- Dimensions: 7.36″ x 5″, Barrel: 4.2″
- Mag: 10+1, 15
- Caliber: 9mm Luger
- Made in Austria
As a Special Forces operator, I’ve had the opportunity to handle various firearms during my career, each with their own unique strengths and attributes. However, one that stands out for its blend of reliability, performance, and versatility is the Glock 19. This review will take a deep dive into why this particular firearm is my sidearm of choice, and why it continues to be a favorite among many other operators, including the legendary US Navy SEALs.
General G19 Description
The Glock 19 is a relatively compact handgun, and the most recent generation of the famous Glock 19 series. It’s a semi-automatic, striker-fired pistol chambered for the 9mm Parabellum, a common and reliable round. With a standard magazine capacity of 15 rounds, it provides a balance of firepower and compactness, making it ideal for various operational scenarios.
The US Navy SEALs’ Sidearm of Choice
Historically, the Glock 19 has been a favorite among elite military units, including the US Navy SEALs. When the SEALs transitioned from the SIG Sauer P226, it was due to the Glock 19’s simplicity, reliability, and reduced cost. The Glock 19 offers the SEALs, and other Special Forces operators like myself, a dependable weapon that can withstand the rigorous demands of our duties.
Features and Advantages
What sets the Glock 19 apart are its features and the advantages it offers over similar handguns. It comes with an improved trigger mechanism, which offers a clean and crisp break, improving shot accuracy. The ambidextrous slide stop lever makes it easier for both right and left-handed users, and the flared mag-well aids in quicker and more reliable magazine changes.
Compared to its competitors, the Glock 19 is incredibly durable and requires less maintenance. It can withstand harsh environmental conditions, making it ideal for various terrains and climates. The Glock’s “Safe Action” system provides a measure of safety not found in many other firearms, ensuring that the gun will not fire unless the trigger is deliberately pulled.
Construction and Build Quality
The construction and build quality of the Glock 19 is second to none. The slide is made from high-strength steel, and the frame is made from reinforced polymer, resulting in a lightweight yet resilient firearm. The G19 also boasts a nDLC finish on the barrel and slide for increased protection against corrosion and scratches, further enhancing its longevity.
A Trusted Sidearm for Operations
Having used various sidearms throughout my career, the Glock 19 is my preferred choice for operations and in the field. It’s not just about the specs on paper, but how those translate into real-world performance. The reliability, durability, and versatility of the Glock 19 make it an ideal tool in high-stakes environments where performance can mean the difference between success and failure.
Gen 5 VERSUS Gen 4
The Glock 19 Gen 5 incorporate a number of changes and improvements over the previous Glock 19 Gen 4 model. Here’s a rundown on some of the key differences:
Ambidextrous Slide Stop Lever
The Gen 5 includes an ambidextrous slide stop lever, which means it can be comfortably used by both right-handed and left-handed shooters. This was not a feature in the Gen 4 model and is a significant improvement, particularly for left-handed shooters or those who might need to switch hands during a tactical situation.
Another change in the Gen 5 model is the addition of a flared mag-well. This design makes it easier to quickly and accurately change magazines, which can be a critical factor in high-stress situations where every second counts. This was not a feature in the Gen 4 model.
The Glock 19 Gen 5 features the Glock Marksman Barrel (GMB) which includes enhanced rifling and an improved crown for increased accuracy. While the Gen 4 already had a reputation for being quite accurate, the Gen 5 takes this a step further.
No Finger Grooves
One of the most noticeable differences between the Gen 4 and Gen 5 is the removal of the finger grooves on the grip of the Gen 5. Some shooters found the finger grooves on the Gen 4 to be uncomfortable or that they didn’t fit their hand well, so the Gen 5 opts for a smoother grip, which many find to be more comfortable and allow for a better grip overall.
The Gen 5 has made improvements to the trigger mechanism, with many users reporting a smoother, cleaner trigger pull compared to the Gen 4.
Overall, while the Gen 4 is still a reliable and high-performing firearm, the Gen 5 makes a number of improvements that enhance its usability, performance, and durability. As with any firearm, personal preference will play a large role in which generation someone prefers, but the Gen 5 does offer some clear advantages over the Gen 4.
Glock G19 VERSUS SIG Sauer P226
In general, the Glock 19 tends to be significantly less expensive than the P226, which can be a deciding factor for many buyers. Both are renowned firearms and have been adopted by military and law enforcement agencies worldwide. The P226 is actually the G19’s predecessor as the Navy SEALs standard issue sidearm.
The Glock 19 is a compact firearm, which makes it easier to conceal and carry compared to the full-sized P226. Additionally, the Glock 19 is significantly lighter than the P226 due to its polymer frame, which can make a difference in long-term carry comfort and maneuverability.
The P226 uses a traditional double-action/single-action (DA/SA) trigger system, which means the first shot has a long, heavy trigger pull, and subsequent shots have a shorter, lighter pull. Some shooters prefer this system as it provides a kind of “built-in safety” on the first shot. The Glock 19, on the other hand, uses a striker-fired system, which has a consistent trigger pull for every shot. This is often seen as simpler and more straightforward to use, especially under stress.
The Glock 19, with its lighter weight, simpler operation, and lower cost, often makes it a popular choice for both duty use and personal defense. The SIG Sauer P226, with its full size, DA/SA trigger, and renowned accuracy and durability, is often favored by those who prefer a larger firearm and the traditional trigger.
In conclusion, the Glock 19 is more than just a sidearm; it’s a reliable companion that has stood the test of time and continues to serve those on the front lines. Whether you’re a seasoned operator or a civilian seeking a dependable firearm, the Glock 19 is a choice you won’t regret.