I take in a deep breath, steady my sights on the steel silhouette, and squeeze off a round. The Glock 21 bucks in my hand with a fast, sharp recoil.
As I watch the large, brass casing fly through the air I hear the loud "PONG!" of the 300-grain .50 caliber bullet slamming into the target 75 yards away....That's right! I said .50 caliber.
As if a .45 caliber Glock wasn't perfection enough, Guncrafter Industries (GI) decided to take the proven Glock 21 design and couple it with its .50 cal munitions into a drop-in conversion unit.
I happened upon this kit at a trade show, and it took me a moment to realize that the large cocktail olive-sized rounds on the table were not mockups but actual working production rounds. I immediately placed a request for a unit and waited for my kit to arrive. When it did a few weeks later it was like Christmas morning. I love this thing.
The slide and barrel are beautifully machined from stainless steel forgings and are completed with a matte, brushed finish. The assembly comes complete with slide, barrel, a "beefed up" spring assembly, and an eight- or nine-round magazine. The assembly slides neatly onto a Glock 20, 21, or 21SF lower with ambi safety and behaves exactly like the original.
GI's slides and match grade barrels have recently had an additional upgrade. An internal clearance cut on the barrel now allows for easier ejection of live rounds. GI's customers spoke and the company listened, then it designed and implemented a fix to the problem of clearing live rounds from the chamber.
GI also responded to the requests of end users to add a conventional finish so as to more closely match the look of a factory Glock. The end result is an almost identical match to a stock Glock. While stainless is sexy as evidenced by my wife's affinity for this gun, it's not a practical finish for a law enforcement weapon. Stainless steel doesn't do well under the daily stresses of duty use. GI has therefore implemented a black Melonite finish that is incredibly tough, much like Glock's own Tenifer finish.
The first time I assembled the weapon and slid in a magazine, it felt exactly like a standard Glock 21. The Glock 21 coincidentally is a weapon that I know better than any other in the world. So I was impressed that someone could actually take a weapon that I find to be perfect and actually improve upon it.
No Recoil Fear
I really liked the fit and finish of the GI .50. But I needed to know how it fired. Was it going to put me on my rear as one tends to see the .50 Desert Eagle do to some folks?
I liken the experience of handling a fully loaded Desert Eagle to trying to hold a whale covered in Vaseline. They're quite the eye candy but aren't practical weapons.
The Glock 21, however, is practical. It's a large, but not impossibly so, handgun. And it can easily be concealed in any number of ways, even when fitted with a .50 caliber conversion kit.
I've always wanted to see a .50 cal that could really be shot by most average-sized folks. Guncrafter Industries has found that balance in the Glock 21.
And yes, the Glock frame can easily handle the .50 GI. Though quite powerful, the .50 GI cartridge is not a Magnum round. It operates at low to medium pressures and is well suited for both the Glock and the 1911 platforms.
Recoil I must tell you was not as bad as expected. I braced myself expecting a real wrist splitter but instead got a fast impulse just a bit over that of a 230-grain .45 cal +P. This is due in part to the .50 GI loads and of course the polymer construction of the Glock frame. The receiver absorbs a great deal of the recoil generated by the massive .50 GI round and saves the shooter from the abuse.