Man, since 2019, the rise of the GLOCK clone has really accelerated. The GLOCK 19 in particular seems to be the number one cloned pistol in the series. We have lots of options now, priced both high and low.
On the low end, PSA produces the Dagger. On the high end, we have guns like those from Zev. And in the still affordable middle is the Adams Arms AA19. Adams Arms is mainly known for being an AR manufacturer. The AA19 represents their first step into building and designing a handgun. Adams has picked what most consider a winning (and obvious) design with the GLOCK 19 and they’ve upgraded it with several popular features.
The Feature-Filled AA19
First, the most noticeable thing about the AA19 is its grip and frame design. It looks like a Polymer 80 frame when it comes to the geometry of the thing. The grip is less…European and more American. And by more American, I mean 1911-like with its 19-degree grip angle.
But this is not your average Polymer 80 grip by any means. In the AA19 we get very aggressive grip texturing that covers, well, everywhere you put your hands.
The trigger guard features a double undercut that allows you to form a stable and very high grip on the pistol. When I grip a standard GLOCK 19, a little bit of my pinky hangs off the bottom. When I hold the AA19, all my digits remain firmly in place and on the grip. I love a good high grip and the combination of the undercut and the beavertail provides that.
The AA19 has an extended magazine release and a Tango Down Vickers carry trigger, two aftermarket upgrades a lot of people make to their stock GLOCKs. We get a metal, flat-faced trigger shoe and a refined trigger pull that’s very comfortable, even after high round counts. The AA19’s rail is a standard Picatinny rail rather than GLOCK’s proprietary thing. You won’t need your Streamlight GLOCK key to add a light.
The Slide Work
The AA19’s slide features aggressive grip serrations that have a slight slant to them. They are nice, effective and look good. On top of the slide, we get an optics cut because this is 2021 and there are now laws making it criminal not to include one (or there should be). The cut can use a range of plates to accommodate a wide variety of popular optics.
If you don’t want to use an optic, the Ameriglo Defoor EDC sights provide a simple, robust set of sturdy metal iron sights designed by firearm instructor and Navy SEAL Kyle Defoor. These are blacked-out sights with a rather thin front blade.
A 1/2×28 threaded barrel gives you all the options to mount suppressors, compensators, and other muzzle devices as you see fit. The AA19 barrel is Adams Arms’ own and is a match-grade barrel that keeps up with the latest generation of GLOCK Marksman barrels.
The only thing on the AA19 that seemingly remains unchanged from the G19 is the dinky slide lock. It’s still positioned right where my thumbs sits so I tend to pin it down as I shoot. I have big hands and that’s an occupational hazard with most handguns, keeping the slide from locking back when the gun runs dry. Your mileage may vary.
Lastly, you get a nice hard case from Plano and two Magpul 15-round G19 magazines with the gun.
On The Range
That TangoDown Vickers trigger is popular for a reason. A lot of the grit and grind people stock GLOCK triggers is gone. It’s not a crazy-light, 1911 trigger, but it’s a very competent and well-done duty style trigger that breaks at about 4.5 pounds. When pulled, the AA19 barks and the super short reset is almost like a little cough.
When the AA19 barks, that nice high grip I can get helps me exert control throughout the recoil impulse. The slide never bites, even with the high grip. The Defoor sights aren’t exactly eye-catching at first, but you learn to find them and track them pretty quickly. I prefer something with some contrast to focus on, but it’s not a deal-breaker.
That thin front sight blade makes aiming at a distance easy since your sights don’t cover the target. The space between the sight also allows a quick target acquisition with a good-enough sight picture. By good enough, I mean good enough to rapidly put three rounds into the A-zone of an IPSC target. They might not be dead-on the A, but they stay comfortably in the box.
Out to 25 yards, I can hit six-inch gongs pretty consistently. The eight- and ten-inch gongs are absurdly easy to see and hit as well. The AA19 performs like a high-end gun because it is a high-end gun…even if it doesn’t have a high-end gun price tag. With an optic, combined with the Vickers trigger and a great grip, I know ranges out to 50 yards are a cakewalk.
Specifications: Adams Arms AA12 Pistol
Barrel Length: 4.25 inches
Overall Length: 7.75 inches
Weight: 1.57 pounds
Capacity: 15 to 33
Ratings (out of five stars):
Ergonomics * * * * ½
A good high grip combined with zero slide bite makes me a happy pistol shooter. The Adams Arms AA19 eliminates the biggest common complaints I (and others) have about GLOCK pistols. I took half a star off for sticking with that teeny GLOCK slide lock.
Accuracy * * * *
It’s a combat pistol, so it won’t hang with a CZ Shadow 2, but it holds its own. Within 25 yards, it owns the field. Beyond that, without an optic, you can still hit the vital zone of a bad guy, but don’t expect to put one between his eyes.
Reliability * * * * *
Adams Arms took a lot of GLOCK out of this GLOCK, but they left the reliability in place.
Bang for Your Buck * * * *
It’s got an MSRP of $999, but I crunched some numbers. If you start with a GLOCK 19 MOS and add all these upgrade features and grip work, it comes with ten bucks of the Adams Arms price. And that’s not counting the custom slide work. The AA19 gives you a lot of customization for what I see as a very fair price.
Overall * * * * ½
Is it for everyone? No, but the Adams Arms AA19 is for the guy who wants an upgraded or
Gucci custom GLOCK without the normal GLOCK ergonomic complaints. Or the cash outlay.