Gaston Glock, the Austrian inventor and weapons manufacturer best known for creating the Glock 17 handgun that is used by law enforcement and militaries around the world, has died. He was 94.
Glock died on Tuesday in Vienna, Austria, said a statement from his company, Gaston Glock Gesellschaft mbH. The cause of death was not given.
Glock was a businessman and engineer before he designed the pistol for which his name is now synonymous. He had no previous experience in firearms manufacturing and only had a working knowledge of plastic injection molding from his industrial repairs business.
Glock started designing the Glock 17 in early 1980. The Glock 17 was revolutionary because it was the first handgun to use a plastic frame in place of a classic metal frame. This gave the gun a lightweight design that was not only easier to carry and store, but also has less recoil than traditional metallic handguns.
The Glock 17 quickly became one of the most popular handguns in the world, and became an iconic symbol of law enforcement and military forces. It is estimated that more than 20 million Glock 17 handguns have been sold since its release, and it has been used by police forces in over 100 countries.
Glock’s success was attributed to his attention to detail and innovative approach to firearms design. He also created a ‘safe action’ system to prevent the gun from firing unless the trigger was pulled, as well as other safety features that are now commonplace in handguns.
Glock will be remembered as an innovator of one of the world’s most iconic handguns. His success in the firearms industry inspired a generation of manufacturers, and his legacy will endure through the millions of Glocks that continue to be used around the world.