Glock 19 Mariner 9mm

The Mariner is nicely laser etched.

Some of us are a fan of anything that goes bang. Others are big Glock fans.

The Glock is a baseline among personal defense shooters. The Glock is a reliable and useful firearm. If you purchase something cheaper almost certainly corners have been cut. If you pay more then be certain you get something better than the Glock. Certainly for most uses, including institutional use, the Glock is good enough.

Recently there have been a small number of Glock 19 Mariner pistols available. They are rumored to be over runs of a government contract, for some overseas sale. I think it would be a wise move to produce a product overrun of such a simple modification and laser engrave it Mariner. The pistol is affordable and a little different. 

The point of this review is simply to discuss the Mariner. I don’t think anyone needs to grab up a Mariner and start shooting underwater, especially in a tub or swimming pool. This has been done with various dangerous results. The noise is terrible and you may damage your kidneys!

But isn’t the Mariner intended for underwater use?

Not really.

It is intended for wet use. It isn’t that any firearm cannot be fired underwater. The problem comes with the compressibility of water. Water simply doesn’t compress like air. A bullet fired underwater will penetrate a similar distance to a bullet fired in gelatin. So- a 9mm fired at a shark underwater will stop harmlessly at no more than forty inches with a full metal jacketed bullet, probably less. A 9mm hollow point fired in water may run six inches. Remember a 9mm load accelerates to 1200 fps or more in the air before it strikes the target. The bullet fired underwater never accelerates to high velocity from the water filled barrel. The only course of action would be to press the barrel against the skin of the animal- but then a knife would be a better tool wouldn’t it? But firing underwater isn’t the problem. 

The real problem the Mariner will solve, I think, is a firearm that has been submerged and then comes into action after a swim or fording a deep creek as an example. Glock designed what are known as maritime spring cups to make the pistol more versatile. They are a restricted item sold only to institutions such as police agencies. Glock maritime spring cups are sought after on the ‘black market’ known as E Bay.

Firing pin cups are supplied in pairs. These cups fit in the Glock striker spring and cup the striker. This is an essential part the pistol will not function without. These ‘maritime cups’ are different from standard cups in that they feature open spots that allow water to run out of the striker channel. After the pistol is removed from water the water will drain from the striker channel as a result of gravity. Openings in the maritime striker spring cups allows water to move through the cups.

So, what are the advantages of the maritime striker cups and by extension the Glock 19 Mariner? If the pistol is worn in bad climatic conditions and immersed in water the maritime striker spring cups will allow water to flow from the striker channel and the pistol will fire reliably.

Theoretically if the pistol is loaded with ammunition with sealed primers- and this is almost all high quality ammunition- the pistol could be stored underwater, deployed after merely shaking the pistol and allowing the water to run away, and fired. Testing ammunition is something I have done often in order to confirm reliability. I chamber the round several times to ensure the crimp is good and that the bullet doesn’t experience set back. Set back and breaking the case mouth seal causes powder contamination. In my experience the contamination of powder is far more common than primer failure. I soak an example of the carry load in water, oil, and solvent, respectively, in order to confirm reliability and resistance to the elements. Some ammunition works well and but some does not. 

Glock cautions against this firing underwater and restricts the maritime striker spring cups for this reason. The Mariner may be a good choice for a diver or anyone worried about outdoor use or being caught in a downpour often.

As for the Glock 19 Mariner, it is just as boring as any other Glock to fire. No malfunctions, consistent function, and useful accuracy. The trigger is a little heavier than some Glocks, that is just chance. It fed Remington UMC 115 grain FMJ easily. I also sacrificed a small amount of Remington 147 grain Golden Saber. Accuracy is typical useful Glock accuracy.  This is a good pistol. It is also among the most rugged all weather pistols in the world.