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Glock 19 OK’d For Use By Marine Special Operations

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By Elwood Shelton, Gun Digest

This news is a bit long in the tooth, but nonetheless intriguing — the U.S. Marine Corps is adopting the Glock 19.

The branch announced the authorization of the polymer-framed pistol’s use in a Feb. 2 Marine Administrative Message. But not every Devil Dog will get a shot at holstering the striker-fire 9x19mm sidearm. Presently, the Glock 19 has only been sanctioned for use by Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command.

MARSOC, officially activated in 2006, is based out of Camp Lajeune, N.C., and is split into three subordinate commands: “Raider” Regiment, Support Group and Intelligence Battalion. The Glock 19 represents the third pistol MARSOC has used in its short history.

At times, the special operations group has utilize the Beretta M9A1, a variation on the standard-issue U.S. Military sidearm. More recently, MARSOC has employed a variation of the venerable M1911. Around two years ago, the Corps placed a $22.5-millon order with Colt for its M45A1 Close Quarter Battle Pistol.

According to, the most recent addition to the special operators’ roster of sidearms came at the direct request of the troops themselves:

As nice as the new .45s are, many MARSOC troops prefer to carry Glock 19s instead, sources said.

The 1911 was a ground-breaking design that served the U.S. military before World War I until the mid-1980s. The design is still popular, but it’s also heavy, prone to malfunction and limited to seven or eight-round magazines, pistols experts have said.

The G19’s easy of use and maintenance, capacity (15-rounds standard magazine) and reliability were given later in the article as some of the reasons why the pistol has curried favor with MARSOC.

The G19 is utilized by a number of militaries around the world and has seen action in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The pistol, however, is perhaps better known in the United States for its work in law enforcement. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, New Your City Police Department and U.S. Marshals Service have all at one time or another carried the Glock 19.

The Glock 19 working its way into the Marine Corps isn’t the only sidearm shakeup in the U.S. Military. Presently, all branches are looking for a replacement for the Beretta M9, which took over duty from the M1911 in 1985.

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