Glock wasn’t the first to invent and market a polymer-framed pistol, but there’s no denying it was the company that took the approach mainstream. The company’s first model, the G17, was quickly adopted by the Austrian military and police forces. When the news spread stateside, the firm wisely began marketing its gun in United States.
The G17 quickly gained traction with America’s law-enforcement agencies, consumer interest grew proportionately, and this year marks the 35th anniversary of Glock’s operations and sales in the United States. There’s something else to celebrate, though. In 2020 the Glock G19 was the top-selling semi-auto pistol sold by FFLs using the services of GunBroker.com.
The G19, the company’s first “compact,” arrived only two years after the groundbreaking G17. “By 1988, Glock was ready to introduce the second generation with the release of the first Compact-size model, the G19 9 mm, and the first long-slide version, the G17L,” B. Gil Horman explained in an article for American Rifleman in 2013.
Today the G19 is available in a wide number of variations and generations. In 2016 the company began offering the pistol with slides that feature its MOS system, which allows owners to easily mount red-dot or reflex sights.
When the U.S. Army requested submissions for its Modular Handgun System that would replace the venerable Beretta M92, Glock answered the call with a version of its G19. The company didn’t come out victorious in the open competition, but enthusiasts won when the Glock G19X made its commercial appearance.
The original version of the G19 is still available. Overall length for the 9 mm-chambered semi-auto is 7.36 inches and barrel length comes in at 4.02. Standard magazine capacity is 15 rounds. Loaded weight is 30.16 ounces.
There are also Gen 4 and Gen 5 models, with or without the MOS system, as well as the G19X. Glock doesn’t list MSRPs on its website and after 2020’s record sales, even finding a few on sale was a challenge. We did determine, however, G19X models are averaging around $900, when you can find them, with the few available Gen 5 versions running about the same.