Glock 44 Gun right side with mag

Glock 44: The Austrian Rimfire review

Summary

  • The Glock 44 is a superb entry into the already busy market of rimfire handguns. Built in the silhouette of Glock’s enormously popular 19, the 44 is the perfect training companion for those that use a Glock for duty carry, competitive shooting, or personal defense. The Glock 44 is also a great choice for backyard plinking and first time gun owners.
  • Glock triggers are a known commodity, and those that don’t like the stock Glock trigger are likely to be unimpressed with the 44. Ditto for the sights. A bountiful aftermarket exists for Glocks, and tinkerers will likely enjoy customizing the 44 platform.
  • For armorers and do-it-yourselfers, the 44 field strips like most other Glocks, with a few little twists that are very straightforward to master. Field stripping and cleaning operations are very, very simple.

Introduction

Late in 2019—long before the world knew anything about COVID 19 and what now feels like a lifetime ago—Glock released the 44. The Austrian tupperware company’s long-anticipated entry into the rimfire market had been speculated on for years, and the gun’s launch event was chock-full of fanfare and self-laudatory accolades. Glock’s reputation as the standard-bearer for reliability and simplicity would hinge on the 44 doing its job, and they haven’t disappointed. Like every other Glock, the 44 delivers a robust and proven package.

The Glock 44, shown with the optional factory threaded barrel.

At first glance the 44 shouldn’t seem all that remarkable, given that Glock has been making semi automatic pistols since the 17 made its American debut in 1986. The .22 long rifle cartridge is a different beast than the more ubiquitous centerfire cartridges that Glocks had thus been chambered in. Introduced in 1857 by a fledgling company named Smith & Wesson, the diminutive .22 rimfire cartridge (then shorter and filled with black powder) was designed with a large rim—all the better for the revolvers that it was made for. Over time the .22 rimfire grew in length and power, but the fundamental challenges of making the rimmed revolver round work in a semi automatic pistol have remained constant.

BONUS OFFER: Get your free shooting range targets to print at home!

Get your free targets to print at home!

Subscribe to our newsletter and get gun deals, educational content, hand's on reviews and news on law changes!

Challenges aside, there have been many classic and extraordinarily successful autoloading pistols made for the .22 LR round: the Colt Woodsman, the High Standard target pistols, the Smith & Wesson Model 41, and the Ruger Standard (and Mark series) are a few of the many that have satisfied plinkers and Olympic target shooters alike. Until the 44’s release, the Taurus TX22 (an excellent pistol in its own right) was the latest in a long line of similarly superb polymer framed .22 pistols.

With the market already brimming with excellent choices, Glock still recognized that the lack of a rimfire offering in their lineup was a gaping hole. .22 pistols have long been the “gateway drug” into recreational shooting, and .22 caliber pistols made in the form of their centerfire counterparts have long been used as training tools.

In this vein, it’s fitting to begin with this assessment: if you’re already familiar with the Glock 19, then you’ll be astonished at how similar the Glock 44 feels to the 19. This was a masterful decision on Glock’s part since many operators consider the Glock 19 to be the optimally sized handgun. The 44 feels like a 19 because it shares most of the 19’s architecture: the trigger bar and trigger housing assembly will be immediately familiar to Glock armorers, as will the firing pin assembly. The only real deviation from Glock’s standard form factor is the non-tilting barrel and the composite (part plastic, part metal) slide in the 44. And, of course, the magazines—which are shaped like the more familiar Glock 19 magazine, but which have a Ruger-style follower with thumb-grips that facilitates loading.

We reviewed the Glock 19x, which you can read here.

The Glock 44 In Hand

In hand, the first thing most people notice about the Glock 44 is its lightness. While an empty Glock 19 weighs in at almost 24 ounces, the empty 44 is a featherweight at less than 15 ounces. The reason for this is straightforward: unlike the Glock 19’s solid steel slide, the 44 uses a composite (plastic and metal) slide—necessitated by the diminutive recoil of the .22 LR round.

I’ve always appreciated pistol magazines with thumb catches on the follower, and the Glock 44 magazine doesn’t disappoint here. Loading it with 10 cartridges is a quick operation that doesn’t require any sort of speedloader. Rounds drop in easily, and my thumbs weren’t chafing after loading a half-dozen magazines. The magazines slide into the magwell smoothly and drop out without needing any coercion. Being limited to ten rounds in the factory magazine will irritate some, but I have not found this to be a practical limitation in my range use of the 44.

The light recoil spring and the front and rear serrations on the slide make cycling the action easy, which is a good thing: .22 LR ammunition can be notoriously finicky, and I (correctly) anticipated that I’d be doing a few involuntary rack-tap-bang drills.

The sights on the 44 are adjustable and classically Glock. The white U shaped rear sight and a round white dot front sight are debated in Glock circles with a religious fervor, with some operators loving them and others replacing the sights before the gun ever sees the light of day. I grew to love the Glock sights years ago, and I would probably only replace them for a set of suppressor height sights. The sights appear to use the standard Glock dovetails, which opens up a world of aftermarket sight options.

Details of the right facing ejection port with the slide locked back, showing the ambidextrous slide lock and the side of the extractor.

The rest of the controls—the trigger, the magazine release, the slide stop and the takedown lever—feel identical to every other Glock. I clocked my 44’s trigger at 6.0 pounds, which is just over the factory’s claimed weight of 5.85 pounds (26 Newtons).

Shooting the Glock 44

Since the Glock 44 follows the same form factor as the Glock 19, loading it and making it ready for live fire felt exactly the same on the two guns. The lighter recoil spring meant that manually cycling the action took less effort, but that’s the only noticeable difference.

The takeup on the Glock 44’s trigger is predictable and linear, and the break comes cleanly. Every firearm has some recoil and the 40 grain CCI standard velocity rounds let me know that they were there, but my recovery times were remarkably quick with the Glock 44. The reset on the trigger came with a perceptible and audible click, and with a bit of practice I was able to fire smooth and accurate 10 round strings with virtually no muzzle rise.

As a training pistol, this is where the Glock 44 is superb: it replaces the feel and controls of the Glock 19, but it lets the operator overcome the urge to jerk the trigger and pull the muzzle down in anticipation of violent recoil.

At 25 yards I managed a respectable 3” by 4” group, and if I leave out the three shots that I clearly jerked the trigger on my group tightens up to a uniform 3”.

A respectable target shot with the Glock 44 at 25 yards, using CCI Standard Velocity 40 grain ammunition.

The occasional “dud round” is epidemic to .22 LR ammunition, and the Glock 44 wasn’t immune. With just over 2,500 rounds through my Glock 44, I’ve probably had about twenty FTF’s, FTE’s, and rounds that didn’t fire despite the strong primer strikes. All of these presented opportunities to practice “rack-tap-bang” drills, and this is where I really appreciated the Glock 44’s polymer slide. Lacking the sharp machine-cut serrations of its heavier steel siblings, the polymer slide was easy to grasp and pulled back very smoothly.

Glocks have long been hailed for their simplicity, and the 44 is no exception. The field stripping sequence for the 44 is like every other Glock: remove the magazine, clear the chamber, depress the trigger, and pull the slide back ever-so-slightly while pulling down on the slide lock. The slide should move forward off of the frame, whence the recoil spring and barrel can be removed. For Glock armorers and YouTube devotees, detail stripping the 44 can be done in under 2 minutes and requires the same takedown tool used for every other Glock.

A field stripped Glock 44 showing the slide, barrel, recoil spring and receiver.

BONUS OFFER: Get your free shooting range targets to print at home!

Get your free targets to print at home!

Subscribe to our newsletter and get gun deals, educational content, hand's on reviews and news on law changes!

Keeping the Glock 44 clean is especially important because .22 LR ammunition is typically well lubricated, and this grease makes its way onto everything in its vicinity. Shooting three hundred rounds between cleanings leaves an impressive collection of grease and dirt deposits, but my 44 has gone for over 500 rounds without a cleaning, and this has not imparied its smooth operation or accuracy.

A detail stripped Glock 44. As is the case with every other Glock, the ubiquitous push pin tool on the right is the only tool needed to detail strip the 44.

The single most common upgrade to the Glock 44 is the factory threaded barrel upgrade kit, which retails for about $169. A drop-in replacement, it adds about three quarters of an inch of barrel length and lets the operator attach a suppressor. Suppressed .22 caliber pistols have long been a recreational shooter’s nirvana, and the Glock 44 doesn’t disappoint here. With a suppressor, the Glock 44 feels more like an air pistol. The threaded barrel also comes with a thread protector, and an adapter to go from the barrel’s curious M9x0.75 thread to the industry standard 1/2“-18 UNEF suppressor thread.

Joining the Glock Family

The Glock 44’s real appeal goes beyond the gun itself: it’s a part of the Glock family, which has ubiquity among law enforcement circles and a fiercely devoted following of enthusiasts and competitive shooters. Being a member of this family has its advantages: holsters and mag pouches, for instance, can be interchanged between the Glock 44 and the Glock 19. Since the 19 shares critical external dimensions with many other Glock handguns, it’s possible to use one holster for upwards of ten different Glock handguns.

Joining the Glock family also opens the door to the Glock Sports Shooting Foundation, whose shooting league has introduced legions of novice shooters to competitive marksmanship. Membership in the GSSF also allows the operator to attend Glock’s armorers class. The one day class teaches the operator to detail strip the Glock frame and slide, and to diagnose and troubleshoot most problems. Armorer’s classes are available from other firearms manufacturers, but they are often restricted to military and law enforcement clientele. Glock’s outreach to recreational shooters is impressive, and it makes the Glock 44 even more compelling for novice shooters.

Lastly: Glock has a rabid aftermarket. So extensive is the aftermarket that a Glock clone can now be made entirely from aftermarket parts. I’m generally not a fan of running non-factory parts in my guns, but for many tinkerers and enthusiasts, Glock’s vibrant aftermarket will make the 44 all the more appealing.

The Competition

As I mentioned in the introduction, the Glock 44 joins an already crowded field of competent and proven .22 pistols. The superb Taurus TX22 (perhaps the Glock 44’s closest competitor) was released earlier in 2019 and has received many well-deserved accolades for its crisp trigger and 16 round factory magazine. This is the most common point of criticism for the Glock 44: its factory magazines top out at 10 rounds. ProMag has since released an 18 round magazine for the Glock 44, but I have not tested it and cannot comment on its reliability.

The field of .22 caliber pistols is generally bifurcated into two categories: pistols like the Glock 44 that mimic their centerfire siblings, and dedicated target pistols that are more purpose-built for competition. In the former category, the Glock 44 competes with the Smith & Wesson M&P 22, the Beretta M9 22LR, the Walther P22, and various .22 caliber 1911’s that have been offered by companies like Sig Sauer and Browning. For most people, the choice between a Glock 44 and any of these other guns will come down to the rest of the guns in the operator’s arsenal. Someone that already owns and enjoys a Smith & Wesson M&P in 9mm would be more likely to choose the M&P 22, while someone that owns and enjoys a Glock 19 would logically choose the Glock 44 for a rimfire trainer.

The other category of .22 pistols are the purpose-built target pistol. These include the Beretta U22 Neos, the Browning Buck Mark, the Smith & Wesson Model 41, the Ruger Mark IV, and many others. These target pistols generally have longer barrels and are more suitable for precision target shooting. These are all superb pistols that have a place in the recreational marksman’s arsenal, but they won’t have the versatility of a gun like the Glock 44.

The Verdict

The Glock 44 is a solid performer in a crowded field of superb .22 caliber pistols. Consistent with Glock’s reputation for reliability and simplicity, the Glock 44 does its work with teutonic efficiency. More importantly: it slots nicely into the Glock family by mimicking the Glock 19’s proportions, making it an ideal trainer for operators that carry a Glock 19 on duty.

Glock’s excellent customer service and ubiquity in the firearms marketplace mean that parts and support for the 44 will be available for a long time to come.

The Glock’s affordable MSRP of $430 and (pandemic) street price of around $399 makes it an attractive option for anyone’s arsenal. Sworn law enforcement, EMS and active duty military can purchase Glock handguns at a discounted “blue label” price, which could make the Glock 44 an even more affordable and attractive option.

Total
0
Shares
10 comments
  1. Welcome Michael, and thank you for a good review and article. I’m not a Glock fan, and it’s doubtful I’ll ever be one. There are numerous reasons why, but they’re not relevant to anyone but me.
    I do appreciate that they’ve finally offered a clone of their flagship gun in .22, for those that are fans of the Glock.
    Once again, Thank You, and I look forward to your future reviews.

    1. Thanks Bemused. For many years I wasn’t a Glock fan either … but my tastes changed. And the 44 was a real surprise to me; I figured I’d have one or two trips to the range with it, and that would be that … but it’s turned out to be one of the most fun guns I own.

  2. Hey Mike, thanks for the thorough review. As a Glock guy, owning many models, I really haven’t had the desire to purchase a Model 44, although I have friends that love them. With today’s prices of ammo, it’s certainly a more affordable option to practice and have fun.

    1. Thanks Bill. Yes, with the price of ammo where it is right now, I think everyone is giving .22 LR a second glance.

  3. Ahhhhh Another Author named Mike. Excellent article . I am not a Glock owner and I really have nothing against Glocks Personally! Well Maybe I do depending on what Generation it is.

    Also heavily used Glocks can be worn out and one must pick and choose them carefully! SO I have been told by a friend that owns several Glocks.

    Just with finances being limited I can’t justify the cost of them. I mean if something works and is reliable, and accurate enough for my needs and desire. Nothing needs fixing and I need a REAL and Dire NEED to replace or add another firearm.

    I do have some thoughts of getting a Glock “Attenuated 10mm”but have not pursued them as I do have something else I am looking at acquiring and not have the need to invest in another caliber or Two of Ammo. The plus with the “Attenuated 10mm” will also fire .40 S&W.

    The REAL 10mm Magnum ORIGINALLY was/is ballistically equivalent to the .41 Remington Magnum and was “Downloaded” years ago mainly because of the FBI, since they had members that could not handle the Recoil and was cracking slides on the Original Colt 1911 Deltas .
    Colt has since fixed that issues

    As for this Glock, and other than being an ideal trainer for most any Glock out there…..I don’t see any reason to run out and buy one or to trade for one. due to limited finances as I do have a ,22 LR that I carry around the yard to deal with venomous snakes and is more accurate that I can possibly ever be with it..

    Thank you for the great and informative article! Keep them coming!!!

    1. Funny you should mention 10mm … my last Glock acquisition was a Model 40 in 10mm. Perhaps I should get that one in line for a review. It’s been a surprisingly pleasant gun to shoot despite the 10mm’s reputation for stout recoil.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts
Pelican handgun case
Read More

The 4 Best Handgun Cases

How are you transporting your handguns to the range or in your car? Owning a good quality handgun case is important for any responsible gunowner, especially if you don’t live in an open-carry state. We’ve put together this review of the best handgun cases on the market. Handgun cases can serve a couple of purposes, ... Read more
M&P Shield M2.0
Read More

[Review] Smith & Wesson M&P Shield M2.0

In this Article: The Shield StoryWhy A Shield In .45?Shield 1.0 Woes And The 2.0 FixPhotos & FeaturesShooting This ShieldRecoil and the ShieldThe Performance Center Angle: Ported BarrelPerformance Center UpgradesSpecsAnd, In The End… I owned a Shield once in 9mm. Matter of fact, I even reviewed an older (1.0) 9mm Shield. So, why another Shield ... Read more

Talk to me

Hi! I'm Mike, one of the oldest writer of Sniper Country! If you have any feedback or question about my articles, please submit it here, it's always appreciated!

[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

Claim your targets for free (worth $99)!

Join 212,000 avid gun enthusiasts and claim your print-at-home shooting drills. Receive exclusive gun deals once a week and all our great reviews right in your inbox.