I Carry: Glock G19 Gen 5 in a PHLster Gen 2 Skeleton Holster

posted on January 12, 2018

Welcome to another episode of "I Carry," Shooting Illustrated's weekly video series covering the guns and gear needed to put together an ideal everyday-carry kit. Today, we have a Glock G19 Gen 5 pistol in a PHLster Gen 2 Skeleton holster. We also have a Galco Gunleather CLB5 Carry Lite Belt, a PHLster Skeleton Magazine Carrier, a CRKT Snarky knife and a SureFire G2Z Combatlight flashlight.

Glock Gen5 G19 (MSRP: $599)

Designed in response to an FBI solicitation for a 9 mm handgun, the Glock Gen5 G19 has more than 20 design modifications from the Gen4 variant. Differences are both subtle—like a new finish designed for longer life—and obvious—like the lack of finger grooves. Other noticeable changes from the previous generations include an expanded magazine well to facilitate reloads and a “melt” treatment on the slide to improve drawing and re-holstering the Glock.

Not much has changed, dimensionally, on the Gen5. Weight is still 24 ounces unloaded, overall length is 7.28 inches and the barrel remains 4 inches long. It should fit the overwhelming majority of holsters designed for previous versions, and the feel in the hand—other than the lack of finger grooves—should be similar. Much like the transition from the Gen3 to the Gen4, moving from the 4 to the 5 should be pretty much seamless, if you’re thinking of upgrading.

The Gen5 also contains interchangeable backstraps, like the Gen4, so that the pistol can be better fit to the shooter’s hand. An included tool pushes out a roll pin that allows one of two backstraps to be added (or none, for a “small” fit), or a Crimson Trace Lasergrip option, should one be desired. Once properly fitted, the Gen5 performs exactly as expected—it’s a G19, at the end of the day, and it’s going to do all the things you rely on a G19 to do.

PHLster Gen 2 Skeleton Holster (MSRP: $54.99)

I raved about the PHLster Skeleton holster in my review a while back, and still marvel at how this one holster has changed my outlook. Until I started wearing the PHLster, I had avoided appendix carry not for any safety reason, but because it just wasn’t comfortable. The design of the PHLster changed all that, with a lower ride-height and simple, single-snap attachment. It’s a well-made, sturdy holster that works well for appendix carry, and if you’ve avoided this eminently concealable carry method (it’s even tuckable!) out of comfort, it’s well-worth looking into.

Galco CLB5 Carry Lite Belt (MSRP: $36.95)

Sturdy belts that hold up gear all day long don’t have to be uncomfortable or high-priced. Galco’s CLB5 is a stellar example of an affordable (at the time this was recorded, it was on sale for under $30!), well-made belt that just plain works. Constructed of double-thick, premium steerhide and featuring a nickel-plated brass buckle, this inch and a half wide belt is designed as a companion to Galco’s Carry Lite holster line.

SureFire G2Z Combatlight Flashlight (MSRP: $120)

Introduced in 2017, the G2Z Combatlight offers a blistering 800 lumens in a light that can easily be carried in the palm of your hand. The G2Z is activated via a tailcap switch that offers momentary-on with a light push, or constant-on with a push-to-click. Run time is an hour and a half, with a beam visible well over 100 yards and the light is powered by 2 CR123A batteries. Weight is 4 ¼ ounces (with batteries) and the light is 4.75 inches long.

Columbia River Knife & Tool Snarky Pocket Knife (MSRP: $49.99)

There’s something about the design of the CRKT Snarky pocket knife that just looks classic. Maybe it’s the handles, which even though made out of “polyoxymethylene” (it’s a thermoplastic; I had to google it…) remind me of my dad’s classic Buck knife. Aesthetics and nostalgia aside, the Snarky is a great size—4.47 inches closed, 7.75 inches open—that weighs less than 6 ounces and opens with a flipper-type mechanism. It’s a Philip Booth design with a satin finish that should wear well (and looks good, too).

PHLster Skeleton Magazine Carrier (MSRP: $34.95)

Designed with the same ease-of-carry as the holster, PHLster’s magazine carrier also offers a low ride height and simple, single-snap belt loop attachment system. Engineered for double-stack 9 mm and .40 S&W magazines, it carries your reload tight to the body for maximum concealment while still keeping it close-at-hand. One tip, though: You might prefer to carry a slightly smaller magazine (i.e. a G19 mag instead of a G17) to prevent the longer magazine from poking you in the ribcage when seated.

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