I recently got a question through the blog:
“Could you name the top 3 hand guns you would recommend?”
And I thought I had already answered this clearly.
I guess not, so let me do it today.
The Top 3 Handguns I Recommend:
This is my answer to this (common) question.
In order of preference, from best to worst option …
#1: Glock 19
#2: M&P 9
#3: Everything Else …
Number 3, aka everything else, is a somewhat longer list, but it includes these choices:
1. Sig P320 9mm
2. HK VP9
3. Springfield XD-9
4. Walther PPQ 9mm
5. Beretta PX4 compact 9mm
And that’s about it …
The Best Handgun For Self-Defense
The point is that there is a CLEAR trend in the modern combat pistol choices of today’s experts.
The short and long of it is that you can’t go wrong with a 9mm Glock or 9mm Smith and Wesson M&P.
If you want a full-size “service pistol” then choose the Glock 17 9mm or the Smith & Wesson M&P 9.
If you want a slightly smaller, usually easier to conceal option, then go with a “compact” model of one of the above. The Glock 19 or the M&P Compact 9mm (For the record, I carry the Glock 19 Gen 4).
The reason I recommend the Glock 19 over the Glock 17 is simply because the 19 is the slightly smaller version that can do most all the larger model 17 can — but it is easier to conceal. That means you can use it for conceal carry, home defense, direct action raids, duty use, etc.
It’s the “do all” gun.
To quote weaponsman.com …
“It’s Over. Glock Won.”
Weaponsman is a blog about (you guessed it) weapons. The owner is a former Special Forces weapons man (MOS 18B, before the 18 series, 11B with Skill Qualification Indicator of S), and you can expect any guest columnists to be similarly qualified.
They wrote a short article the other day that further explains the reasoning behind choosing the Glock 19.
“… We’re talking about the pistol of choice in American special operations, where SOF has, to some extent, their own procurement money (Major Force Program 11 budgetary funds) and channels. And pretty much everybody’s running a Glock now.
They’re still maintaining their old service pistols, but they’re carrying Glocks, and specifically, Glock 19s like the gun in the file photo here. While older Glocks are on hand, now the military’s buying G4s, and sometimes uses the ability to convert the mag release for a left-handed shooter, which requires G4 gun and G4 mags.
This has been in the news lately because the Marine Raiders (MARSOC) have publicly announced ditching their unique M45 .45 ACP pistols for bog-standard Glock 19s in 9mm.
But the Marines were not just the last guys to cling to their treasured 1911 platform, they were the last to pick up the Glock. Army SF has been using Glocks for a while — sure, they still have M9s, but the go-to-war gun is the G19. The SEALs, who stuck to their SIG 226 for quite some time, and still have them in their arms lockers, are running Glock — namely, the G19.
We don’t know if Tier One units are still running .40s, and we are not 100% certain the Rangers are on the Glock bandwagon, but if they are, it’s over, because that’s where the top leaders of the Army come from these days. SF is on its way back to being a backwater of somewhat irregular irregular-war enthusiasts (thank a merciful God), and the lamprey-lipped careerists are all trying to get their tickets punched with the Ragnars and/or They Who Shall Not Be Named. (Careerists should be careful what they ask for. These assignments can make careers, but they can also break them beyond repair).
Why the Glock 19? This is strictly our own opinion, but there are a number of reasons that make it attractive.
1. It’s a very good size for both uniformed and undercover work. Not too small to shoot well, not so big as to be hard for average-build guys to conceal. (Some of your Belgian horse SEALs could conceal a Barrett, but that’s another story).
2. It’s as reliable as a hammer. Like any gun, Joe can (and does) break it, but the breaks and stoppages are fewer and further between. It’s more reliable than its in-service competitors, the 1911 (M45), M9, and P226 (and the P228/M11 used in some undercover roles).
3. It’s durable and tolerant of abuse, neglect, and environmental stress throughout the SOF operating environment, from 0º to 90º N/S and sea level to Himalayan terrain. It might get fugly but it won’t lock up.
4. It’s easy to learn. Makes a difference when you need to be able to shoot it, but are in a job where shooting pistol is only one of hundreds of tasks you have to master.
5. It’s easy to shoot well. Most shooters do better on a Glock than on a DA/SA pistol.
6. It’s cheap. Sure, Uncle doesn’t pay what you do for a Beretta or a SIG, but Uncle doesn’t pay what you do for a Glock, either.
Some of the other Glock-offs, like the Smith & Wesson M&P, can match some or all of these Glock advantages, but it’s hard to beat the whole package, as the dismissal of S&W from the Modular Handgun competition suggests.”
As a point of fact, after they wrote that article, it was confirmed the Rangers have also adopted the Glock 19.
That Means Almost All Special Operations Now Use The Glock 19 …
The FBI, again, chose Glock as their new handgun.
Over 60% of Law Enforcement use Glock handguns.
Big ARMY is the in the middle of their “Modular Handgun System” procurement program (where they’re supposed to be “finding” the best new handgun)… but the Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley basically just wants to buy a bunch of Glock 19’s and call it a day.
Lastly, if you want a more “in your face” reason to choose the Glock 19, see the video below by James Yeager
“All Guns Should Be Glocks, All Glocks Should Be 9mm’s And All Glock 9mms Should Be 19’s“
The Other Top 2 Choices …
The other top 2 choices are really just “stand ins” for if you can’t … or won’t … get a Glock 19 for some reason.
(The fact is, for whatever reason, some people just hate Glocks and won’t get one. This ranges from just hate for the platform to thinking they’re a “special snowflake”. I get it, I used to hate Glocks. That was until I tried the new 4th generation of the Glock 19. I’ve switched and never looked back. No they’re not “perfection” but they’re good enough.)
Notice the M&P is very similar to the Glock 19. It’s the other really popular handgun used by law enforcement.
Then there’s “everything else” and I listed some other handguns that were modeled after the Glock but in some form or fashion are not as “good” as the Glock for most people.
So that’s my answer to the top 3 handguns.
What Do You Think?
I think that covers pretty well why I think the top 3 handgun choices are led by the Glock 19.
Really, if you’re confused about what handgun to buy — you don’t know enough to make a choice — just choose the Glock 19.
If you’re more experienced, then you can start looking around …
You could do a LOT worse than buying a Glock 19, getting really good (see here on how to judge your handgun skill levels) and THEN deciding what handgun you think is better.
What do you think? Do you like the Glock 19? What would you choose instead and why?