So, its official I’m now the proud owner of a Glock 19 Gen4!
Why a new gun? Isn’t Walther good enough? No worries, I don’t plan on getting rid of Walther. He was my first firearm ever and will always hold a special place in my heart. The thing is I really want to take more training and noticed that the places or the people providing the training that I’ve been considering require that I have at least a 9mm or .38 Special. Some of the training facilities said that I could rent “equipment” but to me it makes more sense to train with something I own.
Why a semi-automatic and not a revolver? Revolvers are great; I love their simplicity and reliability not to mention that you don’t have to pick up the brass. On the other hand even with speed loaders using a revolver to train on doesn’t seem like fun at all, at least not to me. Walther had FTF and FTEs when he wasn’t fed the ammunition that he prefers so I feel very comfortable clearing either and would still prefer dealing with either of those issues than loading a revolver.
Why a 9mm? Well a few reasons. Again, I wanted to take some other training courses and noticed that most of them required that I have at least a 9mm. I really didn’t want a .45. Hubby has a 1911 and although I can handle it just fine I don’t find it particularly fun to shoot especially sending anywhere from 250-500 rounds down range. Secondly, when I priced out ammo nine millimeter ammunition in comparison to .40 and .45 it was much cheaper. Some people may say that $2-$4 more per box is no big deal but when you start figuring in how often we go to the range that little difference will add up quickly!
How did I go about picking which 9mm to get? Unfortunately, I haven’t run into many 9mms at the range and you cannot rent guns locally to try them out. So I started by posing a question to my friends on Walther and Me’s Facebook page asking for suggestions. They totally hooked me up with a great starting point. Some 9mms that were suggested were Springfield XD and XDm, Glock 19, Smith and Wesson M&P 9 or Shield, Walther PPQ and PPS, Kimber Solo, Sig Sauer P226, and CZ 75.
I spent a night or two researching each, reading reviews, and tried to get an idea on how much they would cost. Then it was time to hit the stores. I could “ooh”, and “ahhh” over every picture that I looked at but I really needed to hold each one in my hand in order to make a decision.
How was my shopping experience? Honestly I dreaded going shopping because of how I was treated when I bought Walther and my other recent experience at a big box store but I was determined to get a new gun come hell or high water. I ended up going to 4 gun shops.
Let me start by telling you about the second two stores that I went to on my own. At both stores I told them exactly why I wanted a 9mm and the ones I’d like to see but that I was open to other suggestions if they had any. At this particular shop the gentleman behind the counter took out about 6 options laid them down, walked away and preceded to stock ammo. I tried to engage him in conversation and asked questions about reliability and accuracy and he said no matter which one I picked I’d be happy. It was a Saturday afternoon so perhaps he needed to get the ammo put away before the end of his shift and would have to stay late if it didn’t get done? I’m really not sure what the deal was but I knew at that point I wasn’t going to buy a gun from them. Although they had a decent selection they were also the shop with the most expensive prices.
The other store I went to on my own I was also treated just fine but they would NOT listen to me. I said I wanted a 9mm and again explained my reasoning just like I have to you and they still told me that I did not really want a 9mm, that no one wants 9mms that I should consider a .40 or a .45. When I said no, they insisted and actually started pulling .40s and .45s out of the case for me to look at. I didn’t want to be rude so I did handle them but in the end said that I’d need to sleep on it. I probably wouldn’t go there again. They were nice enough but if you’re not going to listen to me at all then it’s not worth it for me.
I had a better experience when I went with my husband to the first two stores although he did NOT do any of the talking. When we walked in he was greeted first but when the guys asked, “What can I help you with?” hubby was like, “I’m with her.” He walked away and browsed shotguns and rifles and left the guys behind the counter to talk to me. I was very pleasantly surprised! They asked what I was looking for, they listened to me and because I had done my research in advance I had a list in my head that I could rattle off.
Between these first two stores I was able to hold a CZ, a Kimber Solo, 2 Sigs P226 (a two-tone and one with rosewood grips), Smith & Wesson M&P 9,and the Glock 17, 19, and 26.
The Kimber and the Sigs were gorgeous. I mean seriously look at these lovely ladies:
Absolutely beautiful and both fit in my hand perfectly however they were expensive (both just over $1,000) and so good looking I’m not sure that I’d want to use them for training. I can’t help but compare it to when my husband bought a Corvette a few years back. Low mileage, never saw a winter and he wouldn’t use it on a daily basis, we take it out a few times a year for a nice long ride. So for the purpose I was looking for, training specifically, I sadly eliminated them from my list rather quickly.
The CZ 75 B Stainless was also a nice looking gun, less expensive than the Kimber and Sig. I don’t know if it was just me but it felt a little beefier. It fit comfortably in my hand but not like a glove. I would have loved the chance to use it at the range but I couldn’t find anyone that had one to let me try it out.
Next up was the Smith & Wesson M&P 9. Kind of middle of the road for looks and again just didn’t feel quite right in my hand.
Then came the Glocks. The ugly, boxy Glocks. I knew from reading and from watching videos putting them through stress tests that Glocks are reliable. I figured since I was at the store that I should still give them a chance. The clerk pulled out a Glock 17 Gen 4 that had had a Nickel Boron coating. It really made this pistol much more handsome in my opinion. When I held it though it was just a little bit too big for my hand. The 26 was a little too short in my hand but fit perfectly with the pinky extension on the magazine. The Glock 19 fit my hand like a glove.
How did I make a final decision?
Before I made the final decision I asked around at our range meeting if anyone had a CZ or a M&P that I could try and no one had one so I felt that without being able to try one of these others that I just couldn’t select them.
Luckily one of my friends is a Glock guy and he offered to take me to his range to try out his Glock 17, 19, and 26. I really loved the way the Nickel Boron coating looked so I really wanted to try to make the Glock 17 work for me but it really was just a little bit too big for my hand and could really tell that when I fired it. So it was out.
Then he had me try the 26 which had the pinky extension. Fit my hand like a glove, sweet! BUT…not sure how it happened but each time I fired it my pinky was somehow getting pinched. Weird, I know, but I swear it happened. My friend was dumbfounded because it didn’t happen to him so maybe it has something to do with smaller hands? I’m not sure but there was no way I could deal with that.
Then I tried the 19. Again it fit my hand like a glove and I really enjoyed shooting it. Honestly, I was very accurate with each Glock. My friend was kind enough to let me use an entire box of ammo and I by the end of the hour I felt like the Glock 19 was the gun for me.
I’m proud to say that I went back to my selected gun store by myself and the gentleman behind the counter remembered me and I told him I was ready to make my purchase. We talked about adding the Nickel Boron coating but I decided against it because for the added price I could get myself a good holster, gun belt, and the sights I wanted to get put on the Glock and still come out below what it would have cost if I went with the Kimber or Sig. I was trying to be as practical as possible! He said I could always send it out in the future if I changed my mind.
So I feel that I did the best I could to find a 9mm that I’ll be able to use to obtain more training over the coming year. Now I just need to think of a name for him….hmmmmm….