One of my friends is a gunsmith. One of my shooting buddies is in law enforcement. A couple other friends shoot IDPA. Thanks to my friends, I get to handle and shoot a lot of guns I wouldn’t be able to if I had to buy them all myself. If I could have only one handgun it would be a Glock. I can make a pretty good case that a Glock is the best pistol for the Backyardsman.
Glock vs. whatever…
Like I said, I get to try lots of different guns thanks to my friends. I also own a couple of handguns myself. I’m not close to having tried every handgun on the market, but I have tried a few. Charter Arms Bulldog. Colt 1911 (Series 70, Series 80, Commander) and clones. CZ-75 and clones. Kel-Tec P32. Ruger GP-100, Super Blackhawk (30 Carbine and 44 magnum), LCP, and LC9s Pro. Smith & Wesson Chiefs Special, K22, M57 (41 Magnum), 4006, and M&P Shield. Taurus G2C. Uberti Colt Walker replica. And of course, Glocks.
A Glock isn’t the best looking (1911 has that) or most accurate handgun (my S&W Victory holds that title) I’ve shot. Some people don’t like the grip angle (I don’t have a problem with it). It’s not as “safe” as some other guns IF you don’t practice good trigger discipline. Still, I think there are some good reasons why a Glock is the best pistol for the Backyardsman.
First of all, Glocks are very popular. Being popular doesn’t make one thing better than another but when it comes to guns, popularity has its advantages. Being popular means that other companies like to get in on the action. I have a Charter Arms Bulldog. I love it, but it’s not a very popular gun. That might be why it’s almost impossible to find a holster for it. I’m guessing that holster makers only make holsters if they think they can sell a lot of them.
Compare that to Glock. Just about every holster maker on the planet makes holsters for Glocks. And not just holsters – sights, magazines, upgraded triggers, spare parts – you name it. Glock’s popularity also means that lots of gunsmiths know how to work on them, so in the unlikely event your Glock breaks it will be easy to find someone to fix it for you. Unless you decide to fix it yourself…
The Glock pistol is a really simple design with less than 40 parts (at least up to Gen 3). You only need one tool – the “Glock Tool” – to do just about anything that needs to be done. It’s also really easy to work on. I can detail strip a Glock faster than I can get the slide and barrel off a 1911. When I decided to upgrade the trigger on my IDPA Glock, I did it myself. It onle took about 5 minutes and no special tools. Try that with a 1911…
In fact, Glocks are so easy to work on that I put one together from a pile of parts. I just finished a Gen 3 Glock 35 based on a G17 RTF2 stripped frame. The entire “build” took about an hour. In fact I spent more time finding and ordering all the parts then I did putting them together. If you don’t want a factory frame, you can even build a Glock-like pistol with an 80% frame from Polymer80. It’s a little more involved than using a factory frame, but not by much.
Lots of people criticize Glocks grip angle, I guess because it’s different than the 1911. Personally I don’t have a problem with it – for me, the Glock points more naturally than most handguns I’ve tried. The polymer frame and low bore axis makes the Glock really easy to shoot well, at least for me. I also like the rear outline/front dot sight picture – works better for my old eyes than 3 dot sights.
Yep, a Glock is the perfect handgun. OK, maybe it’s not. It would be nice if they would put steel sights on their guns instead of the polymer junk they use. The Gen 3 doesn’t hold up all that well with high pressure rounds like 40 Smith and Wesson. They fixed that with Gen 4, but the Gen 4 triggers aren’t as smooth as the Gen 3. The slide finish they went to sometime during Gen 3 isn’t as durable as the Tennifer finish they used before that. The Gen 5 slides have a finish that’s supposedly even better than the original Tennifer, but it’s to dark and too d@mn shiny IMO.
So maybe Glocks aren’t perfect. But with their simplicity, ease of repair, parts availability, and ergonomics, they make a great pistol for the Backyardsman. In fact, I think a Glock just could be the best pistol for the Backyardsman. What do you think?