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I think we’ve reached a point at which we can safely conclude that gun owners are fairly spoiled. Guns have become so well-made, and are manufactured on such an enormous scale, that it’s hard for consumers to find anything but peripheral, nitpicky faults with the most popular guns on the market today, such as accessory compatibility, slight differences in magazine capacity, finish and detailed aesthetics, etc. However, this was not always the case – in the mid-1990’s, law enforcement officials in particular were dissatisfied with the cartridge options available on the market. Folks yearned for a pistol cartridge with superior stopping power and ballistic performance, as compared to the relatively toned down handgun cartridges that were by and large being manufactured with home defense and concealed carrying in mind.
Eventually, SIG Sauer stepped up to the plate and introduced the .357 SIG pistol cartridge – a cartridge based on a 10mm auto case, although slightly longer than the .40 S&W. Named for its purpose – to duplicate the performance of .357 Magnum loads – the SIG .357 drew criticism for the recoil it produced, but for the most part accomplished its goal in providing a more powerful handgun shooting experience. The .357 achieved modest success, although one problem with introducing a new cartridge or round is the compatibility issues you may face in pairing the cartridge with popular, already-designed handguns. Glock guns, for example, were incompatible with the .357, which represented a major problem – it’s tough to find success as a handgun cartridge if one of the leading handgun manufacturers in the world can’t use that cartridge. However, Glock recognized these compatibility-issues and decided to take a pro-active approach to solving them, designing the Glock 31 – a high performance, .357 pistol that is fully compatible with .357 rounds and packs some serious punch. We’ll give you the full run-down on the G31 here in our new Glock 31 Gen 4 Review! We’ve covered other Glock handguns here at Gunivore in the past – like the Glock 19 (also covered here), 21, 26, and 43. but none are quite like the powerful G31.
Glock 31 Specs
Caliber / System
- .357 / Safe Action
- Length: 204 mm / 8.03 in.
- Height: 138 mm / 5.43 in.
- Width: 30.00 mm / 1.19 in.
- Barrel Height: 32 mm / 1.26 in.
- Length Between Sights: 165 mm / 6.49 in.
- Barrel Length: 114 mm / 4.48 in.
- Unloaded: 740 g / 16.12 oz.
- Loaded: 940 g / 33.18 oz.
- Trigger Pull / Travel –
- Trigger Pull: ~2.5 kg / ~5.5 lbs.
- Trigger Travel: ~12.5 mm/ ~0.49
Barrel Rifling / Length of Twist
- Barrel Rifling: right hand, hexagonal
- Length of Twist: 250 mm / 9.84 in.
- Magazine Capacity –
- Standard: 15
- Optional: 10
Glock 31 Build
For the record, it should be noted that this review is dealing with the Glock 31 Generation 4 – the latest iteration in the G31’s lifespan, and the most updated of the line. Part of the benefit to owning a Gen 4 Glock gun is in the interchangeable back straps provided by Glock – a feature that makes for a more broadly appealing, accessible gun as far as build and handle. The factory grip of the G31 is a bit on the compact size as compared to prior Glock models, but whether or not this is optimal would depend on the hand size and preferences of the individual handling the gun. Overall, the build of the Glock 31 follows the same general template established by the other members of the Glock family – a polymer and metallic blend in the body, a large slide with handy ribbing at the end for improved grip, ergonomic finger grooves for the grip, and handy and easily accessible controls, especially in the Gen 4 model which utilized a larger magazine release button.
Glock 31 Shooting
What’s the most important factor when deciding on a gun to purchase? Why, performance of course! Thankfully for Glock, the G31 has a well-founded reputation for performance under any and all circumstances – simply put, this handgun gets the job done. Personally, I find the Glock 31 to handle better in terms of grip and recoil than any other .357 caliber handgun – there is a bit of an increase in difficulty in terms of handling, but as is to be expected when dealing with a gun and cartridge that provide more stopping power. The G31 still handles well and fires accurately even with the increase in force when firing, and it holds up remarkably well after hundreds and hundreds of rounds fired. Quite simply, this is a gun that shoots accurately, forcefully, and reliably.
Glock 31 Magazines
The Glock 31 comes equipped with a factory standard, 15-round magazine – impressive, given the performance and power of this .357 caliber gun. As previously mentioned, the G31 Gen 4 incorporates a new and improved magazine release button, as well as a more reliable, smooth well – loading, clearing, and re-loading the Glock 31 is as easy as can be. The Gen 4 version of the Glock 31 also utilizes a reversible magazine well for improved ease of use. If 15 rounds aren’t enough, there are in fact a number of extended magazine options available which are manufactured and sold by Glock in addition to various third parties – although this will compromise on the form factor and compact size of the weapon, as many as 17 rounds can realistically be loaded into the G31.
Glock 31 Sights
The Glock 31 utilizes standard polymer sites on the front and back of the slide of the gun, with a single dot on the front and a notched rear site marked and surrounded by a white “U” outline. Frankly, in my personal opinion, these sights are very underwhelming – as a gun owner who prioritizes home defense, I strongly prefer night sights on my handguns, but the beauty of Glock’s is partly in the number of different sights and accessories available for purchase to suit people’s personal preferences. If the standard G31 sights don’t get the job done for you, make sure you find sights that do – there are enough options available that this should not be an issue.
Glock 31 Safety and Assembly
It’s always refreshingly apparent that Glock prioritizes safety above all else, and that is of great benefit to all Glock owners, including Glock 31 owners. As is the case with most of their newer models and in the generation 4 Glock’s, the Glock 31 utilizes Glock’s breakthrough patented Glock ‘Safe Action System’, a three-part safety system designed to eliminate the safety concerns of handguns and ensure the safest, most reliable experience possible. The first part of the three-part Glock ‘Safe Action System’, the trigger safety, incorporates a level into the trigger which, when in forward position, blocks the trigger from moving backwards. In order to fire the gun, both the trigger safety and the trigger need to be engaged at the same time – if the safety is not depressed, the gun will not fire. Secondly there is the firing pin safety, a spring-loaded safety which projects into the firing pin channel and blocks the firing pin from moving forward. The safety is cleared when the trigger is engaged, and the safety automatically re-engagers during the slide cycling, meaning the gun is only going to fire when the user wants it to fire. Lastly, there is the drop safety – rather self-explanatory, the drop safety prevents accidental firing as a result of dropping the gun, a problem that has unfortunately been known to plague certain handgun manufacturers and models.
Glock 31 Accessories and Customization
The Glock 31 is a Glock gun – what else needs to be said in terms of accessorizing, modifying, and customizing it? Being the powerhouse gun manufacturer that they are, it should come as no surprise that there are a plethora of options when it comes to tailoring your Glock experience to you with accessories. The Glock 31, like nearly all Glock guns, can be customized in a number of ways – try different sights, lights, grips, magazine extensions, holsters, lasers, and more to make the Glock 31 the perfect gun experience for you personally.
Glock 31: In Conclusion
Looking for a handgun that is small enough to concealed carry but packs the power of a .357 caliber? The Glock 31 is the gun for you. Although there are some slight shortcomings in the gun – the factory sights, for example – these are almost all issues which can be rectified and improved on by customizing and altering the gun in any number of ways. The name of the game when it comes to the G31, and Glock guns in general, is to optimize the gun experience for you, the gun owner. Head down to the range today and give the G31 a try – you won’t be disappointed!
Thanks for checking out our Glock 31 feature – be sure to check back for more on Glock and all things guns here at Gunivore!