View Full Version : Convince Me to Buy (Or Not Buy) a G20

March 31, 2009, 08:24 PM
I'm really torn about what to get. Currently, I have a G23, which I like, but sometimes I miss shooting something with more power. I can't help it, it's fun!

I've been considering the G20 SF (I saw a G20C SF online, which would be even better) and getting an aftermarket .40 barrel for it. I feel this would give me the ability to shoot power when I wanted, and also shoot more cheaply with the .40 barrel.

I'd have to sell my G23 in order to buy the G20, so the decision is hard. Please help convince me which way to go!

(And yes, jgroadie, I know your positon! :))

Tom B
April 1, 2009, 08:02 AM
I have owned 3 G-20s over the years and have liked them. I prefer the 10mm over the 45acp (but I prefer several cals over the 45acp). The downside is the size of the gun (as in large) and the cost of 10mm ammo (as in large). If your into the "big bang theory" you may want to look at the 357sig in your G-23.

April 1, 2009, 08:51 AM
I have a G20 with a 40 conversion barrel its been absolutely reliable and accurate in either caliber. The 40s work just fine inthe regular G20 magazines. If you can only have one 10mm the G20 is it. it was built specifically for the round and handles it well. I highly recomend it.

I always bring the 40 barrel to the range that way I don't have to stop shooting if I run out of 10mm and the range has none. Which unfortunately happens more often than not.

Unlike a lot of 10mm users that for some reason hate the 40, I love it. I consider it just like shooting 38s from my 357 mags, only the 40 is alot more powerful than the 38.

However, the down side is that the g20 is a big gun and there is no gettting around it. I got it for when I'm out fishing in the swamp or hunting boar. But unless I'm actually hunting it never comes with me.

Here in florida we have bear, panthers (never seen one in 28 years), alligators, boar, poisonous snakes and now giant pythons.

My usual carry gun when out in the swamp and not hunting is a G26 or 27. I'm comfortable that combined with a little common sense they will do anything that needs being done with a handgun.

So whats the point of this rambling disertation? If you can only have one of the two (G23 or G20). I'd just keep the 23, especially if its your everyday carry gun. If its only a sometimes carry gun get the G20 its more versatile.

April 1, 2009, 09:00 AM
Personally I trend more towards the 45acp due to cost and familarity, but.. I can appreciate the appeal of the G20.

You seem to really want the G20. Get it.

April 1, 2009, 10:17 AM
Unlike a lot of 10mm users that for some reason hate the 40, I love it. I consider it just like shooting 38s from my 357 mags, only the 40 is alot more powerful than the 38.
I fit this profile, so I'll answer up as to why I'm one of those. I'm not trying to change your mind, but just offer a little insight as to what many of us don't like about it.

I don't like the .40 cal, but I do appreciate that it exists, because if not for the .40 S&W and it's popularity, us 10mm guys wouldn't have component bullets for reloading. Our selection would be as slim as .41 cal or any other oddball diameter. But due to the popularity of the .40, we have a vast, enormous bullet selection.

There are three main reasons why I don't like .40 S&W. One of them is emotional and not all that rational, but it's REAL. Smith & Wesson ended production of all their 10mm pistols in '94 to clear the market for their pet project, the .40 S&W. (it's just a funny footnote in history that Glock proceeded to beat them in marketing .40 S&W caliber pistols, S&W own damn caliber!)

When S&W killed off production of the 10xx series (and never produced them again), they not only took away from us one of the world's finest 10mm handguns ever, but they went a long way to hurting the commercial viability of the caliber itself. On the flip side, S&W did a helluva heap of good for the 10 when they won the FBI contract, but I'll never forgive their short sighted and (IMO) greedy move to push the .40 S&W at the expense of their 10xx series. They simply didn't want their fine 10mm pistols to compete with their pet .40 S&W project. In reflection, it was probably a good business decision (the .40 took off, and not having a similar but more powerful and better round as easily available didn't hurt)

Because of that, I'll forever hold it against S&W. And with me, the .40 cal takes a lot of that hate right along with it.

The second reason I don't like the .40 S&W caliber is because the most popular platform for it (the Glock pistols) are IMO, inherently less safe than most other semi-auto handguns. Given the pressure of the round (I'll address further in a moment), they basically took a 9mm platform, stuffed in a round that rounds at a higher pressure, and they bored a bigger hole in the barrel that was designed around a 9mm. Given their chamber support issues and the .40 S&W round itself, it all adds up to trouble. Of course, this gets debated all the time... the side I sit on is obvious. I'm not saying that a .40 cal Glock is inherently dangerous or unsafe. But for sure-- I am saying that it's absolutely less safe than most other semi-auto handguns from the leading manufacturers in any caliber.

The third reason I don't like .40 S&W is because I'm a reloader. I love the hobby, even more than shooting itself. The caliber is one of the most dicey to work with, running at extreme pressure, but with much less space to do so. It runs at basically the same pressure as the 10, but with less room for error and less flexibility with regards to bullet weight. With a 10mm, you can do anything a .40 can do, only at the expense of a slightly larger handgun, and less ammo capacity.

I don't like the comparison that was made with regards to .40 S&W being like shooting .38 Special in a .357 Mag. With a .357 Mag revolver, you've got a handgun that is expecting 35,000 PSI of pressure. Load it with .38 Special, you are feeding it 15,000 or 17,000 PSI (for the +P rounds). You are running half the pressure when you run .38 Special.

When you are using .40 S&W, you are running the same pressure, and now you are also violently shucking rounds in to the chamber as every semi-auto does. If you have some kind of brass problem that allows your bullet to set back (not unheard of when reloading ammo) you have just blown your pressure through the roof as the internal space is unintentionally diminished. And unlike the .38 Spl in a .357 Mag, you aren't running half pressure ammo in a platform designed around twice as much. You are running the same pressure ammo, but now it's in a caliber that has no wiggle room whatsoever for error. Add on top of all that the reputation for wonky brass that has been compromised by previous use in stock Glock barrels, and the comparison is not even in the same ballpark.

The difference between .38 and .357 is 40+ years and twice the pressure. The difference between .40 and 10mm is less space, same pressure, less than 10 years between the development of the two, and a hot little bastard of a round that doesn't have near the flexibility of it's Daddy.

If I owned a .40 or had a .40 barrel for my 10mm, YES, I would reload for it, but part of that is because I've got a lot of confidence in my ability at the load bench. I certainly do question the ability of some folks who have blown up pistols in .40 (and other) calibers. Rather than putting my abilities at safe reloading to the ultimate test, I simply don't like nor do I want the caliber. I've got plenty of other great calibers.

I don't have a problem with folks who like their .40s, or folks who like to shoot .40s out of a 10mm with an aftermarket barrel.

But I do have my problems with the caliber, and it goes beyond the fact that the .40 stole the thunder of the 10mm and outsells the 10mm, probably by 50x.

April 1, 2009, 10:19 AM
And to address the OP (again, sorry for the thread drift) you can count me as someone who is ABSOLUTELY on board with any equation that not only gets someone a 10mm pistol, but rids someone of a .40 cal Glock all in one fell swoop.

To me, that's like getting two for the price of one.

Go and get yourself a Glock 20. Even better that you are getting rid of a .40 S&W Glock. :)

April 1, 2009, 11:11 AM
I really enjoyed my G20 when I had it. I had a KKM .40S&W G20 conversion barrel and a Federal Arms .357SIG G20 conversion barrel for it. The only reason I traded it off, was that I later bought my G35 (longer sight radius and barrel length) and a LWD .357SIG G35 conversion barrel. I also had my G29, so I could still shoot 10mm when I wanted to. I recently bought a DW RZ-10, so I'm back to having a full size 10mm pistol again. The only thing I hate to see you do, is getting rid of the G23. The G23 is a great pistol. If you can somehow manage to buy the G20, without losing the the G23, that is your best bet.

April 1, 2009, 11:18 AM
I love my G20. Currently have a red dot sight mounted on it, via a Bobby Carver Hunter mount. I only shoot my reloads, so 10mm doesn't cost me any more than any other pistol caliber.

April 1, 2009, 12:37 PM
Thanks everyone for the replies.

I don't reload, so deformed brass isn't an issue. And I live in the Bay Area, so carrying isn't legal. Whatever I get (or keep) will be a range/HD gun. The funny thing is, I actually have an old Federal Arms .357 barrel for my G23 that I've never used once. It came with the gun.

I felt the G20SF in my hands yesterday, and while it's not Sig P220, the fit wasn't bad. Of course, I didn't shoot it, but it felt decent.

Would I have a problem with the magazines and recoil spring going back and forth between 10mm and .40? They both use a 17 pound spring, right?

April 1, 2009, 12:49 PM
When I had mine, I shot all three calibers using the same stock weight spring and never had any issues. I suppose if you are going to shoot some very hot 10mm loads (like Double Tap Ammo makes), you might want to get a little heavier weight spring than stock. If so, I would invest in a non-captive steel recoil rod of some type (I think Wolff gun springs makes a good one), that way you could change out springs fairly fast at the range. The factory mags will feed all three calibers just fine (10mm, .40 and .357sig all fed perfectly from my G20 15rd mags).

April 1, 2009, 01:03 PM
The 10mm is dying a slow death, scarcity and high prices have made the 10mm a niche cartridge, with a small but enthusiastic group of supporters. orchidhunter

April 1, 2009, 01:22 PM
The 10mm is dying a slow death, scarcity and high prices have made the 10mm a niche cartridge, with a small but enthusiastic group of supporters

Hey, I was expecting you! What took you so long? Do you have a cut and paste for this? ;)

April 1, 2009, 01:49 PM
My advise would be NOT to get started in the 10mm arena if you
have other interests.

It will become a sickness. I've been shooting handguns regularly
for 20+ years. Have 14-15 handguns. Number varies. Until two years
ago it was 9mm, 38, some .357 and a bunch of .45. Then I stumbled
on the 10mm. Three more pistols added, all 10mms. It's about
all I now shoot. If you haven't shot a 10, then don't bad mouth
it. It's a hoot! The G20 is a great gun. It is Glock ugly though.

"The 10mm is dying a slow death, scarcity and high prices have made the 10mm a niche cartridge, with a small but enthusiastic group of supporters..."

Yeah, well that may or may not be true. But once you start looking
around and talking you'll find there are an awful lot of people
interested in the 10 and a bunch more asking questions and wanting
to shoot your 10.

Just my opinion. YMMV.


April 1, 2009, 05:23 PM
Forget that G20. Get the G29.:D

April 1, 2009, 05:41 PM
i just fondled a g20 today. the only pistol for sale that was chambered in 10mm.
for all that i cant stand glocks, i would have bought it if the grip was just a tad bit slimmer. it felt more balanced, and aimed better than any other glock ive held.

the shop owner even pulled his loaded mag from HIS g20 to let me feel the balance.

i was half thinking i could drimmel the grip down a 1/4" or so lol.

April 1, 2009, 05:42 PM
I saw a box of ammo today for $31.95 (50 ea). It was the Winchester green & white box. :eek:

April 1, 2009, 06:49 PM
I don't have a G20, but I do have a 10mm. It is a blast to shoot. If you get one, you need to know that ammo is expensive and it is really hard to find stock ammo that is anything more than .40. But if you can find the better ammo (like DoubleTap), the weapon is a great round for self-defense in all situations. But be careful - it is an addiction! :cool:

April 1, 2009, 08:28 PM
for all that i cant stand glocks, i would have bought it if the grip was just a tad bit slimmer

The G20 SF allows a better grip. Felt pretty stable in my hand.

Hmmm, I'm leaning towards the G20, but I hate to sell my G23. Anyone wanna donate to the G20 fund? :)

April 1, 2009, 08:30 PM
Ammo is nuts to find and buy.

But when you carry a 10 mm Glock-you carry the top of the heap in semi auto power and comfort for that powerful a cartridge.

April 1, 2009, 08:44 PM
There is no real decission here. If you really want it and don't want to get rid of your existing then you can find the funds. Sounds like you just want justification to get it and don't really want to keep the existing one.
After all even the best of guns can break and a good back up is nice to have.;)

April 1, 2009, 09:03 PM
I just got back from a local sporting goods store. I was looking around. It's amazing how popular the .40 S&W caliber is. There were literally several hundred boxes of the .40 cal ammo sitting on the shelves (various brands) but only TWO BOXES OF 10MM. I believe it was Hornady. If you buy the G20 you'll have to buy the ammo online. Double Tap is my favorite online site.

April 1, 2009, 10:47 PM
its the opposite here, there is usually 3-4 boxes of 10mm on the shelves, and all the .40 wiped out.
all the ammo is slowly building back up tho.