Clay: 5 Reasons to Carry the Glock 19

Glock 19 in CrossBreed SuperTuck.

1. Battle-Tested

The Glock 19 in 9mm Luger is quite possibly the most popular handgun on earth, which is rather amazing considering its relative youth. It serves today as a military sidearm, police-, park ranger- and security guard- weapon, not to mention the thousands upon thousands in private collections.

You will find the G19 on duty everywhere, from the U.S. State Department to bodyguards in Mumbai. I carried one when I was in the military, and so did an absolute gaggle of contractors and Iraqi military units. It also wasn’t uncommon to find in the hands of bad guys in that particular theater.

Needless to say, the G19 is battle-tested.

G19 GEN 5 Left, G17 GEN 5 Right.

2. Reliability

It says Glock on the side, do I really need to say anything else? After the Glock 17, the G19 is probably the most abused handgun on earth. And they just keep on going and going and going. With a well-earned reputation as the “Kalashnikov of Handcannons,” I don’t think we really need to expound here on reliability.

G19 MOS with Red Dot sight.

3. Versatility

In my mind, the G19 is the pickup truck of firearms. It doesn’t do any one job the best, but it does every job pretty well. The U.S. Army thought the same thing, which is why the G19 was extremely common in Special Forces during my time. It was the first gun that did an acceptable job as both a backup gun during an assault and or a stuck-in-your-pants gun walking around Nairobi, which simplified logistics quite a bit. And for noobs, I would contend it also makes an absolutely fantastic first gun.

SEE ALSO: Glock 19X – A Commander Sized Glock

The G19 is big enough to actually enjoy shooting on the range. Unlike a true pocket pistol, it isn’t going to wear your hand out after two magazines. With a reasonably wide-body, it disperses recoil over a big area. The sight radius is long enough to make hits easily, though perhaps not as easy as it cousins the G17 and G34. But it does work. I have known several people that compete in both USPSA and IDPA with a G19, and it gets the job done.

G19 with Crimson Trace laser, extended grip, and extended mag.

4. Capacity

For carry, we can find smaller guns. No doubt. But the G19 will absolutely work, and work for a very long time. It isn’t the most comfortable gun to stick in your waistband, but it still beats anything all steel.

Like a lot of people, at one time, the G19 was my everything gun (G-23 for me actually, the same gun in .40 S&W instead of 9mm). With a well-built holster, such as the CrossBreed Super Tuck, the G19 is surprisingly concealable. And if you ever need it, you will be quite happy to have a big boy gun with 15+1 rounds on tap to handle your problem.

G19X model with all the whiz-bang stuff.

5. Customization

The other nice thing about the G19 is the insane ability to customize it to your liking. Prefer a full-size grip, with the shorter slide, ala Glock Commander? Buy the X model. Want a red dot? Cool. Not only does Glock make one from the factory, but an “RMR cut” is easy enough for any Glock shop to machine in for you. Threaded gold barrel and a compensator? All available, and anything else you can think of.

Compensator from Delta S.

A Glock 19 is very much like a backpack. Even if you don’t use it often, you are pretty much required to have one. As a starter gun, it is an excellent choice. And as an only gun, it is also an excellent choice. Two decades after my first G19, and with access to new guns every week, what sits in my nightstand? A G19X, which is about all the endorsement I can give.

Shop for a Glock 19 on GunsAmerica.

G19X model, the author’s favorite flavor of G19.

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About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website,

{ 20 comments… add one }
  • ENIGMA6 May 10, 2020, 8:13 pm

    Agree with your article, except I prefer the G23. Carried it on and off duty for years with a 27 as backup. Now retired, I still carry it in cool weather. In warm weather, the Sig 365 9mm is my choice. Easier to conceal. Acceptable power level.

  • Sheep Dog May 9, 2020, 11:11 am

    We all get it. The Glocks go bang which is what it is really about.
    I am not a member of the Glock fan club. My only purchase was a 41MOS a couple of years ago. When I put the Trijicon RMR on top, I still was not happy. After a Zev trigger, it rocks. An exponential upgrade.

  • Eric May 8, 2020, 1:32 pm

    Nice piece of writing Clay, and I largely agree.

    Have you written something about why you like the 19X?

    I have a couple 19s, but I don’t quite get the 19X. For whatever it’s worth, I traded my commander sized 1911 and now just have 5″ 1911s. Maybe it’s me.

  • Daryl Deuel May 8, 2020, 12:29 pm

    Good article, popular gun, but…..I don’t like Glocks, I don’t care for the grips in particular and I have a dislike for Tactical Tupperware in general. You can call me anything you want, that’s fine, I don’t know you personally, so it’s irrelevant, give it your best shot, but I prefer steel, in semi-auto firearms, that means a 1911, though revolvers take 1st place. I’m glad Glocks are out there, they fill a need and they have certainly sparked innovation in the industry and that’s a good thing, but no matter how much they’re tweeked, praised and idolized, it’s highly doubtful that there will ever be one, of any kind, in my safe.

  • bill richter May 8, 2020, 11:25 am

    The glock? CZ P-01 a real firearm.

  • Tim S. May 8, 2020, 11:22 am

    The G19/G17 are excellent general purpose defense pistols. I agree, they do many things well but nothing particularly outstanding. The MILSPEC SIG M17 is nearly the perfect service weapon.

  • Richard S Davis May 8, 2020, 11:00 am

    There is a picture in the article of a gen5 mos with a Holosun red dot sight (just above “3. Versatility”): what sights are they? Are they visible in the lower third of glass? I’ve been looking for something like this (don’t want full height suppressor sights).

  • Sky Buster May 8, 2020, 9:44 am

    Terrible trigger compared to most other polymer pistols. Poor grip to bore angle.
    Not any more reliable than Walther, M&P or Sig polymer models.

    • Johnnie May 8, 2020, 11:20 am

      New Sigs are junk M&P are not that great either The Glock pistol is a combat weapon who cares about the trigger when you are trying to keep from getting kill

      • The Bearded Pretender May 8, 2020, 4:52 pm

        Reason number 6
        You can only afford a POS Glock and a real Gun is out of your price range so you settle for said POS Glock.

  • James May 8, 2020, 8:46 am

    Good points all. Now i will mention my opinionated minuses . Bad ergonomics . Grip ang!e points 5-10 degress high for most people that don’t “get used to it “. I prefer a natural pointer . So , 1911, Browning Hi-power, CZ, Springfield , Sig , etc. have better grip angles & all fit 4 out of 5 of the same positives listed above . Am i wrong ?

    • Johnnie May 8, 2020, 11:25 am

      A Glock is a combat pistol for self defense not a target pistol . it does not do everything great but does everything well enough

      • SGT-ADA May 8, 2020, 3:48 pm

        “Well enough” is not good enough. If a manufacturer knowingly ships poorly designed pistols, the company would go out of business today. The only thing that keeps Glock afloat is the fact that it was the first plastic pistol and was cheap. To make Glocks useable, an entire industry of triggers, sights, barrels, etc. has grown in the last few years. If anything, the Glock is the mil-sup 1911 of today. SIG, S&W, Beretta, CZ, even Turkish imports make plastic pistols that are excellent right out of box.

        PS: the SIG Sauer P226 beats any plastic pistol. It is a rugged, combat proven (SEAL’s can be right some of the time) system that makes the Glock looks like a cap gun. The only mods needed are the ones you failed to purchase stock with the pistol (e.g., night sights, SRT, threaded barrel, and red dot cut). Well okay, you can change the grips to the ones that you like if you don’t like the stock one. Is the P226 more expensive than a Glock? Hell yes, but a M1A3 tank is more expensive, rugged, and reliable then a late 80’s Yugo, which was much like a Glock (cheap, lots of plastic, and “worked well enough “).

  • Bad Penguin May 8, 2020, 7:55 am

    Not a Glock fanboy but they aren’t bad weapons. Glocks have triggers like milspec AR triggers, they suck. I bought a G19 in the early 90’s as it was the coolest and most reliable semiauto pistol on the market. I also got it directly from the Glock factory dirt cheap. It had the worst trigger of any weapon I’ve ever fired and Just so you know I was an active duty Infantry Officer who shot expert with every weapon in the army .50 cal and below. All gens after that sucked less but still needs a trigger job.

    Anyway my favorite Glock is the G26 with a G19 mag. Same capacity in a smaller package. I also shoot a lot better with it than a G19.

    • ENIGMA6 May 10, 2020, 8:22 pm

      Nice thing about Glocks is if you don’t like the trigger, they’re easily improved with drop in parts. And the grips on Gen4 and above on most models are readily swapped out.

  • Bill May 8, 2020, 7:28 am

    It will also fold in 1/2 via Full Conceal for pocket carry and higher capacity!

  • Arizona Wolf May 8, 2020, 7:00 am

    G19–my night stand and every day carry. Never lets me down.

  • Nick May 8, 2020, 5:40 am

    Excellent write up Clay. I’ve always said if I could only own 1 handgun, then it would have to be a G19. It is the most well rounded gun, as you described. It’s not my favorite handgun, but it isn’t too far from the top.

  • Nick May 8, 2020, 5:23 am

    I was going to it is missing the ability to fit in the hand. Then I see the 19X listed as a flavor of the 19. That comment kind of pretends the small grip problem doesn’t exist. But why not the G45?

  • HoldMyWalther May 8, 2020, 3:28 am

    But does it come in 45, and will it take glock mags?

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