The Most Popular Handgun—Glock 19

By Suzanne Wiley published on in Firearms

Are you looking for a gun with the right mix of durability, reliability and shootability that also has an affordable price tag? Look no further! I have the as-close-to-perfect-as-possible handgun for you: The Glock 19. As Austrian manufacturer, Glock ’s second pistol produced, the Glock 19 currently comes in two configurations and three different models: the Glock 19 Gen 3, the Glock 19 Gen 4 and the Glock 19 Gen 3 made in the U.S.A.

Picture shows the Glock 19 Gen 3 and Gen 4 side by side.

The Glock is one of—not the most—popular handguns in the United States—quite possibly the world.

Introduced in 1988, the Glock 19 quickly became popular with law enforcement agencies nationwide. After successfully selling the model 19 to United States law enforcement, Glock moved on to win the hearts of U.S. civilians. And win them they did. The Glock 19 is one of—if not the most—popular handguns in the United States—quite possibly the world.


The Basics

The Glock 19 is a scaled-down version of Glock ’s original full-sized model 17. It is a striker-fired, locked-breech short-recoil operated semi-automatic pistol chambered for 9mm. Not wanting to sacrifice ammunition capacity for size, requests from plain-clothes police officers led to the development of the Glock 19. Many of the gun’s dimensions are the same, however, the Glock 19’s barrel is smaller at just 4 inches and the overall length is shorter at 6.85 inches. Both have a 5.5-pound trigger pull, 9.84-inch right hand hexagonal barrel twist, and are 1.18 inches wide. The model 19 weighs in at 20.99 ounces unloaded and 29.98 ounces loaded. The 19 holds 15 rounds.


The combination of the weight, barrel length and 9mm round make the Glock 19 a pleasure to shoot. Recoil is minimal and manageable. The slide is smooth and easy to operate without feeling like you’re going to pop a vein racking it. The 5.5-pound trigger pull is consistent with guns in its class and comes as no surprise for a striker-fired handgun. It breaks smoothly and consistently.

The model 19, despite its smaller size, still allows for a full grip. With the Glock 19, you get a big enough grip to handle the gun well. You do not need an extended magazine for that awkward dangling pinkie that so often is the case with sub-compact handguns. Its size means the gun is extremely controllable. The barrel sits naturally higher in the palm of your hand, meaning felt recoil pushes straight back controlling muzzle flip. This means you achieve quicker and more accurate follow up shots.

The polymer, white dot front and u-shaped white outline rear sights work well enough to hit the bullseye and get consistent groupings within 15 feet. Due to the popularity of the Glock 19, finding upgraded sights from glow-in-the-dark night sights, to ghost ring, to straight iron sights at a wide variety of affordable prices is easy.

Picture shows a Glock19 handgun made in the U.S.A.

Like all Glocks, the 19 runs consistently and reliably every time.

There is no external safety lever or buttons on the Glock 19. However, do not think this makes the Glock unsafe. The Glock actually has three independent mechanical safeties, which Glock calls “Safe Action.” Glock built one right into the trigger. The gun will not go off unless the trigger is completely depressed. This “Safe Action” safety system prevents accidental discharge of the gun, but still makes shots in competition and when needed in self-defense quicker.


Much of the Glock ’s beauty is its minimalist design. Made of only 34 parts, Glock built the 19 strictly for function, ease-of-use, and reliability. This simplistic design means the Glock 19 has less chance to malfunction. Take down is a cinch for routine cleaning and maintenance. With a little practice, even the most mechanically challenged handgun owner can learn how to clean and maintain a Glock .

Like all Glocks, the 19 runs consistently and reliably every time. It does not require much maintenance or need costly aftermarket parts. You can count on it every time whether it’s for home defense, duty-use or competition.

Glock compromises nothing. It works in extreme temperatures, while filthy, spitting out hand loads, +P and expensive self-defense round with ease. After thousands and thousands of rounds it just keeps shooting.

After years of hard and tough shooting, one law enforcement officer’s personal Glock 19 looks well loved, but not worn-out. The matte black finish is certainly durable.


Though the Glock will not win any beauty pageants, at half the price tag of its Miss Universe counter parts, the Glock 19 is one gun that goes from carry to target to competition without fail.

Gen 4

Gen 2 Glocks differ slightly from the Gen 3. Still in production today, the Gen 3 saw a change in the grip angle and texture. The added finger grooves on the Gen 3 models makes the trigger reach shorter. If the Gen 3 feels uncomfortable, you may want to try the Glock 19 Gen 4. Though the grip circumference is smaller on the Gen 4, the pistol comes with different sizes of interchangeable backstraps. If you have larger hands and the trigger reach is too short, just change the backstrap. Introduced in 2010, the Gen 4 has a Rough Textured Frame (RTF), so your grip stays secure even when things get slippery. For an extended review on the Gen 4, read The Gen 4 Glock 19.

Picture shows the right side of the Glock 19.

The polymer, white dot front and u-shaped white outline rear sights work well enough to hit bullseye.

Glock 19 is one of Glock’s top selling pistols and one of the most widely used semi-automatic pistols in military and law enforcement agencies around the world. Clearly one of the classics everyone should have in their gun collection.

Specifications and Features

  • Model: Glock 19
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 15 rounds
  • Action: Double-action only
  • Barrel Length: 4.02″
  • Barrel Rifling: Right hand, hexagonal
  • Length of Twist: 9.84″
  • Trigger Pull: 5.5 lbs.
  • Sights: Fixed sights
  • Frame Finish: Matte polymer
  • Accessory Rail: Yes
  • Ambidextrous Mag Release
  • Trigger Travel: 0.5″
  • Sight Radius: 6.02″
  • Overall Length: 6.02″
  • Overall Height: 5.00″
  • Overall Width: 1.18″
  • Weight: 30.18 oz. loaded

Do you own a Glock 19? Tell us about it in the comment section.

Tags: , , , , ,

Trackback from your site.

The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, "The Shooter's Log," is to provide information-not opinions-to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (42)

  • Decomposing the Proposed M855 Ammunition Ban |


    […] AR-style pistols in the range of $900 to upwards of $3,000. Compare this with a true handgun, the Glock 19, one of the most popular handguns in America, and one can easily find a new firearm for as low as […]




    Go for it ( glock 19) get some night sight ( fto). I own one & love it. With a level 2 holster & two (2) additional glock 17 magazine loaded w Speer Gold Dot jhp 124′ gr. U will be set up good. Good luck.
    NRA Pistol/ Rifle Instructor
    NRA Range Safety Officer


  • STChuck


    Hello, let me first start off by saying that i am a first time hand gun owner . I did alot of reading and research on which hand gun I wanted to buy, I thought i wanted a .40 S&W caliber gun because of the power, but the more reading i did and the more You Tube videos convinced me otherwise. The sub $400 9mm handguns that i look at seemed heavy when loaded and didnt fit my hand well. But the Glock 19 Gen3 felt like a dream and after buying it and going to the range, it ABSOLUTELY shoots like one too! One month since purchasing and 400+ rounds shot through it , I am impressed!! It seems to have no problem eating any ammo put through it, hasnt jambed once and is a breeze to break down and maintain. needless to say this will not be my last GLOCK.


  • chuckles


    smith and wesson threw the whole gun industry under the bus about 15 years ago. they are part of the reason we gun owners that are law abiding citizens are having the troubles we are facing today. i will never own anything that even suggests the s&w company. dont believe me???? go to sites like wakapedia and look up their history and you will be surprised at how out of hand it got. they handed over their gun rights to the govt. and all of a sudden they were rolling in the money for those big fat govt. contracts. it was the first crack in our previously totally united efforts to uphold the second ammendment. all citizens of the usa better start to help funding organizations like the nra or a company like ruger. you can go to the ruger home site and look around. you will find an email letter you can send via the ruger company that will let all law makers such as senators house reps. mayors governors etc. on how you have a steadfast stance on not altering or doing away with the 2nd. if we all dont start standing up for our gun rights right this very minute from here on out, it will be just a matter of time before we will lose all of our guns and it will be a 20 year prison term if you get caught with one.any time you go on a site like this one and you read a comment that in any way suggests we give up our arms, you can bet it is some idiot that works for and is being paid in one way or another to uproot the site and whoever is in charge of this site better start flipping them OFF the site..we got ourselves a idiot on here right now making all sorts of counterproductive and conflicting remarks that needs to go….come on now, we all know who this PERSON is!!!!


  • aj


    Glock firearms are NOT unsafe-80% of all US Law Enforcement Agencies have carried them for years. The scary examples of accidental discharge given apply to ALL firearms. I have carried Glocks for years with no accidental discharges. The basic safety rules apply:Do not put your finger on the trigger unless youre ready to shoot. Do not point the weapon at anything you dont intend to shoot. Dont ‘lay down’ your weapon,no matter the make-Pretty Simple.

    Smith and Wesson is working hard to regain some of their lost market. Speaking for myself,I will stay with Glock.


  • Johnny Velazquez


    Am looking to purchase my first handgun as for self protection an for my security job which am looking forward to become a armed security officer.I’ve been looking an asking questions an have heard a lot about the glock handguns but wanted to know which one is rated # 1 in the U.S.A.So some feed back an recommendation in your behalf is very well appreciated an can help me make a decision faster. I might even purchase one from you guys. Thanks for your time.


    • Dave Dolbee


      The Glock 19 is most popular. The operation between Glock models does not change, although there are some minor changes between generations.

      The Gen 4 is the latest version and costs a bit more than the Gen 3. The Gen 4 also comes with 3 magazines, where the Gen 3 only comes standard with two.

      Things to consider: Use – Will it be a gun for concealed carry or open carry. If you are going to be using it for a security job, you’ll most likely be open carrying and want a full-size pistol.

      Caliber – The Glock 19 is most popular among police departments and civilians, but so is the 9mm cartridge. If you would prefer something bigger, look at the Glock 22 in .40 S&W.

      Local laws – you will see multiple listings for the same gun. Read the details! Some states only allow 10-round magazines. The Glock 19 comes standard with 15-round magazines. Be sure to pick the right one for your local laws.

      When making your selection, also consider this…With a Glock 19 9mm that is all you get. However, with the Glock 22 you can shoot .40 or by simply swapping the barrel and magazine, you could also shoot 9mm or .357 Sig.

      When shopping remember, Cheaper Than Dirt! offers free shipping on firearms. ~ Dave Dolbee


  • TEX


    Glocks are great weapons period ! This petru sova person dont need to own a handgun regardless of how many manual safetys it has or dont have. That sova petru person dont know nothing about glocks at all.


  • Mike jones


    To sit there and say the 1911 is safer is foolish. In the heat of the moment I don’t want to have to mess with two or three safety’s before taking out my attacker. That could cost me my life. There for the glock only have the safety being my finger is much better. Watch a few James Yeager videos and learn something. Those pistols with a. Excessive amount of safety could cost your life’s safety in the end.


  • petru sova


    Making comments like the “best safety is between your ears” paints the commenter as either totally inexperienced with firearms and human failings or a young person that has the typical attitude that “I am perfect and nothing bad could ever happen to me”.

    The real facts are that people make errors because of stress, fatigue, being on prescription or even illegal drugs, drinking excess amounts of alcohol, reckless behavior, accidentally dropping a gun (which with a Glock which has no manual or grip safety and is on full cock) will usually result in the trigger catching on something when it hits the ground causing a discharge.

    Why is it when way back over 100 years ago they could design a pistol like the 1911 that had both a manual safety, half-cock safety and grip safety that they could not design a Glock with the same safety features. They could have but the people who designed the Glock were not experience shooters, they were engineers who obviously never handled a firearm in their entire lives.

    In Australia the gun is prohibited from importation without the addition of a manual safety which by the way Glock has but does not offer to the American market. Why? Is it arrogance or fear of even more law suits against them because they did not offer this feature in the original design.

    To think otherwise is just plain foolish.


Leave a comment

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.

9 + eight =