Gaston Glock, the famed gun designer, engineer and founder of a worldwide phenomenon died today at age 94. The Austrian leaves behind one of the greatest legacies in the history of the firearms industry, ranking with other luminaries such as John Moses Browning, John C. Garand, and Samuel Colt.
Gaston Glock Dies at 94
Glock forever changed the firearms world when he designed the iconic Glock 17. The pistol ushered in a completely new era in firearms design for lightweight handguns. Glock leaned on high-strength polymers in the frame design, launching the striker-fired, polymer-framed handgun world that still dominates the industry to this day.
The Glock 17 would go on to radically change law enforcement, quickly taking over as a duty-issue sidearm for agencies across the U.S. and around the world. The Glock 19 would equally transform civilian carry and shooting in general. Later, the Glock 34 would come to dominate competition shooting, offering an affordable alternative to the 2011-style designs that carried heavy price tags.
Law enforcement and military adoption of the platform made Glock millions of dollars over the decades. But the company’s net worth soared nearly 50-percent between 2014-2017 alone, according to barrons.com. Forbes estimated Gaston Glock’s and his family’s fortune at $1.1 billion in 2021.
The name Glock has become like “Coke,” long transcending a person or even a brand. To hear “Glock” is to immediately associate the word with a family of semi-auto pistols, or even pistols in general, depending on the listener’s personal knowledge. Glock now casts a wide net across shooters, 2A supporters, military, law enforcement, civilian carriers and pop culture in general.
Gaston Glock leaves a legacy unlike most any other gun designer in history. Love or hate the design, it will forever remain both instantly recognizable and highly regarded for its rugged dependability and influence and significance upon the art of gunmaking. There no doubt are and will continue to be other great gun designers. But the world is unlikely to see another quite like Gaston Glock.