In Memoriam: Gaston Glock—1929-2023

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posted on December 27, 2023
Gaston Glock Memoriam

Gaston Glock, designer of the Glock Pistol and noted Austrian industrial engineer, died Dec. 27, 2023. He was 94. Born in Vienna, Austria, in July 1929, Glock served in the German Wehrmacht at the end of World War II. Following the war, he was educated as an engineer. In the 1960s, Glock began his own manufacturing firm, using then-novel polymers as his fabrication material.

Having started out with curtain rods, Glock eventually obtained a contract making knives for the Austrian military. In 1980, the Austrian military announced that it was seeking a new handgun to replace its fleet of aging, World War II-era Walther P38s. In 1982, Glock assembled a team to design a prototype that would meet the 17 criteria Austria demanded in its new handgun.

Within three months, the team had developed a working model, which made use of synthetic materials and then-modern manufacturing techniques. Glock filed a patent for the design, his 17th such application, and thus, the Glock 17 was born. By the end of 1982, the Austrian military had adopted it as the Pistole 80 with an order for 25,000 guns. Today, Glock’s designs are used by law-enforcement or military units in more than 60 countries, and the company offers more than 50 different models in various sizes and chamberings.

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