OK, the time has come to explain the facts of life to the Glock-lovers out there. I do this not because I hate Glocks (in the interest of full disclosure, I'll admit to owning two of them at present), but to reach out to the poor, misguided folks who worship the things as if God himself crafted the first one and handed it down to Adam on the 8th day.
And that is, of course, silly. Every true scholar knows that God gave Adam a Model 1911 in .45 ACP.
But I digress.
Glocks have their good points. With approximately 34 parts per pistol, They are simple. So simple in fact that R. Lee Ermey is a Glock spokesman. R. Lee is a pretty simple guy so I'm not surprised that he's signed on with Glock. Of course the serious checks they write to him probably factor in there to some extent.
Glocks are also reliable. Seriously, you can't kill one. They are routinely torture-tested by gun mags and abused by police officers, more of whom carry Glocks these days than anything else, and they keep on shooting. Remember the old Timex watch slogan? "Takes a licking, but keeps on ticking." Well Glocks keep ticking too, often long after similar guns would have broken. They really are that good.
So what's my beef with them, you ask? It's simple:
Glocks have no soul.
Sure, the Glock is reliable, and it will probably never let you down, but it just lacks the aesthetic appeal of traditional sidearms like the Colt Peacemaker, the aforementioned 1911, the Browning Hi-Power, the Walther PPK or P-38, the Luger, and many other classic pistols. Traditional pistols tend to be designed with style in mind as much as performance. But the Glock? Heck, it's a squared-off hunk of steel and plastic with a matte black finish that has all of the grace and charm of some fifth-grader's shop class project. Visually appealing, they ain't.
Seriously, the Glock has all of the romance and sex appeal of your father's Oldsmobile. And yeah, if it's your first gun, I can see the allure, but like that "cool" AOL account that you used to use when you first discovered the internet, eventually you need to grow beyond it.
And that brings to mind another issue--the price.
Right now, Glocks are probably the cheapest service pistols out there. This is another reason why just about every novice shooter has one. You can buy 'em even if you're on a budget. And if you're a police officer...well Glock damn near gives them to police departments for free, just to get the service contracts and accessory sales.
And you probably thought that most police officers carry them because someone decided that they were the best pistols on the market, didn't you? Ha! Money talks and municipal bean-counters love bargains.
So what we really have is a rather ugly black plastic and steel pistol that works and works well, but it's about as cool as a moped, especially when stacked up against elegant and sophisticated sidearms like my personal favorite, the H&K P7. The P7 has been called "the sniper rifle of pistols", and I often tell folks that it a true specialists' weapon--elegant and precise, the equivalent of a Jedi Knight's light saber. Serious gun enthusiasts who recognize the P7 in the holster of a shooter instinctively know that said shooter is a man (or woman) with sophisticated taste. By that same standard, the Glock identifies it's owner as well: Joe six-pack. A guy (or gal) who goes through life meeting expectations but rarely if ever exceeds them. Parents approve of their daughters dating Glock owners, because Glock owners, like their Glocks, are safe and predictable. They don't scream "Man of action!" like the 1911 does, or "Renaissance Man" like the Hi-Power does. Nah. There are few surprises from the Glock, and that's primarily my objection to them. While I won't ever deny that they are effective and affordable, the fact is that they're just too plain and commonplace for a discriminating shooter like myself.
Granted, if I had to defend myself in a pinch, I'd feel more than ready with a Glock in hand, but until that day comes around again, I'll just continue to smile condescendingly at those folks who carry Glocks and go "Tsk, tsk, tsk..." when they're out of earshot.