Yakima, Washington 2011. Up to that point I had primarily carried a GLOCK 26. It held 10+1 and the chance of ever needing more than that was about as likely as my credit score increasing without first getting married. It was small, compact, easy to conceal and I shot it fairly well. Coming from a family rich in military tradition, I was always enamored with 1911’s from a young age, but I also remember struggling with them as well. I had grown up in Northern California before moving to Hawaii for 10 years so my experience with firearms had been limited to say the least. Eventually, I ended up in Arizona (2005) and that’s where the fun began . . .
Enjoying my new found firearm freedom, I spent several weeks test firing several makes and models before eventually settling on the G26. Scottsdale Gun Club became my second home as I began my reintroduction to firearms. I carried it daily. Sometimes OWB, sometimes concealed and many times open. I never felt “under-gunned” and I was perfectly content with my choice of protection.
Fast forward to 2011. I’m was Yakima, Washington for a Magpul Precision Rifle Course. My vehicle had snapped a timing belt on the way up and I was in front of a local dealership at 7:00 am waiting for them to open. As I was running on only a couple of hours of sleep, I made the mistake of putting my head down while sitting on a curb outside of the dealership. That seemingly innocent decision led to my now full time carry gun…a GLOCK 19.
Confronted by the commotion of eight males representing some of Yakima’s finest, I picked my head up as the group of thugs were steadily approaching from 40 yards. Profanity-laden language informed me of all the things they were about to do to me and for the first time I wished I had a bigger gun. Actually, I wished I could call in some “danger close” carpet-bombing as that appeared to be the lesser of the two evils at the time. The situation ended up “resolving” itself and aside from my heart attempting to explode out of my chest and possibly a few pairs of soiled pants on the part of some of my acquaintances, we all walked away unscathed.
Because of that experience, I immediately switched to a GLOCK 19. It offered me larger magazine capacity, and I shot it exponentially better in terms of multiple shots, speed, accuracy and distance. Also, because I switched to either appendix or five o’clock carry, I’ve had absolutely no issue with concealment.
My current G19 has a Haley Skimmer Enhanced Trigger (I made this decision because of the shorter reset and smoother trigger), Tru-Grip Grip Tape (I believe I get a better purchase on the weapon this way over stippling), Trijicon Suppressor Height Night Sights and a Trijicon RMR06. The addition of the RMR happened five years ago and I haven’t looked back since. It’s gives me an increased level of accuracy and extends my effective range beyond 99% of any scenario I can come up with. It takes sight alignment out of the equation and for that I will someday be grateful. I run Hornady 135gr FlexLock Critical Duty and I carry this set-up in a G-Code INCOG IWB Holster with an extra magazine.
I know there’s a common and collective thought that we as law-abiding concealed firearm carriers must “give in order to get,” but I choose to look at my carry decision from another angle. My ultimate carry decisions are based upon what I gain, rather than what I lose. In carrying the 9mm round, I gain the advantage of being able to carry more, while also gaining the benefit of carrying a round that is much easier for me to personally control in terms of recoil mitigation.
In carrying a GLOCK, I gain the confidence in knowing that I shoot it better than any other platform and that its dependability is of no concern to me. In using Grip Tape, I know I have the ability to change the “coarseness” as desired and that even in the most extreme conditions I will be able to maintain a proper firing grip. The RMR gives me the confidence to not only shoot at distances I never dreamed of but to do so accurately. It’s allowed me to be more precise at shorter distances and it will take fading eyesight out of the picture as I age. The INCOG allows me to carry in my preferred appendix position and so I can go about my daily routines. It allows me to present at an incredible speed and it decreases the chance that I’ll ever be made while carrying.
I will be the first to say that my choice isn’t the best firearm out there. I’ll leave that discussion to those far more knowledgeable than myself. But even though it may not be the best, it is the best for me. Stay safe, shoot straight and God Bless our Armed Forces and their families.