I am not a Glock fan. The gun doesn’t “feel” right in the hand, it doesn’t “point well”, and the triggers and sights are often sub par out of the box.
These are all things that can be remedied, either with training and repetition, or simply by purchasing some upgraded parts. In spite of these failings, I’ve found that the Glock line of handguns is one of the better options available for both concealed carry, as well as overt carry/duty use.
My personal carry gun is a Glock 19. The Glock 19 is the 9mm “compact” offering, (a bit of a misnomer). The OEM flush fit magazine holds 15 rounds, and the gun is available in 4 generations of variants, with the generation 3 and 4 being the most relevant, and sporting forward rails for lights and lasers. The 19 I carry is set up as follows:
The gun started it’s life as a “Talo Edition” Gen 3 Glock 19 from Buds Gunshop. The Talo Edition is essentially a stock gun, with the addition of Ameriglo sights. The OEM Glock sights are simply put, garbage, and should be replaced as soon as possible. They are plastic, and basically do nothing more than protect the rear dovetail. If you can only do one upgrade, I’d recommend that you change out the sights to something more useful. In my case, I chose the Warren Tactical set. The Warren Tactical Sights use a slightly thinner front sight, with a tritium globe, (glows in the dark), as well as a blacked out rear sight with a “U” notch. I like these sights because they allow me to give all of my focus to the front sight, without having distracting dots in the rear. Additionally the tritium gives me a night sight for transitional lighting situations.
The trigger would likely be your next upgrade, as stock Glock triggers can suck. Larry Vickers explained triggers very succinctly in the class I took from him. Essentially, if a pistol only weighs, two pounds, and trigger weight over that will force unnecessary movement in the gun while working that trigger. Keeping this in mind, I wanted to reduced trigger weight, while maintaining reliability. In order to achieve this, I replaced the stock trigger components with Glock OEM trigger components. The smooth faced Glock 17 Gen 3 trigger bar and trigger eliminated the serrated trigger face that the Glock 19 comes with, (a personal annoyance), and with the addition of a 3.5lb Glock (-) disconnector, I ended up with a very light and smooth trigger pull, for under $25, while maintaining all factory parts for ultimate reliability.
The grip angle was the next thing to fix. On the Gen 3, there are no additional backstraps, (remedied by the Gen 4). I added a Grip Force Adapter, which changed the grip angle to make the gun more “pointable”, although this is ultimately a training issue.
Another grip remedy was to eliminate the “slickness” of the smooth grips. For this, I simply stippled the gun with a wood burner. This is something that should only be done if you are competent at kitchen smithing, otherwise, send it to a professional, or use some sort of grip tape. The stippling allows me to achieve a more repeatable grip, regardless of sweat, blood, mud, or whatever other fluids might cause your hands to slip.
Ugly, but functional.
Over half of the day is night. This simple fact steered me towards having a weapon mounted light on my gun. For my purposes, the Streamlight TLR-1 provides around 350 lumens on hand, easily activated. The additional weight of the light also aids in recoil management, although this is negligible at best. Lights are essential for gunfighting, and I recommend that in addition to a WML, you also should keep a handheld light close by for administrative tasks, where pointing your gun at things is not recommended.
Changing the barrel is essentially unnecessary if you aren’t adding some sort of compensator, but I did it anyways. The KKM drop in barrels, while not necessarily aiding in accuracy, (according to recent studies), at the very least allow you to reliably shoot reloads and various bullet types that the stock barrel may not accommodate.
The slide stop is likely the last upgrade that is legitimately needed. For me, the stock slide stop is far too thin and low profile. If you practice reloading where you simply overhand the slide, this might not be needed, but I attempt to use the slide stop as much as possible in order to speed things up and cut seconds off of my times, therefore the Vickers extended stop was the answer for me. In the following pictures you can see the additional width. The cost is very low for this part, at around $15-$20.
Holsters all come down to personal preference and how you carry. I personally carry at about the 2:30-3 o clock position, depending on what pants I’m wearing, and therefore the Raven Phantom Light Bearing Holster with IWB soft loops was just the ticket. A quality holster is essential, and many companies are currently making good stuff out of Kydex, including Raven, Bravo Concealment, as well as Slate Creek Tactical. Definitely look into the soft loops, as the overhooks tend to work themselves loose at the wrong time. Soft loops provide a far more positive engagement on the belt.
For magazines, my initial mag in the gun is an OEM Glock 19 mag, (flush fit), with a Vickers base plate. This allows me the maximum amount of concealment, while also giving me additional grip on the mag itself in case I need to rip it out of the gun to clear a malfunction.
For a reload, carried on the belt, I use the Magpul 21 round GL9 mags. If I’m ever dealing with the worst case nightmare that is a large group of aggressors, having 21 extra rounds of hollowpoints can only help my situation. Additionally, the overall profile isn’t overly ridiculous, and the mags can be found for around $15-$20.
As to what is in those mags, I carry 147 grain Speer Gold Dots. These rounds have a record of man stopping reliability, and provide me the highest available factory grain possible.
Hopefully this was helpful. If you have any questions, just ask.