Friday, June 18, 2010


I've been a steady Glock user since 1992, when I bought my .45 ACP Model 21. For shooting enjoyment and accuracy, it's the finest firearm I've ever shot. I must admit a long time respect for 1911 Colts, and have owned quite a few Colts and other brands over the years. I've always had an affinity for the Lightweight Commander, and during my policing days that was a fairly common off-duty carry gun. When I wasn't carrying a Commander, I often carried a Colt Cobra in .38 Special. I like those lightweight Colts.

But then I shot my first Glock in the early 1990's. They were old news by then, and had taken the law enforcement world by storm. Although skeptical of owning "a plastic gun", I kept hearing reports of absolute reliability and amazing accuracy from all of the cops I knew whose departments had switched to them. I shot many rounds through a model 17 9mm Glock, and became convinced it was the finest shooting handgun I had ever fired, despite it's rather large (for me) grip.

As a .45 ACP fan(atic), I waited until a .45 Glock came along, and as soon as the local reasonably priced gun store had one, I ran out to buy it. Billy Ray came with me, 'lo those many years ago, and we immediately drove to Bailey's Shooting Range south of Houston proper to give it a try. We ran several hundred rounds through it that afternoon, and were amazed at it's accuracy, easy recoil and ability to digest any ammo put through it. We ran a box of Corbon .45 +P ammo through it that day, and although the recoil was obviously more than with regular ammo, it wasn't intolerable.

That night, we were at a dinner gathering and ran into a DPS narc. DPS at the time, I recall, was still using revolvers in it's uniform division. I could be wrong about that, but I know this fellow was carrying a 1911 .45 auto in his investigator position. He scoffed at the plastic gun, despite it's mag capacity of 13 rounds, but I bet now 12 years later that narc more than likely respects Glock as a reliable sidearm.

I got into combat pistol competition shooting shortly after that at the American Shooting Center or whatever it's called out at Westheimer and Hwy 6 in Houston. They had an excellent combat league, and I came to enjoy the weekly competitions. It also made me a much better shot and improved my awareness about shooting situations when doing timed courses with frequent magazine changes.

When I first started shooting combat competition, there were very few Glocks present with other shooters, and my Glock attracted quite a bit of attention. At the time, I had a customized race tuned 1911 whose previous owner had spent several thousand dollars to make more accurate for exactly this type of shooting. I saw where 9mm's were not enough to knock down metal silhouettes that were part of the course, even though the metal targets were designed to be downed by as low as .38 Special and 9mm. Most 9mm's I saw barely cut it, and only if they were shooting hot ammo. Soon, it seemed like everyone was showing up with Glocks, not so much for their increased ammo capacity, as the course called for frequent mag changes after 4 and 5 rounds, but for their accuracy and easy shooting. The Model 21 doesn't beat you up when you shoot it, compared to some 1911's.

My second Glock is also a .45 ACP. I looked at the double-stack mini-Glocks that came out in the mid-1990's, but their grip was too fat for my hand. In fact, ironically, to make the Model 21 grip more palatable, I put a rubber Hogue grip sleeve on it and although it made it slightly thicker, it was easier to hold and shoot with the Hogue grip on it. I recommend any of the aftermarket rubber grip sleeves for Glock shooters who feel the grip is a little fat for their hands. Again, even though you're adding to the size of the grip, I know it helps me hold onto the Model 21 better.

My second Glock is a Model 36, which is unique among Glocks because it is a single stack magazine, holding six rounds of .45 ACP. It's thinner than other Glocks, particularly in the handgrip area. You can buy extensions to add to magazines that add two rounds, but I believe in carry guns being used exactly as they were designed, sans modifications and sans add-ons.

I'm trying to find a grip sleeve that will fit the Model 36. It fits my hand well, much better than other Glocks, but I do like the tactile feel of a rubber handgrip. I'd love to see Glock make pistols that not only had interchangeable backstraps but also rubber grip panels that screw to the grip.

Of course, I'd also like to see a manual safety/decocker on a Glock as well. There is a gunsmith in Abilene who installs safeties on Glocks, but again, that's not how they were designed to function.

You have to treat carrying a Glock like carrying a cocked and locked 1911. The thing I've heard said about Glocks which I feel strongly about is regarding their reliability: "Pull trigger, gun goes boom".

The Model 36 has now been a mainstay in my carry arsenal for many years. I've been hankering lately for a Model 19 in 9mm, just for shooting fun, but have not yet had the opportunity to see how the interchangeable backstraps of the 4th Generation Glocks will make the gun fit my hand. I hope it's a bit reduced from the normal Model 19.

I carry the Federal low recoil self defense ammo in my .45. It has remarkably low recoil, in fact, as I've noted elsewhere, several of my diehard .45 shooting friends remarked that the Glock with the Federal low recoil ammo kicked about like a .380, which is to say, not much at all.

To close out this rave fest on Glocks, I'll mention that until recently, I was unhappy with every holster for concealed carry that I had for the Glock 36. Then I discovered the High Noon line of Holsters. Particularly, the Mr. Softy and the Bare Asset IWB holsters. The difference is that the Mr. Softy rides lower in a straight drop, hence more concealable, whereas the Bare Asset rides higher and has a 15 degree forward cant. Me Likee.


  1. I have a glock 23 and love it. I was thinking about getting a baby glock for a back up gun but I dont like the feel and no handle to hold on to. I thought about that because the interchangablity of the ammo and magazines. I will probably get a 380. I found a hand gun is a good defense weapon to get to your long gun. Been there and done that. Be safe and stay safe!

  2. Too bad they don't make the slim frame 36 for .40 or 9mm. It's really a nice hand filling grip. Of course, it holds less than other Glocks, but you have to give up something for concealability.

    Good advice on the long gun. They do make grip extensions so that you can use a 23's mag on a baby Glock, and the grip extension fits above the bottom of the mag, thus filling the empty space so it gives a better grip. I can live with that sort of firearm alteration, but I don't go with extending mag capacity. The 2+ extensions I've tried for the 21 don't feed well.

    I think most of us old school officers who started with revolvers like the Glock because there are no levers, no DA/SA to adjust to. Just pull trigger, goes bang.

    Be safe, TGR, it's a jungle out there. And stay cool in this hot weather.