Glock firearms colored black and FDE

The History of the Glock Handgun

As integral to the identity of America as the car or the microwave oven is the handgun. Gun enthusiasts, law enforcement, and concerned familymen alike have all adopted the gun as a tool for maintaining order, protection, and plain old sportsmanship. 

Over the course of our country’s history, we have been defined by our conflicts — by how we acted at home and abroad, and the tools we used to finish them. In fact, Chris Kyle — arguably the most well-known American soldier since Audie Murphy — wrote an entire book on the ten most important firearms in the development of our country; each one American-made, famous for its role on the streets as well as in the jungle.

Times change, however, as the gun that defines the ideal of American law and American protection no longer comes from the United States. Instead, it was invented by a curtain-rod manufacturer from Austria who knew perfection in firearms was still attainable. His name was Gaston Glock.

The History of Glock

Herr Glock couldn’t have known that his handgun would win the hearts of gun buffs around the world, though he surely designed it as if he did. This unassuming little gun, which now inspires companies like Wasatch Arms to sell Glock 19 compensators, is the result of an honest question posed to law enforcement professionals by Glock: “What does the next modern handgun need to reach perfection?”

They gave him three criteria to focus on:

  • Greater ammo capacity
  • Better durability
  • Easier operation

Glock took these suggestions back to his budding ordinance manufacturing company where he worked for years to invent the firearm we all know today — the one he would be proud enough to name after himself. He debuted the Glock handgun in 1982 and Wasatch Arm’s destiny was now in motion. As one of the most popular sellers of the Glock compensator, we look back on the early eighties fondly.

The Difference Maker

It didn’t take long for Gaston to earn contracts from the Austrian military. His original Glock 17 (for which we sell an accompanying Glock 17 compensator) skyrocketed in popularity thanks to a few elements of design that answered the original three stipulations.

  • The gun had only 36 parts, which could be easily disassembled and reassembled.
  • It held 17 + 1 rounds of ammunition.
  • It did away with the decocking mechanism and external safety.
  • Instead, it had three internal safeties that would protect it against accidental discharge.

By making the gun simple, yet powerful, anyone could learn to use it and feel confident in its stopping power. It could also be subjected to all sorts of unideal conditions, such as extreme temperatures and water submersion, and still be relied upon to work the first time.

The Glock Today

Today, the Glock is as much a pop-culture celebrity as it is a staple of American protection. Its name has become synonymous with American law enforcement, having been issued to 65% of all federal, state, and local agencies. 

Now, 40 years since its debut on the market, Glock has become the most trusted name in household protection and our Glock 19 compensator is right there to continue that legacy. If you’re interested in our Glock products, or any of our accessories, simply visit our Wasatch Arms store today and get inspired.  

Back to blog