The Rise of America's Gun
On Sale: January 10, 2012
Hardcover / e-Book
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Paperback (January 2013)
Based on fifteen years of research, Glock is the riveting
story of the weapon that has become known as American’s gun.
Today the Glock pistol has been embraced by two-thirds of
all U.S. police departments, glamorized in countless
Hollywood movies, and featured as a ubiquitous presence on
prime-time TV. It has been rhapsodized by hip-hop artists,
and coveted by cops and crooks alike.
Created in 1982 by Gaston Glock, an obscure Austrian
curtain-rod manufacturer, and swiftly adopted by the
Austrian army, the Glock pistol, with its lightweight
plastic frame and large-capacity spring-action magazine,
arrived in America at a fortuitous time. Law enforcement
agencies had concluded that their agents and officers, armed
with standard six-round revolvers, were getting "outgunned"
by drug dealers with semi-automatic pistols. They needed a
When Karl Water, a firearm salesman based in the U.S. first
saw a Glock in 1984, his reaction was, “Jeez, that’s ugly.”
But the advantages of the pistol soon became apparent. The
standard semi-automatic Glock could fire as many as 17
bullets from its magazine without reloading (one equipped
with an extended thirty-three cartridge magazine was used in
Tucson to shoot Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others). It was
built with only 36 parts that were interchangeable with
those of other models. You could drop it underwater, toss it
from a helicopter, or leave it out in the snow, and it would
still fire. It was reliable, accurate, lightweight, and
cheaper to produce than Smith and Wesson’s revolver. Made in
part of hardened plastic, it was even rumored (incorrectly)
to be invisible to airport security screening.
Filled with corporate intrigue, political maneuvering,
Hollywood glitz, bloody shoot-outs—and an attempt on Gaston
Glock’s life by a former lieutenant—Glock is at once the
inside account of how Glock the company went about marketing
its pistol to police agencies and later the public, as well
as a compelling chronicle of the evolution of gun culture in
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