Kabooms went extinct a long time ago.A lot of my friends have asked why I prefer Walthers over Glocks when Glocks are so reliable/ubiquitous, holsters are plentiful, mags are cheap and there are tons of accessories. Sure the customization aftermarket for Glocks is massive but there’s a reason for that.
Glock went after the LE market hard early on because thats where the big contract money for guns and equipment is. In addition Herr Gaston has great marketing trolls that have kept a lot of issues quiet.
Just what I’m aware of:
There’s been the issues with the DEA frisbee test, the Suffolk County (NY) “immaculate discharge” (nothing says “surprise” like full auto) and the Glock trailer workshop at the NYPD range. Though Glock eventually developed the Gen 3 (following the Gen 2 and 2.5) with the help of that testing so that’s a plus.
Don’t even talk about the Glock .40 cal issues, like the ka-booms (ok, reloaded .40 ammo may not be the best option), the reliability problems, the midnight raid at the FBI Academy armory (an entire class got brand new Glock 23s midway through training and the Bureau still went back to 9mm shortly after) and the headache that was the Army “Unit” experiment. I mean, who would have thought turning a 9mm into .40 would cause cycling issues and wear out springs faster? The only guys I know who still have .40 Glocks are converting them down to 9mm.
The .45 Glocks may still have to live down the Portland (Or) Police ka-boom to some degree (the fault was both the ammo and the design of the chamber). And don’t start on the .45GAP, there are guys at the NY State Police that are still annoyed about being used as guinea pigs for an untested caliber because Glock threw in new holsters and mag pouches and a sweetheart deal on the contract. I’m pretty sure some bean-counter from procurement is buried in the woods near Albany after that little episode.
Not to just bash on Glock, HK management has had their issues with supplying under contracts (I believe the state of Washington sued HK at one point) despite their USP, P30 and VP9s being dependable 9mms. And I have heard of less issues with their .40 and .45 models. (Note to Gaston Glock, if you start with .40 and then go to 9mm you’ll likely have less issues, just saying) I would probably carry HK if they weren’t so expensive, plus the newer grip patterns don’t fit my hand as well. Fingers crossed I can find a 9mm USP at a decent price in the used market at some point.
I have absolutely no doubts in the reliability and engineering of a P99 (or PPQ). My P99 and PPQ have eaten ammo that choked my Glock. They fit my hand better, the trigger guard is bigger (makes using gloves easier), the slide release of the P99 feels like aftermarket Glock slide stops (Vickers, etc) and has never cut up my thumb or been difficult to use. My only gripes are the smooth texture of the grip and the polymer sights. The only reason I feel they weren’t given a greater look at is that Glock marketing hammered the LE market hard with reliability at a decent cost and Glock was able to fill the orders without too many QC issues (cough, SIGARMS, cough). Hell I remember the days when the Sig P228/226 was THE Federal LE issued/carried handgun, now, all I see are Glocks.
In case anybody’s wondering, my current “arsenal,” while mostly Walther, includes a Sig P226 (converted from .40 to 9mm), a Glock 19 with a Lone Wolf Frame, a Polymer 80 Glock 19 (no Glock brand parts were used) and a Glock 34 project waiting on a Polymer 80 frame.
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Secret Service and Border Patrol ( 50 million contract) went Glock not too long ago.