A Glock 27 review more than 20 years after its release gives us a good sense of what this gun can do and why it has enjoyed such immense staying power over the years. What you might expect to see in such a review is probably more akin to a commercial than it is a proper performance review. But in the case of the legendary Glock 27, it’s a fair assessment to call it a success.
In fact, it redefined the subcompact, larger caliber segment of the market and helped to shape it into what it is today. Aside from the Glock 17, it is among the most important industry shaping models ever to come out of the Austrian company.
At the time of the Glock 27 release, you were just starting to see subcompact full powered versions of factory mainstream 1911’s (think models from Kimber, etc.) coming onto the market, but they didn’t offer what you could get with the modular approach made popular by Glock and the simplistic, lightweight and reliable Glock 27. It wasn’t until the 27 that mainstream full power cartridge based sub-compacts became a hot commodity on the market.
It truly hearkened back to the mid 1980’s reputation of the Original Glock models that shaped the modern handgun industry in the United States, and eventually throughout the world. Glock has almost never been the first company to market with their technology; for instance, the striker and the polymer frame were both invented by other companies.
But Glock has almost ALWAYS been the company that has popularized the immense “trademark” innovations that Glocks are known for.
That was absolutely the case for the Glock 27 and the Sub compact, high power concealed carry revolution that happened in the late 1990’s.
The ability to take all aftermarket products that any other Glock could accommodate; while accepting factory extended capacity magazines and general shared SKU component parts made the Glock 27 a perfect companion for anyone who already owned a full-sized Glock model.
But it did more than just offered a cool complementary pistol. It allowed customization and swapping of components which, while the factory won’t condone it in writing, allowed shooters to access the true modularity of the Glock platform.
The .40 S&W round, which the G27 is based upon, is not so hot or unmanageable that the average shooter couldn’t handle the recoil or muzzle jump, though it was a lot to handle, if your hands were small, because the grip is significantly “girthy”. In the earlier generations, the gun could often feel slippery during rapid fire.
The beauty of the size, and the component interchangeability made for a gun that could legitimately be used as a primary concealed carry weapon that could replace a full-sized gun, provided the shooter was comfortable with the grip frame length.
It also pre-positioned the G27 onto the road it would take over the next decades as one of the most popular backup duty weapons ever. It was small enough and lightweight enough (A generation 5 Model 27 weighs approximately 26.5 ounces loaded) that it could be carried as a second gun around an ankle, in a pocket or in the waistband.
Note: older generations would have nearly negligible weight variances. The sub 3.5-inch barrel is long enough to gather necessary velocity for the .40 caliber projectile for legitimate stopping power and penetration. It is long enough to give a realistic sight plane underneath fixed sights. The barrel also is compact enough that it doesn’t give pause to any concealed carrier because of sizing.
The magazine capacity available for use in the Glock 27 include 9, 10, 15, 16, 13, 14, and 22 round options.
With the addition of a slight “beavertail” on the grip, this pistol has become one of the best designed sub-compact, high-powered pistols in the world. That reputation is built upon a platform that has had minimal changes over the years. When you look at some of the Gen4 and Gen5 changes, and put the guns alongside the original 1999 design, the gun is seemingly, negligibly changed.
All changes promote the capability of the G27 and enhances the duty role for the pistol. Very few complaints exist regarding the changes added in the latest two generations (4 & 5) when you ask about their effect on the model 27. Other Glock models didn’t fare so well in public opinion.
The staying power of the Glock 27 speaks to its timeless design philosophy and market innovation. It continues to be one of the best-selling backup guns on the planet; despite a recent movement towards smaller caliber, lighter weight pistols.
Note: despite the relatively thick grip frame and slide, it still maintains the market saturation it enjoys, among a huge field of slimmer pistols. That speaks to the lasting characteristics of the design. Glock has made no material size changes to the gun from an overall perspective, rather, just the generational changes (to include things like the modular backstrap).
Glock 27 review: PROs and CONs
- Sizing is a great mix of compactness, and it is easily handled given the heavy performance of the .40 S&W
- Timeless design that shook up an entire corner of the gun industry
- Great sight plane and very good accuracy considering the diminutive size
- No real cons
This is best for
Being used as a backup gun for those who carry full sized firearms, including duty officers. Shooters who want to know they have a comprehensive solution to concealed carry needs.
The Glock 27 was as innovative as it needed to be. Seemingly, it was produced as a miniature version of the other Glock models, but it seemed to take on a life of its own because that mashup of component parts and Glock Heritage combined to make a very reliable and durable pistol that functioned exceptionally well as a backup firearm.
So much so, has this model performed well, that it is often carried as a primary solution for those who need to have a tiny form factor and still pack a punch from a stopping power perspective.
The ability to utilize components that come from other differently sized Glocks (though Glock won’t endorse that) makes it even more valuable to the tinkerer.
The fact that hundreds of thousands of units have been sold over the years and virtually all of them are still in existence; with most of them still in service is a testament to the timeless qualities of the Glock 27.
The G27 is more than just a subcompact .40 S&W – it is the defining maker of a market that now has consumed hundreds of thousands of shooters who have embraced the high-powered, sub compact combination that was built in large part by the Glock 27.
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