“Man, that thing is long!” Yeah, I get that a lot. At least I do when I carry a Glock 34.
Glock’s Model 34 has a very long barrel (5.31 inches, to be exact). They list it as one of their Competition pistols.
The Glock 34 that I’m reviewing belongs to a friend, and it is a Generation III (Gen 3) model. Currently, the only Gen 5 Glock to have a long barrel is their Model 34 in 9mm. It appears as though Glock is focusing on the 9mm for this configuration currently. That might be because individual shooters and agencies are migrating back to the 9mm, and away from some of the other calibers, such as the .40 S&W. Other models with the long barrel had previously been made, including calibers .45 ACP, 10mm Auto, and .40 caliber S&W in the models 41, 40, and 35.
Glock’s model 34 is chambered in 9x19mm (9mm Parabellum). It weighs 23.10 ounces without a magazine.
Standard magazine capacity is 17 rounds, although it can also be fed from mags that hold 19, 24, 31, 33, or 10 rounds. Since the grip is basically that of the Glock 17, anything that fits the Glock 17 will also function in the Glock 34.
The Glock 34’s most apparent feature, its long barrel, is 5.31 inches. The overall length of the pistol is 8.82 inches, and the slide length is 8.15 inches. The height of the pistol is 5.47 inches.
At 1.3 inches, the overall width is substantial. So, as we can see, this is a large pistol. The weight is not terrible, but for concealment, it would be a difficult pistol to secretly tote around.
Uses for the Glock 34
We’ve determined that the Glock 34 isn’t a great concealed carry gun, but it serves well in some use cases.
Glock’s website mentions that it’s popular for competition, and I seem to recall seeing some of Glock’s shooting team members using the 34 at one time or another over the years. Some other shooters seem to like it for competitive shooting such as IPSC, USPSA, IDPA, and other disciplines.
The long-sight radius is definitely a benefit. In addition, the longer, heavier barrel and slide dampen recoil for faster follow-up shots.
Aside from competition, law enforcement tactical teams also like to have accurate handguns. They’re not a nice-to-have item, but rather a must-have item. While money and pride are at stake in competition, lives are at stake during tactical operations.
The pistol is light enough that it doesn’t slow operators down, but it has enough weight to allow those fast follow-up shots when needed. The longer sight radius is appreciated, along with a slight velocity increase of bullets due to the longer barrel.
Some SWAT/HRT teams in the US use the Glock 34, and some foreign tactical units have utilized it.
Glock 34 Characteristics
It’s a Glock, so there shouldn’t be any earth-shattering surprises. The grip feels just like any Glock 17 (or the Glock 19X), so many people will be familiar with it.
Going beyond just the grip, the overall feeling of the pistol is one of serious heft, without being heavy. I know that might not make a ton of sense, but as I held it, the 34 had confidence-inspiring size and balance, while still being typically light, as we’ve come to expect from Glocks. Personally, I find the feel and impression of the Glock 34 to be very interesting. Overall, I like it.
The controls are all standard Glock, which means they are excellent. The magazine release is easy to reach, as is the slide stop. Basically, those are the only controls you have to consider, aside from the trigger.
The slide stop is nearly microscopic and difficult for me to manipulate. The good news is that I rarely use the slide stop to release the slide, instead preferring to rely on gross motor skills to grab the slide with my support side hand and release it that way. During an adrenaline-invoking event, finding that little slide stop would be quite a task to accomplish reliably.
But the barrel of the 34 is .82 inches longer than that of the Glock 17. On paper, it sounds as though that extra bit of length (less than one inch) wouldn’t really make all that much of a difference. However, when you get the pistol into your hand, it tells a different story.
Full-sized Glock pistols in 9mm don’t offer much recoil and muzzle flip to begin with. Adding a longer barrel, which equates to more weight at the end of the gun, only makes things more comfy when the trigger is pulled. And man, does it shoot smoothly! I’d dare say the word “magic” flitted through my mind initially. To feel the slide smoothly working and have the muzzle barely rise is just a really neat aspect of firing this pistol.
The trigger on the specimen that I reviewed was very good for a polymer pistol. The long, light take-up was present, as we’d all expect. And frankly, I’ve come to love that take-up. If nothing else, because if I ever am in a defensive situation, it takes deliberate action to pull through that take-up before hitting the wall. I like that it makes you think, as opposed to having a trigger with no take-up and a fast break. To me, it’s a safety aspect and I just like it. Plus, it’s consistent.
The reliability, as expected from Glocks, is boringly consistent. It’s just damn hard to stop these pistols from working. This has been their claim to fame during the entire tenure of their service wherever they are used, and it’s well deserved.
Regrettably, I didn’t have time to see what type of groups the Glock 34 would print. We did, however, have occasion to reach out to 50 yards and bang some steel plates. Smacking 10-inch steel plates at that range was oh-so-satisfying, not to mention very easy!
At some point, I want to get this pistol to the 100-yard range, because I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that it will be child’s play to hit silhouettes at that range. In fact, I’d not mind seeing just how far out this pistol will reliably connect with targets. I think it will be well beyond 100 yards. The combination of long sight radius and extra weight really did the trick here.
The finger grooves on the grip are okay, but they’re not my favorite things of all time. They serve their purpose well enough, but I confess to now being used to the grooveless grips of my Glock 43X and Glock 19X. Still, I did okay with the Gen 3 finger grips. I’d just rather not have them there.
The Glock 34 has a nice, long accessory rail for adding gadgets ‘n goodies. My friend, who owns the pistol, had a Streamlight M6 Tactical Laser Illuminator fixed to the rail. It features not only a laser, but a bright tactical light. When that unit is on the rail, it adds more weight to the pistol, making the muzzle rise even less.
The extremely long rail allows the mounting of pretty much anything that will fit on a pistol rail these days, given its considerable length. An M203 grenade launcher might even be in the realm of possibilities.
There are other handguns out there with more style and panache. Nicer finishes, more refined features, etc. In this day and age, Glocks have been compared to 2x4s, and I’ll somewhat agree with that. At one point, they were rather refined compared to some of the other designs on the market. But now, other makers are making pistols that look more sophisticated, with cool features.
Don’t buy the Glock for that. Buy it because it comes at a great price point and it still works at least as well (and often better) as any other pistol on the market. It gets the job done, even if it doesn’t look quite as cool as some of the others.
If I was on a Hostage Rescue Team and they issued me a Glock 34 as an HRT pistol, I’d be fine with it because I know it would get the job done every single time, without fail.
And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?