Beginners Guide to Glocks: Part 1
The Glock pistol has become the leading firearm in the United States. This gun has found its way into numerous Hollywood films, rap songs and even two thirds of U.S. police departments use them today. Perhaps you’re still looking for the right firearm, or you already purchased your Glock and wondering, now what? Fortunately, there are numerous resources available to get started with your Glock. In this article, we are going to take you through a beginner’s guide to the country’s most popular and widely used firearm.
Quick History of Glocks
Glocks were created in 1982 in Austria by engineer and manufacturer Gaston Glock. At the time, Glock saw a need to improve the conventional firearms that were available on the market, and it led him to the idea of building his own from scratch. He took suggestions from local experts on how to improve the handguns available. Glock gathered that we needed a gun that is reliable and sturdy, carries more ammo, and is easy and safe to use. The Austrian army got wind of the new design and offered Glock a contract to use his engineered firearm in military service.
In an interview on Fresh Air, firearm expert Paul Barrett says “The original Glock 17, contained only 36 parts and could hold 17 bullets in its magazine. It didn't have an external safety like other semi automatic handguns. It also didn't have a decocking mechanism.” As a result, the model could be exposed to extreme temperatures, dropped, submerged and still operate and fire properly.
The Glock came to the States in 1988 and the advantage of a lightweight body and easy trigger caught on quickly among police forces and criminals. "Police departments were amazed when they took their officers out to the range and found out not only could they learn to use the Glock pretty quickly, but the Glock also made them more accurate as marksmen,” Barrett says. In the 90s, Glocks started appearing in popular shows like Law & Order and movies such as Die Hard 2 with Bruce Willis.
Important questions to consider:
What is your primary reason for buying?
Is it for sport or personal defense?
Will you be keeping it at home or bringing it with you?
There are various reasons why you may want to purchase a firearm. It could be for your occupation, sport, self-defense, or general curiosity for learning a new skill. We encourage you to take some time to ask yourself these questions. Once you are clear in your reasoning, you will be able to find the appropriate firearm for your needs.
We can’t emphasize this enough. If you have read our other blog articles, you know that we speak often about the importance of safety when purchasing any firearm. Even if you’ve owned guns your entire life, it’s always good practice to refresh and relearn proper safety procedures.
Glocks have three safety mechanisms: trigger safety, firing pin safety and drop safety.
Trigger Safety: this is an external safety level container in the trigger. When the lever is in the forward position, it blocks the trigger from moving rearward. The trigger safety was design to protect the gun from firing if it dropped.
Firing Pin Safety: this is a steel pin that blocks the firing pin from moving forward to a ready-to-fire position. “As the trigger is pulled rearward, the trigger bar pushes the firing pin safety up and frees the firing pin channel. If the user decides not to fire and releases the trigger, the firing pin safety automatically reengages, “ according to glock.com.
Drop Safety: The final component is the trigger bar. The trigger bar engages the rear portion of the firing pin and prevents the firing pin from pushing forward. The drop safety guides the trigger bar in a ramp that is released only when direct rearward pressure is applied to the trigger. Once the gun is fired, the safeties are automatically reengaged.
General safety tips before shooting:
- Always handle your firearm as if it were loaded. Never point it at another person or towards yourself, even if you are sure it is not loaded.
- Take the time to thoroughly read the Glock instruction manual provided. Educate yourself on your new machine!
- Make sure you are ready to be using your firearm. What we mean is make sure you’re surrounding area is safe, that you are not under the influence of any substance. Proper eye and ear protection is also key.
Some additional procedures we recommend before shooting is to inspect your Glock and make sure it unloaded, clean of debris, and that is is working properly. Consider the following steps:
- Remove the magazine and set it aside.
- Visually inspect the chamber for any ammunition, dirt or debris.
- Take a look in the chamber and physically inspect by running your finger inside.
- Pointing the gun towards the ground, pull the trigger multiple times to make sure it is releasing cleanly.
Parts of your Glock
Knowing how your Glock is built and what parts are involved is crucial for operating your machine safely and accurately. It’s also important knowledge for maintenance and cleaning purposes. Plus, if you know the parts in detail, you’ll sound like a Glock expert to your friends.
Slide: part of the firearm that moves during the firing cycle and generally houses the firing pin or striker and the extractor, and serves as the bolt.
The slide stop is another important feature: Below the slide stop is in its "up" position, locking the slide of this Glock pistol in its "back" position. Pressing down the switch releases the slide to spring forward, initiating fire.
Magazine: this is the part of the firearm that stores the ammunition and also is the feeding device for the firearm. The magazines detaches from the Glock.
Barrel: typically made out of high-strength metal, the barrel is the shooting tube in which the bullet propels through. The barrel is comprised on three components: the chamber, bore, and muzzel. The chamber is on the back end of the barrel where the cartridge is inserted in position ready to be fired. The bore is the hollow tube that makes up most of the length of the barrel. The muzzel is the front-end of the barrel where the projectile (bullet) exists.
We hope this article gave you a glimpse into understanding Glocks and their components. Once you become a gun owner, you’re education and learning will always be growing and expanding. Have fun with it! For more information on a wide variety of firearm topics, check out our other articles on our media page.
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