How to use a GLOCK pistol

Welcome to GLOCK University, a place for higher handgun education. Below you'll find professional instruction on shooting fundamentals to get the most from your GLOCK pistol.

  • 1. Basic safety rules

    GLOCK's 10 rules of gun safety

    1. Rule 1: Train with all your guns.
    2. Rule 2: Handle every firearm as if it's loaded.
    3. Rule 3: Always point the muzzle in a safe direction, away from yourself and others.
    4. Rule 4: Keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot. Never rest your finger inside the trigger guard.
    5. Rule 5: Check the gun chamber after use to make sure it's completely empty and clear of cartridges.
    6. Rule 6: Know your gun's safety features.
    7. Rule 7: Store your gun properly.
    8. Rule 8: Educate loved ones on gun safety.
    9. Rule 9: Ensure all users are properly trained.
    10. Rule 10: Properly maintain your gun.

    Click here to learn more

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    2. Loading a GLOCK Pistol

    1. 1.Insert the proper caliber ammunition into the magazine.
    2. 2.Hold the pistol by the grip in your dominant hand while pointing the muzzle in a safe direction.
    3. 3.Slide the magazine into the magazine well area of the grip with your finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard.
    4. 4.With your finger off the trigger, use the overhand method to chamber the first cartridge by pulling the slide backwards with your support hand and releasing. The slide will ‘snap’ forward and chamber the top cartridge. If you have a hard time pulling the slide backwards, you can also push the frame forward while holding the slide in place.
    5. 5.With your finger off the trigger, holster the fully loaded pistol ensuring nothing is placed into the trigger guard.
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    3. Unloading a GLOCK Pistol

    1. 1.Hold the pistol in your dominant hand with the muzzle pointing in a safe direction, making sure your finger is off the trigger and out of the trigger guard.
    2. 2.Press in on the magazine catch to remove the magazine.
    3. 3. Use your support hand to grab the back of the slide, and pull it back to allow the chambered round to be ejected.*
    4. 4. Place your dominant hand thumb (if right-handed) under the slide stop and push it upwards while pulling back the slide again to lock the slide to the rear. Check physically (with a finger), and visually, both the magazine well area and chamber to ensure there is no ammunition left in the pistol.

    *Do not attempt to catch the ejecting live cartridge.

  • 4. Stance

    The "Isosceles Stance" is the most common and natural for many people. Stand with your feet parallel and shoulder-width apart (dominant side foot can be slightly to the rear). Flex your knees, bend forward from the waist, and extend the pistol out in both hands (arms resemble an isosceles triangle). Keep your body facing straight towards the target.

    The "Weaver Stance" has your dominant foot back further from your other foot, and your body is angled more towards the target. The dominant arm is extended towards the target while the support arm elbow is bent downward sharply.

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    5. Grip

    When gripping a GLOCK pistol, the web of the dominant hand is placed as high as possible on the backstrap. Most people use either the ‘pad’ or the first joint of the index finger on the trigger. A proper fitting grip should allow the forearm to be aligned straight with the backstrap of the pistol. If possible, also use the support hand to grip the pistol by placing it opposite the dominant hand as high as possible on the grip with fingers under the trigger guard. Shooters should be able to move the trigger finger without readjusting the grip of the other fingers.

    Place your grip as high as possible on the grip area, making sure both thumbs are on the same side of the pistol. Leaving the support hand thumb across the back of the slide area will cause injury to the thumb and possibly induce a stoppage in any semi-automatic pistol.

    Use a firm grip to reduce muzzle flip, but not to the point of your hands trembling.

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    6. Sights

    When ready to shoot, it is important to know your surroundings and what is behind your target. It is also just as important to know how to properly align your sights to achieve the best accuracy.

    To achieve proper sight alignment, line up the rear sight with the front sight. Make sure the front sight is centered and the top is level with the top of the rear sight. You should have equal space on both sides of the front sight while aligned with the rear.

    While keeping the sights aligned properly with each other and your eyes, move them onto the center of your target. Keep the sharpest focus on the front sight (rear sight and target will be slightly out of focus).

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    7. Trigger pull

    Pull the trigger carefully and straight back while trying to keep the sights aligned and a proper sight picture on the target. Do not ‘jerk' or 'yank’ the trigger.

    To fire another shot, catch the front sight in recoil and bring it back on target again. Very briefly ‘hold’ the trigger to the rear as you learn the efficient ‘trigger reset’ operation.

    For target shooting and plinking, try to take several deep breaths and exhale before starting your trigger press. On your last breath, exhale about halfway and then hold your breathing while pressing the trigger carefully and straight back.

  • 8. Check the chamber

    Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, with your finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard. Using the overhand method, grip the slide serrations and pull back the slide while pushing up on the slide stop lever. This will lock the slide open, allowing you to check the chamber and magazine well areas visually and physically (with a finger).

  • 9. Clearing the gun

    Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, with your finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard, press inwards on the magazine catch to release the magazine in the grip area. Using the overhand method, grip the slide serrations and pull back the slide sharply to eject any chambered cartridge. Repeat to make sure no other rounds can be ejected from the chamber. Pull the slide back again while pushing up on the slide stop lever. This will lock the slide open, allowing you to check the chamber and magazine well areas both visually and physically (with a finger).

  • 10. Cleaning & Maintaining

    GLOCK pistols are easy and simple to maintain. To minimize maintenance issues, it is important to use good ammunition of the proper caliber. Additionally, an occasional cleaning and light lubrication will keep your GLOCK pistol functioning at an optimal level.

    Only three parts of the GLOCK pistol will need lubrication: connector, slide and barrel. It is important never to lubricate the magazine, weep hole or firing pin. See Field Stripping on how to take apart the GLOCK pistol for cleaning.

    To maintain the integrity of the gun, GLOCK recommends leaving the pistol in factory-issued form with no aftermarket parts. Should an issue arise with a factory-issued pistol, GLOCK's customer service staff will troubleshoot any issues.




Please let us know if you’ve found this information helpful. We would love to hear any suggestions you have on how we can better promote gun safety.

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