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the history of glock

In 1963, just outside Vienna, Mr. Gaston Glock began his professional journey with plastics and metals. In 1981, GLOCK Ges.M.B.H. was founded, and a profound series of engineering feats were on their way to being realized - accomplishments that would ultimately redefine the modern pistol.

How it all started

Gaston Glock, an Austrian engineer, successful businessman, and manufacturer of injection molding parts and components, founded GLOCK Ges.m.b.H in 1963.

In the 1970s, development and production start-up of the first military products began to take place with the development of a line of knives, grenade casings and machine gun belt links.

In the early 1980's, the semi-automatic GLOCK service pistol was born in response to meet the needs of the Austrian military. It's polymer frame and the developed SAFE ACTION® System revolutionized the pistol market


First of its kind

Mr. Glock was building the pistol for the Austrian military and law enforcement, which meant it had to be ready to fire at a moment’s notice in life-threatening situations. To address this critical need, Mr. Glock designed his pistol with three internal safeties – the trigger, firing pin and drop safeties – to ensure that the pistol would perform consistently while providing the best protection against accidental discharge.

Mr. Glock met additional requirements of the Austrian government by including a high-capacity magazine, lightweight materials, consistent trigger pull, and a hammer-forged barrel. Mr. Glock understood that reliability resides in simplicity, and therefore, he designed his pistol with as few parts as possible, minimizing its complexity. Today, the GLOCK pistol is made from an average of only 35 parts, which is significantly fewer than any other pistol on the market and makes it more durable, reliable, and easier to maintain.


Tested and trusted by the best

Mr. Glock's innovative design successfully passed a series of stringent tests against domestic and international competitors. In 1983, the GLOCK pistol was accepted by the Austrian Army as their new service pistol.

Shortly after in 1984, the GLOCK 17 soundly passed the NATO durability test. As a result, the pistol was selected by the Norwegian Army as their standard sidearm, putting GLOCK on the road to becoming the preferred international law enforcement sidearm.

In November 1986, the company opened its U.S. headquarters, GLOCK, Inc., in Smyrna, Georgia.

The GLOCK pistol would soon be available in multiple sizes and accept different caliber ammunition. This combination, partnered with the simplicity and reliability of Mr. Glock's design, revolutionized the pistol market.

Over 65% of federal, state and local agencies in the United States have been issued GLOCK pistols.

Proudly Celebrating 30 Years in the United States

30 years of Perfection, a simple evolution of time introduced to the U.S. market in the 1980s, GLOCK is proud to continue its journey and celebrate 30 years of quality, commitment, design and innovation in the U.S.
  1. 1963

    1. Perfection Starts

      Foundation of Glock KG by Gaston Glock. The company's history started in Deutsch Wagram, Austria. At the beginning, consumer goods polymers and metal were produced by only 3 employees.
  2. 1970s

    1. First Military Products

      Development and production start-up of first military products, such as field knives (FM 78), components for fragmentation, training grenades and machine gun belt links.
  3. 1980s

    1. Birth of the GLOCK Pistol

      In 1980, GLOCK receives a formal invitation from the Austrian Army to develop a new service sidearm. GLOCK Ges.m.b.H is formed. In 1981, the revolutionary, semi-automatic GLOCK service pistol—with polymer receiver and new SAFE ACTION® System—is born. In addition, production starts on a field knife with a saw. In 1982, commissioned by the Austrian Army, GLOCK competes in a battery of comprehensive and crucial testing exercises against international competition. Contract awarded to GLOCK!
  4. 1983

    1. GLOCK Entrenching Tool

      Development of the innovative entrenching tool with a surface-treated blade that can be locked in three positions for multiple uses. The hardened saw located inside the handle can be quickly mounted if required.
  5. 1984

    1. G17 Becomes Norwegian Army Standard Issue

      The GLOCK G17 pistol became standard issue for the Norwegian Army, its first NATO member country, and deliveries begin to the Norwegian Army.
  6. 1986

    1. GLOCK Goes US

      Export marketing activities are intensified and the first subsidiary in the United States is formed. In the mid 80s, GLOCK Pistols were introduced to the U.S. market. Their innovation, durability and reliability immediately captured the attention of both the U.S. law enforcement and commercial markets.
  7. 1987

    1. GLOCK is Growing

      Inauguration of the second GLOCK plant in Ferlach, Austria. Specific production emphasis on quality.
  8. 1988

    1. A New Generation is Introduced

      The 2nd generation (terminology used by the market) came with some design changes to the frame. In order to serve different customer requirements, more calibers were added. A second subsidiary is formed in Hong Kong to coordinate sales and marketing activities for Asia/Oceania. Production begins on the G19 Compact, and G17L Competition pistols.
  9. 1989

    1. GLOCK Exports to Over 45 Countries Worldwide

      The demand for GLOCK products increases exponentially and results in exports to more than 45 countries worldwide (special forces, police, and military). More than 350,000 pistols have been sold since 1982 and approximately 2,000 U.S. police departments are carrying 150,000 on duty.
  10. 1990s

    1. Production Begins on the G20 & G21

      Production begins on the G20 10mm Auto pistol and the G21 .45 Auto pistol comes into series production mid-year.
  11. 1994

    1. Production Begins on the G24 & G24C

      Production begins on the G24 and the G24C chambered in .40.
  12. 1995

    1. Constant Pursuit of Perfection

      Production begins on the G25 .380 Auto. In addition, production begins on subcompact models: the G26 9x19 and the G27 .40.
  13. 1996

    1. GLOCK for Training

      Production begins on the G28 .380 Auto. Also, the GLOCK 17T is introduced - it was designed by engineers to allow law enforcement the opportunity to train force-on-force without dangerous consequences. Over the years GLOCK expanded the product range for smart and safe training and instruction equipment.
  14. 1997

    1. Perfect Pistol Production & Construction Projects

      Production begins on the G29, 10mm Auto, and the G30, .45 Auto. Plus, work is completed on the extension of the GLOCK Production Hall #1 in Ferlach, while construction for the new headquarters in Deutsch-Wagram commences.
  15. 1998

    1. Rail for the Next Generation

      The 3rd Gen pistols (terminology used by the market) got an accessory rail - called the "Universal Glock rail" - to allow the mounting of laser, tactical lights, and other accessories. Finger grooves and thumb rests were added to deliver better grip. Additionally, production begins on the .357, G31, G32, and G33 pistols, as well as compensated models G31C and G32C. Production also begins on the G34, 9x19, and the G35, .40. These models are designed in strict accordance with IPSC regulations.
  16. 1999

    1. Birth of GLOCK 36

      Production begins on the "Slimline" model G36 .45 Auto, and the training pistol G17T AC 7.8x21 caliber - now 5 training models for different applications and environmental conditions. With the new slim design, the G36 delivers grip ergonomics of the next dimension: a package with six rounds of 45 Auto that fits into the hands of any user. Since 2013, the G36 frame also features the GLOCK accessory rail. Also, GLOCK presents the 2 millionth pistol at the Shot Show in Atlanta, GA.
  17. 2000s

    1. New Headquarters

      Completion of construction work for the Millenium factory in Deutsch-Wagram. More space to serve the ongoing demand for GLOCK products.
  18. 2001

    1. GLOCK Models with Integrated Key Locks

      In response to some states' laws, production begins on GLOCK models with integrated key locks.
  19. 2002

    1. Tactical Lights by GLOCK

      Production start of the new GLOCK Tactical Lights. This resulted in a whole series of red-dot-laser, IR-laser-Solutions in addition to the standard flashlight.
  20. 2004

    1. GLOCK Complete Pistol Line

      GLOCK introduces complete pistol line—standard, compact, and subcompact—in .45 G.A.P., delivering decisive firepower.
  21. 2006

    1. 20 Years of Perfection

      Celebration of 20 Years of Perfection in the USA.
  22. 2007

    1. 5 Million Pistols Sold

      Production begins on the GLOCK SF (Short Frame) pistols in .45 Auto and 10mm Auto. GLOCK reaches a significant milestone by selling a total of 5 million pistols worldwide.
  23. 2009

    1. Start of Gen4

      The GLOCK Gen4 models deliver more individuality with multiple backstraps which can be mounted onto the frame and a reversible magazine catch. The Gen4 frame keeps the proven thumb rests, finger grooves and accessory rail from the previous generations but features a new frame texturing.
  24. 2010s

    1. New Gen4 Pistols Introduced

      Dedicated to continuously pursuing perfection in engineering and function, GLOCK introduces the Gen4 pistol in the G17, G19, G26, G31, G22, G23, G27, G35, and G37 models.
  25. 2011

    1. 25 Years of Perfection in the USA

      GLOCK celebrates its Silver Anniversary—25 Years of Perfection in the USA.
  26. 2014

    1. GLOCK Goes East

      A new subsidiary was founded in Slovakia.
  27. 2014-15

    1. GLOCK Slimline Pistols

      GLOCK Slimline pistols are introduced with the G42, chambered in .380 Auto and the G43, chambered in 9 x 19; the smallest GLOCK pistols to date.
  28. 2016

    1. Easy Mounting for Optics

      GLOCK introduces the Modular Optic System (MOS) pistols available in Generation 4 which simplifies the mounting of popular optical sights without costly custom machining of the pistol's slide.
    2. 30 Years of Perfection in the USA

      GLOCK celebrates 30 years in the United States.
  29. 2017

    1. Start of the Next Generation: Gen5

      GLOCK introduces the 5th Generation of pistols. The G17 Gen5 and G19 Gen5 combine the technology of the future with the improved precision, versatility, speed and the familiar reliability.
  30. 2018

    1. G19X Joined Forces

      The first ever "Crossover" pistol was introduced. The GLOCK 19X combines the best features of two of its most popular and most trusted field-tested platforms.
    2. Gen5 Family Expands

      With the G26 Gen5, the first concealed carry pistol joins the Gen5 family. The evolution of perfection continues for GLOCK's trusted backup option.
    3. MOS - First Modular Optic System Model for Gen5

      The G34 Gen5 MOS was released. Simple mounting of popular optical sights for Gen5 family member number four.
  1. 1963
  2. 1970s
  3. 1980s
  4. 1990s
  5. 2000s
  6. 2010s
  7. 2018

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