The Innovative Glock in 1991

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Miami_JBT, Dec 27, 2020.

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  1. Miami_JBT

    Miami_JBT Member

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    I love my Ruger P90, but GLOCK smoked it.

    The Innovative Glock in 1991

    Shooters coming of age today don’t understand how good they have it.

    In 1991, the gun industry was to a degree a stagnant, faltering, lethargic beast that it couldn’t innovate its way out of a wet paper bag. Designs were moving forward on a snail’s pace. Yes, there was the jump from Revolvers to Semiautomatics but the layout and designs were still cemented in old ideas.

    Metal Framed, DA/SA, Hammer Fired Guns. Sig Sauer, Beretta, Smith & Wesson, Ruger, CZ, etc all mirrored each other when it came to 9mm platforms. Make a gun that is basically a Hi-Power in size, with similar capacity, and make it double action capable. Even HK at the time was still pushing their amazingly expensive P7 series.

    GLOCK was the outlier. We all know the story by know and why. Lightweight, Polymer Framed, Striker Fired, extremely High Capacity compared to the competitors at the time, etc, etc, etc.

    Well, why did I mention 1991? Because in 1991, the .45 ACP was still a popular duty round and a number of agencies wanted it even though .40 S&W was released a year before. But the problem with .45 ACP was capacity. Always was an issue and that is one reason why .40 S&W did so well. Anyways, back to the main topic at hand. .45 ACP prior to 1991 was mostly relegated to single stack guns with 7rd or 8rd capacities. They were big, heavy beasts too.

    But in 1991 two guns were released. One that clearly shows you the old mindset and one that showed you the innovation GLOCK had and was.

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    The Ruger P90 was released in 1991 and was a fine representation of how outdated a number of companies were. Here you have a gun as complicated as a 1911, as large as a 1911, with a 7rd capacity and a weight of 34oz. Yes, the P90 was a reliable gun but it was a beast of a gun. The ergos were **** and the gun was covered in sharp edges. But the most glaring issue is 7rd capacity in 1991. Trigger pull was average for the era, 9lbs to 10lbs in DA and 3lbs to 4lbs in SA.

    By 1991, the market was screaming for higher capacity. It was the era of the Cocaine and Crack Epidemic, a rise in perceived violent crime, and a perception that cops were being outgunned by bad guys (which to a degree, they were). And what Ruger released for the .45 ACP duty makret was a 7rd, DA/SA, 1911 sized and weighted gun to compete with the other outdated designs like the S&W 4506, Sig Sauger P220, and of course the 1911 itself.

    Amazingly, GLOCK released the G21 the same year.



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    Here, you have a .45 ACP chambered automatic that held 13rds of ammunition, and weighed 26.0oz. That’s almost a 1/2 pound lighter in weight than the P90. And it basically held twice the amount of ammunition. The gun was smooth for the most part. Not rough or sharp edges. A simplistic constant trigger pull that weighed in at 5.5lbs.

    The overall design was simple, reduced in complexity, and worked extremely well. The G21 invalidated every .45 ACP on the market. The S&W 4506, Sig P220, Ruger P90, and especially the 1911 was dinosaur waiting to be killed off by the fallout from the asteroid strike. To put things in perspective, the G21 weighed less than a Beretta 92FS, Sig Sauer P226, S&W 5903, and all of it contemporaries Wonder Nine era guns.

    It was that radically different.

    Shooters coming of age today have no grasp or understanding how revolutionary this was. Honestly, the arrival of GLOCK in the 80s and early 90s completely changed the design layout and mindset of the handgun industry. New shooters today complain about a G21 being big or heavy. It they only knew…. and I say this as a fan of the DA/SA Wonder Nines and Boat Anchor DA/SA Single Stack .45 ACP guns. They’re all outdated and GLOCK is the reason why.

    Whether you like or dislike GLOCK, the market wouldn’t be what it is today without them.
     
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  2. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    I was 10 years old in 1991 but trust and believe I would have been doing just fine in that market.

    All but one gun I own has come from the nineties and earlier.
     
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  3. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    Wow! My response to your P90 post got its own thread.

    I shot my first Gen 1 G17 in 1990, so I am completely familiar with the Glock social phenomena and exceptional marketing program. However, the design was pretty underwhelming to even the teenager version of myself.

    For me, it's not the weight or cartridge capacity that matters. I will not own a weapon with a trigger system that does not have a full stroke / full weight DA pull when at rest (excluding SA with safeties). That takes the G21 out of the running before the race even starts. I won't rehash this safety discussion again- it's been done MANY times.

    If the G21 would have been essentially a version of the Walther P99AS, then I would potentially agree about the "outclassing".

    I would agree that Glock changed the shooting marketplace forever by a second to none sales campaign. I would disagree that the change has been a fundamental improvement, especially in the proliferation of striker guns and general "dumbing down" of shooter abilities to work effective DA trigger systems.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2020
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  4. Miami_JBT

    Miami_JBT Member

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    The average consumer is not a world class shooter. Taking cops to qualify is like taking a 5 year old to the dentist.
     
  5. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    Much as I love my various 1911s, when I need to reach for a .45, the Glock 21 gets the call.

    Fits my hands perfect (mines a Gen 4), mine has the best stock Glock trigger I've run across, accuracy is on par with my 1911 at least out to 25 yards, handles .4t recoil better (IMO) than much heavier guns and it shoots really well for me.

    Capacity doesn't hurt either.
     
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  6. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    We had to buy our own guns from an equipment allowance, so I was loath to buy a new gun.

    Then the Glock 26 was released, an 11 shot mini 9mm, totally outclassing the 5 shot S&W 36 Chief Special I was carrying.

    Couldn't help myself, bought an early version 2 1/2 with night sights and was, and still am, 24 years later, very happy with it. Even with the 12lb. NY++ trigger, still in it.
     
  7. Miami_JBT

    Miami_JBT Member

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    When the Gen 4s came out, I sold my most of Gen 3s and all of my Gen 2s but honestly, even a Gen 1 GLOCK is still capable today. I simply upgraded my GLOCKs since I get blue label pricing and was able to sell my Gen 3s and Gen 2s for more than what new GLOCKs cost me. My Gen 4 G26 and G27 are fantastic little guns.
     
  8. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

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    I had one of those BDM's. Was not impressed.
     
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  9. Cump

    Cump Member

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    Though I prefer the aesthetics of and range-time with 1911s, BHPs, and CZ75s (not so much the P series), my two primary carry guns are a Gen 4 G27 and G30. 10 rounds of 40 or 45 (with flat base plates and a round chambered) is still pretty impressive in guns that size.
     
  10. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    In 1991 I still thought Glocks were plastic junk, and would start exploding at any minute. At the time, I was in the army, and using a M9 (which I hated, occasionally broke, and wished was a Sig 226). A quality 1911 was the only pistol deserving of the distinction of firing the 45 ACP, in my mind at the time.
     
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  11. Climb14er

    Climb14er Member

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    Glocks in many ways, are like VW Bugs, timeless classics that are reliable and run forever with just the right amount of care. My Gen 3 G19 is one of those pistols and it's the 9mm that I kept when I sold all my other 9mm's. It will always be a keeper.

    Got a good friend here in Denver, she's 68 and former military. Brought her never fired Gen 2 G19 to my house for me to clean and lube so she could have a firearm to protect herself. Turns out, her hands are too weak and she can't rack the slide. I'll be posting it for sale as soon as I can get pics. Beautiful Gen 2, like I said, Glocks are timeless.
     
  12. Monac

    Monac Member

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    In 1991, a lot of people (myself included) thought the Glock trigger mechanism was a dumb idea. The semi-cocked, semi-double action, semi-single action, no-safety-catch thing had been tried exactly once in the past, in the Roth Steyr Model 1907, and nobody thought it was a brilliant idea, then or in 1991. Who knew that cops transitioning from revolvers to automatics would fall in love with it because not only did it not require them to learn anything new, it allowed them to forget some stuff they already knew about cocking their revolvers? Glock took a leap in the dark, or else knew how people who were not really into guns felt about triggers and safeties. It paid off enormously, contrary to many expectations at the time.

    I guess now it is the new normal, and single action and conventional double action the niche choices. These are the kind of changes you experience if you live long enough.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2020
  13. Monac

    Monac Member

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    BTW, the Glock did not first appear on the market in 1991. It has to have been around in 1988, because it appeared in the movie "Die Hard" of that year and was part of the plot because it was invisible to X-rays or something stupid like that. OK, let me check Wikipedia: it existed, at least as a prototype, in 1982, when it was adopted by the Austrian army. The Norwegian army adopted it in 1985, so Glock was probably busy with military orders for a while.

    Oh, I see. The 45 ACP Glock appeared in 1991. Boy, you have to be a really 45 fan for THAT to be the date you figure the Glock made an impact on firearms history. :)
     
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  14. vzenmn

    vzenmn Member

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    I miss my Ruger P90 and P97. They were clunky but were damn accurate. Especially the P97. Im also longing to feel what a P345 is like to shoot. But these two replacements are doing just fine. View attachment 966042
    The G21 is an old pre SF gen 3 frame. Feels like a cinder block in my hand. Like when you were 6 years old running around the house in daddy's work boots. But it shoots the same tight groups as the 1911. Strange.
     
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  15. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    I have this funny thing with Glocks where if I'm shooting/carrying Sigs or 1911s for a while and pick up a Glock it feels (and yet, shoots) much the same.

    BUT, if I'm mostly shooting and carrying Glocks for a while they start to feel real good in my hands, and I often get surprised picking up a 1911 that it doesn't feel as nice in my hand.

    For a while, till I adjust.

    It's how I realized that if I spend enough time, I'll adjust and come to like just about anything.
     
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  16. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    I had a P90 DC 20 or so years ago. it was a good gun.
     
  17. Homerboy

    Homerboy Member

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    The “Glock 7” was in Die Hard 2 which appeared in 1990.
     
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  18. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    Die Hard 2, 1990
     
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  19. Mike .45

    Mike .45 Member

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    Thanks OP!
    Great post. One of the best posts I've read here in a while.
     
  20. glockgod

    glockgod Member

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    Oh the nasty things I used to say about Glocks! Then I shot one. The rest is history!
     
  21. Monac

    Monac Member

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    Homerboy and JTQ are right. It's been so long since I saw either movie that they blurred together for me. I am surprised that misinformation about Glocks was still widespread in 1990, but "Die Hard 2" is legendary for being full of stupid stuff.
     
  22. vintovka

    vintovka Member

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    Absolutely true!!! First round accuracy in even inexperienced hands.
     
  23. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    Didn't work for me until the (thread appropriate) Gen 4 21.

    I just couldn't get along with Gen 3 guns when I tried them, even the 21 SF and 17, whose Gen 4 counterparts feel like they were moulded for my hands.
     
  24. Miami_JBT

    Miami_JBT Member

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    GLOCK appeared on the US Market in 1986 at the earliest. But we're not talking about a 9mm Gen 1 G17.
     
  25. glockgod

    glockgod Member

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    My Gen 4 17 is my currant favorite. Also have a special place in my heart for my Gen 3 26. Made Master in GSSF shooting that one. Won the Gen 4 17 with it
     
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