What Makes Glocks So Special for LEO's


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kd7nqb
July 23, 2007, 05:37 PM
Let me first start by Glocks are good weapons, I have nothing against them. I dont personally own one but still think they are quality weapons. My question is that everywhere I go 99% of LEO's carry Glocks.

Is there a specific reason why Glocks dominate the LEO world, and why we DONT see any of the other quality weapons? Where are the BHP's, XD's or even just a good solid 1911. Being that a fair number of LEO's are ex-millitary I would expect to see more Beretta's as well.

The only agency that I have been told does not use glocks as their standard at least on Oregon is Milwaukee PD which supposedly issues Kimbers as their duty gun.

Also to those LEO's out there how many of you had to purchase your own firearm and how many were agency provided. I know from LEO's and Ex-Leo's that I have spoken with seems like most of them are offered issued guns and will at least at some point opt to use their own, but most departments have an "approved list"

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30 cal slob
July 23, 2007, 05:39 PM
the finish on the Glocks is impervious to powdered sugar and jelly.

:uhoh:

RNB65
July 23, 2007, 05:40 PM
Is there a specific reason why Glocks dominate the LEO world, and why we DONT see any of the other quality weapons?

They're CHEAP, lightweight, and reliable. Glock was the first to hit the marketplace with a poly DAO gun and priced them so low they pretty much cornered the LEO market. Right at the moment in history when LEO's were starting to feel badly out gunned by the bad guys on the street, Gaston Glock provided the perfect solution. Almost overnight, Glock went from a complete unknown to the best selling handgun in the world. Absolutely brilliant marketing strategy. Call it Glock Perfection.

strat81
July 23, 2007, 05:43 PM
Cheap, reliable, light, accurate, and durable. No one else really offers that combination, except for maybe the new M&P.

Jimmie
July 23, 2007, 05:43 PM
Affordable, lightweight, high capacity, mass produced, insanely reliable, chambered in potent calibers. All of the complaints we, as non-LEOs, have about Glocks, don't matter to departments.

I can't think of another handgun that has so many positives and so few negatives for the purposes of an LEO issued pistol.

1911s - half the capacity and not as reliable
Berettas - heavy
XDs or M&Ps - new to the scene, built specifically to rival Glocks. We'll see.

kd7nqb
July 23, 2007, 05:44 PM
They're CHEAP and reliable. Glock was the first to hit the marketplace with a poly DAO gun and priced them so low they pretty much cornered the LEO market

Thats what I was thinking but most LEO's own other firearms I guess I would expect to at least see SOME 1911's and others. Also now an XD sells for less than a glock even with the $100 LEO discount.

tydephan
July 23, 2007, 05:46 PM
My personal opinion is that Glock came along at the right time and capitalized on a new technology.

Because other manufacturers were slow to catch up with the new technology (cough cough Smith and Wesson), Glock took over the Law enforcement market.***

The polymer pistol was revolutionary.
It's a simple, yet effective design.
Very rugged, much like the GI 1911's.
Easy-to-repair and replace parts.

The list goes on an on.

I think you'll see in the next few years, as other manufacturers play catch up (cough cough Smith and Wesson) with new and improved polymer products (cough cough M&P) with better ergonomics while maintaining dependability, that more agencies will experiment outside the Glock bubble.

In my area, county and city officials are issues Beretta 92 (to the best of my knowledge). State officials are still issued the Glock 22.

Just some thoughts.

I'm real anxious to see what kind of sillyness turns up in this thread though. That's not to say it isn't a good topic, because it is. Hopefully it won't turn into a Glock vs. xx free-for-all brawl.

***As an interesting side note, I watched a cool program on one of the learning channels (history, etc) the other night about how Smith and Wesson's board of directors basically said there was no way a "plastic" pistol would ever survive the industry. At that time, S&W (according to the show) accounted for 98% of Law Enforcement sidearms. The rest...as they say...is history. :):D

Jimmie
July 23, 2007, 05:47 PM
Thats what I was thinking but most LEO's own other firearms I guess I would expect to at least see SOME 1911's and others. Also now an XD sells for less than a glock even with the $100 LEO discount.
It's not entirely Glocks. My local Sheriff doesn't issue weapons, so there are deputies carrying 1911s. Lots of fed LEOs carry Sigs. My hometown counties carried H&Ks. Glocks do have the lion's share of the market, though, by far.

CountGlockula
July 23, 2007, 05:47 PM
Parts are readily available and inexpensive; especially for mags. You just can't go wrong with a quality weapon at an affordable price.

I'd suggest you buy one, and join the dark side.

glockman19
July 23, 2007, 05:48 PM
They are Accurate, reliable and virtually indestructible, light weight and high capicity. They are also one of the only guns that have gone through arduious torture tests and shoot perfectly. Not to mention they come in alomst every caliber and size, parts are readily available and they only have 34 parts total.

Thay are also less expensive to produce and cost less to LEO Departments.

Kilgor
July 23, 2007, 05:50 PM
Marketing.


Glock aggressively marketed to LE early on and gives departments unreal pricing.

They know that people want what the police carry. So they essentially give Glocks to police and then enjoy a large market share in the civilian market.

The fact that it is a quality product in addition to the low price is just icing on the cake for decision makers in police departments.

Scorpiusdeus
July 23, 2007, 06:23 PM
Price Price Price. Glock came in way below others. As others have stated Polymer was the next big thing.

My local Sheriff's Department carries Sigs, P226 and P220.

GaryArkansas
July 23, 2007, 06:44 PM
Dovetailed into the pricing structure were the buybacks of existing department weapons inventories. When you analyze it, they law enforcement agencies were given phenomenal deals. Deals that private buyers just couldn't obtain.

Kind makes you wonder whether those deals were entirely on the up and up. Not accusing anyone, just wondering out loud.

Maybe someone in government procurement could shed some light on it for us.

mpmarty
July 23, 2007, 07:37 PM
The LEOs don't decide which guns the department will issue, the bean counters do. Most LEOs I know do not like the Glocks that well. The bean counters love them for the $128.00 price AND a used gun buyback from Glock on whatever the department is replacing. Look on CDNNSPORTS for the "law enforcement trade ins Glock dumps there. The earlier poster was right on the mark, give the guns away to the LEO community and the rest of the gun buying public will flock to your store to buy the "cops choice" of pistols. You see the high four and low five hundred dollar figures these guns are bringing and have to stop to realize what the actual manufacturing costs are; I'm told the frames cost in the neighborhood of six or seven dollars to mould, slides are forged and machined at around forty dollars and the barrels about the same all told their costs are probably less than a hundred dollars each and they give the distributors twenty five or thirty off list to split with the actual retailer.

Nomad, 2nd
July 23, 2007, 07:39 PM
The LEOs don't decide which guns the department will issue, the bean counters do. Most LEOs I know do not like the Glocks that well. The bean counters love them for the $128.00 price AND a used gun buyback from Glock on whatever the department is replacing. Look on CDNNSPORTS for the "law enforcement trade ins Glock dumps there. The earlier poster was right on the mark, give the guns away to the LEO community and the rest of the gun buying public will flock to your store to buy the "cops choice" of pistols. You see the high four and low five hundred dollar figures these guns are bringing and have to stop to realize what the actual manufacturing costs are; I'm told the frames cost in the neighborhood of six or seven dollars to mould, slides are forged and machined at around forty dollars and the barrels about the same all told their costs are probably less than a hundred dollars each and they give the distributors twenty five or thirty off list to split with the actual retailer.

BINGO!

Boats
July 23, 2007, 07:49 PM
I think the most amusing part of the Glock saga is that Gaston positioned his company to replace the then-ubiquitous S&W duty revolvers in police hands with his double stack revolver replacement.

And then just like those moribund revo manufacturers, he rested on his laurels and let inertia set in. Now it is the Glock line that looks seriously dated. Not as dated as wheelguns for police or military service, but definitely now a generation of fresh thinking behind the times.

Where the Glock line was once revolutionary, it is now sorely long in the tooth. It sports outmoded ergonomics when all of the major competitors have had to set themselves to the task of building the better cop gun. Now detachable backstraps, rounded trigger guards, ambidextrious controls, and no finger grooves are the order of the day, along with the choice of a manual safety or not, the Glock dominance is being steadily eroded.

I love capitalism, just look at how discredited Windows has become, when the system is hilariously mentioned in the same breath as the word "innovative." Glock is headed towards firearm self parody if Gaston lets it by standing pat in the face of more nimble competition.

Acera
July 23, 2007, 08:43 PM
Don't forget that Glock sells their guns as "safe action" pistols. Most people believe that they are the safest guns out there. For most cops who only shoot once a year, and are not nearly as skilled as they want us civilians to believe. The Glocks are as close to idiot proof as you can get for a pistol. Even though they are carried by a lot of extremely qualified people, there is a lot of novices that carry them for a living. Just about every cop you talk to will tell you about some one in their department that has had a accidental discharge with one of these guns. They generally involve someone having their finger on the trigger when they holster their weapon. Marketing has done wonders for this basic firearm. I am a fan of them for a few instances, my SO has my G-20C in her nightstand. She only has to rack the slide and pull the trigger........ pretty easy, at night she can switch on it's light. I don't worry about a mag change with 15 rounds of 10mm. Almost as easy as a wheel gun. It's a great gun for the lemmings of the world.

Next subject, a lot of LE in Texas have their choice of sidearm. I see 1911's, M-9s and most of all the popular stuff out there. Texas Rangers carry the SIG, due to a...........don't laugh...............bean counter decision.

wrangler5
July 23, 2007, 09:02 PM
I've read that one of the original attractions for the Glock "safe action" was that it came closest to duplicating the double-action-only manual of arms that the police departments had imposed on their revolver users. So the transition to Glock autoloaders involved a minimum of retraining, and kept a relatively long, relatively heavy trigger pull that the departments decided they needed to cut down on "accidental" discharges that resulted in lawsuits. Of course autoloaders require malfunction clearance drills that revolvers don't, but Glock's legendary reliability made those a largely academic exercise that officers had to demonstrate but not (or at least only rarely) use when the chips were down.

Simplicity of training/transition sold the bureaucrats, and cheap sold the bean counters. A pretty powerful one-two punch. And once they were in place, the offer-you-can't-refuse trade in deals tended to keep departments locked to Glock.

Personally, I like the Glock mechanism and reliability, but dislike the grip angle enough to not buy one. Am considering the M&P, but if Glock came out with a second line that had a more upright grip angle I'd be all over it in a heartbeat. Even if I couldn't get one for under $200.

Coronach
July 23, 2007, 09:20 PM
1. $

2. Reliable.

3. $

4. Effective.

5. $

6. Marketing and incentives to LE agencies.

7. $

and

8. $

Mike

ccmdfd
July 23, 2007, 09:22 PM
I've read that one of the original attractions for the Glock "safe action" was that it came closest to duplicating the double-action-only manual of arms that the police departments had imposed on their revolver users.

I'm glad you brought that up as I was going to. Lots of reasons already mentioned including price, marketing, and such. But one of the key reasons was the gun was designed to operate in the same way as the revolvers that most LEO's were issued at the time of Glock's inception.

cc

Boats
July 23, 2007, 09:45 PM
When you think about it, that a Glock only takes a trigger pull to operate, for good or ill, as a selling feature, evokes this guy:

http://sorryigotdrunk.com/images/CavemanGeico4.jpg


And doesn't speak well to the average intelligence or trainability of cops.

Oook, ook. Fire like wheelgun!!!

Dude, look what the monolith taught me! No external safeties!

http://www.spacedaily.com/images/2001-ape-bones-bg.jpg

surfinUSA
July 23, 2007, 09:46 PM
I carry a glock because they work, they're light and impervious to the elements. I used to carry a SIG and still believe they are great guns.

Most of the other cops I know are carrying Glocks and like me paid for their own and used to carry something else.

Price had no influence on my decision, glock's reliablility, accuracy, weight and rust resistance did. Not to mention how easy and quick they are to detail strip. Plus the magazines are dirt cheap, can be found anywhere and the big gun mags work in the compact guns making for a nice system for uniiform and back up guns.

GRIZ22
July 23, 2007, 09:56 PM
Thats what I was thinking but most LEO's own other firearms I guess I would expect to at least see SOME 1911's and others.

Everything has alreday been said about Glocks. Many agencies don't allow singlae action autos like the 1911 as the powers that make decisions feel they are not safe.

WC145
July 23, 2007, 10:39 PM
I could have purchased a Glock 21 through the dept for around $400 with night sights and 3 mags, if they were $128 I'd be carrying several. Anyway, my choice (for MY money) is a HK USPc. When the Glock guys are screwing around with malfunctions at the range my HK just keeps on running and putting the rounds right where I point it.

Kilgor
July 23, 2007, 11:26 PM
When the Glock guys are screwing around with malfunctions at the range my HK just keeps on running and putting the rounds right where I point it.

That doesn't sound ANYTHING like my Glock experiences. I guess I just keep getting good ones... :rolleyes:

You might want to check out this comparison between the G21 and a USP.

http://www.theprepared.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=90&Item

Warren
July 24, 2007, 12:01 AM
Professionals love 'em! (Especially the .40s)

full metal
July 24, 2007, 12:05 AM
Hey I'm leo and I dont own any glock's.
My wife do's and she's not a leo

igpoobah
July 24, 2007, 12:12 AM
I have put several thousand rounds through my Glocks and have never had a single malfuntion...FWIW

kgriggs8@yahoo.com
July 24, 2007, 12:15 AM
Until I got my G-17, I overlooked how light they are. They are much lighter than 1911s, BHPs, Berettas ect. When you have 40lbs of gear hanging from your belt, a gun that doesn't weigh a ton is a big help.

I have been bitten by the Glock bug just in the past couple of months. They are very good guns if you only look at preformance. They work well.

They may not be made as well as a SIG or a Beretta but they work almost as well in every catagory. They may not be as accurate as a SIG or as Reliable as a Beretta but they are a well up there in both catagories as well as other catagories.

I think what I am saying is, they are not the best at anything but they are really good at everything. Great all around gun for depts that have to arm tall, skinny, fat, short, women and men. A Glock will not fit anyone like a glove but most people can shoot them well.

The fat grip is the biggest drawback to Glocks. The fact that they won't change the grip to a ergonomic one is the reason I have stayed away for the past 20 years. I finally gave in a bought a G-17. It is quickly growing on me.

Deaf Smith
July 24, 2007, 12:41 AM
Simplicity. To field strip a glock is very simple. To swap out parts, ANY PART, is simple. To operate the weapon is simple. It's so simple.... even a caveman can do it!

Strong. Yes strong. Rain, mud, dust, salt, you name it, it won't hurt. Drop it and the frame does not even have a dent!

Light. Except for the newist polymer wonders out, it's still the lightest for is size and power.

Not expensive. No where near a 1911 except for the most basic GI versions (and you have to customize them to bring them up to a Glock!) No were near the cost of a Sig! Or Kimber!

Holds lots and lots of shots .vs. it's competitors (if the cal. is the same for both.)

Quite accurate. Not a match gun but just as good in the accuracy department compaired to Smiths, Rugers, Colts, HKs, all except maybe the Sig (yea the Sig's I own shoot like a rifle.)

Reliable. I do mean reliable. My Glock 17 I use in competition has gone over 100,000 rounds of factory ammo! Still a'shooting!

So yea they are popular. Very popular in IDPA to!

So join the dark side... get a Glock. 'Works every time'.

cvpi71
July 24, 2007, 02:05 AM
my Glock 23 has over 10k rounds through it and it still shoots perfectly. We are required to qualified 2 times a year but I go to the range 2 times a month and sometimes more with it.

GRIZ22
July 24, 2007, 02:13 AM
I saw an article by Peter Kokalis who relates his experineces with a Glock 17 he put 70,000 rounds through over a period of time. Zero malfunctions, parts breakage, or cleaning. A lot of the ammo he used was Wolf FMJ (not the cleanest of ammo). I don't think there any many other autos that could do this or we would have heard about it by now.

HiroProX
July 24, 2007, 02:25 AM
I was going to get a Glock 17, but after some time at the range where a friend of mine showed me his Ruger P85 Mk.2 and his G17, I opted for the Ruger. I've put over 20,000 rounds of some of the worst 9mm through it and it has not failed once.

There are plenty of guns as reliable as a Glock.

The reason for their predominance amongst LEO agencies are mainly weight, though that advantage is now basically nil, and insanely low unit cost. Though another factor is that they were one of the first makers outside of S&W to bring a .40S&W pistol to market when that round was the latest and greatest in "stopping power".

kd7nqb
July 24, 2007, 01:08 PM
Good points, I never realized the depth of Glocks marketing scheme. Also this thread seems to show that maybe glocks dont have as much as a hold on the LEO market as I thought.

Coronach
July 24, 2007, 01:53 PM
They used to have a deeper hold. It seems to be loosening, as every other gun maker who aspires to be in the duty gun market has realized that they were in danger of being squeezed out.

S&W wrote the book on wooing police agencies. They then got lazy and started to produce some pistols that, while never once bad, were not innovative. Glock came along, stole their playbook, and marketed something revolutionary, the polymer hi-cap duty gun. They made inroads pretty rapidly.

S&W responded by...not really doing much. They lost more ground. They then decided to steal a page from Glock's design book. They not only got caught with their hands in the cookie jar, but the Sigma was an abortion of a pistol, to boot. They lost even more ground.

By this time S&W was not really looking so hot. Revolvers were not a growth market, and all of their LE offerings were looking seriously dated. I don't know what percentage of the LE market Glock had at its heyday, but it was 1. a lot and 2. much of it was stolen (fair and square) from S&W.

That brings us almost up to the present day. S&W is, seemingly, on the rebound with the M&P lineup, and other makers are reversing their losses as well. Glock is still a HUUUUGE player in the LE duty gun game, but they're losing ground, and have a lineup of pistols that, much like S&W gen3 autoloaders of fifteen years ago, still work just fine, but don't represent the latest developments in handgun design.

Mike

kgriggs8@yahoo.com
July 24, 2007, 05:08 PM
"There are plenty of guns as reliable as a Glock.

The reason for their predominance amongst LEO agencies are mainly weight"

Both true.

Ruger autos, S&W 3rd gen autos like the 5906, 6906 ect, Berettas and one or two other makes are just as reliable as Glocks. Glocks tend to be ultra reliable and so do some other guns. It is the weight that has the cops wanting them. Reliable and light weight is a no brainer.

My Beretta 92fs is ultra reliable but if I had to pick which one to CCW between my G-17 or mt 92fs, I would have to go with the G-17.

CWL
July 24, 2007, 05:20 PM
I'll put it the way my CHP friend discusses any issued equiptment:
"lowest bid".

Scorpiusdeus
July 24, 2007, 07:07 PM
I'll put it the way my CHP friend discusses any issued equiptment:
"lowest bid".

By CHP, do you mean California Highway Patrol? If so that's an interesting comment coming from a guy who works for a department that DIDN'T go with the lowest bid. In fact, somewhere there is an article about how the CHP pretty much fixed the bidding, if there actually was any true bidding, to insure S&W kept their business.

Baneblade
July 25, 2007, 12:02 AM
Okay, let me clear some stuff up. The normal agency price for Glocks is around $360 depending on how many are purchased. The officer price (here in AZ) is $393.20 with three mags and standard sights. We get Glock night sights for $55 from the factory.

More than half of all police officers have never fired a gun prior to the police academy (if that scares you, try being the officer who trains them). There might be politics involved in huge agencies, but small to mid-sized agencies base much of their decision making on someone elses experiments. In other words, those agencies let larger agencies buy 10,000 Glocks and try them out.

When the larger agencies give the new glocks to experts and fools alike they get the full test. Someone will find every concievable way to break them. In the end, Glock was easier to use and easier to train a Noob to shoot. That is code word for cheaper. Cheaper gun. Cheaper training. Plus, more reliable. Nothing on the market has proven as reliable OVERALL. Put the gun in the hands of someone who does nothing to maintain their gun and then see how reliable it is.

Glock also has $ on their side when it comes to parts. LEO armorers can buy more than half of the parts in a Glock for $1 each. Excluding sights, there are only 6 parts that cost over $10. Glock has an extensive armorer training program where they come to a region to teach the course, which is only one day. Sig, Colt, others... 2+ days and they are not nearly as frequent as Glocks courses. Again, cheaper to train and maintain.

Law enforcement as a whole will never switch to XD's or M&P's for a couple of simple reasons. No substantial improvement over Glock. Certain debatable improvments, but nothing worth justifying $10,000's in replacement costs. Neither Springfield or S&W have armorer programs as readily available as Glock. Plus, their finish doesn't hold up as well, which is important when you have officers who won't maintain their guns.

To the person who said Glocks are $128... please tell me where my agency can get that price because we are getting ripped off at $360 each.

To the person who said XD's are less than Glocks, again, I 'd like to know where you get that deal at. We ordered an XD direct from Springfield to try out. We couldn't get them for the same price as Glocks, much less a lower price. AND... our SWAT team took the XD on a trial for a day. Not impressed. We sent it back and are no longer considering a switch.

In short, Glock dominates the LEO market because of their price, ease of maintenance, reliability, availability of inexpensive parts, armorer support, and corporate support.

Is Glock the "Best?" Probably not. But no other company offers a full package like Glock. We looked. We tried other guns. We tried to find someone else. In the end, Glock Rules, whether we like it or not.

ccmdfd
July 25, 2007, 10:18 AM
They used to have a deeper hold. It seems to be loosening, as every other gun maker who aspires to be in the duty gun market has realized that they were in danger of being squeezed out.

S&W wrote the book on wooing police agencies. They then got lazy and started to produce some pistols that, while never once bad, were not innovative. Glock came along, stole their playbook, and marketed something revolutionary, the polymer hi-cap duty gun. They made inroads pretty rapidly.

S&W responded by...not really doing much. They lost more ground. They then decided to steal a page from Glock's design book. They not only got caught with their hands in the cookie jar, but the Sigma was an abortion of a pistol, to boot. They lost even more ground.

By this time S&W was not really looking so hot. Revolvers were not a growth market, and all of their LE offerings were looking seriously dated. I don't know what percentage of the LE market Glock had at its heyday, but it was 1. a lot and 2. much of it was stolen (fair and square) from S&W.

That brings us almost up to the present day. S&W is, seemingly, on the rebound with the M&P lineup, and other makers are reversing their losses as well. Glock is still a HUUUUGE player in the LE duty gun game, but they're losing ground, and have a lineup of pistols that, much like S&W gen3 autoloaders of fifteen years ago, still work just fine, but don't represent the latest developments in handgun design.

Mike


Yeah, it will be interesting to see what happens in the LE market with all of the new models comming out. Will Glock be caught napping and loose a lot of market share? Or, will these new designs just be one hit wonders. I wouldn't want to bet either way.

cc

Noxx
July 25, 2007, 01:46 PM
they are not the best at anything but they are really good at everything

I think that's the best overall summation of the Glocks appeal that I've heard in quite some time.

tinygnat219
July 25, 2007, 02:13 PM
It's b/c they are TactiCool!

Jenrick
July 25, 2007, 07:45 PM
An ancedote:

My department has SW auto's for usage by academy cadets who haven't yet purchased a duty weapon. Why S&W auto's you ask? Well because when the dept. went away from S&W wheel guns (the venerable 686), S&W offered them a deal on tradeins with the S&W autos for the old revolvers.

As our class gift to the academy when we graduated we looked at getting new pistols for the range, as the S&W were pretty ragged. The qoute I got for a large bulk purchase was around $400 for glocks, $600 for sigs, and $700 H&K's. That was a straight purchase with no trade in's etc.

I called our local law enforcement supply house to get the prices not the manufactures. Well about a week later I get a call from a sales rep from Glock who wants to talk about doing trade in's what kind of deal we can work etc. I did not tell the guy at the LE supply place that I wanted to talk to a manufacturer's rep or anything like that. Apparently Glock hunts for sales, and is very willing to go the extra mile to get them. It ended up being too expensive for us to do, even with the trade in. I didn't however ever get a call from Sig Arms of H&K.

From a personal standpoint on why as an LEO I carry a Glock?

1) I shoot my G34 as well as my P7M8, and if something happens to my G34 I'm out $400-$500 dollars rather then $1k-$1.5K

2) Functions well with little maintenance. Compared to most LEO's I'm a gun nut. However even I don't have time to pull maintenance on my weapon as often as I'd like. When you've just pulled an 16hr shift, and you have to be at work less then 8hrs later, weapon maintence falls behind getting some sleep and some food.

3) Reliable, no failures or stoppages in close to 10K in the last year.

4) Because I can't get a P7M13 with a light rail without getting another mortage.

-Jenrick

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