The Glock pistol is a polymer-framed, short recoil-operated, locked-breech semi-automatic pistol designed and produced by Austrian Glock Ges.m.b.H.. It entered Austrian military and police service by 1982 after it was the top performer in reliability and safety tests. Despite initial resistance from the market to accept a perceived “plastic gun” due to unfounded durability and reliability concerns and fears that its use of a polymer frame might circumvent metal detectors in airports, Glock pistols have become the company’s most profitable line of products as well as supplying national armed forces, security agencies, and police forces in at least 48 countries. Glocks are also popular firearms among civilians for recreational and competition shooting, home and self-defense, and concealed carry or open carry. ~ Wikipedia.
Most of my friends are firearms guys. Some possess elaborate gun safes with a plethora of differing firearms. From collectibles to antiques and classics as well as modern firearms. Others, like me, are more akin to modern firearms. Prior to my military service, I owned a 9mm Beretta 92. The same pistol made famous by Mel Gibson in the movie Lethal Weapon. And the sole reason I thought I needed one of those. Unfortunately, over time, I fell out of love with that pistol just as fast as I fell in love with it. Hollywood probably wasn’t the best resource for firearms. And I was a 21 year old living in the 90’s prior to the internet.
My Glocks from the 1990’s to present
It was 1993 and while stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington I decided to add something new to my vast collection of one Beretta. The .40 S&W cartridge was just introduced in 1990 and Glock wasted no time producing both models 22 and 23 chambered in it. The .40 S&W was developed at the request of the FBI who was in need of a cartridge superior to the 9mm and .38 Special. And with all the hype and undeniable ballistics, I picked up my first Glock, a Gen 2 model 23. It was by no means a pretty pistol. But it ran like a champ and I was fond of Glocks “Safe Action”. The lack of an external safety to fumble with seemed like common sense to me. And just like that, I parted ways with what I felt was an inferior Beretta and reduced my collection of two pistols back to one.
After leaving the Ranger Regiment in 1998, I kinda took a break from shooting. Go figure. I guess I had my fill from those RF1 rotations shooting 2000 rounds a week just to maintain muscle memory. It wasn’t until 2005 that I found myself looking at Glocks again. With the model 23 as my carry gun, I decided to add a more accurate pistol for target shooting. The longer Glock 35 chambered in .40 S&W was just what I needed. This thing was a tack driver and a blast to shoot. My wife, who typically accompanied me to the range was a little tuned off by the recoil of the .40 S&W however. Although it didn’t bother me, I recognized the need for a lighter load for my shooting partner. While researching ballistics, I noticed that the 9mm had made a resurgence with massive improvements since the 90’s. It was with these considerations that I made the switch from .40 S&W back to 9mm.
In the years following, I started carrying Glocks model 19 and 43 depending on what I was wearing. I also purchased a model 34 MOS for use in 3-Gun competition. Agency Arms did a wonderful build on my competition pistol and it remains one of my favorites to shoot. It’s so smooth, that I decided to modify my daily carry Glock 19 to shoot and feel similarly. Shadow Systems offered up a lighter Optics Ready Slide, Match Barrel and Elite Trigger. Which cleaned up the operational side of the Glock 19. The Arms Cache (TAC Solutions), a Ranger Operated small business, offered to modify the polymer frame to my liking. They removed the finger grooves, added stippling and reshaped certain parts of the frame. More to follow on TAC Solutions in a future article. Now my daily carry is a comfortable and functional pistol without compromising any of the reliability Glocks are known for.
Red Spear Tactical Glock 17
This past January, I was attending a Ranger event called the “Black & Tan” held annually at SHOT Show in Vegas. It’s called the “Black and Tan” to represent the past and present colors of the berets worn by members of the 75th Ranger Regiment. I purchased a few raffle tickets and was lucky enough to walk away with a custom Gen 3 Glock 17 from Red Spear Tactical. This latest addition to my collection of Glocks brings the total number to six for those keeping score. Red Spear Tactical used a modified slide donated by Lone Star Armory. With front slide serrations and a Ranger DUI engraved in it, I couldn’t be happier. Red Spear also added an Agency Arms trigger and a modified and stippled frame. Then topped it off with a gray Kryptek Cerakote paint scheme. I’ll dive into this pistol a little deeper in an upcoming review.
As I look through my Browning gun safe, I notice a solid line up of pistols including Glocks model 23, 35, 43, 19, 17 and 34. And a lone SIG P365 which edged out my Glock 43 for deep concealment. Hey, that little SIG has some serious capacity for such a small pistol. Sorry Glock. I also notice that with the generosity of Shadow Systems donating a slide, barrel and trigger to my Glock 19, I practically have a complete factory upper sitting in there too. Now I just need to find a stripped Gen 4 Glock 19 frame and I’ll add #7 to the collection.
Circling back to the original question. Hell no, there is NO such thing as too many Glocks. I’m not a fan of the term “safe queens”. All my pistols, carbines and boom stick see the light of day quite regularly. Training with your tools is the key to success. You need to get out there and maintain some level of proficiency with these things. They can even be a fun family bonding activity. As you can see below, my teenage sons, wife and I have a good time at our personal range regularly. And that proficiency may ultimately end up saving a life someday.
All images courtesy of the author