Glock 21 Review – Glock 21SF Review

The Glock 21 is a full size .45 ACP pistol made in the Glock tradition of durable, light weight, high reliability, polymer frame pistols. I purchased my 21SF as my first pistol in .45 ACP.

I don’t know why, but shooting it is a lot of fun. Maybe that’s because the holes it makes are big enough for me to see with my poor eyesight. The only downside is cost. Shooting .45 caliber costs over 50% more than shooting 9mm. I shoot a lot of rounds at the range and buy a couple thousand rounds at a time so shooting .45 is more expensive for me.

Glock 21 Review - Glock 21SF Review

Glock 21 Review – Glock 21SF Review

Concealed Carry – The Glock 21 is a large pistol. It is wide to accommodate the 13 round staggered magazine. Although some do carry it concealed,  it’s large size requires more planning than carrying something like a Glock 19. A comfortable shoulder holster is a good bet for carrying the big Glock concealed or any other large size gun for that matter.

Holsters – There are many holsters available for the Glock 21. The models with piccatinny rail require a wider holster designed specifically for the rail.

Glock 21 Big Dot Sight Picture

Glock 21 Sight Picture with Big Dot Sights

The standard Sights have the white dot front with whit outline rear. This type of sight provides easy sight acquisition and is plenty accurate for a self defense or home defense pistol. I replaced my standard sights with a set of Big Dot sights. The Big Dot sight is made for fast target acquisition and enough accuracy for self defense. They are not suitable for target sights but are excellent for any self defense scenario where fast acquisition is required. The correct Big Dot sight picture is a lolipop that consists of a big dot top sitting on a single line. The Big Dot is a Glock night sight.

Accuracy – This large is  handgun is more accurate than I am. I can easily shoot 6 inch groups and sometimes smaller groups at 15 yards. This is plenty accurate for my purposes.

Glock 21 vs. Glock 21SF – These are pretty much the same pistol except that the 21SF Short Frame version has a .12 inch smaller grip size front to back.

Prices – I found my Glock 45 pistol for sale at Scheels for $599.00. Buds Gun Shop had then for $537.00 shipped to your FFL. The price for a used Glock 21 isn’t much savings so I prefer to buy a new Glock.

Recoil – The recoil is noticeably more than any 9mm I have shot except the Kimber Solo shooting +P Golden Saber, but the large size of the G21 makes it a comfortable .45ACP to shoot.

Magazine Capacity 13 plus 1 45 ACP

Magazine Capacity 13 plus 1 of 45 ACP

The magazine holds 13 rounds of .45 ACP. The 21SF magazines are interchangeable except that the models with ambidextrous magazine release won’t release the older non ambidextrous magazines.

The Gen 4 grip size is adjustable. Two additional back straps are provided to provide a range of grip sizes. Another difference is in the Glock recoil spring. The Gen 3 uses a full length recoil spring and the Gen 4 uses a compound recoil spring which is designed to reduce recoil. The compound recoil spring in the picture is from a Glock 30 and is shorter than a Glock 21 Gen 4 recoil spring.

Compare Glock Gen 3 Recoil Spring to Compound Gen 4 Recoil Spring

Compare Glock Gen 3 Recoil Spring to Compound Gen 4 Recoil Spring

Glock RTF (rough textured frame), refers to the texture dots on the grip sides and front and back strap. First and second generation Glocks had a smooth frame surface. The RTF feature was introduced in 2009.

Glock 21SF Disassembled for Cleaning

Glock 21SF Disassembled for Cleaning

Disassembly for cleaning is the same as for any Glock. Pull the slide back about .5 inch to allow the take down lever to be pulled up. Dry fire to release the striker, and remove the slide off the front of the frame. The Glock 21 Frame is nylon polymer and requires little cleaning and very little lube. The Glock slide is CNC machined from a solid billet of quality gun steel. The slide assembly breaks down for cleaning by removing the Glock Recoil Spring, and removing the Glock barrel. The Glock barrel is rifled using a polygonal shape that provides a better gas seal and closely resembles a circle in shape.

Glock 17 vs. Glock 21 – The Glock 21 is wider than the Glock 17, a little heavier, other than that they are very similar in size.

Glock 21SF vs Kimber Crimson Carry II

Glock 21SF vs Kimber Crimson Carry II

Glock 21 vs. 1911 – The main differences are magazine capacity,13 rounds vs. 6 rounds, weight,26.28 Oz. vs. 38 Oz and appearance. The Glock is just not as nice looking as my Kimber 1911 Crimson Carry. But, I would much rather have my Glock 21SF in a gun fight where 13 very big holes wins over 6 big holes every time.

Glock 21 vs. XD 45 – There really isn’t much comparison to make. The Glock is the real deal and the XD 45 looks similar. The XD 45 is heavier, has the same magazine 13 + 1 capacity, and the price is about the same. The XD has a grip safety and the G21 uses the Glock Safe Action system. When in doubt, buy the Glock.

Check Price and Availability of Glock 21SF

Glock 21SF vs Glock 30

Compare Glock 21SF to the Glock 30

Glock 21 Specs

  • WEIGHT Empty 26.28 oz.
  • WEIGHT Loaded 38.28 oz.
  • LENGTH 7.59 in.
  • HEIGHT 5.47 in.
  • WIDTH 1.27 in.
  • TRIGGER PULL 5.5 lbs.
  • TRIGGER TRAVEL 0.5 in.
  • LINE OF SIGHT 6.77 in.
  • BARREL LENGTH 4.60 in.



Related Posts:
Glock 17 Review
Glock 19 Review
Glock 26 Baby Glock
Glock 26 Extension Pinch
Glock 30 Review
Glock Cleaning
External Safety

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Chuck Burns Aug 30, 2014, 5:11 pm

    It’s hard to beat 13+1 rounds of 45 ACP.

  • RKM Aug 30, 2014, 2:18 pm

    I am a 1911 guy, that said I carry a Glock 19 on ccw. I keep both an Ed Brown and a Glock 34 on the dresser at night. I went to the Glock 19 for CCW carry due to an easier manual of arms. I feel more confident not having to break the thumb safety when drawing for defense. I still prefer a 1911 for IDPA , three gun , and just plain range practice, but for concealed carry it is the Glock 19 or 17 that comes out of the safe each morning. I am currently thinking of replacing the Ed Brown on the dresser each night with a new Glock 21sf. Guess this is what they mean by an old dog learning a new trick.

  • N Kerr Apr 7, 2014, 8:19 pm

    I’ve got both the Glock 45 and a Kimber Custom II. The difference amount of ammo isn’t that significant if you can shoot acurately. 14 vs 9 rounds both are sufficient to get you out a bad situation. More important for me is; concealment, recovery, and accuracy. I find that my Kimber is better to carry concealed, even summer shorts and T’s, the heft allows me quicker recovery and as to quick defensive accuracy, yah both do quite well. But as far as scores on paper and practical course work, it’s the Kimber that brings the numbers. Maybe it’s because I’m an old fart that learned to shot a 1911 in Nam, for me the 1911 is my carry. And I have had FTEs with my glock and and not the Kimber, not what I expected. (Always shoot a bunch of defensive ammo and use the ones that reliable).

  • cebur19 Dec 5, 2012, 9:16 am

    It depends on how you plan to use It? The Glock 21SF is a large handgun with a fat grip. It probably isn’t the best for concealed carry because of it’s size. I use mine as my go to home defense gun. I pick up the Glock 21SF when I hear something at night and want to investigate. It is just hard to beat 13 + 1 rounds of 45ACP coming from an ultra reliable Glock pistol. It is a comfortable gun to shoot and it is very accurate. If possible shoot one before you buy.

  • FRANK61 Dec 5, 2012, 6:39 am


  • cebur19 Sep 17, 2012, 1:34 pm

    I love my Glock 21SF. It is my home defense weapon of choice. Who can argue with 13 + 1 rounds of 45 ACP. And it works every time. Also like my Sig and Berettas.

  • Mike Sep 17, 2012, 1:23 pm

    I have owned several Glock’s. Currently; 19 Gen 4, Model 26, 30 SF, 37 GAP, 22 Gen 4 and a Model 20. All but the 37 have KKM Barrels, 3.5 lb Ghost connectors and stainless steel or tungsten guide rod assemblies. All internals have been polished to a mirror finish. All have eaten whatever I have fed them. All are accurate. I’m going to get a 21 SF or 21 Gen 4. When considering that I replace many parts, I think I’ll go with the 21 SF. (Love my Sig’s and Beretta also.)

  • cebur19 Aug 26, 2012, 1:28 pm

    Yes, I like my Glocks, but mine are all Gen 3. I agree about the 1911 which has a dedicated cult following. I tried one made by Kimber, a Pro Crimson Carry II. it was expensive and not the quality that Kimber is given credit for. There are also those who like the AK-47, and Sigs. Just about every firearm manufacturer has its fans. Plastic guns are OK, I have several, but I like some all metal guns too. Some of the Sigs, my favorite are the S&W Gen 3 all metal pistols.

  • wood-dawg Aug 25, 2012, 8:40 pm

    glock got it right the first time, and for a handgun you don’t need to spend $1100 bucks to throw a 45acp or 9mm at an attacker thats only 5 to 10 feet from you.
    technology has changed so much that the older models like the 1911 are out even when they work just fine and new light materials used in firearms today are stuff of sci-fi here in 2012.
    glock set the bar 25 years ago and i have sold all my sigs in favor of the gen4 22,23,26, and gen4 g21 for ease of maint,low weight and cost period, beside they go band every time unless you have bad ammo.

  • cebur19 Aug 18, 2012, 11:55 pm

    I like my Glock 21SF. It is my favorite Home Defense Weapon, 13 rounds of 45ACP and excellent accuracy make it quite formidable. I experimented with a lighter trigger pull but changed it back

  • Tim Aug 18, 2012, 7:28 pm

    Just shot the 21sf for the first time today. Enjoyed it very much except for the trigger, which is probably an unusual complaint. I just didn’t feel like there was enough ‘real estate’ on the trigger for comfortable, consistent shooting. I’ll probably buy one nonetheless, as it is clearly a very capable platform. I’ve heard others say it took them some time to learn the trigger, anyway. Suspect I’m no different.

  • cebur19 Jun 25, 2012, 4:31 pm

    I also own the Glock 17 but for Home Defense when I get up at night to investigate a noise I grab the Glock 21SF. For a home defense weapon the weight difference isn’t an issue for me. I prefer the ability of making 13 big holes vs 17 not as big holes. The Colt Defender is a nice looking gun. Thanks for your comment.

  • todd Jun 25, 2012, 9:54 am

    I have personally purchased a Colt “Defender” it holds 6plus one, I love the Glocks and am thinking of trading it for a Glock 21sf 13rds of .45acp is huge fire power, my only reservation is the weight of the ammo. I already have a Glock 17 hi cap 9mm that would fill the role of hi cap. ?????????????????????????

  • cebur19 Jun 12, 2012, 10:05 am

    Thanks for the info. At first I thought the Springfield Armory XD line of pistols were just Glock knockoffs. The XD is a top seller and quite popular so I did a little investigation. Springfield Armory is primarily a marketing organization that purchased the SA name. The XD takes ideas from Glock, Sig, and the 1911. One thing they do well is to supply a range of accessories including holster with every new purchase. I don’t care for the grip safety.

  • JamesF Jun 11, 2012, 2:45 pm

    Thanks for the pics and overview. One minor note about the difference between the XD and Glock – the “Safe Action” system that the Glock employs is functionally identical to the XD’s trigger mechanism. The grip safety should be viewed as an additional safety feature, not a safety feature used in lieu of the “Safe Action” system.

    That being said, I am not an XD fan. Springfield continues to send more jobs overseas to Brazil and Croatia, whereas Glock was founded in Austria and has created more and more jobs stateside – they even make Glocks here for other countries. Who would you spend your money with?