I’m one of those guys. You know, the ones who could be heard saying, “Those plastic, ugly things? I could never carry one. They have no personality and are butt-ugly!” You read right; I was literally basing my opinion of a firearm solely on its looks. I recognized the reputation of safety and reliability, but I allowed my narrow-mindedness in regards to firearm aesthetics to cloud my judgment when it came to considering Glocks for purchase. Then, one day, I decided to finally get my concealed handgun license, and while searching for good carry weapons, a friend told me to seriously consider Glock. As I respect this friend’s opinion immensely, I did so. What I found was both perception-shattering and life changing. As you may have read in this article, my background as a U.S. Marine was with the M1911A1 and the M9. I received lengthy training with both of these service pistols, and I felt very comfortable with them. The pistol I carried most or had readily available to me at all times was a Colt Series ’70 that was given to me by my brother-in-law. When I would go to the range, I would practice with it and also with the M9, and both just felt like “home” to me. Over 30 years of working with two weapons systems does bring a comfortable familiarity. It also brought a large degree of confidence. However, neither of these pistols are readily concealable; I’m a short man, and these large-frame pistols print horribly on me. Enter Glock into the pool of candidates to become my ECW. As my friend and I discussed ECW options, he told me that he personally carried a Ruger, but was looking to replace it with a Glock 43. He began telling me about it, and from the description alone, I felt that he was describing the type of pistol I would prefer to carry as my ECW. The fact that it was a Glock melted away from my list of concerns as he explained to me how the striker worked, how the safety devices built into the Glocks were designed and how they worked, and ultimately, how little maintenance they require. My 1911’s are a lot of things, but maintenance free isn’t one of them. I decided to go to a local gun store that was having a free-shooting event with most of the big-name manufacturers on-hand to let people fire their pistols. It was there that I shot Sigs, Glocks, Smith & Wesson M&P’s, Walthers, Kimbers, and Rugers. Of all the pistols I shot, I felt best with the Sigs and the Glocks. However, the words of my friend kept coming back to me, and I decided that the Glock was the one for me. Fortunately for me, there was a gun show coming the following Saturday, so I held off on buying in the store that day and waited for the gun show. We arrived early in the morning (before the doors opened) and my two friends and I immediately set out to find Glock 43’s at the best price. After about 20 minutes, we met up and compared prices and found a brand new one for $423. Bingo! I jumped on it and laid out the cash and purchased my first Glock. It was a cute little pistol, and I immediately bought a OWB holster from Tucker & Boyd and some extra magazines. When I got home, I purchased some Pearce +1 magazines, and the following day, I purchased some Hornady Critical Defense rounds for it. I field stripped the pistol and fell in love with the simplicity of the engineering. The finish was very nice, but the way that the pistol was laid out, how everything was so dead-nuts simple just really impressed me. I watched some videos to learn how to detail strip it, and for educational purposes, I did that as well. Having built AR’s in the past and taken apart my M9 and 1911’s beyond field stripping, the Glock was a marvel of engineering. How it came apart and went together so easily is something that I felt was superior in design; truly a modern pistol. After putting it back together, I took it to the range and did very well with it. It was then that I decided that I wanted a Glock 19. I called my friend and asked him if he knew where I could find the best price for a Gen 4 Glock 19 in our city. He gave me the name of a gun store that I could call, and sure enough, they had them for $521. This seemed fair to me as a non-gun show price, so I told them I’d be right over. Thirty minutes later, I was the owner of a Gen 4 Glock 19. When I got home, I purchased the extended slide release lever and some extra magazines, both OEM and Magpul. I also bought some Meprolight sights on Amazon and a sight tool on eBay that was made for Glocks. I was now getting invested into Glocks. After putting these parts on my new G19, I took it to the range and fell in love with it. I did have problems with it at first, but it turned out I wasn’t holding it right and probably limp wristing it (even though I was sure I wasn’t). Shooting the 1911’s and M9 allow you to have a grip that is not quite as firm as needed for a Glock. While it wasn’t as much an issue with the G43, the G19 demands the more firm grip. Once I got this figured out, it became my favorite shooter. After having the Gen 4 Glock 19 for a week or so, I decided to buy one for my daughter. AIM Surplus had a batch of police trade-in pistols on sale for $359, so I purchased one. Along with some Meprolight sights, extended slide release, and some Pearce magazine bases that fill the hole on the front of the grip, I set this pistol up for my daughter as a Christmas present. She has yet to receive it, but will soon. The bug bit me hard, and since my daughter had been talking about getting into competitive shooting, I decided it would be something nice that she and I can do to spend time together now that she’s moved out and on her own. I figured that having a G34 would be a good idea, so here on the Glocktalk Classifieds, I found a Gen 3 Glock 34 for a good price. It had probably ~200 rounds though it, which just meant to me that it was broken in. I purchased it, and received it about a week later. I put some TruGlos on it and it is one of the nicest shooting pistols I’ve ever shot. My wife likes shooting it as well, but not as much as the next Glock I purchased. The Glock 17 is the one that started it all, and it was the one I first became aware of back in the late 80’s. It was the famous “Plastic gun” that erroneously was touted by the press as being a gun that could be carried through a metal detector without alerting. This, obviously, is false, but the rumors were rampant. Also of note was its polymer construction which, back in the 80’s, was looked down upon. Sure, the M16A2’s we carried had polymer handguards, pistol grips, and stocks, but those were not integral parts of the weapon. That the frame of the Glock 17 was polymer frankly scared a lot of us. Would it be able to hold up? What would happen to them in 5 years? 10 years? Well, fast-forward nearly 30 years, and the Glocks have more than proven themselves, and I was ready to accept it. At this point, having purchased four Glocks, it was time to make the leap and get the original: the Glock 17. I opted for a Gen 4, and I haven’t regretted it. I was able to use my GSSF purchase card and bought it at a local Blue Label dealer for $425. To say that this pistol fits me perfectly is an understatement. It’s the pistol I have found I shoot the best with, and of all my pistols, my wife loves the Glock 17 the most. Everything about it just sings to me, and at this time, I can’t see myself looking elsewhere for a pistol that just works for me, my hand, and my shooting style. Whenever I go to the range, the Glock 17 is always with me, and always the first pistol (and often the last) that I shoot. A funny thing happened along the way to the Glock party; I fell in love with the aesthetics. Much like a kitchen knife or a good hammer, tools develop an identity or a personality, especially when they prove to be reliable, easy to use, and help make the job at hand easier. The Glock pistols I’ve purchased fit the bill in all the aforementioned areas. I’ve found that I actually really like how they look, and while the 1911 is still the quintessential look for a semi-auto pistol in my mind, the Glocks are now my favorites. I was late getting to the Glock party, but I’m here now. I’m here to stay, and this round of drinks is on me.