Development of firearms can sometimes be held back by convention. Things rolled along, lost wax castings took the place of machined out of the block components, but, all in all most things just rolled along.

Then, there was this Austrian. No previous knowledge of firearms whatsoever, he asked “Why do you do this?” Why? Why don’t you use plastic? ‘Shock! – horror!’. He went on to develop the Glock self-loading pistol, a superb design that shocked the conservative pistol producers.

The weapon incorporates a stamped steel trigger mechanism, high impact plastic frame with moulded inserts for required strength, wear resistant coating to the bore of the barrel and a large capacity magazine of 17 rounds coupled to a very tough slide assembly.

Military trials have shown that this, almost total departure from conventional manufacture has produced a pistol of outstanding performance that has outshone almost everything else, stoppages are almost unheard of. Such reliability was almost the domain of the revolver not the self-loading pistol. Glock has even made a high impact plastic holster for his pistol and a survival knife that can penetrate stab proof  “flack” jacket used by police forces.

While the Glock pistol lacks feel and its pressed mechanisms seem cheap and nasty, the thing works outstandingly well and has re-written the method used for firearms in the future.