Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time in gun-related forums, and I don’t know how many times I’ve seen a new-to-guns person post something along the lines of, “I’m looking to buy my first self-defense pistol, any advice?” Invariably, someone will respond, “Glock 19.” Sometimes with no explanation, just make and model.
Brevity aside, it’s a standard answer because when it comes to utilitarian, do-it-all self-defense pistols, the 19 arguably is the standard. It’s chambered in 9mm, an adequate self-defense round that doesn’t kick excessively. Its compact, shortened grip improves concealability but still offers a hefty 15+1 rounds of capacity. Its shortened barrel also improves concealability while delivering acceptable velocity and accuracy. Its polymer frame makes it light to ease carry, but not so light that recoil becomes an issue. With a striker-fired trigger system and no manual safety, it’s simple to operate. It’s not expensive, relatively speaking. And probably most importantly, it’s stone-dead reliable.
Since Glock first blitzed the shooting world with its polymer pistols in the 1980s, numerous gun manufacturers have stepped into the arena with their own polymer pistols in a wide range of sizes and varying features. If a new model hews closely to the basic Glock design, it’s sometimes hyped as a “Glock killer,” much as some new smartphones aspire to be iPhone killers.
In 1988, Glock introduced the model 19, and since then several manufacturers have developed pistols that match up well with the 19’s form factor. Are any of them actually better than the Glock 19? I’m not sure, but I think it’s interesting to check them all out side-by-side.
To that end, this article pulls together info on the six polymer pistols currently in production that closely match the Glock 19’s specs. That means the only guns making it in measure roughly 5″ tall and 7.28″ long, with barrels measuring approximately 4″ long. And of course the other parameters must match up, too—caliber, capacity, firing mechanism, etc. Continue reading