A Glock pistol was recently added to the list of authorized individual weapons, optics and modular attachments, which is a first for the Marine Corps.
According to a force-wide message issued in mid-February, assigned Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command officially approved the 9mm Glock pistol for use. The message also adds that the pistol will carry a non-Marine inventory number since it is also a U.S. Special Operations Command asset.
The Glock 19s are a standard issue for armies on several continents and considered a staple among international and domestic law enforcement, including the FBI and many local police departments. It’s not immediately clear if MARSOC has used the pistols unofficially before now, but they are popular throughout the special operations community as well as civilian gun enthusiasts.
Currently, Glock dominates the modern semi-automatic pistol market, which is owed to their relatively low cost, reputation for reliability and the ease of finding parts and accessories when needed. A particular advantage for those who operate in austere conditions where there is sand, mud, dirt, water and snow is that Glocks aren’t prone to malfunction. The polymer frame makes the Glock corrosion resistant, meeting the needs of a maritime force working around salt water.
Marine Corps officials could not immediately address questions regarding if the pistols were only now approved for MARSOC.
Glock pistols are often used when training foreign police and military personnel by the Army Special Forces. Over 100,000 Glock 19s were purchased for issue to Iraq’s security forces. U.S. instructors considered it best practice to use the same firearm for their students. Previously, Marine operators have used 9mm Beretta M9 or M9A1 pistols, but more often the service’s .45-caliber M45A1 Close Quarter Battle Pistol that is based on the iconic M1911 platform.
It has not yet been determined by MARSOC which holster they will use with the G19.
“Standard holsters for this item are pending source selection,” the force-wide message states. “Command approved holsters are authorized for this item until source selection is complete.” The service’s current standard issue holster for use with Beretta M9s, the SERPA Level 2 Tactical Holster by Blackhawk, is available on the civilian market for the G19 as well.
It is also unclear whether all G19s are authorized, or only certain generations. With four generations of Glock pistols, Gen3 Glocks incorporated a short rail system for attaching light and laser accessories. Gen 4 Glocks have a rougher texture to the frame for better grip in in wet conditions; a modular back strap system to easily customize grip size for individual shooters; a larger and reversible magazine catch making the pistol friendlier for left-handed shooters; and an updated recoil spring assembly to reduce felt recoil.