Breaking: Rangers Go Glock, Is the US Army Soon to Follow? 1911s Not Longer Pistol of Choice for SF

Nathaniel F
by Nathaniel F

“It’s Over. Glock Won.” Hognose writes. What did Glock win? Total domination in the US Special Operations world, and (my speculation) possibly the Modular Handgun System contract as well, by extension. Hognose doesn’t explicitly say that the Glock is destined to be the next US Army service handgun, but go says just about everything short of it:

We don’t know if Tier One units are still running .40s, and we are not 100% certain the Rangers are on the Glock bandwagon, but if they are, it’s over, because that’s where the top leaders of the Army come from these days.

With the search for a new handgun in full swing, the gun that’s good enough for SOCOM and MARSOC would be a very difficult choice to pass up. Oh, and about those Rangers?

Well, shortly after that post went live, the phone rang. Yep, the Ranger Regiment is running with G19s, also.

Unless MHS is cancelled outright (a distinct possibility), and no new procurement of pistols is undertaken, it seems likely that Glock will come out on top and become the next Army service pistol. With the FBI’s recent selection of Glock, and the Army Chief of Staff already calling for a straight buy of Glock pistols in lieu of the MHS program, we may well be in for an era of Glock ubiquity that puts the past fifteen years to shame. Andrew Tuohy once said that we have reached “peak handgun” with the Glock 19, and US Special Forces seem to agree. So does Hognose, who writes:

Why the Glock 19? This is strictly our own opinion, but there are a number of reasons that make it attractive.

  1. It’s a very good size for both uniformed and  undercover work. Not too small to shoot well, not so big as to be hard for average-build guys to conceal. (Some of your Belgian horse SEALs could conceal a Barrett, but that’s another story).
  2. It’s as reliable as a hammer. Like any gun, Joe can (and does) break it, but the breaks and stoppages are fewer and further between. It’s more reliable than its in-service competitors, the 1911 (M45), M9, and P226 (and the P228/M11 used in some undercover roles).
  3. It’s durable and tolerant of abuse, neglect, and environmental stress throughout the SOF operating environment, from 0º to 90º N/S and sea level to Himalayan terrain. It might get fugly but it won’t lock up.
  4. It’s easy to learn. Makes a difference when you need to be able to shoot it, but are in a job where shooting pistol is only one of hundreds of tasks you have to master.
  5. It’s easy to shoot well. Most shooters do better on a Glock than on a DA/SA pistol.
  6. It’s cheap. Sure, Uncle doesn’t pay what you do for a Beretta or a SIG, but Uncle doesn’t pay what you do for a Glock, either.

Some of the other Glock-offs, like the Smith & Wesson M&P, can match some or all of these Glock advantages, but it’s hard to beat the whole package, as the dismissal of S&W from the Modular Handgun competition suggests.

Is this the beginning of the end? Is the final stage of the Aglockalypse upon us? In ten years, will anyone remember that any other handguns ever existed?

UPDATE: Another former Ranger has confirmed Glocks are now being issued.

Nathaniel F
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. He can be reached via email at

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  • Working4change Working4change on Oct 18, 2016

    lol G19... aka POS only upside if relaible as a hammer n price.

    XDM or XDS are far better in everyway but price.

    Glock=HP injet baseline product.

    now yes the 1911 needs replacement. 8-9 rounds vs 13 in a .45acp for example sucks. yes after they are tweeked 1911 is nice. but when out of the box there are better options its past time to change.

    i own G19 9mm and it has more recoil then my XDM 45acp. the glock has more impact on hands and wrist. i get tighter groups with my 45 and faster.

    pick your poison. the G19 will be good enough, but their are better options.

    oh yeah the New High Points out last glocks.... when the glock was locked up tight, the high point shot for another 200 rounds. just wish they had DS magazines if not for capacity, they would be in the mix.

  • Col Yogurt Col Yogurt on Oct 28, 2016

    What/whose sights are on these glocks?