Last Updated on
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.