MARSOC Authorized to Use Glock 19s

MARSOC has won a small victory in attaining authorization to use Glock 19 handguns in qualifications. Soldier Systems has the story:

In a Marine Corps MARADMIN message issued last week, MARSOC is authorized to use GLOCK 19 pistols, but as USSOCOM assets. This weapon has been used by SOF assets for some time and MARSOC has been working diligently with their parent service to officially authorize its use during annual quals. This is a win for the CSO.

This annual MARADMIN isn’t reserved solely for MARSOC or the GLOCK pistol but rather has info that applies to the arming of all Marines. It is worth a read.


Marine Corps Times has more details:

In a Marine Corps first, the service recently added a Glock pistol to its list of authorized individual weapons, optics and modular attachments.

However, the 9mm semi-automatic Glock 19 pistol is officially approved for use only by personnel assigned to Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, according to a force-wide message issued in mid-February. In fact, the pistol will carry a non-Marine inventory number because it is a U.S. Special Operations Command asset, according to the message.

It is not immediately clear if MARSOC has used the pistols unofficially before now, but they are popular throughout the special operations community. More broadly, they are standard issue for armies on several continents, a staple among international and domestic law enforcement, including the FBI and many local police departments. Glocks are ubiquitous among civilian gun enthusiasts. And they are even seen in the hands of some al-Qaida fighters.

Of particular interest is the authorization of the Glock 19, but other weapons, too, were listed as authorized, including the M45A1 CQB and M27 IAR.

Since the document regards the Marine special operations contingent, it’s hard to say whether this decision could have any affect on the ongoing Army Modular Handgun System program. However, it’s interesting to hear that the Glock handgun is apparently desirable enough for a significant effort to be made to allow its use in qualifications.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • JumpIf NotZero

    The 17 makes more sense to me but whatever. I have no idea how many marsoc guys are doing low profile stuff. There must be some because that’s where I see the 19 being notably more useful than anything else they have access to including a 17.

    I can only hope that when the old man dies, Glock gets on their A-game and makes a modular fire control / frame version ala the SIG P320, and destroys the handgun market for a hundred years.

    • CommonSense23

      How much more performance do you gain from going to a 17. The 19 is smaller and lighter and more than capable at the ranges pistols are primarily been used for, and most guys just run a extended mag anyway, so mag size doesn’t really come into play.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Yea, I carry a 19, so I’m aware of the merits. But if you don’t care about concealing, I’d certainly prefer the two extra rounds the slightly softer recoil, the extra sight radius, and the grip that fills out large hands a little better.

        • CommonSense23

          Again pretty much every one carries extended mags. The gun is lighter and smaller, which is why you choose a Glock over a SIG to begin with. And the fact is if you are using a pistol and you are issued a MK18, it’s cause you and your gun have problably been shot, from inside a room and you really aren’t going to be needing the longer sight radius or caring to much about the difference in how much softer it shoots for a single mag.

          • JumpIf NotZero


            You keep mentioning weight but it’s 1-2oz unloaded or loaded. Which is all lighter than the M45, the P226/Mk11 and the 92A1. I’m not sure the only time anyone has every used a pistol is because they are wounded. Or that Marines only use handguns indoors. I suppose I had thought the Marines still taught rifle to handgun transitions. But OK.

            I’m sure there is a reason the 19 was selected, but weight or likelyhood of use are surely not it.

          • CommonSense23

            With the reliability of the MK18MOD1/SOPMOD the need to transition inside a house due to weapons failure is extremely rare these days. And if that does happen you supporting buddy better push you aside and engage with a rifle before you can even transition. The idea of staying in the x and trying to engage a guy with a AK with a pistol while you have either 1 or 3 guys with working rifles has gone away. And the same principle works outside even better due to having more guys to support you in case of a malfunction.
            As for uses other than wounded, there are a few. Use while climbing and in extreme close confines(ships, tunnels, attics those types of things).
            And the simplest fact is that Marsoc doesn’t have the funding of a SMU. They can’t outfit every one with a full size, compact and suppressed pistol. And the vast majority of a time a guy is going to be wearing a pistol is just going about doing his regular activities on base. And that comes down to comfort most of all.

          • CommonSense23

            And should mention that the size of the gun is important also when you aren’t using a holster. Carrying your gun in your radio pouch or kangaroo pouch which is becoming pretty popular these days.

          • Nicks87

            I agree with jump, the 17 makes more sense. The 19 is a comprimise between the model 17 and the 26. The 19 is a great choice if you can only have one but the full size is a better duty/secondary weapon. Then again, I can shoot my 26 just as good as I shoot my 17 so I sometimes wonder if I even need the 17!

          • CommonSense23

            But they are not using it as a duty weapon. The chance of use is so incredibly small, and when you are routinely carrying over 80 pounds of gear, having a smaller weapon is incredibly usefull. Couple with the fact that the other major use is concealed and just walking around and having to have a gun on you to walk to the gym or mess hall, that is all about comfort. How much more benefits do you get from a half inch of barrel. If the pistol was one of those things were 1/10 guys used them, it might start making sense to go full size(and to a heavier frame than glocks) but when it’s less than 1/1000 of them are going to rely on it, it makes sense to start factoring comfort and the ability to conceal it into the equation.

        • RealitiCzech

          Probably the concealment factor. The G19 is one of the most useful sizes – small enough to conceal decently, long enough to still shoot well, and good capacity. I figure the 19 is for both the smaller-handed element, and for times when concealment might be needed. Maybe the guys with gorilla hands stick with the 1911s.

    • Some Guy

      Did you miss the part in the article mentioning the fact that other USSOCOM assets have been using the 19 for some time now?

      The decision to go with the 19 over the 17 almost certainly comes down to the fact that approving the 17 would require more paperwork and logistics for virtually no benefit over the 19.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Just out of curiosity, does that invalidate any of the curiosity I have as to why the 19 if not now but initially?

        • Some Guy

          My understanding is that the 19 was initially chosen for the lower profile roles that you mentioned. No doubt the 17 would be a better choice for MARSOC but it’s way easier to slap an approval on the 19 and call it a day.

          • Bill

            The 19 is really size-efficient. 2 extra rounds isn’t really worth the extra bulk, particularly when extended baseplates are available. It’s the equivalent of a Commander, or P228.

          • whskee

            My former team carried the P228, which is the compact compared to the P226. I’m sure no one is balking they only get the 19 instead of the 17. Since you mention it, I don’t think I can remember seeing anyone ever having extended mags for the Glocks in country. They were standard for the Mk 24(HK) and Mk 25(Sig).

          • Bill

            I carried one for quite a while, perfect fit for both uniform and plainclothes, same for the SIG P229 or P228/M11 versus the P226. IIRC all will take the same mags as their slightly larger kin. I tend to carry my G19 and P229s with standard mags in the gun, and my spare mags with the +2 baseplates, mainly to make reloads more certain.

    • Anonymoose

      Glock 19s are actually pretty uncommon worldwide. Undercover police use, in some places, maybe, but the predominant military and uniformed police model worldwide is the 17.

      • Albert Einstein

        19s are the most popular in America, not worldwide, that much is true.

        What is also true is that the 19 is still the second most popular Glock pistol worldwide. If you look at videos/photos of ISIS douches and FSA dudes in Iraq/Syria, you’ll notice a lot of Glocks, and the 19(or at least something in the 19 frame size) pops up more often than the 17.

    • nadnerbus

      My pinky hangs off the bottom of my 19, and that is without gloves. I love the pistol, but do feel like the 17 is a better choice if having a semi-concealable pistol is not a priority. Grips a little better (for me anyway), and the sight just seems to be a bit easier to pick up quickly.

      • Albert Einstein

        Your fault for being born a sasquatch, bro.

        • nadnerbus

          Don’t even get me started on back hair…

    • Albert Einstein

      17 is too damn large for most people. If you want more capacity, just stick a 17 round mag in it.

      PS: SIG P320 is absolute trash, and should never be looked up to as a pistol. The only reason the “modular” frame of the P320 would ever be viable, is if you lived in some crappy place where you could only own a single “gun,”(legally speaking) but many gun parts, such as France.

      If you can take the time to mold a separate frame for a pistol, you can take the time to have steel inserts in it so that you have a complete separate frame. Even if it DOES cost 5 dollars more.

  • Joe

    Good for them and the tax payers!

  • Rich Guy

    I could see the 21 because of their recent 1911 adoption, but the 19? Odd choice IMHO.

    Id still that M45A1 givin the choice, but I appeciate that the men who actually use thier weapons everyt day have a choice now; big stride forwad IMHO.

    • Marc

      The M45 was the odd choice.

    • CommonSense23

      The 1911 and .45 was pretty much forced upon Marsoc. When the unit that has for more funding and experience with the 1911 and .45 dumped it for a Glock, it was a clue that Marsocs horrible command structure just straight ignored.

      • Ron

        Command structure has nothing to do with it, the service is responsible to provide non-SOCOM specific gear. Since Force and MP SRTs also use them weapon they could not use SOCOM money to buy those pistols

  • Alexander

    Glocks do not have a manual safety, so they have no chance to be part of Army Modular Handgun System program.

    Army Modular Handgun System
    Army Modular Handgun System program
    Army Modular Handgun System program

    • M

      Is that an actual requirement or just an assumption?

      • JumpIf NotZero

        They are re-drafting the requirements, so it’s unknown right now. In all likelyhood, a manual safety will be preferred if not required and it’ll be interesting to see how Glock deals with that.

        • billyoblivion

          Same way they did with California’s requirement.

          Put the safety on the trigger.

    • Nicks87

      Too bad for them.

    • whskee

      I’m going to say that isn’t true and an old myth. The M11 Sig’s don’t have an manual safety and have been in service use for longer than most realize. Everyone I’ve ever worked with has absolutely hated the M9 after having had an M11. Glock has also been in service use going back quite a few years unofficially. From what I can tell, Glock has a strong chance. I think all they need to do to really up their odds is to make a proper rail.

  • Will

    The guy in the photo appears to be holding a Glock 17.
    What ever it is it’s a good choice.
    Could be wrong. New glasses.

    • He is using a 17. He’s training with the Norwegians, IIRC. There weren’t any pictures of MARSOC with the 19.

  • tony

    in the 90’s, glock 21s were used in some numbers.

  • Zebra Dun

    A double action only auto pistol doesn’t need a manual safety.
    Like a revolver one must always know that to get the weapon to shoot you must pull the trigger, to keep the weapon from shooting do not pull the trigger.
    The Glock would be an excellent handgun for use by the US military.

    • CommonSense23

      Wait for someone to come screaming that glocks are not DOA.

      • Nicks87

        Do you mean DAO? Glocks are striker fired, I wouldn’t exactly call it double action only.

        • Guest

          No, he meant Dead On Arrival.

        • Sulaco

          Well ya, except that “officially” BATF so labeled them as DAO when they were first up for import into the US. In fact some police depts., only were able to move from revolvers to Glocks cause they were “DAO”.

        • Tark

          Although they’re striker-fired, the trigger pull on a Glock (as well as XD’s IIRC) pulls back the striker then releases. As opposed to the PPQ’s which pre-loads the striker when the slide is cycled, and is therefore “single-action”. Realistically it isn’t noticable and isn’t considered as such by most people, but may give them a slight edge in technicalities.

          • Tark

            I was wrong about the XDs, my bad.

  • Zebra Dun

    No, I don’t like Glocks or own one.

  • Vitsaus

    The Glock fanboys will be even more insufferable now.

    • SM

      A friend of mine is one of the worst Glock fanboys I’ve ever met. I know he reads TFB, so I’m expecting a text sometime today.

    • Albert Einstein

      At least it takes 1911 fanboys down a notch to get them to shut up.

    • kingghidorah

      I have a 26 edc and a 22, that being said a large proportion of Glock owners are just like most Apple device (and Harley) owners. Brand loyal, to the point of making the flaws of their Glock/Apple/Harley a positive thing. I can’t stand them.

  • Fruitbat44

    USMC actively seeking out a pistol which isn’t 1911 .45ACP?
    Strange days indeed. 🙂

  • Lance

    Glocks have been optional use in Special Forces for years. Rumor is Delta Force used G-21s and helped make the G-21SF model. This isn’t BIG news they also use M-45s and M-9s so the operator just has a additional choice when it come to his personal weapon.

    As for the authors dream about MHS this wont affect it at all. MHS is a Army program and like ICC the USMC said and is having no part in that program.Glocks have no external safty and so most Military brass wont want it. Glocks have been in other so called M-9 replacment competitions in the past JCP come to mind and Glock never won or made top place compared to Springfield XDM and H&K .45 did. Think your bias is showing in this post.

    • CommonSense23

      Do you really think anyone is going to choose to carry a M9 over a Glock. And the M-45 is going to go the wayside as more of the MK24s start becoming more prevalent in SOF armories.

  • Joshua

    Well goodbye M45A1.

  • anononymous-wan

    I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of 1911 fanboys
    suddenly cried out in terror.

    • USMC03Vet

      It’s weird too because special marines decided to go 1911 over the Beretta. Now they are being special again going with the glock.

  • John

    Meh. Since the UK Armed Forces have officially adopted the Glock 17 as their new standard-issue firearm, I’m less than surprised US SOCOM would use a similar version.

  • n0truscotsman

    Don’t worry. Us Glock guys will even be more insufferable now, especially in “glock vs 1911” debates. 😉

    • Dan

      Ok but round two is a strictly pistol whipping event, then a hammer a nail in a 2X4 race. Jk i own both so I don’t play favorites

      • n0truscotsman

        So, no “try outs?” (*puts away broken pool cue*)
        Yeah i got away from that dialectic some time ago 😀 I’ve been carrying a Shield 9 for about 8 months now and have been shooting a M&P 9 for my “tactical sidearm” following my series of misadventures diagnosing problems and fixing fellow shooters of mine’s gen 4 Glocks.
        Im curious how those units who have been using Glocks have been dealing with this, since the issues with the gen 4 are well known by now.

  • Intellectual_Slacker

    I feel this has something to do with the ALG 6 second mount

  • iksnilol

    I don’t understand why people like Glocks. They cost just as much as CZs while being much less comfortable or safe.