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Guns are a lot like shoes: different types serve different purposes. Just as you wouldn’t play soccer in dress shoes, you shouldn’t hunt pigs with a pocket pistol. Which is why the GLOCK product lineup has expanded from The One Gun to Rule Them All to 27 models in six sizes, shooting seven calibers. Which three are the must-own GLOCKs? Assuming you’d own all three, they are . .

1. GLOCK 43 

Gun buyers had been clamoring for small, single-stack GLOCK since 1847 (or thereabouts). When the Austrian gunmaker finally answered the call, you could hear gun guy groans from California to the New York island. .380? Seriously? 

After Gaston’s mob first sold a few gajillion GLOCK 42’s they released the 9mm GLOCK 43. Despite being several centuries late to the 9mm pocket pistol party (as the malcontents whined), the six-plus-one capacity GLOCK 43 was, and remains, an enormous hit.

And why not? As TTAG Managing Editor Dan Zimmerman wrote in his five-star review, “the G43 is just the thing for shooters looking for a small, reliable, comfortable, acceptably powerful everyday carry gun.”

Whether he’s wearing a Brioni suit, full-on Western wear or sweat pants and a wife-beater T-shirt, Dan the Man usually totes a G43. As does our friend Foghorn, whose sartorial splendor knows many limits. Both men could carry almost any gun they wanted (provided I paid for it). ‘Nuff said?

2. GLOCK 19 

If you can find a way to carry a GLOCK 19 on a daily basis, there’s no need to own a GLOCK 43. The 15+1 capacity G19 is the ultimate all-rounder, suitable for carry, home-defense, target practice and competition.

That said, the 10mm GLOCK 20 is the brand’s best pig killer. And as I’ve pointed out, there are at least three good reasons not to own a G19. But there’s at least one important reason to have and to hold a G19 from this day forth: reliability.

While all mechanical objects can fail, the GLOCK 19 is Toyota 4Runner reliable. And durable. Unless your name is Jon Wayne “Pistol Kryptonite” Taylor, a GLOCK 19 will remain perfectly functional even after Geneva-convention defiling torture testing.

But wait, there’s more! So much more! G19 owners can spend their hard-earned money on a farrago of holsters, lights, lasers, red dots, barrels, triggers, grip mods, magazines and other stuff, creating a stylactical GLOCK 19 that fits their every need.


The GLOCK 30SF sits somewhere between the G43 and G19. Like the G43, the 30SF is small enough to carry — though a bit porky around the middle (hey who isn’t?). Like the G19, the G30SF is home, home on the range — though expensive to feed. And the G30SF’s well-suited for home defense — though relatively limited in terms of capacity (10+1 or 13+1).

So why bother? Especially when you could round out your GLOCK collection with the aforementioned 10mm G20, ideal for bear protection, hog elimination and range time S&Gs.

Because the GLOCK 30SF is chambered in .45 ACP — the caliber that steals men’s souls and sleeps with their women. Better yet, the GLOCK 30SF is one of the softest shooting .45 caliber handguns money can buy. Which makes it extremely accurate. Which makes it extra-special deadly and a whole lot of fun to shoot.

It’s also worth noting that millions of gun owners live behind enemy lines, where state-based statists (who gotta state) limit handgun magazine capacity to 10 rounds. If you’ve only got ten rounds, they might as well be .45’s. The G30SF fits the bill.

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  1. Only three?

    I think there are about five more to add to the list plus the MOS. With long slides, slim frames, single stacks, and subcompacts, the only Glock I don’t recommend owning is the one in .22 Long Rifle.

      • There are aftermarket conversion uppers from companies like Tactical Solutions and Advantage Arms. I have used both and they worked well for me.

  2. What’s the difference between the G30 and the G30SF?

    I have always found my G30 to be a good shooter, is an SF a worthwhile upgrade?

    • SF just stands for “Short Frame” basically it shaves a couple mm off the grip length. It was available for some Gen 3 glocks before the Gen 4s and their interchangeable backstraps. And no… I would just get the gen 4, but some swear that the gen 3 is superior.

    • I don’t own a Glock. But if I did it would be the 21sf. Of all the glocks it fits my hand best. Not overly found of the .45 acp. But if the gun fits……

  3. Top 3 Glocks to own is kinda like Top 3 STDs to catch. Many of us would prefer to avoid them all.

      • I’m going to call you out on that particular bullshit. Glocks are perfectly functional pistols. They are incredibly robust and had a level of after market support unmatched by any other gun on the market. (Except possibly the 1911 family.)

        I am a big SIG fanboy, but ever since I got my hands on a Glock 34 they have been riding my safe.

        • Only gun I have ever managed to “limp wrist”, at least according to the guy I complained to because it constantly jammed. Gee, I’ve fired hundreds of pistols in about every caliber imaginable, but I shoot this one wrong, somehow? You can keep it, thank you very much!

        • @ pwrserge
          Being perfectly functional has nothing to do with it. Liking a GLOCK is like thinking Will Ferrell or Bill Cosby is funny.

        • I can honestly say that the only guns I own that have never had a malfunction are my Glock 21 and my Glock 34. I can see the argument about aesthetics, but then again, the same argument was made about AR-15s when they first came out. There are two things that more or less seal the deal for me on Glock.

          1. The pistols are amazingly light for barrel length and caliber. My Glock 34 with a X300 light on it weighs less than my P229.
          2. The pistols are designed with enough clearance that they will always go bang when you pull the trigger and will do so safely so long as the bore is clear. The only time I have had to do malfunction drills on my Glock was when I randomly mixed some blanks into the magazines to cause a malfunction.

          Are there better pistols out there? Sure. Some are prettier. Some are more accurate. Some have more features. (I still wish Walther made a long slide P99AS with decent magazine options as I miss the decocker and SA / DA functionality.) However, for a basic pistol that does what it’s supposed to do as readily as can be expected, the Glocks have it down pat.

        • I totally agree. I have many, many glocks and have been an user since the late 80’s. In the last year I finally got a G34 and it’s the one that always goes to the range with me while the other sit in the safe.

    • @ JasonM
      LOL. I’m glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t get down on their hands knees and pray to the great and powerful GLOCK. My attitude, take your ugly striker fired GLOCK and stuff it where the sun doesn’t shine, and I don’t mean in your holster!!

    • This made me LOL at work! I used to be a Glock hater (I’m still not a Glock lover) but I have come to believe that ours is a big enough tent to accommodate everybody (except Hi-Point owners, F- those guys). 🙂

  4. I like your list!

    Of course its all a matter of personal preference, but I don’t see the point of .45ACP. People write online that .40S&W is ~5% more powerful while of course being smaller and cheaper… so why do you want .45ACP?

    I would replace that 30SF with the 27 (subcompact .40S&W).

    Or, you know, get the 21 (full sized .45ACP) and then get a threaded barrel and silencer, because suppression of those fat subsonic rounds IS actually an interesting use for .45ACP.

  5. I would say that a g23 could easily be swapped for that g19 and if you still want 9mm there’s a barrel for that. I have the lone wolf g23 9mm barrel and it shoots great. I do need to get the 9mm extractor before I would trust my life with it though. I just picked up a g17 and ordered a ln endo adapter and arm brace… very fun!
    I didn’t get the glock thing until I wanted a threaded barrel 9mm and saw that a decent threaded barrel was around $100 and I’m a barrel and magazine away from shooting .40 if for some reason the 9mm ever gets crazy to find again.

  6. The Glock 26 owns all three of those other Glocks. The Glock 43 has a terrible trigger. The Glock 19 only wishes it were as versatile. The Glock 30SF is only produced because they don’t make a .46. This list of the top three Glocks to own should be changed to:

    1. Glock 26
    2. Glock 26
    3. Glock 26

    All in the gen 3 variety, of course.

  7. Yet another top 3 list that holds no bearing on me. I do not own, nor will I ever own a Glock. As such I can’t say anything objectively negative about them. The only subjectively negative things I will say is that the grip angle is so wrong for me that it makes me feel like I’m trying to shoot a brick and the ergonomics are atrocious for my grip. All I can say is that if this platform works for you, rock on. If not, then don’t use it. I’ll stick with my favorite platform, the 1911. I own several in multiple configurations. A list of top 3 1911’s I should own would make a much more enjoyable for me personally.

    • I would like to shake your hand, friend. I feel the exact same way- I have no problems with Glock, per se, they just don’t work for me. I also don’t consider myself a 1911 fanboy, it’s just that they work really well for me. For me it’s a combination of a broad palm and shorter than average fingers that jus makes those big square grips not work right at all. Both platforms are good guns, one works for me and one doesn’t.

      • Consider it shook friend. Personally I don’t get all the “you must own (insert gun X, and/or caliber Y) or you’re an (insert insult)”. I’m a fanboy of one thing and one thing only…. what works for me. In my case, it’s the 1911 and the XD(M) platforms, all in 45 acp. But be it Springfield, Glock, Sig, S&W, or the plethora of other manufacturers in any of the ump-teen calibers they provide, if it works for you, get it.

  8. A question I get all the time at the store when I show a 43 or a 26, “does it come with a larger magazine?” I usually tell them “if they want a larger magazine, buy a 19.”

    note: This is not exclusive to Glocks. I hear the same thing with the XDs & Shield.

    • That’s why extended baseplates and Xgrips exist. Just because you want a short mag for concealment doesn’t mean your backup mag has to be super-stubby.

      • +1. I’ve been pocket carrying a G26 for years. 10 round mag in the gun; G17 mag with a grip extender in the other pocket. With the one in the pipe, 28 rounds of +p JHP whoopass at your fingertips.

        • I carry the same way, both concealed and open carry. Except I switch it up between G17 & G19 spare mags depending on where I’m going.

  9. I don’t own any Glocks and the only one I truly want is a 26. Thinking about selling my xdsc for one…maybe

    • The thing that converted me was the ability to use 33rd factory sticks in a subcompact. Practical? Not really. Fun at the range? Absolutely.

  10. Never owned a GLOCK but I may jump in. But ii’ll be a used cop turn in probably a 22 or 23. A home defense pistol with some firepower…

    • Sportsmans Outdoor Superstore almost always has LEO trade in 22s and 23s online from $300 and up. I got a gen4 23 for $350. It was in great shape.

  11. Meh, I live in a 10 round state so I carry the 29sf. Personally, I think 10mm trumps .45. Plus I can run 40 s&w through it if I want, or buy the barrel conversion and switch it over to 357 sig.

  12. Top 3 Glocks to own

    1) Glock 29

    2) Glock 20

    3) Glock 40

    Why would I buy three Glocks in three different calibers?

  13. In commie state, “If you’ve only got ten rounds, they might as well be .45’s.”, I’m totally agree on that.

  14. Well, that was sure a surprise! I was just *sure* that one was going to be a Kimber and the other 2 Rugers.

    • Not sure what you’re getting at. I’ve been carrying a Glock 34 for a couple months now and have about 1000 rounds down the pipe. No issues. The guns may be boring, but in a sidearm, boring is a good thing.

        • Yep, thanks, I think the G34 should have made the list, especially if the others are to be compacts.

          It’s a heck of an implement: capacity, muzzle energy, controlability. Not an option for everyone to conceal or even openly carry, but some can conceal it and for basically all other uses it’s apples-to-apples better than its siblings.

  15. My list would’ve swapped out a couple.

    G17 – It was the first, the original.
    G19 – best overall carry gun.
    G20/21- the full size beasts are super fun to play with, and 15rds of 10mm is awesome.

    I like the G30/S/SF but it’s almost identical in size to the 19, and 5 less rounds bugs me to no end. The 45’s are probably the most accurate of all the models, in my experience.

  16. “Top 3 GLOCKs You Should Own”

    Major first world problems 🙂 Not “guns” – “Glocks” 🙂

    In keeping w/ the guns are like shoes analogy . . . if you are headed to “Imelda Marcos level” in things that go bang you might want to reevaluate your purchasing choices.

  17. I have the 19C. It’s a reliable and nice-shooting gun.

    But come on…Glocks are way too ugly to buy three.

  18. If a Glock descended from the heavens and gently landed in my hand, there’s about a 98% chance I would sell it. No thanks.

  19. Oh for f*cks sake….

    Anyone else see my rant about Glock fan boys the other day? Welcome to your perfect example. It’s not just good enough to you have A Glock…. now we have to have THREE OF THE DAMN THINGS.

    Personally I’m officially now to sh*t can ALL GLOCKS from my ‘to buy gun list’ permanently thanks to this tripe.

    • All fanboys fanboy. Sig, 1911, cz. All of them. Glock just has the market share I guess.

    • You don’t understand! My favorite Glock is the G34. It should have been on the list instead of maybe that weird 45 thing, and everyone should own at least one of them. Who is able to do so safely and legally that is.

    • Eh, I would say you really only need one, either a 26 or a 19. Don’t get why people buy 100 different handguns. Get 1 and get really good at using it. Spend the rest of your money on ammunition and magazines.

  20. Don’t own a Glock, but, never know, one day I might. As to being ugly, pretty is not high on my list for a firearm requirement.

  21. 1. Glock 7 in porcelain (1 month’s $alary)

    2. “Fury Road Special” (War Rig Holster Upgrade if available)

    3. Rapper Ripper/Thug Thumper (any Glock held horizontal in front of a video camera). Will need the maritime cups to guarantee usability when doused in Champagne/Malt Liquor.

  22. I think I’d swap out the G30SF for a G20 on my list. Or any of the .45 offerings, I guess.

    • ??? The G30 (in all its variants, G30, G30S, and G30SF) *is* one of the .45 offerings…

  23. Lhstr, I own different makers, Ruger, S&W, Colt and etc, but my glocks to carry are;
    a) Glock 19,
    b) Glock 22 and
    c) Glock 26
    Now thats all folks, be safe out there and carry, you could be saving a life out there, “YOURS”!

  24. My choices for the top 3 Glocks you should own:

    1. M&P 9, preferably suppressed, stays at home
    2. M&P 9c
    3. Glock 22

    Oops, was this supposed to be limited to just Glock brand glocks. #gunergonomicsmatter

    I have 2 blocks, sorry Glocks, and a M&P. My preferred carry gun is a 1911.

  25. I am far removed from being a Glock fanboy, nor am I a fan of the 9mm, but I have to say that the Glock 17 (and not its stunted little brother, the Glock 19) is Glock’s best effort and one of the finest 9mm pistols made, then and now.

  26. Have the G19, like it, am very pleased with the balanced size. Been thinking about replacing it with a G32, but they seem to be unloved. Curious to know why so many don’t care for it.

    • I believe it is only due to the cost and sometimes unavailability of ammo. Now that .357 Sig can be found under $20 a box for fmj, I am surprised at how many people are showing interest in the 31, 32, and 33 at the gun store I work at. I own all 3 of them and they have always been flawless performers for me( like all Glocks).

  27. The glock 40 MOS is the way to go. There are many guns that compete with the other Glock handguns. Although the 19’is pretty awsome.

  28. I have a 23, and I bought 32 and 19 conversion barrels (+ mags) to go with it. If reliability is their biggest strength, I figured I might as well make the most of that by letting one pistol do the work of three.

  29. Have owned numerous Glocks since they first hit the scene. Glock certified LEO armorer, so I know my way around them. My heart belongs to my several Novak-built 1911s, but if I lost everything in a fire, the first gun I would buy to get started again is a G19. The best ? Probably not. The best compromise ? Darn close. Currently have a 3rd Gen. G19 with no MIM parts, a 2nd Gen G17, and a G30SF I got a great deal on (and it is my favorite caliber). A 9mm Glock may be the only gun that I would feel comfortable picking up out of the box, make sure the bore is clear, and use. Not as comfortable as my Sig 320, 226 or 225, prefer my S&W Shield 9mm or .45 over the G43. Not selling any of the others, mind you. Then again, not a big AR fan, picking my Sig 556, Steyr AUG or Tavor for a .223. But an AR is also the first rifle I would pick up after the hypothetical fire. Really need to have at least one in the armory. Both the AR and Glocks, at least in 9mm, are plentiful, have the greatest after-market support and magazines available in this country right now.

  30. Every Gen 1 Glock 19 I ever saw shot better than every Gen 1 Glock 17 I ever saw. What’s up with that? I still have my first Gen1 G19.

    • I honestly don’t know. But I agree with your assessment, and that’s why in 1988, I bought the 19 instead of the 17.

  31. I tried a 43 when looking for a small single stack 9mm. I kinda liked the way it handled and it functioned fine, but I couldn’t hit the side of a barn with it! Maybe practice would have made ‘perfection’, in the end I went with a P938.

  32. I currently own all three of the above Glocks – as well as a G17 Gen 4.

    I’m in the process of selling the G43 to a buddy and we’re working on a price.

    Although the G43 shot well for me, I think I will like the Glock 26 more due to the added capacity. With Magpul producing 12 round magazines and the compatibility with the 15, 17 and 33 round 9 mm magazines, it makes more sense for me.

    • “I’m in the process of selling the G43 to a buddy and we’re working on a price.”

      Not much of a buddy. Ask retail for used and give 10% buddy discount or throw in the holster and spare mags for free. Done.

        • All I’m saying is, if he doesn’t give you $400 for all that then he isn’t your buddy. And if you are asking for more than that from him then you aren’t his buddy.
          Haggling isn’t something buddies do. No buddy of mine anyway.

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