By James England via concealednation.org
People who’ve been reading Concealed Nation for a bit may recognize I have a sort of predilection for interesting, if not odd, concealed carry handguns. When I first started writing for Concealed Nation, Brandon asked me right up front, “have you tried the GLOCK 19? And I was like, “meh, yeah. I’ve worked with it.” . . .
Brandon just sort of shrugged his shoulders and was like, “cool, man.” Not a very judgemental guy but I could tell he was kinda puzzled by my answers when I started rattling off my list of all-time favorite concealed carry compact pistols. And like the nice guy he was, he didn’t say anything and figured I probably knew what I was doing and let me go about my way.
He never brought it up again.
However, today at the range, a strange thing happened — I rediscovered the GLOCK 19.
GLOCK And I Got History
When I was training to go back into Afghanistan in 2010 and 2012, I had to qualify with the M4 and GLOCK 19 as my primary firearms. In order to get into theater with firearms as a defense contractor, one of the first steps is to pass a standard qualification test. Ironically, 2010 was the very first time I picked up a G19.
Yep. Believe it or not, the Beretta P92 (M9) was the standard-issue sidearm when I was in service. There was never a reason for me to pick up a GLOCK.
The GLOCK 19 is a double-stack compact version of the GLOCK 17 and has wormed its way into becoming America’s sweetheart. And you know what? After firing the G19 for qualifications, I was astounded by how precise, smooth, and professional this pistol was.
In my mind, the GLOCK 19 is the business class section of the concealed carry handgun market. With a baseline of 15-round capacity, a 5.5 lb. trigger pull and weighing in at less than a kilogram fully loaded, it definitely left quite an impression.
So I went into theater and never once needed to use it outside of range practice. Such is life. I came home and returned that pistol to the company and went about my merry way.
Fast forward nearly four years and countless concealed carry handguns later…
I tried, man. I mean, I really tried to find a different pistol that fit the niche I was looking for. Something that would be as comfortable and appropriate inside the waistband as outside. What I found, instead, was a great baseline for what would inevitably become my default everyday carry gun.
Valuable Lessons Learned From Concealed Carry Handguns
Let’s go back to the start. I’ve carried a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield .40 cal, an M&P Shield Bodyguard .38 Spc, an FNH 45 ACP, a CZ-75D PCR (9mm), a SIG SAUER P226 (9mm), and lastly a Walther PPS (9mm). What did I learn from this?
- Each has had its indisputable time in the sun as my everyday carry and all are fantastic choices for the right application.
- Each truly was remarkable in its own way.
- Each seemed to have a certain environment in which it really excelled and each seemed to have its own particular, unique drawbacks.
The M&P Shield .40 caliber, for instance, fit wonderfully inside the waistband and packed a great ammunition for concealed carriers. The price was right, it performed decently at the range, but it was rough around the edges when it came to actual shooting.
The SIG P226, on the other hand, was a full-size, high performance pistol that really didn’t fit my profile as a concealed carrier. I like to stay subtle. For me and my carry style, the P226 just wasn’t my thing. While the SIG and the FNH .45 were probably my favorites to shoot at the range, neither were something I felt comfortable wearing inside the waistband for my daily activities.
And then there’s the Walther PPS. Walther has always gotten high marks in terms of performance, solid design, and plenty of high accolades in the concealed carry world. For awhile, it was my daily carry when I wanted to stay extremely low profile. It was a fun pistol to train with and it definitely had its merits as an everyday carry choice. Just like the S&W M&P Shield .40 caliber, though, it really felt out of place carrying OWB.
Wait, What Is This ‘Outside The Waistband’ You Speak Of?
“But James, you’re a concealed carrier — who cares about outside the waistband?”
I’m a resident of New Hampshire and this great state affords me countless miles of pristine, beautiful woodlands to hike, swim and fish in. It also touts one of the best open carry policies in the country.
One of the things I appreciate about getting away from civilization for a few days is being able to wear my pistol OWB. For that, I traditionally (and still do on occasion) carry the CZ-75D PCR. Definitely no problems there.
But then it hit me today while I was at the range — why did I ever break up with the GLOCK 19? I had trained with it, understood it very well, and felt extremely comfortable using it.
Was there some fault to be had with its design or its performance?
Did it ever remotely come close to failing or jamming?
Was it exorbitantly priced and hard to maintain?
No, none of the above. So I picked up a GLOCK 19 and took it to the range — maybe almost as a way of proving to myself it was all in my head.
The gun I fired was a brand new GLOCK 19 Gen 4 with 3 15-round magazines right there in the box. All forr a price point of $542. I had everything I needed to rock and roll right out of the gate.
That’s professionalism. With my Walther, I got one 6-round magazine and I paid about fifty bucks less than what I paid for my brand new GLOCK19 Gen 4 with three magazines. That was more than a little annoying. I’m not complaining about Walther’s design or anything else — it’s just that GLOCK gets it. GLOCK gets that we want to take the gun out of the store and actually use it as an everyday, all-situations firearm.
Now, why the GLOCK 19? Why not the new single-stack concealed carry series like the G42, G43, or G36 or the classic double-stack G26 or G27? All of those have a great application and maybe in the future I’ll examine them at further length, but for now, let me revel in this moment.
The core reason I felt the GLOCK 19 Gen 4 met my needs as an everyday concealed carry comes down to performance, professionalism, and price. It’s not the fancy new gun on the block and nobody pats your back for carrying a G19. But in terms of downright practicality, this model gets it. So I got it. And I must say – I’m quite happy with the decision.
All this time I spent avoiding the one GLOCK I’ve worked with arguably as long as the Beretta P92 (which I have absolutely no love for). We met up one sunny afternoon at the range and we’ve been the best of friends ever since.
Damnit, GLOCK. You got me, again.