I Carry: Upgraded Glock G19 Gen 4 in a PHLster Holster

posted on May 17, 2019

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 have a Glock G19 enhanced with an upgraded Brownells slide and carried in a PHLster holster. We also have a Trijicon RMR red-dot optic and a Kershaw folding knife.

Glock G19 Gen4 (MSRP: $599)

Glock’s G19 is pretty much the default concealed-carry handgun. It’s the Toyota Camry of handguns; it does everything pretty well, all while being ridiculously reliable. It’s not the most accurate gun out there, but it’s certainly decent; it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, although there are plenty of upgrades for it; basically, it works and you can count on it for the long haul. We’ve featured the G19 numerous times here on “I Carry” for just this reason – it’s one of the “go to” handguns whenever concealed carry comes up. The G19 is sized right: It’s not too large to conceal nor too small to shoot effectively. Weight is reasonable; 23.6 ounces unloaded, light enough for carry but not so light as to be snappy.

Another reason to promote the Glock is the aftermarket. The G19 has been a staple for more than three decades, and in that time the number of accessories, upgrades and replacement parts has skyrocketed. In fact, you can pretty much build a new model without using any parts from Glock itself. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why we’ve using a Gen4 G19 today.

At the end of the day, though, it’s a Glock G19. It’s a known quantity, a handgun you can depend on to do everything you ask of it. There’s a robust world of accessories and upgrades should you want to add to it, or just find a solid holster and use it as is.

Brownells RMR-cut slide (MSRP: $229.99)

When it comes to adding a red-dot sight to your concealed-carry pistol, there are three basic ways this can be accomplished. We’ve covered the first method previously here on “I Carry” with the Leupold Deltapoint mounted to a rear-sight dovetail mount. The second method is to send your existing slide out to a gunsmith to have it cut to accept an optic. The third method is to purchase an aftermarket slide that already has the optic cut made.

Brownells offers a number of pre-cut slide options for various Glock models, and this particular slide offers front and rear serrations, a slide cut for a Trijicon RMR and standard Glock sight dovetails. We’ve added Trijicon suppressor-height sights and finished the slide with a Lone Wolf Distributors kit, and all that’s left is the next item, the RMR.

Trijicon RMR (MSRP: $699)

When it comes to micro-red-dot optics for pistol slides, options are plentiful. One of the original choices was the Trijicon RMR, which has been updated with a more-robust version in the Type 2. The RMR offers a variety of dot options, from 1-MOA all the way to a 12.9-MOA triangle. Whatever option you prefer, the RMR is water-resistant, has long battery life and is built to take the abuse of riding on a pistol slide. This particular RMR has a 3.25-MOA dot, which in my opinion offers the ability to make precise shots while being easy to pick up. If you’re concerned about finding the dot, look for a class that specializes in red-dot instruction, like the Modern Samurai Course we’ve covered at shootingillustrated.com.

PHLster Skeleton (MSRP: $54.99)

We’ve covered the PHLster Skeleton before on “I Carry,” but it’s a great fit for an optic-equipped pistol so we’re bringing it back. The minimalist design is open at the top to allow room for the optic, while the unique construction allows tall sights to move unimpeded into or out of the holster. The single pull-dot strap allows for near-limitless placement on the belt line, either standard inside the waistband or appendix, and at 2.7 ounces isn’t going to weigh you down. It’s a solid, well-made holster that works with a standard Glock as well as one that’s pretty significantly customized like the one we have here today.

Kershaw Blur (MSRP: $119.99)

For our pocketknife, we’ve gone with the Kershaw Blur. There’s a good reason for this—I’ve carried a Blur for about a decade now, and have found it to be a supremely well made, solid knife that just plain works. This particular model is the all-black version, but numerous models are available in various configurations. The 3.4 inch blade is constructed of Sandvik 14C28N steel with a DLC coating, and opens using Kershaw’s proprietary SpeedSafe mechanism via thumbstud. It’s quite easy to open one-handed, yet stays firmly closed. A liner lock secures the blade when open and it closes easily. It’s just a good, solid knife that’ll last a long time.

Be sure to stay tuned to shootingillustrated.com for more information on the products above and for other EDC combinations.

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