In the late 70s and early 80s, Gaston Glock, an engineer with no firearms experience, designed a curious prototype handgun. The project would later carry the title of the venerable GLOCK 17. While not the first polymer framed handgun ever produced, it was by far the most revolutionary for the time. What happens over the next 36+ years is nothing short of an all out takeover. The various GLOCK models go on to fill the holsters of countless law enforcement, military and civilian owners. They earned a name now synonymous with practicality, reliability, and cost effectiveness. As a gun enthusiast, you probably already know all that. What you may not know is that everyone else has been investing heavily and making newer, fancier polymer-framed handguns for years. Are these newer guns an improvement over the GLOCK’s now old hat design? Here’s a top five run down of some would-be GLOCK killers:
Originally based on the P99, the PPQ features an extended paddle style magazine release, a GLOCK-like trigger safety, ambidextrous controls, and a smoother overall trigger than an out-of-the-box GLOCK.
A made-in-the-USA striker fired design, the FNS series features fully ambidextrous slide stop levers and mag releases. An optional manual safety is available on some models. Ergonomically, it is one of the most comfortable handguns in this class to shoot, and the grip angle is nothing short of perfect.
S&W took on GLOCK head on in the law enforcement market with their M&P line back in 2005. The M&P line superseded the inferior Sigma line with a much better trigger (now improved further on the 2.0 models), better ergonomics and more controllable recoil. Unlike the GLOCK, you can field strip an M&P without dry firing the trigger.
All metal magazines, grip safeties and cocking indicators help the XD and XD(M) series handguns stand apart from GLOCK. While heavier than comparable GLOCKS, the grip angle suits most users better, and they’ve become a popular alternative.
An increasingly popular firearm from the people who brought you some of the most iconic guns of all time, the VP9 is earning a top spot among poly pistol users. A superior out-of-the-box trigger to the GLOCK, the VP9 also sports better sights, insane reliability, incredible accuracy, and interchangeable side panels. Users constantly rave about the grip of the HK, while the GLOCK grip is often described famously as something similar to gripping a 2×4.
While the firearms listed above may have a feature or two that GLOCK neglects, can anyone say that they’ve superseded the Austrian juggernaut? Most would say no, and they’d be correct. GLOCK is just too far entrenched in the minds of most enthusiasts. They continually outsell the competitors in their class. Aftermarket parts are cheap and plentiful. Their mags are so good and so common that Kel-Tec, ATI and Lone Wolf use them in some of their carbines. Your average owner can’t outshoot a GLOCK’s accuracy and their reliability goes without saying. To unseat the GLOCK as the king of all polymer striker-fired designs, you’d have to come up with something as revolutionary as the first GLOCK that rolled off the assembly line in 1982. Ambidextrous controls are great, but a single feature rarely changes an industry.