The Problem with Glock Pistols

I have enjoyed your site for many years. I started reading it when you were still in Argentina.  We here in the U.S. are still headed down that same self destructive path but maybe a little slower that one would expect.

Even though I am a Sig fan ,(P226, P228, P290), I must agree with your article on the Sig P320.  I strongly disagree with your assessment of Glocks.  Many professionals and truly experienced gunners here in the U.S. are dropping the Glocks in favor of a safer designed pistols.   The Glock is 90% cocked with NO safety.  Anything coming in contact with the very light trigger will fire the weapon as has been demonstrated by and ever increasing number of accidental discharges.  These are referred to as “Being Glocked”.   The Springfield XD series pistols and Heckler & Koch both are much better weapons.  The XD has the grip safety, (similar to 1911), and a drop safety.  It is in my opinion, and many experts agree, that it is also of higher build quality than Glock.  The Military did make a mistake by going with the P320 but the Glock would not have been the right choice. In fact they should stick with a proven gun such as the Sig p226, FN, or HK.  But then opinions are like A-holes, we all have one.

-Jack

Hello Jack,

Thanks for your message.

If you read my bookThe Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse, you know that I’ve had accidental discharges before. If you shoot thousands and thousands of rounds, it’s not a matter of it but when. When it eventually happens, you better hope the other safety rules aren’t broken as well (be sure of your backstop, always point your gun in a safe direction)

Some people prefer to use ND, negligent discharge, but I don’t think they are the same thing. Negligence involves a certain incompetence and purposeful misuse of the firearm (playing with it, knowingly leaving it loaded, in dangerous positions or pointing it in unsafe directions). Accidental discharges are just that, accidents which can and will eventually happen to all of us, simply because we are imperfect humans. The only difference is that those that remember the safety rules will have a hole in a dresser, floor or wall. Those that don’t will get someone killed. I’ve have an AD with a Glock and with a revolver, which perfectly illustrates what I have to say about this topic: If a gun fires when you pull the trigger that’s not the guns fault, that’s on you. A gun is supposed to fire when you pull the trigger. A gun with safety makes no difference if you disengage the safety and pull the trigger. A manual safety lever isn’t some magical insurance, it won’t avoid the tragedy if you fire a round you don’t intend to.

The Glock is basically as safe as a revolver, and no one ever complained about revolvers not having enough manual safeties nor did It ever occur to anyone to put one in them(although there is such model). Like the revolver, part of the safety of the Glock is its sheath, which should be rigid, made of hard polymer and completely cover the trigger guard.

Never use leather holsters. Leather softens when wet (rain, sweat) and can deform enough to get caught inside the trigger guard when reholstering. Use polymer. I’ve used and strongly recommend this IWB holster, the Blatech Phanton. It’s affordable and extremely safe and reliable.

Blade Tech Industries Phantom Inside the Waistband Fits Glock 17/22/31 Holster$21.78

The Glock with a round in the chamber is on a half cocked position so to speak. The striker isnt fully pulled back which is done when pulling the trigger, therefore the loaded Glock is perfectly safe and even if dropped it will not fire. What will cause it to fire is something actually pulling the trigger, which is why you should never try to “catch” any gun when dropped.

Most serious professionals that I know of carry Glock. I’m sure that if Glocks were that bad, over 60% of the PD in USA wouldn’t be issuing them. The famous “Glock leg” or as you say “being Glocked”, is simply a consequence of two things. First, AD simply being a fact of life. They do happen and sometimes people end up shooting themselves. Second, the prevalence of Glock, especially among law enforcement. Put these two together and you see why so many AD include Glocks.

I don’t think the Glock trigger is that light. There’s far lighter triggers and again, something actually has to pull it for it to fire. If Glocks were that dangerous, they wouldn’t be in the holsters of most pros, used by more LE than any other gun.

As you say, everyone has an opinion and I sure respect yours and appreciate your email.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”


Comments

The Problem with Glock Pistols — 5 Comments

  1. Jack,

    I would like to hear the names of these so call experts here in the U.S., that are dropping the Glock. I’ve trained with some of top instructor out there, and I’m just not seeing what your claiming. I’ve carried pretty much everything under the sun, including Sigs and Colts. I currently carry a Glock. If I need to put a safety on a gun to get you to keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to fire, then maybe you should have that gun in your hands in the first place. ADs happen because someone violated a safety rule, that the bottom line!!! Overall safeties on pistol are for people that shouldn’t be holding the gun in the first place. A well trained individual shouldn’t have any problem carrying a pistol that doesn’t have a manual safety. Glock does have three internal safeties that will prevent what the P320 will do. Furthermore a Colt 1911 that has be manually de-cocked allowing the hammer to rest on the back of the firing pin will do the same thing even with the safety engaged.

  2. I’ve owned a variety of glocks gen 2-4 for nearly 20 years, and never had an “AD” nor ND…. it all falls to training and proper safe handling of it or any firearm for that matter. Each pistol design is different than the other, and truly having intimate knowledge of the mechanics and design of your carry piece is paramount to being safer, and greatly reducing (99.9% chance) for a unintended discharge. The only way a Glock pistol will discharge, is if something gets into that trigger guard, and depresses the trigger safety mechanism, thus “unlocking” the components allowing the weapon to discharge. If one has/had a Glock pistol discharge with those safety mechanisms in place, then it must be taken out of service immediately and higher-level inspection/repairs done — but the odds of that kind of situation are extraordinarily remote.

    A well maintained Glock pistol, in a well-maintained quality holster, and a well-trained user = safe environment and operation of said pistol in any situation (preferably recreational and sporting events)

  3. The heavy LONG pull of a revolver, plus the visible external hammer movement before it goes bang, gives a lot more tactile forewarning that one is in fact getting closer to the bang! point, than the short, almost weightless takeup then a lightish wall then the next thing you know is Bang! that is the hallmark of most striker fired guns.

    It’s the same principle at play, when operating systems and other software, asks you to confirm a second time, before deleting everything on your hard drive and reformatting it. And, if possible, even includes an “undo” command. Those wouldn’t be “necessary” either, if people had the sense to either not type “format c:” unless they really meant it, or to stay away from using computers altogether.

    In order for a typical revolver to go Bang!, first you have to do the same amount of pull work (weight*distance) you do to fire a Glock. THEN, you have to do another 4 times as much work. While your hammer and finger is visibly and tactiledly moving rearwards some distance. Both the latter, being sensations/observations virtually any shooter quickly internalizes the meaning of.

    And then there is reholstering. Which is where the term “Glock leg” comes from in the first place. With an external hammer gun you can, in fact are taught to, ride the hammer into the holster. If the hammer starts moving, you freeze! Then carefully withdraw the gun and inspect. Since it is likely to mean an ejected empty case fell into your holster during firing or something, and is pressing against the trigger face as you insert the gun.

    In a similar situation with a Glock, your first warning that something is in the holster pressing on your trigger, is Bang! And then Glock Leg. Or worse, if you carry appendix……

    (The aftermarket device commonly referred to as “the gadget”, specifically for Glocks, does give the Glock some hammer like reholstering feedback. The short, light trigger still requires much more sensitivity on behalf of the shooter than the much harder, longer pull on a revolver, DA/SA, DAO or even DAK/P250 (less so on the very light, if long, takeup and break on many LEM setup HKs), but it’s a big step forward.)

    That being said, the Glock in particular, has features that specifically aid in keeping fingers and foreign objects out of trigger guards. Hence render the gun safer, IMHO, than most competing striker guns. The combination of the low volume (tight) trigger guard, the necessity to depress the trigger safety located all the way in the middle of the trigger to fire, and the great width of the trigger guard itself, does make it harder to press the trigger inadvertently. Playing around with a soft Smart Carry holster, I could not get a Glock to fire even if I tried my darndest. While the M&P was no problem. And neither was a 1911 with the safety on (it’s easy to rub off the safety though a soft holster) Even an LCP, with a much longer movement hammer trigger, could be made to go off, with some concerted effort. Without having attempted to, I have little doubt the even lighter triggers, larger and more open trigger guards and less hard to reach trigger safeties (if any) on guns like the P320, VP9 and CZ-P10, would have rendered those firable as well. But the tightness of the Glock’s trigger guard, rendered firing it though the holster, beyond the capability of my finger strength. So it’s not as if the Glock is some sort of singular accident waiting to happen. Rather the opposite, as long as one requires trigger pull distances and sensations close to those of a single action gun.

    But claiming it is no more AD prone than a double action revolver, is over selling it. The very fact that a Glock will reliably go Bang! after no more fiddling than a short light pull on the trigger every time, without any tactile forewarning; which is what people like about striker guns; does contribute to make it less accident resistant than guns which require more deliberate jumping through hoops to get them to fire.

    • Again, this is a debate we can settle if we could find some hard data on AD from a few years back comapred to today. I’d bet it wasnt that different.
      Also, it depends on the revolver. Mi Mr73 has a short DA trigger pull which is VERY light.

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