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(This post is an entry in our spring content contest. The grand prize is a Beretta APX pistol. Entries have closed and we will announce the winner one we have run the best entries received.)

By Dominic Rochotte

GLOCKs are touted by many people as the perfect modern handgun. But it seems that anything a GLOCK can do, a different pistol can do at least equally if not better. So lets take an in depth look at whether or not this is a perfect handgun.

Many people have the misconception that a GLOCK cannot fail. However this is false. GLOCKs have failed. And while they do not fail often, most modern handguns from a reputable manufacturer can live up to that reputation. Springfield can do it. Smith & Wesson can do it. SIG can do it. The list goes on. At one point in time they might have been the most reliable guns but other manufacturers have caught up to (and possibly exceeded) GLOCK.

To be put quite bluntly, the GLOCK is about as aesthetically pleasing as a brick. This is nothing that we haven’t all heard a thousand times. With a blocky slide and a face flat enough to make a pug jealous, the GLOCK doesn’t adopt the idea that form follows function. It just gets rid of form entirely. And with so many beautifully designed guns on the market, no one is choosing the GLOCK for its aesthetic appeal.

There is not much to say on this topic. For me, the GLOCK can shoot more accurately than I can. But so can most guns. Taking my abilities aside, there are much more accurate guns on the market. The GLOCK’s accuracy isn’t bad, but its also nothing to write home about. It’s on par with where it should be. But that doesn’t set it apart from its competition.

I grew up shooting GLOCK. They are comfortably to me because they were the first real guns I knew. But just about any gun store you walk into, you can hear someone complaining about GLOCKs. “They don’t point right for me”, “The grip doesn’t fit my hand”, or “The finger grooves don’t work for me” are all quite common to hear. It simply comes down to the fact that many people just aren’t comfortable with GLOCK.

So why do we see them everywhere?
A portion of the explanation can be attributed to their law enforcement sales. There will always be the tacticool crowd that wants to carry whatever the police or Navy SEALs are issued. But the love for GLOCK goes beyond that.

GLOCKs have been around for over 30 years. People have been dealing with the issues associated with GLOCK pistols for a long time. Every one of the issues with GLOCK has inspired some form of factory or aftermarket solution. Every part on the gun can be replaced and tailored to fit the end user’s needs.

Sights, barrels, and recoil springs are just a few. Don’t like the trigger? There is a whole host of parts set up to make them nicer. Want to shoot cast lead ammo? Cool just buy a new barrel. If you want an RMR cut or forward cocking serrations You can get those flavors too.

GLOCKs suck. But your GLOCK doesn’t have to. GLOCKs are a lot like Legos. You can build almost anything you want out of them. That’s where their beauty lies.

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  1. Standard Glocks don’t even come with sights. They have plastic dovetail protectors that you can remove when you do buy sights.

    • “plastic dovetail protectors” Laughing out loud is a rare treat. Thanks.

  2. Yeah, but have the Glock folks ever donated to a Democrat politician???

    • Dunno.
      To be fair, many – if not most, major manufacturers likely have. Its how permits get issued, how tax breaks get given, how legislative carveouts get written. It sucks, but that’s politics. Its a filthy game when you’re cruising for a LEO contract.
      As far as “perfetion” in Glocks is concerned, my favorite question to ask a fan boy, “If Glocks are perfect, why are there so many mods, parts and superfluous accessories needed?”

      • I don’t think that it is because GLOCK isn’t perfect. It is because there are so many in the hands of customers. Companies support the GLOCK aftermarket because the user base is so large.

    • I would be willing to bet that they have.
      Same as any other major firearms manufacturer, especially the ones who want military contracts.

  3. I happen to like my stock Glock… and an M9 Beretta was the first gun in my hand… which I hated.

  4. I’ll be glad to see the last of this contest. This is pure hogwash meant to inflame the glock fanboys.

    • I’d say he was quite even-handed with his assessment of Glocks. They are well-made and suitable for many hands; but perfect? Not really. Just pretty damn good.
      That said, inflaming Glock fan boys is a legitimate and rewarding hobby.

      • Inflaming fanbois of anything at all, especially mere mass-market consumer goods, is good clean fun, anytime you can have it. Everything has some shortcoming, if only price or availability.

      • Two ways to inflame a Glock hateboy.

        1. Mention Glock.
        2. Don’t mention Glock.

  5. Glocks are fine. So are Sigs, Colts, HK’s and others. That’s what’s great about choice. Don’t want to buy it? There’s lots to choose from. Variety is good.

  6. Anyone can detail strip and reassemble a Glock. OEM Parts are available and cheap. Aftermarket Upgrade parts are plentiful. Its beauty is in its simplicity. The PPQ and VP30 are nicer guns with better triggers, but both are far more complex guns with smaller supporting aftermarket.

  7. “…So lets take an in depth look at whether or not this is a perfect handgun….”

    I’ve seen more depth in mud puddles.

    • +1
      As a former LEO (and LE firearms instructor), I own a wide variety of pistols. If I had the time, I’d take him up on so many of his “points.” I love a lot of pistols including my three Glocks. All of my pistols have different characteristics that make them enjoyable to shoot.

      In this case, due to the serious lack of “depth,” it’s not even worth the time. This was about as “in-depth” as a Huff-Po or NYT piece!

  8. You run into a room being chased by some hammer and sickle wielding Antifa types who have called for your killing.

    On a table is a 1911 of unknown origin and a Glock brand Glock of unknown origin.

    Which do you chose if you can only chose one?

    • I’ll pick the giant flamethrower over there in the corner because I don’t want to admit that I would never trust my life to an unknown 1911.

    • Is that really a fair comparison? You have a brand name product vs a complete unknown. Both have unknown origins but only one has a known manufacturer

      How bout you have a choice between a home built Glock of unknown origin/quality and a home built 1911 of unknown origin/quality. Which do you choose, go?

      (Hint the answer has already been given by Logan)

  9. I must be an odd bird for finding glocks quite appealing to the eye. HKs and SIGs are also good looking. For me, a full lug revolver 4″ or longer barrel are the most aesthetically pleasing handguns.

  10. No gun is perfect. I happen to like a thumb safety maybe because I came to all this later in life. But a used Glock(22 or 23) is on my radar probably as home defense. And I belong to a huge Glock FB group so I can attest to the often ridiculous fandom. YMMV…

  11. “GLOCKs suck.”

    I hope the author didn’t already buy additional magazines or holster for the Beretta APX pistol.

    I don’t think he’s got a shot (pun intended) to win the contest.

  12. “GLOCKs are touted by many people as the perfect modern handgun.”

    You failed in your first sentence. I have never heard anyone say such a thing. It’s a marketing slogan, nothing more. Even Glock owners know it isn’t a perfect gun. It’s just the preferred gun for some.

    • Agreed as just a slogan. I own a few glocks and actually got rid of a model 26 because it wouldn’t act right, even with a recoil spring change out. The rest i have no problems with. They just checked all the boxes for what I want in a gun. Simple? Check. No manual safety? Check. Easy takedown? Check. Not ammo picky? Check. Parts availability? Check. Price range? Check.

      • Jeez, I have Glocks, Rugers, S&W, FNH, and Colts, and I love them all. And right I am carrying a Glock 26. l love the 26, light, nights sights, and the finger grooves with a Petterson finger extendsion for another round. Whats not to love, they all shoot well, and they are beautiful to behold, duh. Be safe out there and if you carry, carry your love one close.

    • Jeez, you people love to pick the fly poop out of the pepper. It’s more so a poke at the fanboys, not the marketing slogan itself. Get over yourselves.

  13. I suspect that Glock has been selling guns to police depts. at a loss simply to create the illusion that the guns are the preferred weapon of law enforcement. I also suspect that no other gun in modern times has been so associated with unintentional discharges.

    I’d love to see numbers that prove me right or wrong but Glock holds that data tighter than the nuclear launch codes.

    • As far as NDs, I rather doubt Glock has any data on that.

      You have to realize that if 65% of the cars on the road were Chevys, then a lot of Chevys would be involved in wrecks.

      As they say, the plural of anecdote is not data.

    • “I suspect that Glock has been selling guns to police depts. at a loss simply to create the illusion that the guns are the preferred weapon of law enforcement.”

      I read somewhere a Glock costs about 100 USD to make, so even at a price of 350 USD to LE, they still make a buck.

      Glock’s ‘marketing efforts’ using things like liquor and hookers ‘motivated’ department sales, according to some folks…

      • They also used to let departments “trade in” their current handguns for Glocks. That doesn’t mean that Glocks themselves are superior or inferior, just that they definitely have superior marketing.

        • This is what made glock the runaway success that it is. The shot callers at glock figured out that if you get enough LE’s preferring glocks the trickle down to the U.S. civilian market follows – then the world. American gun culture is influenced much more heavily by cops. We have more of them and many become firearm instructors and watercooler gun experts. Its not just a case of wanting what the tacticools want (although that is a factor). If you are a nube and and your cop cousin mentions glock then glock it is.

  14. I guess I just don’t care if my gun is aesthetically pleasing. My G19 is reliable, user friendly, easy to strip, and easy to clean.

    • Glocks have a much “cleaner” look to me than many of the other polymer pistols.

  15. I had a local commander of the sheriff’s office tell me flat out he’d rather carry my xd in .45, over his crap glock in .40. glock is old news in many eyes, including mine, unchanged for over 30 years, until they went with different colors, of the same pistol. don’t worry can boys, I’ve never seen a Beretta I thought was good looking either.

  16. plastic all stippled and pocked
    the gunman was wielding a glock
    he missed the first one
    the rest of them run
    and then he nd’d through his sock

  17. I use to own a stack of Glocks (6 to be exact). I sold them all and moved to something that was better for me.

  18. Challenge Accepted, build a Glock (non functional of course) out of Legos… I may need to be 2x size, but I think it can be done.

  19. Says Glocks do things well, but other guns can do better.

    Fails to mention those other guns >_<

      • What specifically do “all of them,” do better?

        Remember personal preference is not a factual data point for anyone other than you.

  20. Crappy article, just a meandering bunch of opinions. Author’s in way over his head talking about reliability, industrial design, accuracy and sales.

  21. Chevy trucks : like a rock – not literally built of rocks

    Ram Tough : unless you molest it with more force than was used to form the panels

    Built Ford Tough : Guys/robots on the line are indestructible

    “Sal-e-bonics : not the same level of legal literary liability and latitude as say; the warranty fine print and Title.

  22. I own a G19 and a G23 C. I never had any failures. The original sights don’t bother me. The grip finger grooves fit my hand just fine. I prefer the trigger on the Glock to the PPQ trigger. The muzzle rise is less annoying than on other polymer framed guns. All of that is to say that personal preferences differ. And, subjectivity speaking, a Glock is a perfect gun for my use.

  23. One of my first handguns was a glock. A 17 if I remember correctly. Owned it for about 4 months. Multiple ftf and fte. Tried everything to get it to work correctly. It was a no go. I took it to a gunsmith still wouldn’t run reliably. That was the end of glocks and me. Ended up getting a refund from glock and used it to buy my xdm.
    This was back in 2009.

  24. Glock 20.

    Well, it’s price-perfection for me an my 10mm-fascination problem.

    Only SIG makes a 10mm that’s consistently on the LGS shelves, but I dont wanna spend that much $ on a pistol.

  25. Price, hours till proficiency is achieved, ease of maintenance, cleaning, after-market accessories and custom components, record of service…all are part and parcel an agency (or individual) must consider when choosing a sidearm. No one brand or model is perfect for every situation, and every firearm design is a compromise.

    As such, the standard GLOCK is indeed a series of compromises.

    Sites: Does it come standard with steel 3-dot night sites? No. It ships with plastic sites with the unique U rear site. Is this sighting system the best? For some, maybe. Can they be easily upgraded to the agency/user’s preference? Yes.

    Trigger: Does the standard GLOCK have a crisp 1911 break with minuscule overtravel and reset? No. Is it acceptable for most agency/shooters in most situations? Yes. Is it consistent enough that one can achieve proficiency? Yes. Is it litigation-resistant (not too light)? Yes. Can it be easily replaced with a variety of aftermarket triggers at an affordable price and with a variety of options? Yes.

    Safety: Does the gas-pedal trigger and lack of external safety make the GLOCK unsafe? Too safe? No and no. Is it as good as a 1911 cock-and-lock for carry? Depends. Does the safety system of the GLOCK allow for a quicker learning curve than say a SIG or Beretta with a decocker? Yes.

    Reliability: Has a GLOCK ever failed? Yes. Do they fail a lot? No. Given the number of agencies, individuals, and units which have used GLOCK pistols over the past 30 years, are they consistently reliable? Yes. Or they would have fallen out of favor decades ago.

    Beauty: Does one really care how pretty a gun is when SHTF? Absolutely not. Reliability, complexity of use, ease of operation are all far more important than fancy grips, two-tone design, fancy engraving. Eye candy on a pistol is not going to save your bacon.

    Perfection: Does GLOCK claim to be perfect? Do their representatives? Do gunsmiths, or armorers? Even gun store salespeople? No. But are they consistently good in all types of conditions, with all kinds of ammo? Yes.

    Ergonomics: Is the GLOCK the perfect fit for everyone? No. Does it fit a very wide swath of potential customers, officers and soldiers/marines? Yes. Does the grip angle cause problems? For some, especially if they’ve trained extensively on a different platform — but this is true of all pistols. And with Gen IV, GLOCK has joined the bandwagon of offering different grip options. Is the finish/texture perfect? For most, yes. But with everything from $20 grip stickers, to full-blown custom (and DYI) stippling jobs, the GLOCK can be tuned to any shooters exact desires.

    Clickbait: Does this article seek to grab eyeballs asserting that GLOCK is perfect, or by implication, that it is not perfect? Yes. An article about the most widely used handgun on the planet, with its legions of lovers and haters is Hit Rate 101. The firearms equivalent to a Ford sucks/kills Chevy. There’s no new ground to be plowed here at all.

    Prize: The Beretta APX pistol is by far, the firearm I most wish to own. If I’m chosen, I shall write 1000 words of glowing copy for free, and link it to every social media channel in the world. Please see my sign-in credentials for my unpublished email address so that I may give you the address of my FFL dealer to expedite shipping and acceptance of this generous prize.

    • Perfect!
      I’m with this answer 100% and vote to award the Beretta APX (a firearm I’m also excited to add to my aresenal) to Full Monte!

  26. I love Glocks. I also love Sig, Walther, HK, FN, ect. But I’m comfortable and well practiced with Glocks and they’re reasonably priced. I carry a Glock at work, so I prefer to carry one on my own time as well to keep my manual of arms and muscle memory identical.

  27. “Look Mom, I posted it again!” The article.

    Do not pass go, do not collect a beretta apx, go straight to the bin.

    Glock brand Glock perfection is an advertising slogan. They’re decent pistols at a decent price, and that’s all people really expect out of them.

  28. I like Glocks. Own two. One has finger grooves the other does not. Have put after market parts on both. Carry them concealed so never saw the point in knocking their looks. They both eat any thing l feed ’em. It’s America, buy and shoot what works for you.

  29. Dear Santa, please get this planet rid from people discussing controversial aesthetic assessments (including their own) as things of substance.

  30. Glock revolutionized the game and had the the market place to go with it. Until the sig 320 you could not find a more versatile and interchangeable gun. Coupled with the large aftermarket and market saturation you could not find a better piece. I think sig changed the plastic fantastic game and will put serious pressure on glock’s market share.
    I still like revolvers and 1911s for fun but Glock is the workhorse of my gun Stable. I will be adding a sig 320 of my own shortly.

  31. A gun is a tool (not unlike some commenters, but I digress). I will never willingly part with my G19. I see other guns dressed to the nines and feel nauseated. Glock’s (beauty, attraction, strong point, whatever you prefer) is it’s simplicity. It just works. There are many hammers on the market. I’d never want a tacticool, professional, fine tuned hammer for 4 times the price. The nails would not be impressed!

  32. Any gun that requires an owner to pull the trigger just to field strip the gun is about as far from perfect as it can be.

  33. I’ll denigrate Glock…. as soon as my two 27 year old Glock 19’s fail me.

  34. “So why do we see them everywhere?”

    Because the entirety of gun culture just… doesn’t… forget…

    Same reason why the AR is a “jammo-matic”, that wheel guns “never jam”, that the AK is “nearly invincible”, that “piston is always better than DI” and so on and so forth. Once a “truth” enters into the realm of the gun culture and gets perpetuated it takes something catastrophic to leave.

    Even then, with many early .40S&W chambered Glocks blowing up (“Glocknade” as it’s affectionately called) it didn’t seem to deter anyone.

    Glock secured a reputation for being high capacity, light weight, extremely rugged and reliable and cheap to boot very early on. That rep may stick even more because it fought against a popular perception that it was tupper-ware, ceramic, and all that crap.

    I will disagree with the aesthetics though, I quite like the way Glocks look. Nice and simple.

  35. Never got into Glocks, and always heard they were top notch, until I read some of these comments. Now I find it ironic that there is a contest about the myth of Glock perfection, and the prize is just as worthless. I have a friend that worked at the Beretta plant in Maryland. They had so many rejects coming in on a daily basis that if the product was what I made, my plant would be closed out right.

  36. It’s one more reliable pistol. But context is important. Glocks are made to: be foolproof to use (check, just pull that trigger), simple to maintain (check. Few guns require such little upkeep and are easy to service when they do), be very reliable (check, few would deny glock’s reputation for reliability, there are enough torture tests out there to make one sick. Finally, they’re made to be CHEAP. That’s why Gaston used so much plastic. So, if your philosophy of use is: simple to use, reliable, easy to maintain, as accurate as you need in most of your life threatening scenarios, and cheap, then it may well be the perfect gun.
    The only thing is, it may not be the only perfect gun, it was just the first.

    • That was the key for me. They may not be any better or worse than others in their class, but they win on price. Everything else being equal, it isn’t worth paying for the same.

  37. I’ll just leave this here.

    Anecdotal evidence is not evidence. If you don’t have a study that compares accuracy/reliability/usability of 1,000 Glocks to 1,000 of the other major manufacturer firearms, you have nothing but anecdotes – pro or con.

    A beautiful gun doesn’t shoot any better than an ugly gun. Beauty has nothing to do with physics and, aside from cultural preferences, is entirely subjective. As is whether the gun is ergonomically right for you.

    A “perfect gun” is like “perfect security” – it’s only true after you die of old age.

    Articles like this are essentially click-bait/troll-bait.

  38. Glocks are ok, maybe not for everyone, but for some, there pretty good promoters of their product, almost give away pistols to the largest law enforcement depts. and sell cheap to the rest, over charge the civilian market. Owned a g17 gen 2 real finicky with ammo constant FTE, changed recoil spring, sights and the trigger, still had issues, traded in that. For a Glock g23 gen 4, I thought it was horrible payed $650 added close to $350 trigger,sights, recoil rod and spring, had around 500-600 rounds with 4-5 hiccups, got rid of it now have my first HK USP40 payed $900, have not made one change fired close to 600 rounds of many different brands this thing just shoots anything I put in the chamber not one issue, you get what you pay for , not every one can afford a Ferrari, some have to drive a Hyundai

  39. Richard Steven Hack the U.S. Army did just that compared several hundred pistols against each other, see full story at Army times, Glock would have you believe they were left standing to the very end, truth is the best pistol that was entered won, modularity was a preference but not mandatory, pistols were not altered with manual safeties, pistols were entered as is, all losers were announced at once unless of complete failure, there was no second place

  40. The only bad thing about GLOCK is that they’re slightly too expensive for non LEO buyers.

    Otherwise, they’re just fine. Aesthetically they’re simple, but not ugly. Unlike the recent cavalcade of tactical toblerones, GLOCKs don’t have unnecessary lines and cuts and milling all over the frame and slide.

    They’re as reliable as any other modern poly pistol (which is way more reliable than autos of yesteryear). They have huge aftermarket support (which is a GOOD thing, because everybody likes options. Why act like aftermarket support proves the gun is bad?).

    It seems like most contrarians aren’t content to just say GLOCK is no better than other poly pistols, they have to take it a step further and act like GLOCKs are TERRIBLE. Which is just intellectually dishonest.

  41. Don’t own a Glock, don’t want a Glock. But I am going to be a blog Nazi and criticize what what passes for postable content here. Your winner was literally every generic opinion piece posted on every forum ever critical of the Glock. It was so ridiculously bland that it boggles the mind how this guy in particular got a free firearm out of it. Seriously, you could have scoured the comments of any Glock story you posted here and likely found the same, if not better responses.

    Serious editorial fail.

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