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.