Let’s face it, there are so many options presented at any gun store or counter. It’s mind boggling and hard to know where to begin when making that difficult choice. I didn’t start out a Glock user. As a firearms instructor, I can choose from anything including, Sig Sauer, M&P, Walther, Springfield, and Ruger to name a few. So, how did I end up with Glock?
I resisted Glock over a number of years because, well, they are pretty ugly and blocky looking. I wanted something sleeker and more appealing! I loved my Sig Sauer but that magazine price of $55 (each magazine!!!) made it feel sinful to buy a lot of mags for training. They didn’t seem to perform better than any other manufacturers mags so it started feeling like they were charging more because they could.
For years, the conceal carry pistol of choice was an M&P Shield, the original version. I still have 4 of those and they are used now and then because they are so reliable and great shooting guns. But, training with them means a LOT more loading of mags since they only hold 8 rounds. During any training class, there is always so much rush and pressure to keep up with class and keep mags loaded. Yes, extra mags help and I bought them at around $25. Better than the Sig, but I was constantly stuffing magazines.
For a short while, the winner was a Springfield XDM 4.5 with a custom ceracote job. Talk about a sexy looking pistol, and an awesome shooting gun! But, concealing that huge pistol on my small frame made sitting very uncomfortable. However, the 18-round magazine was awesome sauce! Mags were around $40 or so, but worth it to have a lot of rounds prepped and ready to go. So, what caused the hiccup with this one? Every 250 rounds or so the trigger pin starts to back out. Since reliability is the number 1 reason for a carry pistol, this one was out as it was just too fussy. Still love to shoot it though!
Enter the Glock 19
Enter the Glock 19. I was obviously in the market for a new pistol. But, my requirements had become both more sophisticated and simpler at the same time. As a firearms instructor, I want and need a reliable pistol that goes bang every time, runs dirty, is simple to operate, is reasonably priced, and has a lot of options in the market. Many instructors model and carry very expensive pistols. There’s nothing wrong with that, but, I wanted to model something different:
- Something everyone can carry
- Something anyone can buy
- Something with great reliability
- Something that has a great reputation in the market
Year over year, the Glock 19 is the top selling handgun, and for good reasons. Parts are readily available and reasonably priced. Factory magazines are under $25. I regularly purchase after market ones for $9 on sale, and they work great. At that price, if they fail, they get tossed and I’ve gotten my money’s worth.
Another thing that sealed the deal for me is that now I conceal carry, compete and train all with the same factory stock gun with iron sights. This one fact has simplified my life in untold ways. It simplifies the gear need. I used to take 2 different pistols to a training conference every year. That meant 2 holster set ups. 2 each if an IWB and OWB were needed for a total of 4 different holsters. 2 different groups of magazines, 2 pistols, well, it was a lot, and things got forgotten several times during packing. Now, I grab 1 holster for the 2 identical guns, a box of 30 mags that have already been loaded and hit the road. I don’t need a big range bag as I’m conceal carrying it at my waist. Another benefit? While everyone else is rushing to reload mags, I just grab another one out of the bin and sit down in my chair and relax. My mind is clear and I can focus on what is being taught. There is time to run over the concept/drill in my mind again, decipher what needs to be done differently and approach the line fresh, not rushed.
By using the same pistol for everything, there is an intimacy with it. Every nuance is understood and has been encountered. The grip is always the same, the sights always look the same, the trigger pull is always the same, the weight is the same, the holster draw and presentation has been done tens of thousands of times. No adjustments necessary, except mental ones. This has made my shooting improve so much! The simplification has garnered so many benefits. The Glock 19 with a mag capacity of 15 +1 is a great carry sized pistol, and training environment pistol. While on the small side, it’s also a great competition pistol. But, that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make to keep things simple. Keeping things simple opens up a lot of different possibilities. I ended up falling in love with this pistol. It was very unexpected.
The Glock is a sexy gun after all!
You know what’s NOT boring about my ugly, blocky Glock 19? It goes bang every single time. It eats anything I feed it. It runs dirty when I can’t clean it on schedule. It’s simple to operate. It doesn’t cost a lot. The mags are cheap! I will stop there but there are lots of reasons that the Glock 19 isn’t boring!
Because it’s a moderately priced pistol, if it gets banged up, it’s not a heartbreak moment. The kydex holster has scratched it up pretty bad over the last few years, so what! If the mags hit the ground and get scratched up, so what! I cared way more with $45-60 magazines and my focus wasn’t 100% focused on the training.
Another benefit touched on earlier is with my new shooters. I loan it out all the time. Some like it, some don’t. But, they see an instructor shooting terrific targets with an ugly, blocky, too-big for her hands Glock 19. A pistol that is affordable for nearly everyone. Great shooting is achievable and doable. Across the board the Glock 19 is a solid choice. New shooters don’t get the unconscious message that they need some sexy, race gun and fancy optics to shoot well. It is NOT about the equipment. It’s not about ANY equipment. It’s about the shooter. It’s about the training. It’s about the mindset.
I’ve made my choice, make yours and stick with it!
Whatever pistol you choose, stay with it for at least a year. Shoot it often, abuse it, really put it through it’s paces. Only by doing so will you learn the limitations of your choice, gear and yourself. By making the one year commitment, you might just fall in love like I did with the Glock 19. For sure, you will have bought yourself some quiet mind space while on the range. But, you should give it a chance. I recommend the factory Glock 19. Keep it simple. Train like you mean it. Make the commitment. To the pistol, to the range time, to yourself!
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