Our Sixgunny Traditionalist Falls Hard For The G19X
By John Taffin
John’s not a finger-groove kind of guy — one of the reasons his hands prefer the
Gen5 G19X (bottom) over the Gen4 G19 (top).
The G19X has democratic tastes in ammo. It shot everything well as these 20-yard targets show.
Okay. I admit to being a hidebound dinosaur, especially when it comes to handguns (and pickup trucks). I prefer those with a real soul, which mainly equates to those produced in the middle of the last century or before.
I can change, but for me change comes very slowly and painfully. While most shooters have traveled down the road marked “Polymer Pistols,” I’ve tried to detour around it, at least until now. I’ve always been willing to admit they were excellent tools — like chainsaws and electric drills. But they just don’t have anything appealing to the inner recesses of my sixgunnin’ heart. In other words, no soul.
However, my resolve is cracking. It began with the introduction of the GLOCK G19X — basically the same 9mm pistol submitted for military testing to adopt a new sidearm — the only noticeable difference being the lack of a thumb safety on the commercial model as opposed to the military one.
This represents only about half the types of factory ammo John cycled and sent downrange.
Much better than center-mass: The G19X is more than adequately accurate for self-defense use.
Tan And Tempting
Two things caught my eye immediately about the G19X. First was the color. Instead of the traditional matte black, it’s finished in a tan color with a somewhat mottled slide. The second feature — more important to me — is the fact there are no finger grooves on the front strap. Finger grooves are okay if your fingers happen to fit; mine rarely do.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the other features that caught my attention in a big way. Starting at the top we find a 4″ barrel mounted inside a slide fitted with three white-dot night sights. The rear sight is made for concealed carry with no sharp edges and is mounted in a dovetail, allowing for windage adjustment.
The sights are large enough to make them easy to see in a stress situation. The front of the slide and frame are rounded off for easy holstering. Unlike most GLOCK pistols, this one’s fitted with an ambidextrous slide stop. This could be a problem in a tightly fitted polymer holster as they stick out slightly on both sides and may cause binding. There are serrations on both sides of the slide in front of the rear sight to allow for easy racking.
The polymer frame is optics-ready — the front portion slotted for a weapon light or laser sight. The front of the triggerguard is serrated and squared off to make it easy to use your off-hand for support. Above the triggerguard on both sides is the takedown lever for fieldstripping.
Something unusual for a GLOCK is the lanyard ring on the bottom back portion of the frame (a military touch?). The grip frame itself is stippled on both sides as well as front and back.
You’re good to go: The G19X’s padded case comes with three magazines, a mag loader,
four backstraps and a cleaning brush.
Mags, Backstraps, Trigger
The G19X comes with four replaceable backstraps. I installed the tall one with a beavertail. Even though this isn’t a heavy recoiling pistol, I like the security the beavertail provides. A special tool and pin are provided with which to change backstraps — it’s very easy.
The magazine release is situated behind the trigger on the left side of the grip frame and it operates very easily when pressed with magazines falling out positively. Three magazines are provided with each 19X including a flush fitting 17-rounder and two extended magazines for those who need a longer grip. With the flush fitting magazine in place and the two extended magazines carried in a pouch, you’ve got more than a boxful of 9mm ammo at your disposal. The magazines have a counter on the back showing at a glance how many rounds are available. A magazine loader also comes with the G19X, and although it’s not as sophisticated as an UpLula, it works.
The recoil spring is a dual “spring within a spring” setup, which helps make slide manipulation easy. Although I didn’t weigh the trigger pull, it’s rated at 5.5 lbs. and I found it quite different than other GLOCK triggers I’ve experienced. It’s smooth through its entire travel instead of feeling heavier just before it releases. I’ve always had a problem with my trigger finger vs. GLOCK triggers, but this is a great improvement. This particular Gen5 specimen’s smoother trigger and lack of finger grooves on the front strap are real selling points for me.
Stripping the pistol into its four components is a cinch.
In testing I used 12 factory loads — five from Black Hills, three from SIG and one each from Herter’s, HPR, NOV X and Speer. Bullet weights ranged from the ultralight and speedy 65-gr. ARX from NOV X (1,622 fps) to SIG’s 147-gr. FMJ (959 fps). The tightest 5-shot group at 20 yards measured 1-3/8″ while the largest were at 1-3/4″, meaning there’s no practical difference between any of the loads employed.
The G19X functioned perfectly with everything, even when I fired full magazines as quickly as I could pull the trigger and recover. I’d have no problem carrying this pistol along with the extra magazines for self-defense.
The final word on the G19X? It almost sells itself. A friend of mine purchased one and within two days of him showing it around, four more shooters in our little group got one as well.