Everything You Need to Know About the GLOCK 19

Close up GLOCK 19 Gen 5

Ah, the unfailing GLOCK 19. Have you ever wondered about the story behind one of the world’s most popular pistols? What it would be like to fire an excellently crafted handgun built to withstand any conditions for home defenders, servicemen and women alike?

How about some points on maintaining an efficiently built weapon like the GLOCK 19? We’ll take a shot at all of these topics and more below. Let’s dive right in.

GLOCK 19 History

There are five generations of this famous pistol, but we will begin with the story of the GLOCK company to really understand where our latest G19 comes from.

Gaston Glock, an Austrian engineer, began his humble career in the glamorous realm of curtain rod manufacturing in the 1960s. Weird, right? Not what I think of when I picture the deadly accurate pistols that bear his name!

Anyway, in the 70s, the Austrian military commissioned him to design knives, grenade casings and machine-gun belt links. Thus began his entry into the firearms business.

Gaston Glock designed his first handgun in 1981 at the request of the military, which needed an accurate gun that could be fired quickly in the field of battle.

Already an expert in polymer manufacturing, Glock took to his garage workshop and designed the first-generation G17.

It took about 18 months for him to fine-tune his renowned SAFE ACTION system that eliminates the need for an external safety by incorporating a tri-tiered safety system using the trigger, firing pin and drop safety.

The first G19 was designed in 1988, and was built with fewer parts to minimize the chance of malfunctions. He built his name and company on the word reliability.

As the GLOCK handguns became more popular, especially for police and military forces, more problems with his design became apparent.

Most famously, the “AD Heard Round the World” incident occurred in 1992 when a New York officer’s weapon discharged multiple times with his hand nowhere near the trigger.

After this incident, GLOCK changed their tooling methods and over the subsequent years honed the G19, with upgrades to every new generation, into one of the most reliable handguns on the market today.

GLOCK 19 and GLOCK 17 on Stack of Bullets
From @thattexasguy762 on Instagram

GLOCK 19 Specs and Performance

I’ve used the word “reliable” several times already, but I want to break down exactly why I’m using that term so freely with the G19. With more than 60,000 9mm rounds through the action, this handgun has had ZERO malfunctions for me. Zero.

It is so efficiently designed that the G19 is capable of withstanding the most brutal conditions. It is not a classically pretty gun, but, boy, will it do its job.

As far as accuracy goes, the G19 will hit its mark whether you are using it for competition, as a duty gun or for concealed carry defense. At 25 yards, it was averaging 3-inch 5-shot patterns.

The Marksman barrel has hardline rifling that stabilizes shots, while the balance and dual recoil spring assembly create minimal kick so you are able to lock back on target quickly with precision.

Ergonomically, the G19 feels good to shoot. The Gen5 has removed the annoying finger grooves found in Gen3 and Gen4, and the customizable backstraps give you the grip size you want.

One thing that I personally would modify, however, is the awkward, angular trigger guard and uncomfortable cutout in the front of the magazine well.

These are minor annoyances, however, and are totally based off of personal preference.

Overall, the G19 is comfortable, soft-shooting and well-balanced. Here are some specs:

  • Caliber: 9x19mm
  • Capacity: 15 + 1
  • Trigger: 5.5 lb. pull
  • Dimensions:
    • OAL: 7.28”
    • Height: 4.99”
    • Width: 1.18”
    • Weight: 23.65 oz

The GLOCK 19 is reasonably priced, retailing around $600 (or $699.99 if you upgrade the standard polymer U-dot sights to AmeriGlo Night Sights).

The popularity of this pistol makes it easy to find in most outdoor stores, but can also be found online and at specialty shops.

GLOCK Maintenance

Before you get started cleaning your new G19, you’ll want to disassemble it properly according to the owner’s manual.

Here’s a brief summary of what that looks like…


As with any weapon, before you do anything, be sure to remove the magazine and check that the chamber is empty, both by looking and feeling inside the chamber. Remember to always have the weapon pointed in a safe direction.

Once you’ve done that, here are some steps for disassembly:

  • Remove slide. With the slide pulled back about a quarter of an inch, remove the slide by pulling the disassembly tabs down and moving the slide forward.
  • Take out the recoil spring assembly and then the barrel.
  • Disassemble the slide assembly. With the GLOCK armorer’s tool, push the firing pin spacer sleeve down and take the slide cover plate off with your thumb.
  • Remove the firing pin assembly and extractor depressor plunger. Push down on firing pin safety to remove the extractor last.
  • Disassemble the receiver. First take out the locking block pin from either direction. Move the slide stop lever back and forth while using the armorer’s tool to push on the trigger pin until the trigger pin is released.
  • Remove the trigger pin. Then, lift out the slide stop lever and pry the locking block out. Push on the trigger housing pin on the backstrap and pull out the trigger mechanism.

After disassembling and cleaning your weapon, reassembly is just these steps in the reverse order (with the exception that the locking block pin should always be the first pin to go back into the receiver).


When cleaning your GLOCK, make sure you use good-quality gun lubricant and the tools supplied with your weapon.

You’ll need cloth patches, a brass bore brush, the GLOCK cleaning rod that came with your weapon, gun lubricant of your choice, a dual-end cleaning toothbrush, Q-tips, clean rags, cleaning solvent and a clean, flat area to work in.

Got it? Good. Here are some steps for cleaning:

  • Clean your barrel. With a solvent-dampened patch attached to your cleaning rod, sweep out the chamber several times in a clockwise rotation starting with the breech end.
    • Then, do the same thing with a brass bore brush until the chamber looks shiny and clean. Scrub carbon deposits off of the exterior portions of the barrel using a cleaning toothbrush and solvent.
    • Wipe off with a rag and make sure the bore is dry by using a dry patch.
  • Clean your slide assembly. Use the cleaning brush to clean the breech face and in and around the extractor. DO NOT get solvent in the firing pin channel.
    • Take a clean Q-tip and sweep out the slide rail cuts as well as the inside of the slide. A wet patch can be used to clean the underside and inside of the slide. Use a dry patch to wipe everything clean.
  • Clean your receiver. Remove carbon deposits from the contact points and locking block using the toothbrush. Brush debris from inside of the receiver.
    • With a clean rag, wipe clean the ejector, cruciform, trigger bar, connector and locking block.
  • Lubricate your weapon. Apply one drop to the outside front barrel and one to the rear barrel lug. Holding the frame left side down, apply one drop to the connector.
    • For the slide, face the rail cuts upward and drag one drop-down each cut. Then, add one drop to the top of the slide where it rubs the upper barrel and you’ve got a clean weapon.
GLOCK 19 with Knife
From @balistix_4o6 on Instagram


For many law enforcement agencies and home defenders alike, the GLOCK 19 is the favored choice because of its reliability, ease of care, competitive price and well-balanced shootability.

To recap, the GLOCK 19 is:

  • Durable
  • Easy to maintain
  • Practical for many situations
  • Highly accurate (3-inch patterns)

Overall, GLOCK has really delivered with their latest generation of G19s. There’s a reason the GLOCK 19 is one of the most popular weapons on the market, and now you have everything you need to know to check it out for yourself.

What are your thoughts on the GLOCK 19? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

About the Author:

Richard Douglas

Richard Douglas is a firearms expert and educator. His work has appeared on large publications like The National Interest, Daily Caller, American Shooting Journal, and more. In his free time, he reviews optics on his Scopes Field blog.
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 (3)

  1. Thank you Richard for your informative article regarding the history of GLOCK. Question for you: My GLOCK 19 does not have the “Gen 4” stamp. Why would this be?

  2. Thanks for the great article, especially valuable to new owners.

    In 1989 when I first noticed Glock there were only two models available, the G17 and G19. I chose the 19 because the grip frame (Gen 2, no finger grooves) was textured instead of smooth like the G17. A year later Glock recalled it for something, (but insisted it wasn’t a recall. ;-)). For the past 31 years that pistol has run and fed everything flawlessly. If I could get one in the PRK here I’d buy a Gen 5, but I still carry the old G19 every day on my CCW.

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