Modern Firearms - Glock
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Glock pistols (Austria)

 


Glock 17 pistol, 1st generation

 


Glock 17 pistol, 2nd generation

 


Glock 17 pistol, 3rd generation

 


Glock 17 pistol, 4th generation

 


Glock 18 pistol (select-fire)

 


family of 9x19mm Glock pistols. .40SW and .357SIG pistols are of same dimensions

 


family of .45ACP Glock pistols. 10mm Auto pistols are of same dimensions

 


family of 9x17mm (.380ACP) Glock pistols.

 


X-ray photo of the typical Glock pistol. Note that most of its construction is made of highly contrast steel, easily detectable by X-ray, magnetic and other sensors

 

9mm Glock pistols

 

Glock 17

Glock 19

Glock 26

Glock 34

Trigger type

Safe action

Caliber

9x19

Weight, empty

625 g

595 g

560 g

650 g

Length

204 mm

187 mm

165 mm

224 mm

Barrel length

114 mm

102 mm

88 mm

135 mm

Capacity

17 rounds

15 rounds

10 rounds

17 rounds

 

 

9x17mm / .380ACP Glock pistols

 

Glock 25

Glock 28

Glock 42

Trigger type

Safe action

Caliber

9x17mm / .380ACP

Weight, empty

570 g

529 g

390 g

Length

187 mm

165 mm

151 mm

Barrel length

102 mm

88 mm

83 mm

Capacity

15 rounds

10 rounds

6 rounds

 

 

.357SIG Glock pistols

 

Glock 31

Glock 32

Glock 33

Trigger type

Safe action

Caliber

.357SIG (9x22mm)

Weight, empty

660 g

610 g

560 g

Length

204mm

187mm

165mm

Barrel length

114 mm

102 mm

88 mm

Capacity

15 rounds

13 rounds

9 rounds

 

 

 

.40S&W Glock pistols

 

Glock 22

Glock 23

Glock 27

Glock 35

Trigger type

Safe action

Caliber

.40S&W (10x22mm)

Weight, empty

650 g

600 g

560 g

695 g

Length

204mm

187mm

165mm

224mm

Barrel length

114 mm

102 mm

88 mm

135 mm

Capacity

15 rounds

13rounds

9 rounds

15 rounds

 

 

10mm Auto Glock pistols

 

Glock 20

Glock 29

Trigger type

Safe action

Caliber

10mm Auto (10x25)

Weight, empty

785 g

700 g

Length

209mm

177mm

Barrel length

117 mm

96 mm

Capacity

15rounds

10rounds

 

.45GAP Glock pistols

 

Glock 37

Glock 38

Glock 39

Trigger type

Safe action

Caliber

.45GAP (11.43x19)

Weight, empty

735 g

685 g

548 g

Length

204mm

187mm

165mm

Barrel length

114 mm

102 mm

88 mm

Capacity

10 rounds

8 rounds

6 rounds

 

 

.45ACP Glock pistols

 

Glock 21

Glock 30

Glock 36

Glock 41

Trigger type

Safe action

Caliber

.45ACP

Weight, empty

745 g

680 g

570 g

765 g

Length

209mm

177mm

177mm

226mm

Barrel length

117 mm

96 mm

96 mm

135 mm

Capacity

13 rounds

10 rounds

6 rounds

13 rounds

 

 

In 1980, the Austrian army announced trials with the intention of obtaining a new military handgun, to replace the obsolescent Walther P38 pistols.

Participants in the trials included such designs as the Steyr GB, Heckler & Koch P7M13, SIG-Sauer P220 and P225, Beretta 92S, and the previously unheard of Glock model 17. In 1982 the Austrian army officially adopted the brand new Glock 17 as the Pistole 80 (Р80), and starting from 1986 Glock pistols gradually replaced the older P38 in military service. And in the following years, thanks to unorthodox design and aggressive marketing, Glock pistols became one of the most popular combat handguns, being adopted by numerous military and law enforcement forces worldwide.

 

The creation of the Glock 17 pistol is a very interesting and successful attempt to develop a firearm using the “clean sheet” concept. Instead of adopting an existing design to meet the requirements, Gaston Glock, owner of a relatively small company Glock GmbH, called for the best designers and experts and asked them to create an ideal pistol. It was clear that the Austrian Army wanted a defensive pistol – simple, reliable, lightweight and inexpensive. The Glock team accordingly created what would be called the most utilitarian pistol of recent decades. The low weight was achieved by using a polymer frame – a solution probably borrowed from the Austrian Stg.77 (Steyr AUG) assault rifle, adopted in 1978. Simplicity of operation combined with a minimum number of parts were achieved by using patented “safe action” trigger system, which has no manual safeties.

After initial success with the basic Glock 17 pistol and its smaller counterpart, the Glock 19 (which appeared in 1988), Glock company developed and brought to market a large number of models, based on the same basic design and available in every major caliber from 9x17 Browning up to 10mm Auto and .45ACP and in a variety of configurations, from subcompact concealed carry models to full-size service models and long-slide sport pistols.

 

There are four generations of production Glock pistols.

First generation lasted between 1986 and 1990, and included only the Glock 17 and 19 pistols.

Second generation pistols, which also included pistols chambered for .357SIG, .40 S&W, 10mm Auto and .45 ACP, had slightly different frames with textured grips.

Third generation entered production in 1998, when pistols received integral accessory rails below the barrel, finger-grooved grips and improved extractors which also serve as a loaded chamber indicators.

Fourth generation, introduced in 2010, offered grips with replacement backstraps, enlarged magazine release buttons which can be installed on either side of the gun, and some minor internal improvements.

 

It must be noted that while many experts describe Glock pistols as having a “revolutionary design”, in fact it was the result of carefully considered evolution, incorporating previously-known solutions into one extremely practical, rugged package. For example, polymer pistol frames had been known for ten years before the introduction of the Glock 17 (i.e. Heckler-Koch VP70 pistol); automated safeties built into the trigger were known from the 1930s (Sauer Model 30 pistol), and pre-cocked firing pins from the first decade of the 20th Century (Roth-Steyr M1907).

While extreme ruggedness, affordable price and ease of use made Glock pistols top sellers for three decades, they also had few issues. The first was ergonomics – the Glock pistol was originally designed for Army use, and was intended to be an “one size fits all” proposition. In fact, the square-shaped grip of the typical full-size Glock is of less than ideal shape, at least for many shooters, the author included. This issue was corrected recently with introduction of the 4th Generation Glock pistols.

The second issue is the famed “safe-action” trigger. There have been quite a few accidental and negligent discharges with Glock pistols, because of the lack of any manual safeties combined with a relatively low trigger pull weight. Upgrades such as the “New York trigger pack”, which included heavier springs, did helped a little, but in this configuration there were few advantages over the other pistols with DAO triggers, which were as safe to fire as upgraded Glocks, but allowed a rapid second strike in the case of a misfire. Of course, the basic reason for these accidents was insufficient training of the users involved, but it is customary for most people to blame tools for operator errors.

 

Glock pistols are short recoil operated, locked breech weapons, except for two models (Glock 25 and 28), which are chambered for low-power 9x17 Browning (.380ACP) ammunition, and use a blowback action. The barrel is locked into the slide by a single large lug, which engages the ejection window in the top of the slide. Unlocking upon recoil is achieved by a single cam-shaped lug, which interacts with the steel insert, molded into the polymer frame. The same insert also holds the slide rails, which cannot be replaced in the frame in the case of wear or damage. The patented “safe-action” trigger system has a firing pin, with the mainspring being preloaded during the reloading cycle. The full cocking of the striker is achieved only by the pull of the trigger. There are no manual safeties on Glock pistols. Automated safeties include the trigger safety, which blocks the trigger if it is not pulled properly, the firing pin block, and the out-of-battery disconnector, which does not permit fire if the barrel is not fully locked to the slide. Double-stack, single feed magazines are made from polymer, the standard magazine capacity for the Glock 17 being 17 9mm rounds, with extended magazines available in 19 and 33 round capacity. Compact and most sub-compact models normally are supplied with shorter magazines, but can accept longer magazines of the same caliber (i.e. Glock 19 would accept magazines from Glock 17). Some sub-compact “Slim line” Glock pistols, such as Model 36 or Model 42, use single stack magazines which are not interchangeable with other models. The standard sights are fixed, with the rear sight dovetailed to the frame. Latest generation pistols also feature integral accessory rails on the frame, below the barrel.

 

Glock 18 pistols, which are about the only full-auto capable pistols currently made in the world, have slightly different dimensions of slide to frame rails, so the Glock 18 slide with its fire selector mechanism cannot be installed on any other 9mm frame. However, several companies now offer add-on modules, which can convert any Glock pistol to selective fire. Such modules are usually installed at the rear of the slide, replacing the rear slide plate, while original Glock 18 pistols have a fire mode selector mounted on the left side of the slide.