Single-stack 9mm and .40-caliber pistols are all the rage these days. I’ve reviewed them for this publication and I like them. They are thin, compact, low-recoiling in the 9mm, easy to carry, easy to shoot, and they offer a bit higher ammo capacity than the five-shot .38 revolver. Every major manufacturer is offering their own versions of the genre in at least 9mm. It is a “must have” pistol that the majority of cops and an increasing number of CCW holders want these days. And, due to the major FBI/Law Enforcement switch back to the 9mm, most of the single stacks in demand are in 9×19 caliber.

In the age of terrorism, it is somewhat surprising that low-capacity single stacks have become all the rage. I have seen this firsthand over the past several weeks while working part time in the busiest gun shop in central Ohio. In my first three weeks there, I haven’t sold a single high-capacity concealment pistol, but I have sold a bunch of the single stacks—including the new 9×19 Glock 43, which has become hugely popular as a backup gun for police officers. This lopsided demand caused me to take a look again at one of the original subcompact high capacity Glocks, the .40-caliber Model 2, to rediscover its capability as a defensive pistol.

There are three of the original subcompact Glocks available, and they were all the rage when they were introduced—known in the firearms press as “pocket rockets.” All are on the exact same frame size and all will fit the same holsters. The three models are the 9mm Glock 26, the .357 SIG Glock 33, and the subject of this piece, the .40-caliber Glock 27. At one time or another, I have owned all three of these excellent handguns, but never in the Gen4 configuration. A Gen4 G27 was a must-have for this review.

Why I Chose the Glock 27

I chose the G27 for several reasons. First, I’ve found the G27 to be the most accurate of the three original subcompacts—and so have other reviewers. No one is quite sure why it is, but it is. Second, I wanted to update my trail gun before my vacation trip to northwest Michigan this year, where black bears and cougars roam about. While the 9mm cartridge has been found to be just as effective as the .40 on human targets by the FBI in recent tests, a 115-grain 9mm will not punch through as much heavy muscle as will a 165- or 180-grain .40. Third, I decided I wanted to have ten rounds of ammo available rather than seven. Finally, I wanted to obtain a .40-caliber pistol to keep on hand and carry simply because I didn’t have one, so I purchased a Glock 27 outright, rather than obtaining a writer’s sample.

The Glock 27 comes with two 9-round magazines and weighs in empty at a very light 21.89 ounces. Width of the G27 is 1.18 inches compared to a width of 1.02 inches, so the G27 is noticeably thicker due to its double-stack magazine. Barrel length is 3.42 inches. All Glocks have a proprietary treatment applied to the slide and barrel that is literally rustproof. Even though Glock no longer uses Tenifer in its finishing process, I have only seen one part rust on any Glock new or old—aftermarket steel sights—and this makes Glock great for close-to-the-body carry in hot and humid environments.

Related: Two-Minute Safety Reminder for Glock Safe Action Pistols

None of the subcompact Glocks have a light rail on their polymer frames, the lack of which is fine. If you start adding rail lights, you start reducing concealment options, which is the reason for the existence of these guns.

I ordered the base model with standard fixed Glock sights. A plain white dot rides up front, and the rear has a squared white “U” outline. Three-dot night sights are available as a factory option.

Glock Gen4 Enhancements

The Gen4 enhancements are a nice addition to an already great handgun. The first is the addition of enhanced texturing that is applied to the sides of the grips, the finger groove frontstrap, and the backstrap. The second is an enlarged and reversible magazine release button. The final Gen4 update is the most important in my view: the Modular Back Strap System.

All polymer-framed handguns (starting with Glock) have been hampered in terms of tuning the grip to the shooter. Handguns with removable grip panels have always allowed the shooter to easily exchange factory grips for grips that better suited him or her. The only option polymer-framed handgun owners had were rubber sleeves that could be pulled over the grip that added a better gripping surface and sometimes finger grooves. The Modular Back Strap System is a much better solution.

Each Gen4 pistol comes with four easily replaced backstrap overlays (not inserts) that pop into place with the removal of the pin at the rear of the frame. The Glock system allows the user to add beavertail and enlarged backstraps to increase shooter comfort and control. I added a medium beavertail overlay to mine and really improved the feel. The frame of all Gen4 Glocks come set up for the “small” hand size. Adding backstraps increases the size of the frame at the rear, better accommodating folks with larger hands.

Conclusion on the Glock 27 Gen4

The Gen4 Glock 27 is a greatly enhanced pistol, but there are some additions that I will add to it and discuss in a future article. If you are searching for a concealed carry (or off-duty) pistol, don’t overlook the Glock 27. It still has much to offer. Learn more at http://www.us.glock.com.

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