The Glock 34 is a magazine-fed, semi-auto pistol chambered for the 9mm Parabellum [9x19, 9mm NATO, etc.] cartridge. It is derivative of every Glock pistol before it, utilizing the familiar recoil-operated, Browning-style, tilting-barrel action. It also utilizes the patented Glock “Safe-Action” system.
Dimensions are as follows:
Weight, empty w/ magazine: 25.67 oz.
Weight, loaded: 35.54 oz.
Glock introduced this particular model as a “practical/tactical” pistol, gearing it for the law enforcement and competition market segments. Many have purchased the weapon however for home defense. With night sights and a rail-mounted light, this weapon is good to go.
While the G34 is not “perfect”, I would have to give props to Gaston Glock’s ingenious design. One could argue that the Glock is the most recent revolution in small arms design since the advent of Eugene Stoner’s first AR design in the mid-1950’s. As a matter of fact, many are copying their design. I guess immitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Salutations aside, how does this thing shoot? Well, if you are familiar with Glocks, then it should come to no surprise that the ergonomics are sound, the accuracy is above average and the trigger is acceptable. If you are not, I would have to say that the G34 is definitely an excellent addition to the semi-auto pistol market. Its ease of use, reliability, generous magazine capacity and relatively mild recoil makes it attractive to many different types of shooters.
The ergonomics of the pistol are well-executed; the grip angle and textured/grooved polymer grip is comfortable and adaptable to a wide range of hand types [the exception being those with very small hands]. The controls are above average. This pistol comes with the now standard [I think] “extended” slide release; a vast improvement over the usable, but substandard original slide release. Releasing the slide from full lock is now a one-handed affair for someone with smaller hands like mine. Also, the magazine release has been extended somewhat, making reaching the button easier without being obtrusive or prone to accidental release while holstered. Both features are useful for rapid magazine changes in tactical or competitive situations.
Trigger action is fairly smooth and progressive, breaking at around 4-5 lbs. Make no mistake, this is not the crisp, tuned action of a custom 1911 target pistol or even the heavier [but excellent] trigger of a well-made Smith + Wesson revolver. It is somewhat of an acquired taste, but more than suitable for self-defense or carry purposes(though a bit big), and certainly military/ law-enforcement purposes.
I have no problems with the Glock Safe Action system; frankly, not having an external safety is one less thing to worry about in a high-stress situation like a self-defense encounter, a high-risk warrant delivery or felony stop. I cannot overemphasize, however, that proper training is required when carrying ANY firearm concealed or otherwise. Lack thereof is completely irresponsible and borders on gross negligence. That being said, I think the Safe Action system is excellent, particularly if one is transitioning from revolver to semi-auto, for duty or defense.
Accuracy is more than acceptable for the weapon’s intended purpose. This is not a match-grade, slow-fire target pistol; it is a personal defense weapon designed for putting bullets into another [human] body rapidly and repetitively. I have no doubt that it can do just that with very little problem. We’re not talking about dime-sized groups at 50 meters. We’re talking about scoring vital area hits from close to moderate quarters [less than 50 meters]. Tight groups are inherently possible; this pistol shoots better than I do, as do most guns. It also helps that a fully loaded G34 can carry 17 rounds in the magazine. With one up the pipe, you’ve got 18 chances to make a hit. So even if you suck, you could make it work.
Recoil is relatively mild, compared to pistols of similar size. With a longer overall length [slide + barrel] than the duty-sized Glock 17, it’s a lot of pistol. Also, being a 9mm, felt recoil is substantially less than its more compact brethren of the same caliber. It is positively tame compared to any .45, so spending a long day at the range is more comfortable [and less expensive] than the larger defensive calibers. The full-sized shooting package of the G34 is one of its strong points. For competition [IPSC, IDPA, etc.], the G34 would be a great modest choice.
As good as the G34 is, it is by no means perfect. The most glaring shortfall is the factory sights. This goes for all Glocks: they are all terrible. They seem fragile and should be changed with something like the ghost ring night sights from Ameriglo.
Size is another factor. While it is one of the G34’s strong points, it is also detracts from the entire package. While a firearm of this size is fine for open carry in a duty holster or in a tactical thigh rig for a SWAT operator, an 8” long monolith of metal and polymer ain’t that concealable– and that’s part of what this sight is all about. So for practicality, the G34 fails. But that probably isn’t what you would buy this for. Go get a pocket pistol for that. PS-those with smaller hands will have a harder time shooting this pistol. If you are gonna attempt to CCW this pistol, go get a good holster from someone like CrossBreed Holsters. Don’t get a cheapy!
As expected, it is accurate, reliable, and has good shootability with moderate recoil. It has good mag capacity. You could spend much more on a gun, but for the money this one is a winner. If you want to shoot competition, this is a good solid pistol. It also works well under the seat and in the nigh stand. But beyond these uses don’t expect much, cause it ain’t a pocket pistol.