Three Ways Gun Companies May be Able to Compete with Glock
Kevin Felts 01.09.19
Glock is the quintessential standard by which all other handguns are measured, and there is a good reason for that. Glocks are reliable, cost-effective, and enjoy a wide range of aftermarket options. Typically, but not always, when someone goes to make a handgun purchase, the buyer may compare the handgun to a Glock.
- How reliable is the handgun compared to a Glock?
- How does the price compare to Glock?
- Are magazines interchangeable, like a Glock?
Even if the handgun costs a few dollars less, some people are willing to spend more money for the guarantee of Glock reliability.
This leaves handgun companies in a paradox, or maybe a quagmire. How does someone compete against a company who in every definition of the phrase dominates the market?
When it comes down to it, price affects just about every decision we make, and that includes buying a handgun. Glock has positioned itself in the middle of the market where most people can afford to buy a Glock.
In the late 1990s several of my buddies and I would go to a local sand pit, where we would fire off an easy 1,000 rounds of 9mm in a day. One buddy had a Ruger P89, which was very reliable. My Beretta 92f was just as reliable, but cost almost twice as much as his P89.
My buddy made an argument that was difficult to dispute — why pay twice as much for the same reliability? This is the question a lot of handgun buyers have to answer. When someone buys a handgun that costs almost twice as much as a Glock, are they getting twice the reliability? Probably not.
In order to entice buyers to justify buying something besides a Glock, maybe other handgun companies should drop their prices well below that of a Glock.
Besides reliability, one of the bonus factors to buying a Glock is magazine interchangeability. Why should someone purchase different handguns, then buy magazines for them? When it comes to preppers, being able to use a single magazine in a variety of Glock handguns helps streamline group members.
For example, magazines are the main reason why I will not purchase a Beretta APX. Beretta ignored decades of 92f magazines already on the market, and designed a handgun that requires its own magazine.
Why should someone purchase a handgun that only works with a single magazine, when they can purchase a Glock and be able to swap magazines?
The solution: make a handgun that uses Glock magazines. Mossberg recently entered the handgun market with the MC1, and guess what — it uses Glock 43 magazines.
A handgun that is affordably-priced and accepts Glock mags makes the Mossberg MC1 rather enticing.
Engineering and Recalls
Once something is on the Internet, chances are it will stay there forever. This includes recall notifications. If a handgun has a recall, people may use that recall as a reason not to purchase the firearm.
Take the Beretta M9 for example. During the military testing of the 1980s there were slide failures. Regardless of what caused the slide failure, those incidents have stayed with the Beretta M9 / 92f. Here we are 30 years later and there are probably people who will not purchase a Beretta because of something that happened decades ago, and was ammunition-related.
- Sig Sauer P320 that may discharge when dropped.
- Taurus pistol recall.
- Walther PPS M2 Pistol recall.
- Springfield Armory 3.3 XD-S safety recall.
Simply put, when a handgun (or any firearm) is released to the market, it should be thoroughly tested before release. If there is a recall, that recall stays with the handgun pretty much forever.
While Glock is a market leader, there is room for competition. However, gun companies have to entice customers to buy their products.
As my buddy said in the late 1990s, “Why pay twice as much for the same reliability?”
People looking to streamline their handgun collection may not want to buy different magazines for various handguns. If someone has four or five handguns, even if they are made by the same company, each handgun may require its own unique magazine. Why?
The simple answer is, gun companies want to make money every way they can, even if it means forcing customers to buy multiple magazines. Then along came Glock who said we are going to have a standard magazine type.
Glock revolutionized the handgun market, and it is way past time for other gun companies take notice.