I’m sure I’ll ruffle some feathers with this article. But, there is a very common misconception that many Glock fans like to tout. They like to say that their beloved pistol is the first of its kind. And, when I tell them that Glock actually wasn’t the first polymer-framed, striker-fired pistol they look at me like I’m Santa Clause dressed up like the Easter Bunny.
They like to say things like: Glock is the “father” of all such handguns.
Well, I guess that could be right, but if Glock is the father, there has to be a grand-daddy, as well. The HK VP70 was actually the first pistol of this type, and was built way back in 1970.
This handgun was revolutionary in that it was a double-stack, 18+1 round 9mm polymer-framed, striker-fired pistol. In a world of revolvers and 1911s, this was the red-headed stepchild that never really gained a lot of attention.
In the roughly 19 years of production, only about 20,000 units were sold, most of them in other countries–which is likely the reason why so many people have never heard of this gun before. Today, one of these VP70s can be purchased for right around the $500 price point.
Why didn’t HK’s version of the plastic gun take off? Well, for one, the trigger sucked. It had close to a 20 pound pull and the double action trigger needed to be squeezed for miles before the pin struck the cartridge’s primer.
It was otherwise a good blow-back design, and is still seen by some as relevant, today. Where HK fell short on design, another company would step up to make one of the most popular and reliable pistols ever made.
I have to give credit to where it’s due, and Glock deserves it. They saw a design that needed to be improved upon, and they ran with it. Certainly, while they weren’t the first, they made it stick, and have helped us get to where we are today.
It isn’t fair to say that all of today’s plastic guns are Glock copies, though, because in all fairness, even the Glock is an HK copy to some extent. After all, even Glock has to have a daddy.
In the history of the gun world, each manufacturer has a role to play, and is important to some degree. Some guns teach us what not to do, while others prove that a design has potential. The VP70 did both. It told Glock that a super-long and heavy trigger was bad. But, it also showed them that there is another way to make a gun.
Sound Off Gun Carriers! Did you know that Glock wasn’t the first polymer-framed, striker-fired pistol? Let us know in the comments below. Also, I want to know if you’ve ever fired a VP70 before. Sadly, I have not. Though, I have held one in my hands before. Have you like the Gun Carrier Facebook Page yet? Make sure you do!