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Review: Why the Glock 47 MOS is a logical evolutionary step

Glock has taken the G45 concept and extended it into the Glock 47, a full-size gun that is basically identical to the Glock 17


Photo/Andrew Butts

When Glock handguns hit the market in the 1980s, they set the U.S. law enforcement firearms market on its head. Prior to this, revolvers were the predominant police sidearm. Some departments did authorize semi-auto pistols with the choices often being a Model 1911 carried “cocked and locked” or a double/single firearm with a heavy initial trigger pull and then a single action trigger for follow-up shots. Glocks offered something different.

With no external mechanical safety, the Glock was quicker into action and with its consistent trigger pull from first shot to last, marksmanship fundamentals were easier to master. Additionally, the Glock made extensive use of modern polymer materials in the frame and magazine which was, at that point, essentially unheard of. Magazine capacity was an impressive 17 rounds, depending on the model, which was another trend-setting feature.

Initially, many in − and outside − the firearms community poo-pooed the gun. Some people went so far as to say the Glock could easily be smuggled through airport metal detectors and would become the choice of outlaws and hijackers everywhere. What actually happened is that the Glock became a mainstay with professional law enforcement, security and military forces as well as civilian hobbyists across the globe.

Evolutionary changes

Glock handguns have gone through a series of evolutionary changes over the years. Each change is denoted as a “generation.”

Gen 1 guns (the original U.S. imports) were followed a few years later by Gen 2 guns. The main change between Gens 1 and 2 was a more aggressive grip texture.

Gen 3 guns saw the introduction of a flashlight mounting slot into the frame dust cover, as well as the addition of finger grooves into the front strap.

Gen 4 guns included a new recoil spring system and a new magazine release that could be moved to the right or left side of the pistol. Gen 4 guns also introduced Glock’s pin-on backstrap system to better accommodate shooters with large hands. These inserts are easily attached by pushing out the trigger housing pin, fitting the desired backstrap onto the frame and then pinning the backstrap in place using the included longer trigger housing pin.

Gen 5 guns, the most current iteration, saw the addition of an ambidextrous slide release and the deletion of the finger grooves introduced in Gen 3. Gen 5 guns include further refinements like a slightly flared magazine well for easier reloads and what Glock calls the marksman barrel. Glock claims the marksman barrel offers improved accuracy with a wider variety of ammunition.

The Glock 47

Glock Gen 5 pistols are available in several sizes including the legacy Glock 17 full-sized duty pistol with 4.49” barrel and the Glock 19 mid-sized handgun with 4.00” barrel. Both of these have been mainstays in Glock’s lineup since day one.

Now Glock is combining the Glock 17 and Glock 19 into the Glock 45. The G45 is a crossover that uses the 4.00” barrel and slide from the Glock 19 and sets it on top of the longer Glock 17 frame. Glock has now taken the G45 concept and extended it into the Glock 47. The Glock 47 is a full-size gun that is identical to the Glock 17 in size but uses the recoil spring of the Glock 19.

The G47 slide is cut for Glock’s MOS (modular optics system) optics mounting plates. The MOS adapter plates mount between the slide and optic and are available for most common dot optics. Plates are available from Glock as OEM as well as from companies such as CHPWS, Radian Weapons and Forward Controls Design. Part of the appeal to the Glock 47 is the internal parts commonality with the Glock 19 and 45. Why make unique parts for various models when common parts can be used instead? Using as many common parts as possible simplifies the assembly process and streamlines logistics.

The Glock 47 is a recent addition to Glock’s commercial line but has actually been in production for several years. It was originally sold only to certain federal law enforcement agencies; most notably the United States Border Patrol (USBP). The Glock 47 replaces the Heckler and Koch P2000 and USP handguns previously used by USBP. Glock’s Gen 5 pistols are fully modern versions of the legacy design that started a new trend some three decades ago. With these new Gen 5 guns, Glock will likely continue to dominate for several decades to come.

The Glock G47 ships with an owner’s manual, cable lock, three magazines and a plastic magazine loading tool. The gun ships with large and medium beavertail backstrap inserts. Those interested in learning more about the Glock 47 and other Gen 5 pistols are encouraged to visit

GLOCK 47 MOS Specs

Manufacturer: GLOCK, Inc.

Chambering: 9 mm Luger

Action Type: recoil-operated, semi-automatic

Slide: black Melonite coated

Frame: black polymer

Barrel: 4.49”, six-groove, 1:10" LH twist

Magazine: 17-round detachable box

Sights: polymer, fixed, white outline rear, white dot front

Trigger: striker-fired, 5-lb.13-oz. pull

Overall Length: 7.95"

Height: 5.47"

Weight: 25.9 ozs.

Accessories: owner’s manual, 3 17-round magazines, cable lock, medium and large backstrap inserts

MSRP: $745

Andrew Butts has served as a soldier in the Army National Guard and also served as a correctional officer in Montana, and recently retired from a federal law enforcement agency. Butts currently holds an Expert classification in IDPA and an A classification in USPSA in both Limited and Single Stack Divisions.
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