Glock guns hit the bull's-eye with US cops

The Austrian manufacturer signs a lucrative new contract with Atlanta's police, its latest deal that has Smith & Wesson on the outs.

By Bruce Kennedy Jul 25, 2013 10:53AM

A Glock representative explains features of the Glock 37 Gen 4 .45 caliber pistol at the 35th annual SHOT Show on Jan. 16, 2013, in Las Vegas (© Julie Jacobson/AP Photo)In another sales coup for Glock, the Austrian gun manufacturer just signed a new contract to supply the Atlanta Police Department with 2,300 semiautomatic pistols. Glock's win is also a loss for Smith & Wesson (SWHC), which had supplied the APD for the past 70 years.


Glock wouldn't say how much its contract is worth. But a company spokeswoman told The Marietta Daily Journal that the fourth-generation Glock pistols, the type involved in the contract, retail to the public for between $599 and $734, although law enforcement receives a discounted purchase rate.


Glock says about 65% of U.S. law-enforcement departments now use its pistols, a remarkable accomplishment for a company that started manufacturing firearms only in the 1980s.


Glock took the gun world by storm when founder Gaston Glock came up with an innovative design for a semiautomatic pistol using lightweight plastics and other synthetics. 


The Glock is also easy to fire and maintain. And while an old-school revolver typically holds six shots, a Glock -- depending on the magazine used -- can handle up to 19 rounds, giving police the additional firepower they were looking for.


The gun also caught on with the American public. It was seen in TV cop shows and movies. In "Die Hard 2," Bruce Willis' character gives a short speech about the advantages of the Glock. References to the guns also kept popping up in rap lyrics, and by the mid-1990s Glock sold more than a million of its guns in the U.S. alone, according to this 2011 report.


According to an extensive 2009 article on the company by Bloomberg Businessweek, Glock's estimated profit margin on its pistols runs around 68%, and it has sales of about $100 million annually in the U.S.


While supplying law enforcement, Glock has had some brushes with the law also. The Businessweek article noted the company has long dealt with allegations of widespread corruption, as well as a failed contract assassination attempt on Gaston Glock by a former business associate.


But controversies aside, it doesn't appear Glock will be relinquishing its hold on its place in U.S. law enforcement.


"We believe Glock offers a trusted, superior firearm for our officers," Atlanta Police Chief George Turner said in a company press release. "They are industry leaders."


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374Comments
Jul 25, 2013 11:37AM
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A lot of Glocks are manufactured in Smyrna, Georgia, USA.  Does that make you feel any better?  Even worse that Beretta Model 92's are made in Maryland, one of the most gun unfriendly states in the US.
Jul 25, 2013 1:22PM
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What was wrong with the Smith & Wesson, Military and Police (M&P) as a sidearm?.  I have one and would put it up against a glock any day and it is less expensive.  It is very easy to shoot and maintain.

 

Just as food for thought, what could be more American than Smith and Wesson!

Jul 25, 2013 2:09PM
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"Assembled" in America isn't the same as "manufactured" in America.  I know the Glock is a great weapon.  So, I'm not down on Glock.  However, this is America, and public entities should buy American.  I've shot Glocks, and I have shot (and own) Smith and Wesson guns.  Both high quality weapons.  If the police wanted automatics instead of revolvers, or something, I understand.  But...Public, tax supported entities should buy American.  Because Americans pay their salaries.  Are Austrians also Atlanta taxpayers?  No??? 
Jul 25, 2013 12:56PM
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nothing surprises me what the police buy . it seems the police force in this country are becoming another combat army . special assault teams , amour personnel carriers , camouflage outfits even in cities , drones , aircraft , etc. etc. i was in the military and what i see the police doing is emulating a standing army . if a police officer is shot every source of their power is put into action . where as a citizen shot is just another case . nothing is good about an officer being killed in the line of duty but why are there sometimes thousands of other police officers at the funeral many of them from other states ? if they feel they need to attend an officers funeral they should do it on their own time using there own vehicles not spending the tax payers money . most police officers funerals are more ceremonial than a real combat soldier returning from the battle field . there would be far less problems in our inner cities if the police would get out their cars and walk the streets. after all real soldiers do that in combat .
Jul 25, 2013 11:49AM
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Glock makes great products that are nearly indestructible and reliable.  Kinda like the Jeep of handguns.

Jul 25, 2013 2:09PM
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I am a current Georgia State LE officer. I have shot or own just about every handgun there is. I own a sig 226 and several S&W police models such as M&P and the old 4506 and 4586. Money not withstanding I like the HK USPs the best. For the money, I think Glock is the best thing out there under 800 bucks. I have put probably  50,000 rounds thru my G17, G27 and my issue G22 without one single malfunction, failure or misfeed. I cannot say that about some of my other "high dollar" handguns, Kimber, Springfield included.
Jul 25, 2013 12:53PM
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As a L.E. F/A Instructor, I can tell you, I've shot just about everything, even carried a Beretta on the job.  Love my M&P, but my Glocks exceed all of them.

Bravo, APD.

Jul 25, 2013 1:21PM
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We all should be thrilled we can even have a gun debate. Obama and most dems want  all our gun rights taken away or highly restricted. I have shot them all and I feel Sig is the best overall, followed by Beretta and Glock.
Jul 25, 2013 1:35PM
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My favorite Glock movie quote is... 

 

"Get yourself a Glock and get rid of that nickle plated sissy pistol"! - Deputy U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones)

Jul 25, 2013 12:46PM
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When your life is on the Line, the weapon that works the best is the winner !!!  Glock 21, because shooting twice is silly and waists AMMO.
Jul 25, 2013 1:38PM
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Sorry, I'm still a revolver fan. (I must now go pet my Redhawk)
Jul 25, 2013 1:43PM
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I'm a Glock lover.

 

My first was the G23 in .40cal - bought it used thru the local PD trade out AFTER the officer had recorded 10k rounds thru it!  It was / is flawless for many more under my ownership!

 

My preferred carry gun now (CCW permit) is the G26.  I have used, abused, mis-treated, and basically treated this gun as hard as anything since the days I carried an M-16 in combat...and it's never failed.  I don't 'round count' but I can tell you this gun has had many thousands of rounds thru it.  I was an armorer in the military and know all about finicky weapons....it's a shame we didn't have Glocks back then!   Truly the best gun on the market (imo)

 

Also own the G-19 (my son's competition gun), a G 27, and am just about to get a G30.

 

NEVER, EVER have we had ANY problems with our Glocks.

Jul 25, 2013 1:04PM
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While I like the look of the Glock, I still prefer the good old Smith and Wesson.  FYI...S&W makes semi-autos as well, not just revolvers.  Ideally I would love a Kimber...but who has that kind $$ to spend on a gun?
I don't...

Jul 25, 2013 1:28PM
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Glock is a good firearm, but I think the Springfield X series are just as good and less expensive!
Jul 25, 2013 12:37PM
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I am a retired state police officer !  You could not give me a GLOCK !!    Sig Sauer makes the best

gun for police officers !!   I have used both.   Sig is definitely the superior gun !!

Jul 25, 2013 11:18AM
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cops should be ashamed buy non American products with tax dollars
Jul 25, 2013 1:01PM
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Personally, I'll never turn my back on the country that made everything I do and everything I own possible, I am not a p.o.s.
Jul 25, 2013 1:26PM
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My girlfriend and I own 4 Glock's.  Great semi-automatic weapons.
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