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Ask any student who has taken a firearms course from me and they will all tell you that I have a love affair with Glock. I use a Glock 34 as one of my training firearms and, simply put, I love it. I love ALL Glock’s. Many students have asked me over the years why I love Glock’s so much, and it can be complicated. Getting into handgun shooting, especially here in Canada, can be quite nerve racking for some. We simply use restricted firearms as target shooting devices, and dropping up to $1200 on what amounts to a hobby can be troubling. In short they want to know that they are making the correct decision in their choice of gun. In this article I will go over 7 reasons why you should buy a Glock, and on the flip side the same amount of reasons to buy something else. In the end I want you to be informed so you can make your decision not because I told you to, but because YOU want to!
Reason 1: UBIQUITY (simply put, THEY ARE EVERYWHERE!)
Glock pistols can be found everywhere, like, on Earth. Their massive market penetration means that no matter where you go, you can find accessories, replacement parts, and gun smiths. Even Sears carries Glock parts, lol. Knowing that you can go into any gun store anywhere and being likely to find parts and magazines for your gun, without calling in ahead of time, making special orders, etc. makes owning a Glock easier than many handguns. Even Gen4 Glocks, very new by industry standards, are well-established.
Reason 2: EASE OF OWNERSHIP
Glocks are simple. You only need a couple (literally two) tools to do most work on Glocks. A pin punch and a knife. And if you don’t feel up to it, its ubiquity comes into play, here. There are hundreds of Glock guides on YouTube alone that show step-by-step how to modify, repair, or improve your Glock. And if the work turns out to be just out of reach in terms of difficulty or time constraints, you never have to look far for a qualified Glock armorer. Plus, with all the competition out there, Glock work is downright inexpensivewhre
Reason 3: INTERCHANGEABILITY
Many Gen3 Glocks use the same frames; in order to change calibers between 9mm, .40 S&W, .357 SIG, and .22 Long Rifle, all you need is the right conversion kit and magazine. This is also true for Gen4 Glocks, however, the availablity of conversion kits there is not as widespread but it is getting there. One thing you can’t do is just swap slides from the aformentioned guns with .45 ACP and 10mm Glocks. You can, however, buy conversion barrels for other calibers chambered in .45 ACP and 10mm, which brings us to…
Reason 4: AFTERMARKET SUPPORT
The only non-factory market with more going for it than Glock’s is the 1911. You can get aftermarket conversion barrels to transform your 10mm Glock to .40 S&W or .357 SIG no problem. Barrels are even available in more exotic chamberings like .400 Corbon or 9x25mm. You want tritium-powered night sights? That’s trivial, every major manufacturer of night sights makes a Glock model. There are companies that make 1911-angled frames, and even all-metal frames are available for this polymer wondernine. And every imaginable accessory is available with a Glock option, from laser guide rods to drum magazines. The sky’s the limit, here.
Reason 5: WEIGHT AND CAPACITY
A Glock 17, empty, weighs only 22oz, and 32 loaded. That’s with 10 rounds in the magazine. That’s less than many all-steel guns weigh with no magazine at all. But that doesn’t mean they recoil heavily or are hard to shoot; Glocks all have very low-profile slides, slides that don’t have a great deal of mass. Lightweight slides cycle easily and rely more on spring tension to deal with it. Ultimately, the recoil is lessened because you’re not dealing with a small explosion followed by a big chunk of steel coming towards you. Glocks put a lot of gun into a small package.
Reason 6: RELIABILITY
There must be a reason that over 80 percent of law enforcement agencies in the world trust their officer’s lives to a Glock right? There are few modern pistol companies with track records like Glock’s. Aside from their Gen 4 kerfuffle, and issues with high-pressure cartridges, but how many pistols can claim just two major missteps over the course of 25 years? Glocks have been proven through duty and torture testing unlike any other guns out there. If there is any condition out there that will stop a Glock, good luck finding another gun that will keep going. We’re not saying other guns can’t be as dependable (if not more) but Glock sets the standard for what the world should expect from its duty pistols.
Reason 7: AFFORDABILITY
And ultimately, what makes the Glock such a phenomenal product is how inexpensive they are. They meet and beat standards that much more expensive pistols would have trouble with. If not for the materials used and the simplicity of their production, Glock just wouldn’t have the same level of market domination. Yes, its true that now, gun companies practically give guns away to police departments to appease their stockholders and get good press. But that wasn’t the case when Glock got its start. When the first 17 rolled off the line, Glock was shooting to get paid, and that meant undercutting the competition. To this day Glocks represent an incredible value; you get your money’s worth, that’s for sure.
With all that being said I also like to highlight the opposing side of the argument, so as not to show to much of a bias. So here are 7 reasons why you might not want a Glock.
Reason 1: THE INTERNET
If you’re reading this, then we have it on pretty good advice that you have access to the Internet. The Internet has made the physical commonness of Glock guns and accessories moot. If you can have a packaged delivered to you, then you have all the parts for all the guns ever at your fingertips. Availability is determined by your ability to drive Google and how much cash you’ve got. While yes, it’s less immediate, it’s probably also cheaper. Buying gun parts online saves you money, and it’s completely unlimited in what you can find.
Reason 2: MOST MODERN FIREARMS ARE EASY TO USE
The Glock 17 is about to turn 30. In three decades, many other great guns have been designed with the intent of being worked on by owners, not armorers. The whole idea of a gun with parts that require fitting by a professional is getting extremely long in the tooth. Sure, there are some things that you’ll need a gunsmith for, but when it comes to that level of performance, Glock or not, you’d turn to a gunsmith. And the Internet comes in handy here too. It’s not like you’re going to spend an afternoon calling gunsmiths to find a HK or SIG specialist; you’re going to turn to the tubes and find the best names in the country.
Reason 3: DIFFERENT KINDS OF GUNS
One of the inherent strengths of Glock pistols is their ability to accept caliber conversion slides, barrels, and magazines without a lot of fidgeting, because so many of them use the same frames. But having four halves is not the same as having two wholes. You can spend a thousand bucks on all the Glock uppers in all the Glock calibers, but you can’t, despite what you read on the Internet, turn a Glock into a shotgun. Glock makes a wide array of pistols, but until they make a rifle, you’re going to have to look to other brands for other shooting platforms.
Reason 4: ERGONOMICS
Glock pistols have a uniqueness to their grip. They point like Glocks. For the most part, they have the one single major safety, the trigger safety. Either or both of those things is reason enough to look elsewhere. There’s a reason 1911s have been around FOREVER. Sure, you can find all sorts of aftermarket goodies to make them more like the gun you wished they were, but that in itself is no great endorsement of the gun. Hell, some people just want a heavier gun; there are good reasons for that.
Reason 5: MARKETING
Glock has held so much of the market for so long, at this point in time and for a long time to come, there’s no possible way for another handgun to collectively shoot as much, get abused as much, or see an equivalent amount of time in-service. That doesn’t mean that Glocks are actually the most reliable, it just means they have the longest track record. Kabooms were (and sometimes still are) a problem. (This is a combination of their continued use of non-fully-supported chambers in some calibers and the polygonal rifling which can, with long bullets, re-seat the bullets deeper into the cartridge, increasing the cartridge’s pressure, causing, well, kabooms.) Gen 4 Glocks had all sorts of issues coming out the gate due to an under-tested recoil spring assembly, leading to failures to feed and eject. And while Glock certainly has good customer support, if you have an ammo problem, IT’S YOUR PROBLEM. There is a certain attitude that Glock are perfect; other gun manufacturers have no such delusions, and offer customer service accordingly.
Reason 6: COMPETITION
In what’s increasingly describable as a firearms renaissance, gun prices have dropped through the floor. Glock isn’t the cheapest anymore, and that really was a big reason to get them; they’re inexpensive guns. They have plastic sights and so-so accuracy. Even when it comes to aftermarket support and accessories, there are so many equivalent guns, in terms of reliability, durability… we can’t even list them here. The truth is that there’s nothing special about the Glock, no more than other handguns, anyway.
Reason 7: YOU JUST WANT SOMETHING ELSE
And quite possibly the most important reason not to get a Glock is just not liking them. There’s nothing wrong with that and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Glock’s strengths aren’t single to just them. Plenty of companies make awesome firearms, in the same price bracket, for less, for more, with polymer frames, with steel frames, with alloy frames, with rubber grips, with wood grips, with cylinders… We have more access to a staggeringly huge variety of firearms than ever before, and there’s a fine reason for that: they all are, in some ways, better than Glock. Or just different. And different is good.