Copyright 2010 Brasstard.com

Part combat sidearm, part mountain gun, the Glock Model 20 is a serious workhorse with vast potential. For many 10mm Auto aficionado’s, it is revered as being one of the best platforms for this hefty cartridge. After spending a considerable amount of time with one by my side, I have little choice but to agree. Lets take a closer look at what makes the G20 such a wonderful and diverse tool…

Copyright 2010 Brasstard.com

The large-frame G20 shares controls that will be familiar for any Glock owner. It is a no-nonsense system that is simple, reliable, and easy to operate. Squeezing the 5.5 pound double action trigger deactivates the multiple integrated safety mechanisms and retracts the internal striker. The trigger breaks clean, with minimal over-travel and a reasonably short reset. For a stock double action trigger, the G20 is very conducive of good accuracy. On the subject of accuracy, you would be hard pressed to find an autoloader that handles long-range shooting as well as the G20. With the right loads, you can shoot relatively flat out to about 150 yards. And from a rested position with some hold-over, I was able to hit a torso-sized steel target at 300 yards about 60% of the time. Not too bad for these aging eyes.

Copyright 2010 Brasstard.com

The front strap of the 3rd generation G20’s have finger grooves for added grip stability. Some folks say the grips on these big Glocks feel like you are holding a 2×4. You may or may not agree, as this is a matter that is purely subjective. But for my large hands, it feels like it was custom made for me.

Copyright 2010 Brasstard.com

The back strap also has a molded-in texture for added traction. It is designed to keep the web of your hand high in relation to the bore axis. This, along with the aggressive grip angle, helps keep the muzzle flip to a minimum by forcing the slide straight back, as opposed to up and away.

Copyright 2010 Brasstard.com

The stock sights were one of the first things I had to get rid of. I have never been a big fan of Glock’s proprietary polymer sights, and didn’t even get it home before I removed them. These low-profile Trijicon night sights make for a good balance between the many uses I have for this gun. Glock also offers quality factory night sights as an optional upgrade.

Copyright 2010 Brasstard.com

If you are planning on running full-power 10mm loadings through your G20, you should seriously consider using a 22-pound recoil spring instead of the stock 17-pound spring. It helps to keep the breech closed longer during cycling, which gives you more consistent velocities and resists the premature opening of the breech. The spring can be fitted over a nice aftermarket steel or tungsten guide rod for a smooth and silky action.

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The standard magazines have a 15-round capacity, and neutered 10-round mags are also available if you happen to live in a rights-restricted state. With 15+1 rounds of brawny 10mm in your hands, you have more firepower than virtually any other auto-loading handgun on the market.

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A wide and tapered magazine well makes for fast and easy reloads. This unit has been fitted with a Scherer Slug Plug to help keep dirt out of the opening in the bottom of the back strap.

Copyright 2010 Brasstard.com

One of the best things I like about the G20 is the ability to switch calibers with a simple, drop-in barrel swap. In this case, I went with a Lone Wolf 10mm-to-.40 S&W conversion barrel. This allows you to use your standard G20 magazines to fire the cheaper and more readily available .40 S&W cartridge. So far, this combo has been 100% reliable, even when used with the heavy 22# recoil spring. Amazingly, the point of impact is basically the same as the 10mm barrel out to about 50 yards.

Copyright 2010 Brasstard.com

The fit and finish of Lone Wolf barrels are very good considering the affordable price. The chambers are tight and well-supported, which helps protect your phalangeal assets when playing with homemade .40 S&W concoctions.

Copyright 2010 Brasstard.com

The conventional rifling makes the Lone Wolf barrels more compatible with cast lead bullets for your homegrown reloads. Though Glock recommends you avoid the use of cast lead bullets in the stock barrel, I have found that running 20-30 hardcast lead loads does not cause any substantial leading problems. Therefore, you can easily fill a mag or two with heavy, +200g hardcast loads for woods defense without worrying about it.

Conclusion:

If you are looking at entering the realm of the 10mm Auto, I would recommend you take a serious look at the Glock 20 or it’s little brother the G29. The G20 is also available in “SF” Short Frame format, which makes the grip more comfortable for shooters with smaller hands. Furthermore, the durability and reliability of these guns are hard to match. I have run about 800 rounds of 10mm and another 500 rounds of .40 through this gun so far, ranging from the hot-rod factory loads from DoubleTap Ammo and Buffalo Bore, to more mild loads from PMC and Winchester. It has also worked very well with a wide variety of hand loads; from powder-puff-light .40’s, to sledge-hammer-heavy 10’s. It appears that this is but a drop in the bucket of the lifespan you can expect from this gun. Internally, the components still look new, and it has never failed to process a single piece of ammunition.

I have used this gun primarily as a sidearm for my hunting and backpacking ventures through the remote northern Rockies. It has been pounded by freezing rain and small hailstones at over 10,000 feet, yet shows no signs of wear or oxidation on the finish. It has been a great alternative to a large-frame revolver that can weigh almost twice as much. Despite being such a portable package, it still packs a sizable punch, with 200g @ 1250 fps loads pushing nearly 700 ft/lbs of energy. These ballistics match the hottest .357 Magnum offerings, and even rival some moderate .41 Magnum loads. In other words, if you do your job, it is more than capable of taking down virtually anything in the lower 48. Considering the impressive ballistics, the G20 is a pleasure to shoot, even with full-power loads. If my wallet permits, I can easily fire 200 rounds in a single session without feeling wrecked. I can’t say the same for my snub-nosed .38 Special.

Despite being a relatively obscure cartridge, the 10mm Auto has survived since the 1980’s mainly due to a small but zealous fan base. I have never met anyone that has owned a 10mm who did not absolutely love the cartridge. Whether you are a 1911 lover looking at a Nighthawk Custom, or a revolver fan looking at a S&W M610, there is a 10mm platform for everyone. If you want to read more on 10mm ballistics, check out this post where I tested some full-power loads. I’m sure you will find the results to be both entertaining and impressive.

Happy Shooting!

The Brasstard

In Review: The Venerable Glock 20
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14 thoughts on “In Review: The Venerable Glock 20

  • October 4, 2013 at 19:22
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    glock20 is very powerful hand gun love it as American I have the Right Bea Armored I Support NRA American Fight For Your Gun Right I Thank You

    Reply
  • February 15, 2012 at 21:39
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    My wife just got her CCW permit and wants me to get her a weapon that she can carry in her purse. I thought of a 38 Colt or Smith but she is partial to semi autos since she has been shooting my G20. I try to tell her its way too much power for her to carry. You know how women are. I am looking for a pistol she can carry, she is an RN and does home health and goes to some areas of town I wish she wouldn’t go to. Any suggestions on a weapon that would be good for her to carry ?

    Reply from Admin;
    If she likes the Glock 20, she might like the smaller G29… though it’s not nearly as much fun to shoot. Otherwise, you guys may take a look at the G19/23 for compact and the G26/27 for subcompact. As always, it’s best to take her to the gun shop and let her choose what she wants. Best of luck.

    Reply
  • November 19, 2011 at 07:35
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    I have also heard that the G20 has almost a cult following. This handgun is a diamond in the rough. My 20 yr old son is begging me to give it to him, but my 19 yr old daughter also wants it. Anytime we go to the range as a family my G20 gets a workout because they love it as much as I do. I would recommend this weapon for anyone.

    Reply
  • November 19, 2011 at 07:24
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    I purchased a G20 over a year ago. I have owned several handguns from Sig and Kimber to S&W and Ruger revolvers. The G20 in my opinion is one of the best handguns i have ever owned. Massive firepower with little recoil. I keep my G20 in my nightstand for home protection. The only problem is ammo is so hard to find. I absolutely love this gun but can’t shoot often as I would like due to difficulty in finding ammo and difficulty on my wallet. Any suggestions on where I can get 10mm ammo at a decent price ? I live in Mobile, Alabama

    Reply from admin:
    Hi Scott,
    I would recommend you take up reloading for the 10mm. It is a perfect platform for hand loads, and a good way to spend time with your kids. Check out this post for more info (I used 10mm in the demo). Otherwise, you could use a .40 conversion barrel for more affordable practice.
    Best regards.

    Reply
  • July 15, 2011 at 19:25
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    be a man glock 20 is the only gun you will ever NEED !!!!!!

    Reply
  • March 5, 2011 at 10:34
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    Jeff,
    Yes, the G20 is a great defensive weapon against bears and cougars. However, the .40 S&W packs plenty of punch for cougars, as they are thin-skinned and generally weigh less than a grown man. Even smaller bears (under 300 lbs) can be stopped quite well with the .40 using proper ammo and good shot placement. Check out Double Tap’s .40 S&W 200g FMJ-FP for woods carry. Remember, deep penetration is the key to a good woods load.
    If you expect to encounter larger bears (over 300 lbs), then the 10mm is a big step up in power… launching heavier bullets at higher velocities.
    Good luck.

    Reply
  • March 4, 2011 at 20:37
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    Would you say the glock 20 is a good choice if you come across cougars and large bears? I carry a compact .40, but have been feeling a bit inadequate as I come across a greater frequency of lion and bear tack here in Colorado.

    Reply
  • January 31, 2011 at 09:44
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    John,
    Unfortunately, it is not reverse compatible. You can convert to an equal or lesser cartridge only.

    Reply
  • January 30, 2011 at 19:30
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    I have a Glock 20 with a lone wolf slide and 4 port barrell is a awsome package. I carry the glock 20 mexican style every day. Thank you glock for offering such a superior weapond..

    Reply
  • January 20, 2011 at 10:26
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    As a coorolary, can you use glock chambered for the 40 S&W and drop in a 10mm barrel?

    Reply
  • December 29, 2010 at 09:57
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    I owned a G19, until my wife decided it was hers after taking a concealed carry class. I bought the G20 to fill my Glock void and haven’t looked back since. I’m officially a 10mm fan and understand its potential. I recently purchased the lone wolf 5+” barrel in 10mm with the 2 external ports, specifically to shoot deer in the state of Ohio legally with Double Tap 200g bears tooth. Understand, I would never use this set up for self defense d\t over penetration, etc.. I would consider using using the lonewolf 10-40cal conversion for self/home defense, or target/range, but that isn’t why I purchased it. You must ask yourself 2 important questions when purchasing a firearm. #1 Is this a defensive or offensive weapon, which do I want?# 2 Does the firearm’s reputation match its value. Ultimately the glock 20 excels on all these aspects. I honestly feel people don’t understand the 10mm. Amatures cast judgment because it sounds to close like a step up from 9mm? May be if the round was followed by caliber or magnum and not millimeter it wouldn’t sound so “gangster” and make you feel as if it needed a lot of bullets to get the job done. I also think that only 25% of experienced shooters reload, this is why the 10mm is a turn off because the ammo isn’t cheap. I’m truly proud of Glock for backing this round..Glock 4 life.

    Reply
  • September 1, 2010 at 12:05
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    I have to chime in and say that while theres nothing I love more than shooting 10mm, my wife cant stand it and much prefers something in 9mm. So starting with a 17 would probably be a much better fit.

    Reply
  • August 18, 2010 at 10:57
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    Tyler,
    The G17 is a great and classic handgun. They are very reliable, durable and accurate. The G19/G26 is also a great option if you intend to get your CCW permit.

    I have to admit, I have never been much of a fan of the “C” models for defensive use. If you ever have to fire it from a lowered position, the flames will come straight up into your face. Also, having shot them at night, they add to the flash blindness because the muzzle flash is far more pronounced. The ports also make for yet another place for dirt to get in if you are packing it around. In my humble opinion, they are OK for competition or target use, but that is where it ends for me. The difference in recoil is not remarkable enough to justify it IMO.

    If you want your lady to like the gun you choose, take her with you and let her try a few. I know Doug’s Shootin Sports in WVC rents guns, so she can try several out. They will even credit your rental fee towards your purchase if you decide to buy.

    Good luck, and feel free to email me if you have any questions.

    Reply
  • August 18, 2010 at 10:35
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    I’m kind of a gun rookie and was looking into the Glock 17C as my first owned firearm. I was looking for something that my lady could fire as well if I am out of town and shit hits the fan.

    Would this be a little overkill for her? Would I be better of getting the 17C?

    Reply

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