Glock: The Rise of America's Gun (2012).
Has anyone read this book? I am about halfway through it. Interesting read. The author is kind of bizarre, but it is a good book.
Glock: The Rise of America's Gun (2012).
Has anyone read this book? I am about halfway through it. Interesting read. The author is kind of bizarre, but it is a good book.
Have not read it, its good though?
I, too, am about half-done with it. My impression so far: kind of "gossipy". Author seems a bit snarky (and not necessarily in an entertaining way); not overtly anti-gun, but his use of certain terms leads me to believe that is his bent, and he is just keeping it behind a curtain while he writes the book. Seems like much of the info was gleaned from former Glock employees, which usually means a book that will have a bit of a negative/sensationalist slant.
I've been working on it for about a month now, on and off. If I find a book is really interesting, I'll usually finish it in one or two days, but this one just isn't pulling me in.
This is kind of an ususual book considering who the author is. I found it interesting. Took about 3 days to get through it.
Sounds to me he is off the mark to begin with as Glocks are made in Austria.........JJ
They've been making frames here in the US for several years (and the frame is "the gun" as far as our Feds are concerned), although most (all?) of the Glock sold here are still partially assembled with imported parts. There are completely American made (stamped USA on the slide, and Glock US on the barrel hood) Glocks, but so far, they are only being sold in other countries.
Here is a photo of two of my Glocks; the top one has the normal made-in-Austria frame, while the bottom one has a made-in-Smyrna-GA frame:
I purchased the US-frame Glock more than three years ago, and I'm fairly sure it wasn't the first one to go out the door with a Smyrna-made frame.
I knew they were assembled in Smyrna Ga. and they had plans to start manufacture of some components but did not know they had started.......still most are Austrian....America's gun would have to be IMHO a 1911 or S&W .38 revolver, a Thompson sub, a BAR but I digress and am taking away from the real subject which is the book mentioned above, which I suspect the author refers to the large quantity of Glocks in the US..........JJ
DJ Niner, I think the author, Paul Barrett, is trying to be objective about firearms, walking the line right down the middle, to appeal to the broadest possible audience. However, to us, that may make him appear to be anti-gun sometimes. I am certain, though, that he does not approve of the NRA.
I'm not a glock expert , I like the glock. I've seen them stamped every which way
I certainly don't claim any expert status, but I do have a lot of experience with them, and I've talked/corresponded with a lot of folks with direct company knowledge, such as factory technicians, Glock armorers, and others. In the case of the later USA-made pistols which are completely made here, they are stamped differently than the earlier frames that were used to assemble pistols with Austrian-made slides and barrels. Those later pistols can also be identified by their newer serial number layout, consisting of 4 letters and 3 numbers (such as the one in your photo; previous pistols were 3 letter and 3 numbers, and very old early-import pistols had 2 letters and 3 numbers). There are also a few pistol series' with special letter/number combos, mostly made for police departments or as commemorative models.
One of the reasons that has been discussed to explain why Glock set up an American factory was to produce guns for export to other countries, as there are apparently laws prohibiting Austrian-manufactured Glocks from being exported to certain countries. I've heard that making them here in the USA gets around that problem, but if they are producing it for export (or possible export), they are back to square one -- they need to mark the country of manufacture on it, just like the Austrian-made guns imported to the USA. I'm thinking that explains the markings on the gun in your linked photo.
And before you ask, no, I have no ironclad sources for most of this info, but I'm generally comfortable enough with the sourcing to use it as I understand it. I understand if other folks don't share that comfort level, or even if they've heard/seen other explanations for similar markings, that they wouldn't be likely to repeat the info from EITHER source, and I won't fault them for that. Finally, (insert deity of your choice here) knows I've been wrong before, and I have no reason to believe that I'll never be wrong again, so if you (or anyone else) has any solid info in this area, I'll be glad to run it past some of my sources, and if it checks out, modify my current understanding and explanations of the various markings. For instance, in this last year, I found out that on early Glock model 24 pistols (longslide .40 caliber) that were factory-ported, the slides were NOT marked "24C" like current versions. The box labels just had a "-P" added to the end of the model number, and that was apparently good enough I.D. for the first few batches of ported G24 pistols (maybe until they could modify the slide stamping dies to reflect the change).
Glock is America's gun only in the minds of Glock owners... :rolleyes:
Makes one wonder how gun owners ever got along before 1980.....
Wouldn't have anything to do with Glock having a LE program where their dirt cheap? Especially since a lot of Dept's are financially challanged?
Not slamming Glocks... one is on my duty belt, but I know their price break makes em' much less expensive as other makes... which may attribute to so many LE dept's using them...
...which is smart since the average person figures if LEO's use them, they must be the best handgun made.
Most of the time, this is offered by the competition as a "sour grapes / that's why we didn't get the contract" type argument, in my opinion.
Glock is not sub standard by any means... it's as reliable as they come. My point was more to explain why I think Glock has such a large portion of the market... quality being fairly equal to other major LE choices. I know I can get a brand new Glock through the LE discount program for almost 50% less than what lgs are asking. One of the biggest draws for LE to the Glock is it's weight also. After hauling a Sig P220... the Glock seems light as a feather.
On several occasions I've had people ask what's in my holster, and when I say a Glock 22... they usually comment how Glock must be the best gun... or cops wouldn't carry them if they weren't the best.... or they look at their buddy and say "told you even cops think Glocks are the best". Even though most don't have a choice or are unable to choose their sidearm.
No one can deny (even Glock haters) that they are well built, very light and reliable firearms... and I'm amazed how well the finish holds up to abuse.
Preachin' to the choir here; I'm a huge Glock fan, but I try to not be militant about it. :mrgreen:
I think the large market share can also be explained by the fact that they had the advantage of virtually no competition for their style of firearm for darn near a decade, just after the time when high-capacity autos were taking off, and law enforcement agencies were switching-over from revolvers to autos. A Glock was far easier to train/administratively load/unload/shoot than a conventional DA, and didn't leave that "Looks like he forgot something" vibe that cocked-and-locked SA autos gave to many non-gunny-type folks. Glock did aggressively market their product, but at the time, it had to be like shooting fish in a barrel, once you got past the "plastic pistol" objection.
Nowadays, they have plenty of competition, with at least one pistol being so Glock-ish that they won a lawsuit over it, but even with the added competition and other minor problems, they are still on top of the heap, by far. Any improvements by their competition have been small, compared to the major leap(s) they offered in the late 80s and early 90s when they took over the cop pistol market and began making inroads to the non-L.E. markets.
Yes, but with all this perfection there remains another side.
"The Glock handgun has a documented history of going off unexpectedly wounding the person carrying it and sometimes even killing innocent bystanders. So why do private owners and US law enforcement love it so?
Handguns made by Glock Inc. have a nasty reputation for accidental firing and "over-firing." The gun has figured in many of the recent mass shootings in the US, giving the liberal media its much sought after anti-gun information and the company itself, along with 14 other gun manufacturers, is being sued by several US cities that hope to recoup losses from gun violence. Yet for such a troubled gun, it remains enormously popular among civilians and peace officers. The Glock 9mm and .40- and .45-caliber pistols are the guns of choice among America's law enforcement agencies; 65 percent of US law enforcement officers have Glocks in their holsters. That is by design: The company's CEO told reporter for the US News and World Report in 1995 that targeting US police first was part of an orchestrated plan to gradually move into the civilian market. The Violence Policy Center has called Glock's marketing to US police "hyperagressive" and "excessive," especially because of the dubious trade-in deals the company offers: Cops can often trade in their old sidearms and any guns they've seized from criminals in exchange for new Glocks. Glock, in turn, sells the trade-ins on the civilian market.
In 1988, the FBI predicted that the Glock's sensitive trigger and lack of external safeties would "inevitably ... lead to an unintentional shot at the worst moment." Indeed, 11 years later, the Washington DC Police Department alone had had 120 accidental firings, 19 officers had wounded themselves or others with Glocks, and the district had paid $1.4 million in damages from resulting lawsuits related to Glock accidents. In one case, an officer shot and killed an unarmed teen at a DC roadblock. Another officer accidentally shot and killed an unarmed motorist during a routine traffic stop. One DC cop accidentally shot his own roommate.
The Louisville, Ky. Police Department adopted the Glock just last year. Within six months, five Louisville police guns fired accidentally. One bullet hit a truck. Another officer's gun fired while he was leaning over to tie his shoelaces inside the police station and the even was clearly captured on a surveillance camera and used by the officer in court. After the third misfire, Louisville police rushed to defend their new Glocks, declaring the gun not guilty in the third incident -- the officer's gun went off accidentally as he was attacked by a man who had fled a routine traffic stop. Rather than bagging the gun, the department implemented new training in gun safety. Several more accidents followed almost immediately, the fifth an errant bullet accidentally wounding an officer's son.
In New York City, where 70 percent of the police force uses Glocks, the problem is not so much accidental shootings (although eight officers have accidentally wounded themselves), but overkill. According to a study by the FBI, New York City police officers armed with Glocks fired an average of 4.8 rounds in gunfights while those with revolvers fired 2.4 in 1994. Even after 100 bullets were fired in stopping a robbery in the Bronx in 1995, New York City police officials briefly investigated "overfiring" of the Glock but decided to keep it anyway.
Even the FBI, despite its earlier dark forecasts on the Glock, adopted it as a standard-issue pistol in 1998. The Media confronted the agency about the 1988 report panning the Glock. In response, FBI Firearms Training Unit Chief Wade Jackson, Jr. (from whose division the 1988 report originated) wrote in impeccable bureaucratese: "What may have been mentioned at one point in time, given a lapse of more than 10 years, may no longer be accurate in statements or conclusions drawn which are not supported by empirical facts as exist presently."
He continued, "The Glock pistol, in the FBI's experience, has demonstrated safe and effective performance when accompanied by proper training, correct usage, care, and maintenance habits."
While police departments hasten to defend the gun after every misspent bullet, Josh Horowitz of the Firearms Litigation Clearinghouse says the Glock has been the subject of more lawsuits for accidental deaths than any other gun he's tracked in the past 10 years.
Horowitz cites the absence of an external safety, the gun's "light and short trigger pull" and the fact that it will fire even with the magazine removed as the combination that makes the Glock an unnecessarily hazardous gun.
"The Glock is always on," says Horowitz, referring to the absence of an external safety. "It increases the already great risk that someone is going to be injured when there's a gun around."
So why the civilian and police loyalty to such a seemingly flawed, unpredictable, and embattled sidearm?
The results have been unfortunate, according to police reports and internal department records examined by The Washington Post.
In the 10 years since D.C. police adopted the Glock 9mm to combat the growing firepower of drug dealers, there have been more than 120 accidental discharges of the handgun. Police officers have killed at least one citizen they didn't intend to kill and have wounded at least nine citizens they didn't intend to wound. Nineteen officers have shot themselves or other officers accidentally. At least eight victims or surviving relatives have sued the District alleging injuries from accidental discharges.
In an extraordinary sequence over the last six months, the District has settled three lawsuits for more than $1.4 million. The District admitted no wrongdoing in the suits, but the cases highlight the chronic neglect of Glock training by the D.C. police.
Last month, the District paid $250,000 to settle a case brought by the family of an unarmed teenager shot and killed at a traffic roadblock in 1996. The family's attorney argued that the officer's gun had discharged accidentally.
In August, the District paid $375,000 to settle another case in which a D.C. officer accidentally shot and killed an unarmed driver at a traffic stop in 1994.
In June, the District paid almost $800,000 to settle a case from 1994, when a D.C. officer accidentally shot his roommate.
The string of accidental shootings by D.C. officers came amid 10 years of warnings from firearm experts about the Glock's light trigger and propensity to fire an unintentional shot when handled incorrectly. Such a sensitive gun was designed for highly trained users.
D.C. police officials repeatedly studied the phenomenon of accidental discharges, invariably concluding that there was no fundamental problem with the Glock itself -- as long as users were properly and continuously trained. Officials chose not to modify the Glock trigger, as New York City police did in 1990, to require a more forceful tug to fire the gun.
But in 1994, D.C. police recorded more accidental discharges than the Chicago and Los Angeles forces combined, two far bigger departments, according to discharge records from the departments. Last year, the accident rate for D.C. police was 50 percent greater than that of Chicago and Los Angeles police, which issue firearms other than Glocks.
Former D.C. police chief Larry D. Soulsby told The Post recently that he had planned to have the department switch from the Glock to another pistol before his retirement last November. Safety, Soulsby said, was "absolutely" a major factor in his thinking! In the past, the police union had pressed for a change of service weapon, Soulsby and former union officials said.
The Glock semiautomatic is, by all accounts, a 21st-century gun. Made of steel and plastic, the Glock 17 model carried by D.C. police is lightweight but powerful, able to deliver 18 bullets in nine seconds. It is sturdy, requires little maintenance and is very easy to shoot.
Unlike many semiautomatics, the Glock has no external manual safety. The pistol carried by D.C. police uses a five- to six-pound trigger pull -- half the pull of most other semiautomatics for their first shot. The features allow a shooter to fire quickly in dire circumstances when getting off the first shot is critical. Glock's pride in its design and precision is reflected in the company's motto: "Glock Perfection."
The Glock's unique features made the gun attractive to D.C. police officials when slayings in the District soared in the late 1980s. The D.C. department liked the lack of an external manual safety, calling that "a paramount consideration" in selecting the Glock, according to the department's Firearms Training Manual. Officers accustomed to firing revolvers that lacked an external safety -- which included the entire D.C. force -- could more easily switch to the Glock than to a pistol that required them to learn how to disengage the safety before shooting, the department reasoned.
Department officials knew that diligent training would be crucial to ensure a safe transition from revolvers to semiautomatics.
In February 1988, the departmental committee studying the handgun issue noted that the revolver was safer "for the inexperienced shooter" and that "the accidental discharge potential is greater for the Glock semiautomatic." But the committee predicted that "proper, continuous training and clearly defined departmental policy" for the semiautomatic "should negate this factor."
In December 1988, the department made a surprise announcement that it was switching to the Glock. Police officials were so taken with the gun's merits that they got the District to approve an emergency procurement without competing bids. "Failure to procure these weapons on an emergency basis could result in needless injury to police officers and the public," city procurement official noted of the department's request.
The District paid just over $1 million for 4,300 Glocks.
The decision was immediately controversial. Dissenting voices were beginning to be heard about "Glock Perfection." Perhaps the most significant criticism came from the FBI. The FBI Academy's firearms training unit tested various semiautomatic handguns and in a 1988 report gave the Glock extremely low marks for safety. The report cited the weapon's "high potential for unintentional shots."
And most recently a similar report by the BATF said the Glock failed many safety tests during its evaluation of the handgun one being its unwanted ability to go off after being thrown; a test they called the Frisbee test.
Unintentional shots would turn out to be a disquieting byproduct of Glock's unique design, according to many experts and to lawsuits filed against Glock in the last decade. Even though the Glock does not have an external manual safety, it heralds the existence of three “internal safeties” intended to prevent the gun from discharging if dropped or jostled.
A unique feature of the Glock is that a shooter disengages all three safeties at once by pulling the trigger.
*********************SO IS THIS REALLY A SAFETY?????????********************
Almost immediately after D.C. police adopted the Glock, unintentional discharges increased sharply.
The first accident occurred in February 1989 -- less than a month before the guns reached officers on the street. Officer Adam K. Schutz was helping to test and clean the first shipment of guns when he shot himself in the fingers.
Nine months later, the 2-year-old daughter of a D.C. police officer died after accidentally shooting herself in the head with her father's pistol in their Northwest Washington house.
By October 1989, the department had experienced 13 unintentional discharges, double the rate of 1988, the last year with revolvers, according to an internal police memo. Then Assistant Chief Max Krupo noted in the memo to the chief that such problems were to be expected in departments switching to semiautomatics. Krupo suggested that increasing the five-pound trigger pressure to eight pounds "would be satisfactory." But after studying the issue, Krupo decided that a five-pound pull was just as safe as an eight-pound one.
In the years after the department's 1990 report on Glock accidents, unintentional shootings continued to mount.
In October 1990, Officer Edward Wise fired accidentally and grazed a man's head during an undercover drug operation at a Southeast Washington housing complex, according to police and court documents. Wise said he had been struggling with the man, Barry Braxton, who was unarmed. Braxton sued and collected a $55,000 settlement from the District.
In May 1991, an officer accidentally shot Kenneth McSwain, 18, in the back when the officer slipped while serving a search warrant in Northeast Washington, court and police documents show. McSwain, who was unarmed and was not charged with any crime, collected a $42,000 settlement.
In August 1991, an officer accidentally shot Stephen Wills in the chest during a drug bust in Southeast Washington, according to court and police documents. Wills, who was unarmed and was not charged with any crime, collected a $40,000 settlement.
Four officers were wounded with their own guns in 1992. Over and over, officers fired unintentional rounds in the locker rooms at their district stations, or at home while cleaning or unloading their guns, according to police reports.
Officers are told during training to avoid such accidents by being attentive to the Glock's unique, simplified design.
In March 1993, Officer Lakisha Poge fired a round through her bed while unloading a Glock in her apartment, a police report states. The bullet went through the floor and hit Glowdean Catching in the apartment below. Catching, who was wounded in both legs has a suit pending against the District. Poge, who has left the department, could not be reached for comment.
"I submitted reports through channels and said, 'You have problems with this gun,' " former homicide branch chief William O. Ritchie, who chaired the department's Use of Service Weapon Review Board in 1993, said in an interview. "I talked to the union and said, 'There is a hazard here.' "
In January 1994, homicide detective Jeffrey Mayberry shot Officer James Dukes in the stomach at police headquarters. "I hear a loud bang and Dukes is slowly falling to the floor," Detective Joseph Fox, Mayberry's partner, said in a deposition. "Jeff jumps up and says, 'Dukes, I didn't mean to do it, I didn't mean to do it.' "
Four days after Dukes was shot, Officer Juan Martinez Jr. accidentally shot his roommate, Frederick Broomfield, in the groin while awaiting dinner in their apartment, according to police and court records.
Martinez was unloading his Glock in his bedroom when Broomfield came in and asked Martinez how he wanted his chicken cooked. The gun abruptly went off.
Broomfield, who nearly bled to death after the bullet pierced an artery in his groin, sued the District and Glock Inc. His attorneys compiled a voluminous case in D.C. Superior Court, marshaling gun experts who gave statements about the alleged dangers of the Glock and the deficiencies of the District's training.
In June, the District settled the case by paying Broomfield $797,500. Glock also settled, but a lawyer for Glock declined to disclose the amount. In court papers, Glock denied that its gun was dangerous or defective.
By 1997, the safety issue had turned some members of the D.C. police union against the Glock, according to Robertson, the former union official. Several officials wanted to switch to the Sig Sauer, a more expensive gun with a heavier trigger pull.
Currently many police departments across the US are switching from the Glock too much safer handguns such as the Sig Sauer and the Heckler and Koch citing the rise in accidental discharges. But the Glocks have several other problems that could be classified as safety issues.
The gun exhibits a tendency to jam if not properly held; a phenomenon Glock calls “Limp Wristing”. This is somewhat of a common occurrence with the Glock handgun but one, which is rarely if ever seen with other handguns.
Most jams occur when a short round is encountered or some internal component fails, but the Glock exhibits this tendency at random and it will vary from shooter to shooter a very uncomfortable dilemma to have if you use your firearm for self-defense or duty.
Another problem with the Glock had to do with its failing chambers when used with high pressure ammunition, ammo carried by most police while on duty and favored by civilians for self defense. This problem has occurred mainly in a .40 caliber version of the Glock, but nonetheless must still be considered in the equation as we evaluate the safety of this handgun.
All in all the Glock handgun has the most documented cases of accidental discharge and safety related failures of any handgun currently in law enforcement use to date. This, Glock admits does not include those accidental discharges by private owners that go unreported and failures of key components. Some weapons designers summation of the handgun is that it is very dangerous for all shooters, from the highly trained police officer in a tense situation to the ill trained home owner awaken at 3:00AM by the sound of an intruder.
In short the deficiency of a real safety, second-rate quality and the inherent design flaws of the gun make this a poor choice for anyone looking to purchase a handgun.
I will report further on my crusade to discredit the myth of the “Glock Perfection” as I gather and sift through the reams of text available about the defects of this gun. "
Seriously, Glock has done what no other hand gun has done since it's introduction. Law enforcement, military, pistol competition, you name it. One of the best pistol platforms in the history of firearms. Some like em, some don't, regardless, you must respect the Glock.