First developed by an Austrian named Gaston Glock to meet his country’s military requirements, the Glock has become one of the most successful handgun designs in history. Two of the most popular pistols in the Glock lineup are the full-size Glock 17 and the compact Glock 19. These 9 mm Luger pistols have seen extensive law enforcement and military adoption and are also very popular with civilian consumers.
Image courtesy of author.
Thinking that the G19 is simply a shortened version of the G17 would be an easy mistake to make. The guns share a common look, and it would be easy to assume that Gaston Glock simply chopped half an inch off the barrel and the grip when designing the G19. Even though the G19 does appear to be nothing more than a cut-down G17, it is actually a different firearm internally. The G19’s barrel and frame locking block are not interchangeable with these same parts from the G17. This is where we get to the Glock 19X, Glock 45 and Glock 47. The Glock 19X is a commercial version of the handgun Glock entered into recent U.S. military modular handgun trials. Ultimately, The M17/M18 platform from SIG Sauer was selected, but the G19X quickly became popular with Glock’s consumer base, and it was soon followed by the Glock 45. These two handguns use the 4” barrel and locking block previously only seen on the G19. The frame used for both pistols is G17 in length, but the dust cover is shortened to fit flush with the muzzle of the shorter slide and barrel.
The above image illustrates the differences in the older G19 and G17 (bottom) barrels. Image courtesy of author.
Taking the G19X/G45 concept further is the Glock 47. The G47 uses the G45 frame and combines this with a barrel that is 4.49” long. It retains the short recoil spring from the G19 or G45. To accommodate the short recoil spring, the G47's slide has an extended recoil spring tunnel designed specifically to work with the shorter recoil spring. Glock has been doing essentially the same thing for years for the G17L, G34, G35 and G48.
The G19 and G47 frames (above) show that there is no difference in the two with regard to length, location, shape of the rails, locking block, etc. Image courtesy of author.
Glock pistols have gone through generational changes over the years with the current production guns being called “Gen5.” These differ from the previous generations with the addition of a slide release lever on both sides of the gun and with the deletion of the often-disliked finger grooves on the frame. Barrels in the Gen5 guns are conventional rifling rather than the polygonal pattern used previously. The accessory slot/flashlight rail on the frame’s dust cover is an M1913 pattern instead of Glock’s proprietary dimensions.
Shown (above) is a Gen2 Glock 17 (top) and Gen3 G19 frames side-by-side. Note the differences in the overall lengths as well as the differences in the locking blocks. Image courtesy of author.
The G47 is Gen5 pattern. The slide has cocking serrations both front and rear and is finished in a semi-gloss black Melonite finish. Other sight options are available, but the base gun, as tested here, ships with plastic "iron" sights. These are the same functional but inexpensive sights Glock has been using for decades. The G47 features Glock's Modular Optic System (MOS). The MOS is a rectangular cut between the ejection port and rear sight. It accepts various optic adapter plates and allows a variety of different optics to be used on the pistol. Adapter plates do not ship with the gun but are available OEM from Glock or companies such as Forward Controls Design and CHPWS. As with the G19X and G45, the G47 MOS uses the G19 locking block. This means that the shorter G19/19X/45 slide and barrel can be used on the G47 MOS frame without issue. It also means the G47 MOS slide and barrel can be used on a Gen5 G19 frame.
Shooting the G47 MOS is not unlike shooting other handguns in the Glock series. Reliability during testing was exactly as expected, and we experienced no malfunctions of any kind. The trigger started out right at 6 lbs. with a bit of crunch and grit, but soon smoothed itself out with use. Final measurements showed that the trigger had dropped close to 4 ozs., and would no doubt continue to get a little better with continued use.
The Glock 47 MOS was developed for the United States Customs and Border Patrol, a federal law-enforcement agency wanting to issue a full-size and compact gun. Such an agency with thousands of G19s and G47s in service together only needs to maintain one common recoil spring in national spare-parts inventory. Other internal parts across the Gen5 series such as strikers, striker springs, extractors, etc. are all common as well, further simplifying inventory, parts storage requirements and armorer training.
An accessory slot of the Glock G47 MOS allowed the author to include a Nightstick TWM-30, a 1,200 lumen light that runs on two CR123 batteries. Image courtesy of author.
The Glock G47 MOS ships in a foam padded plastic clamshell box. Included is the usual owner manual and cable lock. Also included are three magazines and a plastic magazine loading tool. The gun ships with large and medium sized backstrap inserts. Both inserts have an extended grip tang extension. This so-called beavertail helps prevent slide bite; the phenomenon experienced when shooters with big meaty hands get cut by the bottom corners of the slide. Backstraps are easily attached by pushing out the trigger housing pin, fitting the desired backstrap onto the frame and then pinning the backstrap to the frame using the included longer trigger housing pin.
It would seem logical to assume that, at some point in the near future, Glock will discontinue the Gen5 G17 altogether and replace it with the G47 design. Glocks use of interchangeable parts within its handgun designs is a beneficial feature, not just for the streamlined logistics of the manufacturing process, but also for the general consumer sourcing maintenance parts as well as aftermarket ones. For these reasons, among others, the Glock 47 MOS would be a good choice for another large law-enforcement organization, too. The Glock 47 MOS seems to be a logical step for Glock as a company.
Shown above, the G47 holstered in a U.S. Duty Gear Level 2 duty holster. Image courtesy of author.
GLOCK 47 MOS Specifications
Manufacturer: GLOCK, Inc.
Action Type: recoil-operated, semi-automatic, centerfire pistol
Chambering: 9 mm Luger
Slide: black Melonite coated
Frame: black polymer
Barrel: 4.49”, six-groove, 1:10" LH twist
Magazine: 17-round detachable box
Sights: polymer, fixed, white outline rear, white dot front
Trigger: striker-fired, 5-lb., 13-oz. pull
Overall Length: 7.95"
Weight: 25.9 ozs.
Accessories: owner's manual, 3 17-round magazines, cable lock, medium and large backstrap inserts