Adams Arms AA19 Semi-Auto Pistol Review

A compact 9 mm that’s packed with features not usually found on your typical defensive pistol.

posted on April 5, 2022
Adams Arms AA19 9mm pistol

Best known for their piston-driven AR platform rifles, Adams Arms launched their first complete pistol in 2021, the compact semi-automatic 9 mm AA19. Accurate, comfortable in the hand and reliable, the AA19 is a great choice for home defense and concealed carry, and right out of the box it will accommodate a wide variety of handgun optics.

While it has a definite Glock G19 look to it, the striker fired AA19 sports several upgraded features not found on its Austrian cousin, including a Vickers Tactical Carry Trigger, which comes standard.

Vickers Trigger and undercut trigger guard

Featuring a 4.25-inch barrel and an extremely grippy polymer frame, the AA19 has a double undercut beneath the trigger guard for a very high and solid grip. The rear notch on the AmeriGlo Defoor EDC sights on top of the slide is actually wide enough to allow the shooter to center the front post easily within that notch, something that is not always possible on many front and rear pistol sight combos offered as standard kit today. The AA19’s barrel is also threaded at ½ x 28 TPI for a suppressor and a thread protector cap is included. 

At the range, the Adams Arms AA19 was fed a steady diet 9MM ammo, including Aguila 124-grain full metal jacket (FMJ), Browning 147 grain BPT performance target FMJ, Federal Premium Punch a 124-grain jacketed hollow point (JHP) and Remington UMC 115-grain FMJ rounds.

I first fired the AA19 offhand at targets five and ten yards distant, and the accuracy of the pistol was impressive. My ten yard, five shot groups started at approximately two-inches for all brands of ammunition, but as I shot and got use to the pistol my groups shrunk closer to a 1.5-inch average for the Browning BPT, Federal Punch and Remington UMC. My best group at this distance was with the Aguila 9mm and measured just 1.0-inches.

At five yards offhand, my conclusion was that any group over one inch was the fault of me the shooter, not the AA19. My best five shots at this distance and the Federal Punch self-defense rounds, which scored an .80-inch cluster.   

In over 200 rounds, the gun experienced zero failures to feed or eject. The trigger snapped back into place quickly for fast follow up shots. The trigger itself averaged at 2 pounds, 10 ounces of pull.

threaded barrel AA19

The AA19 might also be the grippiest poly-framed pistol this shooter has ever used. The front and back straps have a sandpaper like texture, while the sides of the grip feature a raised pattern that not only provides good traction but are also embossed high onto the grip. The combination of these two textures, plus the double undercut beneath the trigger guard and the AA19’s beavertail, make for a rock-solid hold, even with wet and grimy hands.

The slide also features diagonal cuts on the front and back that really dig into the fingers to provide leverage for the easy racking of the slide.

I didn’t mount an optic on the AA19, however, removing the optics plate at the rear of the slide and the available adapter plates make the AA19 ready for easy mounting of optics. Plates are available for most popular optics, including the Trijicon RMR, Leupold Deltapoint, Shield RMS, Burris Fastfire 3, Vortex Venom/Viper, Vortex Razon and C-More STS.

The AA19 arrived with two PMAG 15 GL 9 magazines, each holding 15 rounds for a 15+1 round capacity. A 1913 Picatinny rail is molded into the polymer frame under the barrel to allow for the mounting of a light or laser.

The only real knock against the AA19 from a functional point of view may be the extra-small slide stop. Although, that smaller size of the stop did keep this shooters thumbs from accidently activating it while shooting.

The second potential knock  on the gun is the suggested retail of just shy of a $1000. However, if a shooter bought a workhorse Glock 19 Gen 5 for approximately $550 and then set about adding upgrades like the AA19’s better trigger and superior sights, then replaced the barrel with a threaded one, and then add in the trip to a gunsmith to do the needed optics cut, and that Glock 19 would represent a $1,000 investment, and the you still wouldn’t have AA19’s first-rate grip textures or the double undercut trigger guard for a higher, more secure hold.

Pay the $1000 later with the Glock or pay it now with the Adams Arms AA19? If you have the means, in my opinion, now is usually better.

Specifications: Adams Arms AA19

Caliber: 9mm Luger
Capacity: 15+1
Action Type: Semi-automatic, striker fired
Barrel: 4.25 inches, 1:16 twist
Barrel Threading: ½ x 28 TPI with protector for suppressor use
Slide: Complete Machined Billet, 416 Stainless Steel
Slide Coating: Black Nitride, Corrosion Resistant
Frame: Polymer with Aggressive Grip Texturing
Sights: Ameriglo Defoor EDC sights
Trigger: Vickers Tactical Carry Trigger
Overall Length: 7.75 inches
Width: 1.2 inches
Height: 5.1 inches
Weight: 1.26 pounds. unloaded
Accessories: Two 15-round PMAGS, hardcase, and cable lock. Rear slide cut for optics with adapter plates available for a variety of red dots.  

MSRP: $999.99


Streamlight Wedge colors
Streamlight Wedge colors

First Look: New Colors For The Streamlight Wedge

Looks good when carried, works well when needed.

Federal Ammunition Awarded SOCOM Contract for Mk316

The contract covers long-range 7.62 NATO ammunition.

First Look: Springfield Armory 1911 DS Prodigy AOS In Coyote Brown

A slick new look for Springfield's double-stack 1911.

Have No Fear, You Have Your FEAR Bag With You

FEAR, in this case, stands for "Forget Everything And Run."

First Look: Viridian M-Lok Forward Grips

A forward grip for your rifle that has a light or a light/laser combo.

First Look: Walther WMP SD

Now with a threaded barrel for use with suppressors.


Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.