Glock Review

Glock.  The name is enough to produce either an outpouring of affection or complete distain.  The Glock became famous from a combination of bad press and a great design.   Designed by Gaston Glock in Austria and released in 1982, the Glock was the first firearm produced by the company.  The Glock was not designed on a whim though.  In 1980 the Austrian government decided to replace their WWII Walther pistols with a new handgun. 

What Do Glock Model Numbers Stand For?

The Austrian Government’s list of criteria was numbered at seventeen (abbreviated list below), though   that is not why the original Glock was designated the model 17.  It just happened to be the 17th patent for the company.  That trend of using the patent number as the model designator continues today.

Austrian Requirements (abbreviated)

  • The firearm had to be Semi-auto, 9mm (must produce 441.5 J), magazine of 8+
  • Be able to withstand overpressure rounds after being fired 15,000 times
  • All components must be fully interchangeable between pistols
  • No more than 20 failures per 10,000 rounds
  • Required that no tools needed for basic maintenance or disassembly.
  • Must pass a 2m drop test and brass ejection cannot strike user

Glock’s Polymer Frame

The Glock was not the first Polymer handgun (H&K VP70), but it was the first to be widely used by a number of law enforcement and militaries.  It’s made from polymer composites that offer more than enough strength to withstand the rigors that a firearm frame must handle and at a fraction of the weight of the same sized full steel counterpart.

When the Glock was first introduced, many in the gun community said “I’ll wait and you’ll see that the Plastic, Tupperware, Toy Gun won’t be able to handle the abuse a firearm takes.”  Fast forward 15 years and the Glock has proven that a Poly gun is reliable (maybe even more reliable) and will hold up to the abuse.  The Glock name has become synonymous with reliability.  So much so that the rigorous tests the Glock has passed have become a standard for reliability.  The Glock test is a 25,000 round test, where the firearm is neglected in the various elements and is rarely, if ever, cleaned.

Glock Myth Busting

One of the largest misconceptions about the Glock came from the 1990 movie Die Hard Where John McClain incorrectly states about a fictional Glock, “That punk pulled a GLOCK 7 on me! You know what that is? It's a porcelain gun made in Germany. It doesn't show up on your airport X-ray machines, and it costs more than you make here in a month.”  This myth first appeared in 1985, in a column in the Washington Post by John Anderson.  They failed to do any type of fact checking; which was magnified by the AP’s lack of fact checking also.   Here are a few problems with McClain’s comment:

  • The first thing that stands out is that Glock’s are manufactured in Austria.
  •  A Glock will show up under a X-Ray machine.  The slide, barrel and some of the internals are made with metal.
  • Glocks are made of polymer not porcelain.
  • Glocks are extremely affordable (with the exception of the full auto Glock 18).

Polymer pistols do offer advancement in thermal imagining though.  The polymer does not absorb as much radiant or retain as much heat from firing as a full metal handgun will.  

Another relatively common myth is that Glocks are not safe:

  • Untrue – Glocks have passed the drop test and have multiple safety mechanisms in place to prevent an unwanted discharge.  All firearms can be inherently dangerous in the hands of someone who is untrained.  With the use of proper firearm handling the Glock is as safe as any pistol.
  • Glock created the safe action trigger that requires pressure to be placed on the trigger in a way that prohibits unwanted discharge.

Glock Overview

The Glock is one of the most reliable firearms in the world.  You will have a hard time finding a firearm with better credentials than the Glock.  Glock’s are used by over 65% of the United States police forces and countless other militaries and police organizations worldwide.  While not the perfection that is advertised, the Glock is one of the best firearms per dollar on the market today. 

The following are usually included “Out of the Box” if you buy a new Glock:

  • Glock Firearm
  • Black plastic Glock carry case
  • Two Magazines
  • Plastic cleaning rod
  • Bore Brush
  • Gun Lock

The following table provides an overview of the Models available worldwide:


Barrel Length











380 ACP*


















357 sig









40 cal


















45 GAP









45 ACP


30,36 (slim)







* The 380 ACP (25&28) are not available in the US. 

^ New production Glock 18’s are not available in the US


  • Interchangeable magazines
  • Caliber change with only a barrel change
  • Available in 10mm
  • Aftermarket to cover every part of firearm
  • Resale value is high
  • Short reset trigger


  • Priced a bit higher than comparable models.
  • Grip not suited to every shooter.
  • Exposed Lead bullets unable to be used.
  • Changeable back straps are extremely expensive upgrade compared to competition.

Comparable Firearm Reviews

  • Springfield XD/XDM
  • S&W M&P­­
  • Ruger SR9
  • CZ PO1
  • Baby Desert Eagle
  • Beretta Px4
  • Fabrique Nationale FNX &FNP
  • Kahr TP