Perfect for Home Defense
Apr 5, 2012
Review by some_guy5
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:light weight, easy to use, reliable
Cons:none that I have observed
The Bottom Line: It is a popular choice for a reason
I have never been a “gun guy” but after having children something happened to me. For the first time I felt like I really had something to lose. Still, I did not buy a hand gun. I have read that statistically my children were more likely to hurt themselves or each other than I was to stop an intruder with it. However, over time I came to realize that owning a gun is not so “out there” as I thought. Plenty of people I would not have expected turned out to have one. Finally, I changed my mind. I bought the Glock 19 Gen4. I think my choice has been a good one.
Recommend this product?
So if you don’t know anything about guns choosing one for the first time can be daunting. They are expensive and my initial thoughts were something along the lines of “%$@! this, I am getting a cheap one”. My dad, who is something of a “gun guy” told me he thought I would end up with a Glock 9mm. I went to a shop one Saturday to look around and started talking to a salesman. The first thing he said really stuck with me: (paraphrased) “before you consider anything else, and there is a lot to consider when choosing your pistol, the thing you want to know most of all is that it will go bang when you pull the trigger” and with that he handed me a Glock 17. Because my wife was also expected to use it, and because it felt better in my hand, I ultimately bought the smaller 19.
The first and perhaps most important feature is reliability. This is one of the things that Glocks are known for. That doesn’t mean it won’t ever jam. Different ammunition performs differently in the Glock 19 Gen4 and some better than others. One of the reasons this is a popular pistol with law enforcement and militaries is that the jams are minimal, say 4 rounds in 10,000 if memory serves me in recalling one test I read about.
The Glock 19 Gen4 I lighter than most pistols, because it is largely made of polymer. This is an object of derision for some, who don’t want a plastic gun. I have no ego about my gun and I appreciate the lighter weight. Unloaded the pistol is 21 ounces and loaded it is 30 ounces. Contrary to legend, the plastic does not allow it to pass through airport security and it is not all plastic.
One thing I did not like about the Glock 17 was that it didn’t seem to fit in my rather small hand very well. Well the Gen4’s have solved this to some degree. The Gen4’s come with what are called palm swells, meaning that you can change the size and feel of the handle to suit you preference.
From what I have read, the safety is an item of controversy. The Glock 19 Gen4 has what is called a trigger safety. There is a little lever on the trigger itself. The firing mechanism does not engage until the safety is depressed, meaning that you could drop it off a building or drag it behind a truck and it will not accidentally fire. Some people think that is no safety at all and want a proper lever somewhere else. The thought is, don’t pull the trigger unless you want to fire. The traditional safeties have gotten criticism from people intending to fire in a heated moment only to find the safety engaged. It comes down to personal choice.
The magazine capacity is 15 rounds for the Glock 19 Gen4. They sell a version or separate magazines with a 10 round capacity for states where that is the limit. They also sell higher capacity magazines which I think extend awkwardly below the bottom of the handle.
The Glock 19 Gen4 measures 1.18 inches wide by 7.28 inches long, by 5 inches high.
One of the reasons I chose the Glock 19 Gen4 was because it was a pistol, as opposed to a revolver. A pistol holds more rounds that are auto fed from a magazine (semi automatic). Some of the energy from firing is used to eject one shell and feed another. Magazines are easier to reload than revolvers and hold more rounds. I read about a study that the FBI performed where they concluded that the vast majority of shootouts had 5 rounds or less exchanged in total. I also read accounts of police taking forever to not really successfully reload a revolver with shaky hands in a shootout. It comes down to personal preference. I figure if I am actually going to try to shoot someone I am likely to be petrified so the extra rounds and easy reload could be important.
I am a beginner to pistol ownership. I have taken a basic handgun class and fired a total of ten rounds through my Glock 19 Gen4 during that class. The targets were quite close, 15 yards. I had no jams and got close groupings. The kick was not dramatic and it didn’t hurt to shoot (one of the reasons we went with a 9mm).
Loading is a bit of a pain. The magazine feeds rounds with a spring. Loading it takes force, which is awkward for me to apply to a small bullet. I have only loaded my magazine to 10 rounds of its 15 capacity. It does seem kind of disconcerting to push really hard on a little bullet, but I imagine if they exploded during loading then I wouldn’t be writing here.
The size, which I chose for comfort, actually makes it ideal for concealed carrying. The 17 (full size) is more common in the military and law enforcement, but the 19 is used more by detectives or citizens with carry permits. I do not yet have a concealed carry license, so I don’t carry it.
You can upgrade the Glock 19 Gen4. You can replace the sites for example or add a laser. At this point I haven’t put enough rounds through it to have strong opinions on sites or the need for a laser.
I have also taken a gun cleaning class. In this I learned how to disassemble my Glock 19 Gen4 and how to clean it properly. The pistol also comes with instructions and it is really quite easy. Re-assembly is almost (but not quite) intuitive.
You can certainly buy pistols for less and some of them are even widely used. I went for quality. I paid $430 plus tax. The Glock 19 Gen4 comes with 3 magazines (seems to be one more than is standard) so you do get a bit extra for your money. The brand HK is quite a bit cheaper and I have read that many law enforcement agencies use this 9mm.
I remain pleased with my purchase of the Glock 19 Gen4. I have chosen to handle the danger to my children by keeping it in a pistol safe. I have chosen to handle the danger to my wife by having her attend the basic handgun class with me. There is a reason that Glock has become “America’s gun” and I think the Glock 19 Gen4 is a good choice.
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