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Old November 8, 2013, 01:22 PM   #1
Spats McGee
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A Grudging Review of the Glock 19

A Grudging Review of the Glock 19:


First a little bit about myself, so that there are no misconceptions about my expertise in reviewing firearms. I have none. I’m an overweight, middle-aged lawyer. I’m not a “high-speed, low-drag operator,” and I never will be. If I had wanted to be one of those, I would have to have taken an entirely different life path about 25 years ago. I’m lucky to get to the range every couple of months, between a wife, child, and a job that’s trying really hard to work me to death. I have also failed the Unlimited Budget Test in this lifetime, so shooting hundreds of rounds every couple of weeks just doesn’t happen for me. Despite my best efforts to convince them to do otherwise, my wife and daughter insist on eating every day. If you’ve read many of my posts, you probably realize that I am not a Glock fan. I don’t want to like them, and I’ve spent 25-30 years not wanting to like them. I’m old enough that I remember the Glock Scare of the mid-1980s, when we heard rumors that Glocks could be carried through an airport metal detector without setting it off. I like wood. I like steel. I like Parkerized and well-loved guns. I'm not so fond of plastic.

With that said, a couple or three years ago, my main carry pistol was in the shop, getting some new sights, and a buddy of mine offered to loan me a pistol so that I’d have something to carry. I took him up on his offer and then, somewhat to my dismay, he brought me a Glock 19. Well, since beggars can’t be choosers, and I had nothing else suitable for that function, I gratefully accepted the loaner, and off I went. I was well aware of Glock’s reputation for reliability, and I decided that it’d be OK for a couple of weeks. I thought maybe my friends wouldn’t find out, that maybe if I wore a ball cap and fake mustache, they wouldn’t recognize me at the range. I carried it for a couple of weeks, using a simple Fobus paddle holster that he loaned me to go with the gun. At the time, I don’t think I owned a proper gun belt, a condition which I have since rectified. My normal carry pistol came back to me a few weeks later with new sights, and I returned the G19 to my buddy. I never did get to go to the range with that G19, which he has since sold, but I do recall thinking that it was awfully light for a pistol holding 15 rounds, and in spite of not owning a proper gun belt.

Well, fast forward to around May 2013. I found myself in the market for a polymer 9mm, and bought a Gen 4 G19. As I mentioned above, I now own a proper gun belt, an Aker B21 to be exact. When the G19 arrived, it came with factory night sights, and a couple of spare magazines. I was able to get hold of a leather Galco OWB holster, the name of which escapes me at the moment.

When the Glock first arrived, 9mm ammunition was notably absent from the shelves around here. I had to call in a favor from a buddy just to score some steel-cased TulAmmo. Fortunately, that shortage didn’t last long around here, and by the time I was able to get to the range, I found about 100 rounds of 115-grain TulAmmo BrassMaxx. For carry, I snagged some 147-grain Remington Golden Sabers.

First Impressions:
1) It feels weird in my hand. I’m much more accustomed to all-steel pistols. I CC’d a full-sized steel pistol for a couple of years. By comparison, the G19 feels top-heavy. It wants to flip and flop left and right. There’s no counterbalance to the steel slide in the (very) lightweight polymer frame. At least, that was my impression when I first pulled it out of the case. I also discovered that it’s a self-correcting issue. As soon as you put in a fully loaded magazine, the balance feels just fine.
2) The factory night sights are nice and bright. When I did the proverbial Bathroom Night Sight Test, they’re easy to pick up.
3) The grip feels good. The size is just about right, and I have hands that I’d rank on the small side of medium. I tried both of the backstraps, but finally decided that I’m best off without them installed. If I have even the medium backstrap on the pistol, I have to shift the gun in my grip to hit the mag release.
4) Finish: I’m a long-time fan of zero-maintenance finishes. Nickel and blued guns are pretty, but I have neither the time nor the inclination to put in the work necessary to keep them shiny. The G19 is an even flat black. Despite my initial feeling that the polymer frame messes up the balance of the gun, I realize that, perhaps, I could come to like the polymer frame for the same reason that I like zero-maintenance finishes. The finish on the slide is not as tough as I expected it to be, however. After about 4 months of carry, I started noticing that the finish on the extractor had worn off. Personally, I find holster wear to be sexy, so it didn’t bother me. I just didn’t expect it to happen quite so fast, given the Glock reputation.

Cleaning!
Prior to this particular pistol, my only two experiences with Glock had been: (a) the loaner that I carried for a period of weeks; and (b) shooting one magazine of .40 out of a buddy’s G23 at the range. I’d certainly never stripped one for cleaning. Still, it had to be done. I don’t like having to pull a trigger in the house . . . for any reason, and that includes field stripping a pistol. Still, it had to be done, so I checked the chamber about 7 times, decided that the gun really was empty, and that it really was OK to pull the trigger. Now, I may have mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again: I am “mechanically reclined.” Aside from a cosmetic restoration of a 1965 Ford Mustang many, many years ago, I don’t really get along with machines that need fixing. I’ve been working to improve on that, but I’m just not a natural with a wrench. As a result, it took me a few tries to get the slide “just so” with the doohickeys on the sides (that’s the technical term) pulled down just right to get the slide off. But after a few minutes, off it came. At that point, I realized that this was really Field Stripping for Dummies. I suppose you could fully disassemble it into however many parts it has, but the G19 basically pops apart into 4 parts: slide, barrel, recoil spring assembly, and grip. Since I didn’t clean the magazine as part of the process, I ignored it for counting purposes. There weren’t any small, easily-lost parts and it would be really difficult to get any of the parts put back in the wrong way.

Range Day!
I took the 50 rounds of steel-cased TulAmmo & 100 rds of BrassMaxx and some Remington Golden Sabers out. The first shot went bang, and I immediately had a failure to feed. That was disappointing, but in all fairness, the FTF was totally due to the ammo. After the first round, the bullet in the second round separated from the case when the nose hit the feed ramp, dumping powder down into everything below it, and jamming. After that, I had zero malfunctions that day. Instances of Brass-To-Face Syndrome: Zero. I didn’t measure any of my groups, but bullets went where I pointed, and any inconsistencies could just as easily have been attributable to the shooter. I went thought most if not all of the 150 rounds of FMJ that I took to the range that day, as well as a magazine's worth of Golden Sabers. The G19 ate them indiscriminately. I did not have another hiccup.

Recoil is perfectly manageable. It never did kick real hard, but there’s a noticeable difference between the 115-grain FMJs and the 147-grain Golden Sabers. Shooting the 115 grains was fine, but the 147-grains made it downright easy. For lack of a better phrase, the heavier bullets seemed to muffle the recoil impulse.

I’ve been back to the range three or four times with the G19 and have, oh, maybe 300-350 rounds through the G19. With the exception of that first ammo-related jam, it ran flawlessly. At the distances up to about 25 yards, accuracy was well within acceptable parameters. It put holes where I pointed it, plain and simple. I don't think I shot it beyond 25 yards, so I can't speak to its accuracy further out. Truth be told, the G19 that I took to the range may be capable of much more accuracy than I can wring out of it. I’m just not a good enough shot to tell. I never did have a single instance of BTFS, by the way.

I’ve read lots of complaints about Glock triggers. The only other Glock I’ve ever fired was a friend’s G23. The trigger on that one felt “crunchy,” like it had sand or grit down in the mechanism. (I later learned that my friend didn’t know how to field strip his Glock for cleaning, so it may well have had sand or grit in the mechanism.) The G19 trigger really isn’t bad, though. It’s certainly not in the same league with a top-of-the-line 1911, but it’s not nearly as bad as I expected, given the complaints I’ve read. It’s a trigger that I could get used to in fairly short order, even if I never came to love it.

The other comlaint I've always heard about is how "Glocks feel like 2x4s" in the shooter's hand. While I've held more comfortable grips, this one doesn't bother me. Much like the trigger, I could get used to the grip, even if I never came to love it.

Final Thoughts:
There's a certain allure to the G19's simplicity, and its utilitarian nature. I don’t want to like Glocks. I really don’t. I’m afraid that I’m beginning to understand some of the appeal, though. Just don’t tell my friends.
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Last edited by Spats McGee; June 8, 2014 at 11:18 AM. Reason: Grammar
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Old November 8, 2013, 01:35 PM   #2
gav1230
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Yeah I've never understood the comparison of locks to 2x4's. If you want to hold a thick 9mm, try a beretta 92! Nice review.
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Old November 8, 2013, 01:36 PM   #3
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Hahaha! You know how long I've been wanting to ask you via this public forum how you're liking it?! Secrets are secrets. Glad it's out and now everyone knows.

Awesome review, I feel deja vu since I got this review in fragments over a long period of time.

You should warm up to it even more the longer you shoot and train with it.

Good read for any newcomers to the Glock 19 or anyone that has, really no reason to "hate" it.
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Old November 8, 2013, 01:37 PM   #4
Willie Lowman
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I went through similar dislike followed by acceptance of Glocks about Six years ago.

Glocks aren't meant to be sexy or stylish. In my mind they are power tools, plain and simple. I don't need elegant lines on a circular saw. I don't need a glossy finish and walnut grips on a hammer drill. I do need those things to work. Glocks work.
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Old November 8, 2013, 02:27 PM   #5
UncleEd
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Anyone who speaks well of a Glock should have their mouth washed out with Fels Naptha soap by their mother and sent to bed without supper.
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Old November 8, 2013, 02:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
I’m afraid that I’m beginning to understand some of the appeal, though. Just don’t tell my friends.
There comes a time in every boy's life when he starts noticing...changes.

In my case, there was a need for a compact, lightweight pistol I could drop in my day bag and not worry about scratching it up. I refuse to carry a gun I can't shoot well, so that ruled out J-Frames or the little pocket autos.

After years of disdaining them, I picked up a Glock 26. I've come to terms with it, and I'm not ashamed.
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Old November 8, 2013, 03:11 PM   #7
Dragline45
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Quote:
I refuse to carry a gun I can't shoot well, so that ruled out J-Frames or the little pocket autos.
I came to the same conclusions. Love J frames, carried a 60 and 640 for 3 years. But even though I was a pretty decent shot with them, I shot just about any compact auto a whole lot better.
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Old November 8, 2013, 03:31 PM   #8
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I've had a couple of firsts myself this month. Though I've owned a number of pistols through the years I've never owned a 1911 45acp and I've never owned a GLock. Your review brought a smile to my face when I read about going through the airport with one. I remember those days like yesterday. N NO Glock was my motto. I bought a Colt Commander XSE last week and a Glock 27 gen4 the week before. Loved everything about the Colt from day one. Still can't put it down. Told myself I should have never bought the Glock. Didn't like it and was never going to like it. Well after two weeks of carrying the Glock and two trips to the range.............it's kinda growing on me. I'm still 50/50. It's a little bigger than my Kahr, the grip is much thicker than my SR9c, so why oh why am I starting to like it? Tom I think I'm feeling a little ashamed.

Nice review, I could have echo'd every word.
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Old November 8, 2013, 03:33 PM   #9
Constantine
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Quote:
I'm still 50/50. It's a little bigger than my Kahr, the grip is much thicker than my SR9c, so why oh why am I starting to like it?
It's only 50/50 because you bought it in .40S&W.
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Old November 8, 2013, 03:36 PM   #10
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I’m still in aw the polymer pistol works as well as it does or at all. Yet if anyone does polymer right that would be Glock. I feel a great deal of thought and testing went into the Glock from its semi double action trigger pull, striker that partially cocks during the rebound of the slide and durable metal finish onto a ultra low mass polymer frame. It goes together exceptionally well in terms of round count durability and reliability assuming ammo and the recoil spring or RSA are good.

Got my 19C’s many moons ago and it wasn’t my idea but it turned out well, I think.
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Old November 8, 2013, 03:51 PM   #11
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Glocks work.

I have Glocks, they all work, every time.

Not my favorite. That would be (cue the smug, arrogant smiley) my much used when purchased Sig P220.

But Glocks work, every time. Put holes where intended. Did I mention they work?
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Old November 8, 2013, 04:21 PM   #12
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Just wait... You'll do some grip mods to it... stippling... change out trigger parts like a woman trying on shoes... and next thing you know... Glock is IT.
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Old November 8, 2013, 04:42 PM   #13
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Beyond being an amusing read, that was a well laid out and informative review. I hope that some may take it to heart and consider not only glocks but other guns that they've ruled out without much consideration.

I too don't really want to like glocks but their utility is undeniable. When you add in the variety of parts and mods available they really are hard to beat.

Thanks for the review
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Old November 8, 2013, 04:44 PM   #14
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Yes, Glocks work. My G17 works. Every time. But, I am not very accurate with it; never have been and never will be. I am far more accurate with steel 9mm's than with the Glock.

I have a post-64 Winchester 30-30. It is ugly. The finish is typically pitted and cannot be blued or fixed. It works too - never not works.

My Glock 17 is a perfect bug-out-gun. My post-64 Winchester is the perfect cabin gun. I wouldn't miss either if the gun-fairy came and got them.
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Old November 8, 2013, 05:21 PM   #15
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Great review. I've only ever tried one Glock. I don't even remember the model number; it was a hand-me-down San Antonio PD .40 caliber belonging to my brother-in-law. It did feel like a 2x4, I didn't care for the trigger, and I did think it was ugly. However, all could have been forgiven (maybe) if I could only have hit something with it! (The brother-in-law was dead-on with it, darn it).

The review, however, encourages me that I might try again. Kudos for a great review.

Will
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Old November 8, 2013, 06:22 PM   #16
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I think the G19 is a great pistol, they just need to change the material they use, grip angle, and the aesthetics.

That all being said, they are an excellent semi-compact 9MM, but I do prefer my CZ PCR which is similar in size, weight, and capacity.
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Old November 8, 2013, 06:48 PM   #17
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZUL4ITG254

After finally putting my hand on my first G19 a few weeks ago I've about decided to buy one as my next 9mm. I bought a G20 last year but just didn't care for it that much so it went away.

Of course I need to acquire a P226 and 227 before I can get the glock.
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Old November 8, 2013, 06:50 PM   #18
Constantine
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A Grudging Review of the Glock 19

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Hill View Post
Just wait... You'll do some grip mods to it... stippling... change out trigger parts like a woman trying on shoes... and next thing you know... Glock is IT.


Yup
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Old November 8, 2013, 06:53 PM   #19
GyMac
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I own a relatively large number of handguns, both revolvers and semi-autos. When my SIL was inquiring about buying a handgun for SD, I suggested a Glock 19. I figured that if he was only going to own one handgun, the 19 should be it. That, even though I don't own any Glocks myself.
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Old November 8, 2013, 07:16 PM   #20
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Glocks. Used to hate them, for a variety of reasons. Now, I do not hate them, I even appreciate many aspects of them.... but I cannot get used to the retarded grip shape and angle they have. Just not comfortable at all, to my hand. To each his own, though. They do well for lots of people - and that's just fine by me.
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Old November 8, 2013, 07:22 PM   #21
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A Grudging Review of the Glock 19

Welcome to the fold. I fought the switch until January. In the end, convenience and the size envelope of the 19/23 frame won me over. I favor Gen 4, and have had no trouble with my 19 Gen 4 or 23 Gen 4. I'm now well into a 2,000 round w/o cleaning test with my 23 Gen 4.
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Old November 8, 2013, 07:32 PM   #22
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I've read it a dozen times...
"I always hated Glocks...I'm a steel and wood guy...then, through some unlikely circumstance, I found myself shooting one...Gee, they aren't as bad as I thought...they are actually pretty nice..."
Yup, read it a dozen times.
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Old November 8, 2013, 07:38 PM   #23
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Good Review. I've been a glock fan for years now and I always love to read reviews on them . . . good or bad. Like I have said for years, Glock is a pistol that just "works". At any angle, Glocks have a major place in the semi auto market place and have earned their respect with everyone. Yea, sure, they had some set backs with the Gen 4, but they came out of that just fine. Glock stood behind their reputation and made it right. Every few days someone will show concern with buying a Gen 4 but as of now...they should have nothing to worry about.
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Old November 8, 2013, 08:01 PM   #24
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Quote:
After about 4 months of carry, I started noticing that the finish on the extractor had worn off.
That is a cosmetic/nonreflective finish. The metal treatment that provides durability and corrosion resistance is unaffected when the black nonreflective finish wears off.
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Old November 8, 2013, 08:03 PM   #25
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When Spats first started to question himself he contacted me for some (really like 20) answers about his new found attractions to Glock. I walked him through this time in his life, explained it's normal, all men go through it eventually, and to just give in to his feelings.

Uploaded with ImageShack.com

In all seriousness---Glocks are fantastic firearms. They aren't the only fantastic firearms out there but they're certainly tough to ignore for all the things they do well.
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