d recommend the 10mm Glock just for its reliability. Forget the days when your gun jams on you right in the middle of a hunting trip. Unless you have tiny hands, this pistol is a no-brainer for anyone looking for the most power in a still relatively compact package. Glock has also managed to offer competitive pricing, making your purchase decision even much easier.