The Glock 19
Potential concealed carry handgun customers encounter an amazing selection of choices within the pistol market place, in what appears to be pretty much every firearm company around the globe delivering a number of new products during the last couple of years. , nearly every one of them is labeled as being perfect for concealed carry. Choosing only one of these handguns isn’t a very easy task.
People looking to purchase a pistol for home defense encounter a similar issue. Maybe not exactly the same as the compact pistol market, the full-size pistol market includes some old favorites in addition to a large amount of fresh new blood.
Even so, the midsize pistol market hasn’t seen the massive increase of new models that the above two market segments have. There have certainly been efforts by a few companies, but one is far more likely to stumble on six pocketable .380 autos than six true midsize handguns in the common gun store.
Exactly what is a midsize pistol? Is it a poor compromise, a pistol that’s slightly too big for concealed carry, but too small to use for home defense. At times, this is correct. Companies often choose full-size frames along with short slides and barrels, or make them just a little too small for average-sized hands. However, others produce pistols that perform superbly in just about any semi-automatic pistol role. A good example of the latter could be the Glock 19.
As the first major expansion of the Glock concept, the Glock 19 became very popular in military and law enforcement groups when it was first introduced in 1988. Somewhat small reductions in dimensions, when compared to original Glock 17, make the Glock 19 an very concealable handgun. No special cover garments are required, and its enormous popularity means that holsters are available for virtually every desired method of carry.
However, it’s still a fairly easy pistol to shoot. The slide assembly weighs almost exactly the same as the Glock 17, which helps maintain the legendary reliability that Glock 9mm handguns are known for. A side benefit of this is that the G19 possesses excellent recoil characteristics. The sight radius is of sufficient length to make target shooting at longer distances, or precise shots up close, quite easy.
Additionally, the magazine of the Glock 19 holds 15 rounds, which is more than double the capacity of the average single-stack 9mm or .380 concealable pistol. While using proper 9mm defensive ammo will go a long way in a self-defense situation, having more ammunition is not a bad thing.
Most importantly, the grip was shortened just enough to allow the 19 to protrude much less when being used in a concealment role, but not so much that a full grip on the frame of the handgun is an impossibility for all but those with the tiniest of hands. This grip length is also quite well suited to being able to properly grasp and draw the pistol under stress.
Glocks are also an incredible value. Simplicity in design and manufacture leads to average retail prices of around $500. However, these aren’t cheap handguns. Glocks are more reliable and durable than practically any handgun available at any price. While they should be maintained properly in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, the Glock 19 is about as low-maintenance as they come. Spare Glock parts are readily available, too, and disassembly/reassembly of the pistol is very easy.
Is, as Glock advertises with its Perfection tagline, the Glock 19 perfect? No. Many find the Glock trigger to be uncomfortable, although it can be changed by after-market trigger parts. Changes made to the fourth generation models had a negative effect on function, and although it appears that these problems have been fixed, the third-generation 19 continues to be available new and might be a better choice. Alternately, a used Glock 19 is likely to be an excellent and affordable choice.
There are numerous firearms that conceal well, and there are lots of firearms that are easy to shoot, but there are not very many firearms that do both extremely well. It’s this balance, easy concealment, but a full firing grip with a double stack magazine; a shorter slide assembly with a proportionally shorter grip, but with nearly ideal dimensions; high quality, but with a low price tag, that makes the Glock 19 such a versatile handgun.