|G21 Gen4 & G17 Gen3 EXO|
Glock began life around 1982. By 1983 the Glock 17 had been adopted by the Austrian military. In 1984 the Glock 17 was introduced to the US market where its destiny to become one of the worlds most popular military and LEO handguns was cemented.
Take note of the dates above. The Glock has been around for 30 years now with only 4 generations of pistols having been introduced. In 1988 the Gen 2 pistols was introduced with only minor changes. In 1998 the Gen 3 pistol was introduced with a new frame that had finger grooves, a new rail, and new loaded chamber indicator on the extractor. By 2010 Glock launched the biggest changes to its classic pistol, the Gen 4 modifications. These modifications included a new lower frame with user swappable back straps, new checkering, new recoil spring and other minor changes.
|G21SF - Failed Ambi-Mag Release|
But there's something worth note in this story. Every generation of Glock released is the same basic pistol with updates added to keep the aging design relevant on the market. Glock hasn't introduced a totally new pistol or even a rifle in the last 30 years. They keep on rewarming the existing design hoping no one notices they've really done nothing notable since the 1980's.
I love Glock handguns. I really do. I have several Glocks in my inventory and I carry a G19 EXO as my defensive handgun of choice. But unlike many diehard Glock fans, I do question some of Glocks decisions and have taken note of their apparent inability to evolve past their one and only claim to fame.
It seems to me that Glock is struggling to stay relevant and they are clinging steadfastly to their original design hoping that by tacking on the latest and greatest doo-dads they will never have to design something totally new -- ever.
As a long time fan of Glock pistols it's been rather painful for me to watch, actually. While Glock flounders trying to keep their aging design modern, they've made some fairly high profile mistakes.
|G21 Gen 4 Replaceable Back Straps|
The RTF2 (Rough Textured Frame) was introduced in 2009 along with new slide serrations affectionately called "fish gills" by collectors. A year later the hideous fish gills were dropped from production guns, and the 60 grit sandpaper known as the RTF2 grip frame was relegated to LEO only sales in 2011. I own two of these now defunct pistols and I have to admit, the RTF2 grips are painful to use for concealed carry -- especially if you wear your pistol inside the waist band. Many owners dulled the sharp edges with sandpaper in an effort to prevent wounding themselves with their new carry guns.
I feel the competition is passing Glock by. I can't think of any other gun manufacturers that have existed for 30 years making only one design without introducing something totally new at some point. It seems to me that Glock would rather jerry-rig user replaceable back straps onto their existing design as opposed to designing a totally new pistol with modern features. At this point the Gen 4 Glock pistols look like a hodgepodge of after thoughts vs. a class leading innovative handgun capable of brushing the competition to the side.
Is Glock capable of designing a totally new pistol, or is Glock a one hit wonder biding its time until the competition passes it by?
C'mon Glock, give us something new.