This little Austrian pistol changed the world of duty pistols. To design the original Glock 17, Gaston Glock teamed up with a council of engineers, professional shooters, military members, and police officers. A machine-pistol variant came to be, and then the compact variant of the 17, the Glock 19, was born.
Glock pistols may vary in size, caliber, and shape, but they are all relatively the same gun. Calling one or another the flagship of the Glock line is problematic, although the Glock 19 is about as close as it gets.
The Glock 19 has become the official sidearm of numerous special operations forces. Army Special Forces, Delta Force, Rangers, and even the CIA and FBI use it. The Navy SEALs call it the Mk27, the British call it the L131A1, the Marine Corps calls it the M007, but most everyone else calls it the Glock 19.
So why is this one rather simple and spartan firearm the choice of so many elite forces?
The Glock 19 – Masterful reliability and modularity
Glock pistols are absurdly simple for a modern firearm. You can take a Glock down to its parts and pieces with nothing more than a punch. Reflecting the gun’s simplicity, just an eight-hour class makes you an official Glock armorer.
This simplicity leads to a very high level of reliability. These pistols have been known to take extreme abuse without so much as a stoppage.
The popularity of Glock pistols has ensured an entire cottage industry has popped up to support them. This includes tons of options for holsters, magazines capacities, lights, sights, barrels, and more. Glock even produces optics-ready models that make it easy to attach a red dot. SOCOM has done just that by adopting the Trijicon RMR as the optic of choice for these handguns.
The Glock 17 used by General Miller, a former Delta Force commando, shows some of the modularity that the firearm offers. His model features an optic, magazine well, magazine extension, and compensator. An individual operator can outfit the gun with an optic, a threaded barrel with a suppressor, a larger magazine capacity, and more for whatever mission they may face.
Related: These are the small arms of the Ukrainian Special Forces
It’s safe in all situations
Glock’s have some very simple external controls. You have a trigger, a magazine release, and a slide lock. That’s it. This simple design makes it easy to get the weapon into action.
Although the Glock 19 lacks a manual safety, one isn’t needed: A professional soldier, police officer, Marine, or spy should be able to use a handgun safely without the need for a manual safety.
Additionally, the pistol features three safety devices known as the Glock Safe Action. The trigger features a trigger safety that doesn’t allow the trigger to be pulled unless it’s depressed. To back up the trigger safety, there is a firing-pin safety and a drop safety. You can jump out of a plane, go hands-on, or take a fall out of a turret, and your handgun won’t just go off.
Related: The Hi-Power – A legendary handgun
It’s sized just right
The Glock 19 is considered a compact handgun, but don’t let that fool you: it’s still a handgun large enough to fill your hand. The weapon features a 4.02-inch-long barrel, an overall length of 7.28 inches, a height of 5.04 inches, and it weighs a little over 30 ounces, fully loaded with 15 rounds of 9mm.
It’s smaller than most duty-sized handguns, like the M9, M17, and M1911. The Glock 19 is a good in-between size that allows it to serve as both a duty handgun and a concealable firearm. The CIA and Marines specifically wanted a concealable pistol with the Glock 19. Other special operations forces have a diverse mission set that might call for a concealable weapon on Monday and a duty weapon on Friday, and the Glock 19 is just right in the size department for a multi-mission role.
Related: Project Horizon: Nukes and shotguns on the moon
It excels in the basics
Any handgun should be accurate, easy to control, and usable with all manner of ammunition. The Glock 19 is all that and more. Glock 19’s striker-fired trigger design makes it easy to engage with the pistol accurately. Its trigger pull is fairly lightweight, with a positive and short reset that makes shooting the weapon easy.
It’s large enough to be easy to control, and its 9mm rounds aren’t known for their excessive recoil. The Glock 19 has zero issue using standard ball ammunition or the latest Winchester JHP load. Further, its magazines are insanely well made and last for basically forever.
The Glock 19 and you
The Glock 19 isn’t a fancy firearm. It’s not like a Staccato STI or some tricked-out race gun. The Glock 19 is fairly simple but extremely effective. If you need a simple but well-made, fairly compact weapon, the Glock 19 is the way to go. The Glock 19 is the choice of armed professionals across so many spectrums of warfare and law enforcement because it works and keeps working even when the chips are down. And when the chips are down, you need your handgun to work the most.
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Arnaud Sebastian says
The Gen 3 Glock 34 is the perfect firearm for competition. With 17 rounds of 9mm and a 5.3 inch barrel you are at a huge advantage over other shooters.
Glock 34 Gen 3 Competition Black 9mm 5.32-inch 17Rd quantity
William Richardson says
Thanks for letting us know how you feel
I have glock 19x g44 g19. It’s so hard to choose a favorite. But I’m sure the 19x is my best gun ever. I am 72 years old with 150 various pieces smith , colts singers Ithaca’s. All kinds. G19x is still my favorite
I took Glock until the 5th Gen to make a handgun designed to fit the hand of an average human being male or female. There was a time when they were abnormally reliable and low maintenance.
The problem is that they have not passed any of their cost cutting measures onto to the customer and offer little to nothing that can not be had from many other manufactures today.
Prior to covid and during the first part of Covid I got an M&P Shield 9 for $249+Tax on two different occasions from a big box gun store. It fits my hand better than any glock and my wife’s hand my children’s hands and my Mom’s hand. It is thinner and prints less than any Glock.
It liked it so much I got my oldest son one for his 19th birthday. Thousands of rounds latter it still has not malfunctioned and neither has my sons. A lot of companies are making plastic fantastics that are striker fired and super reliable!
I am not anti-Glock either I just do not see what they have to offer at the significantly higher price point. They have to either lower their price point or offer many fold great reliability, durability or accuracy to be worth the money in light of the significant competition that is on par with them today!
I am not new to handguns I have owned handguns since the time you could get a CZ75 new for $275 or a Rugger Super RedHawk for $400. I grew up with Walther’s, CZ’s, 1911’s, AMT, Colt Anaconda’s and Pythons first gen, Dan Wessons. I was at Ft. Benning in 1988 when Glocks hit the market in the USA so I was around all kinds of gear.
I am just saying that while there is absolutely nothing wrong with a Glock they do not represent what they once did especialy in the civilian market. In the Military arena many brands and designs have been fantastic military designs Special Ops really do not count for much since they have a separate budget, separate needs and can have a variety of weapons that are never adopted by the larger main stram military. To base civilian ownership on something as stupid as what special forces uses would be like civilian aviation basing what they use based on what NASA or Space X uses! It is apples to oranges!
T. Robson says
Like these comments.
John Burroughs says
So you don’t want to spend money. It’s fine.
So just move on.
You don’t need to say anything.
Gen 3 was my first pistol. I trained and I learned on that 19. I still train with it. It’s now all muscle memory. The beauty is in the fact that I don’t even have to think about it. It’s a part of me. And it goes phew phew when I want it to.
The most modular and easy to use weapon in the world. Anyone who has a schematic and you tube can easily customize it for your own purposes. It just gets better and easier with every aftermarket upgrade. And I just picked up a 43X MOS.
Right out of the box, it’s dead on.
I don’t leave home without my 19.
ya boy says
glocks are meant to fit in man hands, not little boy hands or your mom’s hand
Chad A Vanderpool says
Just got my first glock today. Glock 19. I always thought the glocks were just culookie cutter mass produced disposable pistols for lack of a better term. Man was I wrong. So I far I love this little gun. Everything about it. Love it
Frank Hardush says
You will continue to love this firearm for many years to come. I have been a Glock enthusiast for several years now. It all started with a Gen 3 G-19, and from there it grew into a Glock love affair. I now own 11 Glock pistol and 3 of them are a version of the G-19 my go to is a Gen5 G-19 but I also have a green label G-19 Mariner, a G19X
These pistols are super versatile you can make a lot of little upgrades and really make it a great shooter. If you have not done the 25 cent trigger job yet look this up on YouTube and with a little polishing you can improve the trigger greatly(best to do with a Dremel tool not Q-tip). From there the upgrades are only limited by your budget, you can do a lot of little things for cheap, not all upgrades need to break the bank. Wish you lots happy range days with your new G-19
Tom Boeshart says
Easy to resell too.
Yes indeed brother.
I’ve been modifying my own Gen 3 , 19 for a while now. I recommend the first change is the guide rod and spring and tritium sights.
Right on brother.
And the more you train with it. The more you will love it. Then you can start modifying it.
Go to the Glock Store. Plenty of parts and knowledge. Enjoy!
PEEWEE HENSON says
I’M JUST A CIVILIAN. NEVER SERVED. NEVER WORE THE UNIFORM. NEVER SWORE THE OATH. BUT ME AND MY GLOCK 19 WILL BE WITH ANY PATRIOT IN NEED OF BACK UP AND SUPPORT. AT MY AGE SIMPLE IS BEST. LIKE MY ONE TON DUALLY CREW CAB. IT’LL HAUL EVERY BODY AND EVERYTHING I NEED. TWELVE YEARS AND MANY THOUSANDS OF ROUNDS DOWN RANGE AND MY 19 HAS NEVER MISSED A BEAT.
Don L says
I have in my Glock collection a G44, G42, G43, G27 gen 4, G30 gen4, G20 gen 4, and G17 gen 5. Love them all……I’m a Glockalcoholic for sure. 😎
Can’t believe you left out the 34. That is my favorite glock.
Frank Hardush says
I agree Glocks for life! I have plenty of other firearms but my Glocks are my favorite by far. I share you addiction. collection currently consist of
Gen5 G-17* TT 9mm Vortex Viper
Gen5 G19*BL 9mm Vortex Viper
19X TT (I think they consider it a Gen4) 9mm
G-19 Mariner Green label meant for the military, 9mm
P-80 Retro Commemorative 9mm
Gen5 G43X*BL 9mm Romeo Zero
G-44 .22LR This is a cool little shooter sits on a G-19 frame. light weight fits all G-19
holsters. so on days you want a lighter carry its great but only hold 10rds.
Gen3 G-23 .40 S&W
Gen 4 G-40*TT, 10mm Holosun 507c, TRL-7 streamlight this one is a beast
AWESOME fire power
Gen4 G-30sBL .45ACP
Gen4 G-41 .45 ACP
* =MOS with red-dot placed BL= blue label purchases TT= Timney Trigger
No offense but you are either a Glock fan boy or a Glock collector which makes your opinion almost worthless from an objective stand point.
That is like someone that owns 12 Chevrolet Corvettes bragging that Corvettes are the best sports car.
You sound exactly like me sir. i would not have any other handgun except Glock. I own 4 myself and looking to add to that collection soon.
Ben Dover says
No offense John but you sound like a guy who sits in his mom’s basement and dreams of mouthfuls of tube steak from men you met at the club last night.
The Glock 19 isn’t special or unique. It does, however, have a long track record of reliability that cannot be disputed. Is it perfect? No. Does it do exactly what a midsize pistol should do better than most pistols? Yes.
I own pistols from every major manufacturer. Multiples actually. I love them all. The Glock 19 is still in the running for best of class after all these years. You may have a different favorite from another manufacturer and that is fine. So do I. The Glock 19, however, is still relevant and that says a ton.
Oh and John… I am only making fun of you because guys like you are a joke and need to be made fun of.
I do not own a Glock but after. reading the comments…I will own one by the time this is read.
Did you buy one?
I’m curious if you bought one too
Joseph Malcolm says
I have a sig M18 and a Glock 19x I firmly believe the Glock should have won the competition as sidearm for our men and women in uniform
Tony H. says
Agreed. It’s a better overall gun. High capacity magazine, tough, durable, simple design etc. It’s a gun that can take a hell of a beating and keep on shooting.
Csapó András says
I have a Glock 19X Coyote.
AMazing Love it. Simple as a hair tooth pick. But never leave me.
David Ellenberg says
Excellent weapon, the Glock 19 gen5 is extremely reliable
Price is right The right size for every day carry
The choice of Law enforcement
LTC Gaskill says
Me…. Retired infantry officer. Currently rotate EDC and today carry a para ordinance 1911 GI LTC . I have a Glock 19 that I will rotate as EDC this month. I will always be a 1911 man and yet I love my Glock 19. If I were to recommend a single pistol.i would recommend the Glock 19.
I either carry a Glock 19X or a Glock G42. Absolutely love them both. They chamber any style of ammo. Sometime I think they would chamber a garbage can lid!! Lol!!
Chris Saragian says
I agree completely. It doesn’t matter what your gun looks like or is made of, all that matters is does it work when your life is on the line? I have 2 glocks a 17 gen 5 and a 19 gen 5 and I have NO doubt they would both work perfectly if my life depended on them. No matter what they just work.
Nathan Ritchie says
I wouldn’t say Glocks vary in shape unless you’re specifically talking about the grips. Literally all the same shape, just the size and caliber are different. I’m on my 4th Glock and they literally all feel the same in the hand minus the texture. Otherwise, good write up.
Steve J. says
I have a glock 17 gen 3 and love it….also have a glock 21 sf on the way….my glock 42 for extreme consealment…love em.
Billy G Ellis says
I have the G21sf and up graded it totally from the Glock store. I am 76 and I have owned a lot of the pistols. This gun is something else. You will love your 21.
Christopher Szatny says
I own 3 Glocks. A G17 Gen 3, a G20 Gen 4 and my every day carry G19 Gen 5. I love the size of my 19 as it’s concealed easily yet feels good in my hands. Breaking it down for cleaning is a snap and the 15+1 capacity is reassuring. I didn’t buy Glocks to win any beauty contest…I want reliability and trust my life with it.
Anthony Pandolfino says