Caliber - .40SW
Capacity - 13+1
Action - Glock's proprietary "Safe Action" system
Barrel - 4.02 inches
Weight - 23.62 oz. with empty magazine
Introduced in the early 1990s, the Glock 23 was the first compact pistol to chamber the .40SW cartridge. Identical in all respects except caliber to the 9mm G19, the 23 was in instant hit with law enforcement and armed citizens alike, and it continues to be one of Glock's hottest selling models nationwide. Original capacity was 13+1, but this was reduced to 10+1 by the 1994 magazine ban. Current production versions of the G23 feature the 3rd Generation "FG&R" frame with molded finger grooves and accessory rails.
Not being a particular fan of the .40SW round, I held off buying a G23 for a LONG time. After getting my Kahr K40 and spending some trigger time on a borrowed subcompact Glock 27, I warmed up to the .40 and began to consider adding a G23 to my inventory. What really pushed me over the edge was my association with Steve Silverman of Firearms Research & Instruction. A one-man evangelical force touting the superiority of this gun/cartridge combination, Steve has owned and carried a G23 since the type first became available on the East Coast where FR&I is headquartered. After attending a number of Steve's classes and meeting other FR&I alumni who had been "converted," my will to resist was broken. I came across a too-good-to-pass-up deal on a 2nd Generation G23 with two NFML 13rd magazines in early 2001, and my journey to the Dark Side was complete...
Now I know what the other guys are talking about! Not only is the G23 a near-perfect fit, but it is also VERY accurate. Steel plates are easy pickings back to 25 yards, and the 18" gong at 100 yards can be hit with almost boring regularity. As anticipated, through its initial test run the G23 was 100% reliable with FMJ (FP) ammo and several varieties of hollowpoints. I prefer the middleweight 155-165gr loads in the .40, and found their recoil to be quite manageable in the G23; the sensation is much the same as shooting my Kahr K40 or .45ACP Glock 36.
I have owned several G23s now. My original Robar-finished G23 was a 2nd-Generation model, which I elected to have redone in NP3 because I had purchased it second-hand and it showed quite a bit of finish wear. Once I had decided to standardize on the 3rd-Generation "FG&R" Glock frame, I sold this gun and sent the 3rd-Gen G23 I had won in a GSSF match to Robar for the same treatment, even though it was a brand-new pistol! I was that impressed with the cosmetics and durability of the NP3 coating.
My previous "nickel-plated sissy pistol" had been done in a combination of Robar's proprietary NP3 and Roguard finishes. NP3 is an electroless nickel plating impregnated with Teflon. This finish is a matte silver color, very
durable and somewhat slick. Roguard is a glossy black finish that is much more corrosion resistant than bluing. I chose to have the slide, slide internals and frame internals NP3'ed, while the barrel and extractor were
done in Roguard for contrast. The result was quite striking while at the same time offering superior durability to Glock's factory black oxide. As a bonus, neither the
NP3 nor the Roguard adversely affects the Glock's Tenifer finish, so the gun is protected with a double layer of corrosion resistance. After awhile, I discovered that Roguard, while corrosion-resistant, is not particularly durable. After just a few hundred rounds downrange, the
Roguarded barrel was showing a LOT of wear; the finish was evidently not designed for use on moving parts (the extractor, which is non load-bearing, continued to look like new). With this in mind, I elected to have all the parts on my 3rd-Gen. pistol done in NP3. While not as attractive as
the contrasting black-and-silver of the Roguard/NP3 combination, I believe it will be much more durable and functional.
Upgrades and Enhancements
As a Certified Glock Armorer, I offer carry enhancement packages for my customers at the gun shop where I work. The Robar G23 has become somewhat of a testbed and demo gun for some of these options. To date, I have installed: Meprolight night sights, a factory extended magazine release, a factory extended slide stop, a smooth trigger face, a Jentra frame plug and a Carry Trigger setup (3.5# connector + NY1 trigger spring). Most of the upgrade parts are factory Glock and do not degrade reliability in any way. Rather, they make the gun more comfortable and carry friendly, easier to operate under stress, and give a distinctive custom look.
The Bottom Line
With a higher velocity, flatter trajectory and as much or more energy than the .45ACP, yet able to be fired from a 9mm-sized pistol with a reasonable magazine capacity, the .40 is perhaps THE ideal pistol round for personal defense. And the Glock 23, large enough to have a good capacity and sight radius, yet small enough for the average person to conceal, is the perhaps the ideal launch platform. This combination is the "unofficial official" sidearm for instructors and alumni of Firearms Research & Instruction, Inc. Nuff said.