|My carry Glock 19 w/Raven Vanguard II holster|
The G19 is a boringly reliable handgun that I've learned to shoot very well, however it lacks features found on more contemporary designs. Things like ambidextrous controls for the slide stop and magazine release have never appeared on later generations of Glock pistols. Glock has made some effort to modernize the design of its aging pistols, but I've not been impressed with these modernization attempts.
The user replaceable backstraps that appeared in the Generation 4 Glock pistols were a bit disappointing. The Glock design doesn't have a user replaceable backstrap per se, it has user installed backstrap additions that make the already bulky Glock grip even bulkier.
Glock attempted an ambi-magazine release with the Gen 3 Model 21SF, but it was destine to failure. As soon as it was released, reports of broken magazine catches and dropped magazines started flying. Glock quietly dropped the G21SF with the ambi-magazine release.
I've never really progressed past the Gen 3 Glock pistols, I stopped buying them once the Gen 4's were released and had numerous issues with failures to feed. I felt that Glock's decision to go with a dual recoil spring system was misdirected and unnecessary. To me it seems as though Glock is floundering, unable to come up with purposeful updates to the basic Glock design. But that's fine, I'm mostly content with the Gen 3 Glocks.
|M&P w/Raven Phantom Holster|
Despite being mostly content with my G19 as a carry gun, I'm always keeping an eye out for any new developments on the defensive handgun market. I expect someone to eventually build a better mousetrap.
The first pistol to come along that piqued my interest as a possible replacement for my Glock 19 was the S&W M&P 9mm. I didn't jump on the bandwagon early with this pistol, I want to take a "watch and see" position during the roll-out. As with all new pistols there were reports of various problems including the magazine unexpectedly falling out of the pistol while firing.
S&W moved quickly to remedy these issues and once I was satisfied that all was well in M&P land, I bought my first pistol for evaluation.
Right away I noticed the ergonomics of the M&P were a substantial step forward from the Glocks' rather pedestrian erogo's. The M&P features a nicely contoured grip that fits your hand like a custom fit glove. It has, by far, the best feeling grip of any handgun I've owned previously.
The pistol is a natural pointer, you can instinctively point the pistol and hit targets at standard combat ranges quite effortlessly. The sights are common, but easy to pick up and use. Things were going great with the M&P except for one minor issue.
|My finger hooking the M&P trigger|
The M&P's trigger is the weak point in the design as I see it. It's designed for people with much smaller hands than mine. The reach from the back strap to the trigger is so short that I'm forced to hook my finger around the trigger when I shoot. This is not conducive to good accuracy and it's uncomfortable.
Another problem with the trigger is that it lacks a tactile and audible reset, meaning you can't feel or hear when the trigger resets for the next shot. This drives some people nuts, myself included.
I've been trying to work around the issues with the M&P by shooting it regularly. I was on the fence trying to decide if this pistol was worthy of taking the daily carry title from my G19. After considerable thought, many rounds fired and even taking the pistol for a few test runs out on the town in my Raven Phantom holster, I've decided this pistol isn't the right choice as my daily carry gun.
I had resigned myself to the fact I could not find a suitable replacement for my Glock 19. I'm not heart broken by any means, I'm content with my Glock 19.
Or so I thought.
|Caracal F w/Raven Phantom holster|
A few weeks pass and I pick a Caracal up from my friends over at 21st Century Firearms to test out. Once I started shooting the pistol I realized this is what the Glock should be today, after 25+ years of evolution. It's more ergonomic. The recoil is straight back into your hand since it has a very low bore axis. The sights are easy to pick up. The trigger is lighter, cleaner and more crisp than a factory Glock trigger and the reach is perfect.
I'm back on the evaluation train again. While I'm not 100% sold on the Caracal as my daily carry gun, it is the best candidate so far. In a couple of months I will decide if this pistol will officially replace my Glock 19 I've been carrying for years. I'll keep you posted.