Firearm: Glock G19 Gen4 (MSRP: $599)
We’ve come back to a perennial favorite, the Glock G19, for this episode of “I Carry” for a variety of reasons. First, there’s the incredible amount of aftermarket support for this popular handgun. Having been on the market since the presidency of Ronald Reagan, the G19 is about as established as a concealed-carry handgun can be. This particular model is a Gen4, meaning it has interchangeable backstraps to fit it to a variety of hand sizes in addition to slight texture and dimensional differences from the older Gen3 models.
It’s the G19’s size that makes it such a ubiquitous choice for concealed carry. It’s large enough to shoot comfortably, while still small enough to conceal without a parka. Should you wish to add an optic, like the RMR we have mounted on the Brownell’s pre-cut slide here, it’s not going to add so much heft that the total combination is hard to conceal. Even accessories like slightly extended magazine wells, seen in the enhanced Magpul unit here, can be added without making the pistol unwieldy. Be aware, though, that the extended mag well can interfere with certain flared magazine floorplates.
Want to add suppressor-height sights? Plenty of options abound. Ditto upgrading the trigger, or the barrel. Larger slide stop? Bigger magazine release? All of these items exist in countless variety in the Glock G19 aftermarket world. Heck, even in the magazine department, there are multiple options available for replacement magazines. Now, that’s an area for some discussion, of course—many feel that only factory magazines give the best performance. With more than 30 years of testing behind the Glock factory magazines, that’s definitely a factor—but there’s no reason you can’t pick up a handful of aftermarket magazines for range day.
In short, there are many reasons the Glock G19 is such a popular choice. From the wide availability of upgraded components to the “just-right” sizing, the G19 is a solid, take-it-out-of-the-box-and-use-it option. It’s also ripe for adding your own personal touches, something you may not have any interest in doing—but you can, should you choose.
Holster: HBC Concealment Discreet (MSRP: $89.99, $99.99 as configured)
One of the biggest reasons for picking a popular handgun like the Glock G19 is the large variety of gear available for it. Since the G19 has been in production for more than three decades, the vast majority of holster manufacturers have a fit for it. Not only that, but it’s such a popular model that it’s worth it for companies to make one-off holsters, like for lasers or weaponlights attached to it. As an example, we have the HBC Concealment Discreet holster for today’s kit, set up to accept the Glock G19 with a Nightstick weaponlight attached.
Constructed from a single sheet of kydex, the Discreet offers single-screw retention adjustment, is adjustable for cant and can be used as a tuckable holster if so desired. A variety of firearm fits and color options are available, the Discreet is offered in right- or left- hand configuration and, obviously, can be ordered with an optics cut.
Weaponlight: Nightstick TCM-550XL (MSRP: $166.50)
At a recent writer’s event, the folks from Nightstick made a really good point about lights: lights are information. The context was primarily about handheld lights, but also extends to weapon-mounted lights like the Nightstick TCM-550XL. Offering 550 lumens, a beam that reaches out to 130 yards and momentary-on or constant-on lighting, the TCM-550XL will provide valuable information once the sun goes down. Running on a CR123 battery for up to 2.5 hours, the TCM-550XL is impact- and water resistant, comes with four rail inserts for a variety of accessory rail mounts and is constructed of 6061-T6 aluminum.
One thing to remember, though, on weapon-mounted lights: these should be used in conjunction with handheld lights, not as a replacement for them. While we’re certain no one would use a weaponlight to, say, search for missing car keys, it’s something that bears repeating: your weapon-mounted light is the same as your firearm’s muzzle—don’t point it at anything you’re not willing to destroy. Carrying a handheld light in addition to a weapon-mounted light makes sure you can gather your low-light information safely.