Alright everyone, Patriot Cop came up with a topic he wanted to share with you all. That is, why the Glock pistol became as popular as it has in recent years. Why do you think it got to be as popular as it was? Well…you’re about to find out.
Before we get started I want to tackle one of the biggest misconceptions out there…that law enforcement carries Glock due to price. Whereas price plays a part in everything for everyone, if it was the total reason police departments would be using HiPoints, SD9VEs, or some other gun that comes in a few hundred dollars below Glock; but they aren’t.
Police departments don’t always get a say in what equipment they are going to get. A lot of this depends on what the chief financial officer of the area can get city counsel to approve of. That means that officers don’t always get the best equipment or the equipment that will let them do their job with ease… its usually what is the cheapest and best route for the long run…and this is where Glock came in.
At one point I had a Glock representative tell me that they were able to produce their pistols for between $80-$100… Now that you know that I’ll expand some more. Back in the day when all of the law enforcement agencies began switching from their service revolvers to semiautos, Glock representatives would contact the departments looking to dump their service revolvers with an offer… the departments would only have to spend $1-200 per Glock pistol if they also turned in their service revolvers. The Glock associate would have already had a deal set-up with a local shop to sell the service revolvers for $2-300 a piece. So not only was Glock able to get a healthy profit by selling Glocks to departments and then the revolvers to local shops…but he was securing the future of his company. Gaston knew that if he could get the police to use his product that soon the civilian world would follow suit.
To be honest, Glocks aren’t the cheapest option out there, but Gaston Glock has been able to make it the cheapest option for law enforcement via incentives… look back to when the departments were switching over to semiautos… A lot of times agencies would sell off their old equipment to recoup the costs of the new equipment. Glock’s proposition meant that they didn’t have to go through the trouble of selling off their old service weapons. Gaston is a master marketer… how else would a man who never shot a firearm before be able to sell a handgun that he designed?
Now for why I think they’re an excellent pistol… and if you remember I’m not a huge fan of them.
When we look at the design its simple…it might not be the best but it is simple and simple typically means ultra reliable which Glocks are. Sure, there are lemons out there, but look at how many they produce. Now this isn’t to bad mouth law enforcement officers, but lets be honest…. a vast majority of them are not gun people. You’re dealing with people that won’t properly maintain their duty weapon and people who aren’t going to do much training past their qualifications each year. The simplicity of Glock begins to shine here as a duty weapon. There aren’t any controls that can be forgotten by the user in the heat of the moment, training doesn’t take as long (so it is cheaper), and it is very easy to diagnose issues with.
This isn’t a good phrase since it isn’t exactly PC…but you could teach a neutered monkey to be a Glock armorer because they don’t even need a tool to be disassembled completely. This leads to the logistics of the pistol… Glocks are like old Chevy trucks, right? There are a ton of spare parts out there, spare parts being made, and spare parts are readily available. The magazines are also the cheapest on the market… the only mags that might match them in cheapness are Beretta 92 series magazines. Quite frankly, Glocks are the best option for police departments since most of them are counting pennies to make sure that their officers are properly equipped.
Beyond the logistics, simplicity, and reliability… I have to say that they are pretty durable; or at least the Gens 3 and 4 are. I go to the coast a lot naturally with where I live and I have never had a Glock rust on me. The finish they use also penetrates into the metal, so even if it appears to be bare metal it should still be protected from the elements.
You also come by Glock gear extremely easily now. Every time something is made for the handgun market…the very first brand of firearm that gets access to it is typically Glock. Looking for a duty holster? Find me a company that doesn’t make one for Glock and doesn’t charge a couple dollars less for it.
Do you think the implementation of Glocks in departments has caused an increase of negligent discharges among cops?
I… am pretty sure you could give them a California compliant gun with every safety imaginable and they would still figure out a way to blow a hole in the wall. There’s a joke in law enforcement about that actually… if you see posters and stuff in a department’s office, its probably hiding a bullet hole.
On a serious note, no, I don’t think so. I think stupid people increase it. If it had safeties that decreased negligent discharges, it would probably directly increase the amount of injuries officers sustained during an incident. You are either going to make it harder for them to unintentionally discharge, or harder for them to intentionally discharge…take your pick.
Another huge thing is Glock’s customer service…it is fantastic for those in law enforcement. If you have any issues with a gun, they tend to rebuild the entire thing, and have it back to you inside of a week. I don’t know how it is for the civilian market, but it becomes a big thing, especially when you take into consideration the fiasco with Sig USA and the New Jersey State Police Department. In fact…I would wager that the Glock salesmen probably told the NJSP that they would fix any issues they had regardless of what it was.
A lot of people think I’m some big Glock fan, but if I could go back and do it all over I would probably of carried a Sig P226 or Beretta 92… but after seeing years and years of what Glocks have gone through from my fellow officers… I can’t say they’re the best guns, but they are an excellent choice for the job. I honestly hated Glocks and got my first one on accident. I thought they were ugly, the ergonomics were terrible, and about every other gripe you hear from other people. Well, anyway, I didn’t have any Glocks in the collection, but I had a $300 voucher at a local shop… one thing lead to another and I got a Glock! When I went to the academy I was going to originally take my Beretta 92, but everyone was using a 9mm Glock so I figured I wouldn’t be the oddball. Between the 1,200 rounds I shot through it in the academy and hundreds of hours I spent with one…it just became second nature. Today as a civilian though I can say I haven’t carried a Glock in 4-5 years since I only carry pocket guns now. If I carried OWB anymore, I would go back to carrying a Glock without hesitation. But yeah, I initially didn’t care for them and it took me about a decade before I even gave one a try.
If you’re like TacCat and you’ve played with HKs, CZs, Berettas, etc. all before even considering a Glock you’ll think its cheap, it shoots poorly, and the internals are shit…but when you put it through it’s paces you’ll end up coming to respect it for what it is; a reliable duty weapon that you won’t cry over.
One thing that irks me right now with Glock is that from Gen 1 to Gen 3 you had about a 15 year period, so…about 7 years between generations. 10 years is the typical length of time that you want to have a new service weapon in circulation for. Today it seems like they’re pumping out new generations every two to three years and agencies are just trading in blindly thinking there’s something new and improved…although they could be getting the same deal that they got from Glock on their old service revolvers. In my opinion “Perfection” was about Generation 3 and the new guns haven’t really had any improvements. The new texturing is slightly more aggressive, but the older pattern was a lot nicer for duty use. The new RTF texturing will eventually smooth out while on duty though just from rubbing against stuff. I honestly think that they just try and figure out what they can change to get sales… its a fantastic business tactic but its annoying to me.
Thank you for reading this article that Patriot Cop had me write with him! If you don’t know who Patriot Cop is, checkout the interview! As always everyone, stay safe, and keep things practical out there!
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