It is now in the wee hours of the morning following a standard monotonous day of meetings, handshakes and polite smiles. An ocean of faces and hands. The client walking beside you is exhausted and ready to get into his hotel room for some much-needed sleep. Out of the corner of your eye, you see the motion and in a conditioned response you yell, “Gun!” What was the end of a non-eventful day has now become a life-or-death fight. With one fluid motion you reach down and grab what is known in many circles as the “Austrian Insurance Policy.” In an instant you produce your trusty GLOCK pistol and begin to protect the client you have dedicated your services to.
There are few occupations in the world that see such a “zero to 100” transition. One minute you are standing in a static position outside of a door for hours. The next moment you could be in a deadly struggle to protect your client. Those who professionally work in this field must carry simply the best of the best when it comes to equipment. There is no backpack or tactical vest to store a ton of widgets on. You will only have your belt and pockets to carry the load. The experiences of those in the executive protection field vary, but there is one common theme found among many agents: the presence of a GLOCK.
The reasons found for carrying a GLOCK in the VIP protection field are very similar to those found in any field where lives may be in danger: reliability, accuracy and simplicity of function. While there are guns that may have exotic glossy finishes, specialized triggers or high-tech sights, none of them can match the no-nonsense nature of the GLOCK. Even more appealing is the variety of GLOCK pistols to fit individual needs. This is even truer with GLOCK’s Gen4 pistols and their Modular Backstrap System, which makes it easy for users to customize their pistols to fit their hands. Changing out the backstrap is a simple procedure, and it won’t change the grip angle of the pistol.
RELATED STORY: Tactical Reloads – Retaining Your Ammo For The Next Fight
GLOCKs are very comfortable to carry and are designed to be free of harsh edges and burrs. While this is not important to some, it is a very strong attribute for a gun that is carried in concealment for extended periods of time. Another positive attribute: GLOCKs only require a small amount of lubrication compared to other pistols. A handgun with a lot of oil on it will ruin professional dress wear in short order. As a professional protection agent, it is important to avoid having oil stains on your shirts at the end of a detail. Some may snicker at such a thought, but this is the world of executives, dignitaries and high-level professionals. Your appearance does matter. Maintaining a GLOCK is easy, which is important in this arena. Agents may be working a detail in a rotating style for days or even weeks at a time. There is rarely time to completely break down a handgun for repairs or specialized cleaning. With only 34 parts, the GLOCK is a simple gun to take care of between shifts.
In the handgun world, it is suggested that you carry the largest-caliber handgun that you can manage. While this is true in the general CCW world, the protection agent must consider the weapon’s concealability almost as much. The balancing factor then becomes accuracy. The ability to accurately place shots on target repeatedly is what will always determine the outcome. This is an area where GLOCK excels. GLOCK’s polygonal rifling reduces wear and tear on the barrel and creates a better bullet-to-barrel fit. This produces consistent and increased bullet velocity, resulting in enhanced accuracy.
While protection details around the world carry a variety of GLOCKs, one of the most common is the GLOCK 19. Chambered in 9×19 and boasting a 15-round magazine, this lightweight fighter seems to be custom made for the VIP protection arena. The GLOCK 19 is ideal for a more versatile role because of its reduced dimensions when compared to the full-sized G17. The GLOCK 19 is a popular handgun in protection circles because it is a great mixture of firepower and small size. Contrary to what some may envision, it is critical that agents effectively conceal their weapons at all times.
Poorly concealed guns can potentially cause a disturbance. One of the fastest ways to get your protection contract canceled is to embarrass a client by being reckless in your concealment. While scenes where high-ranking dignitaries being surrounded by agents in vests and carrying rifles are memorable, they are almost non-existent inside the United States. The gold standard for VIP protection is to blend into the background while still providing a safety net around the client.
RELATED STORY: Massad Ayoob – Gunfighting Fact vs. Fiction
There are multiple law enforcement agencies around the country that have an established VIP protection team. These officers are tasked with protecting visiting dignitaries or even perhaps city or state officials. One of the most popular GLOCKs in this circle is the G23. This model is popular for two main reasons. First is that a majority of law enforcement agencies issue .40-caliber ammunition, and the G23 eliminates the need for an additional caliber. Second is that it has a fantastic 13-round magazine capacity while still being slightly smaller than the commonly issued G22. Qualifications are a breeze with the G23, as it is very close in size and feel to its full-sized brother.
GLOCK recently released one of the most anticipated handguns of all time—the GLOCK 43. The G43 has quickly been adopted as a comfortable, ultra-concealable pistol for VIP protection agents. It’s light, accurate and fantastic for all shooters regardless of hand size. The grip has a built-in beavertail design that allows the shooter to acquire a high and tight grip. The aggressive texture of the grip allows the shooter to more easily operate the pistol, and the large magazine catch is easy to reach. Of course, the G43 is engineered to GLOCK’s strict standards, meaning it can withstand the same tortures as other GLOCK pistols. In situations where a suit jacket is not appropriate or perhaps only a T-shirt and shorts are the dress for the day, the G43’s small size makes it a perfect fit. Like the G19, it is chambered in 9×19, providing very effective ballistics. But, despite its small size, the G43 has a six-round magazine. With the lightest of clothing, an agent is easily capable of carrying one if not two additional magazines. It is also one of the most accurate compact pistols.
Leading The Way
GLOCK is the standard that many other companies pursue in regards to quality, reliability, accuracy and simplicity. The company is a true pioneer, and the industry has been playing catch-up ever since the first GLOCK hit the market over 30 years ago. Those who protect the lives of others for a living know that, when the chips are down, you need a reliable weapon that will perform 24 hours a day in any environment. There is only one choice in that realm: GLOCK.