Monday, December 6, 2010

Google Fails

So I had a theory about the success of the Glock. The theory sounded good. Much of that theory loosened up a bit when it came into contact with past realities and person that remembered the state of the gun industry at that historical moment in time.

But I just can't 'google' something like "What was the state of the police adoption of the Glock pistol in 1989". Well, you CAN, and it returns good info. But it doesn't zero in on my theory.

That's what's nice about people that read my blog. They can quickly answer my ungoogleable questions and poke holes in my theories. Which I welcome very much. Tam's money comment:
"Actually, in the early days of the revolver-to-auto switchover, S&W ruled the roost, with Beretta and SIG duking it out for 2nd Place. Glock didn't really hit its stride until the early '90s. 1st gen Glock mags (aka "non-drop-free" or "non-full-metal-lined") were wretched pieces of crap that would sometimes pop their floorplates off and vomit rounds all over the place when dropped on concrete..."

Back to Glock history. Or what I can remember about it. The major news magazines loved printing anti-gun articles. So did the Washington Post. And I had access to both in my house growing up. My first memories of the Glock were anti-gun folks that were sure they would foil airport metal detectors, so they should never be allowed to land on North American shores. That was the early 80's. By the late 80's is was perfectly fine for them to be issue to police officers. That's how I remembered it. I don't remember a rash of plane hijackings with plastic pistols from the 1980s til now, so perhaps the original metal detector fears were overblown.

I lived in Montgomery County Maryland growing up. I still do. The country touches the District of Columbia on one side and has farm area on the opposite end. And I had a buddy whose dad was a County Cop. He brought home a test target to show his son in the early to mid 80's that I also saw. At the time the county was considered upgrading from .38 revolvers. This test target was shot with 3 different bullet types 3 times. It was a 1 inch thick or so piece of plexiglass. The all lead bullets of a .38 were easy to spot. They penetrated part way and spread out. And I knew what lead looked like. The .357 were easy to pick out because they went ALL the way through the plexiglass. There was a little hole on the back side. The 9mm rounds made the back end bulge, but didn't penetrate. And you could see the copper jackets embedded in the plastic. That target went a long way toward their caliber selection for a new pistol, back then, I was told. You didn't want a bullet going through a bad guy near the DC border, but you did want a little more firepower, was the thinking. So they were slowly convincing themselves that maybe a 9mm round was the way to go.

I have no idea what model Montgomery County Police switched to then to get that 9mm action.


Clint1911 said...

IIRC, "plastic" guns are about 63% metal by volume and 83% metal by weight. The polymer is not plastic but a form of nylon. One difference is that nylon doesn't melt, it burns like wood. The nylon is dense enough to see on x-rays.

Murphy's Law said...

Never forget that Glock won much of the Law Enforcement market by practically giving their pistols and accessories to police agencies. In many departments, gear choice is still based more on price than officer preference. And once they started becoming commonplace in LE, Glock could and did use that as an implied endorsement to get everyone else to buy their products.

Bob H said...

"I have no idea what model Montgomery County Police switched to then to get that 9mm action. "

The bones of conservatives. But those were very rare to start with in the PR of MD.