Gaston Glock hit a home run with his GLOCK 19 pistol. Not only do police agencies worldwide use it, but so do lots of American civilians. Like many gazillions of other good guys, I use a GLOCK 19 for concealed carry. In fact, I’ve packed the G19 for close to twenty years now for self-defense. While GLOCK makes other 9mm carry pistols such as the GLOCK 17 and GLOCK 26, I keep coming back to the G19. For me, it strikes the perfect balance of size, firepower, controllability, versatility and ease of use in a carry gun. And plenty of people agree with me, as they carry it, too.
The GLOCK 19 has garnered a huge share of the law enforcement market for many of the same reasons it makes a good choice for everyday Americans to carry. In short, because it works. GLOCK pistols point naturally and function reliably. Not only that, but given their popularity, finding holsters and accessories is easy. While you might have a serious crush on the latest “wondergun,” you may have to visit a custom holster maker for a decent carry rig.
Yes, when you buy a gun you need a holster. I prefer the comfort and concealability of an inside the waistband (IWB) holster. Because of the GLOCK 19’s popularity, endless carry holster options exist. These include the easy-to-clean and gun finish-friendly kydex, as well as leather holsters, and hybrids using both kydex and other materials.
Over the years, I’ve tried a number of IWB holsters for my G19, but I have settled on the Bladetech Nano. Without a doubt, it rides very comfortably inside my waistband. I have a simple “comfort” test: can I sleep comfortably wearing the holster while laying on it?
At the same time, like all good CCW rigs, it conceals well. Far better than any outside-the-waistband (OWB) holster I have found. While some leather OWB rigs can look good and provide comfort, civilians usually prefer better concealment. Law enforcement officers have different needs than concealed carry holsters.
For those who really want the inside scoop, I carry the GLOCK 17 version of the Nano, so I can simply switch out to the larger, full-size pistol if I wish. Alternatively, I can also carry the GLOCK 26 in the same gun holster for those days when I want a very-low profile in less permissive environments or in a suit where discretion reigns supreme.
I have avoided leather rigs because they can absorb sweat, and over time, they can start to stink as bacteria grow in the leather. They also tend to come with steeper price tags than kydex rigs.
Alien Gear makes some nice hybrid carry holsters that a lot of folks like. I personally don’t care for the big piece of material riding against my body (absorbing sweat and odors over time), but your mileage may vary.
For the last month or so, I’ve carried the Bravo Concealment Torsion IWB carry rig as part of testing and evaluation. It has performed quite nicely, bordering on exceptionally well. Look for a formal review on that soon.
While plenty of manufacturers offer all manner of products that supposedly improve a GLOCK’s performance, I stick with almost a completely stock gun for self-defense. I prefer Gen 3 and Gen 4 GLOCKs, but they all feel and function very similarly.
I install night sights, as anyone should do for self-defense. After all, a majority of critical incidents occur in low-light environments. Funny how bad guys prefer to ply their trade in the dark. I like Trijicon all-green, three-dot sights. Yes, tritium sights come in other colors and sight formats. Pick a type of sight and stick to it. As far as colored tritium sights (orange for instance), in my past experience, they do no last nearly as long as the green ones.
The other modification I make involves installing a 3.5-pound factory GLOCK trigger connector. Frankly, I debated omitting this bit of information, but thought it might help some new shooters. No doubt, some will flame me for installing a lighter-than-factory-standard trigger pull on a personal defense gun. Flame away.
A lighter, 3.5-pound trigger allows me greater precision in my shots. This reduces the chances of errant shots wounding bystanders, making it safer for others. Not only that, but if I can make good hits on a bad guy, it makes it safer for the bad guy. How so? Fewer holes mean they may suffer less permanent damage.
Why not make other changes? Well, GLOCK engineered the guns with parts that provide nearly flawless performance. Any aftermarket parts add an unknown variable into that equation. You know the old expression, “If it works, don’t fix it”? I practice it. You should as well.
For self-defense, stick with the factory GLOCK magazines. Don’t buy some cheap-skate, gun show no-name aftermarket magazine “guaranteed” to work. On the other hand, if you want to buy quality aftermarket magazines for practice or competitions, have at it.
For aftermarket magazines, I really like the new(ish) Pmags for GLOCKs. I have a few and they have proven reliable and affordable at the same time. Regardless of factory originals or Magpul PMags, buy them now while you can get them cheap. Do not wait until President Donald Trump leaves the White House.
The selection of concealed carry handguns can boggle the mind. While I really liked the new Sig P365, I still carry my G19. Once in a while I’ll swap out the 19 for a full-size GLOCK 17. Other days, I’ll carry the smaller GLOCK 26, sometimes called the “Baby GLOCK.” No matter the model, I like how the function remains identical among the small, medium and large GLOCK 9mm pistols.
Most days though, I have the G19 because for me – and probably a million other good guys – it strikes the perfect balance of size, capacity and concealability in my everyday life.
As much as other guns may shoot nicely or appeal to me, I stick with the gun that works intuitively for me after all these years.