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Although I have a variety of different firearms in my closet, my everyday carry pieces tend to come in one flavor: 9mm GLOCK-brand GLOCKs. This was the result of a decision by my significant other. When we began dating, my darling wife had recently graduated from a university in New York, and after a brief stint in social work, she was pursuing a master’s degree. She also had a tendency to look askance at things firearms-related . . .

However, shortly after we were married (and after some long conversations about prudence, self-defense, firearm safety, and the like) she attended firearms training classes and was the proud owner of her own pistol.

My wife came to gun ownership with the perspective of a woman whose only interest in firearms was that they were useful tools for self-defense, and that she wanted one primarily for home defense. Therefore, she told me, what she wanted was something that could reasonably be expected to go ‘bang’ every time the trigger was intentionally pulled, that was easy to care for, that wasn’t too harsh in the recoil department, and was reasonably priced.

She shook her head at Smith & Wesson, gave a “meh” after holding a Walther PPS, snorted derisively after seeing the typical price tag for a 1911, and then came home with a GLOCK-brand GLOCK 19 (Gen4).

My own main EDC pieces went through some evolutions. I started with a Kahr MK9 that was for pocket carry…until it started migrating to an OWB holster due to the weight of its stainless steel frame. It occurred to me that if I was going to carry my firearm on the hip, I could accommodate something bigger. So I went to the store and came home with a Springfield EMP, which I dearly loved.

Unfortunately, despite being a wonderful shooter and a beautiful piece that seemed to just ‘fit’ me, it wasn’t reliable and a return trip to the Springfield factory didn’t fix it. It was traded for an aluminum-framed 1911…which didn’t fit my hand well at all, and also proved a little unreliable. At that point, I noticed that as middle-of-the-road as they were, (gasp!) my wife was right: the goal was to get a tool that was a solid self-defense piece, not a gun I was going to fall in love with. And the GLOCK just worked for me. The 1911 was traded for two guns, GLOCK numbers 17 and 19.

This isn’t meant to be a plug for Gaston’s guns. What works for me may not for you. The point of the story is that although I came to GLOCK despite my best efforts and still haven’t grown to ‘love’ them, I was glad I did. Not only did it get me a reliable heavy-duty pistol, it also let me standardize my family’s home defense firearms.

Yeah, I know, it may sound like I’m trying to come across as something of an “operator” and because I’m writing this at Starbucks while drinking a bottle of overpriced water (which promises on the label to help poor people in “coffee-growing communities,” that’s probably a clue that I’m not on the high speed low drag career track.

But consider these practical points: by learning to detail-strip one gun, I pretty much learned how to do all of them. The ammunition is interchangeable, which means that I don’t have to worry about finding good prices on two different calibers when I buy. The magazines are interchangeable at least in in the sense that the 19s can share with each other, and the 17 is a universal donor. So that stockpile of GLOCK 17 magazines I scored a few years ago means that we won’t have to worry about scrounging (and paying top dollar) for the right magazine should one break later, or should we someday encounter some imperial entanglements with regards to capacity.

We also have three different test-beds on which to try different accessories, which proved helpful when we tried out night sights. More importantly, since all of the guns have the same ergonomics and manual of arms, training on one — drawing, loading, operating, firing — pretty much applies to the others, too.

Again, I’m not pushing GLOCKs here – they happened to work for us. Maybe not for you. Nor is this meant to suggest that you should ONLY buy a particular brand of firearm. I do own others, but with the exception of a Kahr meant for pocket carry situations (which has a somewhat similar manual of arms,) they’re for fun and sport, and don’t live in the EDC/personal defense rotation.

When it comes to self-defense, if there’s a particular model that everyone in your household can agree on, why not standardize the guns that’ll serve your family in a crisis?


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  1. this is why i standardized on pistol configuration and ammo….but i chose 1911 style. different guns for different purposes, but they all function the same. pick one you can shoot comfortably; pick one you can shoot well; pick one you can use in a pinch without thinking about how it works.

    glocks are dumb brick firearms that do what they are supposed to do, when they are supposed to do it. they are, indeed, tools. 1911s are the same (well, except 1911s are nicer looking), with less ammo capacity. no amount of missing can result in a hit. remember the old saying….”beware a man with one gun (single stack), he knows how to use it.”

    • No offense, but this comment would have been HILARIOUS if posted as a reply to Travis’ opener above.

    • Agreed. Shoot what fits you… because as much as the gun snobs might pooh-pooh at you for picking a… well, whatever it is you decide on… not a single one of them is going to volunteer to be shot by it.

      I wish I was surprised to learn that Springfield 1911s are suffering in terms of reliability. Now there’s a company that hijacked a good name and seems to have been taking a dump on it recently. My experience with their 1911 product line was Strike Three against them. The only thing I might, possibly, maybe, conceivably (after extensive verification) trust from that sorry excuse for a company is the pistols they don’t actually make, and just import from Croatia.

  2. As the resident contrarian,I disagree. What works for Spouse A may not suit Spouse B. The goal should be optimum performance on the firing line, an arrangement which may see two completely different guns being used.

      • When you reduce the amount of spouses you have it reduces your net worth in an egregious fashion…

        Hence, renting is cheaper than buying…

    • I use my brother and his wife for an example of this and why adjustable/collapsible stocks are a good thing. He’s 6’5″ … she’s 5’2″

  3. For Pete’s sake, disable the frigging comments until we stop seeing other peoples’ private email addresses.

  4. I’m not a Glock owner (used to be) and I honestly don’t like either the pistols of the resulting Cult of Glock. However, I cannot deny that Glock has developed a true “family” of pistols that (usually) play well together. That’s impressive and I respect that.

    • I agree on standardization. In my case it’s CZ-75’s & S&W revolvers when space is tight.

      Glocks are fine they just don’t fit my hand very well. I like the triggers, recoil and fit of CZ-75’s better than Glock’s. I have enough experience the double then single action trigger isn’t a problem. Others may find it different.


      The crisis of today is the joke of tomorrow. -H. G. Wells

  5. “why not standardize the guns that’ll serve your family in a crisis”

    Because then if you can’t find parts or ammo for one, you can’t find parts or ammo for any. I prefer owning and being trained in as many different things as possible. You brain does not have limited capacity, so I would rather just train and learn more that constrict myself. And parts/ammo/mags are something you should always have plenty of on hand, so you don’t have to scramble when something goes wrong.

    And who “worries” about having to find good prices when shopping? Go online, hit the same 4-5 places that always have the best prices(or use an aggregator) and order. Takes all of 10 minutes and you have the cheapest possible ammo on the way for as many calibers as you need.

    Me and the wife keep our carry guns the same, a Steyr S9-A1 for myself and S&W Shield 9mm for her, but outside of that I want all the variety I can get.

    • Maybe your definition of “crisis” is different than mine.
      I figure, in a crisis, I’m pretty much stuck with what I have on hand. In that case, interchangeable parts, magazines and ammo will be a good thing.

      9mm is by far the most abundant pistol caliber brass to be found at my local range. For those with limited funds for ammo, you can reload those free cases for around 15 cents. This allows for a robust inventory and low-cost practice.

  6. Looks like TTAG had been hacked and when you combine this with the DDoS it looks someone, probably Bloomberg, is trying destroy this blog. I recommend that Robert make a Federal Case out of this.

    Anyway, I have recently come to a similar conclusion except I go with the Springfield XD and XD/m. The XD/m compact 9 is the perfect carry gun. It is just a quarter inch longer than a G26 subcompact with higher capacity and a 3.8″ barrel which solves a lot the ballistic issues that the Shootingthe bull410 has identified with subcompacts and pocket pistols. I have switched to carrying my XD 45 Service for the bigger round instead of a 1911. I am going to shoot a JMB design much more accurately at the range than my plastic pieces but over all I am going to be more consistent if I use the same trigger for my carry guns. No more switching between a safety trigger and combat trigger. When I am in woods I will carry either of my 1911s but for around self defense I am now 100% Croatian.

    • I’m with you tdiinva. I’ve got both glocks and XD’s. I gravitate towards the XD because the .45 fits my hand way better, and I like the grip safety.

  7. “Hi, I’m Johannes Paulsen and I like to suck GLOCKs.”

    Look, I own and occasionally carry a G23, .357SIG converted, and I’m quite fond of the pistol, I am, but I want to see another one of these damn “love letter to GLOCK” pieces about as much as I want to see Michael Moore challenge Rosie O’Donnell to a mud wrestling match.

    We get it, GLOCK guys; you’re better than us. Hooray. You can shut the f*ck up about it now.

  8. You should have suggested the S&W SD9VE. It is a great gun, reasonably priced, and goes bang every time I pull the trigger. Also it is light weight and fairly easy to conceal.

  9. I’m considering doing the same. With all the polymer companies making a full size, long slide, compact and even subcompact of the same model it would help keep ammo mags and holsters in check. Secondly I think for muscle memory, knowing where the mag relase and safety are by training is going to be much better if it gets used.

  10. I seriously have been a new person every single time I open an article today, I agree with those above, somebody is hackin your shizz. Maybe its the same folks who did the DDOS, but regardless, I agree you should probably temporarily disable comments.

  11. Why standardize ? I have 3 that I carry depending on what I’m dressing in and where I’m going. The three are a Glock 30 gen4 .45 cal a Welther PPS9 with laser and 8 round mag. With a 7 round back up on my person the last and least carried is a S&W Shield .40 cal with a Veridian R5 laser it has a 7 round with a 6 round backup the Glock are 2 10 round mags but also have a few that are for fun at the range my cabinet ha around 5 thousand rounds give or take 800 to a 1000 depending if I’ve been to range before restocking I don’t see why anyone unless they are strapped for cash should limit type or cal. If guns owned or carried. If maintaining them is an issue I can’t help you. I think if you can strip and clean your Glockthen you can strip and clean any semi auto revolver are very easy to clean so I don’t agree with you reasoning at all unless as stated above that it’s a cash issue and if cash is an issue then you are in the wrong game maybe bowling would be better the balls can also be used to defend yourself. So I guess we are going to have to agree to disagree on this issue.
    PS Please do something about the fools making this blog look real bad to any new comers. This is not the place for those types of comments.

  12. A good shooter should be able to pick up any firearm and make it work in a pinch. They should have a wide manual of arms. By choosing to “Standardize” on one gun and learn it, to the point of failing to understand or lacking familiarity of others, you lose the advantage to be able to be truly platform-agnostic.

    If you look at any good shooter, they can pick up any platform and use it well because they understand fundamentals and they understand the mechanics.

    Also, as someone else pointed out, by standardizing on a platform and caliber, you also limit yourself in terms of available ammo and parts. This is why, despite a love for them, I don’t buy more unique guns or calibers like 10mm and 9×25.

    Guess what i’m trying to say is, care what you like, know how to shoot multiple platforms, and keep around a few different calibers just in case.

  13. Travis, is this the latest strategy from the Brady Campaign and Bloomberg? I guess if you keep getting beat down in the courts, professing homosexuality is an interesting strategic decision.

  14. I think any of the striker fired pistols are similar enough that any will do, Kahr, Walther, Glock, S&W, Ruger, now H&K. I don’t expect there would be too much confusion if someone tossed (heh) you a S&W M&P versus a Glock in a pinch.

    Things can get squirrley for some if you throw in manual safeties or DA/SA firearms if they don’t know what the deal is. Then there’s ye ole 1911.

    Doesn’t matter to me, I operate so hard. 🙂

  15. Any script kiddie can run a DDOS. And based on the comments, this is the same or another 15 year old seeking attention.

    I wouldn’t waste time blaming TTAG- what is disturbing is how long its taken WordPress to sort this out- its been going on for most of the day.

    That its happening while most of the active writing staff is in Las Vegas at SHOT might be coincidence.

  16. My home needs an upstairs and down stairs accessible weapon. Because my wife works from the home, I went with a pair of identical pieces of her choosing. Plus, when we travel, we take both of them on the road. No his and hers, just the weapon closest at hand, well trained and as comfortable as old jeans; Sig 239 9mm. She chose well, without undo influence. The 239 single stack fit her hand and she is scary accurate with it. My first choice?…. SW 66 357

  17. Looks like the ladies at Moms Demand Action have figured our how to post comments on TTAG. One small step for women, one giant leap for Dirk!

  18. I have my EDC and my wife has hers. They’re not interchangable. Why? Because my gun suits me and her gun suits her. We are not the same person. A gun is not a baseball hat, it’s not one-size-fits-all.

    I can see the value of standardization in a domestic environment if you and your sigother are operating operators on operations or preparing for such.

    But for your average Joe, this is pretty useless and somewhat counter-intuitive advice.

  19. What in the world am I reading?!?! Im commenting under a new name with a fake email now because I don’t trust the comment section anymore. And when did this site turn into 10 year olds trying to prank call their teachers?

  20. My wife tried numerous guns. The one she liked, was comfortable with, and had excellent shot placement. I started with a Glock 26. I have since gone to a Kahr CM9 and a Kahr 380 depending on clothing. Since I am left handed I have started playing around with H&Ks and Walthers with the paddle release. The wife cannot stand the H&K and keeps dropping the magazine by accident. So there is no way we can standarize. She will stay with the 38sp and I with 9mm.

  21. This is the second such article I have seen in the past year. Apparently gun owners are knuckle draggers who cannot keep even the simplest mechanical knowledge in their heads because: Gun Owner!
    I suppose there are those who cannot drive more than one vehicle because the wheels are different or the paint is different in color but most PPL get along fine and even drive rentals on a regular basis
    If you own firearms that you cannot properly control, shame on you.
    The rest of us do just fine hopping from firearm to firearm.

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