Glock (trademarked as GLOCK) is a weapons manufacturer headquartered in Deutsch-Wagram, Austria. Glock was named after its founder, Gaston Glock. The company is best known for its line of striker-fired polymer-framed pistols. Glock also currently produce equipment such as field knives and entrenching tools as well as sponsor a competitive shooting team that travels around the world promoting the company.
The Glock handguns are in use by a majority of US and international law enforcement agencies and military personnel. Glock handguns are also very popular with civilians, especially for personal protection and practical shooting. Glock currently produces 35 models of handguns. The US-led Multi National Force-Iraq has equipped the Iraqi military and the Iraqi National Police with Glock sidearms.
Founded in 1963, Glock started out as a manufacturer of curtain rods before branching out into the arms industry in the 1970s, manufacturing machine gun belts, practice hand grenades, plastic magazines, field knives, and entrenching tools for the Austrian Army. When, in the early 1980s, the Austrian Army requested a pistol model, Glock responded with the Glock 17, a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol. (The 17 was so-named because it was Gaston Glock's seventeenth patent.) The Austrian Army adopted the Glock 17 in 1982 with the Norwegian Army adopting the model two years later. One year later, Glock Inc. was established in the US in Smyrna, Georgia. In the next few years, Glock expanded its 9 mm product line, developing the select-fire Glock 18 in 1986 and the Glock 17L and Glock 19 in 1988. In 1990 Glock became the first manufacturer to offer models chambered for the .40 S&W cartridge, the Glock 22 and the Glock 23, beating Smith & Wesson to the marketplace with pistols for their own cartridge.
Glock sidearms are common handguns among law enforcement agencies and military organizations around the world. The popularity of Glock pistols can be attributed to a number of factors. They are said to be very reliable, being able to function under extreme conditions and to fire a wide range of ammunition types. The simplicity of the Glock design contributes to this reliability, as it contains a relatively small number of components (nearly half as many as the typical handgun) making maintenance and repair easy.
The polymer frame makes them lighter than typical steel or aluminum-framed handguns, which is attractive for police officers and civilians who carry firearms for extended periods of time. Glock pistols do not have any external controls such as levers, decockers, or manual safeties (stock). This adds to the simplicity of use and removes a potential source of errors when operating the handgun under stress. Most of the steel components in a Glock pistol are treated with a nitriding process called "Tenifer", which increases the surface hardness and makes the weapon resistant to corrosion and wear.
The popularity of Glock pistols inspired other manufacturers to begin production of similar polymer-framed firearms, including the Springfield XD, Steyr MA1, Smith & Wesson M&P, and Walther P99 pistols. Glocks tend to be in the middle of the price range for quality pistols: generally less expensive than similar SIG-Sauer and HK USP pistol models, but more expensive than Hi-Point or Taurus models. - Wiki
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