I have carried a handgun continuously since 1986. When I began carrying a firearm, I was a civilian working occasionally as an EMT or a security officer. Later, I became a law enforcement officer. While I continued to carry a firearm both on and off duty, the challenges of concealment became apparent. After completing law school and beginning to practice law, it was a simple decision to continue carrying a firearm. In my capacity as an attorney, I have met members of numerous professions who carry a firearm or are working through the decision to do so. This article will explore why the Glock is the best choice of firearm for professionals.
I have experience with many different types of weapons. I have shot revolvers, Glocks and 1911-style firearms in competition, and carried a revolver on duty for many years. Today, I still train law enforcement officers. I also respond to the scene of officer-involved shootings. I see firsthand the effects of stress, low light and split-second decision-making. These experiences add to my perspective on this issue.
When I worked as a police officer, I taught civilians how to shoot and helped them explore their options for being armed at all times. I also worked with many professionals to perform risk analyses on their homes, vehicles and offices. The same question always came up: “What is the best gun to have for protection?” The answer is relatively simple, but it requires some explanation: It’s the one you will carry.
People will carry a firearm that’s easy to maintain and that they can operate comfortably and proficiently. Glock is the answer on all three counts.
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Professionals who carry firearms are often too busy to shoot on a regular basis. Glock firearms are, first and foremost, simple to operate. Gaston Glock’s decision to create a handgun without an external thumb or grip safety was, in a word, genius. The manipulation of an external safety requires extensive training and practice. Further, under stress, fine motor dexterity begins to fade. This means that you may not be able to feel and manipulate an external thumb safety when facing a threat. As I have told countless students and LEOs, the only safety that belongs on a handgun is between your ears, and if that safety is inoperable, nothing else will help you! Luckily, the Glock trigger safety toggle is intuitive—it’s not another step to master.
Glock handguns are simple to operate and maintain. The low bore axis of the Glock makes it very easy to handle both in terms of recoil management and pointability. It’s also easy for most shooters to activate the magazine catch without adjusting their strong-hand grip. I have seen firsthand from officer-involved shooting cases that a person faced with a deadly threat will grab their handgun and start shooting; they will not adjust their grip. In fact, most of my clients do not remember removing their guns from the holster and just recall looking down the barrel at the suspect.
Glock handguns have comfortable polymer frames that will allow for a sure and consistent grip, even under stress. Further, the operator can easily check visually or manually to ensure that the chamber is loaded by using the unique design of the extractor. The extractor on a Glock will protrude slightly from the frame when the chamber is loaded. I recently fired a Glock 42 and found that the extractor protrudes just a bit more than my Glock 37’s. This is a great feature for a pocket gun. The last thing you need to worry about is whether or not the chamber is actually loaded!
Maintaining a Glock also makes it the perfect choice for a professional. When range time is at a premium, professionals cannot spend an hour or more cleaning a firearm. Glock firearms are simple to field strip and clean in a few minutes. Keep your Glock clean. However, I can tell you that a Glock will function when dirty with holster dust, lint and other assorted items that seem to find their way into a carry gun. In shooting competitions, I have shot my Glock 22 all weekend without a single malfunction. It is comforting to know your Glock will function when dirty.
Finally, Glock pistols are very accurate. I recently tested the G42 with Federal Hydra-Shok ammo. I did not shoot the gun at 25 yards, and I recommend that professionals who carry a firearm for self-defense spend the majority of their range time inside the 10-yard line. This is far more realistic. At 21 feet, I put seven shots into the center of the scoring legend on a B27 target. The point was to show that Glock firearms are more than accurate for self-defense purposes. In fact, I shot many IPSC matches with a stock G22 without any modifications.
Easy To Conceal
As an LEO, I was not concerned if someone saw my firearm, but this is a critical point for most professionals. When I was an LEO, I carried a Glock 22 on and off duty. There were tactical reasons for this. However, this may not be practical for most professionals who remove their jackets on a regular basis. The key to concealment is summed up in two words: good holster. There is no shortage of holsters for Glock firearms. That is a distinct advantage for the professional who must conceal his or her Glock well.
For professionals, both men and women, you must make some decisions about where to carry your Glock. The G42 now presents a very viable and comfortable option for a pocket gun. The release of the G43 in 9mm provides even greater flexibility, and many LEOs are now being issued the G43 as a backup and off-duty weapon.
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The G26, G27, G33 and G39 provide ultra-compact options for a purse, briefcase, backpack or concealment on the body, from the small of the back, to the hip and ankle. However, they may be too big to store in your front pocket. In addition, women have a distinct disadvantage when it comes to carrying firearms in their pockets, as many suits and other outfits do not have pockets.
Often, the slightest adjustment in your clothing can make a huge difference. If you intend to carry your Glock on your hip, either inside or outside of your waistband, have your tailor adjust your jackets to avoid “imprinting” the butt of the Glock on your jacket. The same is true for an ankle holster. A “medium break” on dress pants can make an ankle holster all but invisible. I have carried my G27 in all three spots listed above and in a concealment shirt under my arm. My only difficulty is remembering the gun is still there! That is the best part about a good holster.
Once you decide which Glock to carry, it is important to be consistent in where you carry your Glock. Especially for a professional, you need to be able to react to a threat without scratching your head to remember where you are carrying your Glock that day. You should also practice drawing from the concealed location. Even an ankle holster can be quick with practice. Remember to practice with an empty Glock in your dress clothes. You should only practice with a loaded Glock on a firing range and should incorporate putting shots on target with that exercise.
Another advantage of the Glock is the consistency across all frames and calibers. Carrying a Glock allows shooters to train with one gun and be able to pick up a larger-framed Glock in the bedroom in the middle of the night without any transition issues. The Glock 21 you decide to keep in your nightstand or desk drawer will function the same way as the G30 you carry on your ankle. In a high-stress situation, especially in low light, this is critical.
Several of the magazines designed for the larger Glock models will work with their smaller cousins, providing shooters the option of carrying a full-sized magazine as a spare. I often carry a G22 magazine as a spare when carrying my G27. I have used the larger magazines in smaller guns during competitions and annual qualifications without a problem.
From jewelers to judges and lawyers to realtors, professionals carry firearms to ensure their safety. They hope they will never be placed in the position of using deadly force to protect themselves or others. However, when they are, they often have more to lose. While LEOs have certain immunities afforded to them regarding civil suits, civilians do not share that immunity. In many states, the lawful use of deadly force provides a measure of protection from civil lawsuits. However, that is not always the case. Professionals must be proficient in both their shooting skills and their knowledge of the law regarding the use of deadly force. Recent events have demonstrated that the home, the office, the grocery store, and sadly, any house of worship carry a potential to face a deadly threat.
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One final point is the need for professionals to have access to an attorney if they are forced to use deadly force. You must have access to a competent attorney familiar with the issues surrounding the use of deadly force on a 24-hour basis. Immediately after a shooting is not the time to pick up your Yellow Pages phonebook looking for a lawyer.
Carrying a firearm is a sensible way to reduce your risk of becoming a statistic. Carrying a Glock pistol is the smart choice to ensure that you win an armed encounter.
For more information visit glock.com or call 770-432-1202.
This article was originally published in ‘Concealed Carry Handguns’ 2017. For more information, visit outdoorgroupstore.com.