Glock has been around since 1963 and in 1981 Glock handguns as we know them were born. Glock categorizes their guns as Generation 1, Generation 2, Generation 3, Generation 4, and recently Generation 5. On top of that, there have been changes to the line between full generations, for instance the glock 26 is available in a generation 2.5.

Telling the difference between the Generations (we’ll can then Gens from here on) may seem daunting at first however if you know what you’re looking for it’s not hard at all. We’ll break down the aesthetic differences in the Gens to help you easily determine what you Gen you have so you can get the right TALON Grip for your Glock pistol.

Gen 1 Glocks (1982-1988)

17, 17L, 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23


  • Flat front strap (no finger grooves)
  • Subtle pebble grip texture on the entire pistol grip area
  • No thumb rests
Gen 1 Glock 17

Gen 2 Glocks (1988-1997)

17, 17L, 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23, 24, 31, 32


  • Flat front strap (no finger grooves)
  • Subtle Pebble grip texture on the side panels
  • Checkering on the front strap and backstrap
  • No thumb rests
Gen 2 Glock 17

Gen 3 Glocks (1995-2010)

17, 17L, 19, 19C, 20, 20SF, 21, 21C, 21SF, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 36, 39


  • Finger grooves on front strap
  • Thumb rests
  • Ambidextrous magazine release on some models
  • A rail is molded into the frame
  • Addition of Rough Textured Finish (RTF) in Gen 3.5
Gen 3 Glock 17

Gen 4 Glocks (2010-Present)

17, 17L, 19, 19C, 20, 20SF, 21, 21C, 21SF, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 30S, 31, 32, 33, 34, 36, 39, 41, 42, 43


  • Finger grooves on front strap
  • Thumb rests
  • Additional backstraps on all models except the 42 and 43
  • Addition of Gen 4 on the slide
Gen 4 Glock 17

Gen 5 Glocks (2017-Present)

17, 19, 19X, 26, 34, 43X, 45, 48

  • No finger grooves
  • Thumb rests
  • Flared magwell
  • Ambidextrous slide stop
  • Ambidextrous magazine release
  • Additional backstraps on all models except the 43X and 48
  • Gen 5 on the slide
Gen 5 Glock 17

About TALON Grips

Utilizing the latest design and production technologies, TALON Grips produces the most innovative functional pistol grips available.  Never resting on what is considered good enough TALON Grips provides superior products that make a difference at an affordable price.

The result is an unparalleled interface between users and their firearm in all conditions. Performance benefits include improved weapon retention, quicker target acquisition, more accurate follow up shots and better recoil mitigation.

TALON Grips was founded in 2009 by a law enforcement officer, competitive shooter, firearms instructor, and armorer to enhance shooter comfort, consistency, and weapon retention.  The patented TALON Grips provide maximum grip coverage in custom designs for over 300 firearms.  The precisely cut gun grips are available in rubber-black, rubber-moss, and granulate-black materials for different applications and user preferences.

Headquartered in Steamboat Springs, CO, TALON Grips are 100% made in USA. TALON Grips are used by the US military, law enforcement, competitive shooters, and firearms enthusiasts. TALON Grips are available at select retailers or direct at


How to Identify Your Glock’s Generation

19 thoughts on “How to Identify Your Glock’s Generation

    1. Thank you for pointing that out. On some models an ambidextrous mag release was available but on most models the feature was not added until Gen 4.


  • I have Talon Grips on a couple of my Glocks – give a better grip when hands are wet or sweaty, worth while addition IMHO.
    A suggestion – perhaps listing the serial # series for each ‘generation’ would be easier for most folks to determine which gen they have. For example: Model 17 SN-WNXXX is a lot easier to decipher than looking for cosmetic differences – particularly true with one that is ‘close’ to the next or
    preceding gen.
    And NO – it’s nunya how many I have 😉

    1. Anything in .40 or better has had 3 pins other than early prototypes. Without 3 pins they found cracking happening in the frames

    2. greeting flyman
      my glock 17 has 2 pins and finger groves w / a accessory rail i purchased it the mid 2000 is it a gen 1 or gen 2 . can you give me a clue??

      thank you

      bob diaz

  • The Glock 27 came out in 1997 I purchased two. According to you that makes it gen 3. Mine do not have integral rails molded into the frame.

    1. The first Subcompacts 26 & 27 were introduced in 1996 and are commonly referred to as being a “Gen 2.5” being a pre Gen 3 model but including the finger grooves. My dad has one of these as well. Mine is a Gen4 model.

  • What generation did Glock start using a screw to hold the front sight. I have a Gen 2 and gen 3. They have what looks like a staked front sight base, no hex head screw n either one.

  • I got that hole on the back of my grip and the talon grip I was sent cobra it but on the demonstration model there is a cut out on the Talin grip tape… do I get that? I have a Glock 19 gen 3.

  • I have a Glock 26 Serial # MVS – – – I believe it is a Gen 3 – it has finger groves, thumb rests, but a rail is not molded into the slide. It is not a Gen 4. So does it sound like a Gen 3 even though it does not have the molded rail on the slide??

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