In this post, we’ll take a look at the 2018 Glock 34 Gen 5 MOS (Modular Optic System) handgun. Determining the year for this particular weapon was easy as I bought it in its debut year of 2018. However, if you find yourself with a Glock that you for one reason or the other cannot identify the year the simplest way to find out for sure is to simply give Glock a call. They are known for exceptional customer service and response to this very question. Unfortunately, their serial number system has varied over the years and from my experience has proven relatively unreliable to determine the year model except with certain select models.
If you’re not already familiar with the G34 (Glock doesn’t help with their odd numbering system), it is a 9×19 mm short recoil semi-automatic pistol that’s operated by a tilting barrel lock style action. Mine came equipped with three 17 round magazines with orange followers (a Gen 5 change). You can access the operators manual for the G34 (it’s a one size fits all with Glock) on the Glock website for free download in PDF format. The manual doesn’t specifically show the schematic of the 34 but does cover the 17 and 42 models. The schematic for the G34 doesn’t seem to exist, but the G17Gen5 should suffice as a substitute for your needs.
This G34 is a reliable shooting firearm that provides excellent accuracy with its long sighting radius on the 5.34in cold hammer forged barrel. A notable improvement on the Gen 5 is the Glock Marksman Barrel (GMB) – Enhanced Polygonal Rifling & Improved Barrel Crown. The barrel itself features six valleys (similar to Grooves) at a 1 in 9.84 twist ratio. Another quickly noticeable change over the Gen 4 is that the slide is solid on the Gen 5 without the cutout. This ideally will reduce the potential of debris entering the slide opening.
The G34 does feature the common Glock loaded chamber indicator utilizing the extractor, but I personally find that a poor design on the Glock as you have to really examine closely to tell. At that point, it’s easier to just do a chamber check. I personally much prefer the Springfield indicator style, but that is a small personal point of discontent.
The G34 frame is lightweight as it’s made of polymer and hardened steel guides. It also comes with a variety of backstraps that allow you to customize it to your hand a little better than a typical stock handgun. Additionally, it has an ambidextrous slide stop lever and a reversible magazine release, so the left-handers can easily convert the pistol to their needs.
My particular review model comes with adjustable rear night sights and is equipped out of the box to take a miniature optical with various plates for your chosen optic. Of which I’ve elected to outfit it with a Trijicon Type 2 RMR. Once you’ve accustomed to picking up the reticle this set up truly provides a quick and accurate platform.
The G34 like others incorporates the proprietary Safe Action Trigger System which is Glock’s three-way built-in passive safety system. This allows you the confidence of a safety without the intentional step of manually unsafing the weapon (Glock Perfection Unk). The G34 is striker fired and uses a single action trigger. My particular model came from the factory with a 4.5llb trigger pull.
The Field Stripping procedures are relatively straight forward, and I’ll walk you through them below. The following steps are directly from the Glock Operator’s manual with my narrative (Glock n.d.).
ALWAYS CHECK AND RECHECK THAT YOUR WEAPON IS UNLOADED BEFORE ATTEMPTING ANY MAINTENANCE OR CLEANING PROCEDURES!
- Drop your magazine and cycle the action to ensure the weapon is clear. Ensure you visually clear the chamber during this process. I personally also like to cycle the action a few times. One benefit to this multiple cycling is it is a failsafe. If you didn’t drop the magazine (I’ve seen many do this) and didn’t properly visually clear the chamber the multiple cycles will eject a round…..which should hopefully grab your attention. At this point, you should probably sit down and consider how close to a serious accident you were.
- Lock the slide to the rear. Do this by using an overhand grip with your support hand on the rear of the slide. At this point push with your firing hand and pull with your support hand. When the slide is rearward, engage the slide stop lever by pushing it up into the slide recess. Then slowly release your support hand leaving the slide locked back
- With the slide locked, once again visually clear the chamber as well as clear it and the magazine well with your finger ensuring both are empty.
- Release the slide by releasing the lever or pulling the slide completely to the rear and allowing it to travel forward.
- Point the weapon in a safe direction and pull the trigger.
- Grab an overhand grip on the rear of the slide with your firing hand and your thumb wrapping the grip as pictured
- Use the above grip to slightly retract the slide (about 1/8 of an inch) and hold it there.
- Using your support hand pull down both slide locks evenly and then slowly move the slide forward and off the frame with your firing hand
- Firmly grip the slide. Press the recoil spring slightly forward and up to remove it from the frame.
- Note I do this last step much different than the manual. To remove the barrel, I simply hold the slide upside down with my support hand and press my support index finger lightly against the barrel, raising it out of the slide. Once raised I grab the barrel locking cams with my firing hand and pull rearward removing the barrel from the slide.
- That’s it! You’ve just field stripped the G34. As you can see quite a simple process.
- Assembly is the reverse operation of the above steps. One note on reassembly. If you find you’re hanging up while trying to reinstall the slide to the frame check your recoil spring to make sure it is seated all the way. If it is seated high, it will catch and give you an issue with the above.