Saturday, January 20, 2024

20th anniversary of H&K catalog mistake

 In 2004, H&K became the unexpected joke of the gun world thanks to this catalog photograph.

No compromise, except the bullet seated in magazine is backwards.

This catalog was quickly recalled, but not before some people got their hands on it. The story is that the photographer was not familiar with firearms.

Hopefully H&K won't make the same mistake this year or in the future. Because that would make you suck and we hate you.😉

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Gaston Glock passes away

  The developer of the Glock pistol passed away at age 94 on December 27, 2023.

Born in Austria, he started as manufacturer of plastic products, including bayonet for Austrian military. In early 1980s, Glock entered Austrian military's search for a new service handgun. Legend has it that when he told Austrian military officers he could make a gun, he was laughed off. His previous experience with bayonet procurement also has an interesting story. When he went to an officer to talk about it, officer took out a bayonet, stick in in the drawer and broke it to reveal the problem.

Glock successfully won the service procurement by building a firearm with inputs from experts. He did not invent any new mechanisms, but a successful blend of characteristics gave birth to what is now a very widely sold pistol in history. Striker fire system was already introduced decades ago, trigger safety mechanism was invented decades earlier in other firearms, and use of polymer was done years earlier by Heckler & Koch with VP70. By putting it in a nice package with a good price point, he was able to come up with a practical pistol that is just right.

In the 80's police departments throughout the United States were looking to upgrade their firearms from mostly revolvers to semi-automatic pistols. The demand helped Glock to get a good market share and eventually around 67% of police used Glock at its height of popularity. Glock gave favorable deals to the departments looking to upgrade as well as aggressive campaign to get their pistol adopted.

Proliferation of Glock firearms eventually made it's way to popular culture as well. In the movie "Die Hard 2", John McClane(played by Bruce Willis) says

"Luggage? 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 here and it costs more than what you make in a month!"

It also appeared in the movie "U.S. Marshals".
"Get yourself a Glock and lose that nickel-plated sissy pistol,"

Glock wasn't as reserved as other manufacturers when it came to spreading it's name. Some manufacturers were prohibiting use of their guns by criminals on the screen, but Glock didn't go that far. This gave more mentions from all sides of society, and cemented it's name in to many people's minds.

Gaston Glock's personal life was affected as his firearm grew in it's popularity.

In 1999, his financial advisor was suspected of embezzlement and the advisor hired a hitman. The hitman attacked Glock with a rubber mallet, but Glock managed to beat the attacker with fist. Both the financial advisor and the hitman were sent to prison.

In 2010s, his battle with cancer resulted in him divorcing his wife of 49 years. At the time the rumor was that Gaston Glock was unhappy that his family was not visiting him, while the family insisted that the nurse prevented visits. Glock ended up marrying the nurse, Kathrin. Ex-wife and children filed multiple lawsuits in various courts, with the one happening in Georgia, U.S.A. Their were allegations of using paper companies to hide money as well as other shady practices, but none were proven.

With his passing it will be interesting how Glock will change. Glock under his leadership was reluctant to change much unless it was absolutely needed. However, in last few years there were numerous signs that they were responding to market such as release of micro sized pistols(42, 43) and participating in U.K.'s rifle tender with an AR variant. It remains to be seen if the company will continue the  practice.