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Glock.


I’ve gotta be honest, this is kind of a boring
weapon. And design-wise, it’s ugly. A couple of rectangles
overlapped, like a gun drawn by a child. And yet for some reason it’s quite popular: The Glock. A polymer-framed pistol hailing from Austria,
and perhaps the most successful of the ‘wonder nines’. So, how did an obscure Austrian plastic manufacturer
have such an impact on the arms industry? What was so special about Glock’s design? And are they really invisible to X-Rays? During World War 2, Austria’s service pistol
was the Walther P38 – a perfectly serviceable semi-auto pistol, and it retained its role
for some time after the war. However, by the late 1970s there were better
alternatives and the Austrian armed forces began seeking a replacement pistol in 1980. The most likely contender at this time was
the Steyr GB: designed in 1968 and boasting some novel features, but it faced stiff competition
from other European manufacturers such as Beretta and Sig Sauer. But surely the Austrians would select a home-grown
weapon – and Steyr were pretty much the only Austrian arms manufacturer going. It was a
shoo-in! However, there was an outsider. A man named
Gaston Glock. He was the founder of a small manufacturing
company based in Deutsch-Wagram that made polymer products – originally curtain rods
and door knobs. By the late 1970s, Glock had found a niche
in products for the military: entrenching tools, knives, and disintegrating links. They’d never made any firearms before, but
when Glock caught wind of the upcoming tender for a replacement pistol he decided to design
his own. He was guided by the standards set by the
Austrian Ministry of Defence: the new weapon had to be a 9mm semi-auto; high capacity;
ambidextrous; drop safe; easy to maintain; and of simple, interchangeable, construction. Unhindered by any preconception or existing
tooling, this was an entirely new pistol designed to an exacting specification. He called it the Glock 17, as it was his 17th
invention – that its magazine capacity was 17 rounds was serendipity. In 1982 Glock submitted his handgun design
to the Austrian military for testing – where it would be up against heavyweights such as
Sig Sauer’s P220 and 226, H&K’s P7 and the Beretta 92. The prize was an order of 25,000 units – and
somehow the rank outsider clinched it. Glock’s design proved its capability, outperforming
all of its rivals. Now, the Americans had just settled on the
Beretta, so news of a hitherto unknown name in firearms beating established manufacturers
was surprising to say the least. There was concern that the high capacity magazine
would prove useful for criminals, and that the plastic frame would be invisible on airport
x-ray machines. It was described as ‘tailor made for terrorists’. However, most of these fears were unfounded
– the metal components of the Glock are still quite recognisable as a firearm – and by now,
high capacity weapons were the norm. Eventually, the resistance to the Glock dissipated. After all, you can’t keep a good design down
– and more and more police and military forces realised the Glock’s potential, with the weapon
seeing rapid adoption throughout the 1990s. The plastic pistol from Austria was ready
for the silver screen. Die Hard 2 wasn’t the first film the Glock
made an appearance in, but it’s probably the first memorable one. The fictional Glock 7 is described as ‘a porcelain
gun made in Germany’ that ‘doesn’t show up on your airport X-ray machines’ and ‘costs
more than what you make in a month!” The quote is wrong on almost every count,
but the gun was new and it was cool. As its popularity surged, the Glock became
an increasingly common sight – often seen in the hands of fictional law enforcement;
such as in Robocop III, The Fugitive, and Beverly Hills Cop III. Fellow Austrian Arnold Schwarzenegger was
reportedly a fan, and the Glock makes an appearance in True Lies: Eraser; and End of Days. Even the word ‘Glock’ itself became a byword
for firepower, a frequent reference in gangsta rap: such as Ice T’s ‘O.G. Original Gangster’;
Dr Dre’s ‘Let Me Ride’; and Ice Cube’s ‘You Know How We Do It’. Right from the start, the pistol has refused
stereotype: civilian, police, military, terrorist, gang banger – the Glock is for everyone. This universal appeal was helped by a large
number of variants, model numbers starting with the 17 and ascending. The Glock 18, a fully automatic machine pistol:
The 19, with compact frame. 20, made for the hard-hitting 10mm Auto; 21, in .45 ACP; the
22, 23 and 24 in .40 Smith & Wesson; The 25 in .380 ACP. The 26, a subcompact Glock in
9mm, ideal for concealed carry. The list goes on – a whole range of calibres,
a whole range of sizes. Despite some issues with the earlier .40 cal
models (mostly a consequence of hotter-than-usual rounds), Glock’s original design has proven
quite adaptable – and today, the pistol for everyone is everywhere. Naturally this means they’re a popular choice
for video games and the Glock is one of the more attainable weapons within a typical arsenal. However, being a pistol, it’s often sidelined
to a secondary role: a backup to your SMG or assault rifle. It’s not a glamorous job, but such is the
pistol’s lot. But in the early days of the FPS, lower-ranking
weapons within the power hierarchy got their share of attention by being the first weapons
you got to play with. This coincides with the Glock’s rapid rise
in popularity during the late 90s, so early appearances in games like Duke Nukem 3D and
Half-Life aren’t too surprising. As more realistic games took hold, we start
to see a reflection of the Glock’s popularity with law enforcement and military units: games
like SWAT 4, the Delta Force and Rainbow Six series all feature the Glock in some form. Of course, it’s not always called the ‘Glock’
in games – it is a commercial trademark, so it’s often changed to avoid legal trouble. Most often the ‘Glock 17’ will be known as
the ‘G17’, or perhaps as one of its military designations. In some cases where firearms
are less of a focus, it might be entirely generic: the ‘9mm pistol’ or similar. There’s no mistaking its boxy exterior though.
The Glock’s familiarity is its key distinction. The entire Glock lineup is broadly similar
– they all look and behave in pretty much the same way: but there is one exception.
The forbidden Glock 18. It is disproportionately popular in games,
probably because it’s more interesting and exciting than the semi-automatic pistols it
resembles. In gameplay terms, it fills an interesting
role that not many other recognisable weapons can: a pocket-sized auto, seldom controllable
but always quite good fun. The akimbo Glocks from Modern Warfare 2 are
a particularly memorable example: they were surprisingly effective, even without the ability
to aim. So as dull as pistols can be, there’s something
to like about the Glock. A utilitarian charm. It’s just a gun. It’s just a gun that does its job extraordinary
well. It’s lost its exotic edge – no longer is it
the plastic European wonder that changed America’s outlook on handguns – but it’s matured into
a modern classic that might just outlast us all. So, welcome to the default option. A versatile pistol with broad appeal. It’s true, there are better looking weapons
out there and some more suited to specific roles – but there’s a Glock good enough for
everyone. Besides, sometimes ugly is beautiful: and sometimes boring is exactly what you need. The Glock. Neutral. Universal. Perfect. Thank you very much for watching – and until
next time, farewell.

100 thoughts on “Glock.

  1. I've actually seen a LOT of other channels try to copy your editing/content format lately. I'm not trying to give them shit but tbh, and look, I respect they're (obvious) influence, but goddamn they just need to stop. It's borderline insulting. Plz someone tell me they get what I'm saying here 😒. Get your own editing style ffs fellas…

  2. You should do a video about the AC130 gunships. I wanna see how your animation style shows their firepower!

  3. Ahoy, if you are interested, – I've registered name XboxAhoy on Call of Duty Mobile.

    Will be more than glad to transfer it to you.

  4. Playing a shooter in 2002 on dial up and only a Glock as you only weapons sounded like dog shit.

    But after 2 hrs, the place was known as the Glock server, then there had to be more servers and we played them for months as everyone was a fucking savant like shooter in no time! Happy days indeed.

  5. It's been 3000 years….

    On a side note, if you want an interesting pistol, you've done 1911s, Berettas, and Magnums, but somehow managed to skip over the one that's been the sidearm of choice for the longest running movie series in history?

    With No Time to Die coming out next year, a Walther PP video could be real interesting.

  6. Of the half-dozen or so handgun models I've ever shot, the Glock 17 was easily my least favorite. But that doesn't make me any less happy to sit and listen about its history 🙂

  7. M2 Browning should be next. I absolutely love your presentation. It's simple, but absolutely screams professionalism at the top of it's lungs.

  8. I am simple man – I see Ahoy, I hit LIKE.
    Have been missing your series on weapons, of late. Thanks, Ahoy !
    Good content.

  9. If you’re going to do the Glock, I would respectfully request that you also do the USP. All this to say, I love your content. Your breakdown of firearms is superb.

  10. That was a awesome vid. Can you please do lever action rifles/shotguns like in rdr? Or pump action shotguns like the mossberg 500?

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