So, literally thousands of rounds later, the Glock 44 (.22LR) I had initially derided at its debut has proven to be a win. There is no better way to improve your shooting than firing over 10,000 rounds per year. The G44 and the relatively low cost of .22 makes this possible. Without it my shooting sessions would have been much less common and too expensive to generate any real volume.
Most recently I “confirmed” my skills om the .22 to 9mm, using a Generation 3 Glock 17. I was not disappointed, but there were some takeaways worth noting. The repetition I ingrained carried over into 9mm easily. The increased recoil was not a factor in my shooting. The two-piece slide of the G44 is light enough to require recoil mitigation techniques to keep the sights on target.
For the most comparable experience to full-size centerfire rounds, I suggest using high velocity .22 cartridges. 1200 FPS and up (1400 FPS is great) is preferred. I’d like to find a good source of some of the CCI Copper-22 or Aguila .22 Super Maximum, which are hypervelocity 1700-1800 FPS rounds.
After shooting .22 so my, my hands were pretty babied. 9mm was much more felt recoil in the hand and at first felt a little annoying, considering I hadn’t shot 9mm in 3-4 months. A lot of the discomfort I felt was because my hands were practically frozen in the very cold morning air (I should probably get some thing shooting gloves for winter). Pain or not, the G17 still pleasant to shoot, although the light recoil of .22 will spoil you.
My current issue to work out is a matter of getting a consistent grip on the draw. The differences between the 44’s Gen 5 no-grooves front strap and the Gen 3 17’s finger grooves threw me off. I had to adjust my fingers to make sure I had a proper grip. The G17 was not properly seated in my hand when I drew so it was a bit loose and canted in my hand. As long as I corrected it before pulling the trigger, everything went well.
I suppose the solution here is to practice drawing and dry firing with a wide variety of firearms to ensure that my grip is consistent between the weapons. I did notice that I prefer the shorter G19 style grip that the G44 shares with it’s bigger brother. The G17’s length just feels “wrong” and like there’s too much surface area to properly control. Could be a familiarity/repetition thing since I’ve rarely shot it compared to my G19. I will say I’m not in the camp of the G45 (long G17 grip, short G19 barrel).
Accuracy from one pistol to the other was negligible as far as the shooter (me) was concerned. My G44 shoots about 4” high at 7 yards, which is annoying. I’ve heard that it’s either because it’s zeroed at the factory for 25 yards or I need a taller front sight. When shooting steel (minute of man), this isn’t an issue, but remember to adjust my point of aim for more precise close-in shots is annoying.
So I recant what I said about the Glock 44. The hype was worth it. Now we just need some factory 15 round magazines. The Promag 18 round magazines work fine, but the tabs to lower the follower are super small and hurts my fingers. I’d advise against buying the Promags if you have issues with your fingers/hands or hate that pinched finger feeling after loading mags.
Clayton E. Cramer
Gun Free Zone
The War on Guns
The View From Out West