The one constant of life is change, and without constant evolution stagnation eventually turns to failure. No one understood this better than Jeff Cooper, a retired Marine Lt. Colonel, who established the American Pistol Institute, now known simply as Gunsite, in 1976. Cooper was the cutting edge in tactical training, and his research for better solutions to solve lethal conflict has made Gunsite the top destination for responsibly armed citizens. While Cooper was a huge advocate of the 1911, he was not averse to examining other firearms that might provide the user with a better tool.
Gunsite Glock 45
Cooper passed away in 2006 but his legacy continues. He’d always seen Gunsite as an evergreen operation with staff that had real-world law enforcement or military experience. Most instructors have both. Ken Campbell, the current CEO of Gunsite, took a few moments to speak with me about the new Glock Gunsite Service Pistol (GGSP).
“We know this is not a 1911,” Campbell said. “It is not a .45 and it has a pistol-mounted optic. Some people will say Jeff Cooper would have hated this gun. The point is Cooper was always on the cutting edge of training. Glocks have been around since 1986. They are tried and true–there’s no arguing with their record of success. Pistol-mounted optics are also tried and true. We’re looking down the road into the future. Don’t get me wrong–we’re not doing away with our Colt 1911 Gunsite Service Pistol, but the GGSP will be in addition to it.”
Campbell told me that more than 50-percent of the Gunsite students now show up with striker-fired guns, and more than half of those have an optic on their gun. The 1911 is far from dead, but time marches on and Glock’s track record is undeniable.
Evolution: The Gunsite Way
Campbell continued, “Cooper evolved, and his training was a constant review and revise as better solutions were found. Eighteen months ago, Bob Radecki came to us with the idea of the Glock Gunsite Service Pistol. We’ve had a long partnership with Glock and in 2012 we celebrated the 25th Anniversary of Glock with three 350 classes. The modern technique has evolved!”
The G45 forms the base gun for the GGSP. According to Bob Radecki, Glock’s National Sales Manager, the G45 is Glock’s best-selling law enforcement gun. “It’s perfect for duty and off-duty use!”
The initial run will be 1,000 guns and Gunsite has partnered with Davidsons (davidsonsinc.com) on this. Guns will be available through any Davidson dealers and also through the Gunsite Pro shop (gunsitestore.com). Retail price is $1274.95. This is a gun that is ready for duty or concealed carry right out of the box!
Radecki walked me through the gun features on a recent visit to Gunsite.
“The G45 is what we call a crossover gun,” Radecki said. “It uses the full-length G17 grip frame and the G19 4-inch barrel and slide. Magazine capacity is 17+1, of course. Right now, it is our most popular duty weapon. Part of the reason is the shorter barrel and that makes sitting in a car a lot easier without the holster pushing the gun up when it contacts the car seat. The other factor is that sight radius doesn’t mean a lot when you’re shooting a red dot.”
“One of the trends we’re seeing in law enforcement is the increase in pistol-mounted optics,” Radecki continued. “Even if the agency is not currently issuing optics-equipped guns, they are buying optics-ready pistols so that they’ll have that option down the road.
“We selected the Holosun 509 optic for this gun and it is directly mounted to the slide. There are three different reticle options, and the user can toggle through them for preference. It has a replaceable battery but also has a solar collector to help keep it charged and a “Shake to Wake” feature. The GGSP also comes equipped with black Ameriglo suppressor height sights that are visible in the lower 1/3 of the field of view, but very handy if you have a dot failure.
“Other features it comes with is a Minus Connector, which gives the gun a slightly lighter trigger pull. Our trigger pull weight goal is between 4.5-5 pounds. We’ve added a lanyard loop to the gun as a throwback to the old Gunsite Service Pistols. We’ve also included the FBI magazine release–developed at the request of that agency so it would be easier for those with smaller hands to engage it. It’s slightly extended with the forward edge rounded. Like all Gen 5 guns it has a slightly flared magwell for easier magazine insertion for speedy reloads,” Radecki concluded.
Gunsite Branding Adds to Appeal
There are also a couple of cosmetic additions to make the G45 particulalrly appealing to Gunsite alumni. Ken Campbell calls it the “Bird and the Word.” Laser engraved into the slide’s nDLC finish is the Gunsite Raven and the legend “Gunsite.” Guns bought through the Gunsite Pro Shop will have the retro flying Raven on the cover plate. Serial numbers will begin with API for American Pistol Institute, which was the original name of Cooper’s training center, eventually known as Gunsite.
As Ken Campbell said, “Robust, reliable and accurate, the Glock Gunsite Service Pistol is the evolution of the Modern Fighting Pistol!”
The Gunsite Glock 45 retails for $1,274.99. For purchase information via Davidson’s Gallery of Guns, visit gunsite.com.