The Glock 19 is one of the most popular handguns of all time. It’s an ever-so-slightly-scaled down version of the original Glock, the Glock 17 9mm. About 1/2-inch shorter than the full-size model, the more compact Glock 19 still packs 15 rounds of 9mm plus one in the chamber. Owners point to its excellent balance of size, weight, and capacity as reasons for its popularity.
Full disclosure: A couple of the items on this list apply to Glocks in general, but because the Glock 19 is a just a slightly downsized version of the original Glock, I feel that the facts apply:
1. Law Enforcement Everywhere Loves It
Within the uniformed ranks of the New York City Police Department, the Glock 19 is the most popular of all authorized handguns. Officers seem to like the balance between weight and capacity, even though they have no need for concealment.
Other organizations that have made use of the Glock 19 include the Tasmanian Police (traffic sections), the Hong Kong Police Force, the Slovenian National Police, the Royal Malaysia Police, the United States Marine Corps MARSOC, and the elite Force One team of the Mumbai Police. The Army’s Delta Force counterterrorism unit also used the Glock 19 (but we can’t talk about that, can we?).
2. Bruce Willis may have started that whole “invisible to airport metal detectors” thing
Might this famous movie line from the 1990 flick “Die Hard 2: Die Harder” have contributed to the persistent rumor that Glocks could pass right through airport metal detectors? Here’s what Willis’s character John McClane says about the Glock 17 he mistakenly calls a Glock 7:
“You know what that is? It’s a porcelain gun made in Germany. It doesn’t show up on your airport X-ray machines here, and it costs more than what you make in a month!”
Considering the a Glock is about 84 percent steel by weight, that’s a pretty unbelievable claim, not to mention the difficulty of hiding the metal ammunition that makes it run. And Glocks were made in Austria, not Germany, but when has Hollywood ever worried about such details?
As the story goes, the movie prop house armorers knew better, and tried to talk the director into fixing that scene, but the Hollywood “experts” would have none of it because that’s how the script was written.