The G-42 and G-43 are Glock’s new concealed carry optimized single stack pistols in .380 and 9mm. Glock’s previous double stack designs were very well received, but for years, American shooters have asked for a single stack for better grip and easier carry. Glock has come through with a well thought out and highly functional pair of pistols.

In the 1970s, Gaston Glock made curtain rods. I am sure they were kick ass curtain rods, but he probably felt unfulfilled as a designer. He got a contract to make field knives for the Austrian military and in 1980 he bought an injection molding machine to make handles and sheaths in his garage. Little did he know that he was about to change everything.

While Jimmy Carter was waiting on Iran to release the hostages and boycotting the Moscow Olympics, Gaston was preparing to change gun world. You know what else happened in 1980?  The Austrian Army, logically thinking that they shouldn’t be fighting the Russians (again) with Nazi-made Walther P-38s, laid out the criteria for the new service pistol. The design parameters were well thought out and produced a revolution in material science and design.

The two most import criteria were a limit of 58 parts (because that was the number the P-38 had) and a 1911-esque requirement to disassemble and maintain it with no tools. Gaston felt inspired.

In a modern world where 85% of U.S. law enforcement carries polymer frame pistols, it is hard to imagine, but in the mid-20th century, all handguns guns were made of steel and wood. Plastic was synonymous with cheap and fake. The major gun companies were all in the running for this contract. They didn’t even see Glock coming.

Glock had never designed a firearm, but he knew some things the gun guys didn’t, like how to make polymer components (polymer is another name for plastic, which makes it seem stronger and better). He talked to gun people and looked at other successful designs. In April of 1981 Gaston applied for an Austrian patent in April 1981 for the Glock 17, so named as his 17th patent.

The Glock 17 was a double stack 9mm with a 17-round magazine. It had internal safeties and, because of some clever use of plastic, it was inexpensive, light and reliable.