Umarex is on a mission to put a Glock in as many shooters’ hands as possible – and Mike Morton finds himself grabbing hold of the 19X
Austrian gunmaker Glock is known around the world for its series of polymer-framed, semi-automatic pistols – the two most famous models being the Glock 17 and the slightly smaller but similar Glock 19.
The Glock 19X is the civilian version of Glock’s entry to provide a new handgun for the US Army and Air Force, and this is the model we’ve just received in BB-firing CO2 format from Umarex. The one on test here is a blowback, but there is a non-blowback version that is also available.
The powder-burning Glock 19X features a Glock 19 slide with a Glock 17 frame, and is finished in a tan colour called Coyote, instead of the regular black that’s usually associated with this manufacturer.
Umarex has got very good at making replica airguns under licence, and the Umarex Glock 19X is quite possibly the closest replica to a powder-burning original I’ve seen.
Why? Because it really does tick all the boxes when it comes to authenticity. The frame, just like the original, includes a lanyard loop, and the markings also replicate those of the original, right down to the ‘9×19’ on the slide, indicating 9x19mm Parabellum.
It’s often these little details that make all the difference. The powder-burning 19X features a reversible magazine release catch, for example, and the one on the Umarex BB version functions in exactly the same way. The mag will be released by either pushing forwards or backwards on the catch – just choose whichever method feels most natural to you.
Another area to check, if you’ll pardon the pun, is the chequering. I counted how many rows were present on the backstrap of a 9mm Glock 19X, then counted the rows on the BB variant.
Both handguns had 29. Adding up rows of chequering may sound like a waste of time (my wife even had the nerve to call it “sad”!), but I believe attention to detail like this is a good indicator of the overall quality of an airgun.
Its weight and proportions are similar too, being 7.48” long compared with the marginally shorter 7.44” of the original, and weighing 660 grams unloaded as opposed to the 704 grams of the 9mm 19X. So they look alike – they could be identical twins – and feel very similar, but what’s the Umarex version like to use?
Like many BB handguns of this type, both the ammo and gas supply are contained within a drop-down stick magazine. The bottom of the magazine features a flanged plate, which forms a U-shape and gives the shooter something to hold when extracting the mag, especially if they are wearing gloves.
It has an additional function here, as it covers the CO2 piercing screw. The plate must be slid forward to reveal the screw, which is then wound out to let the capsule be dropped in, then wound back in to pierce the capsule and release the gas.
BBs are loaded by pulling down and locking open a spring-loaded follower. This works well, but the follower is truly tiny, and you’ll probably need to use a fingernail to operate it.
The magazine can take 18 rounds – and will happily function with a completely full mag – but I prefer to shoot in multiples of five or 10 shots, so most of my shooting was carried out with just 10 rounds loaded at a time.
Be careful when clicking the magazine back in place inside the pistol grip: the polymer frame has two internal guide rails, and if you insert the magazine at the wrong angle and slap it in place, you’ll run the risk of damaging the guide rails. It’s easy enough to do it right, once you know what you’re looking for.
With a gassed and loaded magazine inserted into the 19X, the gun can be made ready to fire by pulling back and then releasing the slide to cock it. There’s one thing the Umarex 19X has that the 9mm version doesn’t, however, and that’s a traditional safety catch.
The powder-burner relies on a trigger safety to lock the blade, where a little tab in the middle of the blade must be depressed in order for the trigger to function.
This is present on the CO2 gun too, but the Umarex Glock also has a sliding safety catch that’s located underneath the forward section of Picatinny rail beneath the muzzle.
It’s flush with the frame and is very discreet, so adds an extra level of safety without compromising the authentic look of the gun.
The fixed open sights are the notch and post variety, with two white dots painted on the rear sight, and one on the front post. These are sometimes called ‘three-dot’ sights, for obvious reasons, but are completely different to a regular dot sight.
The notch and post are meant to be lined up with each other over the centre of the target at the gun’s zero range. On the 9mm original this is 25 yards, while I found the sight picture to be near-perfect at 10 yards on the Umarex 19X.
Two things immediately become apparent on firing the gun. Because the gun is relatively light, being made with a polymer frame and metal slide, it’s a bit lively in the hand.
Trigger-pull is also very heavy, at around 9lb. But when you’ve emptied the magazine and are standing there with a grin on your face, two more things become apparent. That heavy trigger-pull is soon forgotten – this is a multi-shot action pistol after all, not a target gun. And shooting a blowback is just plain fun. It’s as simple as that.
Another feature I love to see on guns of this type is for the slide to stay open when the last round has been fired. This avoids confusion if you’ve lost count of how many shots you’ve taken, keeps things safe and also saves gas.
While tin cans and other reactive targets are the natural fodder for the Glock 19X, I put the gun through its paces on paper targets too, and was pleasantly surprised by the results.
Twenty shots in under 6cm (2.25”) was the norm at 10 yards when I was shooting slowly and in batches of 10. A single capsule was enough for 60 good shots. Power fell off dramatically beyond that, but you can hear it audibly dropping, so know when it’s time to cease fire, re-gas and keep the action going.
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