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By James England via

People who’ve been reading Concealed Nation for a bit may recognize I have a sort of predilection for interesting, if not odd, concealed carry handguns. When I first started writing for Concealed Nation, Brandon asked me right up front, “have you tried the GLOCK 19? And I was like, “meh, yeah.  I’ve worked with it.” . . .

Brandon just sort of shrugged his shoulders and was like, “cool, man.”  Not a very judgemental guy but I could tell he was kinda puzzled by my answers when I started rattling off my list of all-time favorite concealed carry compact pistols. And like the nice guy he was, he didn’t say anything and figured I probably knew what I was doing and let me go about my way.

He never brought it up again.

However, today at the range, a strange thing happened — I rediscovered the GLOCK 19.

GLOCK And I Got History

When I was training to go back into Afghanistan in 2010 and 2012, I had to qualify with the M4 and GLOCK 19 as my primary firearms.  In order to get into theater with firearms as a defense contractor, one of the first steps is to pass a standard qualification test. Ironically, 2010 was the very first time I picked up a G19.

Yep. Believe it or not, the Beretta P92 (M9) was the standard-issue sidearm when I was in service. There was never a reason for me to pick up a GLOCK.

The GLOCK 19 is a double-stack compact version of the GLOCK 17 and has wormed its way into becoming America’s sweetheart. And you know what? After firing the G19 for qualifications, I was astounded by how precise, smooth, and professional this pistol was.

In my mind, the GLOCK 19 is the business class section of the concealed carry handgun market. With a baseline of 15-round capacity, a 5.5 lb. trigger pull and weighing in at less than a kilogram fully loaded, it definitely left quite an impression.

So I went into theater and never once needed to use it outside of range practice. Such is life. I came home and returned that pistol to the company and went about my merry way.

Fast forward nearly four years and countless concealed carry handguns later…

I tried, man. I mean, I really tried to find a different pistol that fit the niche I was looking for. Something that would be as comfortable and appropriate inside the waistband as outside. What I found, instead, was a great baseline for what would inevitably become my default everyday carry gun.

Valuable Lessons Learned From Concealed Carry Handguns

Let’s go back to the start. I’ve carried a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield .40 cal, an M&P Shield Bodyguard .38 Spc, an FNH 45 ACP, a CZ-75D PCR (9mm), a SIG SAUER P226 (9mm), and lastly a Walther PPS (9mm). What did I learn from this?

  • Each has had its indisputable time in the sun as my everyday carry and all are fantastic choices for the right application.
  • Each truly was remarkable in its own way.
  • Each seemed to have a certain environment in which it really excelled and each seemed to have its own particular, unique drawbacks.

The M&P Shield .40 caliber, for instance, fit wonderfully inside the waistband and packed a great ammunition for concealed carriers.  The price was right, it performed decently at the range, but it was rough around the edges when it came to actual shooting.

The SIG P226, on the other hand, was a full-size, high performance pistol that really didn’t fit my profile as a concealed carrier. I like to stay subtle. For me and my carry style, the P226 just wasn’t my thing. While the SIG and the FNH .45 were probably my favorites to shoot at the range, neither were something I felt comfortable wearing inside the waistband for my daily activities.

And then there’s the Walther PPS. Walther has always gotten high marks in terms of performance, solid design, and plenty of high accolades in the concealed carry world. For awhile, it was my daily carry when I wanted to stay extremely low profile. It was a fun pistol to train with and it definitely had its merits as an everyday carry choice. Just like the S&W M&P Shield .40 caliber, though, it really felt out of place carrying OWB.

Wait, What Is This ‘Outside The Waistband’ You Speak Of?

“But James, you’re a concealed carrier — who cares about outside the waistband?”

I’m a resident of New Hampshire and this great state affords me countless miles of pristine, beautiful woodlands to hike, swim and fish in. It also touts one of the best open carry policies in the country.

One of the things I appreciate about getting away from civilization for a few days is being able to wear my pistol OWB. For that, I traditionally (and still do on occasion) carry the CZ-75D PCR. Definitely no problems there.

But then it hit me today while I was at the range — why did I ever break up with the GLOCK 19?  I had trained with it, understood it very well, and felt extremely comfortable using it.

Was there some fault to be had with its design or its performance?

Did it ever remotely come close to failing or jamming?

Was it exorbitantly priced and hard to maintain?

No, none of the above. So I picked up a GLOCK 19 and took it to the range — maybe almost as a way of proving to myself it was all in my head.

The gun I fired was a brand new GLOCK 19 Gen 4 with 3 15-round magazines right there in the box. All forr a price point of $542. I had everything I needed to rock and roll right out of the gate.


That’s professionalism. With my Walther, I got one 6-round magazine and I paid about fifty bucks less than what I paid for my brand new GLOCK19 Gen 4 with three magazines. That was more than a little annoying. I’m not complaining about Walther’s design or anything else — it’s just that GLOCK gets it.  GLOCK gets that we want to take the gun out of the store and actually use it as an everyday, all-situations firearm.

Now, why the GLOCK 19? Why not the new single-stack concealed carry series like the G42, G43, or G36 or the classic double-stack G26 or G27? All of those have a great application and maybe in the future I’ll examine them at further length, but for now, let me revel in this moment.

The core reason I felt the GLOCK 19 Gen 4 met my needs as an everyday concealed carry comes down to performanceprofessionalism, and price. It’s not the fancy new gun on the block and nobody pats your back for carrying a G19. But in terms of downright practicality, this model gets it. So I got it. And I must say – I’m quite happy with the decision.

All this time I spent avoiding the one GLOCK I’ve worked with arguably as long as the Beretta P92 (which I have absolutely no love for).  We met up one sunny afternoon at the range and we’ve been the best of friends ever since.

Damnit, GLOCK. You got me, again.

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    • I own Glocks, Colts, Smiths, Walthers, Rugers and more. In my own case, I don’t shoot Glocks as accurately as I wish I could. But, If you can clean out a ragged hole at the range with Glock, you would be STUPID not to own and carry a Glock. As far as reliability and support, you really can’t improve upon Glock. If you shoot something else more accurately, then you may want to consider other choices.

  1. The dang Glock 19 is a classic for a reason. It is just very good all around. Reliable, accurate, good firepower, reasonably priced, relatively light weight. I love my G19, although I still usually just pocket carry my J-frame 642. The Airweight revolver is also a perennial classic.

  2. Is there some kind of policy at this site that states that GLOCK always has to be shouted at me? Are you people trying to tell me something?

  3. When I first came to shooting, my friends who were veterans, steered me away from Glock. It did everything well, but nothing outstanding, in their estimation. So, I avoided them. Picked up a Sig, 442 and CA 44sp for OWB or IWB edc uses. I shoot them all well, and because they were my firsts, perhaps gave them to many accolades. A while ago, a guy at the range handed me his Glock 17 with s full clip. I couldn’t believe how well grouped my shots were at 20ft. It fit my hand perfectly, but most importantly it pointed naturally and my sight picture was exactly where my bullets fell. With my other pistols, I have to remember my Sig shoots 2″ low at 10ft, so I need to cover my target with the FSP, and that really pisses me off. I am planning to sell my 442 and Sig Pro and pick up my soul mate, a Glock. Could have saved myself the trouble by not listening to my very picky friends, and bought the one I wanted. I should have rented them all first. Time is wisdom. But I am keeping my Charter Arms 44sp Bulldog. For the bears 😉

    • I bought my gen 1 Glock 17 back in the 1980’s. Funny thing is it’s the last handgun I have bought (money got real scarce for me for several years). I’ve recently been toying with the idea of getting something smaller for concealed carry , but on my 6′-3″ 310 lb body, the 17 hides okay. I own some “prettier” guns and a couple of more accurate pistols, but the Glock has been a good fit for me for over 25 years.

  4. Glock perfection. They just work. Are they the most beautiful gun ever made? Maybe not but they are dependable and that’s what I want when the time comes.

      • You can hold it with either hand and pull the trigger. Trust me. I’ve tried it. The mag release is reversible. Also, the manual safety is ambidextrous, because there isn’t one. Additionally, many holster companies sell both right- and left-handed holsters for Glocks.

        Being left-handed is no reason not to buy a Glock.

      • Glocks are definitely ambidextrous. I shoot primarily left handed and find that Glocks are easier left-handed than right. Middle finger hits mag release, and trigger finger easily reaches the slide release without having to shift the gun in my grip like I do right handed.

    • The Walther PPS used to come with one magazine and it also cost 50 or 100 more. Then they lowered the price and began offering two magazines. I bought mine at the beginning of the price decrease and the two magazine era. It is a thin pistol. The thing that I like about the most, is that it is pistol that points most naturally for me. I hope that makes sense. It is a very high quality pistol. Mine came with a seven round magazine and an eight round magazine. I have been tempted to buy a six round to see how that feels, but both of the other magazine sizes disappear very easily when I carry it in an IWB holster.

  5. The reason that you have “Glock-haters” is the same reason people might by a Fiat 500 instead of a Ford Focus. Glocks, for a lot of people (myself included), just elicit a solid “meh”. There’s nothing wrong with them. They shoot accurately, they are very reliable, and they are affordable. They are, in short, a tool. And nothing else. They just don’t give me that fizzy feeling that I get with some other guns. With the VP9, my first impression was, “Wow, that grip is absolutely perfect”. The accuracy results followed suit. Coming out the rental range the guy behind the counter commented, “I wish I had one in stock right now, it’d be the easiest sale I’ve made all month.”. With the Kahr p380, there was just something about being able to nail rapid fire shots from 10 yards with a pistol that literally disappears behind my hand. With a Glock, the reaction is basically, “Yup, that’s a gun alright.” I shoot it just fine, but it just doesn’t push any of my buttons.

    • For my wife, the first two things she loved about the VP9 were “I can rack this” and “the mag release is awesome.” 🙂 She has arthritis in her thumbs, wrists and elbows. And while she can rack a G19 with effort, the mag release is very difficult for her.
      Then she got around to appreciating the grip. My wife has very long fingers. Yet she can very comfortably grip the VP9. She loves it.
      The Walther CCP has nearly the same ergo line, though a little more compact. That is is her EDC. And it racks as easily as the VP9.

    • The Glock 19 is the Honda Accord of guns, not the Ford Focus.
      The S&W SD9VE is the Ford Focus of guns. The Focus and the SD9VE are perfectly acceptable, and great options. The Accord and the Glock 19 are a little nicer/better.

  6. For whatever reason, Glocks never made my faucet drip. It’s their looks along with the fact that people seem to get on their knees and pray while chanting Glock Glock Glock and the polymer gun thing just gives me a rash. Price is never the primary concern for me. Other factors determine what I’m going to consider in any purchase. If my choice isn’t going to cause me buyers remorse or fall over at the cash register, then the choice is easy.

    To be fair, I’ve never even picked up a Glock let alone even fired one. I guess it really is the looks thing. I think Glocks are butt ugly and I’m just not going to own something that if find aesthetically repulsive My daily carry is a Sig P229 Elite with the Rosewood grips in .40

    The fact is though, any high quality modern firearm will serve someone well. Practice with it and carry it.

    • People get on their knees and chant GLOCK GLOCK GLOCK because they work almost all the time, they have a model for everyone and they are cheap. You’re knocking a weapon that’s universally praised then claim you never even held one, what?

      • Yeah, I think I said that. I think they are ugly and never held one. What part of what I wrote are you not comprehending? Are you ridiculing my right to think something is ugly, and choose something else and say so?

      • I started off as a 1911 shooter. The first time that I looked at and held a glock, I actually laughed out loud. More that thirty years later, I do not own a 1911, but I have two 17’s, a 19, a 17L, and a 26. My 1911’s never would feed the 200 grain Speer Flying Ashtray that used to be very popular at one point, but my old Glock 21 never failed to feed, fire, or eject anything. But I ended up selling it because the 9mm models fir my hands better and it was easier to buy and store one less pistol caliber. Live and learn. I really don’t care if someone else doesn’t “approve” of my choices…it is a free country after all.

    • I’ve always imagined Glock fanboys being the same guys who line up for the latest Apple product, even when their old Apple product is only 6 months old. They are both perfectly good products, but the fanboys act like they have something secret and special, while not realizing that there are those of us out there who have tried the product, gone “Eh”, and went back to what we like.

  7. I personally don’t run Glocks because I’m left handed and the controls aren’t ambidextrous, but that’s unique to me. I think walthers are generally better but they’re also more expensive and harder to find.

    • I keep getting told I should manually release the slide when reloading instead of using the slide release lever. If I do, there are no ambidexterity issues.

      Of course, is hardly call my 19 perfection. The grip doesn’t melt into my hand like a Sig or Walther. The trigger isn’t as light as it could be and there is a fair bit of forward travel. But the break and reset are as crisp as NH in the middle of fall. The standard fixed sights aren’t the best, but they are good enough for me to get on target.

      Is it a perfect tool? No. But it does the job whenever I ask it to and never complains. Even though I occasionally wonder if I wouldn’t have been happier with a P320 Carry or PPQ, I can’t imagine it ever failing on me – and that’s what makes for success.

    • I’m left handed and I’ve never understood other left handers who have a problem with standard pistol controls. As long as you don’t have a manual safety, the mag release is actually easier to punch with a finger than it is to shift your grip and operate with a thumb the way right handers do. I also find racking the slide after a reload to be more reliable and easier than messing with the slide release.

      • I am comforted to learn I’m not the only one who has to shift my grip to press the mag release with my thumb.

  8. I bought my first Glock (G22 Gen 4) a little over a year ago and love it!!! Very impressed with the firearm’s accuracy, shoot-ability, and price point. Not to mention the reliability track record that I have yet to really test…

    I was hitting great groups right out of the box with lead round nose reloads that I was skeptical would perform well out of any firearm.

    Glock perfection is their motto for a reason.

  9. “Maintain a low profile” concealed is concealed right? Wear the right clothes and you can conceal anything…

  10. Uhh, you don’t really need to justify your gun choices here. Carry a Glock, carry some 1911, hell carry a friggin’ Jennings if you feel a burning need to…. just don’t expect the latter one to work of course…

    Honestly who cares what you carry… as long as you carry!

  11. I don’t punk Glock, but I chose the M&P because I prefer the ergonomics of the S&W, both are good but I shoot the M&P better than any of the Glocks I’ve borrowed or rented.

  12. Nothing wrong with the Glock 19, I have one and it shoots as well as most self defence pistols. The problem with the Glock is that it just doesn’t fit my hand well. I have found the Walther PPQ which is the same size with the same round count fits my hand much better and has a trigger that is second to none. If I need something smaller, I also have a CCP with the same ergos, though the trigger is only slightly better than the Glock.

  13. Why not a Springfield XD/m compact 9? Just as reliable, arguably more accurate while only giving up 2 rounds on a standard magazine but more concealable.

    New Hampshire wildlife must be small if you only need a 9mm. Out here we have mouthain lions, black bears, wolves and coyotes to worry about so you best be advise to carry a 40 at a minimum at least until the Bears go to sleep.

    • I currently carry the XD/m Compact in .45. Because if I have to use it I want to eradicate all wildlife for three counties….

  14. Meh-is it OK to hate the grip angle? Or the lack of a real safety? Or the weakness of 9mm?(not trying to start a caliber war)…

  15. Wife likes the G26 for her small hands. I like all things Ruger and sport the SR40 & SR40c. Not a GLOCK hater, I have the G42 & G20. I’m also a big Kahr fan and see the T9 or T40 in my future. But if I had to choose 1, it’s the G20. Luv me some 10mm recoil.

  16. After lots of practice on trigger press and breath control II can now hit 5” steel plates as 25 yards with my Glock 19. The gun always works when the shooter works. It’s a comfortable carry gun, IWB or OWB. It handles +P and +P+ ammo very well. With a DeSantis pocket holster or an ankle holser the Glock 43 is a great back-up gun to complement the 19 and it will also handle +P and +P+.

  17. The 19 was my first handgun purchase. I didn’t know anything about firearms at the time, so I followed the Internet, and the Internet said Glock 19. So I plopped down 500-600 bucks and said I want that one without trying out any others. Great pistol. But I learned later that other handguns fit my hands better, and that’s probably the most important factor I think in choosing a firearm: how it feels in your hand. The 19’s grip was too blocky for my smallish hands. It was right in all aspects. And It looked right. But it never felt right. So I replaced the 19 with a Ruger SR9c as my regular capacity, compact 9. Still I’d recommend the 19 to anyone as their first handgun purchase if it feels good in their hand.

  18. I have a friend that loves GLOCKS. an when we go shooting I try it every once and a while. It doesn’t fit my hands good and is just uncomfortable to shoot. I have a SIG P320 compact and it just feels more comfortable in my hand.

    Based on that reason and I believe they are ugly (personal opinion only), I would never go out looking to buy one.

  19. I’ve got a Glock related question.
    Would a Lone Wolf 9″ G20 barrel work in a G40?

    Since the G40 has a 6″ barrel why not add 3″ if it’s possible.

  20. I like alloy framed weapons and a hammer. Don’t know if I could explain why.

    Have shot GLOCK (several variants) rented one along with an full sized XDm in 9mm and preferred the Springfield. But that too is a hammerless, polymer framed weapon.

    • Choice is a great and terrible thing.

      These decisions brought to you by the letter “C” for Constitution.

  21. I’ve test fired the HK VP9, Sig P320, Glock 19, and M&P Shield in the same outing. The VP9 can be summed up in 1 word: Soulless. The Glock 19 has a feeling of professional overall build and function, the same way you’d compliment the owner of a new Toyota Camry. The Shield and P320… meh…. and I’m a Sig guy. I prefer DA/SA though. Try the P239 or P224 if you desire a double stack.

    (I am not a paid spokesman for Sig Sauer. I’m just trying to save your life.)

    • The Sig P239 has a single stack magazine not a double. The standard magazine capacity for the P239 9mm is 8 rounds, and for 40 S&W/Sig 357 is 7, and there are +1 mags available in for those calibers. I love the P239 in 357 Sig I picked up for a bargain price almost as much as my tried and true Glock 33 I recently modified with a Lone Wolf 9mm barrel, Glock 19 15rd mag, and XGrip extension. The P239 is a top quality pistol, and the slimmer grip afforded by the single stack mag certainly has a better feel than my Sig P226, but in addition to the decreased mag capacity, the P239 is larger, heavier, and with a street price for a new P239 north of $850, a hell of a lot more expensive than a Glock 19. As the years pass, rational excuses and reasons offered by the anti Glock crowd are getting pretty thin, the most honest would be to simply say “I don’t like Glocks because I don’t like Glocks”, and leave it at that.

  22. I was going to buy a Glock 19 a couple years ago, but held an M&P. I wound up going with an M&P 40. Then, I liked it so much, I bought an M&P 40c. Both carry well. I was going to get a G19 3 month ago, but went instead with a Walther PPQ M1 in 9mm. VERY sweet. I like the Glock well enough, and it always felt all right in my hands. Yet, the M&P and the Walther just felt… better. The Shield is too dang small for my paws, though. Couldn’t carry something that small..

  23. Makes me want to get one.

    I used to have a Glock, I sold it because it was a 40 not because it was a Glock.

  24. i like my steyr s9 over a baby glock, or any glock for that matter. its the same setup as a glock but a FAR superior trigger. and at the same price.

  25. I have never really been a fan of Glocks. I was trained on the M9 platform in military, and even though the pistol itself was heavy and huge for a 9mm, I loved the feel of a metal gun and a DA/SA trigger. I don’t have a problem with Glocks because I think they work very well as a decently priced, accurate, reliable pistol, but any pistol that need to be modified for slide bite, ergonomics, etc, doesn’t appeal to me.
    I have many friends who have tried to convert me to Glockism, but no matter how much I fire a Glock (modified or not), it just doesn’t feel “right” to me. I think I will always prefer a hammer-fired gun.

    • Recognizing that a lot of this is pure personal taste marks one as more mature than others. The only gun I would call objectively “bad” is one that fails to function too often. And even there, if that gun is all you can afford, it’s vastly better than nothing.

      PS I’m with you on the esthetic, but I go for CZs since they fit my hand better.

  26. Does S&W MP Shield Bodyguard realy come in .38 spl?
    As for Glocks, I still have not find one that didn’t have corners on handle right where my fingers refuse to bend. I wear gloves size L or XL and just can’t grip any model of the “perfect” pistol comfortably. Tanfoglio might have used my hand as mold for their Witness Stock’s handle. Or maybe it was inherited from CZ 75? But it fits my mittens perfectly. So, no Glocks for me, and I don’t even have to go into the whole ‘ugly as sin with meh trigger Tupperware’ business.

    • there is a 38spl S&W bodyguard it has the top cylinder release and the laser mounted on the right side. it’s not very popular but for some reason I love mine. as a southpaw I can work cylinder release well and the laser seems like it was made for lefties. now it would be better if the laser activation was on the grip but I don’t really use the laser so it’s no big deal for me.

    • “corners on handle right where my fingers refuse to bend” ??? Seriously? Translation: “I don’t know $#it about Glocks but I know I don’t like them”. Too funny!

  27. I could have written this article myself. Your experience with each of these is exactly what I have experienced. Great article.

  28. I love the Glock 19. I too have recently rediscovered it. I’ve owned one for years, but always reached for my 26 for carry and my 34 for competition.

    I rarely shot the 19. Its not the specialist of the group. But I recently signed up for a defensive pistol class at Sig in NH and decided I wanted to run the course using an OWB concealed carry holster along with a real concealed carry firearm, rather than a full sized duty gun.

    So I decided on the Safariland GLS and G19 that I owned.

    Once I decided to use it, I’ve spent the last 2 months shooting ONLY this handgun. I’ve also done a fluff and buff and put the 4.5 lb connector in it, which drops the trigger to about 5.2 lbs measured with a Lyman digital trigger gauge. The time has paid off. I’ve gotten better with this gun than I’ve ever been and am almost as good with it as the 34. It truly is a sweet spot in the size, shootability continuum. It is only marginally bigger than a 26, but shoots almost as well as a 34. In fact, it shoots almost identically to a 17.


    p.s. CT is an open carry state. For all its problems, it is well established that OC is legal in CT. With that in mind, I practice what I call “casual carry”. Sometimes its actually more effort to OC. So I carry in the way that is most convenient for me. That’s usually an OWB holster with a T shirt over it. I print like (insert farrago favorite simile here), but I don’t care.

  29. I really don’t care for Glocks. Not just being offended by the capitalized shouting, the ergos aren’t right for me.
    The square slide isn’t intuitive (for me and others) for very fast and close shooting. The trigger has never won an award.
    But- the 19’s a truly excellent gun, an excellent personal protection tool: simple, reliable, cheap, with a huge aftermarket and support system.
    If a .36 cal is satisfactory for the user, there are few if any guns that are superior for the designed use.
    In our classes, we do not hesitate to suggest it as the outstanding all-around medium-caliber handgun.
    More interestingly, while we hear of students selling their first gun in favor of another, we’ve never heard that about a G19.
    Fantastic device.

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