Clocking the Glock

by
posted on July 7, 2015
wiley-clapp.jpg (1)
Thirty years ago, I took my first job in the gunwriting business. As an avid shooter during my U.S. Marine and law enforcement years, I was convinced that I had found paradise. After all, the editor and publisher of a well-known gun magazine was going to pay me an almost living wage to play with guns all day and then write stories about them. He even provided the ammunition—what could possibly be better? Apparently, not much, because I am now three full decades into the business and haven't slowed down. But I recall quite vividly working on the production of an article the magazine had purchased from J.B. Wood. As I recall the incident, I wrote the captions for Mr. Wood's fine pictures. It was a long time ago. undefined

All of the forgoing is a sort of nostalgic reflection about what has happened in the world of handguns in the last 30 years. For one thing, the medium service revolver is no longer the king of the hill in law enforcement; light guns are light because of polymer and not aluminum; and we not only have several new cartridges, but also have a lot more rounds in our guns. And that long-ago article was on a pistol that's the unquestioned benchmark of the late 20th century, continuing strongly into the 21st. The very first mention of the Glock pistol in American gun magazines came in Pete Kokalis's Soldier of Fortune piece, but Wood's was a month or so behind that. The gun was developed in Austria and saw first use there in 1982.

Glocks were not imported into America until that fateful year of 1985, but almost as soon as the first ones came in, they were accepted. This year is the 30th anniversary of that event. Every major—and some minor—maker of service and defensive pistols now builds a gun with the features the Glock had 30 years ago. They all have polymer receivers, double-column magazines and some form of simplified trigger action. More elements of change in auto pistol design turned on the features of the Glock pistol than any other design. I am not contending that everyone copied the Glock (although it was tried), but rather that they were influenced by what the Austrian import had. The Glock is the Kalashnikov of the pistol world.

Latest

Qamain
Qamain

Rifleman Q&A: Bullet & Primer Sealant

From the archives of American Rifleman, one NRA member questions the importance of the colorful or black-colored paint-like coating around the cartridge necks and primer pockets of surplus ammunition.

Preview: Zero Tolerance Knives 0357BW

The U.S.-made Zero Tolerance 0357 Black Wash liner lock features a 3.25" blade of hard, wear-resistant CPM 20CV steel treated with a scratch-hiding blackwash finish best suited for everyday carry.

The French FR F2 Sniper Rifle

Conceived during the Cold War and after thirty years of service, the French are beginning to phase out the FR F2 bolt-action sniper rifle, with the surplus rifles available for sale from Navy Arms.

SIG Sauer P210: The Long-Lived Swiss Service Pistol

First designed in 1947, and formerly the official sidearm of the Swiss Army, the SIG Sauer P210 is still in production today, with a few modern upgrades.

The Winchester Model 94: History & Disassembly

Compact, reliable and powerful, Winchester's Model 1894 lever-actions may not have the popularity it once had with Western settlers, prospectors, law enforcement officers, hunters and ranchers, but its legacy remains today and is a fan favorite in Winchester's current product line.

NRA Gun of the Week: Fabarm USA Autumn

On this week’s “Gun of the Week” video preview, American Rifleman examines a first from Fabarm, a side-by-side break-action shotgun called the Autumn.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.