Glock 34 and Leupold DeltaPoint Pro a formidable pairing, as Daniel O’Dea discovered
For most handgun shooters the Glock pistol needs no introduction, in fact you hardly need to be a shooter to know what a Glock is. It’s said in some cultures the word has transcended definition as a brand name to enter the common vernacular as being a reference for any pistol, just as many refer to any cola as Coke. As far as pistols go it’s hard to ignore what I’ve previously described as the single most redefining post-war handgun of the last century – the Glock ‘Safe Action’ Pistol – but in case you’ve been in a coma for the past 40 years here’s a brief history.
Designed and manufactured by Austrian engineer Galston Glock, a plastics industrialist, in the early 1980s it originally came about to fulfil a military tender to supply a new handgun for the Austrian Army. Glock, whose set of products included such things as shower curtain rings, had previously supplied other minor plastic components to the military so the tender sparked his interest. His perfecting of the process of mating plastics to metal surfaces enabled him to incorporate a complete polymer frame into his new pistol design and the rest is history, the Glock pistol going on to not only win that Austrian tender but become by far the most prominent choice for law enforcement agencies worldwide.
Fast-forward to now and Glock finds itself in its Generation 5, filling multiple market niches with models of various frame size, barrel and slide length and of course calibre. Following a more recent trend Glock have also introduced their MOS (Modular Optic System) concept to certain models, a feature allowing easy attaching of an ever-growing array of modern red-dot optical sights created primarily for handguns. The concept is fairly simple as when shooters first started mounting red-dot sights on pistols they were generally large and cumbersome and mounted off brackets attached to the frame.
As technology improved, sights became smaller and light enough to enable fitment directly to the top of the slide without interfering with the function or reliability of the pistol. Initially this was done (and still can be) by removing the rear sight and using the dovetail groove to mount an adapter plate to take the relevant optic.
The next progression was for custom pistol-smiths to machine the slide to take the optical sight directly. This was preferable as the sight could be mounted lower for a better point of balance as well as sight over bore considerations. It even meant in some circumstances if the iron sights were increased in height, they could not only be retained but could co-witness with the red-dot. This further meant if the electronic optic failed you’d still have a viable way of accurately aiming the pistol.
As red-dot optics improved and became cheaper and better all round, market demand grew strongly until all the major players started making their own adjustments. With Glock it was the MOS, at Smith & Wesson the CORE (Competition Optics Ready Equipment), Beretta has RDO (Red Dot Optic) and Sig is just Optic Ready. All might be slightly different in terms of mount interface but the basic concept remains the same – a machine-cut slide to accept a modern red-dot pistol optic more effectively.
So to the firearm in question. Glock introduced the Generation 5 of its pistol back in 2018, notable differences being removal of finger grooves on the grip which consumer feedback had always been somewhat polarised about (the ‘no’ vote won), addition of an ambidextrous slide stop and increased bevel on the magazine well. Magazines also now have orange followers and being this Glock 34 is technically a Glock 34 Gen5 FS, it also came with front slide rackers neatly machined into the slide (FS literally means Front Serrations). That’s about it as far as visible changes aside from an improved finish but there are multiple small alterations internally, some to accommodate the ambidextrous slide stop and others just general improvements. The main feature in focus is the MOS option.
The Glock 34 Gen5 FS MOS came in a hard plastic case including a cleaning rod and brush, magazine loader, two 10-round magazines, four spare grip panels made up of large and medium sizes both with and without extended beavertail, user manual and a set of four adapter plates for the MOS system.
For the review and representing a perfect pairing, local distributor of both products, Nioa, provided a Leupold DeltaPoint Pro and the MOS system makes fitment easy. Step one is to ensure the gun is clear and made safe then remove the cover screws at the top rear of the slide to expose the precision-machined MOS recess. Adapter plates are numbered 1 through 4 and follow a series of footprints for most major red-dot optic manufacturers.
For instance plate 1 handles sights from Docter, Meopta and Insight, 2 is for Trijicon optics, 3 for C-More and 4 for Leupold and if you don’t recognise an option for your favoured optic, don’t worry as you’ll likely find one of the patterns listed shares its footprint with other brands (Burris and Vortex use the same pattern as Doctor).
On selecting the correct adapter plate you put it in place of the cover you just removed and screw it into position (for a torque wrench the suggested optimum is 1.5 Newton metres). Once fitted this provides the correct interface for your selected optic to be mounted using the correct mounting screws provided, so with little fuss I had the Leupold DeltaPoint Pro in place and was ready to put some lead down-range.
Leupold DeltaPoint Pro
This is one of the most popular red-dot pistol sights around, especially with competition shooters, perhaps because although compact it feels like the widescreen TV of red-dot pistol sights. The glass is wide, high and clear and put simply the bigger the lens window the more area there is to pick the dot up. Anyone who’s transitioned to using or even just tried a slide-mounted red-dot optic will tell you initially it can be hard to pick up the dot on presentation and until you’re used to it you might find yourself fishing around for it.
The more surface area there is to pick up that dot the easier it is to find. Better still, as red-dot optics are parallax free the dot doesn’t have to be centred in the lens to be zero on target, even if the dot presents at the top right-hand side of the window. As long as it’s still on the intended target hits should be spot-on, so theoretically the bigger the window the easier it should be to pick up the dot on draw presentation, transitions and recoil recovery.
The sight is 46.1mm long, 33.2mm wide and 33mm high with the sight window 25.7mm wide and 17.5mm high. The base of the sights sits a little higher than some others which limits the ability to co-witness with iron sights but uniquely the DeltaPoint has provision to fit an optional back-up rear iron sight at the stern of the sight base. Naturally this needs to be paired with a taller front sight blade which are also available.
The DeltaPoint Pro has a DiamondCoat scratch-resistant aspheric lens for enhanced brightness and resolution, protected by an outer steel shroud with blackened edges. Other features include a battery hatch hinged for easy access via a slide latch, the top of the hatch incorporating a multi-function button which turns the unit on and controls brightness levels (it uses a single CR2032 battery).
The unit powers-up by a press and release of the button, the same button cycling through 10 brightness settings. Brightness increases 25 per cent from lowest to highest so the top setting is 225 per cent brighter than the lowest and once mounted and powered up, adjustments for zero are made via elevation and windage screws at the top and right of the sight base. There’s 60 MOA total adjustment in either direction top to bottom and tweaks are made in distinct, audible clicks at 1 MOA values. Another feature is MST (Motion Sensor Technology), a battery-saving mode which after five minutes at rest puts the unit to ‘sleep’ until movement is detected.
On the range the Glock performed with typical functional reliability, not missing a beat in the feed, fire and eject cycle. I used the Glock MOS/DeltaPoint pairing in our big 9mm ammo review for Australian and New Zealand Handgun Issue 20 which includes 14 different 9mm loadings over various test criteria, so we managed a fair round count. Accuracy likewise was typical of a quality-made production polymer handgun, printing fist-sized 10-round groups with almost all ammo types.
The DeltaPoint Pro comes in both 2.5 and 6 MOA dot sizes, the smaller dot allowing more precision shooting at long ranges as the dot covers a smaller surface area on the target, though a larger dot is easier to pick up on presentation so arguably faster to use up close. The sample provided was the 6 MOA version but it’s going to come down to personal preference and intended use. It seems most competition pistol shooters prefer the smaller dot size but these compact sights are not only for pistols, in the US they’re often found as an offset secondary optic for close-up work both in action-type rifle competitions such as Three Gun or in tactical applications for delicate work.
I found the 6 MOA dot just fine at practical handgun distances and to test the limits of this set-up I lined up on a steel plate at 150m. Once I worked out the DOPE (Data On Previous Engagements) I could ring the steel with surprising regularity – a red-dot optic certainly extends the practical range of a handgun.
Most importantly the dot itself on the DeltaPoint Pro appeared perfectly round and sharp through my corrected vision. If you look through a red-dot sight and the dot looks blurred or irregular you may have an astigmatism which relates to imperfect curvature of your eye. It’s fairly common and can easily be corrected in your script if you wear glasses or contacts, so don’t necessarily think there’s a problem with your red-dot if it doesn’t appear perfect, it’s probably your vision.
Both the Glock 34 MOS and Leupold DeltaPoint Pro are great options for shooters looking to venture into pistol/optic disciplines. The Glock MOS system allows easy fitment of a variety of optics on a proven polymer pistol platform and the Leupold DeltaPoint Pro with maker’s legendary support and lifetime warranty provides real confidence in pistol-mounted optics.
Pistol: Glock 34 MOS
Action: Striker-fired, self-loading
Capacity: 10 rounds
Barrel: 135mm (5.31”)
Sights: Iron and optics ready
Sight radius: 192mm (7.56”)
Length: 224mm (8.82”)
Height: 139mm (5.47”)
Width: 33mm (1.3”)
Finish: Black (nDLC)
Weight: 735g (25.93oz)
RRP: About $1400 (check with dealer)
Optic: Leupold DeltaPoint Pro
Body size: 46.1mm x 33.2mm x 33mm
Aperture size: 25.7mm x 17.5mm
Body: Aircraft-grade alloy/steel shroud
Finish: Matte black
Aiming dot: 6 MOA
Eye relief: Unlimited
Adjustment range: 60 MOA
Battery: 1 x CR2032
Battery life: 300-1600 hours based on setting
RRP: About $800 (check with dealer)