There's some very good points on here. I bought my first gun, a Glock 19 Gen 4 about a month ago. I made the decision to purchase it base largely on this forum and doing other research online.
It came down to a choice between this Glock 19 and a Walther PK380. I have yet to fire it because I'm waiting for the concealed weapons permit class. But the gun itself seems almost idiot proof. I watched youtube videos on how to load it, and I've even field stripped it and cleaned it based on videos and of course the manufactures instruction booklet. It's so easy to take apart. I never put my finger on the trigger, and I never point it at anything I don't want to destroy. And I always check to make sure a round isn't in the chamber.
Correct me if I'm wrong but In Glaxico Burress's case, even if he had a loaded magazine in the gun, it shouldn't have been a problem as long as there wasn't a round in the chamber right? I mean you should be able to pull the trigger all day as long as you haven't chambered a round, and nothing will happen, a drop, a snap with the booger picker, whatever right?
Call me an idiot and I see why people would want to keep a round chambered at all times, but I'm only going to do that if I'm in a threatening environment. I always treat the gun as if a round were chambered and I never drink or do drugs around weapons.
So my question is: Is there a difference between a loaded Glock and a Glock with a chambered round. It seems like common sense but I could be wrong. Looking forward to my gun safety classes and going to the range, but I'm really happy with this gun and feel confident I could use it effectively in an emergency situation until then.
Now to find the best rounds, I'll do a search in the forum for that, I'm sure there are just as many good ideas.
Contrary to popular internet gun forum opinions Glock pistols are far from idiot-proof. In fact some of the finest idiots I know own Glock pistols.
Your first mistake is saying that, 'You never put your finger on the trigger.
' Of course you do! I've been handling firearms and teaching people how to shoot for more than 50 years. It is humanly impossible for any gunman to keep his finger off the trigger all of the time. If someone is actually able to say this then he simply isn't handling guns all that much. Inadvertent trigger manipulation happens; and it happens for numerous very human reasons.
In all the years that I've been on firing lines I've seen everything there is to see. Consequently I do not regard any gun manufacturer's, 'trigger safety lever' as a true gun safety - An actual gun safety Glock's trigger lever is NOT. It's an impediment to firing the pistol, and nothing more! (The people who designed the XD series of pistols apparently agree with this assertion, as well.)
This said, I'm glad to see that you are already familiar with Cooper's Four Firearm Safety Rules! I suggest that you, 'burn' these rules into your very psyche, itself, so that they become personal habits instead of just memorized rules.
I own several 3rd generation Glock pistols; (In my opinion the best pistol generation that Glock, GmbH ever produced.) and I've carried either a G-21, or a G-19 with me everyday for the past 11 years. Today, there are four operating conditions in which to carry a semiautomatic pistol:
1. C-0, this is a recently invented expression that applies specifically to striker-fired semiautomatic pistols like the Glocks. It references the fact that striker-fired pistols retain their strikers under significant pretension - In Glock's case that pretension is described as, 'greater than 75%'! Anyone who says that a striker-fired pistol is no different than a double-action revolver doesn't know guns; and, unfortunately, there seem to be a lot of these people on internet gun forums.
2. C-1, the semi-auto has a round in the chamber, with the hammer cocked, and safety on. The pistol is either ready-to-fire, or almost ready-to-fire.
3. C-2, the semi-auto has a round in the chamber with the hammer either uncocked or held at half-cock. The safety is on; but, on Series 70 (or earlier) 1911's, if a C-2 1911 pistol is dropped and lands on either end it can accidentially discharge the chambered round.
As government tests have proven the same thing can happen with a Glock; it's just that most people don't realize it. It's, also, possible to, 'stack' a Glock trigger bar's sear-plate against the striker lug. In fact I've done this to several Glock pistols while I was adjusting a new connector. This explains, 'Why' some Glock owners have posted that their Glocks have gone off unexpectedly only to, thereafter, receive numerous jeers from dozens of naive, internet gun forum, 'Glockaholics' who don't know any better.
(Please don't anyone give me grief about Glock's SO-CALLED, 'drop safety'. Glock's, 'drop safety' is NOT what most people think that it is. The so-called, 'drop safety' does NOT prevent a Glock from accidentially discharging when it is dropped. THAT is the job of the: trigger safety lever, compatibly balanced springs, and proper lug and sear, 'kick plate' configuration. All Glock's so-called, 'drop safety' does is assure that a dropped Glock will be able to immediately fire again after it is picked up and promptly returned to service. That is it! There's nothing more!)
Glock engineers have, also, demonstrated that they are (silently) aware of the stacking problem. How do I know? Back in 2012 Glock, GmbH very quietly increased the sear's, 'kick plate' angle on all of their new trigger bars; and THIS is why it's no longer possible to get a really smooth trigger on current Glock factory actions.
(It's, also, a primary reason why I prefer to use my older 3rd generation Glocks. I have the older trigger bars in two of them; and the newer trigger bar in my G-19. Naturally, the G-19's trigger isn't as smooth as the triggers on my other Glocks.)
4. C-3, means that there is not a chambered round in the pistol. This is the carry condition that most frequently receives the snide accolade, 'If you haven't got a round in the chamber then your pistol is a brick.
' Who usually says this? Lots and lots of internet gun forum members who've never been in a CQB pistol gunfight in their entire lives! (It does sound good, though; it's just that it's not true.)
Glock, GmbH constantly changes the user precautions as well as the instructions in their owners' manuals. My first two owners' manuals cautioned that the right way for a civilian to carry a Glock is with an empty chamber (C-3). The manual that came with my last Glock is silent on this subject. (It, also, calls the, 'slide stop' a, 'slide release'; but, whatever!)
I've carried my Glock pistols in C-3 for 90% of the time during the past 11 years. In my own experience, knowing how to use a pistol and being well practiced are far more important than whatever condition the pistol is carried in. (Law-enforcement is a world of its own; and I'm not going to get into law-enforcement carry now.)
Suffice it to say that I've known any number of gunmen who were entirely competent pistol gunfighters, and had no problem, whatsoever, carrying their pistols in C-3. Why do I like C-3 carry? I'm a civilian. I handle firearms, literally, all day long. My house is full of guns; and I do not need to endanger either: my family members, my friends, myself, or the people with whom I come into daily contact by confronting everybody else with a C-0/C-1 pistol.
Is my pistol a brick? I don't think anyone who's ever personally known me has thought that; in fact, I'm sure they haven't. (Only on internet gun forums!)
You are correct in your assessment of Plaxico Burress' accidental discharge. All I can tell you is that Plaxico must have spent too much time on internet gun forums. He screwed up, 'big time' with his customized Glock Model 23. (Looking back I'm going to guess that Plaxico does, indeed, wish that his Glock was, 'a brick' on that particular night!)
You can't pull the trigger, 'all day long' on a Glock without working the slide. Neither should you ever dry-fire a gun while there is ammunition in the magazine. During dry-fire exercises no ammunition should be anywhere near the gun.
I do have an additional caveat to offer you, though: If you're going to carry your Glock in C-3 I suggest that you practice drawing, racking the slide, indexing the muzzle, and pressing the trigger as often as possible. Daily practice is the best way to go; and, of course, the pistol should be both empty AND chamber-checked BEFORE you begin to practice.
A further suggestion would be for you to leave the slide stop (Glock's new, 'release') alone and exclusively use the, 'H.O.T' (hand over top) method of slide manipulation. You can find demonstrations on YouTube. I do a lot of this; and, as far as I'm concerned, using a Glock's slide stop as a release is best left to the, 'gun gamesmen' at GSSF and IDPA type matches. You WILL pick up speed if you use the slide stop; BUT, this is no way to actually gunfight; AND, should the occasion ever arise, whatever way you train is going to be the exact same way that you will end up gunfighting.
As for what pistol ammunition to use? I used to agonize over this subject. Today I double and triple tap (almost) every target I look at. Consequently, I'm no longer fussy about whatever cartridge I'm using. Even on things like steel, 'pepper popper' targets, I just keep on hitting them until they finally go down. (Almost always on the first one or two shots! I doubt that most people are going to be any different.)
You seem to be off to a good start. Good luck to you!