By Paul McCain
A number of years ago when I got into shooting in a major way, I was eager to run out and get my first handgun. I had spent a good bit of time shooting long guns earlier, but never a handgun. Without much thought, I bought a used GLOCK 22. I loaded up the G22 and blazed away at a torso-sized target at about 20 feet. I think I may have even hit it a few times. Maybe . . .
Since then I’ve moved from handgun models to handgun models: SIG, HK, Ruger, Smith & Wesson, Remington, FN, probably others, and I’ve purchased and used striker-fired and DA/SA semi-autos. I’ve given them all a decent workout at the gun club and at the range and training center I frequent. Revolvers too.
So here is my true confession: I’ve been there with GLOCKs, left and now I’m back again. I’ve come full circle back to where I started. Why?
First, for me, the GLOCK just works. I have owned and used a G26, G17, G21, G22, G30, G34, and a G20. I’ve been there and done that with all of them — Gen 3s and Gen 4s — and I’ve had no issues with any of them. Did I just “luck out” or could it be since there are a bazillion GLOCKs out there, the incidents reported on gun forums are unrepresentative? Who knows? All I know is that they have always worked for me.
Second, the trigger. Yes, you read that right, the trigger. I spent so much time learning how to shoot GLOCKs relatively effectively that I grew used to that mushy bangswitch and learned to master the reset point. I have dropped trigger upgrades into a few of my GLOCKs. I like them and they’re nice, but I’m not sure they did me much good.
I thought I would prefer the DA/SA trigger system, hammer systems, etc. They’re good, but ultimately not that big a deal either for me. I realized I really hate the DA-then-SA function of the HKs and SIGs. Frankly, when I want to enjoy a truly great trigger, I pull out my 1911 with its custom trigger set at 2.5 pounds.
Third, I like the feel of the GLOCK. I know that for many the GLOCK is a “brick,” a “plastic monstrosity” and a “piece of junk.” Blah, blah and…more blah. For me, with my monster-sized hands, the GLOCK feels very comfortable. The grip is just fine and I really like the Gen 4 beavertail options that now are standard on GLOCKs.
Fourth, there’s the simplicity of the GLOCK. Chiefly I’ve come to realize that I dislike external safeties. Hate ‘em. I like the “instant-on” of the GLOCK manual of arms. Round chambered…holstered…unholster…fire. No safety to mess with or remember to disengage, nothing to interfere with the function of the handgun. Same trigger pull regardless of first or last shot. Just grab it and pull the trigger. I know this has been one of the chief criticisms of the GLOCK — too easy to have a negligent discharge. Yes, one must be super-aware of the basic laws of safety with a GLOCK as there’s no heavy trigger pull on the first shot as on most DA/SAs.
Fifth, there’s the return on investment. A GLOCK is significantly less expensive than the (ridiculously overpriced) HKs, and nearly anything else. I’d rather spend my “extra” money on accessories and ammo and…you name it. Sure, it’s cool to use the higher priced handguns. I’ve had a HK MK23, a HK USP 9mm Expert, a HK45 and a FNX 45 and 9mm, etc. But was I achieving better results with any of them to justify, for me, the extra $500 bucks required by a HK, or the several hundred more for an FN? Nope.
Sixth, the reality check: Handguns are just fun to shoot. They are. Remember what “fun” is? Sure you do. The oh-so-serious crowd scoffs at the thought, but come on, you know it’s fun to shoot all kinds of handguns. At the end of the day, though, a handgun is still a tool. If you’re able to get rounds into the center mass area of a target consistently at 21 feet, that’s good enough. Sure, you may not be able to take your handgun out to the gun club and punch small groups in paper from 25 yards with your GLOCK (though some of you probably do), but I can get off double taps all day long in various drills with plenty of accuracy with mine.
So after my wandering, I find that I’ve returned to the GLOCK as my go-to handgun platform. The G26 is and has been my primary EDC for quite some time. The G34 is my main training handgun — I love the long sight radius on that thing. They say confession is good for the soul, so there you have it: my GLOCK true confession, there and back again.