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The Rise And Decline Of Glock

Glock 19In 1982 when Glock hit the streets it was thrown to the forefront of the gun control battle by having a polymer frame.  The anti-gun leftist claimed a Glock would slip past airport metal detectors.   The anti-gun media did one thing, they gave Glock all the free advertising the company could want.

From 1982 – 1986 I was in high school.  Something teenagers did back then is we watched the news.  Video games were far and few between.  There was no internet, smart phone or tablet.  there was no Netflix, Youtube, Hulu or amazon prime.  The vast majority of people had 3 or 4 TV channels we picked up with an antenna.  From 5:30 – 6:30 the only thing to do was watch the news.  So watch the news we did.

Even after I graduated high school in 1986 I remember the anti-gunners beating the gun control drum over the Glock.


Handgun Evolution

In the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s most of the police carried Smith and Wesson revolvers. That all changed in the 1980s. Police departments dropped revolvers and replaced them for 9mm semiautomatic handguns.  Police departments all over the nation were faced with an ever increasing illegal drug and gang problems.   Six rounds from a revolver were no longer enough.

Civilians and police departments alike followed the Army test for the new M9 handgun.  So when police departments and federal law enforcement agencies went looking for a new high capacity handgun, they looked to the military test for guidance.

The Army used the 1911 until the 1980s. People said the 1911 was not going anywhere.  The 1911 had severed World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and several other conflicts all over the world.  It had proven itself time and time again.  However, the U.S. military wanted something with less recoil and a higher capacity magazine.

After the Beretta M9 was adopted by the U.S. military, people said Beretta was not going anywhere.  Here we are 30 years after its adoption and the M9 is being called outdated.

If Beretta is outdated, then the Glock is also outdated, as they were released and adopted at the same time.

People said Colt was not going anywhere.  They had been the main supplier of the M4 and M16 for decades, then Colt lost their military contracts.  Colt, who has been in business for over 179 years, filed for bankruptcy protection.

Colt also refused to make any offerings that the everyday consumer wanted.  Colt makes a niche product, the M4, M16 and 1911.   In 2005 Colt discontinued their famous Colt Python revolver.

Who also makes a niche product?  Glock.

Army Adopts New Handgun

Why didn’t Glock enter the military trials of the 1980s?  Because the U.S. military wanted certain features that Glock did not offer, such as either a safety or a de-cocker and a lanyard attachment.

For those of you who do not know what a decocker is, it is a lever on the handgun and safely lowers the hammer.  Some decockers, such as on the Beretta 92F, also disable the trigger while the safety is on.

Glock offers no way to disable the handgun without unloading it.

In over 30 years Glock has made no substantial changes to their handguns.  There are the various generations, but the company refuses to adapt to evolving military requirements and wants of the civilian market.

Here we are, more than 30 years later, and Glock still does not offer a handgun with the features the U.S. military requires. Gun companies were forced to adapt to what the U.S. military wanted.  Glock on the other hand refuses to evolve.

What happens when something refuses to evolve?  It becomes irrelevant and eventually fades away.  As in the case of Colt, bankruptcy.

Nothing New

In more than 30 years Glock has refused to offer a handgun that deviates from their original offering.  Why is that?

In more than 30 years Glock has not introduced a rifle, shotgun, carbine or anything else that would appeal to gun owners.

As other companies engineer new and innovative products, Glock offers the same product it did in the 1980s.  There have been some minor changes to the Glock line of handguns, but overall they are the same as they were in the 1980s.

By definition, Glock is outdated technology.  They are using the same products that were designed over 30 years ago.

Sig Sauer P320 XM17 Project

Sig Sauer, one of the forerunners in the military trials of the 1980s won the XM17 project with their modular handgun design.  The trigger can be taken out and put into another frame.  This means owners who have a full sized handgun, can order a polymer frame, take the trigger assembly out and put it into a compact frame.

The trigger assembly has the serial number, not the frame, which is a deviation from past decades of serial number standardization.

One of the requirements was a picatinny rail. Glock has an accessory rail instead of a picatinny rail. Rather than adding a picatinny rail to their handguns, Glock held to their own personal standards and went with the accessory rail.

Ignoring the picatinny rail requirement is just one of the issues with Glock and their refusal to evolve.

Rather than giving the U.S. military what they wanted, Glock ignored the requirements and Sig Sauer won the contract.

Ignoring Change

By ignoring changes in the civilian market and evolving military requirements, Glock is ensuring its downfall.

Glock helped set the standard in striker fired handguns.  However, with new products such as the CZ 75, CZ P10, Beretta APX, Smith & Wesson M&P, Walther PPQ M2 and various others, Glock is losing ground.

Fanboys cling to Glocks as if it were still a leader in the handgun market.  In all honesty, Glock has not been a leader in the handgun market for a long time.

With so many new and innovative product hitting the market, Glock will have to play catchup or fade away into obscurity.

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Kevin Felts was born and raised in southeast Texas, graduated from Bridge City high school Bridge City Texas, and attended Lamar College in Port Arthur Texas. Hobbies include fishing, hiking, hunting, blogging, sharing his politically incorrect opinion, video blogging on youtube, survivalism and spending time with his family. In his free time you may find Kevin working around the farm, building something, or tending to the livestock

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  • London

    Glocks do have a lanyard attachmen. It’s the small hole on the back of the grip. They’ve also made a model with a picatinny rail. Glock made models with manual safeties on special order. Not to mention they stepped outside of the norm enough to win the FBI contract. So you’re wrong on several counts.

    As far as the modular Sig goes, it’s a solution for a non-existent problem. No one in the army is going to swap their frames when convenient or necessary. No civilian is going to go through all the trouble of swapping frames, either. And replacing individual broken parts still makes more sense than replacing an entire trigger pack.

    Glock may be behind the times but not enough to really matter. Other companies may have come out with various minor improvements of debateable necessity, but Glock will still be king until someone comes around wih something that blows them away. From the looks of things that’s going to be a long time.



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