Yesterday, the shooting world lost one of its greatest figures. At the age of 94, Austrian firearms manufacturer Gaston Glock passed away, as announced by his company on its website. His iconic semi-automatic Glock pistols have gained worldwide popularity, especially among armed forces.
Published 27.12.2023 / RANGER007
Gaston Glock, who studied mechanical engineering in Vienna with a specialization in plastics, founded a firearms manufacturing company in 1963 in the town of Deutsch-Wagram in Lower Austria. His entrepreneurial success began in 1982 when his Glock 17 firearm, predominantly made from non-metallic materials, won a competition held by the Austrian army. This pistol was pioneering in several aspects - it was made mainly from polymers, which was revolutionary at the time since most firearms were made from metal. The polymer components made the weapon lighter, more corrosion-resistant, and reduced manufacturing costs.
The Glock 17, named after its patent number, quickly became popular due to its reliability, simplicity, and a capacity of 17 rounds in the magazine. Glock himself was not a shooter and had no prior experience with firearms, which many saw as an advantage, as he approached the design of the weapon from a purely engineering perspective.
Glock's company expanded with branches around the world, including a factory in the United States, where Glock made a mark on the market despite initial criticism from other manufacturers who accused him of producing "plastic pistols." According to the APA agency, American police officers now use Glock pistols in up to 80% of cases.
The success of Glock's pistols was also supported by Hollywood and pop culture figures. For example, Bruce Willis and Tommy Lee Jones praised Glock pistols in movies such as Die Hard 2 and The Fugitive. These weapons also appeared in films about the British agent James Bond.
An article on the Glock GmbH website pays tribute to Gaston Glock, born on July 19, 1929, and deceased on December 27, 2023, with a portrait of the entrepreneur on a dark background and the words: "The memory of Gaston Glock continues in perfection."