Umarex Glock 19X Part 1

Umarex Glock 19X Part 1

And the story continues…

By Dennis Adler

The 9x19mm Glock 19X is a civilian version of the model designed by Glock for the U.S. Army’s Modular Handgun System (MHS) program as a replacement for the Beretta M9. Sig Sauer won the trials with the P320/M17, but Glock ended up with a gun that still has wide appeal to certain U.S. military and government agencies as well as the civilian market. The new Umarex Glock CO2 version looks almost identical to the centerfire model. On the U.S. market version the instant giveaway is the absence of 9×19 on the slide, while in Europe, the CO2 models bear the full markings of the centerfire gun.

The evolution of Glock CO2 models is keeping pace with Sig Sauer and Springfield Armory’s introduction of new air pistols this year, and over the past year and a half has gone from no Glock CO2 models to four in the U.S. market. In the European market there are also CO2 models of the Glock 34 Competition (Longslide) and Glock 17 Gen5. Since the G19X was available in Europe before it was released here, that gives us some idea of what we are apt to see from Umarex and Glock in the U.S. market for 2020. But for now, for us, (U.S.) four new Glock blowback action CO2 models is an impressive start.

Europe also gets new models well before the U.S. and sometimes we don’t get them at all, but there is already a competition style Glock 34 Gen4 CO2 model for sale, and the hope is, that like the G19X, which went on sale in Europe before the U.S., the G34 will show up here in 2020.

The Glock 17 Gen5 is also already available in Europe, but at least we get a taste of that in the G19X, which is based on the Gen5 design.

The addition of the Glock 19X this month brings the generational development of the Glock design up to date, as it is both a Gen5 and the first crossover Glock model. What exactly is that? The G19X combines the shorter 4.02-inch barrel and slide assembly from the Glock 19 with the larger and higher capacity Glock 17 grip frame. The centerfire G19X comes with one 17-round flush base pad magazine and two extended 19-round magazines. Another first for the 19X is the military coyote tan color and first-ever factory colored slide (as opposed to aftermarket custom slides in various finishes and colors). The G19X slide is finished with an improved nPVD (physical vapor deposition) coating to prevent corrosion. The polymer frame is a matching coyote tan, as is the finish on the magazines. All of the basic details for the centerfire model are duplicated on the new blowback action CO2 model, including the coyote tan self-contained CO2 BB magazines which have an 18-round capacity to equal the G19X standard 17-round mag plus one round chambered.

The U.S. market got its first look at a Glock CO2 model early last year with the G19, which was sold as an entry-level CO2 model with a non-blowback action and a stick magazine, but as authentic looking as possible from the outside.

By the end of 2018 Umarex and Glock had unveiled the Third Gen Glock 17 (left) with a blowback action and self-contained CO2 BB magazine as a perfect hands-on trainer for the centerfire model and a top shelf air pistol for just under $100. This year Umarex and Glock rolled out a third model to fulfill the desires of airgun enthusiasts wanting a totally accurate Glock CO2 pistol. With the G17 Gen4 they got what they wanted with a full blowback action, self-contained CO2 BB magazine and a gun that was so authentic that it was not only field strippable but had a correct dual recoil spring guide rod assembly. All that was missing was a Gen5 version.

Mix-n-match

The concept of mixing slides, barrels, and frames to make a new model is not a groundbreaking concept. It’s old; think Walter PPK/S in 1968, combining the shorter barrel and slide of the PPK with the longer and heavier frame of the PP to create a slightly larger gun to meet new U.S. gun importation regulations as a “Sport” model. The PPK was considered too small to import under provisions established by the Gun Control Act of 1968. Walther created the PPK/S essentially for the U.S. market. This not only gave the new PPK version the added weight needed to obtain the one import point it was lacking for importation, but also increased magazine capacity from the PPK’s 6 to the PP model’s 7 rounds. Interestingly, the Glock 19X was created for the U.S. as well, though for an entirely different reason, not to meet any importation restriction, but to meet the needs of the U.S. military and the U.S. Army’s Modular Handgun System (MHS) program. The MHS was established in 2011 to find a replacement for the nation’s aging M9 (Beretta 92 Series) standard issue sidearm. It had some problems getting off the ground and the solicitation deadline was pushed from 2015 to February 2016, allowing arms manufacturers both here and in Europe ample time to work on new designs to fulfill the MHS requirements. Still, few managed to do so.

Umarex and Glock pushed things right to the newest design, the military-style, coyote tan, G17X, which incorporates both the Gen5 design and features developed for the U.S. Army MHS trials.

Sig Sauer already had a modular handgun design (the P320) in their lineup, which only required slight changes to qualify for the MHS trials. Sig had it in the bag. Smith & Wesson’s M&P9 M2.0, FN’s 509, Beretta’s M9A3 (M9 update) and APX, CZ’s P09 MHS, the Sphinx SDP Compact (another CZ75 variation), and STI-Detonics STX, were immediate also-rans, and the Glock entry, while interesting, barely raised a military eyebrow. But in the end, the Glock design did find some quarters within the military and government (Glock models were already in use with some military operations), despite Sig Sauer winning the MHS bid.

As nice as the G19X turned out, it did not truly meet the modular requirement, while Sig’s P320 platform allowed for a handgun that could swap out two different frame sizes and barrel/slide combinations to make a full-sized handgun and one more suitable for concealment. This resulted in Sig Sauer contracting for the full-sized M17 and compact M18. Everyone else either shelved their projects or sent the guns into the civilian marketplace as their latest models. The Glock 19X, however, seems to have turned a lot of heads with its unique size, capacity, and finish. As factory finish Glock models go, the 19X is a looker and the only substantial difference between the civilian G19X and the Army submission is the lack of an external safety, which was a requirement for all the MHS entrants. The G19X also makes use of technology developed for the Gen5 series, with upgraded internal components, a “marksman barrel,” an improved non-corrosive colored nPVD coyote tan slide finish and matching polymer frame.

Aside from its impressive looks and finish, the new CO2 model is boasting a maximum velocity of 360 fps but early tests have indicated that the gun exceeds that velocity. In Part 2 we will explore how. But here is a forewarning, there are some features about the G19X you are going to like, and some you are not. Remember, the 9mm model is a hybrid design combining two different Glock models. So is the CO2 version.

Gen5 influence

I don’t know that I agree totally with Glock’s Gen5 design, as it both adds and takes away from features established with the Third Gen and Gen4 models. Foremost is the absence of the finger grooves on the frontstrap. I have always considered this a plus. Now, the Gen5 is flat with deep checkering, almost back to the original 1982 design, which didn’t have checkering. The base of the Gen5 frontstrap is flared to provide a finger rest and better hold on the grip, which is a nice addition, and the civilian model also retains the military lanyard ring on the grip bottom. As a Gen5, the G19X also uses the latest version interchangeable backstrap panels and grip panel checkering.

Another feature that carried over from the MHS is the ambidextrous slide release (which unfortunately is only functional on the left side for the CO2 model). The centerfire models have a new barrel design, the Glock Marksman Barrel (GMB) with polygonal rifling for improved accuracy; of course, that has no bearing on the CO2 model which is still a smoothbore.

In Part 2 we will un-box, or rather un-blister pack the Umarex Glock 19X and begin comparing it in design form and function to the three preceding Umarex Glock models.

A word about safety

Blowback action airguns provide the look, feel and operation of their cartridge-firing counterparts and this is one reason why they have become so popular. Airguns in general all look like guns, blowback action models more so, and it is important to remember that the vast majority of people can’t tell an airgun from a cartridge gun. Never brandish an airgun in public. Always, and I can never stress this enough, always treat an airgun as you would a cartridge gun. The same manual of operation and safety should always apply.

One thought on “Umarex Glock 19X Part 1

  1. Darn. Why didn’t they put the ambi slide lock on? I was planning on ordering 1 of these for a trainer, but not having that feature is a deal breaker. I’ll have to wait & hope they release that feature on the Gen5 model.


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