Although a relatively young arms-making company, Glock has quickly taken the self-defense market by storm with its products’ enviable combination of rugged reliability, impressive performance and reasonable prices. All Glock pistols are striker-fired designs utilizing the Glock “Safe Action” system, a constant double-action design comprising of one external and two internal safeties which function automatically to prevent the pistol from discharging unless the trigger is moved rearward to the point of discharge: (1) the trigger safety (external); (2) the firing pin safety (internal); and (3) the drop safety (internal). When the trigger is pulled, the three safety features are automatically deactivated in sequence. The trigger safety blocks the trigger from being moved rearward.

The trigger safety extends through the center of the trigger face, and both must be engaged simultaneously with an average of 5.5 pounds of pull weight in order to discharge the pistol. As soon as pressure is relieved from the face of the trigger, the pistol automatically returns to its safe condition. There is no need to decock or manually activate an external manual safety, as the Glock has none. The firing pin safety prevents the Glock from discharging even if it is dropped with a chambered round. It is important to note that a Glock will fire a chambered round if the magazine has been removed.

The drop safety holds the trigger bar upward, in engagement with the firing pin, to prevent the release of the firing pin until the trigger is pulled to the rear allowing the trigger bar to clear the drop safety ledge and is deflected downward by the connector releasing the firing pin. All three safeties automatically re-engage when the slide of the pistol moves forward into battery and the trigger is released. When the slide is cycled, either to chamber the first round or when the gun is discharged, the firing pin is sent into a half-cocked “safe” position (externally, both the trigger safety and the trigger are in the forward position) and the gun can only be fired by pulling both simultaneously to disengage the firing pin safety. Any pressure on the trigger applied from a side-glancing angle, which could set off most pistols, will have no effect on a Glock.

The Glock system is a very deliberate design, in theory very much the same as a double-action-only (DAO) revolver; the trigger does all the work, and no manual external safety is required. Since this is the only design that Glock makes, changing calibers, or increasing or decreasing the size of the frame or length of the barrel, makes no difference in how the gun operates. Thus, once you have become familiar with one Glock, you know how to handle any commercially available Glock model.

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