Welcome to another episode of "I Carry,"Shooting Illustrated's weekly video series covering the guns and gear needed to put together a potential everyday-carry kit. Today, we’re focusing on the ubiquitous Glock G19 and some of the upgraded components available for it. Let’s take a closer look at this setup.
We’ve covered the Glock G19 Gen4 a bit here on “I Carry,” and the reasons for choosing Glock’s compact semi-automatic pistol are pretty compelling: Good capacity, full grip, light weight and ease of concealment are just a few of the reasons one might opt for the Austrian striker-fired pistol. We’ve touched on the robust aftermarket previously, highlighting the Brownells red-dot-cut slide and custom barrels, as another significant reason to consider the G19 as an EDC handgun.
Today we’re highlighting just a few of the many upgrades and changes that are possible with Glock’s compact pistol. Countless other options abound, and there’s a good chance we’ll cover more of them in future “I Carry” segments. The robust aftermarket for Glock handguns is yet another reason so many opt for it as an EDC pistol.
One of the first changes most owners make to their Glock handguns is to change out the sights. The plastic, ball-in-bucket configuration sights offered as standard equipment are often jokingly referred to as “dovetail protectors” – they only stay on the gun long enough to order replacements. Glock has listened to the market and is offering the Gen5 with upgraded sights direct from the factory, although the ball-in-bucket white dot front/white “U” rear setup is the standard offering.
On this pistol, we’ve added XS Sights’ new-for-2019 F8 sights (MSRP: $184.99), which give a large, luminescent orange ring around a tritium vial up font and a plain, flat-black rear sight with a single tritium vial. In daylight conditions, the orange ring allows rapid target acquisition, while the tritium vials shine in low-light conditions.
Another addition to this G19 is the CMC Triggers flat trigger (MSRP: $185.75). Offering a clean takeup and even pull, it’s actually slightly heavier than the factory trigger it replaced. What it brings to the table, though, is something that I personally prefer – a flat face for better trigger finger placement. I’ve never liked the geometry of the Glock factory trigger, and it’s actually one of the reasons I favored other pistols for quite a while. With the CMC upgrade, though, the “feel” of the trigger is more amenable to me, and that makes a big difference. Again, this is a strictly personal upgrade, but it’s one of the many reasons the Glock makes such a great starting platform.
The last addition is a safety consideration. One of the concerns some people have when looking at the Glock line of handguns is the lack of an obvious manual safety. Sure, there’s the Safe Action system which engages the striker only when the trigger is pulled, but there’s no lever to actuate or block to depress when gripping the pistol. The Tau Development Group’s Striker Control Device – commonly called SCD or “gadget” – adds in a physical device to your Glock pistol to reduce the likelihood of an unintended discharge (MSRP: $79).
One of the areas where such a thing could happen is when reholstering, often when an article of clothing such as a sweatshirt drawstring pull gets into the trigger guard inadvertently. While we stringently urge folks to reholster slowly and carefully, the SCD provides a tactile indicator at that critical moment. Reholstering with your thumb on the SCD, much as you would on an exposed-hammer pistol, will immediately let you know if anything gets in the way.
It certainly doesn’t mean you can speed reholster, nor does it remove the onus to check carefully, but it provides another layer of safety for those who require it. It’s a completely passive device – it can’t “fail” and render your gun inoperable, as some fear. It’s just a simple block to help minimize the potential to hear a bang when you shouldn’t.
Yet another benefit of choosing such a popular pistol is the wide variety of great holsters available for it, such as the Keeper’s Concealment Keeper, an industry standard. This Lite version is, as the name implies, thinner and lighter than the standard Keeper, while still offering the same retention and ease-of-access. Best of all, it attaches using a sturdy plastic clip, which allows rapid addition or removal of the holster when needed.
A neat feature included for comfort and safety is the inclusion of hook-and-loop material on the back of the holster, to which a foam wedge can be attached. This pushes the holster away from the body to allow greater range of motion, but also to point the muzzle away from you when reholstering.