Most of you are probably familiar with the brand Glock. The Glock 17 was designed by Gaston Glock and since its inception on the US market in the 1980s, it has become a staple. The Glock 17 led to a variety of designs, including the venerable Glock 19. The Glock 17 was introduced to the US market as one of the new wonder nines.
It appealed mostly to law enforcement as it was a duty size weapon designed for OWB carry in a Glock 17 duty holster. The gun was striker-fired, which gave it a consistent trigger pull that was much different from the normal double action single action triggers that were most common in that era.
At the time, concealed carry was not as common in the United States as it is today. As things evolved, though, concealed carry became much more common in the United States. The Glock 19 was introduced as a smaller version of the Glock 17 that held fewer rounds and had a shorter barrel/slide while also having a shorter grip.
This made the gun more concealable yet large enough to also use in a duty capacity with an OWB duty holster, making the Glock one of the first striker-fired guns to fill that niche. Throughout the years there have been multiple generations of Glock. The first Glock to come on to the US market was the Glock 17 Gen 1.
It’s a rumor there may be Glock Gen 1 19s but I haven’t seen anything that is able to verify that. There is a variety of Glock 19 Gen 2s on the market and there are also a ton of Glock Gen 3s and Glock Gen 4s both in the 19 configurations. The difference between the generations is normally fairly minor, especially from the outside. For example, the Glock Gen 2 didn’t have finger grooves, when they introduced the Glock Gen 3 they added finger grooves and a light rail on the front of the dust cover.
When they introduced the Gen 4 they added the ability to add extra back straps to increase the size of the grip and they changed the size of the base grip to be a little bit smaller than the standard Gen 3. And Gen 5 was no exception to this rule. On the Glock 19 Gen 5, they took away the finger grooves that had been on the previous Gen 3 and Gen 4 models going back to the solid grip that was on the Gen 2 and Gen 1 guns.
Two other notable exceptions on the Glock Gen 5 were they changed the texturing up a little bit to make it more aggressive over the Gen 4 and Gen 3 standard models somewhere between those models and the Glock Gen 3 RTF 2 texturing.
And one of my favorite features is they added their Marksman barrel, which is more accurate than a standard Glock barrel and negates the need for an aftermarket barrel unless you’re just looking to have your gun look visually different or you want to add a threaded barrel. Even if you’re adding a threaded barrel, I would probably suggest trying to find a Glock OEM barrel since the Glock Marksman barrels are so good.
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The Glock 19 is a 15-round capacity handgun. And one of the great things about the Glock 19 series is it will accept Glock 17 mags and then a variety of Glock extended mags as well. From Glock OEM, they make 24-round mags as well as 31-round mags and you can get plus two extensions for 17-round, 19-round and 24-round magazines.
The 31-round mags come standard with a plus-two extension so you could actually say they’re 33-round magazines. So, capacity options for the Glock 19 are not limited at all and there are a variety of aftermarket manufacturers who make magazines, so you’re not stuck with just Glock magazines.
The Glock 19 Gen 5 is an interesting gun in that the standard Glock 19 Gen 5 comes with a grip that has a half-moon cutout on the front of the Magwell. This is in theory to help you strip out a mag easier if you have some sort of malfunction that requires you to strip out the mag cuz it won’t drop free.
Personally, I do not care for that feature on the Glock 19 Gen 5. I prefer the Glock 19 Gen 5 MOS frame as it does not have that half-moon cut out. Both frames though have a very large beveled Magwell at the bottom of the frame. This is a huge feature that sets the Glock 19 Gen 5 well above many of its competitors in the speed reload category. There are a variety of aftermarket Magwells these days for most guns out there.
That said, the factory molded-in grip on the Glock 19 Gen 5 is better than pretty much all other options and you don’t have to spend any other money. If you plan to shoot a competition like USPSA that has rules on the size Magwell you can have on your gun or rules about adding aftermarket mag well, then something like the Glock 19 Gen 5 will be perfect for you. Unfortunately, the Glock Gen 3 and Glock Gen 4s do not have this fantastic Magwell.
If you go on the internet, a lot of people talk about how they honestly hate the Glock 19 ergonomics. Glock feels quite blocky. So, nobody can disagree that the Glock may not feel the best in your hand. Although I will say that not having the finger grooves is a massive improvement in my opinion over the Glock Gen 3 and Glock Gen 4 weapons.
The gun does come with four removable backstraps, both a medium and a large and then a medium and a large that add a beavertail to the gun. These backstraps sit over the standard small size frame, so you have a lot of options for how you want to get the grip to fit your hand. Now, when it comes to Glock ergonomics, I think most people give Glock too hard of a time on the gun.
The angle of the gun is actually designed to shoot under stress, so it actually works very well in defensive encounters. Most people want to see a 1911 style angle despite the fact that most striker-fired guns on the market today have actually adopted something more similar to the Glock style angle. And a lot of 1911 fans will shoot these other striker-fired guns and say how they shoot so much better than a Glock or they have a better angle than a Glock when the reality is when you look at them side by side the grip angle is very similar to a Glock.
For example, when you look at the SIG X series, the grip angle is almost identical to the Glock guns and you will not hear many people talk negatively about the SIG X series of frames while they will trash the Glock guns. While Glock doesn’t feel the best in the hand, what it does do is allows most people to get a lot of leverage on the gun itself. What this means is you can place sufficient pressure on both the front strap and the backstrap of the gun to control the gun well under recoil when shooting.
At the end of the day, this is the most important feature of a gun. There are a lot of guns out there that have a great feel in grips, but they tend to be a little bit off and not allow you to shoot as comfortably as you would like. Another grip that’s very blocky is the 2011 style grips. And you don’t hear anybody complaining about those. Part of that is the price point because people that tend to buy a gun that expensive are going to have to find a way to justify it.
But, another part is a lot of the people shooting those guns are high-end competition shooters who understand how to apply leverage in the correct places on the grip of a gun. One thing I do like about the Glock removable back straps is they allow you to increase the trigger reach of the gun. So, for somebody with larger hands like myself, it’s a great feature as you can get a better, more consistent trigger pull.
And if you have smaller hands, this gun may not be the best choice. I have medium to large size hands, average size hands for a 6-foot male. Now, if you’re somebody who’s shorter with smaller hands or you just have smaller hands in general, then you might want to check out a young like the SIG P320 X Compact. That gun is just much smaller in circumference and allows you more control over the grip if you have smaller hands. One nice feature about the Glock is the beavertail and tang of it.
It’s quite ergonomic and really fits most people well. While the bottom of the grip feels somewhat squarish and blocky, the top of the grip is very well rounded and allows most people’s hands to get very high on the gun without any discomfort. Personally, I don’t care for the beavertail back straps as much as they make the gun a little harder for me to draw with my style of draw, I like to grip the gun on top of the rear sight when drawing from my Glock 19 appendix carry holster.
This slows you down when you have to overcome the beavertail as well. That said, the beavertail does seem to add a little more distance between the web of your hand and the front face of the trigger. So, I do like the increased trigger reach. The verdict is still out on what I’ll choose long term over the large backdrop without the beavertail or the large back strap with the beavertail.
Texturing on the Glock Gen 5 is probably going to be a controversial subject. The reason I say this is it’s very common now for people to get brand new guns and go out and have them custom stippled. Oftentimes, these custom stipple jobs look amazing and really elevate the look of a gun. That said, I’m not sure it’s necessary. I had one of my Glock Gen 4 guns stippled.
And I was very happy with it first, but over time the stipple jobs wear out. If you regularly dry fire shoot, a stipple job will probably last you around a year before you need to have it redone. In my opinion, the best texture ever invented was the Glock RTF 2 texturing. This is small little micro dots that were shipped on the Gen 3 guns, but it never gained favourability in the market.
The Glock Gen 3 guns were quite slick unless they had this texturing, but most people found this texturing a bit too aggressive. That said, the texturing did wear down slightly over time, making it more comfortable to carry up against the body. And it worked really well when you were shooting the gun. You can pick up a Glock Gen 3 with an RTF 2 finishing and it will not move at all in your hand.
It’s just a really good texture and really allows you to get away with a mediocre grip and still shoot really well. The Glock 19 Gen 5 texturing is not quite as aggressive as the RTF 2, but it’s still fairly aggressive. And I think it’s one of the better factory texture jobs on the market. It’s not quite as good as the CZP 10 C texturing which in my opinion is the best on the market.
But, it’s still quite good. It’s going to last over time, give your hand enough bite and not wear out. Yet, it’s also smooth enough that it’s not going to cause irritation when you’re carrying the gun. The general feel of the Glock 19 Gen 5 grip is not quite as good as a lot of other guns if you’re just looking for the feel overall, but it really does allow you to get that perfect leverage over the firearm, making your shooting with it very effective.
If you’re a fan of Glock ergonomics, to begin with, you’ll love the Glock 19 Gen 5 feel and ergonomics. But, if you’re not, you might find it slightly better than the Glock Gen 4 and Gen 3 guns.
You can get a variety of sight options on the Glock 19 Gen 5. Most notably, they come with the standard plastic Glock sights also known as slot fillers. They’re called slot fillers as you’ll likely need to replace them as soon as you get them.
I personally like choosing the slot filler option because I find that I have my personal preferences and what makes the best iron sights. And I’d rather get the gun as cheaply as possible so I can replace them with those iron sights. That said if you want a gun from the factory that is set up with a great set of iron sights.
Glock does have you covered and they ship the gun with AmeriGlo sights as well. The AmeriGlo sights are honestly some of the best sights offered on a factory firearm. I would put the Glock AmeriGlo factory sight options on the top five guns offered with upgraded aftermarket iron sights from the factory.
That said, you can probably get your local gunsmith to easily switch out the sights and there are more sight options available for Glocks than any other gun out there. Now, one thing you might want to consider is mounting a red dot to your Glock 19 Gen 5. If that’s the case, I would suggest buying a Glock 19 Gen five MOS and having a CHWPS plate added to the gun or you could have a standard Glock 19 Gen 5 custom milled.
If you plan to go that route, I would actually suggest buying your slides separate from your frame, so you can purchase a Glock 19 MOS frame.
The Glock 19 Gen 5 MOS frame is just a lot better than the standard Glock 19 Gen 5 frame. And mostly that’s due to the cutout on the front of the frame. That’s really the only notable difference, but that cut out just bugs me. You might find that you actually like it, but I don’t know many shooters that do. The Glock 19 MOS does come with mounting plates, but you’ll probably have issues finding the right screw length and just dealing with the setup overall.
So, I would definitely suggest checking out some of the aftermarket solutions, as they’re known to be a bit higher quality and will make your experience more reliable. A lot of people have complained of issues with the Glock 19 MOS plates and a lot of other people have shot thousands of rounds without issues. But, adding an aftermarket plate from a reputable company like the one mentioned earlier, is always a good call.
Controls, safeties, the only safety on the Glock 19 Gen 5 MOS externally is the trigger safety. That is keep the gun drop safe and it’s a standard Glock trigger safety. I think we’ve said enough on that, most people know what those are and how they work.
Glock 19 Gen 5 Magazine Release
The magazine release is set up on the left side of the gun for a right-handed shooter but it is reversible, so you can switch it around to the other side. The factory mag release itself is okay, you have to break your grip to reach the mag release, or at least I do with my medium to large size hands, so I think most shooters will.
And it’s kind of sharp on the top edge and sits almost recessed into the frame. That said, there are a variety of aftermarket options from tons of great companies to switch out this part. In the past, with the Glock Gen 3s, I’ve kind of felt that you need to switch the magazine release out right away as it was way too far recessed and it was very sharp. So, it was just not easy to use. I think the Glock Gen 5 is a massive improvement over that as well as the Glock Gen 4 frankly.
So, I don’t see any need to replace the Glock 19 Gen 5 magazine release. But, it’s always nice to have upgradable options and you probably will enjoy adding an upgraded mag release.
Glock does market the Glock Gen 5 19 as using a slide stop and not a slide release, and the Glock Academy, last I checked, always taught people to manipulate the slide using the slide versus using the slide stop to drop the slide. That said, most of us end up using the slide stop itself.
I know that I personally prefer using a slide stop to drop the slide than going overhand and racking the slide. A really nice feature about the Glock Gen 5 is the slide stops are ambidextrous and they look identical on each side. The Gen 5 Glock 19 ambidextrous slide releases are perfectly acceptable, but they’re not great.
They’re a little bit slick. And if you don’t have a good technique, you might have trouble dropping the slide itself. The slide release fits into a cutout on the left side of the slide. So, that’s what locks the slide back and it makes it easier for right-handed shooters to drop the slide as opposed to a left-handed shooter due to leverage.
That said, a left-handed shooter will likely not have any problems dropping the slide on the Glock 19 Gen 5. Glock sells the slide release they use on their Gen 5 Glock 34 that you can always add to your 19 if you find you do need a more aggressive slide stop. That said, there are also many aftermarket options.
Overall, the ergonomics of the Glock are quite good. You’re going to see a lot of people disagree with that statement. And, frankly, most people I’ve seen do that aren’t exactly the best shooters. Even people that hate Glock or love to hate Glock often shoot the guns extremely well, and I’ve seen multiple people come to classes with guns that are considered ergonomically superior.
And then when they’re handed a Glock, they shoot it better. Glock may not feel the best in the hand, but it does allow you to get the correct leverage where you need it on the gun itself. If there’s one area I can really complain hard about the ergonomics of the Glock 19 Gen 5, it is the slide itself. The serrations on the slide are not that aggressive. And depending on the variant you get, you may only have rear serrations.
Glock makes variants with both rear and forward serrations, but the serrations are identical on each part of the slide and they aren’t deep or sharp enough for my taste. If your hands got wet, sweaty, or bloody, you might have a hard time manipulating the slide with the slick finish that Glock uses on these slides. But, that could be fixed if you’re willing to spend the money to have your slide custom milled.
The trigger on the Glock 19 Gen 5 in my opinion is probably one of the better features of the gun. And a lot of people have always complained about Glock triggers and this time Glock many triggers that while not a showstopper from a dry fire standpoint, works really well in live fire. The trigger has a nice rolling break, which is a feature I really prefer in a defensive style firearm.
Now, when you go to pull the trigger, you’ll fill some heavy take up before you reach somewhat of a wall, and from that wall you’re gonna feel a little bit of creep as it goes into a rolling break. It’s really quite a good trigger for a factory Glock trigger. And it feels lighter than you would think.
Is it going to be a tricked out competition style trigger? No, but it’s perfect for defensive scenarios. A lot of really good shooters I know who love to rag on Glock triggers have a hard time ragging on the Glock Gen five trigger. I would go with the Glock Gen 5 or a Gen 4 or Gen 3 for the trigger alone, not including all the other great features it offers.
Now, from the reset, the reset on the Glock 19 trigger is fairly positive and short and it resets right to that initial wall where you feel that little bit of creep when going into the rolling brake. I can’t say enough good things about this factory trigger.
One thing I will need to mention on the Glock 19 Gen 5 is the rail, the rail on the Glock 19 Gen 5 is a Picatinny based rail whereas the old Glock rail was somewhat proprietary. They’re very similar, but the Glock on the Glock Gen 5 rail is just a little bit taller from the standpoint of the bottom of the rail to the top of the slide.
So, that may affect your holster compatibility especially if you have a light on the gun, a Kydex or leather usually flexes enough on your Glock 19 holster with just the rail itself. But, when you add a light into the equation, a lot of the time you’ll have to get a holster built specifically around that gun or one designed to work with both the Glock Gen 3, Gen 4, and Gen 5 variants.
The Glock 19 Gen 5 is a Glock, you’re either going to like the look or not like it at all. I do think they’re more attractive than the older Glock variants, but it’s a Glock.
The Glock 19 Gen 5 is a really good performer on the range. Shooting this gun is a complete joy. It’s a very flat shooting gun and does tend to have a little bit more felt recoil than other options. That said, that recoil goes straight back and the slide cycles very fast, so it’s easy to maintain your follow up shots and keep a good cadence of fire.
Personally, it’s one of my favorite shooting guns. Not quite as easy to shoot as something like the CP320 series, but it seems to shoot a little bit faster. Most people when they pick up the Glock, if they don’t know how to grip the gun, might have some issues. But, if you know how to run a Glock, the Glock 19 Gen 5 will serve you very well. And personally, I think I have seen an accuracy increase from the Glock Marksman barrel. Most people would call me crazy for that, but it does seem to make a difference.
Shooting this gun on steel at 75 and 100 yards is not a problem at all. And it’s just an extremely accurate handgun for its size, easy to shoot and I can’t think of any other upgrades I want to make to the gun beside a red dot, Glock Gen 5 MOS has you covered on that front. Overall, this gun definitely gets my recommendation.