2019 Replica Air Pistol of the Year Part 4
Glock’s Fourth Act – the G19X
By Dennis Adler
You’ve heard the expression, “throwing in a ringer” well, this is what Umarex and Glock have done with the G19X. It’s an odd one too, because just like the Third Gen Glock 17 introduced late last year, the 2019 G19X is also not a field strippable gun. Because of that you might have expected it to be the gun that followed the Third Gen G17, but instead it came close on the heels of the first new model for 2019, the improved Umarex Glock 17 Gen4, which is the first Glock CO2 model that can be field stripped. I know I was surprised by this when I got an early G19X test gun from Umarex and it was not able to be field stripped.
The G19X is not so much a compromise between the Third Gen Glock 17 and Gen4 CO2 models, but rather a means to offer a newer design based on Glock’s 9mm G19X, a gun that is a bit of a ringer itself in the Glock lineup. Just look at it. It’s the first factory built gun with a custom finish and it is a Gen5 design.
The 9mm G19X slide is finished with an improved nPVD (physical vapor deposition) coating to prevent corrosion finished in coyote tan color. The polymer frame is colored in a matching coyote tan shade, as is the nPVD finish on the 9mm magazines. Those same eye catching coyote tan tones from the centerfire model are duplicated on the CO2 pistol, along with the Gen5’s distinctive frame and grip contour and white dot sights instead of Glock’s traditional white outline rear and dot front. But that’s not what makes it a ringer in this competition for Replica Air Pistol of the Year. It’s the gun’s uncompromising velocity and accuracy. Field stripping is great, but sending steel BBs downrange at 376 to 380 fps average from a blowback action pistol beats taking a gun apart for fun. You really don’t have to fieldstrip a CO2 pistol to clean it; it’s just a great bonus feature that adds to the learning experience as a centerfire proxy. From a shooting perspective, I think velocity and accuracy, not to mention being accurate out to 10 yards at that high a velocity, greatly outweigh field stripping. Honestly, it has taken me awhile to come around to this way of thinking because I felt (and mostly still do) that a CO2 model that fieldstrips is as close as you can get to the real deal. With the G19X, however, this is something I can live with. I’ve got a lot of blowback action pistols that fieldstrip but none of them shoot at over 375 fps!
We know that the firing system for the G19X is the same as the Third Gen G17 and uses what I call a short, short-blowback action design, meaning that while the slide travels back almost the full length of a centerfire gun when it discharges, it comes up short when the slide locks back or is manually locked open. We also know that the barrel is not a short-recoil, locked-breech, tilting-barrel design; it is a fixed barrel, like a conventional cartridge-firing short-recoil blowback action pistol and there is nothing wrong with this; it is just not how a centerfire Glock 17 is designed, but it works just fine for the CO2 model. Umarex certainly improved on this with the Gen4, but at the cost of the higher velocity achieved by the Third Gen G17 and G19X.
The trigger for the G19X is also based on the Third Gen CO2 design, and that is a heavier trigger pull than the Gen4 Umarex model, which is almost exactly like a centerfire pistol at 5 pounds, 5 ounces. It is also a more precise trigger with a shorter take up and reset than the G19X, which averages 7 pounds, 2.5 ounces. But there is more than just a pound and change difference in the pull. The trigger on the Gen4 is an SAO, it is lighter because unless the slide has been cycled the trigger sits in the fired (rearmost) position and does not function. The trigger on the G19X is a non-Glock DA/SA that always rests in the forward, ready to fire position. In other words, if you load a magazine and do not rack the slide on the G19X and pull the trigger it works. Racking the slide on the G19X stages the trigger in a ready to fire condition, with a slightly lighter pull and less stacking than dead pulling a double action shot for the first round (which would never be the case with a centerfire Glock). But here’s the catch, even with the G19 trigger staged the length of pull remains the same as firing double action. Hands-on feel, however, tells another story. Let’s start with trigger take up on the G19X. Total travel is 0.93 inches. Of that, 0.75 inches is almost 2 pounds, 6.7 ounces average resistance, the balance of the pull weight is compressed into the last 0.187 inches and that is very a consistent pull that you can easily manage. Now, let’s compare that to the Gen4 trigger. Total length of take up is 0.25 inches plus another 0.125 inches to discharge. This is also a consistent trigger but with all of the resistance spread over the shorter pull. The Gen4 is smoother overall, but after the first 0.75 inches of take up the G19X feels almost the same as the Gen4. It’s not the right feel for a Glock but it is not a bad trigger by any means.
The biggest advantages to the G19X is getting better than 50 fps more velocity from than the Gen4, sights that, in the general consensus, are easier to use than pre-Gen5 Glock sights, and since these sights cannot be changed like those on a centerfire Glock, you have a better fixed sight option with the G19X.
I had already found during the velocity tests that the gun’s POA needed to be 2-inches below the bullseye and windage almost dead center for POI accuracy. In other words, a proper 6 o’clock hold. If you can keep your aim with the white dot sights, which on this test gun were very well regulated, exactly in the same place and get into the rhythm of pulling through the trigger take up, pausing for a moment, and then breaking the shot, the G19X at 21 feet will pretty much hit in the same place. Since I am not always that consistent with holding my aim (but I am with the trigger pull) I managed a best 10 round group measuring 0.937 inches with seven hits in the bullseye all touching at 0.625 inches. A lot of blowback action models can shoot sub 1-inch inch groups at 21 feet but the G19X can do it more consistently. With everything thing else this blowback action model has going for it, from fit and finish to velocity and accuracy, there is a lot of appeal stacked in the G19X’s favor.
Model: Umarex Glock G19X
Authenticity 1 to 10: 9 (Excellent copy of Gen5 9mm except for right side slide release)
Ingenuity of the design 1 to 10: 10 (Excellent fit and FDE finish to match 9mm model)
Ease of use 1 to 10: 10 (Easy to load BBs and CO2 with new seating cap tool)
Performance 1 to 10: 10 (Highest velocity of any blowback action model)
Accuracy 1 to 10: 10 (Shoots to POA with white dot sights, best group 0.625 inches)
Bonus points: 0
Total Points: 49
How to win 2019’s Replica Air Pistol of the Year
On December 24th, one lucky reader will win 2019’s Replica Air Pistol of the Year to commemorate the 500th Airgun Experience article. To enter, all you have to do is be signed up to post comments on Pyramyd Air’s website and read this year’s Replica Air Pistol of the Year articles leading up to the announcement on December 24th.
The rules are simple; you need to post your choice for Top Gun by midnight Monday, December 23rd and answer one question about each of the nine guns from the Replica Airgun of the Year articles published between December 5th and December 21st. The nine questions will only be available at the end of the December 21st article, and you will have had to read the articles on each gun to find the answers. Because there will be several guns reaching 50 points, there will be a tie-breaker decision on December 24th. You will have to make that decision, too, and the first person to post the correct answers to all nine questions and name this year’s winner by midnight December 23rd wins the Replica Air Pistol of Year on Christmas Eve.
Good Luck to everyone!