The AMAZING History of Glock | Firearms of America
Welcome to Firearms of America! Today, we will once again dive into the history, the history of one of the most popular handgun manufacturers out there, Glock.
Glock history begins in the 1980, when Austrian Armed Forces made an announcement that they are looking to replace their World War II era Walther P38 handgun.
In 1980, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Defense came up with the list of 17 criteria that were required to be present in the new service handgun. The contenders were subject to 15,000 rounds of standard ammunition and then, some overpressured ammo.
Now, Gaston Glock, born July 19tth, 1929, was an Austrian engineer, the manufacturer of curtain rods. Yes, no relationship with guns… Alright, in 1970s, he started making knives for Austrian army, but still no guns. He had not designed or manufactured a gun, in fact, up until he was 52 years old.
So, Mr. Glock, heard the announcement from the Austrian Army and decided to take on the challenge of producing Austria’s next military side arm. In 1982 Glock starts assembling the team of experts in firearms from all sorts of branches. We are talking military, police, civilian sport shooters, and so forth. It took the team, only about 3 months to develop a working prototype. As an expert in polymer, Mr. Glock decided to implement more synthetic materials to the production of the firearm, to make it a cost effective option. And so, the Glock 17 9mm was ready!
Glock 17 gen 1 was submitted to Austrian Army for consideration, and passed all of the exhaustive tests with flying colors, becoming the winner.
Practically immediately after the tests, Glock 17 was adopted by the Austrian military and the police as the Glock P80, (Glock Pistole 80). The initial order was 25,000 guns.
It is worth mentioning here, who were the other contenders in the test. Well, we had some serious guys. Heckler and Koch, Sig Sauer, Beretta, FN… some of the serious names to mention. So, imagine this… A random guy, curtain rod manufacturer, named Glock, develops a gun in 3 months and wins over the manufacturers who have been in gun business forever… and in fact still are! 3 months! Hard to believe. Almost seems like Mr. Glock was destined to be the firearms manufacturer.
And you know what, I think he was! Because after the results of the tests by the Austrian Army, the whole world became interested in Glock pistols, especially the United States, where they have been planning to replace the legendary M1911 since the late 1970s. Now don’t get me wrong, M1911 is a legend… in fact, I have done the same history lesson video on 1911, called the Amazing History of 1911, so make sure to check that one out as well… But the thing is, 1911 has been in service since… 1911! And so, in 1983, (only a year later since Glock’s initial success), the US Department of Defense, invited Mr. Glock to submit Glock 17 for their evaluation… 4 Glock 17 pistols were submitted, however, because of the strenuous demand that Mr. Glock could not possibly meet with his manufacturing team, he had to decline.
By 1992, some 350,000 Glock handguns were sold all around the world… 250,000 of them in the United States alone!
Glock is probably one of the MOST modified, customized pistols… But it is still known as one of the most reliable handguns ever made… And the crazy part is, considering that there are only 5 generations, that had a few adjustments and improvements in between, all the way since 1982… if you look at the original generation 1 Glock 17 and the all new Glock 17 gen 5 of today, you will see, that it is that same good old Glock.
And to think about it… all this popularity, all this success… by a guy who never designed a gun before… who never built a gun before… who did not have a team or capacity to build a gun until he decided to do so… and did… in 3 months… before submitting it for a strenuous trials by an Austrian Army… This is truly an Amazing History of a Glock.
Mr. Glock created a legacy that will live forever. So, long live Mr. Glock, thank you for making the world of firearms a better place.
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