Saturday, February 21, 2015

About that Glock

Commenting on the post below, TheOtherRyan says in comments:
I bet this has some .45/ 1911 die hard types completely losing their shit.
No, not really, Ryan.  I am, you see, one of those diehard 1911 fans.  I've been shooting the pistols since the early 1970s, and indeed, the 1911A1 pistol was the very first handgun I ever picked up.  I still see the utility of the 1911 and the .45 ACP cartridge, but like most handgunners, I'm a pragmatist when it comes to handgun selection.

The very first 9mm pistol I ever shot was the Army's M9.  They issued one to me during Desert Storm.  I immediately disliked it, but not for the reasons you might think.  It was too big for my hands, was not ergonomic, and because I was uncomfortable shooting it, I shot it poorly.  Also, the 9mm ammo of the day was fairly anemic with poor bullet design.

Some of the greatest advances in handguns in the past 30 years have been in the ammunition.  Ammo, back in the day, was tailored to operate properly across a narrow range of velocities.  I remember in the late '80s shooting Winchester's premier Silvertip ammo for a police qualfication.  It did extremely well at the longer ranges, but I was amazed as we got close to the target (specifically at the 2-yard-line) the bullets were coming apart on the cardboard.  They were so over-driven that they were shedding their jackets on the paper target and coming apart before they could penetrate the cardboard backing.

Since then, the bullet manufacturers have really stepped up their game.  They've studied the problem and come up with some wonderful solutions, and frankly our ammo today is light-years ahead of what we had in the early days.  Handgun ammo in this new century has stepped up to the point where we can use smaller calibers, and 9mm ammo is much more lethal than it was 40 years ago, simply because of bullet design and better powders.

Even Jeff Cooper changed his stance on handgun ammo in his sunset years.  He remained a 1911 guru till his death, but he told us that bullet design had changed the game and that (I'd have to look to find the exact cite) that Hornady's 230 grain truncated cone bullet was probably the best projectile ever designed for the .45 ACP.

Gaston Glock, in 1980, changed the handgunning world with his Model 17.  Initially, many of us were skeptical, but the design has proven itself over the years and over the world.  There are millions of them in use, and even the most die-hard 1911 fans see the utility of a pistol that is durable, reliable, easy to shoot, and accurate.  It's been 35 years since Gaston unveiled his pistol, and many of us have come around, being pragmatists.  The fact that the ammo has gotten better has certainly helped.

Even I, dinosaur that I am, have come around to the Glock.  The Sheriff issued me one last year, and it's the pistol I carry at least 50 hours per week.  It's ergonomic, easy to shoot, has few moving parts and is utterly reliable.  What's not to like?  I see its weaknesses, primarily that design flaw that requires the operator to pull the trigger before disassembly.  Clearing procedure is critical on a Glock, because if you don't clear the pistol, you're going to shoot a hole in your workbench before you clean it.  But, clearing a pistol should be second-nature to a pistolero.  It's a design flaw, but a minor one in the overall nature of things.

I still like my 1911s and see their utility, but I also appreciate Gaston's design.  It's a great pistol and even if old John Moses (pbuh) were around today, I bet he'd appreciate the modern pistol as well.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some family matters to attend and later, an appointment to shoot some guns from the late 19th century.  They have a certain appeal as well.


JoeMama said...

A gun is a tool. It is a drill motor. It drives a drill bit called a bullet. Drills put holes in things. Sometimes the hole shows up in the right place. Sometimes it does not.

Most buyers of drills really don't care if it says 12V or 18V or 24V on the side. They want to be able to put holes in things.

They don't care if it is orange, or yellow or green. They want holes in things.

There is some concern about the size of the drill bits that the drill motor will accept. Many times the problem of a drain hole being too small can be resolved by drilling three holes.

After you use the drill motor a while, you become aware of battery life (magazine size) and how cumbersome it is to lug around.

The second drill motor you buy you do pay more attention to the battery capacity and size. You will also pay much more attention to its ability to function in adverse, heat, dust, after falling into the crock of the sump...

Guns are still tools. They put holes in things. The only differences between a gun and a drill motor is loudness and range. A gun has more of both.

Theother Ryan said...

No offense was intended. I think there is a line between being very for a system and closed minded that there are other possibilities out there.

I like 1911's. Owned one previously and enjoyed it. Down the road somewhere I would like to own another one, specifically a 4" Commander sized model.

Old NFO said...

+1 on Joe Mama... I like BOTH my 1911s and my Glocks... :-)