Look, I’m just going to say it. I don’t like Glocks.
I know I’m alienating all the fan-boys and the mall ninjas and I’m sorry, dudes. I tried to write an extremely gentle, reassuring comparison of the Glock 19 and the Smith and Wesson M&P 9, but it was obvious even to me, that I just don’t like Glocks despite my best efforts to the contrary. So, if you need to unfriend me on Facebook, now is the time. It’s cool. I totally understand why we’re breaking up. It’s not me, it’s you.
Here’s the problem: I think shooting a staple gun is more fun than shooting a Glock. I keep waiting to be proven wrong, but it’s not happening. In fact, I recently rented some Glocks at the range in the hopes of understanding the deep love that folks have for these pistols, but all I got out of it was sore hands and more puzzlement.
I rented the Glock 26 and the 19, both Gen 4. The 26 seemed good at first. I liked the size, and there was still plenty of real-estate for both of my hands, especially with the grip extension magazine. I was drilling out the center of the target almost instantly. “Ok”, I thought, “Now we’re making progress”. But then the pinching began. Apparently, the magazine shifts ever so slightly as the gun cycles, which resulted in my tender hand-meats getting trapped between the unforgiving polymer jaws of the magazine extension and mag well. (Note: I hate pinching).
No problem. Maybe it was just the 26. Perhaps there are other Glocks I would like. So, I tried the 19. I found there was appreciably less pinching. So far, so good. But then other problems became apparent. The ultra aggressive grip texture on the light-weight frame, for example, is a bit like covering your aluminum baseball bat in course grit sand paper and then trying to hit 100 mph pitches. True, you won’t drop the bat, but you won’t want to hold on to it for very long either. Also, what’s with those weird front strap finger grooves? They seemed like more of an impediment to a comfortable grip than a useful feature. And then there’s the unfortunate side-effect of shooting a Glock for any prolonged period of time– it starts to feel like you’re trying to catch Chuck Norris’s foot, mid-round-house kick. Allegedly, the Gen 4 Glocks are supposed to have a new recoil spring assembly that reduces perceived recoil, which is funny because the recoil is still really perceptible.
(A brief aside: I’m not particularly recoil-shy, in general. I love shooting 1911s and other larger caliber handguns, as well as shotguns and rifles. My Mosin-Nagant is one of my favorite guns to take to the range, despite the large bruise on my shoulder that I inevitably come home with. There is a difference between the giddy fun that is shooting a large caliber gun, and getting joylessly beat-up by a 9mm).
I’ve heard many Glock devotees confess that the shooting experience leaves much to be desired. Whiskey tango foxtrot, guys? Why are you so enthused about a gun that you don’t really like to shoot? Especially when there are so many other lightweight, reliable polymer pistols on the market today, and more being released all the time?
I get the whole SHTF/easy to get parts and ammo/perfect for my bugout bag thing and I’m a big fan of being prepared. I have Band-Aids in my house, but I’m not like, “Hey bro! Wait til you see the flesh-colored, self-adhensive bandages I got! They are so effective and reliable! You are an IDIOT for considering any other wound protection system over this obviously more awesomely superior first-responder, triage solution”. In fact, it might seem downright peculiar to be so animated about little strips of plastic. And that’s because they are just tools I have to help me perform a specific task, in this case, staunching blood flow and preventing infections of minor cuts and abrasions.
That’s exactly what a Glock is—it’s a tool, not the end-all, be-all of striker-fired handguns. Let’s treat it as such.
So here’s my TL;DR breakdown:
Things I like about Glocks
1 Accurate (Duh)
2. Reliable (Double Duh)
3. Simple controls
4. Easy take-down
5. Widely available, cheap parts
6. Angel of grip forces hands into a stable, high position
Things I hate about Glocks
1. Aggro grip texture
2. Weird front finger grooves
3. Materials feel cheap
4. Pinches pinky finger when using extended mag
5. Feels like getting nunchucked in the hands
6. Cordless drills are more fun
Would I carry this gun and brag to everyone who will listen about how amaza-increda-ballingly awesome it is, and what a tactical-ninja-eagle-strike-force pirate it makes me? No.
Would I wrap this gun in a plastic bag and sew it into the headliner of my car in case of zombie apocolypse? Hell, yes.