I had been out of the police academy for about a year when I received my first Glock 23 as a Christmas gift. My young bride understood that it was the top of my wish list and surprised me with it. At the time there were two pistols that I knew very well, the M1911A1 and the M9—both of which I carried as a United States Marine. The Glock was a novel item to me.
It may be difficult for some of the younger readers in the audience to imagine, but Glock was not always at the top of the law enforcement gun list. Back in 1993, when I received my G23 it was a brand new model, the six-digit serial number began with an “A.” Back then the Glock pistol was a relative upstart in the police world. When I attended the Academy, a total of one cadet was using a department-issued Glock.
Today that has all changed, and during the last two decades the Glock series of pistols have undergone numerous changes, most of them cosmetic. In their 25-year history, it is the Glock Generation 4 (Gen4) that has seen the most significant upgrade.
The Glock 23 and its larger sibling, the Glock 22, are by far the most popular of the line with today’s law enforcement agencies. Local, state, and federal agencies all field them. I recall the stir that the FBI caused some years ago when they approved Glocks for carry by special agents. The compact G23 version generally sees the majority of service as a plainclothes or undercover pistol, while the G22 is a uniform duty gun.
Amongst all the other attributes, the Glock is most definitely “armorer friendly.” Back in the old days, a department’s armorer needed to attend a week-long school and purchase a battery of tools to keep an agency’s handguns up and running. That’s not gunsmithing—that’s just for parts changing.
The Glock Armorer’s Kit is a single punch. If you want to get fancy, you can throw in a sight adjustment tool and a set of angled needle-nose pliers to help you get at the magazine release button spring. There isn’t much more to it. As a result of the pistols’ robust design, most Glock armorers are about as busy as the fabled Maytag repairman.