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 has been introduced as the new service weapon of the SEAL Teams. They slowly phased out the Sig P226 over the last few years.

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

There are several factors why Navy SEALs chose Glock 19 as their new service weapon. First and foremost, you have aging guns that need to be replaced, and some bids go out. I am sure Glock offered the Naval Special Warfare Command a great deal on the Glock package 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 a gun that delivered 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 salt water corrosion than the metal SIG P226. 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 terrible 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. They are not only having a sidearm that is reliable but also easy to maintain.

Navy SEALs chose Glock 19 as their new sidearm
Glock 19 is 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 want 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 Glock’s noted reliability, make it an understandable choice. I must admit I am not a Glock guy. I 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) 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. 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.

  2. Makes me wonder WHY they don’t use the Glock 19X with it’s larger frame & marine spring cup already, It would be better for guys with BIG hands too + Uses Glock 17 & 19 round magazines as well as the G18 33rd sticks

  3. There also a significant weight savings over the P-226, also a fine gun known for durability and reliability, but that durability comes at the cost of weight. You can get 20 rounders for the Sig. I suspect this move is largely based on total cost of ownership. Both guns do the job well. I have a Glock 19. They just work and are easy to fix.

  4. I love my sig 226 sao. Had the Glock 19 but it just didn’t seem correct for my trigger finger after the 1911 style of the 226 sao. I don’t car for the little trigger safety thing on Glocks But I didn’t care much for the Edsel in its day either. Just saying.

  5. I’ve used and liked a Glock 19 for many years, but my Sig P226 Elite SAO with co-witness red dot is a superior weapon. Better recoil control. More accurate. Nicer stock trigger. And 32-round magazines are available and reliable.

    The Sig is a lot heavier, which can definitely be a drawback for a backup weapon in combat operations. Costs a lot more, too. But it oozes quality.

    I also prefer my CZ P01 to the Glock 19, as a compact carry gun.

  6. I recently purchased the Glock model 45 in 9mm it has the same slide and barrel length of the G 19 the difference is it had the full size grip of the G17 its an excellent firearm I prefer the full size grip over the shorter grip of the standard G19 . Now the G 19 x was actually built for the military it comes with a full size grip so my preference would be the G 45 or the G19x.

  7. The Glock 19 is Lighter & smaller, yet has the same standard capacity as the Sig 226. Glock is WAY easier to completely detail disassemble & reassemble!! Cost probably 1/2 to 1/3 of the 226. More rust / corrosion resistant. Same consistent trigger pull, vs the double action / single action of the 226. That’s a big deal, that many people do not master. Most people are not as accurate with the first double action round. That can be a big deal in a gun fight!! The Sig Classic line are quality handguns. I just think the Glock 19 or 17 are a better sidearm for combat situations. Some people call it the AK47 of handguns. I think the new Gen5 Glocks are better than that, because of their ambidextrous magazine release & slide stop lever.


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