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The Glock pistol, sometimes referred to by the manufacturer as Glock "Safe Action" Pistol, is a series of semi-automatic pistols designed and produced by Glock Ges.m.b.H., located in Deutsch-Wagram, Austria. The company's founder, engineer Gaston Glock, had no experience with firearm design or manufacture at the time their first pistol, the Glock 17, was being prototyped. Glock did, however, have extensive experience in advanced synthetic polymers, knowledge of which was instrumental in the company's design of the first successful line of pistols with a polymer frame. Glock introduced ferritic nitrocarburizing into the firearms industry as an anti-corrosion surface treatment for metal gun parts.
Despite initial resistance from the market to accept a "plastic gun" due to durability and reliability concerns, and fears that the pistol would be "invisible" to metal detectors in airports, Glock pistols have become the company's most profitable line of products, commanding 65% of the market share of handguns for United States law enforcement agencies as well as supplying numerous national armed forces and security agencies worldwide. Glocks are also popular weapons amongst civilians for home/self defense and concealed/open carry.
Real Life Counterpart
The slide features a spring-loaded claw extractor and the stamped sheet metal ejector is pinned to the subframe. Post 2002 pistols have a reshaped extractor that serves as a loaded chamber indicator. When a cartridge is present in the chamber, a tactile metal edge protrudes slightly out immediately behind the ejection port on the right side of the slide. The striker firing mechanism has a spring-loaded firing pin that is cocked in two stages, powered by the firing pin spring. When the pistol is charged, the firing pin is in the half-cock position. As the trigger is pulled, the striker is then fully cocked. At the end of its travel, the trigger bar is tilted downward by the disconnector, releasing the striker to fire the cartridge. The disconnector resets the trigger bar so that the striker will be captured in half-cock at the end of the firing cycle. This is known as a pre-set trigger mechanism, referred to as the "Safe Action" trigger by the manufacturer. The disconnector ensures the pistol can only fire semi-automatically.
The factory-standard two-stage trigger has a trigger travel of 12.5 mm (0.49 in) and is rated at 25 N (5.6 lbf), but by using a modified connector it can be increased to 35 N (7.9 lbf) or lowered to 20 N (4.5 lbf). In response to a request made by American law enforcement agencies for a two-stage trigger with increased trigger pull, Glock introduced the NY1 (New York) trigger module, which features a flat spring in a plastic housing that replaces the trigger bar's standard coil spring. This trigger modification is available in two versions: NY1 and NY2 that are rated at 25 N (5.6 lbf) to 40 N (9.0 lbf) and 32 N (7.2 lbf) to 50 N (11.2 lbf) respectively, which require approximately 20 N (4.5 lbf) to 30 N (6.7 lbf) of force to disengage the safeties and another 10 N (2.2 lbf) to 20 N (4.5 lbf) in the second stage to fire a shot. The Glock's frame, magazine body and several other components are made from a high-strength nylon-based polymer invented by Gaston Glock and called Polymer 2. This plastic was specially formulated to provide increased durability and is more resilient than carbon steel and most steel alloys. Polymer 2 is resistant to shock, caustic liquids and temperature extremes where traditional steel/alloy frames would warp and become brittle. The injection molded frame contains four hardened steel guide rails for the slide: two at the rear of the frame, and the remaining pair above and in front of the trigger guard. The trigger guard itself is squared off at the front and checkered. The grip has a non-slip, stippled surface on the sides and both the front and rear straps. The frame houses the locking block, which is an investment casting that engages a 45° camming surface on the barrel's lower camming lug. It is retained in the frame by a steel axis pin that holds the trigger and slide catch. The trigger housing is held to the frame by means of a polymer pin. A spring-loaded sheet metal pressing serves as the slide catch, which is secured from unintentional manipulation by a raised guard molded into the frame.
The Glock pistol has a relatively low slide profile, which holds the barrel axis close to the shooter's hand and makes the pistol more comfortable to shoot by reducing muzzle rise and allows for faster aim recovery in rapid shooting sequence. The rectangular slide is milled from a single block of ordnance-grade steel using CNC machinery. The barrel and slide undergo two hardening processes prior to treatment with a proprietary nitriding process called Tenifer. The Tenifer treatment is applied in a 500 °C nitrate bath. The Tenifer finish is between 0.04 mm (0.0016 in) and 0.05 mm (0.0020 in) in thickness, and is characterized by extreme resistance to wear and corrosion; it penetrates the metal, and treated parts have similar properties even below the surface to a certain depth.
The Tenifer process produces a matte gray-colored, non-glare surface with a 64 Rockwell C hardness rating and a 99% resistance to salt water corrosion (which meets or exceeds stainless steel specifications), making the Glock particularly suitable for individuals carrying the pistol concealed as the highly chloride-resistant finish allows the pistol to better endure the effects of perspiration. Glock steel parts having the Tenifer treatment are more corrosion-resistant than analogous gun parts having other finishes or treatments, including Teflon, bluing, hard chrome plating, or phosphates. After applying the Tenifer process, a black Parkerized decorative surface finish is applied. The underlaying Tenifer treatment will remain protecting these parts even if the decorative surface finish were to wear off. A current production Glock 17 consists of 34 parts. For maintenance, the pistol disassembles into five main groups: the barrel, slide, frame, magazine, and recoil-spring assembly. The firearm is designed for the NATO-standard 9×19mm Parabellum pistol cartridge, but can use high-power (increased pressure) +P and +P+ ammunition with either full-metal-jacket or jacketed hollow-point projectiles.
Because the Glock 19 is a pistol, it comes with some specific caveats. While it's more mobile and easier to wield than larger weapons, it has a low mag capacity, and a lower average damage than heavier weapons such as the assault rifle. Pistols should be used in close quarters, and typically as second to more heavy primary weapons.