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Difference Between Glock 22 and 23: Which is Right for You?

Looking to buy a Glock pistol? Learn the main differences between the Glock 22 and Glock 23 to help you decide which is right for you.
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The Glock 22 and Glock 23 represent two of the most renowned .40 S&W pistols in existence. As full-size and compact variants of Glock’s revolutionary polymer-framed design, these heavy hitters dominate the law enforcement and civilian markets.

Both offer the power of the .40 S&W round in proven reliable platforms. However, the Glock 22 and Glock 23 still have distinct differences that impact their handling and capabilities.

This in-depth comparison explores the nuances between the Glock 22 and Glock 23 models. It examines their specs, ergonomics, intended uses, and performance to reveal how they stack up.

Whether you’re looking for a duty or home defense pistol, or a concealed carry or backup gun, understanding these subtleties helps ensure you choose the right .40 caliber Glock for your needs. You’ll gain insight into their respective strengths and shortcomings.

While not identical twins, the Glock 22 and Glock 23 trace their roots to the same pedigree. Discover what sets these two iconic pistols apart and what they have in common. Then leverage these insights to pick the optimal blend of size, power, and performance for your circumstances.

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Glock 22 Overview

The Glock 22 is a full-sized duty pistol chambered in .40 S&W. Originally designed for law enforcement use, the Glock 22 offers a standard 15+1 round magazine capacity in a full-sized frame.

The Glock 22 features Glock's signature polymer frame with a sturdy steel slide. It uses a striker-fired trigger system with Glock's Safe Action system. The trigger pull averages around 5.5 lbs.

With an overall length of 8.07 inches and a 4.49-inch barrel, the Glock 22 offers a long sight radius for enhanced accuracy. It has an unloaded weight of 25 ounces.

The Glock 22 comes with standard white dot sights adjustable for windage. Accessory rails allow the easy addition of tactical lights and lasers.

Glock 23 Overview

As a compact pistol, the Glock 23 offers Glock reliability in a smaller, more concealable package. The Glock 23 has a reduced magazine capacity of 13+1 rounds of .40 S&W compared to the full-size Glock 22.

The Glock 23 shares the same polymer frame, steel slide, and Safe Action trigger system as the larger Glock 22. However, it has a shorter barrel length of 4.01 inches and an overall length of 7.36 inches.

Weighing in at just 22.5 ounces unloaded, the Glock 23 is over 2 ounces lighter than the Glock 22. The shorter grip and lighter weight make the Glock 23 easier to conceal and carry.

The Glock 23 comes with the same white dot sights and accessory rails as the Glock 22. The compact size reduces the sight radius to 6.42 inches.

What are the key differences between the Glock 22 and 23?

Here is a comparison table of the key differences between the Glock 22 and Glock 23:

Specs Glock 22 Glock 23
Size Full-size Compact
Length 8.07 in 7.36 in
Height 5.47 in 5.04 in
Barrel Length 4.49 in 4.01 in
Weight (unloaded) 25 oz 22.5 oz
Weight (loaded) 34.39 oz 31.22 oz
Capacity 15+1 rounds 13+1 rounds
Recoil Moderate Snappier
Price $499-$549 $479-$519

What are the similarities between the Glock 22 and 23?

At first glance, the Glock 22 and Glock 23 may seem quite different. One is a full-size duty pistol, the other a compact concealed carry piece. But under the hood, these two.40 S&W siblings share the same genetics and DNA passed down from their Austrian ancestors.

  • Bred for the .40 S&W

Both models were born and bred around the potent .40 Smith & Wesson cartridge. This provides superior stopping power without unmanageable recoil. The .40 caliber loads optimize knockdown ability and control.

  • Precision Glock Engineering

As third-generation pistols, the Glock 22 and Glock 23 utilize the same advanced polymers, steel alloys, and precision tolerances perfected by Gaston Glock. This results in unmatched reliability and durability.

  • Magazine Cross Compatibility

Thanks to shared calibers and frames, the Glock 22 and 23 magazines work interchangeably in either model. This enhances flexibility and capacity options.

  • Quintessential Glock Trigger

The smooth 5.5-pound trigger pull is a Glock hallmark replicated in both the Glock 22 and Glock 23. It allows for precision shot placement under stress.

  • Same Sight Cuts

The slides on both models use identical sight cuts. So aftermarket sights swap easily between the Glock 22 and 23 for maximum sight flexibility.

  • Unlimited Customization Potential

With millions of Glocks in circulation, accessories, and upgrades for the 22 and 23 abound. You can customize them into specialized tools for any mission.

  • Two Sizes, One Glock Perfection

Make no mistake, the Glock 22 and Glock 23 are bred from the same superior bloodlines. Despite size differences, they share the accuracy, reliability, and performance that define the Glock legacy.

So whether you opt for the full-size 22 or compact 23, you’re getting the same brilliant Glock DNA that has made the brand a global sensation.


Size and Dimensions: Glock 22 vs. Glock 23

The most noticeable difference between the Glock 22 and Glock 23 is their size. The Glock 22 has a full-size frame while the Glock 23 uses a more compact frame.


Glock 22

  • Length: 8.07 in
  • Width: 1.18 in
  • Height: 5.47 in
  • Barrel Length: 4.49 in

Glock 23

  • Length: 7.36 in
  • Width: 1.18 in
  • Height: 5.04 in
  • Barrel Length: 4.01 in

The nearly 3/4 inch reduction in length and over 1/2 inch reduction in height make the Glock 23 significantly easier to conceal. The Glock 23 is ideal as a concealed carry or backup pistol.

The Glock 22 offers a longer sight radius at 7.32 inches compared to the Glock 23 at 6.42 inches. This can potentially contribute to better accuracy at longer ranges.

Those with larger hands may find the full-size grip frame of the Glock 22 more comfortable and controllable, especially when using hotter .40 S&W loads. The Glock 23 grip can feel too short for some shooters with bigger hands.

Caliber: Glock 22 vs. Glock 23

Both the Glock 22 and Glock 23 are chambered for .40 S&W. Developed in 1990, the .40 S&W was designed to duplicate the ballistics of the 10mm Auto in a shorter case.

.40 S&W features:

  • Diameter: 0.40 in
  • Bullet weight: 135 to 180 gr
  • Muzzle velocity: 950 to 1300 fps
  • Muzzle energy: 400 to 600 ft-lbs

The .40 S&W cartridge has a similar diameter and energy as the venerable 10mm Auto. However, the shorter case allows for smaller-frame pistols with greater cartridge capacity.

The .40 S&W offers superior stopping power compared to the 9mm cartridge. It has better penetration against soft body armor compared to 9mm. The .40 caliber Glock pistols are popular among law enforcement and self-defense-focused shooters.

However, the .40 S&W does have more perceived recoil than lighter recoiling cartridges like the 9mm. The recoil may be harder to control for less experienced shooters.

Magazine Capacity: Glock 22 vs. Glock 23

One key difference between the Glock 22 and Glock 23 is magazine capacity. The larger frame size of the Glock 22 allows it to hold more ammunition in the magazine.

Glock 22 magazine capacity:

  • 15 rounds standard
  • Optional 17, 19, and 22-round extended magazines are available

Glock 23 magazine capacity:

  • 13 rounds standard
  • Optional 15 and 17-round extended magazines are available

The ability to carry over a dozen rounds of .40 S&W in the magazine gives the Glock 22 strong firepower for defensive purposes. The Glock 23 sacrifices minimal capacity for easier concealability.

Both the Glock 22 and Glock 23 magazines are compatible with each other. Glock 23 magazines will function in the Glock 22, they will just have two fewer rounds.

Accuracy and Reliability: Glock 22 vs. Glock 23

Glock pistols are known for being exceptionally accurate and reliable. The simple, striker-fired trigger system and tight tolerances result in consistent accuracy. The Glock 22 and Glock 23 maintain Glock's standards.

The longer sight radius of the Glock 22 gives it a slight theoretical edge for target shooting accuracy. However, both models are more than accurate enough for defensive pistol use at typical engagement distances.

Glock's reputation for reliability applies to both the Glock 22 and Glock 23. The large steel slide and reinforced polymer frame can handle high round counts and .40 S&W pressure.

Using quality ammunition, most Glock 22 and Glock 23 pistols can fire thousands of rounds without malfunctions. The beefed-up .40 S&W chamber and slide contribute to reliable feeding and cycling.

Ergonomics: Glock 22 vs. Glock 23

The Glock 22 and Glock 23 share the same grip angle and overall ergonomic design. Shooters familiar with other Glock models will feel right at home.

The polymer frame features aggressive texturing for a secure hold. The minimal grip profile aids in concealability.

One noticeable difference is the grip length. The Glock 22 offers a full-size grip that fills the hand. Shooters with large hands may find the Glock 23 grip too short for a proper hold, especially with the pinky finger.

The Glock 23 works best for those with small to medium-sized hands. The Glock 22 accommodates most hand sizes due to the longer grip.

Neither model is customizable for grip size from the factory. Aftermarket backstraps can modify grip circumference but not length.

Customization and Accessories: Glock 22 vs. Glock 23

The Glock 22 and Glock 23 have identical mounting rails for attaching tactical lights and lasers. Any light or laser designed for a standard Glock will fit either model.

There is an enormous aftermarket for Glock customization and accessories. Anything from threaded barrels to competition triggers to slide cuts and more are available from third parties.

Due to the similar size, most Glock 22 and Glock 23 accessories are interchangeable. 

The most common accessories include:

  • Night sights
  • Extended and high-capacity magazines
  • Magazine loaders and speed loaders
  • Recoil springs and guide rods
  • Slide covers and engraving
  • Stippling and grip texturing
  • Trigger modifications
  • Threaded barrels

The only difference would be any grip accessories that require fitting to a specific frame size. Otherwise, customization options are nearly endless for both models.

Sight Options: Glock 22 vs. Glock 23

The standard Glock 22 and Glock 23 both come equipped with simple white dot sights. These plastic sights are designed for combat functionality rather than target precision.

Many shooters opt for steel aftermarket sights with high visibility Tritium inserts for low-light shooting. Fiber optic sights are also popular for enhanced sight pictures.

Because the Glock 22 and Glock 23 slides are identical, all aftermarket sights made for either model are interchangeable. There are no limitations on sight selection.

For those who want the ultimate in-sight flexibility, milling the slide for a micro red dot optic is an option. This allows the pistol to be outfitted with a low-profile red dot sight.

Cost and Value: Glock 22 vs. Glock 23

As two of Glock's most popular pistols, the Glock 22 and Glock 23 offer good value. With street prices between $400 and $600 for new models, they are affordably priced for their features and proven reputation.

Typical retail pricing:

  • Glock 22: $499 to $549
  • Glock 23: $479 to $519

Used and police trade-in models can also frequently be found for under $400.

The Glock name carries a premium, but most agree it is one worth paying. Exceptional reliability, accuracy, and performance justify the modest extra cost over cheaper polymer pistols.

Due to high production numbers, magazines, holsters, accessories, and replacement parts are widely available for both the Glock 22 and Glock 23 making them easy to maintain and customize.

For a duty size .40 caliber pistol, the Glock 22 represents a great value. Similarly, the Glock 23 is an excellent choice in the compact pistol market. Dollar for dollar, you get proven performance with few compromises.

Concealed Carry: Glock 22 vs. Glock 23

While the Glock 22 is suitable for open carry or concealed carry with the right holster, the Glock 23 is better suited for discreet concealed carry.

The Glock 23's shorter barrel and grip shrink the footprint for easier coverage by a jacket or waistband. It also weighs several ounces less when loaded.

For concealed carry, the Glock 23 is less likely to print or expose itself unintentionally. The compact size also makes the Glock 23 more comfortable for extended IWB carry.

With the Glock 22's larger frame, grip length, and heavier weight, concealed carry requires more forethought and a good holster. The extended grip can also be more difficult to keep covered completely.

That's not to say concealed carry isn't possible with the Glock 22 for those willing to dress around the gun. But the Glock 23 gives you more flexibility in concealment options.

Home and Self-defense: Glock 22 vs. Glock 23

Both Glock models are well suited for home defense or concealed carry self-defense purposes. Their .40 S&W chambering provides exceptional stopping power.

The Glock 22 offers several advantages for home defense use:

  • Higher magazine capacity
  • Improved controllability from the full-size grip
  • Longer sight radius for accuracy

However, the Glock 23 is also a viable home defense pistol, especially if used with extended magazines. The compact size makes it easy to access quickly from a bedside safe or holster mount.

For self-defense carry, the Glock 23 again excels due to its concealed carry profile. The Glock 22 is bulkier and harder to conceal for everyday carry. But with the right holster and clothing, it can still be concealed if desired.

Law Enforcement Use: Glock 22 vs. Glock 23

Originally designed for the law enforcement market, the Glock 22 became an instant hit with police agencies. The large capacity, reliability, and firepower of the Glock 22 made it an ideal patrol pistol.

Many law enforcement officers appreciate the standard 15+1 round capacity of the Glock 22. Under stress, more rounds on tap are always better.

The Glock 23 serves as a suitable backup pistol or off-duty carry choice for police officers. Its compact size makes it easy to have available at all times while not hindering everyday activities.

Reliability Comparison: Glock 22 vs. Glock 23

Glock is practically synonymous with reliability. As two models from Glock's core lineup, the Glock 22 and Glock 23 maintain that reputation.

Both models are built to withstand tens of thousands of rounds of duty use. The reinforced polymer frame and hardy steel slide can handle the hottest .40 S&W loads as well as lighter practice loads.

The simple internal design with few moving parts enhances reliability. Glock perfection means completely dependable function when your life depends on it.

While extremely reliable, the Glock 23 may have a slight edge for reliability. The compact slide places less repetitive stress on the frame with each shot compared to the longer Glock 22 slide.

But for all practical purposes, both models are reliable enough to trust your life to. Proper maintenance and quality ammunition will ensure this.

Accuracy Comparison: Glock 22 vs. Glock 23

The Glock 22 and Glock 23 both offer exceptional practical accuracy, as is expected from Glock pistols.

The Glock 22 provides the theoretical edge in out-of-the-box accuracy thanks to the longer sight radius. However, real-world accuracy comes down to proper shooting fundamentals.

With a bit of practice, most shooters can easily achieve combat accuracy out to 50+ yards with either model. The shorter sight radius of the Glock 23 only slightly hinders this accuracy potential.

Those intending to use their pistol for competition or bullseye target shooting may want to choose the Glock 22 for the incremental accuracy advantages of the longer slide.

Recoil Comparison: Glock 22 vs. Glock 23

With the snappy .40 S&W cartridge, recoil control is a concern, especially for compact models designed for concealed carry.

The full-size Glock 22 absorbs recoil extremely well for its caliber. The recoil pulse is sharp but the large grip helps distribute it evenly in the hand. Recoil stays manageable even during rapid fire.

Due to its shorter, lighter design, the Glock 23 has a sharper perceived recoil than the larger Glock 22. The compact grip concentrates more recoil force into a smaller area.

The recoil remains controllable with proper grip technique. However, fast follow-up shots require strong recoil control. Smaller shooters may find the snappy recoil of the Glock 23 harder to manage.

For high volumes of shooting, the softer shooting Glock 22 is preferable. The Glock 23 works best when primarily carried concealed and shot occasionally.

Parts and Service Comparison: Glock 22 vs. Glock 23

One advantage of the Glock platform is the ease of maintenance and part availability. Glock parts interchangeability simplifies repairs and upgrades.

Virtually all parts including slides, barrels, springs, connectors, magazines, and more swap between the Glock 22 and Glock 23 with no fitting needed.

Because of the popularity of both models and the extensive use of both pistols by police forces, parts availability for either model is excellent. Any gunsmith familiar with Glocks can service the Glock 22 or Glock 23.

The only items limited to a specific model are complete frame assemblies and slide assemblies. But all other internals can be used in either gun.

Aftermarket Support Comparison: Glock 22 vs. Glock 23

Glocks enjoy unparalleled aftermarket support. Any accessory imaginable from magazines to sights, triggers, barrels, and more is readily available. The Glock 22 and Glock 23 are no exception.

From a customization standpoint, the ability to swap most parts between the Glock 22 and Glock 23 means aftermarket options are plentiful.

For holsters and model-specific accessories, the double popularity of these pistols increases accessory availability. Major manufacturers offer multiple holster fits, magazines, base pads, and slides.

As two of the most accessorized Glock models, you'll have no shortage of customization options to make your Glock 22 or Glock 23 distinctly your own.

Glock 22 vs. Glock 23: Which is Right for You?

Deciding between the Glock 22 and the Glock 23 comes down to your intended purpose and needs.

Those looking for a full-size .40 S&W pistol suitable for home defense, competition, or open carry will appreciate the Glock 22's extra capacity, controllability, and sight radius.

For a concealed carry or backup pistol, the Glock 23's compact size and firepower make it the superior choice. The ability to conceal the Glock 23 in more circumstances gives it an advantage.

Of course, you could always buy one of each! Many Glock enthusiasts own both a full-size and compact model to cover all the bases. This lets you enjoy the benefits of both.

While not identical twins, the Glock 22 and Glock 23 are close siblings. They provide the same renowned Glock performance and reliability in two versatile sizes. With legendary Glock perfection, you can be confident carrying either model. 

FAQ: Difference between Glock 22 and 23

What is the difference in size between the Glock 22 and Glock 23?

The Glock 22 is a full-size pistol with an 8.07-inch overall length and 5.47-inch height. The Glock 23 is a more compact pistol with a 7.36-inch overall length and 5.04-inch height. The Glock 23 is easier to conceal.

How does the magazine capacity compare?

The Glock 22 holds 15+1 rounds in the standard magazine. The Glock 23 holds 13+1 rounds in the standard magazine. Both can accept extended magazines for higher capacities.

Which model has less felt recoil?

The full-size Glock 22 absorbs recoil slightly better than the more compact Glock 23. The Glock 23 tends to have a sharper perceived recoil.

Is one model more accurate than the other?

The Glock 22 offers a slight accuracy advantage thanks to its longer sight radius. However, both are exceptionally accurate pistols, especially at defensive handgun ranges.

Which is better for concealed carry?

The Glock 23 is the better choice for concealed carry holsters. Its smaller size and lighter weight make it easier to conceal comfortably compared to the larger Glock 22.

What model is best for home defense?

The Glock 22 is an excellent home defense pistol thanks to its full-size grip, higher capacity, and longer sight radius. But the Glock 23 also works well, especially with extended magazines.

Do Glock 22 and 23 magazines work in both models?

Yes, the magazines are cross-compatible. Glock 23 mags will function in the Glock 22, they will just stick out slightly.

Is one model more customizable than the other?

Both models have huge aftermarket support for accessories like sights, barrels, and more. Customization potential is essentially equal between the two.

Which provides better value for the money?

The Glock 22 and Glock 23 are very close in price, typically within $20-50 dollars. You get excellent value with either model thanks to Glock's proven reputation.

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