Glock and Glock Pistols : Everything You Ever Wanted To Know
Arguably, the most popular gunmaker of the past 30 years has been Glock, and for so many good reasons. There have been controversies as well, and deeply divided opinions among the gun-owning community. However, so many owners and professional users attest that Glock pistols are the best working guns that can be had, and many thousands – if not millions – of people trust their lives to a Glock pistol.
This guide will tell you virtually everything you need to know about Glock, GmbH., and the pistols that they make. They make something for virtually everyone, handgun-wise, so there are very few people that wouldn’t be well-served by purchasing a Glock firearm.
The Start of Glock
The genesis of Glock pistols is naturally with the founder and namesake of the company, Gaston Glock, who was actually in business as a supplier to the Austrian military long before he started making handguns.
Glock started by making knives and entrenching tools for the Austrian armed forces along with knife sheaths, specifically those made of – and here comes the key part – durable polymers, which were also engineered for knife and entrenching tool handles. By the time pistol manufacturing came into the picture, founder Gaston Glock along with others employed at the company were already experts in polymer design.
Prior to 1980, they didn’t manufacture firearms, and getting into the market didn’t appear to be much of a priority. However, in that year, the Austrian government put out a notice that they wanted a replacement for the Walther P-38, which despite the age of the design was still the primary sidearm of the Austrian military and police. They wanted a pistol that fired the 9x19mm cartridge, held 8 or more rounds, was drop-safe, could be operated ambidextrously, was insanely reliable, could handle overpressure ammunition, and could be very easily maintained, among other requirements.
In 1982, Glock gathered as many experts in firearms design from around Europe as he could find, and by 1983 had created the Glock 17. What most people don’t know is that the model designation has nothing to do with the carrying capacity; the gun was the 17th patent issued to Glock.
In 1983, the Austrian military held the pistol trials and the Glock 17 handily beat the other entries, including the Steyr GB, Beretta 92, Sig Sauer P220 and P226, and H&K’s P7 and P9 pistols.
More militaries and police departments followed, as did more designs – the uber-rare select-fire capable Glock 18 was released in 1985, followed by the 17L (6-in barrel alongside variant) and Glock 19 compact in 1988.
The first venture into other calibers was the Glock 22, released in 1990 with the ostensible goal of attracting the FBI by offering a pistol chambered in .40 S&W, followed by the Glock 20 in 10mm Auto the following year. In the intervening years, further calibers have come out including .380 Auto, .45 ACP, .357 Sig and .45 GAP or Glock Automatic Pistol, around with a shorter case but the same ballistics as .45 ACP.
Around the mid-1990s, Glock began producing more pistols with concealed carry in mind, as well as updating their pistol designs as they went, introducing a new “generation” every few years. Today’s pistols are “Gen 4,” and today’s Glock pistols are among the best that can be had at almost any price point. Full-size, compact, and subcompact variants of nearly every caliber are available, and several now include extended sizes as well.
If a person owns a semi-auto pistol for service, home defense, carry, target shooting, or handgun hunting, there’s a Glock that will fit your needs.
There are even.22LR conversion kits for plinking.
Over the years, there has been a certain amount of Glock controversy and much of it is either unwarranted or sheerly a matter of opinion.
In the 1980s, a rumor was started (which was given further legs by being printed in “Time” magazine and mentioned in a few movies and TV shows) that Glock pistols, being made of polymer (a few times it was erroneously called “porcelain,” which is a ceramic rather than plastic) could not be detected by metal detectors. This was never true; the slide is metal, as are certain internal components and – of course – the bullets. Thankfully, time and sense have exposed this as a gun myth.
Other controversial aspects of Glock pistols include a trigger pull being part of the disassembly procedure and the lack of positive safety.
It’s true that negligent discharges have occurred with Glock pistols, but they have occurred with every make and model of pistol besides Glock firearms. Regardless of the make and model of firearms, accidental discharges are preventable simply by observing proper gun safety.