Glocks are awesome little handguns. I’ve been carrying mine daily for five years and will continue to carry it as long as I can.
Glocks are safe to carry with a loaded chamber as long as they are carried in a decent holster that completely covers the trigger. Even though they don’t have safety, Glocks are not prone to negligent discharge and are completely safe to carry when done properly.
Some people are nervous about Glocks because they heard one rumor or another about them. Let’s talk about the internal safety features and the facts of why Glocks are great handguns.
Glocks Don’t Have Safeties, Are they Dangerous?
Glocks are completely safe handguns even though they don’t have external safety. They are built using the patented Safe Action System which prevents unintentional firing. Firearm experts, including myself, consider the design completely safe and dependable.
Still, I keep hearing how unsafe Glocks are, from people who have never handled one and essentially know nothing about handguns in general. Here’s how all of this bogus started.
There is an old article in the LA Times and National Intrest that claims Glocks are accident-prone and overly dangerous pistols. That’s a bunch of bologna written by writers who know nothing about guns. The claim is that because Glocks have no safety and a super light trigger, they accidentally shoot people.
All this comes from an old incident within the New York City Police Department. An officer was chasing a man down a stairwell with his pistol drawn and the man was shot, but apparently, he was not actually a criminal. the department said it was the pistol’s fault.
They claimed that the officer didn’t purposefully pull the trigger, but he just twitched from his heart beating fast and the gunshot an unarmed innocent man. They said that it was the fault of Glocks having a super light trigger.
They ended up sticking to their story and making a big political deal out of it. they took it so far, they had Glock make a special model Glock for them with a slightly stouter trigger spring. I find the whole thing absurd and literally every firearm expert agrees with me.
The NYPD used this excuse several times to get out of a situation, basically saying “These new-fangled Glocks just go off on their own”.
Glocks have a trigger pull of 5-1/2 to 6 pounds. The “New York Trigger” as it became known had an 8-pound trigger pull. Not much difference really. And, it actually impeded officers’ ability to hit a target.
Glocks have a very long trigger pull. You can’t just twitch and accidentally shoot one. I have done special work to lighten my trigger and it’s still not very touchy. And it’s nowhere near so light a trigger pull that you could just bump it and it fires. It takes a dedicated squeeze of the finger.
A few overly trigger-happy officers within a department and a sly PR department really spun yarns on this one. the first two rules of safe gun handling are “Don’t touch the trigger until you are ready to shoot, and don’t point it at anything you don’t want to destroy. My three-year-old knows that for her bb gun.
The danger comes from dangerous gun handling and not following safe gun handling rules. Police departments across the country mocked the NYPD for their accusations and understood that it’s both trigger happy officers and training issues that lead to problems like that.
Why Glocks don’t Have Safeties?
Glocks don’t have an external safety because they were designed as a simple to operate as possible. Glocks are designed with internal safety features to prevent accidental discharge. Because they have no external safety, Glocks are quicker to draw and fire.
Back in the old days of guns, they didn’t really have any safety at all. A lot of guns, particularly the early revolvers, were considered too dangerous to carry with a loaded chamber because a sharp bump or drop could cause it to fire.
It became the norm to carry with an empty chamber. Some militaries wanted to normalize carrying a pistol or rifle with a loaded chamber for obvious reasons, but they ran into some of these same issues on old guns. The fix was to add a safety.
The safety either keeps the trigger from being pulled or blocks the cartridge from being struck by the firing pin so it can’t go off. Pretty soon, it became standard for guns to have a manual safety switch. However, that also creates issues.
It’s common for someone to quickly raise a gun and try to shoot, just to realize the safety was in the “on” position keeping it from working. I’ve done this quite a bit when rabbit hunting. When suddenly a rabbit rushes out of the brush, I sometimes forget to switch off the safety.
In war or a defensive situation, that will get you killed. Glock’s response was to simply make a pistol that was safe without a safety. Glock developed their patented Safe Action System which will not allow the gun to be fired without a finger on the trigger and a dedicated trigger pull.
I, as well as others, have tested and tried to get the Safe Action System, to fail but without actually modifying parts, we haven’t been able to.
I do know one engineer who figured out that if it was dropped from 221 feet and it lands on the right angle squarely on its barrel, it could possibly go off, but the bullet would immediately strike the ground and not do much after that.
Glocks have a feature that prevents the trigger from accidentally being pulled, blocks the firing pin until the trigger is fully pressed, and the pistol is not actually cocked until the trigger is puled. So yes, it’s completely safe.
That doesn’t mean you can ever fool around with one. Don’t you dare break the three rules of safe gun handling. They are:
- Don’t ever touch the trigger until you are ready to fire
- Don’t ever point a gun at sonmething you aren’t willing to destroy
- Always know what’s downrange when you are shooting
Are Glocks Drop Safe?
Glocks are completely drop-safe and are one of the safest pistols you can carry. They will not fire unless someone puts their finger on the trigger and squeezes. The internal Safe Action System will not allow the pistol to go off accidentally
If you liked this article, you might be interested in one I wrote all about Glock’s Safe Action System. Here’s a link to it.