The first really successful polymer-framed handgun, the Glock “Safe Action” pistol, hit the U.S. shores in the early 1980s and was a hard sell at the time– but times quickly changed.
In taking a look at Herr Gaston Glock’s original offering to the firearms market at large– the Gen 1 Glock 17, named such due to it being Glock’s 17th patent filed– Colion Noir was struck both in how much the overall functionality and layout of the gun have remained the same for almost 40 years, and by how the little changes since then have tweaked the gun.
“I’d kill for some finger grooves right now. I’d kill for some RTF texturing right now– but besides that,” said Noir after shooting the gun, “But everything else is pretty much dead on.”
Glock designed the G17 originally for an Austrian Army contract– beating out traditional domestic handgun suppliers Steyr– for a run of some 25,000 guns adopted in 1982 as the Pistole 80 before making the leap to try the gun’s sales on the overseas market. When it hit the U.S., it gained a good bit of weird press as being a “porcelain gun made in Germany” and was derided as “combat tupperware” because of their plastic frame– only seen previously on the market in the seldom-encountered HK VP70 at the time.
But now, millions and millions of Glocks later, it’s one of the most popular handgun series on the markets.
In contrast to the above session with the Gen 1, check out Noir on the G19 Gen 5 last month, below.
Correction: This post was updated from its original version to point out that the G17 was named due to it being Glock’s 17th patent, not because of its 17-round magazine.
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