I love guns made of steel. Whether it is a 1911, CZ 75, or a Beretta 92, steel framed handguns feel great in my hand. However, I’m not going to say there is no place for plastic guns. For all day duty carry, saving even one extra pound hanging off your hip makes a huge difference. GLOCKs, being one of the most prevalent
plastic polymer handguns on the market, have plenty of detractors. After thumbing through the comments some shooters have about GLOCKs, I concluded that the sensible arguments are not necessarily wrong, but most of them are not 100 percent correct either.
That’s One Ugly Gun
This is the most common argument I see with these guns. They all look-alike, and they’re all ugly. I’m not going to pretend that a firearm’s aesthetics mean nothing when I’m shopping for a new gun, in fact the aesthetics is what draws many buyers toward certain guns in the first place. I’ve even seen my wife buy a gun based solely on the fact it was pretty. However, I consider GLOCKs to be like a chainsaw or a power drill. They are a utilitarian piece of hardware that fills an intended role. Given the fact that it will be used for daily carry and probably see a fair amount of wear and tear, I don’t care if it happens to look like a 1970s AMC Gremlin with hail damage.
This Thing Feels Weird in My Hand
This particular argument is one I used to have myself. I grew up shooting 1911s and I was more accustomed to a flatter back and higher trigger. However, after a few boxes of shells and a little patience, I quit crying and adjusted just fine. There is a noticeable amount of tilting forward you have to do to get used to it, but it isn’t that big of a deal. Every gun is a little different—firing an AR is not like firing an AK. For novice shooters who don’t have years of bad habits ingrained into their shooting routine, the infamous GLOCK grip angle is a non-issue. Like most things, it just takes practice.
I Just Don’t Like the Trigger
This argument is not necessarily wrong, but this is by design. The factory trigger on a GLOCK is long and heavy, especially when compared to a single action trigger. That long trigger is actually a safety mechanism. GLOCK explains this in a flyer:
Glock incorporated the trigger safety into the trigger in the form of a lever and when in the forward position, blocks the trigger from moving rearward. To fire the pistol, you must deliberately depress the trigger safety and the trigger itself at the same time. If the trigger safety is not depressed, the trigger will not move rearward and allow the pistol to fire.
You might be saying that just because it is a safety feature doesn’t mean the trigger should creak like a rusty gate. To be honest, it really doesn’t. Factory GLOCK triggers seem to vary between 4.5 and 5.5 pounds. While there is some noticeable creak, the triggers are lighter than most double action pulls on revolvers as well as the majority of double action only semi-autos. After a decent break-in period, I developed a trusting relationship with this type of trigger design—I learned exactly where it breaks. If all that seems like too much trouble, after market triggers are great and yield much lighter trigger pulls.
Don’t GLOCKs Explode?
No, not really. However, there have been instances where GLOCKs have failed to contain cartridge ignitions. This was usually with Gen 1 and Gen 2 GLOCKs in .40 caliber chamberings. These models lacked full case support and thus were poor choices for hand-loaded cartridges. This would normally not be a problem but the standard .40 Smith & Wesson is inherently a higher pressure round. The vast majority of the failures are from home or factory reloaded .40 caliber cartridges. In other words, someone loaded the cartridge with an excessive amount of powder and the gun exploded. Can most other firearms suffer from catastrophic failure when loaded with non-factory over-pressured ammunition? Absolutely. While GLOCK does say that occasionally firing hotter rounds through their handguns is fine, a steady diet of handloaded or factory +P or +P+ ammunition will put too much wear and tear on the internal functions. Generally speaking, GLOCKs like eating regular factory ammo.
There is no denying that GLOCKs have their outspoken haters. It is my opinion that most of these folks are simply inexperienced, misguided, or have not given them a chance. I’m not saying that they are the perfect gun for everyone, but they certainly do a fine job for most. When novice shooters ask me what type of handgun they should buy, I usually respond with the same answer. Just get a GLOCK and be done with it.