The Ubiquitous, Ugly, Deadly Glock

(Glock 101 for Beginners)

Disclaimer:  Ol' Army Joel accepts no responsibility for accidents involving improper handling of firearms.  Virtual Arms Room is no substitute for expertise and gun competence.

          By LTC Joel Johnston (Ret), US Army Ordnance Corps    


    OK, I admit it, I have always been a pistol snob.  I like Kimber, HK, Colt, Ruger, Sig, Beretta.....anything but Smith and Wesson (Yes, I remember you compromising with Sara Brady and Handgun Control Inc.  and will never buy one of your guns again, just like I will never buy a car built by unions who take bailout dollars, but I digress.)  Bottom line, I never stopped to look at gun show tables filled with hundreds of identical, black pistols.  They were just too common.  Of course I am talking about Glock, and boy did I miss out!  Before last month, I had only fired a Glock once and it was a loaner for my concealed permit qualification 10 years ago.  Then, on a whim, I priced a Glock 17 at my local dealer and discovered that military and police get a sizeable discount making it a no-risk proposition.  Once at the range, I was hooked and within a week, I owned two!  It shoots just as accurately as my Kimber Target Match II, holds twice as many rounds, and costs a third of the price.  Glock models can be confusing to the uninitiated.  Basically they are named by size and caliber.  I bought the original, full size G17 and the sub-compact G26.  Both of these pistols are chambered in 9mm.  This chart lays out the Glock line:

     Besides being accurate, I was impressed with Glock simplicity.  It only has 34 parts including the magazine!  GEN 4 is the most modern version of the Glock.  Among other improvements, it has adjustable back straps and an ambidextrous safety.  The GEN 4 magazines have a mag release cut out on both sides to accommodate this left handed versatility, but if you are right handed, any generation magazine will work in a pistol set up for a right handed shooter. 

This is my G17 field stripped.  Let me say, it takes all of 3 seconds to take this pistol apart.  Forrest Gump could do it in 1 second. 

    G17 Re-assembled.  I have digitally smeared the serial numbers in these pics of my Glocks for security reasons.  Glocks are marked on the frame, slide, and barrel.

    There are no manual safeties; they are passive.  All you do is chamber a round and fire.  Also, the magazines are interchangeable in that you can insert a longer Glock magazine of the same caliber into a gun that uses a shorter magazine.  For example, I can use the 17 round G17 mag in the 10 round G26 as demonstrated in the below picture.  You can also get a 32 round magazine.  Many experts recommend carrying the same caliber gun as your backup so indeed, you can use your full size magazines from your primary weapon in your smaller, secondary gun. 

    For the G26, I recommend you get the magazine extension because it gives you more area to grip the pistol and adds two rounds to the capacity.  Pearce makes the extensions and they go for $10 retail.  Stay away from the cheap ones as the last thing you need in a gun fight is for your base plate to pop off and all your rounds fall on the ground.   The G26 is a fantastic concealed carry gun.  I use a Galco inside the pants holster and the pistol can not be seen under a t-shirt.

    OK, so this is the ultimate Glock video on Youtube brought to you by fpsRussia.  What the guy lacks in concern for safety, he more than makes up for in cool guns and expensive ammo/targets.  The full auto version of the Glock is the G18 9mm.

This is the magazine type used in the video.  Beta mags for Glocks are $399 in Shotgun News. 

    The final word....Glocks are awesome pistols.  Yes, they are ugly, yes they are everywhere (known as America's favorite pistol), and yes, I am so impressed by the simplicity and reliability that I would trust my life with one.  They have been around since 1980 and many used ones and police trade ins are available for reasonable prices in the US market.  Over 50 countries in the world use Glocks as their military and police side arm to include the Elite German Anti-Terrorist Unit, GSG 9.   New, GEN 4 pistols are starting around $600-649 retail.  The standard magazines can be found for $20-$25.  They have no collector value what so ever, and never will.  They have extremely tough finish and seem to me to be indestructible.  I will be making a Glock video in the near future and I have a family law enforcement officer writing an article about the Glock's suitability for women. 

Home Up Glock No.1 MkIII SMLE Polish AK-74 US M1911A1 Pistol M-1 Carbine M-1 Garand P-38 Pistol Browning 1922 German Flare Pistols MP-40 BFONG T2 MK5 Kell Tec PF9