I can just hear it now from our readers: “Another Glock! Don’t they make enough different models?” Well, quiet honestly, this Glock – that they are calling the 19X is quite a bit different in many ways, so hang in there, and read this article to the end. This isn’t your everyday Glock 19.
Several years back, the US military decided it was time for a new handgun for our troops, as the Beretta M9 is reaching the end of its service life. The Beretta M9, and its civilian version, the M92, are very good guns – Yes, I know, they are big guns, not especially designed for concealed carry, but many folks do carry these guns concealed. I have, with the right holster and covering garment. In any event, it was decided that our military needed a new handgun. However, this time around, there wasn’t a lot of “hoopla” about it for some reason. It was an open competition, and anyone who could build a gun to the specifications, could enter the trials. Strange as it may seem, several big gun makers, like Smith & Wesson, pulled out on their own accord, after entering the game.
Of course, all the rage these days is for striker-fired polymer frame handguns, and I can understand that. It seems like there are a lot less parts involved in building these types of guns, and fewer parts means, less things to break or go wrong. Glock handguns have been around since the mid-1980s, and has a proven track record of reliability and accuracy. So it comes as no surprise that Glock entered the trials for a new US military handgun. Honestly, the Glock line of handguns are being used all over the world by military and law enforcement agencies. It is hard to put a number on this, but last I heard is that, about 70% of US law enforcement agencies are using a Glock of some type, for their duty handguns. The security detail at the UN building carry Glock 19s. Even the US FBI has been using Glocks for some years now – and they are the premier law enforcement agency in the world. Many state and local law enforcement agencies emulate what the FBI does – right down to the same ammunition that the Feds use.
For a lot of years, I carried either a Glock 19, or a Glock 23 – same frame – different calibers. The 19 is the 9mm version, and the 23 is the .40 S&W version – both very good guns. I love the size of the 19 for duty use as well as concealed carry – it is “just right” if you ask me for both purposes, not too big, and not too small. Over the years, Glock made several changes to the 19 and 23 models. Some changes were subtle, some were obvious in each generation. I believe the guns got better and better.
Back to the military trials: Glock submitted an improved and updated version of their Model 19, or is it their Model 17? Hard to figure this one out, since it has a short slide, but a long frame–more about this later. Whatever the case, Glock calls this model their 19X – and the “X” means lot of “eXtras” if you ask me. Right off the bat, the new 19X has what Glock calls their Marksman barrel, and it has enhanced polygonal rifling and an improved barrel crown – two things that will give you better accuracy. The slide is nPVD coated – and depending on how you view this, it is either FDE (Flat Dark Earth) in color, or tan – some even say it is a bit gold in color. It is the first regular production slide from Glock that has a different coating. (Yeah, I know, your Glock has a different colored slide other than black. Well, those are special runs made by different distributors, and they were sent out to be coated in those colors.) The frame is also colored the same as the slide on the 19X – and it matches almost exactly in color.
Like the other Gen 4 Glocks, the 19X comes with four additional backstraps of different sizes. But I find them all too big for my hands, and I go without installing any of the larger ones. One thing that justifies the higher price on the 19X is the addition of steel night sights – quite an improvement over the plastic sights that come factory installed on most Glocks. We also have an ambidextrous slide release – one on either side of the frame – great addition. One thing that many Glock owners have hated are the finger grooves on the frame – I can take or leave them myself, they don’t bother me if a Glock has ‘em or it doesn’t. However, Glock listened, and on the 19X the front strap of the 19X has the checkering, but not finger grooves – it feels pretty good without them, I have to admit.
The 19X frame is longer that a Model 19. It is the size of the full-sized Glock 17. Instead of holding 15 rounds, the 19X holds 17 rounds. It comes with one 17-rd magazine, and two 19-rd mags which have Glock +2 floor plates on them. The slide itself is that of the 19 – a shorter, more compact slide, compared to that of the full-sized 17. The 19X will not take the standard G19 magazines. But it will take the G17 (or longer) magazines. The 19X pistols come shipped with colored polymer magazines that all match the slide and frame.
We have a removable lanyard ring in the butt of the 19X – it is easily removed if you don’t like it. Many military and law enforcement agencies around the world mandate a lanyard ring on their guns and they actually attach a lanyard to this ring, so the gun can’t be snatched away from the user. A nice addition, but if you don’t like it, remove it!
Trialed With Thumb Safety, And Without
Glock created two different versions for the US military trials, one has a thumb safety and one doesn’t. Of course, Glocks have a triple safety action already, with the main one being the little lever in the center of the trigger, and it works quite well. If you keep your finger off the trigger there are no worries about an negligent discharge (ND). And if the gun is dropped, it won’t go off. However, the US military is big on manual safeties, so Glock added it to their trial guns.
Of course, as most readers know, the US military selected the SIG-Sauer Model 320 as the new US handgun for our troops, and its an excellent handgun. But it had problems early on – most large firearms purchases do – they rush to get them out, and have some minor problems. However SIG stepped right up and took care of these minor issues. The good news is, at least for the rest of us is that, Glock decided to release the 19X to the public and law enforcement agencies – a very smart move by Glock. I’m not saying that the Glock 19X is any better than the SIG is, but our military wouldn’t have gone wrong if they picked the Glock 19X over the SIG. Personally, after playing around and testing both guns, I like the Glock 19X a little bit better than the SIG – one is 100% and the other is 99.95% in my humble opinion. You can’t go wrong with either maker’s guns.
Glock elected to produce the civilian market 19X without the manual thumb safety, but that’s not saying they won’t offer a version later on with the thumb safety. I’m sure if some big police department asked for the thumb safety, Glock would produce it.
The 19X feels really good in my hand, and it has the longer frame, as already mentioned, than the standard 19 model does – and its not all that much longer – the 19X can still be concealed quite well. The short 19 slide makes the gun faster on-target in my hand, than the model 17 does. It is not all that much shorter, but it makes a difference if you ask me. The night sights are outstanding. I love ‘em on this model. The ambidextrous slide release is another great change. The Marksman barrel: Well, Glocks are already accurate enough, and in my testing I couldn’t detect that the 19X was “that” much more accurate than a 19 is. But I’m sure the new barrel added some accuracy – I just couldn’t wring it out of the 19X.
It Ate Everything
Black Hills Ammunition always comes through for us, with a great assortment of their ammo. I had their HoneyBadger – in 100-gr +P all-copper version and their 125-gr subsonic load – again all-copper, but their bullets act like JHP – except they don’t expand, but penetrate as deeply, if not a little bit deeper, and do a whole lot of damage. I had their 115-gr JHP +P load, 115-FMJ, 115-gr JHP Extra Power, 124-gr JHP and 115-gr Barnes all-copper TAC XP +P hollow point load. Black Hills also sent me a case of their 124-gr JHP +P load, but it some how went AWOL. For the life of me, I can’t find it – then again, you should see my office. I’ve tested this load in other guns and I really like this load for self-defense.
Needless to say, the Glock 19X perked along fine with all the ammo. It fed and fired everything I put through it with no hesitation. I fired just about 500 rounds during my testing, and accuracy testing was done at 25-yards over the hood of my Dodge Ram pickup – using a padded rifle rest. Best load for accuracy was the Black Hills 124-gr JHP – it came in right at 3-inches dead on – when I was on my game. Second up with the 115-gr JHP +P load, and it was only a fraction of an inch bigger group, and the HoneyBadger 125-gr load just about matched the 115-gr JHP +P load – all other ammo came in well under 4-inches. So the accuracy potential is there.
A New Blackhawk Holster
Blackhawk Products sent me their brand-new “T-Series” duty holster to use with this Glock 19X, and right now, as of this writing, this holster is currently only available for the Glock 17/19/22/23/31/32/45. The 19X fits it perfectly. I’ve used the Blackhawk Serpa line of holsters for years, and just love them – with the index finger release – where your index finger falls right on top of the release – and you press the release and draw the gun effortlessly.
The new T-Series operates quite differently. Instead of pressing in on a tab with your index finger, you press in on a tab with your thumb – and your thumb just falls right onto this tab. I mounted the T-Series on a duty belt, and practiced drawing. I thought I would have problems and have to retrain myself to use my thumb instead of my index finger, but the thumb just naturally falls right onto the tab and you press in, and the gun is released with your draw. It is all very easy to do. This is a passive locking method – once you properly holster your gun, it is locked in the holster, until you draw – not much chance of a gun grab by a bad guy. Blackhawk sells different accessories so you can mount this holster on your belt, with the jacket slot, or higher on your belt, or even onto their thigh platform – only takes a few minutes to change this holster out to fit your needs. Those accessories are sold separately.
So, there is something new when it comes to the Glock 19X – it’s not the same gun as the standard Model 19 – not even close. I’m thinking that this will be my new bug out handgun. If I only have time to grab one handgun, it will probably be the Glock 19X – it’s going into the new T-Series holster from Blackhawk, and it will be mounted on my Blackhawk thigh holster platform. Add in an AR of some type, and I’m ready to hit the road. Check out the next Glock 19X. I think you’ll find enough “new” changes to it, that will make it worth your time and hard-earned dollars to justify purchasing it.