Glock 19 Review: Unbiased Expert Analysis

The Glock 19 is a mainstay in the world of firearms, revered for its reliability and versatility. As the more compact cousin of the Glock 17, it occupies a sweet spot for private citizens seeking a dependable concealed carry weapon and law enforcement professionals requiring a high-performance duty sidearm. The hallmark of the Glock 19 is its balance of size and capacity, making it a top choice for those who want a manageable and effective firearm.

A central feature of the Glock 19 is its polymer frame and striker-fired action, a design that has become synonymous with modern pistols. This firearm boasts high safety due to its Safe Action system, which includes trigger safety, internal firing pin, and drop safeties. Despite lacking external safety, these measures ensure the pistol only discharges when the trigger is deliberately pulled. In terms of performance, the Glock 19 is known for its consistent accuracy and manageable recoil, cementing its reputation as a solid performer in various conditions and environments.

Key Takeaways

  • The Glock 19's compact size makes it a top choice for concealed carry and versatile use.
  • Safety features, including trigger safety and internal safeties, ensure reliable operation.
  • Its consistent accuracy and manageable recoil contribute to its widespread popularity.

History and Development

The Glock 19's history is marked by consistent innovation and response to user feedback. This section examines the pistol’s origins and evolution through various models, primarily focusing on the Gen 4 and Gen 5 and their impact on the Glock's reputation in the firearms community.

Glock's Origin

Gaston Glock, an Austrian engineer and company founder, revolutionized the firearms market in the 1980s. He created the Glock 17, the first model in a long line of Glock pistols, initially designed to meet the requirements of the Austrian military. Glock's combination of a polymer frame and internal safety features set a new firearm reliability and durability standard, quickly gaining international attention.

  • Company Founding: Gaston Glock started Glock GmbH in 1963.
  • First Model: Gaston developed the Glock 17 in the early 1980s.
  • Austrian Military: The Glock 17 was adopted by the Austrian military in 1982.

Evolution of Glock 19 Models

The Glock 19, a compact version of the Glock 17, was developed to provide a more versatile option for concealed carry without sacrificing performance. Since its introduction, the Glock 19 lineup has seen several generational changes. The Gen 4 introduced a modular backstrap system, improved recoil spring assembly, and a rough-textured frame. It retained much of the renowned Glock durability while making ergonomic strides for a diversified handler grip.

The Gen 5 iteration brought further refinements, notably a flared magazine well for faster reloads, a Glock Marksman Barrel (GMB) for improved accuracy and an ambidextrous slide stop lever. These developments reflected Glock's commitment to evolving with shooter needs and maintaining a leading position within the firearms industry.

  • Glock 19 Gen 4: Introduced around 2010, featuring an improved recoil system and grips.
  • Glock 19 Gen 5: Released in 2017 with numerous upgrades for ergonomics and performance.
  • Glock 45: A crossover design combining the Glock 19's slide with the full-size frame of the Glock 17.

By their design and modifications, Glock pistols, especially the 19 series, have set high standards for reliability and versatility in law enforcement, military, and civilian markets.

Design and Features

The Glock 19 Gen 5 is an evolution of its predecessors, combining traditional reliability with enhanced features for improved performance. Each aspect of its design, from the ergonomic grip to the advanced barrel technology, contributes to its status as a versatile firearm.

Overall Design

The Glock 19 Gen 5 is recognizable for its boxy polymer and metal frame, maintaining the iconic Glock aesthetic. It has a total length of 7.28 inches, a height of 5.04 inches, including the magazine, and a standard magazine capacity of 15 rounds. The polymer frame contributes to a relatively lightweight, making the Gen 5 a balanced and manageable firearm.

Ergonomics and Texture

The ergonomics of the Gen 5 have been refined by removing the finger grooves found in previous models, allowing various hand sizes to grip the firearm comfortably. The grip texture has been improved to offer a firm hold without being overly abrasive, contributing to better weapon control. The flared magazine well facilitates faster and more efficient magazine changes, while the reversible magazine release caters to both right and left-handed shooters.

Magazine and Capacity

The standard magazine capacity for the Gen 5 is 15 rounds, but higher-capacity magazines are available. These magazines are housed within an improved, well-designed magazine for quick reloads. The polymer construction of the magazines ensures durability and reliability, a hallmark of Glock’s design philosophy.

Magazine Feature



15 rounds standard



Well Design

Flared for quick reloads


Reversible for ambidexterity

Slide and Barrel Features

The slide of the Gen 5 has a DLC finish, a type of steel coating that provides enhanced durability and corrosion resistance. The Marksman Barrel aims to increase accuracy with an improved rifling design over previous models. The new Gen 5 also features a modular optic system (MOS) option that allows users to mount various optics without permanent modification.



Slide Finish

DLC for durability and resistance


Marksman design for accuracy

Optic System

Modular (MOS) for customization


The Glock 19 is renowned for its consistent performance in crucial aspects, including reliability, accuracy, and shootability.


The Glock 19 boasts an exceptional reputation for reliability. Its design eliminates the need for external safety while incorporating internal mechanisms: trigger safety, firing pin safety, and drop safety. These features ensure that the firearm operates safely and reliably under stress. Additionally, the dual recoil spring contributes to the pistol's durability and longevity by mitigating recoil and reducing wear over time.


Out of the box, the Glock 19 offers respectable accuracy courtesy of its ergonomic grip and precision manufacturing. The barrel features polygonal rifling, which provides a better gas seal around the bullet, slightly increasing velocity and potentially contributing to improved accuracy. However, the stock trigger pull can be heavy for some shooters, which affects precision until they become accustomed to it.


Shootability encompasses the overall experience of handling and firing the Glock 19. Its compact size, well-designed grip, and controllable recoil make it an excellent choice for novice and experienced shooters. The trigger comes with a predictable reset, allowing for quick follow-up shots. For those seeking performance improvements, the aftermarket offers a range of upgrades, including lighter, crisper triggers that can enhance shootability significantly.

Concealed Carry Suitability

The Glock 19 is a prevalent choice for concealed carry due to its size and reliability. This section details the aspects of concealability and comfort, along with the various carry options available for this sidearm.

Concealability and Comfort

The Glock 19 balances size and functionality as a compact firearm. The pistol's sleek dimensions facilitate concealability, and it slots into a category between the subcompact Glock 26 and the full-size Glock 17. The frame's ergonomics ensure that those who carry it can do so with minimal imprinting, an important aspect of concealed carry. Moreover, the texture of the Glock 19's grip is designed to provide a secure hold without causing discomfort when pressed against the body or through clothing.

Carry Options

  • Inside-The-Waistband (IWB): Holstering the Glock 19 IWB is preferred for those who prioritize concealment, as it allows the sidearm to be easily hidden under a garment.
  • Outside-The-Waistband (OWB): An OWB holster can offer a quicker draw and may be more comfortable for some, though it requires more strategic dressing to conceal effectively.

Suitable holsters will vary based on individual preference and body type, but should always secure the Glock 19 while balancing accessibility and concealment. Proper holster selection is critical whether one opts for IWB or OWB carry methods.

Comparisons and Competitors

In the highly competitive handgun market, where Glock handguns maintain a significant presence, it is important to understand how the Glock 19 compares to its sibling, the Glock 17, and pistols from other manufacturers like Sig Sauer.

Glock 19 vs. Glock 17

The Glock 19 is often compared to its predecessor, the Glock 17, due to their similar design and manufacturer lineage. The primary difference lies in size; the Glock 19 is a more compact variant for concealed carry. Its barrel and pistol grip are shorter than the Glock 17's, which may influence concealability and magazine capacity. The Glock 17, being larger, typically offers a higher capacity magazine and a longer sight radius, which some shooters find aids in accuracy.

  • Size: Glock 19 is more compact
  • Concealability: Better with Glock 19 due to more petite frame
  • Magazine Capacity: Glock 17 generally has a higher capacity
  • Sight Radius: Longer on Glock 17, potentially improving accuracy

Glock 19 vs. Other Brands

When comparing the Glock 19 to pistols from brands like Sig Sauer, distinct features become predominant assessment areas. Sig Sauer handguns, like the popular P320, are known for their modular design and ability to customize grip sizes, which contrasts with the standard polymer frame of Glock. The trigger systems also differ, with many Sig Sauer models offering a smoother trigger pull-out-of-the-box.

  • Design: Sig Sauer is known for modularity compared to Glock's standard design.
  • Customization: Sig Sauer handguns offer more options for grip customization.
  • Trigger: Many shooters initially find Sig Sauer's trigger smoother than Glock's factory trigger setup.


The Glock 19's versatility extends to its high potential for customization. Owners can enhance the functionality and aesthetics to match their preferences and needs, making it an attractive option for those who seek a personalized sidearm.

Aftermarket Modifications

The Glock platform is renowned for its aftermarket support. A wide range of modifications can enhance a Glock 19.

  • Performance Upgrades:

    • Trigger systems offer a smoother pull and crisper break.
    • Barrel replacements can provide improved accuracy and bullet velocity.
    • Like adding front serrations, slide enhancements can improve grip during manual slide operations.
  • Safety Adjustments:

    • Though the Glock 19 doesn't have a traditional external safety, aftermarket solutions can add this feature for users who prefer it.
  • Ergonomics:

    • Backstraps: Users can swap out backstraps to better fit their hand size, improving the grip and control.
    • Magazine releases and slide stop levers can be replaced with extended versions for easier reach and operation.

Aesthetic Customization

Personalization of a Glock 19 isn't limited to performance. Aesthetics play an essential role for many owners.

  • Cosmetic Enhancements:

    • Cerakote finishes protect the pistol and allow for various color options.
    • Custom slide cover plates can add a unique touch to the weapon’s look.
    • Aftermarket grips not only improve handling but come in various textures and patterns.
  • Sights:

    • Upgrading from the factory plastic sights to metal options provides durability and a more precise sight picture.
    • Night sights and fiber-optic sights offer better visibility in low-light conditions.

Safety and Durability

The Glock 19 is renowned for its robust safety features and exceptional durability. It offers a reliable performance in various conditions, thanks to its high-quality materials and finishes.

Built-in Safety Features

The Glock 19 is equipped with the "Safe Action" system, a series of three independent safety mechanisms working in tandem to prevent accidental discharges. These include:

  • Trigger Safety: A lever incorporated into the trigger ensures the gun can only fire when deliberately pressed.
  • Firing Pin Safety: A spring-loaded pin that obstructs the firing pin channel, preventing forward movement of the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled.
  • Drop Safety: This feature ensures that the firing pin will not move forward and strike the primer unless the trigger is pulled, making it safe from firing if dropped.

These layers of safety contribute to the Glock 19's reputation for gun safety, even though it lacks an external safety toggle.

Material and Finish

The durability of the Glock 19 is primarily due to its high-strength materials and protective finishes:

  • Polymer Frame: The frame is made of a tough and lightweight polymer, which provides resilience against impact and environmental stress.
  • Steel Slide: The slide is crafted from steel, providing rigidity and resistance to wear.
  • NDLC Finish: The barrel and slide of the Gen 5 Glock 19 are coated with an NDLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) finish, enhancing corrosion resistance.
  • Ferritic Nitrocarburizing: This thermochemical process is applied to the slide, barrel, and other components, increasing their hardness and making them more durable.

This combination of advanced materials and finishes ensures the Glock 19 remains highly durable and functional over significant use and exposure to various conditions.

User Experience

The Glock 19, notably the Gen 5, is acclaimed for its superior ergonomics and reliable performance. Consumers and law enforcement agencies appreciate the balance between its form factor and practical capabilities.

Law Enforcement Use

Many law enforcement agencies select the Glock 19 Gen 5 as their duty pistol for its robustness and user-friendly design. The pistol's ergonomic grip, absence of finger grooves, and the Glock Marksman Barrel (GMB) collectively contribute to more accurate shooting and a comfortable hold during extended use.

  • Ergonomics: Officers report the revised grip pattern and the flared mag-well, which facilitates smoother reloading under stress.
  • Performance: The GMB delivers improved accuracy, a critical factor for law enforcement effectiveness.

Consumer Feedback

Feedback from consumers echoes similar sentiments, focusing on the feel and handling of the Glock 19 Gen 5.

  • Feel in Hand: Users frequently commend the grip texturing and overall balance, contributing to a firm hold and controlled firing.
  • Reliability: The consensus often highlights the pistol's dependable performance in various conditions, affirming its reputation as a versatile firearm for sport shooting and personal defense.

By responding to user needs and preferences, Glock has ensured that the Gen 5 iteration of the Glock 19 continues to be a favored choice for professionals and general consumers who demand reliability and ergonomic efficiency.

Price and Value for Money

Prospective buyers often evaluate a Glock 19's price point and overall value when considering it. The Glock 19 model, especially the Gen 5s, is well-regarded for its balance of cost and performance in the firearms market.

MSRP and Affordability

The manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) for a new Glock 19 typically hovers around the $500-$700 range, with the Gen 5 models generally at the higher end due to their updated features. These competitive prices make it affordable for individuals seeking a reliable, compact firearm without breaking the bank.

  • Gen 5 Glock 19 MSRP: Approximately $600-$700
  • Previous Generations MSRP: Slightly lower, around $500-$600

Long-Term Value

The Glock 19's reliable performance and minimal maintenance requirements enhance its long-term value. Owners often praise it for its enduring quality and consistent resale value. Used Gen 5s, despite the initial depreciation after purchase, maintain a robust resale market, making a Glock 19 a solid investment for any gun owner.

  • New Gen 5 Resale Value: Approximately $600
  • Used Gen 5 Resale Value: Approximately $450

The Glock 19 remains a top contender for consumers prioritizing longevity and reliability alongside upfront costs.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, readers will find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the Glock 19 Gen 5. The information is based on known issues, model differences, and technical improvements.

What are some common issues with the Glock 19 Gen 5?

The Glock 19 Gen 5 is generally regarded for its reliability. However, some users have reported stiff magazine release buttons and slide lock levers, especially in newer units, which typically wear over time.

How does the Glock 19 Gen 5 MOS differ from the standard model?

The Glock 19 Gen 5 MOS (Modular Optic System) features a slide cut-out designed to mount reflex sights without custom machining, which is not found on the standard Gen 5 model.

What features have been improved in the Glock 19 Gen 5 over the Gen 3?

Upgrades in the Gen 5 over the Gen 3 include a flared mag-well for faster reloads, a GMB (Glock Marksman Barrel) for improved accuracy, an ambidextrous slide stop lever, and removal of finger grooves on the grip for a more comfortable fit.

Can you compare the performance of the Glock 19 Gen 3 to later generations?

The Gen 3 Glock 19 is still a reliable choice. Still, it lacks certain ergonomic features and improvements found in later generations, such as a smoother trigger pull and a more ergonomic grip shape introduced in the Gen 5.

What are the key specifications of the Glock 19 Gen 5?

Key specifications of the Glock 19 Gen 5 include a 4.02-inch Glock Marksman Barrel, a weight of 23.63 oz without a magazine, a standard magazine capacity of 15 rounds, and a polymer frame with a DLC finish on the slide.

What attachments are compatible with the Glock 19 Gen 5?

The Glock 19 Gen 5 is compatible with various attachments, including reflex sights (MOS variant), weapon lights, laser aiming modules, and various aftermarket slide and grip enhancements designed for the Gen 5's rail and frame dimensions.

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