Kindred of the East: Crimson Empires
9 mm Glock
The Glock pistol, sometimes referred to by the manufacturer as a Glock “Safe Action” Pistol, is a series of polymer-framed, short recoil operated, locked breech semi-automatic pistols designed and produced by Glock Ges.m.b.H., located in Deutsch-Wagram, Austria. It entered Austrian military and police service by 1982.
Despite initial resistance from the market to accept a “plastic gun” due to durability and reliability concerns, and fears that the pistol would be “invisible” to metal detectors in airports, Glock pistols have become the company’s most profitable line of products, commanding 65% of the market share of handguns for United States law enforcement agencies as well as supplying numerous national armed forces and security agencies worldwide. Glocks are also popular firearms amongst civilians for recreational/competition shooting, home/self defense and concealed/open carry.
Glock has updated its basic design several times throughout its production history. Commentators had long separated the large changes into generations. Glock eventually accepted this nomenclature with their “Gen4” models.
Second generation models
A mid-life upgrade to the Glock pistols involved the addition of checkering on the front strap and serrations to the back strap. These versions were introduced in 1988 and were informally referred to as “second generation” models. To meet American ATF regulations, a steel plate with a stamped serial number was embedded into the receiver in front of the trigger guard.
In 1991, an integrated recoil spring assembly replaced the original two-piece recoil spring and tube design. The magazine was slightly modified, changing the floorplate and fitting the follower spring with a resistance insert at its base.
Third generation models
In the late 1990s, the frame was further modified with an accessory rail (called the “Universal Glock rail”) to allow the mounting of laser sights, tactical lights, and other accessories. Thumb rests on both sides of the frame and finger grooves on the front strap were added. Glock pistols with these upgrades are informally referred to as (early) “third generation” models. Later third generation models additionally featured a modified extractor that serves as a Loaded chamber indicator, and the locking block was enlarged, along with the addition of an extra cross pin to aid the distribution of forces exerted by the locking block. This cross pin is known as the locking block pin and located above the trigger pin.
The polymer frames of third generation models can be black, flat dark earth or olive drab. Besides that, non-firing dummy pistols (“R” models) have a bright red frame and Simunition-adapted practice pistols (“T” models) – a bright blue frame for easy identification.
In 2009, the Glock 22 RTF2 (Rough Textured Frame 2) (chambered in .40 S&W) was introduced. This pistol featured a new checkering texture around the grip and new scalloped (fish gill shaped) serrations at the rear of the sides of the slide.
Fourth Generation models
Comparison of “third” (left) and “fourth” generation (right) Glock 19 grip frames
Glock 17 Gen4 as issued by the British Armed Forces under the L131A1 General Service Pistol designation
At the 2010 SHOT Show, Glock presented the “fourth generation”, now dubbed “Gen4” by Glock itself. Updates centered on ergonomics and the recoil spring assembly. Some parts of fourth generation Glock pistols cannot be interchanged with those of the previous generations. The initial two fourth generation models announced were the full-size Glock 17 and Glock 22, chambered for the 9×19mm Parabellum and .40 S&W cartridges, respectively. The pistols were displayed with a modified rough texture frame, grip checkering, and interchangeable backstraps of different sizes. “Gen4” is rollmarked on the slide next to the model number to identify the fourth generation pistols.
The basic grip size of the fourth generation Glock pistols is slightly smaller compared to the previous design. A punch is provided to remove the standard trigger housing pin and replace it for the longer cross pin needed to mount the medium or large backstrap that will increase the trigger distance by 2 mm (0.079 in) or 4 mm (0.16 in). With the medium backstrap installed, the grip size is identical to the third generation pistols. The magazine release catches are enlarged and reversible for left-handed use. To utilize the exchangeable magazine release feature, fourth generation Glock magazines have two notches cut on both sides of the magazine body.
Mechanically, fourth generation Glock pistols are fitted with a dual recoil spring assembly to help reduce perceived recoil and increase service life expectancy. Earlier subcompact Glock models such as the Glock 26 and Glock 30 have already used a dual recoil spring assembly which was carried over to the fourth generation versions of those models. The slide and barrel shelf have been resized, and the front portion of the polymer frame has been widened and internally enlarged, in order to accommodate the dual recoil spring assembly. The trigger mechanism housing has also been modified to fit into the smaller sized grip space.
The introduction of fourth generation Glock pistols continued in July 2010 when the Glock 19 and Glock 23, the reduced size “compact” versions of the Glock 17 and Glock 22, became available for retail. In late 2010 Glock continued the introduction of fourth generation models with the Glock 26 and Glock 27 “subcompact” variants.
In January 2013 more fourth generation Glock pistols were introduced commercially during the annual SHOT Show including the Glock 20 Generation 4 along with other fourth generation Glock models.
Magazine Capacity: 17
Fire type: Semi/Full auto