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Old 02-15-2014, 08:12   #1
CDW4ME
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Glock 39 the 45 caliber alternative to a Glock 26 or 27

I recently got this "new to me" Glock 39; I was thrilled at first sight because it was like new and made before 2008.

The Glock 39 is chambered for 45 GAP. It has a 6 round magazine and same frame as the Glock 26/27; but, the slide is slightly thicker.
Night sights are preferred, so I installed a set of Meprolight nite sights with green front/yellow rear.
Bullet impact and my point of aim were a perfect match at about 6 yards, with either 185 gr. or 230 gr. ammunition.
I shot four different bullets through the chronograph, average for 5 shots in ascending KE: (Glock 39 has a 3 1/2"" barrel)
Winchester 230 JHP @ 779 fps / 310# KE
Winchester 185 Silvertip @ 875 fps / 315# KE
Winchester 230 Ranger T @ 797 fps / 324# KE
Speer Gold Dot 185 @ 994 fps / 406# KE

Recoil seemed mild and all brass was ejected from 3 - 5 o'clock, none toward my head.
All primer impacts were positive and there were no malfunctions.

How does that velocity compare to 45 acp out of a short barrel?
I previously owned a Kimber Ultra Carry (3'' barrel) which averaged 775 fps with Hydra-Shok 230 gr. and 814 fps with Ranger T 230
My Glock 36 (3 3/4" barrel) averaged 805 fps with 230 gr. Hydra-Shok and 918 fps with Remington 185 JHP
Based on my results, performance of the 45 GAP is equivalent to 45 acp fired from similar length barrel.

I shot the Gold Dot 185 into water filled gallon jugs, it made a hole in the 4th jug, but did not enter; maximum recovered diameter was consistent at .68

I like the Glock 39. It shoots a 45 caliber bullet out of a 9mm/40 size pistol with moderate recoil.

Glock 39 is the 45 caliber alternative to a Glock 26 or 27.


Please do not post either of these mindless replies to my thread:
"A solution looking for a problem"
"An answer to a question nobody asked"
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:48   #2
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Congrats on your 39. What does the slide weigh?
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:07   #3
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I'm a happy GAP owner, too, and bought a G39 last year (got tired of waiting for Gen4). Here is how I understand the short barrel velocity issue. Most ammo companies load their .45 ACP and GAP ammo to the same power levels. The GAP functions at significantly higher pressure due to the shorter case and other design differences. GAP will generally out-perform ACP given identical bullet weights and barrels of equal length. The velocity and energy difference is marginal, maybe 5% at best. ACP in +P beats the pants off GAP, though. No contest. GAP has no +p equivalent.

I hope this answers your question. I'm not a ballistics expert, but I do see that GAP, particularly the G39, as being a winner in terms of size/handling/performance.
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:12   #4
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You asked about compared to 45acp
The difference between the two is so small not worth going into
Really if you don't mind the boutique ammo it is a great round.
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:16   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G26S239 View Post
Congrats on your 39. What does the slide weigh?


According to Glock:
http://us.glock.com/products/model/g27
A 27 weighs 21.89 oz. unloaded
http://us.glock.com/products/model/g39
A 39 weighs 24.18 oz. unloaded

That is a 2.29 oz. difference between a 39 and a 27, I'm guessing most of that two ounces is the slide.
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:21   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AgentM79 View Post
I'm a happy GAP owner, too, and bought a G39 last year (got tired of waiting for Gen4). Here is how I understand the short barrel velocity issue. Most ammo companies load their .45 ACP and GAP ammo to the same power levels. The GAP functions at significantly higher pressure due to the shorter case and other design differences. GAP will generally out-perform ACP given identical bullet weights and barrels of equal length. The velocity and energy difference is marginal, maybe 5% at best. ACP in +P beats the pants off GAP, though. No contest. GAP has no +p equivalent.

I hope this answers your question. I'm not a ballistics expert, but I do see that GAP, particularly the G39, as being a winner in terms of size/handling/performance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hunter 111 View Post
You asked about compared to 45acp
The difference between the two is so small not worth going into
Really if you don't mind the boutique ammo it is a great round.
I apologize, my question was rhetorical ; I assumed people that were unfamiliar with the GAP would be curious about how it compared to 45 acp. That is why I provided 45 acp chrono data.
I'm not new to GAP, I've had a model 38 for years.
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:23   #7
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Congrats on the G39! I run Gold Dot 200 gr. for carry, and practice with 185 and 200 gr. loads. I would also run 185 Gold Dot, as it performed well through mine, but it is rare to see that particular ammo around these parts for a decent price. I have enough 200 gr. to keep me in the game, so I just carry those in the gun and use G37 magazines for spares and also at the range.
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:49   #8
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I admit I am sometimes a bit surprised the G39 is not a bit more popular based on its size and it being .45.
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:06   #9
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Boutique ammo?
Save your brass and reload it.
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:19   #10
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OP - you know we have a forum for 45GAP. Bulldawgs club.
You will find many fellow fans of 45GAP there.

General Glocking has always brought out the nay-sayers among the Glock owner who object to the round for some reason. A fact I've always found the criticisms a bit strange as the round has some distinct engineered advantages over standard 45ACP cartridge construction given the virtually identical performance.

http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=87

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Old 02-15-2014, 11:31   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunter 111 View Post
You asked about compared to 45acp
The difference between the two is so small not worth going into
Really if you don't mind the boutique ammo it is a great round.
What is your definition of a boutique round?

http://gunbot.net/ammo/pistol/45gap/
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:43   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engineer151515 View Post
What is your definition of a boutique round?

http://gunbot.net/ammo/pistol/45gap/
It is what it is
To try and say it ( 45 GAP ) is popular, common, cheap and easy to find , is deluded thought.
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:51   #13
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Entry wound for the gap is the same as .45ACP. I was able to get > 1200 fps from 185 gr. XTP over Longshot. Go calculate ME on that.

Geez...if you don't like it, then shoot what you want.
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:10   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hunter 111 View Post
It is what it is
To try and say it ( 45 GAP ) is popular, common, cheap and easy to find , is deluded thought.
To describe a round produced by (my count) 8 manufacturers and available nationwide thru 16+ distributors as boutique might well be regarded as equally deluded.

I suppose it is a matter of opinion.

Last edited by engineer151515; 02-15-2014 at 12:11..
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:12   #15
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Got a model 39 3 years ago, best pistol I've shot/carried in 35 + years. Have since sold my 2 Colt ACP's and my Glock 23C. Have no problem finding ammo. Once fired brass is easily found also. Thanks for posting data from your testing.
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Old 02-15-2014, 13:45   #16
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The local police supply has some used 39's for sale ($349 I think) and I've been tempted. They stock the ammo and you can get it online easily so that's not an issue for me (plus I reload).
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Old 02-15-2014, 13:51   #17
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That sounds like a pretty good price for a baby Glock to me.
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Old 02-15-2014, 14:00   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce M View Post
I admit I am sometimes a bit surprised the G39 is not a bit more popular based on its size and it being .45.
Shooting the model 39 was a pleasant surprise. I've got a Glock 27 and the 39 seemed less snappy, same perception I have of my 23 vs 38.

Folks that knock the GAP have most likely not ever shot one and that's why I attempted to preempt any pointless GAP negativity in my initial post.

I think people prefer capacity over diameter, I've done that too.
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Old 02-15-2014, 14:16   #19
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Congrats on the G39!

I originally thought about ordering one, but the ammunition is simply too hard to find in any of the local stores where I've looked (even when traveling through OR & WA and idly checking the gun store shelves), and it's not a stocked caliber for off-duty/qual use at my agency.

If I could've had affordable and consistent access to the ammo, I'd probably have picked one up to complement my well-worn CS45 .45 ACP (3.25" barrel & 6-rd mag), and my original version 4513TSW (3.75" w/6-rd mags).

I seem to remember that Speer was revising their 200gr GDHP bullet to offer better "performance" in the harder denim/gel testing about the time they were developing the .45GAP 200gr GDHP load, so I'd not be surprised if users of that bullet weight in both calibers (GAP/ACP+P) ought to find similar "performance".

Being someone who prefers 230gr hollowpoint loads for .45, though, it's even harder to find available ammo in my area.

Not being an avid handloader anymore, nor being someone who wants to do any more online ordering, my interest in the G39 waned.

Enjoy the small G39, though, as it seems a nice option for enthusiasts of .45 caliber pistols.
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Old 02-15-2014, 14:26   #20
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Congrats! I bought my 39 about 6 months after I got my 38. The 38 is my cold weather off duty carry and the 39 is summer carry. Even though it's a hair thicker in the slide, it will fit in most 26/27 holsters. Leather holsters are a piece of cake. Put the pistol in, struggle a little to snap it shut (I like thumb breaks) and let it sit in the holster for a week or so. After that all is good to go.

My favorite holster for my 39 at this point is my Comp-Tac paddle. Much better build quality than Fobus - it's a one piece holster unlike the Folbus pop rivet special. It also rides higher than the Fobus.

No problem finding GAP ammo either. I stocked up on SD carry ammo (Speer GDHP 200gr) and load my own for practice (Berry's bullets 185gr RNHB).

Since I bought my GAPs my 19 has been guarding my safe.
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