Glock is a series of polymer-framed, short recoil-operated, locked-breech semi-automatic pistols designed and produced by Austrian manufacturer Glock Ges.m.b.H. The firearm entered Austrian military and police service by 1982 after it was the top performer in reliability and safety tests.
Glock pistols have become the company’s most profitable line of products, and have been supplied to national armed forces, security agencies, and police forces in at least 48 countries. Glocks are also popular firearms among civilians for recreational and competition shooting, home- and self-defense, both in concealed or open carry. In 2020, the Glock 19 was the best selling pistol on GunBroker.
DEVELOPMENT OF GLOCK FIREARMS
In 1980, the Austrian Armed Forces announced that it would seek tenders for a new, modern duty pistol to replace their World War II–era Walther P38 handguns. The Federal Ministry of Defence of Austria formulated a list of 17 criteria for the new generation service pistol, including requirements that it would be self loading; fire the NATO-standard 9×19 mm Parabellum round; the magazines were not to require any means of assistance for loading; be secure against accidental discharge from shock, strike, and drop from a height of 2 monto a steel plate. After firing 15,000 rounds of standard ammunition, the pistol was to be inspected for wear. The pistol was to then be used to fire an overpressure test cartridge generating 5,000 bar (500 MPa; 73,000 psi). The normal maximum operating pressure (Pmax) for the 9mm NATO is 2,520 bar (252 MPa; 36,500 psi).
Glock became aware of the Austrian Army‘s planned procurement, and in 1982 assembled a team of Europe’s leading handgun experts from military, police, and civilian sport-shooting circles to define the most desirable characteristics in a combat pistol. Within three months, Glock developed a working prototype that combined proven mechanisms and traits from previous pistol designs. In addition, the plan was to make extensive use of synthetic materials and modern manufacturing technologies, which led to the Glock 17 becoming a cost-effective candidate.
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Several samples of the 9×19mm Glock 17 (so named because it was the 17th patent procured by the company) were submitted for assessment trials in early 1982, and after passing all of the exhaustive endurance and abuse tests, the Glock emerged as the winner.
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The handgun was adopted into service with the Austrian military and police forces in 1982 as the P80 (Pistole 80), with an initial order for 25,000 guns. The Glock 17 outperformed eight different pistols from five other established manufacturers (Heckler & Koch of Germany offered their P7M8, P7M13, and P9S, SIG Sauer of Switzerland bid with their P220 and P226 models, Beretta of Italy submitted their model 92SB-F, FN Herstal of Belgium proposed an updated variant of the Browning Hi-Power, and the Austrian Steyr Mannlicher entered the competition with the GB).
The results of the Austrian trials sparked a wave of interest in Western Europe and overseas, particularly in the United States, where a similar effort to select a service-wide replacement for the M1911 had been going on since the late 1970s (known as the Joint Service Small Arms Program). In late 1983, the United States Department of Defense inquired about the Glock pistol and received four samples of the Glock 17 for unofficial evaluation. Glock was then invited to participate in the XM9 Personal Defense Pistol Trials, but declined because the DOD specifications would require extensive retooling of production equipment and providing 35 test samples in an unrealistic time frame.
After joint Norwegian and Swedish trials in 1983–1985, in 1985 the Glock 17 was accepted into service as the P80 in Norway, and in 1988 as the Pistol 88 in Sweden, where it surpassed all prior NATO durability standards As a result, the Glock 17 became a standard NATO-classified sidearm and was granted a NATO Stock Number (1005-25-133-6775). By 1992, some 350,000 pistols had been sold in more than 45 countries, including 250,000 in the United States alone.
GLOCK 17 Gen 4 For Sale Online.
Starting in 2013, the British Armed Forces began replacing the Browning Hi-Power pistol with the Glock 17 Gen 4, due to concerns about weight and the external safety of the Hi-Power. The British preferred the Glock 17 Gen 4 over the Beretta Px4 Storm, FN FNP, Heckler & Koch P30, SIG Sauer P226, Smith & Wesson M&P, and Steyr M9A1 of which 19 pistols each, all chambered in 9×19mm Parabellum, were entered in the R9GSP trials.
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The French Armed Forces (FAF) in 2020 began replacing their MAC Mle 1950 and to a lesser extent their PAMAS G1 pistols with Glock 17 Gen 5 models specifically made for the FAF. The French preferred the Glock 17 Gen 5 over the HS2000 and CZ P-10 offerings that also made it to the final selection phase.