Probably one of the most popular handguns in modern times is the Glock 19.¬† Sure, it‚??s not pretty.¬† What it is, though, is reliable.¬† And for a fighting handgun, is there any trait more desirable?
Falling somewhere between the typical compact pistol and a full-size handgun, the Glock 19 is equally adept as a concealed firearm or as a duty pistol.¬† While that might sound like a compromise gun, the pistol carries none of the negative traits commonly associated with compromise.
The G19 is chambered for the 9mm cartridge and can handle +P loads.¬† Stuff this gun with a high quality load like the Speer 124 grain Gold Dot +P or Winchester Ranger 127 grain +P+ and you will be well served by this pistol.
While I find 9mm to be a perfectly acceptable self defense caliber, I know others who prefer something with a little more punch.¬† Glock also makes the 23 and 32 which are the same size as the 19, but chambered for the .40 S&W and .357 SIG cartridges respectively.
The normal capacity magazine for the G19 load 15 rounds, and low capacity 10-round mags are available for less-free states.¬† The 19 will also accept the 33-round magazines developed for the full-auto Glock 18 machine pistol.
More often than not, I am wearing a pair of cargo shorts.¬† This allows me to carry a flashlight and a second magazine for the pistol.¬† Barring a real zombie apocalypse, 31 rounds of 9mm +P will likely see me through any emergency I encounter.¬† To me, the 33 rounders are fun to play with, but aren‚??t terribly practical for most applications.
Regular readers might recall than I typically carry my Glock 19 in a Milt Sparks Summer Special II IWB holster.¬† I find this holster is a near-perfect match to the pistol for concealment, comfort and affordability.¬† For open carry, or under a winter jacket, I like the BLACKHAWK! SERPA belt holster for my G19.
I have also carried the 19 in a so-called fanny pack.¬† I‚??ve never carried the pack in such a way that it rode my posterior, so I‚??m not sure why it is called a ‚??fanny‚?Ě pack.¬† Using a bag custom made for me by a now defunct company, I‚??ve found this carry method to be good for outdoor hikes in the winter when I am wearing multiple layers of clothes.
My 19 is a second generation gun easily distinguishable from other variations as it has a grenade grip, no finger grooves on the front strap and no light rail.¬† I personally dislike finger grooves on pistol grips beyond words, so I‚??ve had no desire to move into a newer Glock 19 pistol.¬† If I ever get a current generation Glock pistol, I‚??m immediately taking it to a custom shop to have the grooves ground off.
I used to keep track of how many rounds I have shot through this pistol.¬† I stopped somewhere north of 5000 rounds when I moved and lost my documentation.¬† That was more than seven years ago, and I‚??ve put thousands of more rounds through the gun since then.¬† I conservatively estimate my gun has run 10,000 rounds.
In all of that shooting, I only had two failures.¬† Both of the failures happened with the same magazine shortly after I had purchased the gun.¬† At the time, I lived less than 10 minutes from the Smyrna factory, so I dropped in to see if they would check the gun.¬† The staff at Glock was very accommodating and in less than 30 minutes, they replaced the problem magazine and gave the pistol a complete once over.
Since that time in 1997, I‚??ve never had a single malfunction of any kind.¬† That‚??s really saying something considering I have run the gun in the sun, snow and rain.¬† I‚??ve also used ammo of all types:¬† high-quality, surplus and reloaded.¬† No. Problems. Ever.
The current 19 is manufactured in Gen 4 trim.¬† Glock finally caught up with other manufacturers in the industry by making the Gen 4 pistols adaptable to people through the use of a modular backstrap system and a reversible magazine catch.¬† Having worked with enough shooters through the years, I know that one size does not fit all.¬†¬† These changes will make the G19 accessible to more people.
The new Gen 4 pistols also have a new texture and recoil spring assembly when compared to the third generation guns.¬† The new texture, called RTF (rough textured frame), is more aggressive than the older texture.¬† This allows the shooter to obtain a more secure grip on the pistol with sweaty hands or in the rain.¬† God forbid you are bleeding when you put this pistol in your hand, but you are more likely to have a secure hold on the gun if you are as compared to prior iterations.
The recoil spring assembly is completely changed from prior G19 pistols.¬† Previously, a single captive recoil spring was used in the gun.¬† Glock now uses a dual recoil spring assembly similar to what is found in the company‚??s subcompact guns like the G26 and G27.
The effect of the new assembly is supposed to be a greater reduction in recoil.¬† Shooting the pistol, I can‚??t really tell any difference in recoil from the prior generations.¬† Other people state that the recoil reduction in the new guns is significant.¬† Note that Glock is voluntarily exchanging the springs on the early Gen 4 pistols, so if you have a Gen 4 guns, check with the company to make sure you have the correct spring assembly.
If you do not like the Gen 4 changes, Glock is still making third generation G19 pistols.¬† It is unclear how long the company will continue to do this.
I think the Glock is an ugly gun.¬† However, self defense isn‚??t pretty work – it is generally a nasty business that is often accomplished by causing the other guy to bleed.¬† The Glock 19 is perfectly suited for this activity.¬† I‚??ve found it to be utterly reliable in all conditions and with all ammunition.¬† While I am not willing to give up my second generation Glock, I have no doubt that the Gen 4 guns will continue to serve the armed citizen and law enforcement officer well.
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