GLOCK 19: The Perfect Handgun!

| 25 January 2010

You’re about to hear some strong opinions that back up that bold statement.
By Gila Hayes

The phone rings at our training academy, The Firearms Academy of Seattle, Inc. “Can you help me?” asks an unfamiliar voice on the other end of the line. “I plan to get a handgun, but first I want advice about what kind to get.”  Sometimes

the caller is male, sometimes female. Sometimes this purchase will be their first gun, other times, a replacement for a pistol that has proven unsuitable.  Without knowing the caller personally, how can we recommend one gun that assures the best chances of success?  “You just can’t go wrong with a GLOCK 19,” answers Marty Hayes, director of our academy. In a wide cross section of men and women, beginners and more advanced shooters, it is hard to find a shooter who will not succeed with a GLOCK 19.

John Farnam of Defense Training International concurs. “For a person coming to one of our courses it’s hard to think of a handgun that would work better than a GLOCK 19.”  “We’ve had a lot of students come to class with GLOCKs,” agrees Massad Ayoob of the Lethal Force Institute. “I do not think there is aneasier handgun with which to teach a new shooter.”  Legendary shooter Jim Cirillo praised the 9×19 GLOCK 19, saying “It is compact, yet powerful with the right ammunition—and it is easy to shoot.” He suggests that especially for  women, the GLOCK 19 may well be the perfect handgun. “I have found it very favorable for females,” Jim reports, “due to the ease of the trigger, the grip angle and the moderate recoil.”  Though prominent in the firearms training industry, these are only a few of the professionals who think the GLOCK 19 is an excellent choice. Here’s why:

Glock
Size

At 6.85 inches long, 5 inches high and weighing 21 ounces, the GLOCK 19 fits mid-way between the large, full-sized duty guns and the super-compact, concealed carry pistols that are a delight to carry but less pleasant to shoot. The GLOCK 19, tucked in a good concealment holster, fanny pack or holster handbag, is small enough for the licensed, armed citizen to conceal. Still, when it’s time to go to the range, its mid-sized dimensions provide excellent shoot-ability. The 6.5-inch sight radius snaps the sight picture into quick focus.

Glock G19“If you can only own one gun, it ought to be a GLOCK 19,” declares Andy Stanford, director of Options for Personal Security and author of numerous books, including Surgical Speed Shooting. He favors having one gun that is used for everything from training to carry. “I feel I can conceal a GLOCK 19 everywhere I can conceal a GLOCK 26,” this slightly built instructor comments. “The GLOCK 19 is definitely the way to go!”   Ayoob notes that the GLOCK 19 has worked extremely well for off-duty police officers. “Rather than train the officer to carry a small gun that is marginal in power and very difficult to use under stress, the GLOCK 19 is the perfect gun,” he reports. He adds that the GLOCK 19 became  “overwhelmingly the first choice of the 40,000 some officers of NYPD. It meant that through [an officer’s] career going from uniform to plainclothes then on to administration, the same officer could carry the exact same weapon. Many people found the full-sized service pistol too big when they got promoted and started wearing a suit.”
Caliber

Glock G19GLOCK’s wide selection of calibers offers the buyer a baffling variety from which to choose. Though GLOCKs in .45 G.A.P., 10mm, .45 Auto, .40, .357 have advantageous attributes, and fans, the novice is hard-pressed to find a better choice than 9×19. It is widely available, affordable, accurate and controllable. Andy Stanford finds that, “People shoot better with a 9×19, particularly in training.” In his experience, this is true of both experienced and novice shooters.  The 9×19 ammunition choices range from high-velocity hollow points for self-defense to gentle loads pushing a 115-grain, round-nosed bullet downrange considerably slower. When learning to shoot, the beginner can enjoy the gentle recoil of the latter, while working up to a level of skill and comfort that makes it practical to load up high-performance ammunition for self protection or home defense.
Ease of operation

Beginners and pros alike reap the benefits of the elegantly simple operation of the GLOCK handgun. The GLOCK Safe Action design allows quick target engagement, operating on the principle that the best safety is a conscientious shooter. Instead of relying on a thumb safety, the GLOCK shooter must strictly adhere to the safety principle of keeping the finger outside the trigger guard until on target and having made the decision to shoot. Ayoob applauds the famed GLOCK ergonomics, commenting, “It allows the shooter to focus on the basics. In fact, I’ve used the GLOCK as a loaner gun for students with dexterity problems manipulating the levers on their own guns.” Farnam also praises the GLOCK simplicity. “There are no decock levers or manual safeties. The checklist is relatively short for shooting and reholstering.” He concludes that for shooters with medium to large hands,  the GLOCK 19 is “as close to ideal as I can imagine.”Glock G19

Asked if he is troubled that GLOCKs have no thumb safety, Farnam answers that reliance on an external safety lever is nothing more than a superstitious fear of guns. “At some point we must say, ‘This gun can be dangerous, and I am in control of it!’” he urges passionately.
Maintenance and durability

Few handguns enjoy such a simple maintenance regimen as the GLOCK autopistol. While it is wise to keep it cleaned and lubricated, a GLOCK pistol is capable of successfully completing a week of rigorous firearms training or a high-round shooting match without cleaning.  Of course, the owner of the self-defense GLOCK should keep their pistol clean, and the task couldn’t be easier. Disassembly is simple, and once field stripped, the frame, slide and barrel are easy to brush, scrub and swab clean. In a mere 10 minutes after a practice session at the range, the GLOCK owner can clean their pistol, load it up and walk off the range with a well-maintained handgun. The GLOCK 19, unlike guns costing double and triple its retail price, is capable of discharging tens of thousands of rounds without fear of wearing it out. Cirillo cites the numerous torture tests through which GLOCK pistols have excelled. “Its proven reliability surpasses almost any other gun that I know of,” he observes.
Accessorizing

Though renowned as durable and sturdy, the GLOCK 19 need not be the Plain Jane at the pistol match. So popular is the GLOCK autopistol that the selection of aftermarket accessories is staggering. Indeed, finding accessories to personalize your GLOCK 19 is not the challenge; the task lies in pickingGlock G19through the selection to buy only products that are truly a practical improvement. Adding GLOCK’s extended slide release lever, as well as installing their longer magazine release, has proven advantageous for smaller-handed shooters. A thorough testing on the practice range is recommended, however, to be sure the extended releases are not inadvertently activated during shooting or in the holster.
Get your own Glock 19!

A surprising number of gentlemen select a GLOCK 19 as the perfect gun for their wife, then act surprised when it supplants their full-sized handgun for their own use to carry or for training. Whether purchased for a novice or expert, male or female, the versatile GLOCK 19 works amazingly well for a variety of shooters. Its simple operation leaves the shooter free to concentrate on marksmanship, not the gun’s manual of arms. Right out of the box, its inherent accuracy exceeds the trigger control of most shooters. Recoil is gentle, due to the GLOCK’s low bore axis, the slight flex of its polymer frame and the reasonable 9×19 caliber cartridge for which it is chambered. Finally, the mid-sized frame adapts well to a variety of duties. It is unusual to find a handgun that is so universally suitable. Indeed, I can think of many times I wished a student had come to class with a different handgun, but in all these years, I have never counseled a student to trade their GLOCK 19 for any other gun.

As seen in GLOCK AUTOPISTOLS 2009, a Harris Publication, www.tactical-life.com

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