considering a Glock 21


September 25, 2006, 03:07 PM
I'm tempted to buy a glock 21 available locally but know very little about them. I'd be very interested in hearing from those who own(ed) them and what are the strengths and shortcommings of this model. Thanks!

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September 25, 2006, 03:28 PM
They are a nice firearm. I have owned two G21's at different times. Probably one the the softest shooting 45's you'll ever fire. The grips are BIG, no doubt so be aware of that. Not sure what you intend to use it for (home defense, sporting, concealed carry, all of these...) but it has a lot going for it. It's easy to get parts for Glocks too, in case you need a spare, or want to modify it.

However, might I recommend a Springfield XD45 ACP. I have the Service model, which is a 4" length. I love this pistol more than I ever did my G21's. Much better trigger pull, equally tough internally and externally. Several additional nice to have features, like a cocked indicator, loaded chamber indicator and a grip safety. Also, it has better quality magazines and better grip ergonomics. This is my opinion of course, but you should check one out. Lifetime warranty from Springfield as well. Good luck.

September 25, 2006, 03:50 PM
I bought one last year and I did not care for the recoil (okay, so I am a wimp!), using factory PMC ammo. The recoil seemed to be more than 1911's I have shot, and my Ruger DA. Other than that, I liked it, I sold the one I had, but you never know, I might try it again.

September 25, 2006, 03:59 PM
People perceive recoil differently. I have a friend who enjoys shooting 1911s and finds the recoil of the G21 offensive. I know “felt recoil” is subjective, but the Glock 21 is the softest shooting .45ACP that I have ever shot. I feel almost no recoil when shooting standard power 230grain ammo.

September 25, 2006, 05:07 PM
Thanks guys. I'll give a few more details of the deal.

It's a used gun and comes with three extra magazines and some ammo ~50 rounds. $400 is what it'll cost me.

Since I'm unfamiliar with Glocks I'm not sure what I'd use it for until I've put it through the paces. I own and reload for my 1911 (USGI Ithica) and I like the caliber. It seems like a pretty good deal that if I don't like it I could probably sell it and not be out any $$. Does it make sense? Anything I should look out for on a used glock? Thanks again.

September 25, 2006, 06:06 PM
Just an opinion:

Yes, you'll probably be able to sell and break even. I had a Glock 21 for about a year, maybe 1 1/2 yrs., then sold it. It's a great, wonderful, reliable weapon. But the Glock just wasn't for me.

They make very fine weapons, no doubt about that. Seems like you either love them or can live without them.


September 25, 2006, 09:14 PM
Thats a good deal I would do it. The 21 really is one of those guns that comes close to doing it all. If I was on my way to a gunfight I'd probably choose it honestly.

September 25, 2006, 09:42 PM
I had a 21 once. I've owned a few Glock models...once. They tend to be easy to own, simple manual of arms, no manual safeties to worry about and acceptably accurate.
Me, I prefer their 9mm line, but they have fans in most calibers.

Ohen Cepel
September 25, 2006, 09:47 PM
It's a good deal.

They have their issues. However, for that price you can shoot it and if you don't like it let it go. You won't lose.

September 25, 2006, 09:49 PM
If it is a Generation 3, meaning that it has the figergrooves cut into the grip and has a light rail, $400 is a steal on a Glock 21. They usually dont run much under $500 here in Indiana, closer to $600 if new or like new.

The grip is big. I am not a big guy but I have big hands, so the Glock 21 is great for me. The recoil is felt less than a 1911 for me because the wide grip makes me get such a positive grip so it is smooth as a babys ass. But be warned that if your hands are not big or if you hold it and it feels too large for you it probably is.

Another thing to be aware of is that you should most definately not shoot reloads out of a Glock or any polymer gun. If you get too hot of a load they can take your hand off, whereas a steel firearm can contain the blast much easier. Just warning you.

Another decent polymer firearm is the Springfield XD. They are wonderful. Personally, I prefer the Glock 21 (personal preference, just feels better to grip and is weighted better for me), but if the Glock seems too thick the XD comes new with a pricetag close to that market and is every bit as quality of a firearm.

Let us know if you get the Glock. I am a fugitive recovery agent (bounty hunter) and my former partner carries a Glock 21. Unfortunately he's even had to use it once or twice...


September 25, 2006, 10:18 PM
That price is in line with the best used prices I've seen at shows here in PA. The extra mags are a bonus.

September 26, 2006, 11:22 AM
Couple of things - were you planning to shoot reloads in the G21 too? If yes, I would avoid the G21 since it does not have a supported chamber. In addition, the Glock's rifling is more prone to lead fouling which can result in higher pressures which coupled w/no supported chamber makes a bad combination. Do a search on the G21 in the forums because this model has had specific issues that have been debated ad naseum in the forum. You may decide it may be best to buy a difffent Glock model like a G17 or G23 or just select another pistol if you want a .45 ACP.

R.H. Lee
September 26, 2006, 11:36 AM
I would avoid the G21 since it does not have a supported chamber eh? This is a myth that just won't die. How is it any more 'unsupported' than the 1911? :scrutiny:

The only problem with the G21, IMO, is that the grip is slightly too big to be really comfortable unless you have huge hamhock hands.

September 26, 2006, 11:56 AM
Depends on the brand and options of the particular 1911 - some have supported chambers, some don't. In the poster's case he's talking about a standard GI 1911 so you are correct neither gun would have a supported chamber. However, since the GI has standard rifling it would avoid the fouling issue that affects the Glock when shooting lead and be able to maintain lower barrel pressure. If you are shooting reloads, it's just a little extra insurance.....

September 26, 2006, 07:25 PM
Excellent choice they are great gun's. I am in the market also and can not wait to find one in my price range.

September 26, 2006, 08:04 PM
Am I the only one that realizes a Gen III Glock has a loaded chamber indicator? I've even had to use it, and it works.

The Glock does not have an "unsupported chamber," and I question the intelligence of anyone that believes it does. It is just really hard to have an IQ bigger than your shoe size and be that gullible. The Glock chamber might be looser and slightly less supportive than some other models, but it is still supported. "Unsupported chamber" is an oxymoron because it is impossible to be a chamber and not be supported. That is what chambers do...they support. Likewise, "fully supported" chamber is a fallacy as well. Most or all autos in the market will have a little less support at the 6 o' clock position to aid in feeding. It just so happens that the Glock has a little more than most. This isn't an issue unless you make it one. You can shoot all the factory +P ammo you want out of it without issues. You can reload for it as long as you keep an eye on your brass and don't try to go nuclear. Mike McNett has used a stock Glock 20 for load development in his 10mm Auto line for Double Tap Ammunition for a long time. The 10mm Auto operates at much greater pressure than any .45 ACP and Mike's pistol has probably seen more use than most. His hand is still intact, as is his psitol. I choose to get a KKM for my Glock 20 when I started handloading, but that was a personal call and done more cause I thought it would be nice than any perceived necessity.

September 26, 2006, 09:16 PM
I own a glock 21. I shoot reloads through it exclusively. To date, it's eaten about 5k rounds, all reloads. I've even shot some lead reloads through it, but I haven't found a brand that doesn't lead up badly yet. FWIW, none of my reloads have had any problems with the bulging that some others report (which is why you aren't supposed to shoot reloads through your glocks, it can cause bulges on brass and without proper dies, they won't resize properly). I can fit any of my reloads into my 1911's or my glocks.

It's a very soft shooting 45 to me, using the same loads in my 1911's, the 21 seems softer shooting. I bought mine for $400 used with one magazine. You could almost definitly resell the gun for what you have in it if you don't like it.

Accuracy wise, it's on par with my 1911's if I do my part. Reliability, well, it's a glock man. If I can post a link to another forum on here:
is a thread where a guy tries to break his Glock 21 with everything he can think of and the gun still runs. A lot of prics, and videos of most of the tests. Some of them make me shudder to think of doing that to a gun.

September 26, 2006, 09:27 PM
For those who think a Glock will blow apart on them I have a little story. Shooting in a match about six months ago with my Glock 21 I had malfunction, tap rack bang and then the slide locked back. I put in a new mag and tried to release the slide and it wouldn't budge. I got cleared off the range and went to the safe area. Thats where I found out the barrel had a bulge in it.
What had happened was my malfunction was a squib and the next round cleared it but bulged the barrel. I smacked the slide forward and pulled it apart. The barrel was the only thing that was messed up. I put a new storm lake barrel in and have been shooting it ever since. I was really impressed with how well my gun took this. I would expect any barrel to bulge under the same conditions but I think some other firearms my not handle a squib as well.

September 26, 2006, 10:21 PM
I'm on my 3rd and final Glock 21. Have previously owned and traded two before but am finally back with it and am here to stay. I just cannot shoot any other handgun better.

September 28, 2006, 06:27 PM
JustsayMo, here are some comparison photos to give you an idea of the difference between non-supported, partially supported, and fully supported chambers. If you are shooting reloads, I would increase the safety margin and upgrade the factory barrel on the G21 to get more support and standard rifling that won't foul with lead. [Flame suit activated] In fact, I would probably swap it out even if shooting new ammo since Portland PD blew a couple of G21's up shooting factory new Federal ammo and had to go back the the G17. Lawsuit pending - just Google it...

BTW - my comments really apply to ANY gun one intends to shoot lead reloads through that has non-standard rifling and/or an unsupported chamber. A lot of folks have not had any issues in their lifetime but I am more sensitive than most after having a Beretta 92f blow up shooting gun show reloads. I was lucky because it is made of metal and stayed in one piece. The detonation shot brass pieces everywhere, bent the frame, and blew the mag out. It just takes one time to make one think more critically about a gun's strengths for a particular use and lot less about just being brand loyal. Take care!

Video Clip:

Information overload:

September 28, 2006, 06:55 PM
Glock's rifling is more prone to lead fouling

Uh... Glock barrels don't have rifling. They are polygonal barrels and it specifically says in the owners manual to never fire lead bullets through a polygonal barrel. If you fire FMJ, you will be fine. If you want to shoot lead, change out the barrel for an aftermarket from KKM or similar that is rifled.

I used to own a G21 and it is one of the few guns I have sold that I truly regret. I may get another one someday. The only thing holding me back is that I want it as a bedside gun and while the grip size is fine for me, my wife would have problems and we work opposite shifts so she is just as likely to need to grab it as I am. That is why there is a 9mm there now. She is more comfortable with the 9mm and the frame size fits her hand better.

The kb stuff is a myth. More Glocks kb because there are more Glocks out there. Percentage wise, it is no higher than any other manufacturer and if you follow their directions to avoid lead and reloads, the problem is virtually non-existant.

September 28, 2006, 07:35 PM
First, I had a G21 years ago and loved it except for the fat grips. That is the only reason I traded it away. I have fairly large hands but it was just a bit too wide. I now have a SIG P245 and SA 1911 in .45 ACP. And switched to a G23 for a Glock pistol.

Now then, the .45 ACP has NO ISSUES with unsupported, or "less supported" chambers. That is why SAAMI keeps the max pressure so low on the .45 ACP. It was originally intended for the 1911 which probably sets the standard for "unsupported chambers." That is why the .45 Super came along. Alll it does is thicken the case web to handle higher pressures in a standard 1911 barrel/chamber.

The extent of chamber support, and it does vary by manufacturer and model, is only a factor for higher pressure cartridges such as the 10mm, .40 S&W, .357 SIG, etc. There is a lot of talk about this, but I reload lots of .40 shot out of SIG P229 and G23. The sizing die puts everything in place and I keep an eye out for case failure signs (none so far), like I do for all my cartridges. But you weren't asking about the .40, it was the .45 ACP.

The only issue with the G21 and reloading would be lead bullets. Big deal. Buy an aftermarket barrel with standard cut or broached rifling. Or just reload jacketed bullets. That is what I did when I reloaded for my G21 and aftermarket barrels were not commonly available.

$400 is a can't lose deal on a G21. If you think you can be comfortable with a fat grip then go for it. Just plan to reload jacketed bullets or get a third party barrel if you want to shoot a load of lead.

But, unsupported barrels have no bearing whatsoever in reagards to any .45 ACP pistol. Period. :rolleyes:

September 28, 2006, 08:01 PM
I'm tempted to buy a glock 21 available locally but know very little about them. I'd be very interested in hearing from those who own(ed) them and what are the strengths and shortcommings of this model. Thanks!

The main issues with the Glock 21, in my opinion, are the ergonomics. It's a big pistol with a notably large grip. For some shooters this can mean the controls are poorly located for easy manipulation, etc. For others it's a solid winner.

If you find it fits your hand well, in terms of the grip and the grip angle, it will likely be a winner for you. I owned a G-21 for a while and sold it because I did not care for the ergonomic issues (despite having very large hands), but it was a solid performer, with only a single hiccup in the time I owned it, and that one definitely the fault of the ammo, not the pistol (very good primer strike, but no boom). Very reliable weapon with a nice magazine capacity (and mags and other accessories are inexpensive compared to a lot of weapons). I personally find them to recoil harder than other (metal) 45s I shoot, but that's not especially the Glock, it's just the nature of low-mass plastic guns. And it's certainly not bad enough to be a show stopper.

September 28, 2006, 09:10 PM
I hate to beat a dead horse but:

...a Glock has no rifling? Gaston disagrees:

...supported chambers don't matter for reload shooters?:

I insist on shooting lead in my Glock....
also check the latest Blue Press on this issue.....
and also check out this book on the issue: The Glock in Competition A shooter’s How To Guide 2nd edition Chapter 1-4 The Exploding Glock, Fact Or Fiction by Mark Passamaneck, P.E TY40422

More Reference:
Video Clip:

When you take a look at .45 IPSC race guns in 1911/2011 form, you will notice they replaced the traditional 1911 design and they use supported chambers:

No manufacturer would go through the trouble to change the design and potentially make the gun less reliable w/o good reason.

With that said, shooting factory jacketed ammo in a G21 is reasonably safe but I couldn't just dismiss the documentation on this particular model when there are other choices. If you want to shoot lead reloads, you'd need to change the barrel anyway so why not just get the gun that comes w/a supported chamber already like the HK or XD? A Bar Sto is another $200!

....and now back to the thread. Should this guy buy a G21 for $400?

September 28, 2006, 10:16 PM
Sounds like a good deal to me. I love mine. Grips kinda big but I carry it every day.

September 29, 2006, 10:43 AM
I say that you are a smart man and should get it because the glock 21 is a great gun. I am a huge glock fan, alway's have been, alway's will be and i think the glock in my opinion is a better choice then the xd. It has proven itself time and time again.

October 1, 2006, 01:59 AM
Glock's been around longer than the XD. But it ain't a better gun. One is a as good as another, really.

October 1, 2006, 04:27 AM
Sorry, Powder_Burn, but your reference to "not reloading for Glocks" was in the context of the .40 which is a much higher pressure cartridge than the old .45.

Many tens of thousands of 1911s with "unsupported" chambers have been shooting factory and reload rounds by the millions. I am not aware of a diasterous syndrome of exploding 1911s.

The Glock 21 chamber is no less supported than any GI or milspec 1911. It is as safe to use for relaoding as any standard 1911. Reload jacketed ammo to your heart and wallet's content.

Have you personally seen any 1911 or G21 blow up due to SAAMI pressure loads of either facotry or reload (assuming a reasonable number of reloads and watching as always for signs of case wear)? Can yuou cite one professional article that makes such as claim?

Unsupported chambers are a NON ISSUE for the G21. It is irrelevant. Do not confuse the low pressure .45 with the much highr pressure .40.

Even the .40 can be safe to reloadin Glocks. Just reduce the pressure. The Laser-Cast reloading manual specifically states reduced loads for the .40 just for "unsupported chamber" reloads.

In summary:

1) Unsupported chambers: only reload lower pressure rounds such as the .45 or reduced pressure .40. Or, buy an aftermarket barrel with a more fully supported chamber.

2) Polygonal rifling: only shoot jacketed bullets, either factory or handloads. Or, buy an aftermarket barrel with some form of regular rifling (hammer forged, broach cut, buttoned, etc.).

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