How the Glock 19 Pistol Changed the Gun Industry Forever

How the Glock 19 Pistol Changed the Gun Industry Forever

Charlie Gao


This popular gun shifted the whole landscape.

Key point: The Glock 19 contributed to several trends in gun manufacturing.

The Glock 19 is one of the most popular guns on the planet. Police, militaries, and paramilitaries on almost every continent carry them daily. As a result, the Glock 19’s design has heavily influenced designers at competing firms. Here are some ways the Glock 19 has been influential on the firearms market.

1. Size:

While originally billed as a “compact” handgun, the Glock 19 managed to fit 15 rounds into a package that was lighter and smaller than most full-size duty handguns at the time. As a result, many departments bought them as standard-issue handguns, cutting down on the weight and bulk of their sidearms. The proliferation of the Glock 19 as a standard-issue gun made its form factor the standard worldwide. Most new pistols are designed to be as similar sized as possible to the Glock 19, as the longer barrel and grip of older duty pistols have been largely made redundant.

This can be seen in CZ releasing the P-10C, the “Compact” version of their P-10 pistol as the initial version, releasing the full-sized P-10F only a few years later. Similar trends can be seen in the sizing of the Walther PPQ and PPS pistols, as well as Beretta’s APX.

2. Light Rails:

While the Glock 19 is excellent in most aspects, one possible weakness is its semi-proprietary “Glock rail” used to mount weapon lights. While most Picatinny-compatible flashlights will fit on the Glock rail, the single cross slot limits the options when it comes to moving lights forward and back on the rail. As a result, most of Glock’s competitors use a standard Picatinny-spec three-slot rail to offer more flexibility and compatibility than the Glock 19. Even custom frames like the Polymer80 frame for the Glock 19 ditch the Glock rail for a standard three-shot Picatinny.

In this specific case, the Glock 19 was more influential in showing what not to do than what to do, but influential nonetheless. While proprietary rails were popular in the 1990s, they are all but gone today. 

3. Sights:

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