Glock is an austrian company founded by Gaston Glock in 1963. At first they produced machinegun belts, hand grenades, bayonets, knives and other products which combined plastic and steel.

The Glock 17, Glock's first handgun, was introduced in 1983. The austrian military bought 25,000 of these simple (321 interchangable components), lightweight (625 grams when empty2, mostly due to the polymer frame) 9mm semi-automatic handguns.

The Glock 17 was later adapted by the armies of India, Jordan, Thailand, Norway and the Philippines. It was also selected as the official european NATO handgun. The Glock 19 has also been approved for NATO use.

Current models include the .45 Glock 30 subcompact handgun, and the fully automatic Glock 18, weighing in at under 700 grams each.

They are protected by Glocks "Safe Action" system, which consists of trigger safety (triggered only when the applied force is centered), firing pin safety (the pin is readied only when the trigger is moved backwards) and drop safety (firing pin pushes trigger bar downwards, again disabled by moving the trigger backwards). Of course, these safety measures are relevant for accidents only, and are certainly not to prevent children from using it. That is still the gun owner's job!

In 1985 Glock expanded its business to the United States and opened its first office in Smyrna, Georgia. Why they celebrated their tenth anniversary in the US in 1986 is beyond me.

A well-spread myth concerning Glock's handguns is that they do not trigger metal detectors, because of their plastic frame. This is false, because the slides and barrels are composed fully of steel, and the plastic frame has some metal parts molten into it (not to mention the metal rounds that go into it).

1 1983 model. Current model 17 has 33 components.
2 Weight of current model 17. The 1983 model may have differed.

Resources: Glock,