Even if you’re not a fan of firearms, you’re certainly aware of the popularity of glock handguns in military applications. Everyone has heard the name “glock,” before, and if you know anyone who owns a gun you know just how desirable the Glock Nine Millimeter pistol is. But just how did it become so popular? What makes it such a useful handgun in military applications?
The Glock Handgun Has a Body is Made of Plastic
You may be surprised to learn that a pistol could be primarily made of plastic, but in the case of the Glock, this is the case. Because of this, it is incredibly light, making it easy to carry. People in the military are often required to carry copious amounts of gear, including their firearms, and so the lighter body made it highly desirable. With less weight on the gun, soldiers and officers will become less fatigued while deployed, making them more effective.
The reason it’s surprising to many people that a gun can have a body made of plastic is easy to understand. We’re used to guns being made of metal, which was once a necessity. The explosive forces caused when a bullet is ejected through the barrel dictates that the instrument is sturdy, and plastic is not typically thought of as being capable of handling these situations.
The plastics that comprise a glock handgun aren’t your typical plastics, though. They’re specifically designed with additions that make the plastics extra rigid and durable.
The Simple Design of Glock Pistols Increases Accuracy and Decreases Maintenance Times
In the early 1980’s the Czech military found themselves needing a new small firearm that their soldiers could carry. This resulted in an RFP (request for proposal) to several gun manufacturers. The Czech military quickly found themselves frustrated, as many manufacturers indicated development times of five years or more. By chance, Gaston Glock found himself with a unique business opportunity.
Since the RFP demanded simple construction, maximum carrying capacity of ammunition, and a light-weight design, Mr. Glock was in a unique position. He already owned a company suitable of rapid research and development, since his company focused on manufacturing plastic polymers. He put his team to work to design a handgun that would meet the demands of the Czech military, which included:
- The handgun should be accurate, with no more than 1 misfire in 1,000 rounds
- Lightweight, weighing in at less than 800 grams
- Capable of carrying a significant number of rounds
- Comprised of fewer than forty parts, allowing for easy maintenance and cleaning
Because of this, he then found himself with a firearm that was suitable to military use throughout the world. When other countries learned of the effectiveness of the firearm developed for the Czech military they were quick to order plenty for their own armies.
The popularity of the glock handgun in military applications may have initially been a bit of a fluke. It isn’t every day that you hear of a plastics manufacturer getting into the firearm business, and most people don’t even know that such a thing is even possible. But thanks to the Glock’s high accuracy, simple design, and weight, a new firearm was introduced to the market that would quickly become the standard, resulting in the popularity of the glock handgun in military units all over the world.