Glock 17

A British soldier aiming Glock 17 at the shooting range
A British soldier aiming Glock 17 at the shooting range (Photo: XY)

The Glock 17 is one of the most popular service-duty pistols in the world. When it first appeared in the early 1980s, the Glock pistol seemed to break all the rules. Largely made of plastic, its design made no concessions to the popular view of what a pistol should look like. When it first appeared, there were widespread press reports about this sinister plastic pistol. Why plastic? Was it deliberately designed to be smuggled through security checkpoints at airports as the Glock intended as the latest weapon in the terrorist arsenal?

The Glock is firmly on the side of law and order. The slide, barrel, and trigger group are all metal, so it is not X-ray proof. And the Glock is now in widespread service with armies and police forces worldwide, with over two million having been manufactured. Around 40 % of American law enforcement agencies that use automatic pistols have adopted the Glock.

Non-traditional pistol

Part of the reason for the Glock’s unusual features comes from the fact that it was not designed by a traditional firearms maker. Glock was founded in Austria by Gaston Glock, an engineer who specialized in the manufacture of plastic and steel components. When the Austrian Army held a competition to find a new service pistol in the 1980s, Glock entered his revolutionary pistol design.

glock as the first-choice of military proffesionals
Glock pistols as the first choice among Navy SEALs (Photo: Pinterest)

The Glock’s receiver is made of tough plastic, resistant to both heat and cold. The old military badge of ‘Keep It Simple’ has been rigorously applied in the design of the Glock. It has only 33 parts and can be stripped in a matter of seconds. Best of all, it gas no external safety catch to release and so nothing to remember in the stress of action. Unlike almost all pistols in military service, the Glock is ready to fire from the moment it leaves your holster; draw and the fire is all you need do to. A group of internal safety mechanisms keeps the weapon in a safe condition until the trigger is pulled.

Military use

The 9-mm Glock 17 is the most widely used version. Adopted by the Austrian army and by armies and special operations units all over the world, it is an outstanding handgun. The Glock 18 is a fully automatic version, used as a compact machine pistol. To prevent unauthorized conversations, the operating parts are not interchangeable with the Glock 17.

Glock 17 most popular pistol among law enforcement and military users
A SWAT operator brandishing his Glock 17 (Photo: XY)

Its greatest commercial success has been in the United States, with police and civil users. To meet the needs of this rapidly expanding market, the basic design has been adapted to other calibers. Glock was one of the first manufacturers to launch a 10-mm (0.39-in) pistol, the Glock 20. One more step in search of the ultimate pistol cartridge, the 10-mm is a far more lethal round than the standard 9-mm (0.35-in)  Parabellum used by most armies. The Glock 21 is chambered for the.45 ACP round while the Glock 22 and 23 fire the popular .40 Smith and Wesson round. Smaller examples of the Glock have been manufactured in all calibers, primarily for plain-clothed police officers to carry concealed.

A model of functional design, the Glock may give offended traditionalists but its worldwide success speaks for its quality.

Technical specifications of Glock 17

Caliber: 9*19 mm Parabellum
Length overall: 186 mm
Barrel length: 114 mm
Weight: Empty 0.63 kg (1lb 5 oz);
loaded 0.88 kg (1 lb 15 oz)
Muzzle velocity: 350 mm (1.148 ft) per second
Magazine capacity: 17 rounds

Today, the Glock pistols are among the most used service weapon around the world. Among many users, it is used with British Armed Forces, French Special Forces, Iraqi Security Forces, Latvian Military, Norwegian Armed Forces, Swedish Armed Forces. Also, US Navy SEALs are tempting to shift from Sig Sauer to Glock 19.

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