So I know this article will divide the readers into those who are with me and think I am the most brilliant dude ever and those who think I must have had a lobotomy before writing. But, wherever along the spectrum you find yourself, we all are entitled to our opinions, and here is mine:
My Take on Glock “Perfection”:
The Glock pistol is arguably the most reliable, durable and shoot-able handguns one can buy. Its simple and no frills design allows it to be used by the widest variety of users. Its simplicity also translates to ease of maintenance, replacement and after market part replacement by any user. These reasons, along with a host of others is why I choose to carry a Glock handgun for my everyday carry (EDC) gun.
Love it or hate it, Gaston Glock Started a Legacy in 1963:
In 1963 a guy named Gaston Glock created a company in Austria. You wouldn't likely recognize that company as the same one that produces the most recognizable firearms globally.
This initial company fabricated plastic and steel components for other companies' products, but it wasn’t until the 70s that Glock began making its products.
Initially, they manufactured military products like knives and training hand grenades. The emergence of the pistol we have all become aware of occurred in 1981. After they won a contract to produce the firearm for the Austrian Military, the real work began, and the Glock company we have all come to know began to take shape.
In 1983, after much R&D, the company supplied the first Glock 17 handguns to the Austrian Military. The hammer-less, striker-fired guns used a polymer frame and were not something the stainless steel 1911 and revolver owners were accustomed to.
The following year, the Swedes jumped on the bandwagon, and the G17 became the sidearm of choice for Sweden’s military. And in the mid 80s American law enforcement agencies began to be infiltrated by Glock handguns. Besides the reliability and economical price point, the higher capacity of the G17 and a shift toward the cheaper 9mm cartridge provided an excellent niche for Glock to seize.
Glock Pistol Design is a Success:
The dependability, ease of maintenance, and value of the Glock handgun forced more agencies to replace the revolvers and DA/SA guns that many officers had been carrying for years. As a testament to its popularity, in 2007, the company recorded its five-millionth handgun sold!
While the first-generation looks slightly different from the Gen 5's most are familiar with today, they are amazingly similar. Like most products that endure for a long time, they improved the design over time. However, the pistol has remained chiefly unchanged, showing how solid Gaston's original design was.
This ability for the gun to remain mostly unchanged for years is similar to the 1911's iconic design (wow! I found something that Glock fans and haters can agree on).
I Didn’t Always Carry a Glock:
The Marine Corps assigned the first handgun I carried, a Beretta M9 (92FS). You may have seen one or two of these DA/SA guns that shot well and were insanely durable. Many people still love them.
You could literally use the thing as a hammer, swap parts, run it dirty, basically abuse it, and it still worked. All of which is great for a military-issued gun. The problem with it was that it was heavy, bulky, the grips were fat, and the DA/SA trigger pull wasn't ideal.
I left the Marine Corps and went to the police academy. The department told me which gun I would carry, the Gen 3 Glock 22.
The G22 is the .40 brother of the gun that law enforcement agencies most widely used worldwide, the 9mm G17.
Why I Ultimately Chose the Glock:
After being forced to carry it at the police academy, I found that I liked the Glock. I didn't know a ton about handguns but had shot a fair amount of different types of pistols to understand that these handguns were simple in function and design.
For continuity purposes, I ended up buying a .40 Glock 27 as an off-duty carry gun.
What are my favorite features about Glock that cause me to recommend them without hesitation?
Glock handguns have a simple disassembly procedure and practical design. Most handguns are not challenging to take apart. However, some designs involve springs that can go flying across the room or pins that can be misplaced. Glocks break down simply without tools or tons of tiny parts to lose.
This simple design made the gun easy to clean and maintain.
I like the Glock's features, or really, lack thereof. Sometimes when I think of these pistols, I am reminded of a Henry Ford quote. Ford, the inventor of the assembly line process, which forever revolutionized production, said, “the customer can have any color Model T, as long as it is black.”
In other words, Ford came up with a great product and didn’t get caught up in trying to provide a hundred different options. He stuck to what worked and made the decision for the customer. Buying a Glock is sort of similar to buying a Model T.
You know what you are going to get—nothing fancy, just a solid piece of machinery.
Over time the lineup of handgun models they offer has grown. However, essentially, the process of choosing is:
- pick a caliber
- choose a size (duty, compact, or sub-compact)
- decide if you want factory sights or night sights.
- do you want a ported slide
- slide cut for an optic
- choose from a couple of frame and slide colors
Maybe it is because I am not flashy, but I prefer this approach. Don’t get me wrong; it’s not that I don't appreciate a beautiful 1911 with polished chrome because I do. But as a duty weapon or EDC, Nah, not for me.
As mentioned, Glock makes duty, compact, and sub-compact-sized firearms with magazines to match. Depending on the frame, the capacity of the magazine will change. What is excellent, in my opinion, is that the magazines are compatible across models of the same caliber.
Aftermarket parts and products:
If you shop for parts online, you'll find they are readily available. Have a G19 and a G26? You can use the same holster for both. What about if you want to enhance your Glock? Sights, triggers, magazines and extensions, grips, etc., are all produced by a ton of different companies.
I equate the ease of finding parts for a Glock to aftermarket products for Honda automobiles. Nearly every company that makes products for a vehicle makes it for a Honda car. Not only do they make them, but usually, they have them ready to ship. If you want a holster for your Glock, I bet you can go to nearly any holster maker, and they will have one for you. Some other guns, not so much.
I have changed out a few parts on my G27 over time (extended slide stop lever, SSVi trigger, and XS Big Dot sights) but not because of any reduced performance of any of these components. Rather for personal preference.
Reliability and Durability:
Maybe I should have made this clear at the beginning of the article, but I don’t get paid by Glock (although I wouldn’t turn it down.)
However, my experience is like that of so many others. That is that Glock firearms are about as reliable as it gets. They don't need to be tuned up, broken in, or treated like a baby. It runs dirty, clean, or anywhere in between.
They also don't need special ammunition or load to run flawlessly like many other popular firearms available today.
It just runs and runs, and most of all, last!
You don’t have to take my word for it. There are plenty of adventurous gun owners on YouTube showing how their Glocks fire underwater or full of mud.
Glock has customer satisfaction that is second to none. Ask anyone who has had to warranty a gun or replace a part, and they will tell you how responsive the company is. They've been around for a long time and not going to disappear as some other gun manufacturers have.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery:
Glock’s design is widely copied and seen in so many of the guns we see today. Once again, the simple design makes it so dependable and appealing to so many people.
Is the Gun Perfect:
Well, no. It's pretty darn close but not perfect. A Glock comes from the factory with its undeniable dependability and some bare bone plastic sights. The sights are functional but abysmal for a self-defense gun. While the rest of the gun is a tank, the plastic sights are susceptible to denting and breaking.
I sincerely wish they would just do away with the polymer sight option and just put decent self-defense, iron sights on their guns.
Additionally, they have a mediocre factory trigger feel. I actually don't hate the trigger and don't find it atrocious as some others do. However, I have felt better ‘out of the box’ feeling triggers.
The company doesn’t get too fancy with its design, which extends to the texture of the grip. Because some people like aggressive grip texture and some don’t, they left it somewhere in the middle. The result is a situation where no one is 100% pleased, but everyone is pretty happy. Fortunately, you can find different methods and applications to enhance your gun’s “gripocity.” Feel free to use that term.
The fact that they don't come perfectly from the factory doesn't mean the design is flawed. As mentioned above, the disassembly process is easy, even if you want to take the gun apart completely. Here is a video where I show how to completely tear apart your Glock and then put it back together.
Upgrading your sights and enhancing your trigger feel is a breeze once you know how to do it. And, if you do some routine maintenance, your handgun will be spewing lead downrange without a problem for decades.
I know there are pictures of twisted, mutilated Glock frames out there. And every time I see them posted in a chat, people use it as a chance to somehow blame the firearm itself for the owner having used an overloaded cartridge or something similar.
If you like Glocks as much as I do, I'm sure you enjoyed the views expressed in this article.
Are there other guns out there that are fantastic? Sure (maybe I will write about them in the future.)
I bet you're wondering what this banner is that we've placed in a few spots:
It's actually a video course for current and future Glock owners. It is called Glock Crash Course and is designed to give you all the knowledge necessary to be proficient in all things related to your Glock Pistol. It's our sincere hope that you take this course offered by former Army Infantryman, EJ Owens, to up your level of training.