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Discussion Starter #1
Interesting story in this month's Forbes on Glock.

I've wondered about their lightning success. They basically went after the military and police market with a gun that was simple and improved firepower. But far more importantly, they are able to produce them for $75, so they can undercut any competing deal and still profit. Their profit margins run 60%.

He built plastic shower curtain rings before that.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
He's a very rich man for not taking their advice.

While I don't like Glocks at all myself, I do think it's fascinating how he very rapidly won the global M&P market against such entrenched competitors as S&W, Colt, Beretta, Browning, H&K, Steyr, Taurus -- any of these should have been able to beat a shower curtain ring manufacturer.

As an aside, it's funny how if you just drop particular words on a forum, people head for the corners and come out swinging. I think you could knock out an entire forum if you post a thread about milking cows that included the words, "Nosler Ballistic Tip," "Glock", "Moly" and "Controlled Round Feeding" in a single sentence.
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Yes, it's true that his pistols have made him a very rich man. But that doesn't mean they are a particularly good firearm. Glock freely admits that he test fired his first guns using his left hand. In case they blew-up he'd still be able to write with the dominant right hand. How ironic then that the Glock family has a rather well documented history of catastrophically disassembling themselves. This is particularly true of .40 S&W and .45ACP examples, but has occurred with just about all variants. Primarily with reloads but it has also happened with new, factory-fresh rounds. Furthermore there have been several "service upgrades" from Glock in an attempt to cure mysterious and difficult to clear jams in the G19. None dare call them what they are-recalls. The New York City Police have been on the verge of dumping all their Glocks on at least one occasion. Other, smaller forces already have because of continued problems. All of this and much more can be found in photographic and documented detail at Dean Speir's website

Yes Charlie, you're quite right that Gaston Glock is a very wealthy man for selling his plastic pistols at 200% markup while still undercutting the competition. But so were John DeLorean with his crummy sports car and Ron Popiel with his spray-on hair. All are/were much better salesmen than innovators.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Bill, all true. But, DeLorean was a complete failure from day one and Popeil sells trinkets to the impulsive and ignorant. You're ignoring Glock's dominance in a tough, selective market.

This isn't a question of 'is the Glock any good?' Rhetorically, why has he dominated the M&P market? How could the established competition lose so much to such a wacky upstart? How could the industry be so lazy, stupid, slow to react?

Beretta had similar breakage issues with the Army. Colt with the AR and that's about maintenance/improvement of a product and customer base once you've established yourself in the market. That's very important but not as difficult as creating the market.

NYPD is one of my customers. All the guys I know love their Glocks, unfortunately. (They take it kindly when I call them 'water pistols.')

Another direction, but the thing I like about NYPD is that they are true, professional peace officers, trained and hardened to use their brains and skills to avoid violent conflict and to use their weapon as a last resort, in defense. Completely different attitude than many other PDs, where you get the impression that they are waiting for any excuse to shoot someone. NY kept their .38 smiths until very recently and many still carry them to show that they're old-timers.

As mentioned before, the Howard County (MD) SWAT(!) once shot a small herd of cows tresspassing on a golf course -- from a helicopter. I get concerned about certain police behavior... But that's another story.
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Actually John DeLorean was a tremendous success when he was with General Motors. Remember the late, great Pointiac GTO? That was his baby from Day One.

It's kind of funny how you described Ron Popiel's customers:
"the impulsive and ignorant." I believe that's exactly why Glock has flourished in the American law enforcement marketplace. Initially he capitalized on the wrong impression that cops were "outgunned." Doesn't matter that they were only outgunned on Miami Vice. So here he came with an 18-shot pistol that weighed about as much as a six-shot .357. Then we started to see the "Glock Perfection" ads in every gun and LEO magazine on the market. Perfection in whos eyes should have been the question asked, but nobady did. Remember the add showing the "Glock Armorer's Tool Kit? A single punch? Tell me that kind of simplistic advertising doesn't appeal to the "impulsive and ignorant." And to top it off, he undercut every other gun maker's prices by huge margins to gain marketshare. The impulsive and ignorant police administrators saw it as a win-win for them. The street officers got new, high-capacity pistols and they were cheap to boot! Trouble is no one bothered to really test these guns before the contracts were signed. Or ask why no significant military force has adopted the Glock. Or why it was rejected out-of-hand in the U.S. service pistol trials to replace the 1911.

It wasn't so much that S&W, Ruger and Colt got fat and lazy over the years. Rather it was the fact that law enforcement administrators, more politician than cop, chose the Glock for all the wrong reasons.

Talk to some of your sources at NYPD's training division, not the average cop who probably only shoots during annual qualification. Ask them about the mysterious Phase 3 malfunction and how Glock has danced around the subject for years.

No, I am equally unimpressed by Glock's business practices as I am with his guns.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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OK let's see if I get this right:

1. Cheap - appeals to those who pay for guns.

2. Simple - appeals to those to have to train new recruits

3. Looks impressive - appeals to politicians who want to appear to be 'doing something' about crime.

4. Serious shooters may not care for it - obviously, no firearms experts opinions are needed when selecting guns for our police!!

By the way my brother-in-law used to carry a .45 ACP Glock when he was a police officer in CA, but his area was (is) basically a war zone and the ability to carry 15 rounds of .45 Auto per mag (13 round mags + floorplate extension) was not a trivial thing.

Interesting discussion.... I did have a .40 Glock once, even loaded my own ammo with cast bullets, and never had any problems. In a Fobus holster, it was light and handy sidearm for pig hunting.
 
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