Glock, the World’s most boring and irrelevant handgun manufacturer announced today that they are chambering one of their lackluster designs for the world’s most boring and irrelevant cartridge, the .22 Long Rifle. In the interest of accuracy and truth, Glock does own a well-earned spot in the annals of firearm history. After entering the handgun manufacturing business in 1982 Glock suffered the slings and arrows of producing a double action plastic pistol that traditionalists distrusted. Foolishness abounded as one long-standing and trusted firearms periodical stated that the pistol could not be detected by airport security x-ray machines. While Beretta ushered the U.S. Military and Law Enforcement agencies away from their 1911 pistols and .38 Special revolvers, Glock earned the confidence of the general shooting public who did not trust the Double Action/Single Action operating platform of the Beretta. Many old timers begrudgingly admitted that the Glock 17’s double action, striker fired platform gave them the simplicity and reliability of their revolvers while providing three times the capacity of their six-shooter. Unfortunately, before their inaugural decade ended, everyone at Glock who possessed any creativity or vision apparently…died.
The three most important factors in a pistol’s design are grip ergonomics, eye-catching sights and a smooth and manageable trigger. In the thirty-seven years since their inception Glock has failed to make any significant improvements in this realm. Now someone is going to point out that Glock began “offering” Ameriglo blaze orange night sights on their Gen 5 Models, but that was only done at the insistence of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. If the FBI had not required these on their contracted pistols Glock would still be only be producing handguns with their ridiculous, plastic sights. Let me repeat that phrase “ridiculous, plastic sights”. In terms of grip ergonomics Glock’s only design enhancement has been their continual flipflop over whether cutting-edge ergonomics involve or do not involve finger grooves. The fact that the interior of a shooter’s grip does not mimic a rectangular block of wood is lost on the engineers at Glock. I am amazed at the number of people who purchase a Glock with the expressed intention of replacing the sights, reconfiguring the grip and replacing a couple of the trigger parts, all done in order bring the pistol up to the same level of quality of SIG, HK, Walther and CZ pistols and others, such as Canik.
Chambering a pistol in .22 is a bold move for Glock which has waited some 37 years to get into the rimfire market. The .22 LR round was introduced in 1887 and I can only assume that Glock wanted to be sure that this cartridge had, at least, the same staying-power as the .45 GAP.
Now, I am also sure that there are going to be those who were appalled when I referred to the .22LR cartridge as boring and irrelevant but I stand by that designation. There is no sense of exhilaration or achievement in firing a cartridge that barely requires more skill to manage than a pellet gun. It does serve a purpose for small game hunting and pest management but that’s about all it does. Nonetheless, I run into scores of people who extoll the virtues of the diminutive rimfire by saying it will “take down” a moose if you hit it in the right place (this was actually stated in a gun shop video where the hillbilly-bearded employees were offering up another one of their perennial “Top 5 Lists”). Just last Sunday a co-worker tried to defend the .22 with the verbal hyperbole of the hyphenated label, “best all-around” cartridge. His evidence consisted of the hypothetical performance of the .22 during a zombie apocalypse. This nears the level of preposterousness of a listener who called into “Gun Nation” podcast one night to alert Doc Wesson, Grant Cunningham and myself that the government was testing plasma cannons right behind his house in Las Vegas.
Getting back to the Glock 44 itself, it will have an adjustable rear sight which is a good thing. Other than adjustability, the sights appear to be of the same piss-pour design that Glock puts on their other under-performing offerings. Unloaded, the pistols weights less than 13 ounces due to a polymer/steel hybrid slide. This causes those of us in Minnesota and a few other unfortunate states to wonder if this pistol will pass the “melt” law which prohibits the sale of any firearm whose parts will melt at 1,000 degrees or less. [Clarification: a representative of Glock has informed me that the model 44 will pass all State laws for durability. This is another good thing as, my personal satire aside, there will be many people who want to buy the model 44 and they will not have to be disappointed that it didn't pass the "melt law"] The last thing that baffles me is the model 44’s capacity. It is built on the model 19 frame which has a magazine capacity of 15 rounds of 9mm, yet the model 44’s magazine has been designed to hold a scant 10 rounds.
(15 rounds of 9mm, the same capacity of the Glock 19, on the left versus 10 rounds of .22LR, the capacity of the Glock 44, on the right. Does this seem wrong to anyone else?)
I realize that this will allow the 44 to be sold in jurisdictions that restrict their pistols to 10 rounds, but shouldn’t 10 round magazines be an option for CA and MA while shooters in the rest of the country get to enjoy, at least, double the capacity? If a 10 round pistol was their only intention, then why not just use the single stack Glock 48 as their rimfire platform. Most visitors to our meager establishment find the 48 a better fit over the Glock 19. Just one more example of the lack of vision in the design of Glock pistols.
Glock has ceased to be relevant since about 1987, so…if you’re reading this on your Commodore 64, drive a Chevy Chevette or make calls on your Motorola bag phone…this is your pistol!