2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

GLOCK GLOCK 'til you drop..

There are a few pistols that generate such a love 'em or hate 'em response as the ubiquitous GLOCK (this is how the company spells it, all capitalized. Interesting considering the company is named after its founder and is not a acronym). Known nearly worldwide as "the plastic pistol" Glock (my spelling) was not as much an innovator but a perfecter of existing technologies and made the first real impact using polymer weapons in mass production.

The Glock Model 17, or Glock 17 or just simply the G17 was Gaston Glock's entrance into the Austrian military's pistol trials in 1980 and subsequently won the trials and was adopted in 1982. It became so successful that in the next decade it had been adopted by several other countries and had sold over 350,000 units worldwide, including over 250,000 here in the states. It was one of the primary reasons that police and government agencies went away from traditional revolvers to "wonder nines" in that period. I am not going to get into a caliber discussion here about the 9mm, there is far too much in print about that subject already without me adding to the pile.

Matter of fact, there is way too much out there already about the Glock as it is. That being said, I will just mention a few things I like about these pistols and let it rest at that.

Durability: Glocks are durable. Period. Any worry about the strength of polymer frames over time has been erased now that some of these pistols have been shooting for over 20 years with thousands of rounds through them. Yes, there are some stories of .40 S&W models having Kb (Kaboom!) issues with cases rupturing due to a supposedly unsupported chamber. Most of these seem to be accredited after investigation to poorly reloaded rounds or "hot" loads, very few (if any) reports of this event occurring with standard factory or service rounds is documented. The tenifer finish on their slides has proven itself time and time again and field tests of the weapon show that it can take an enormous amount of abuse and still function. Want proof? Check out this Glock 21 torture test and decide if this isn't stringent enough to win a place as a resident in your safe.

Reliability: Glocks are known for their ability to keep on firing reliably during almost any condition. See the torture test above. I think a lot of this is due to their simplicity of design (only 37 parts total including the magazine in the G17 and most other models) and generous allowances in engineering specs for bad or out of spec rounds. There are some issues related to using unjacketed lead rounds in the hexagonal rifling they utilize in their barrels, but I don't know that many people that use lead rounds for autos or for any other round anymore.

Scalability: There is a sized Glock in any caliber for any need. Need a full size service 9mm? Buy ad G17. Compact off duty or plain clothes 9mm? Get a G19. Pocket rocket size for deep concealment 9mm? Strap a G26 on. All platforms will share the same mechanics and round despite the size differences.

Safety: OK, May get some hate mail here. Glocks are safe. There, said it and won't take it back. Yes, there are no external safeties. And for a reason. Many police officers have been found shot with their weapons drawn and on safe with witnesses testifying that the officer drew their sidearm and pointed it at the assailant before being shot. In the heat of the moment they forgot their training and pulled a hard trigger that was being blocked by the safety they forgot to disengage. Glock designed their pistols with this in mind and came up with the "Safe action" design. With a Glock all of the safeties are internal. There is a trigger safety which is an articulating lever on the trigger itself that prevents it from moving unless direct rearwards pressure is exercised on it. There is a drop safety that prevents the firing pin from going forward until the trigger has been fully pulled to the rear. Finally their is a firing pin block safety that physically blocks the firing pin from even coming into contact with the primer until the trigger is pulled to its fullest rearward travel. All 3 are deactivated when the trigger is pulled and reactivated when the the trigger resets. You are the safety as I have pointed out before. I have learned to prefer this simple draw and fire safety system on my pistols. Ensure you follow the 4 principles of safe weapons handling and you'll not have any issues from a Glock. While were are talking about simplicity...

Manual of Arms: Due to the internal safeties system on their pistols, the manual of arms to operate a Glock is fairly straight forwards. Learning it on one pistol pretty much ensures that it is learned on others in the series. Being a striker fired pistol their is no second strike capability on a bad primer hit, so the tap-rack-bang drill is very important to be learned with Glocks, but this also applies to any semi-auto pistol as well.

Ergonomics: Going to get more haters on this as well. I like the way Glocks feel in my hand. Yes it is kind of like shaking hands with a 2x4, but one that feels pretty damn good to me. I have not had a chance to handle a 4th Gen model with its little pyramids, but the 2nd and 3rd generation sit comfortably in my meat paws and point well.

Accuracy: It has been my experience that Glocks shoot as well, if not better, than most other pistols that I have shot. Maybe its the type of rifling they use, but other people have told me this as well.


My Glock 22 in .40 S&W. M3 light attached for "bling" effect.

Me using the G22 in a steel plate match. This pistol (which I bought as a police trade used) shoot as well in these matches as some of the other "race guns" costing 3 to 4 times as much. Its usually just me that stinks!

So there it is, I love Glocks. Even though I have been on a SIG high lately, there will always be room for a Glock in my safe, and my heart. Matter of fact, if the SHTF tomorrow and I had to run to the hills with the family the 2 weapons I would grab for first due to their rugged reliability would be my AK and my Glock. That's a recommendation I would stake my life on.

And lastly, here's Kevin "poppin' the cherry" on his new G36, which is a very sweet shooting piece I might add.


5 comments:

Another Gun Guy Brian said...

Enjoyed the love letter to the ugly plastic lumps. My first pistol was a G21 (long since traded - stupid me).

When I was busted ass broke I sold all of my guns except for the G27 that helped me save my life one strange night.

When I qualified for a SC CCW permit, I used my G27. It is my primary carry pistol and I am totally confident in my ability to use it if necessary and I trust it to be mechanically sound.

When I wanted to buy a pistol that I could should economically and accurately with the hope of some day competing - I bought a 3rd Gen G17.

I would argue that all of my various pistols could be classified as "favorites", but I'll never sell any of the Glocks. I may sell some of the others to buy more Glocks though.

Huey148 said...

Brian,

I would love to read your story about your one strange night. Always good to hear of a firearm saving a life.

Glad you got your permit in a state that recognizes Ohio's CCW and visa versa. My brother is a doctor down in Sumter and if I visit him looks like I can carry the entire way down.

Thanks for commenting!

Another Gun Guy Brian said...

Plan to visit your brother May 14-16 next year when the NRA is in Charlotte.

My lifesaving story isn't too terribly compelling. It's chock full of dumbassery on my part.

I was working as a bartender in Columbia, SC and had just moved to a dilapidated old house about 2 blocks up the main drive from the 5 Points entertainment district. On a whim one night, I decided to walk down to work to see what the hike would be like and maybe catch up with a couple of friends.

I didn't find any of my friends, so after a couple of beers I hoofed it back up the hill of the major thoroughfare that led back to my house.

Displaying a tragic disregard for situational awareness, I was caught unawares by a shady looking dude on a bike as he pulled up next to me and asked me if I had change for a twenty.

By shady, I mean about 5'2 and 125 pounds with crazy hair, a surplus woodland camo jacket 3 sizes too big (this is June in Columbia, SC approximately 112 degrees at 10:30PM) and, of course, sunglasses. At night.

His sudden appearance startled me so that instead of barking at him to stay back, I merely replied "Sorry dude, I've got no cash at all". The truth. And the standard response to the multitude of 5 Points panhandlers.

Here's where I made my 2nd (or 3rd, but there's so many) mistake: Instead of watching him take off in the other direction, I confidently crossed the intersection where he had stopped me and made my way up to the next street which was my own.

As I reached the next corner, I stopped and did a "Crazy Ivan" to see if he was following me. He had made it about halfway to where I was and had stopped on his bike and was merely looking at me. Instead of telling him to move along, piss off or get lost (4th mistake) - I decided that I'd be better off confronting him closer to home (soooo young and dumb 5th mistake).

I had my car keys in my pocket and my car was parked about 100 yards away on the right hand side of the street, facing away from me with the drivers side door closest to me. I knew that somewhat unsafely stowed under the drivers seat of my car was my loaded Glock 27.

Foolish young Brian takes a left and walks a bit faster (how many mistakes was that?)...off of the well lit main road and down the poorly lit side street, thinking about the motions that he will have to use to get the car door open.

About halfway there I turn around to see if he's gaining on me and WHACK, I'm on my hands and knees in the middle of the street. He's hit me with something, but I have a very large, very hard head and I am not unconscious, but dazed and bleeding profusely. So naturally I begin cussing him.

Another Gun Guy Brian said...

I cuss him as I get to my feet. I cuss him as I stagger towards my car. I cuss him as I scrape my key up and down the side of the door, trying to get the door unlocked.

He's riding around me in circles, looking around to see if anyone has heard me.

I get the door open (still cussing him and conscious, to my credit) and fall on my knees to dig under the seat for my unsafely stored (in battery too - ugh) Glock.

I found it and pointed it at him weak handed, but he saw the gun and was already hauling ass back up towards where he hit me (with a @#$% brick, we found out later).

I tried to get a bead on him with every intention of shooting him in the back as he ran away, but fortunately for him I couldn't get a good sight picture due in part to my double vision from the blunt force trauma to my skull. Rule 4 saved that guys life that night.

That's it really. All of that probably took a minute and a half.

I stuck the Glock in my waistband and staggered up to the porch where I freaked out one of my roommates who was reading a book on the couch when I stuck my bleeding head through the front door and asked for some help. She and my other roommates boyfriend took me to the hospital where they stapled me up.

The police never caught the guy. We moved out of the house a couple of months later after getting robbed.

That was 13 years ago this summer. I was very lucky and very, very stupid.

I'll never sell that Glock.

Thanks for asking.

Another Gun Guy Brian said...

Posted a critique/analysis over at my blog. Let me know what you think.