Glock 19

I had never fired a Glock before.  Of course, I've seen them many
times, and have heard about them for years.  I've heard the good
stories as well as the lies, from anti-gun twits claiming that 
the "plastic Glocks" will slip through airport scanners, to 1911
fans calling them "combat Tupperware".  I've heard others crow
about their accuracy, their ease of use, and their reliability,
even when abused or subjected to extremes of the elements.

But I had never fired one before, until I borrowed one from 
Classic Pistol to review.  I chose a Model 19 Glock as a simple
weapon someone might choose for their first -- or only -- home
or personal defense weapon.  This 9mm automatic pistol is a little
under 7 inches long, five inches high, and a little over an inch
wide.  It weighs about 23 ounces with an unloaded magazine, 29
ounces with a full magazine of 10 rounds. Trigger pull is moderate
at about 5 1/2 pounds.

The Glock is a very safe weapon.  It doesn't have what one would
think of as a "safety", a lever that switches it from "safe" to
"fire".  It has three internal safeties, a mechanism that will
not allow the firing pin to be cocked unless the trigger is 
pulled, an inertial block on the firing mechanism that prevents
a fall or impact from causing the firing pin to fall on a round,
and a trigger safety, a small lever that extends from the face
of the trigger itself that is depressed when pulling the trigger
with the finger.  It is impossible for the weapon to fire
unless the trigger is pulled, and there is no lever to forget
to switch in a moment of stress.


The owner of the range ran me through the features of the Glock,
and cautioned me on one item that is not usual -- when the slide
is locked back, and you wish to release it to chamber a round, 
it is recommended to simply push the slide back with the hand to 
the full rear position and release.  It will chamber the round
and go to full battery properly.  The slide lock lever is not
intended as a slide *release* lever on this weapon, and is
deliberately made very small for this reason.

He also showed me how easy the weapon is to take apart for 
cleaning.  It comes apart without special tools, and the 
recoil spring and rod are integral.  It does not come apart into
many small pieces that will bounce about and tend to get lost,
a source of great fear and frustration for a new gun owner,
something I can attest to from experience!  It should be no
problem for even the newest gun owner to take down and clean.

I test fired the Glock with a box of standard American Eagle
9mm FMJ ammunition.  I noticed one small annoyance with the
Glock, one that the manufacturers are quite aware of -- the
magazine is difficult to load!  I simply could NOT get 10
rounds into the 10-round magazine, no matter how hard I 
squeezed the thing by hand.  I could get 9 in, but not 10.  
I asked what I was doing wrong, and found that it is a normal
problem.In fact, Glock supplies a magazine loading device with 
each weapon for just such a reason.

The slide worked flawlessly when unlocked as instructed.  
Truly, the slide-lock lever is too small to comfortably use 
it as a slide release.  I have tried pushing back the slide of
other weapons to release it, and it does not work with all most
of them, so it seems that this is a design point of the Glock.
The sights of the weapon are very clear and sharp, even when
the weapon is not equipped with tritium night-sights.  I had
no trouble acquiring a sight picture in moments.

I tested the weapon on a half-size bullseye/silhouette target 
at 7, 15, and 25 yards, firing two magazines at each range.  
My accuracy at each distance was impressive.  My very first 
shot at 7 rounds was smack-dab in the middle of the X-region,
pleasing me no end.  When I ran it out to 25 yards, I tried
shooting head shots, just to see how accurate this weapon
could be.  It was surprising, even at that range, scoring 
multiple hits in the face and neck without strain.

It was after firing the Glock that I discovered a flaw in the
sights of my own 9mm automatic, which I had previously thought
to be fantastically accurate.  I found that the sights were
off on my own weapon, when I had something truly accurate to
compare them to!

The Glock 19 is a very compact, easy to use and maintain, safe
to carry and simple to conceal weapon.  It has phenomenal 
accuracy even in a stock configuration, and will serve the
new shooter as well as the seasoned shooter.  It gives a good
mix of features, performance, and durability.  At a list price
of just under $600, it is not an inexpensive weapon, but it
could easily serve as a person's only weapon for a long, long
time.

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