Choosing the right concealed carry firearm is an important decision that should never be taken lightly. After all, you are making a decision as important as, well, life or death for and your loved ones. The reason we carry is for self-defense and the ability to defend those around us. The best advice anyone can give on handgun selection is to first look to what the professionals carry—on and off duty. While there are a ton of great choices to choose from, this will likely narrow your choices significantly, and Glock will be on the list.
Glocks are carried as a primary duty weapon by military and police units around the globe. So, it is not much of a leap to understand why you want a slightly smaller version of your duty weapon for off-duty protection as well. For fans of the .40 S&W, that would be either the Glock 23 or Glock 27.
Classified as a compact .40 S&W, the Glock 23 where the Glock 27 would be a subcompact, the Glock 23 tapes out at a touch over 7.25 inches in length, 5.0 inches high and 1.18-inch thick. Therefore, compared to the smaller Glock 27, it’s nearly an inch longer and roughly .75-inch taller.
Unlike the G27, the G23 features a full frame, allowing the shooter the opportunity for a better four-finger grip. With the G27, your pinky will most likely be hanging free. Sure, you can get an extended magazine or grip for the 27, but what have you accomplished? Making a subcompact into the same size as a compact? I do own subcompacts and have carried each at one time or another—including the G27. While I do not feel this impedes accuracy to the point of making it less safe to carry, the enhanced grip size does offer additional comfort and replicates the grip I am used to with my G22s.
Caliber and options are where the G23 really shines. Being built for the .40 S&W, the Glock 23 uses a beefier frame than a 9mm. This allows manufacturers to build a beefy 9mm barrel to fit in the .40 S&W frame. However, the reverse would not work. You cannot scale down a .40 S&W barrel to fit in a 9mm frame. Another option for the .40 S&W frame is to shoot .357 SIG. I warn you, the round can be a bit squirrely to shoot, but I like the option and switched to it for carry and home defense. With the .357 SIG round, you can use the same magazines as your .40 S&W. For the 9mm option, you will need to pick up Glock 19 magazines for a flush fit, although a G17 magazine will work but will stick out a bit.
A thumb safety looks good on paper and is absolutely necessary for a single-action only pistol such as the 1911 to carry cocked and locked. For double-action pistols such as the GLOCK, a thumb safety would be a detriment that could snag on clothing or prevent a failure if the shooter did not disengage the thumb safety. Instead, Glock pistols are equipped with the Glock’s “Safe Action” System, a fully automatic safety system consisting of three passive, independently operating, mechanical safeties, which sequentially disengage when the trigger is pulled and automatically reengage when the trigger is released.
Gen 4 Glock pistols such as the G22 come standard with multiple backstraps, which allow the shooter to adjust the grip size of the frame between a small, medium and large. The small is slightly smaller than the Gen 3 pistols. The medium and large increase the grip size by 2mm and 4mm respectively. The medium should be the same size as the Gen 3 guns, so the option to go smaller or larger is significant from a dealer point of view, but aids in resale or comfort at the range if multiple family members will be shooting.
Enlarged, Reversible Magazine Release
This is an awesome upgrade for Glock that Glock shooters had be clamoring about for some time. It also eliminates one more common after-market upgrade. The magazine release can be set up on the left- or right side of the gun and the enlarged size makes it easier to engage when under pressure or while wearing gloves. Also worthy of mentioning, during the 1,000 rounds and several dry fire sessions, I have never once experienced any unintended magazine drops due to the increased size.
The Glock 23 is an excellent choice for concealed carry and home defense. It is not as small as the G27, which is an important consideration when carry options are limited due to warm weather clothing choices. However, it is not as large as a full-sized G22, but the grip, controls and operation are identical. Is it a perfect compromise? No. I would never compromise when it comes to defending my life or that of my loved ones. Is it the perfect gun under the right conditions and one to bet your life? Every day should be a Glock day!
Share your Glock story, and list your favorite models in the comment section.