A Giant Passes

I note the passing of Gaston Glock, the visionary armsmaker from Austria who quite literally and quite fundamentally changed the world of handguns. Say what you will about Glocks, but after all the decades since its creation — the P80, or the G17 if you will, was adopted by Austrian military and law enforcement in 1982 — Glock remains the uber-gun, the baseline against which others are measured. As I have said before, many times, if I looked out the window and saw mushroom clouds over Denver, zombies running up the mountain I live on and weird looking alien spaceships zipping around, and I had to run with one gun, that gun would be a G19.
Glock wasn’t so much an innovator as genius in several areas, among them understanding what existing technologies made sense to use, that the future of small arms rested on *manufacturability* as opposed to cutting edge innovations and that simplicity was not just a virtue but a necessity.
Remember, Gaston Glock came into an arms world that was dominated by older design and, subsequently, older technologies necessary to manufacture those designs. Even the “futuristic” AR-15 was 1950s design and tech.
Glock separated the wheat from the chaff. The result was a reasonably accurate gun that was inexpensive to manufacture with modern techniques and could be maintained by a reasonably intelligent spaniel. Compare that to a 1911, a gun designed when skilled gun workers were cheap and machines where expensive and would only do one thing. Even today, a perfect 1911 trigger may involve sacrificing a chicken to read its entrails.
I liked Mr. Glock; all my interactions with him over the years were interesting and oftentimes funny. My favorite Mr. Glock story, which certainly has been told and retold, happed at one of the legendary Glock parties at SHOT. Tickets to the Glock party were among the most-sought-after invitations at SHOT, and the parties were always spectacular events.
I’d been introduced to Mr. Glock several times before. As I walked across the floor, Mr. Glock summoned me over.
“I have a bone to pick with you, Mr. Bane,” Gaston Glock said. I asked what “the bone” was and what could I do to fix it.
Gaston Glock smiled and answered loudly, so the people in the receiving line could hear…”Could you please stop referring to my guns as ‘dishwasher safe?'”
I started laughing. “Absolutely, sir!” I said. “Consider it done.”
Still grinning, he shook my hand. “Have you ever? he asked.
“Ever what?” I replied.
“Put one of my guns through a dishwasher.”
“Yes sir,” I answered. “I put a disassembled G19 through my dishwasher.”
“What happened to it?” Mr. Glock asked.
“It came out smelling lemony fresh,” I said.
Mr. Glock looked at me a moment, then put his head in is hands, “Go away, Mr. Bane….” he said, “Just go away.”
As I was leaving he said, “One moment…do you have one of the G34s.” They long-slide “practical-tacticals” were around but in relatively short supply.
 “I don’t, sir,” I replied.
Mr. Glock looked over at his executives and said, “Fix that for Mr. Bane, please.”
I still have that G34.


  1. I’ve often read or your retelling of this story on your podcast…I enjoy it every time!

    I’m sure at this moment that G34 has a new meaning!

    I’m thankful for Mr. Glocks invention, it even ensured my return home several shifts in my career.

    Mr Glock may be hated or or held in high esteem, but one thing is for certain, he came up with a safe, practical and tough handgun.

  2. That is a very interesting story and sounds like one you would experience. Better than me working the Ruger side match at the original Piru Steel Challenge. After Ken Jorgensen, the Ruger rep., was leaving after he participated in the event, I asked how could I obtain the unobtainable clear 10/22 magazines? He looked me and said, these are just more space in my travel gear so here, take these.
    I have those five magazines to this day and are my go to mags for any .22 rifle match.
    Ken was a prince in the business.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here