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Why Are Glocks So Popular?

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These days Glock pistols have a serious reputation, and whenever there is a conversation about the best handguns, Glock almost always comes up. Yet some may wonder what makes Glocks so special? Why do most people choose Glock over the other quality brands out there? While there are some firearm owners who steer clear of Glocks, most fall in love with the durability, ease of use and reliability of these pistols. Before you buy, let’s examine the common reasons why people choose a Glock over other pistols.

Superior Durability

Gaston Glock was really on to something when he developed the first Glock prototype for the Austrian Military. In contrast to heavier steel pistols, the Glock features a polymer frame that is actually stronger than its steel counterparts. The polymer used in Glock contains no fiberglass that would weaken it, and the material doesn’t corrode even when exposed to abrasive lubricants. Glocks also have an impressive temperature range, and they can operate in temperatures from -40 to 122 Fahrenheit. All in all the polymers in a Glock are just slightly less hard than that of a diamond. Don’t overlook the fact that the metal portions of Glocks like the barrel are resistant to saltwater corrosion and rust. This is due to the process of Ferritic nitrocarburizing that was pioneered by Glock back in the 1980s, and it has become so popular that other firearm companies are using the same process today.

The model that started it all – the Glock 17.

Lightweight Construction

The polymer frame of a Glock also greatly reduces the weight of the pistol without sacrificing handling. This makes the Glock a popular choice for self-defense / conceal and carry use, and new single stack models like the G43 have even less bulk that double stack models. The Glock 17 weighs 32.12 oz when fully loaded, but smaller models like the Glock 42 weigh in at a scant 17.29 oz when loaded. Given the different available sizes of Glocks from standard to subcompact, there’s sure to be an everyday carry to suit your individual needs.

This year’s must have Glock, this Glock 43 features a single stack magazine and weighs 22.36oz when fully loaded.

Ease Of Operation

Firearm owners love how easy it is to operate a Glock. They essentially come ready to point and shoot right out of the box. Users who find themselves in tense or self-defense situations also prefer the safety structure of Glocks. This is called the “Safe Action” System, and it consists of three separate and independently functioning safeties: a trigger safety, a firing pin safety, and a drop safety. As you pull the trigger all three safeties disengage at different junctures providing a high level of control without the extra movement of a mechanism like a thumb safety. The Safe Action System is also renown for

The Safe Action System also features a trigger reset that allows for faster follow-up shots after the first shot is fired. All you have to do is wait for the trigger reset to click as you begin to release the trigger, and then you can fire again without the full trigger pull. Experienced users can train with the trigger reset feature so their follow up shots are very quick.

Finally, the polymer-frame design has one more bonus in store. Instead of staying rigid like metal pistols, the polymers absorb more vibration and therefore the recoil is slightly less in a Glock than comparable models.

Grip Ergonomics

A lot of pistol owners rave about the grip of a Glock and for good reason. A lot of design work has gone into the grip of Glocks, and the 108 degree angle between the barrel and the grip translates to faster target acquisition while helping to reduce muzzle rise when it is fired. Other ergonomic aspects include back straps on the grip that allow the user to tailor the pistol to their hand size and a reversible magazine release that can be moved to either side to suit the user’s needs. Glocks are also hammerless, so there is no worry about a hammer snagging on your clothes while you draw. Finally, because of the Glock’s lightweight polymer-frame, the grip can be a bit larger without the concern of extra weight in subcompact models. This usually translates to better accuracy in smaller Glock pistols.

A Glock 21 Gen 4 pictured with available back straps.

Remarkable Reliability

Glocks have exceptional service records. As long as you use reliable ammunition, a Glock will feed, fire and eject every time without question. It’s not uncommon to hear of a Glock owner who has never experienced a jam. During the initial Austrian Military tests, the Glock was able to pass tests that required 10,000 shots with only 20 minor jams or less. The high level of damage resistance and coating of the metal portions also contributes to the Glock’s great service record.

Simple Design

The Glock consists of only 34 parts, which is far less than most comparable pistols. This means the Glock is simple to understand, and after only minimal training, a user can field strip a Glock (without tools) in only a few moments. The reduced number of parts makes cleaning easy and reduces replacement costs over the lifetime of the pistol.  Glock parts are also interchangeable, and when parts need replaced, anyone with a moderate understanding of the Glock design can switch out parts. This is because Glock parts are monitored for exactness and quality so every compatible part comes in the exact same size and specs. Simplicity has always been one of the strong points of Glock pistols.

A Glock 30 field stripped. As you can see it is a fairly simple design.


Gaston Glock revolutionized the semi-automatic pistol when he decided to give up making curtain rods and try his hand at firearms. While a Glock certainly isn’t for everyone, it’s a pistol that every interested firearms enthusiast or conceal and carry user should consider.

Image four courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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