We the People seem to love our brand wars, be it over burgers (McDonald’s vs Burger King), soft drinks (Coke vs. Pepsi), pickup trucks (Ford vs. Chevy vs. Dodge), cloud computing platforms (AWS vs. GCP vs. Azure), ad nauseaum, and the world of guns isn’t immune to the “Calvin taking a wee-wee on the other guy’s logo” thing. As much as I would like to stand aloof from such brand name snobbery, the cultural indoctrination and baggage are hard to shake off, and I have to remind myself that ultimately the person behind the trigger makes the biggest difference.
Boom Shalock Glock Boom
I didn’t own a firearm when I took my first handgun class, so I borrowed a Glock G19 Gen 5 from the facility’s armory, and being a rank newbie I had zero preconceptions on the brand and model aside from vague memories of the media’s moral panic over “the plastic gun that can slip past x-ray machines” (it can’t).
Since then I’ve tried out a variety of striker-fired, single-action, and DA/SA pistols, started forming opinions on features and characteristcs that I like and dislike, and eventually gotten into a bit of a fixation with CZ’s handguns, even to the point of pondering parting ways with the Glock to make room for another CZ.
Know When to Hold ‘Em
“Get a bigger gun safe!” some folks would advise, and given the current state of the market - shortage, shortage everywhere, with nary rounds to buy - it makes more sense to hold on to hardware than to part with them these days. With that said I spent a bit more range time recently with the G19 and its .22LR cousin, the G44.
Perfection in Adequacy
I went through a variety of distances with both Glocks, warming up at 7 yards, moving to 10, and focusing on 15 yards. First with the G19:
Then with the G44:
Perfectly adequate results in both cases. No showboating ragged holes, but no buckshot scatters either. That seems like a backhanded compliment at best, but I think that a middling performance demonstrates room for improvement through practice, practice, practice. In other words:
I tracked these sessions with the Mantis training app, and I’d say my trigger work is alright (and ironically it likely improved after practicing with a DA/SA CZ…), so I’ll be giving more attention to sight alignment and picture.
Got Enough Magazines to Fill a News Stand Rack
With a design that’s as ubiquitous as the Glock, you’re going to have more than your choice of accessories. Between OEM parts and third party offerings, there’s quite a variety of magazines that work with the G19.
Admittedly the “long boi” mags from ETS and Glock do not make for ready concealment, but they do make a statement. Especially when paired with a rail-mounted light:
Again, this probably won’t work well in an appendix holster. With a full magazine this combination does weigh considerably more than an “unladen G19,” and you can definitely tell the difference in balance and recoil. I suspect this configuration may only be appropriate for extreme edge case scenarios like a zombie apocalypse. The weapon light is universally applicable; the big stick of bullets is just plain unwieldy.
That’ll Do, Glock
I did three rounds of fire the other day with the G19 on 6" bullseyes at 15 yards, i.e., the Liberal Gun Club instructor range qualification test. Typically I’d do these in groups of 5, coming up from low ready for the first shot and shooting the remaining 4 rounds from the trigger reset. This time, I did all 30 shots from low ready, finger off the trigger and along the frame.
29 out of 30 landed on target, and that radium green sticker is a bullet magnet (more on this interesting phenomenon later). Again, no ragged holes and “meh” bullseye scores, but it’s good enough to pass. Perfectly adequate and adequately perfect.
With Apologies to Elizabeth Barrett
The verse definitely did not go “Oh, Gaston’s gat, how does one love thee, let me count the positions.” As mentioned earlier, the G19 has been perfectly performant, getting me through multiple days-long training courses with nary a failure or even a mild hiccup.
I’m likely to shoot more accurately with other pistols, but I can do well enough with the Glocks, and I know I can do better. I think that “perfection” is likely nothing more than a fleeting intersection of time and space, and the work in trying to reach those crossroads is truly the thing to respect and celebrate.
Glock Rockin’ Beats
In the meantime, I’ll continue to refrain from buying and brandishing Glock swag as that’s not my thing. The brand-tribe culture has folks paying for the privilege of doing the advertising work for what they’ve already spent money on, and sometimes you can’t have “fandom” without “dumb.” Okay, I admit that I did order a Hi-Point Yeet Cannon t-shirt, but I’m saving it to wear on jury duty (and depending on the case and fellow juorors I’ll have a Cop Shoot Cop t-shirt ready).