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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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America's 25-year love affair with Glocks.

America's 25-year love affair with Glocks
How company that made Jared Lee Loughner's gun became so successful





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TIM SLOAN / AFP - Getty Images

Glock declines to provide specific sales figures, but the company is the leader in handgun sales to American police departments — indeed, a whopping 65 percent of them use Glock guns.

By Annie Lowrey

Slate.com

updated 1/13/2011 7:39:59 AM ET



On Saturday in Tucson, Jared Lee Loughner allegedly used a Glock 19 — a lightweight, $500 semi-automatic commonly carried by law enforcement officials — to kill six people and injure 13 more, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. In 2007, Cho Seung-Hui used the same gun, along with a Walther P22, to kill 32 people at Virginia Tech before committing suicide. And Giffords herself boasted to the New York Timesin 2010: "I have a Glock 9 millimeter, and I'm a pretty good shot."

For a company that has been doing business in the United States for only a quarter century — one of its competitors has been in business in America since 1852 — Glock has been remarkably successful. Glock declines to provide specific sales figures, but the company is the leader in handgun sales to American police departments — indeed, a whopping 65 percent of them use Glock guns. On top of that, it has considerable global sales and remains popular with the private citizens who buy most of the guns in the United States.

The Austrian manufacturing company was founded in the 1960s and expanded into the weapons business in the '70s and '80s. In 1986, led by the enigmatic Gaston Glock, the company won the right to start selling its guns in the United States. (The United States has rigid regulatory requirements for gun makers and sellers.) At first, the Glock guns, initially designed for the Austrian military, caught on in police departments. There were two main selling points, according to Patrick Sweeney's The Gun Digest Book of the Glock. First, Glock manufactured — and still manufactures — unusually light guns, made out of plastic and other synthetic materials as well as metal. That makes them easy to carry, manipulate, and shoot


Video: Glock sales surge in Ariz. (on this page)
Second, and more important, Glocks held more ammunition than the standard-issue guns usually did at the time. With gang-driven gun violence rising, police departments decided to give the guns with the extra rounds a try. They caught on and then gained popularity in the consumer markets. (They also developed a particular cachet among criminals, then broader cultural recognition, including numerous citations in rap lyrics.) By 1996, Sweeney writes, Glock had sold more than 1 million guns in America.

As Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported in an excellent 2009 story on Glock, the company's success might also be due to some questionable business practices. The company has come under fire, in a manner of speaking, for making secret political contributions. It has also been accused of dodging taxes and regulations through shell corporations. (Because the company is based in Europe and is privately held, it does not need to disclose nearly as much sales or legal information as a public U.S. company.) Corporate intrigue and violence are part of the picture, too. Gaston Glock's former business associate, a man occasionally known as "Panama Charly," is currently incarcerated in Luxembourg, convicted of taking out a hit on his boss in 1999. (The hitman was a former professional wrestler and, bizarrely, the attempt came not with a handgun but with a large rubber mallet to the head. Glock survived.)

Still, Glock remains a main player in U.S. gun sales, and the Glock 19 popular. The company boasts that it is "safe and ingeniously simple: Contrary to conventional, the trigger is the only operating element. All three pistol safeties are deactivated when the trigger is pulled and automatically activated when it is released." Thus, it is quick to shoot — and can shoot a lot. Loughner, for one, reportedly used an extended magazine carrying 31 rounds. (Congress outlawed such magazines in 1994, but let the ban lapse in 2004.)

So will the incident dampen sales of the Glock guns? Unlikely. In fact, Bloomberg cites Federal Bureau of Investigation data showing that in Arizona, one-day gun sales were 60 percent higher on Monday than on the Monday before the incident. Several other states showed a significant sales bump. And national sales increased about 5 percent. All in all, Americans—not military or police, mind you, but private citizens—own more than 270 million firearms, about 85 guns per 100 people. No other country has such high rates of gun ownership, or absolute numbers of guns in the general population.

So how profitable are companies like Glock? Again, we don't know, because it keeps such information private. But the BusinessWeek story says Glock estimated its "profit margin per pistol" at 68 percent. And consider a major Glock competitor: Massachusetts-based Smith & Wesson, established back in the 1850s. The company's last annual report cites a gross margin of 32 percent.

The company does cite two big hurdles to business, though. The first: federal and state laws. "Compliance with all of these regulations is costly and time consuming," the company writes. "Although we take every measure to ensure compliance with the many regulations we are subject to, inadvertent violation of any of these regulations could cause us to incur fines and penalties." The second: lawsuits. "We are currently involved in numerous lawsuits, including a law suit involving a municipality, a securities class action lawsuit, and two purported stockholder derivative lawsuits," it notes, dryly. That seriously cuts into the bottom line.

Still, the business looks OK as long as demand remains high. And despite (or because of) tragedies like last weekend's in Tucson, Americans aren't likely to end their love affair with their guns—all 270 million of them
Very suprised to read something like this from MSNBC, but at the same time, there does seem to be some connotations.


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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 08:25 PM
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Re: America's 25-year love affair with Glocks.

I have been known to have a Glock or two in the safe, vehicles, small of the back, etc, etc, etc.

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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 08:49 PM
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Re: America's 25-year love affair with Glocks.

Smooth shooting guns in my experience.

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 09:09 PM
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Re: America's 25-year love affair with Glocks.

Here is a company that seems to be changing their tune.

Props to Wilson, for asking that it be discontinued.

You Lie (click here)

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Washington (CNN) - The Republican congressman who gained notoriety for shouting "You Lie" at President Obama is happy that a gun seller has stopped selling a part for a semi-automatic rifle that was engraved with his infamous words.

This comes amid the debate over whether provocative political rhetoric inflames violence. The issue is getting fresh scrutiny in the aftermath of the deadly Arizona shootings that left six dead and 13 wounded, including Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Rep. Joe Wilson, R-South Carolina, wrote a letter to the head of the Palmetto State Armory thanking him for discontinuing the sale of the rifle part. The company is based in the state capital of Columbia.

"I have been made aware of a AR-15 lower receiver being sold by Palmetto State Armory," Wilson wrote to Jamin McCallum.

"I thank you for quickly suspending sales of the product that uses my words."

Wilson signed the letter, which is dated Wednesday. Neal Patel, the congressman's Communications Director, forwarded it to CNN.

Patel told CNN that the gun and parts seller informed Wilson's office that it had pulled the product. "The Congressman was pleased with this news," Patel said in an email.

The ad for the "You Lie"-engraved AR-15 is no longer active on Palmetto State Armory's website.

However, the Free Times weekly newspaper in Columbia captured screen grabs of the Internet page before the ad was taken down.

The ad said, "Palmetto State Armory would like to honor our esteemed congressman Joe Wilson with the release of our new 'You Lie' AR-15 lower receiver." It added that only 999 would be produced and urged buyers to, "get yours before they are gone!"

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-13-2011, 09:09 PM
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Re: America's 25-year love affair with Glocks.

I like them and the xdm

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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-14-2011, 01:34 AM
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Re: America's 25-year love affair with Glocks.

I'm a Glock guy for sure. I carry a Glock 23 every day, my wife carries a Glock 19, and I shoot a Glock 35 I'm IDPA. I've got a 22c and gen 4 17 in the safe as well.

My expensive guns are investments, my Glocks get used ..... A lot

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-14-2011, 02:00 AM
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Re: America's 25-year love affair with Glocks.

I'm not a glock fan, I'm more of a ruger guy. Also like the springfields and S&W's.

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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-14-2011, 02:06 AM
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Re: America's 25-year love affair with Glocks.

Ruger revolver's and H&K USP tactical here.. And I think a few more...
post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-14-2011, 02:12 AM
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Re: America's 25-year love affair with Glocks.

one word for hand guns, Colt = the best. glocks are well made but i do not like they way they shoot almost to light. but make a vary good compact carry

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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-14-2011, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: America's 25-year love affair with Glocks.

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Originally Posted by MOTO7.3 View Post
one word for hand guns, Colt = the best. glocks are well made but i do not like they way they shoot almost to light. but make a vary good compact carry
That's funny you say that. My allegience lies with Colt, especially since I was named after Samuel Colt, but I disagree that they are the all-around best. Although if I had a Colt 1911 Combat Commander, I would carry it at all times.

As the saying goes... 1911's are what you show to your friends. Glocks are what you show to your enemies.


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