Firearm: Glock G19 Gen 4 (MSRP: $599)
It’s been a while since we’ve featured the Glock G19, favoring micro 9 mm double-stacks recently as that segment of the market is experiencing unprecedented growth and expansion. It’s worth taking another look at what many consider to be the “default” concealed-carry pistol. Until quite recently, the G19 had the best mix of capacity and size that allowed the gun to be concealed with little effort and shot effectively.
Getting into the numbers provides some interesting information. The G19 is only marginally larger than the majority of the micro-9-double stack pistols. There’s a 4-inch barrel rather than 3 or 3 ½, overall length is 7 ¼ inches rather than 6, and weight is 21 ounces, rather than mid- to high teens. That’s not much larger in the grand scheme of things, especially when the vast majority of these pistols will be carried inside-the-waistband.
What the G19 does have, though, that none of the micro-9-double stacks have, is decades of sales. It’s been around since Ronald Reagan was president, meaning that a huge aftermarket exists not only for gear and magazines, but for upgrades. One look at this pistol, with its CMC Trigger, Brownells RMR-cut slide and Trijicon night sights, and it’s easy to see that finding accessories to make your G19 just right is a cinch.
While, yes, the explosion of the micro-9-double-stack pistol has given the old G19 some serious competition, it’s not out of the running. It’s going to be easier to shoot than a smaller pistol and has an extensive aftermarket for both gear and upgrades. Is that overshadowed by a slightly larger profile and minor increase in weight? That’s a personal decision that each concealed-carrier needs to make.
Holster: Blackhawk T-Series L3D Light-bearing RDS duty holster ($169.95)
While the Blackhawk T-Series L3D holster isn’t exactly ideal for concealed carry, it’s a solid choice for range time or open carry. With thumb-activated retention, it offers excellent security while its heavy-duty polymer construction keeps your pistol free from damage. This particular model even includes a movable hood to keep your red-dot sight safe from bumps and dings. Achieve a standard, full firing grip and your strong-hand thumb depresses the lever that releases the pistol from the holster.
Another advantage of the Blackhawk T-Series holsters is the wide variety of attachment options available. The L3D we have today comes standard with what Blackhawk calls the jacket slot belt loop, but double-slot belt loop options are available for better concealment if needed. There’s even a quick-release option. Whether you want to set it up as an open-carry rig, a range holster or just something to have on a stiff belt for immediate access, like we say, more options are good.
Another advantage of the G19 is that its size allows it to serve double duty as both a concealed-carry option and a home-defense firearm. Extended magazines and weaponlights give it capacity and target identification capabilities, which brings us to the new Blackhawk Streamlight TLR1-HL weaponlight we’ve chosen for this kit. A toolless design allows the TLR1-HL to attach to the accessory rail of your pistol, with specific inserts for various rails.
Throwing 1,000 lumens, the TLR1-HL is powered by two CR123A lithium batteries with a 1.5-hour run time. Dual switches offer momentary-on or constant-on activation, and a user-programmable strobe feature can also be enabled. Best of all, it’s obviously designed to work with the T-Series L3D holster we’ve chosen as well as other holsters that index on the Streamlight TLR1, like the PHLster Floodlight for an inside-the-waistband variant.