My Glock 44, chambered in .22 Long Rifle, is an important training tool and vital to my weekly regimen. I purchased the pistol specifically as a training tool. While I’m not using it precisely as I thought I would be, it has been an interesting learning process and I’m still using it to benefit my technique and my ammo budget, as I’ll describe here.
The Glock 44 is something of an odd bird that seems to lack some features common to .22 pistols, but it has some interesting and important characteristics that I think make it a gem of a gun.
Why Consider the Glock 44?
There are many reasons why one might want to own a .22 pistol, but because of the specific characteristics of the G44, the more relevant reasons are narrowed and somewhat different. This is not a carry gun, so its purpose is best found as a training aid, as a plinking gun, and as an onboarding tool for new shooters.
You might consider the G44 because its dimensions are exactly those of the G19 and G23, which allows for some interesting opportunities for training and for fun without changing your grip and manipulation fundamentals. You might also consider this pistol as a means for new shooters to get used to “real” pistol fundamentals without the daunting factors of a 9mm pistol’s weight or sharp recoil. You might also consider the G44 because of its relatively low price and/or because it’s a Glock!
All these considerations are worthy, and all factored into my decision to purchase one of these pistols. After having put more than 1000 rounds through mine I’ll share my observations and some things I’ve discovered along the way.
How I Use My Glock 44
The most pressing reason I acquired my Glock 44 was so that I could use it in training to save money on ammo. I shoot my pistol Glock 19 several days every week and the price of 9mm training ammo is quite stiff as compared to .22 ammo. Since the G44 has the same dimensions and works exactly like a Glock 19 (my everyday carry pistol), I figured it would be a good placebo that would not corrupt or disconnect my deeply ingrained manipulation habits. As it turns out, it is an effective tool for some components of training, but not all.
For live-fire training, mine consists of two basic components. The first is indoor-range precision fundamentals. In that training I stand mostly statically in a range lane and work my stance, grip, sight alignment/picture, and trigger-finger fundamentals. The second is dynamic, practical, defensive scenarios at varying distances from 1 to 50 yards, all done with my EDC loadout and live-fire draws from concealment in the appendix-carry position.
I found that the G44 is perfectly suited to static, precision practice. In fact, it provides an experience something akin to dryfire practice, due to the almost nonexistent recoil. In that training with the G44 I get to practice my precision fundamentals without developing the habit of trying to manually mitigate or manage muzzle rise and recoil. This helps me to practice a more proper trigger press and related physical habits.
When I got the Glock 44 onto the practical range and began using it to run defensive drills from concealment, however, I discovered one of the shortcomings of the G44’s ultra-lightweight construction. Yes, the Glock 44 is very lightweight. It’s ridiculously lightweight. In fact, even when fully loaded, it doesn’t feel like a real gun at all. It feels like you’re holding a $3 toy. It’s so light, in fact, that it is a bit disconcerting, as this is a very real gun with lethal capability. In truth, I find this one feature of the G44 a bit off putting.
In any event, the lightweight construction of the pistol makes it behave differently on the draw from concealment in the appendix position. Specifically, in appendix position from a holster with a single belt clip. It is my experience that with a real carry gun, like the identically sized G19, the weight of the pistol keeps it static and in place as my hand slides into position for the draw, even though there is but one belt clip on my holster. The G44’s lack of weight, however, allows the motion and friction of my hand sliding into draw placement to affect the position and angle of the pistol just enough so that my grip is not the same grip I’m accustomed to; nor is it the same grip from draw to draw. It feels different almost every time I bring it out of the holster.
This difference and inherent inconsistency in hand placement and security on the pistol created a very unpleasant training experience for me. I found that instead of training tried and true muscle memory, I was continually adjusting and having to fight poor or unfamiliar hand placement nearly every time I ran a training rep. Obviously, this was an unacceptable state of affairs and I decided that I would not use my G44 for dynamic training from concealment. Instead I’d relegate this pistol to static precision practice at the indoor range where, as I’ve previously mentioned, it excels as a training tool.
Here’s video showing a few reps of a drill where I’m drawing from concealment:
Having said all of that, I have to believe that if carried at the 3 o’clock to 5 o’clock position in a holster with 2 belt clips the behavior I’ve described would not occur. I have not tried this, however, so it’s pure speculation, but it seems a sound likelihood that one could have a far better dynamic-training experience with that sort of setup.
I’m very happy to use my G44 for the bulk of my precision practice, especially since it allows me to save hundreds of dollars a month in ongoing-training ammo costs.
Much was made by Glock, Inc. just prior to the release of the model that the G44 was a highly reliable gun that would eat just about any ammo without complaint. Once it got into owners’ hands, however, a different story was told. The general experience, mine included, is that the Glock 44 runs great on hot, quality ammunition, but tends to malfunction from time to time with low-power or cheap ammo.
My experience is that with hot, grid-packed ammo it runs flawlessly. With hot bulk ammo it runs well, with a malfunction about once every 3 or 4 magazines. With lower quality and/or low-power bulk ammo, mine tends to malfunction at least once every magazine. So I stick to the better ammo and do just fine.
As I’ve mentioned, this is not a carry gun so I’m not terribly upset by the relative lack of reliability with some ammo. In fact, as a training tool, the occasional malfunction is a boon to forging good defensive-manipulation habits. That said, if you feed it hot, quality ammo I expect you’ll have very little in the way of malfunctions. As for me, I’m perfectly happy with how my G44 runs, especially with my specific mode of training use.
Features & Components
The Glock 44 is put together nearly identical to any other Glock pistol, with the same mechanisms and engineering, all except for the slide construction and the components specific to running a .22 caliber round. The result is a pistol that will be 100% familiar to Glock owners, that is field stripped and disassembled the same way as any other Glock pistol. The only difference for disassembly is the need for a small, flathead screwdriver (instead of just a Glock tool or punch) for pressing down the striker sleeve in order to remove the slide’s back plate.
The most conspicuous component difference is found with the slide. The G44’s slide is made mostly of polymer, with steel rails and rear interior assembly. The change to a polymer slide was made to reduce the weight, so that the blowback system could work to cycle the pistol with the relatively small .22 report. The magazines, though they retain the basic dimensions of the G19’s, is somewhat skeletonized to hold 10 rounds in a single stack. The magazines have pull-down tabs on either side to allow you to load by compressing the spring to open space for each round you load.
The mechanisms and construction are consistent with the Gen5 series and the barrel rifling is consistent with Glock’s Marksman barrel characteristics. All in all, it is an exceptionally light Gen 5 Glock pistol. Anyone familiar with Glock componentry will find the G44 entirely familiar. And at the low price, why not get one just for fun!?
Glock 44 Specs:
- Caliber: .22LR
- Length: 7.28”
- Slide Length: 6.85”
- Height: 5.04”
- Width: 1.26”
- Slide Width: 1”
- Barrel: 4.02” Marksman Barrel
- Weight: 14.64 oz. (w/empty magazine)
- Slide: Black polymer + steel
- Sights: Standard polymer U-notch
- Capacity: 10
- MSRP: $430 (often available ~$350 or less)
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