Navy SEALs chose Glock 19 as their new sidearm

U.S. Navy SEAL Teams (Photo: Illustration)

After a few decades, Navy SEAL operators will get a new sidearm. Navy SEALs chose Glock 19 as the replacement for their favorite Sig Sauer P226. The decision was made in 2016 and so far, the Glock 19 was introduced as the new service weapons of the SEAL Teams. They slowly phased out the Sig P226 over the last few years.

Why the Navy SEALs shifting from SiG to Glock after so long?

There are a number of factors why Navy SEALs chose Glock 19 as their new service weapon. First and foremost, you have aging guns that needed to be replaced, and there are bids that go out. I am sure Glock offered the Naval Special Warfare Command a great deal on the Glock package in order to get the SEAL contract. It wouldn’t surprise me if a Glock 19 cost 1/3 of what the SIG Sauer P226 costs the United States Navy.

Navy SEALs at the shooting range firing from their Sig P226
Navy SEALs at the shooting range firing from their Sig P226 (Photo: MC2 Daniel Edgington/U.S. Navy)

For a long time, Sig Sauer P226 was reserved only for an elite few. At a certain time, it was considered as a gun that delivers the advanced features which made the P226 the official sidearm of the U.S. Navy SEALs.


From a functional standpoint, the polymer Glock 19 stands up better to saltwater corrosion than the metal SIG P226, and also, when fitted with maritime cups, Glock 19 is one of the few handguns that will function and cycle reliably underwater. I’ve worked on Sig P226 and they are harder to clean and some of their springs have a bad habit of rusting. Also, SIGs are single-action/double-action, decocker guns, while Glocks are striker-fired. They tend to have a more consistent trigger and there is Glock’s reliability to consider.

SiG Sauer P226 was an improved, high-capacity version of the Sig Sauer P220
Sig Sauer P226 was an improved, high-capacity version of the Sig Sauer P220 (Photo: SIG Sauer)


Glock is famous for making maintenance on their handguns extremely easy. It means no matter are you on the range, in the field, or at home. Even a detailed breakdown of the handgun only requires a minimum movement and probably only a punch tool. It is so easy that it could be accomplished by most people who use it. For the special forces operators, this is huge. Not only having a sidearm that is reliable, but also easy to maintain.

Navy SEALs chose Glock 19 as their new sidearm
Glock 19 as a favorite sidearm for many special operations forces (Photo: XY/Spec Ops Magazine)


I do believe that most of the special operation guys who make their living with weapons like to tune them to fit exactly the way they like to shoot. Glock with so many aftermarket upgrades like triggers, slides, mag wells, optics, sites, and grip texture allows them to do just that. All these features plus Glocks noted reliability make it an understandable choice. I must admit I am not a Glock guy. I personally don’t care for them and would rather have my Sig. I do however respect that they are good weapons. I also believe those guys who put themselves in harm’s way can have any damn thing they want.

Not only Navy SEALs

So far, the Glock 19 is gaining more popularity in the United States military. The MARSOC also adopted the Glock 19 into their inventory. Also, the FBI Hostage Rescue Team (FBI HRT) is also issued Glock pistols. I believe the Glock 19 will be a solid platform for the Navy SEALs, MARSOC Raider, and all others in the United States military hierarchy who adopt Glocks.

Some good points put out about why the Navy SEALs may have made the change. One additional point I’d like to add is Glock has become the AR of handguns. There are tons of upgrades and customizations available for the Glock. Not so much for the SIG P226 itself.

1 comment
  1. I’ve read several articles on the USN Seals adoption of the G19. I’m befuddled as to why NOBODY mentions the battery of arms / magazine advantages of the gun. The teams likely considered the fact that they can also use the 17RD and 33RD Mags and if a team member runs out of ammo in a firefight, another member can toss him a mag. It’s one of many reasons why my entire family runs the Glock 9MM platform as the 19 for our base.

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