Cover for Bloomberg Businessweek magazine, January 17th 2011

Bloomberg Businessweek: “Glock: America’s Gun” by Paul M. Barrett, January 17, 2011

Excerpt from Barrett’s article:

Ever since the 19th century, when the Colt Peacemaker became known as “the gun that won the West,” Americans had preferred revolvers. Continental Europeans favored pistols, also known as semiautomatics, with spring-loaded magazines that snap into the handle, holding more rounds and allowing faster reloading. “I was astonished,” Walter says, “that this modern country still hung around with revolvers.” In 1984 he paid a call on Gaston Glock and offered to sell his pistol in America.

Hollywood, never known for accuracy, gave Glock another boost. In Die Hard 2: Die Harder, released on July 4, 1990, mercenary terrorists swarmed the big screen armed with Austrian pistols. The hero, played by Bruce Willis (who carried a Beretta), at one point yelled at an airport police captain: “That punk pulled a Glock 7 on me! You know what that is? It’s a porcelain gun made in Germany. It doesn’t show up on your airport X-ray machines, and it costs more than you make here in a month.” It didn’t matter that everything Willis’ character said was inaccurate, says Feldman, the industry operative who later did consulting work for Glock. “You had Jack Anderson, and Congress, and now Bruce Willis—everyone’s making things up about Glock. And gun owners, they want to defend the ‘porcelain gun’ or the ‘plastic gun’ or the ‘hijacker special,’ or whatever the media are calling it. What fabulous publicity.”

Paul M. Barrett is Assistant Managing Editor for Bloomberg Businessweek magazine. He’s currently working on a forthcoming book about the Glock and its influence in America.


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