September 08, 2017
Take a minute and reflect back to the days when we all had the same guns. We ran what we had because there hadn't been a lot of innovation in many years. All of a sudden, out of the gate jumped the next generation of pistols. The old-school boys weren't happy; they were content with what they had.
"How dare someone change the future?"
"Who would want to carry a pistol made from different materials and with different controls (or the lack of)?"
"Something different? There will never be a pistol better than what I have."
"This is what Dad carried; he was a cop for many years and it worked for him."
"I want to carry what the top military units carry. Why should I want something different?"
"No, I'm not scared of innovation. This new gun is just a flash in the pan. It won't last."
Those statements could have been made in 1986, but they weren't. These are recent statements from the band of modern day pistoleros: Meet the Glock Crowd. It seems nothing creates more hate and dissension on the gun interweb than taking sides against a Glock for any reason.
A year ago, I made a video called "Glock vs. M&P." It went crazy. I was called an idiot, I was called stupid, and many dissenters let me know that I didn't know what I was talking about. Fair enough. I actually fall into all of those categories on an almost daily basis — but not when comparing two pistols that I've owned many years and fired many rounds through. I also understand the materials, construction and how these firearms work — or don't.
Here are a couple of facts that I stated. First, there was the tongue-in-cheek mention of the Gen 4 or Gen 5 magazines, followers and springs. This was meant to be a joke, but in the end, it is a fact that there have been many changes to the Glock magazines. Seeing several shooters per class per year that talk about this follower or that spring combination has been an eye-opener. Next was the "stupid" statement I made referring to the Glock magazines as plastic. I did not go into detail that there's some metal in the Glock magazine, but the issue I was discussing was the Teflon coating. This is what I should have said: "The Glock magazine that is constructed of a metal stamping and coated with Teflon is sticky, which makes the magazine slower to reload and slower to drop from the pistol." Can I prove this? Yes, I can. It is what I feel when I shoot a Glock, and many others feel this same stickiness when using the Glock. Here's a fact: Teflon is plastic. Sorry, but that's what it is.
Lastly, I discussed the lack of reliability when using a Glock chambered in .40 S&W. Oh my goodness. What did I say? Once again, this is not a made-up shortcoming of the revered Glock; it's a fact. Glocks with shorter frames and shorter slides chambered in .40 S&W are more prone to malfunction. Years ago, my friend Larry Vickers made this same .40 S&W statement to me, and I debated with him. I thought he was wrong. In the end, Vickers was absolutely correct. He had more exposure to Glock .40 shooters than I had at the time, and his statement was dead on. Eventually, I had to grab a spoon and eat a big old steaming bowl of crow.
So what is this all about? The moral of the story is that the modern-day Glock shooter has evolved into everything many of them once detested about 1911 shooters. Model 1911 shooters were notorious for standing behind their selection of World War II armament, no matter the facts. Many Glock shooters have turned their heads on the facts. Innovation is happening every day, but not much of it appears to be happening inside Glock.
Glock started the trend, but in this day and age, there are many equals and, as some might argue, superiors. Grab a Walther PPQ, and you might be delighted. It's easy to shoot, ergonomically perfect, and there's little-to-no frame stippling needed. The HK VP9 is another striker gun aimed to compete with Glock. I am not as big of a fan of this pistol as some are, but I must say it keeps the bore axis extremely low in the hand and seems to run well. The aforementioned Smith & Wesson M&P was built specifically to give Glock a run for their money; it was designed in and is built in America. I think they've done a fine job with this pistol. The M&P is especially good in .40 S&W. As I shoot an M&P40, I don't get the middle-finger knuckle pain and soreness that some of us do when shooting a Glock a lot. Lastly, the SIG Sauer P320 is trying it's best to wipe Glock from the planet (or at least from the holsters of military and police in the U.S.). The P320 is a fully modular platform that's capable of transforming from full size to a subcompact — and any size in between — in less than a minute.
So, Glock shooters, think back to when your favorite G-model came onto the scene. It was the 1911 crowd that ninny-ninny-boo-booed your plastic pistol. "There is no way this piece of Tupperware would ever survive the battlefield," people would say. Obviously, the polymer-framed pistol is here to stay and is pretty doggone reliable.
I suggest that we all keep an open mind. Glock has certainly transformed modern pistol design, and everyone chasing them wants a piece of the pie. The reason is because Glock set a high standard, and everyone wants to be the next to surpass its innovation.
The next time you head to the range, pick up your neighbor's pistol and ask to give it a try. You might find that there is more than one way to skin that plastic cat.
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