[Glocktober Finale] Grey Ghost Giveaway
10/28/2019Primary Arms Staff6/30/2022 12:55 pmwww.primaryarms.com
This Giveaway has ended. Congratulations to our winner, Jason R., here in Texas! You can view all current and past giveaways on our blog page.
As we roll into the last week of Glocktober, we’d like to thank you for taking this adventure with us. Glocktober was our first foray into this brave new world, and we’re happy to hear all the hype.
So far, we’ve given away 3 Glock-inspired pistols. Each one drew from a theme within the Glock community, including EDC, Competition, and a tactical Roland (Fauxland) Special.
For our final pistol giveaway, we wanted to do something special, so we partnered with Grey Ghost Precision to provide a brand-new factory pistol: the Combat Pistol Compact (or CPC).
It’s an original creation by Grey Ghost that takes many of the premium features found in custom Glock pistols and makes them standard.
In the hand, the CPC is more like a 1911 with the flatter grip angle and extended beavertail. Its surface features high-friction stippling and aggressive undercuts, which position your hand for minimal felt recoil. Extended controls provide immediate, slip-free activation, and the trigger uses a smooth flat face with premium parts for a consistent break.
The slide is remarkable in its tolerances, precisely fit with the frame without wobble or wiggle. A full black nitride coating protects both the inside and outside, ensuring a smooth action with superior lubricity. The dual-compatible mounting plate accepts either the Trijicon RMR or Leupold DeltaPoint Pro.
In a word, the Grey Ghost Precision CPC is graceful. The design is familiar yet original, carving its own space without reinventing the wheel.
So how does this tie into Glocktober? Well, the Combat Pistol Compact is compatible with Gen 3 Glock 19 parts. If you’ve been reading these last few blogs, you know that the Glock part aftermarket is a huge selling feature on its own. No other pistol has the same level of support.
The story of Glock’s rise to prominence is rather incredible. It’s a tale of metal detectors, mobile homes, and a failed assassination attempt against Gaston Glock himself.
If it sounds like a TV drama, you’re not far off.
To celebrate the end of Glocktober, we want to tell you a little bit from that harrowing tale—about how one man with no firearms manufacturing experience changed the world of pistols forever.
And it all started at a workshop in the little town of Deutsch-Wagram, Austria…
The Birth of Glock KG (1963-1980)
Glock KG didn’t start as an arms company.
In 1963, Gaston Glock was still managing a radiator factory in Austria. Glock’s personal works only came in his spare time, working out of his home workshop to create window fittings and small parts. Through the 70s, his work would extend to some military craft, creating knives, machine gun belts, and grenade casings for the Austrian armed forces.
Our real story begins in the year 1980.
The legend has it that Glock was visiting the Austrian Ministry of Defense when he overheard two colonels discussing their army’s need for a new pistol. At the time, Austria was still issuing Walther P38s left over from WWII, so they were long due for an update. Glock approached the colonels and asked if he could submit a bid for the contract, even though Glock KG was still in its infancy.
For whatever reason, they gave him a shot and provided the full list of requirements.
Good thing too, because Glock took one look at it and decided that he can do one better.
Building the First Glock Pistol (1980-1982)
Now, Glock didn’t have any experience making a pistol… or any other firearm.
He was a decorated engineer, though, and he had years of injection molding experience.
Before any drafting could start, Glock began intensive research into the existing pistol market. He spoke with countless experts and bought every pistol he could, deconstructing them to understand the internal mechanisms.
Because he was an outsider to pistols, he didn’t have any built-in assumptions or stigma. He challenged conventional designs, abandoning ‘unnecessary’ parts like manual safeties and decockers.
This interrogation of tradition helped birth Glock pistols’ most recognizable features. When most manufacturers were mimicking 18-degree (1911-style) grip angles, Glock nailed a few sticks together and had people point them like a pistol. Most folks favored an aggressive angle, which became the iconic 22-degree frame.
With the help of a few new hires from the Camera industry, Glock began drafting the first Glock semi-automatic pistol, putting his injection molding experience to work. While other companies committed to metal frames, Glock knew that a polymer-framed handgun would be lighter, cheaper, and easier to produce, giving him a competitive edge in any contract bid.
He wasn’t the first to use polymer, however. Polymer-framed pistols made their debut with underwater demolitions teams in WWII, but their use was limited. In the decades preceding the Glock, other manufacturers experimented with polymer-framed handguns. Remington had their XP-100, which was a bolt-action ‘pistol’ in a thermoplastic shell. H&K came closer with their VP70—an actual polymer-framed, striker-fired pistol in 9mm. The VP70 had a slew of issues, leading it to fizzle out, but H&K set an important precedent for Glock to top.
The first prototypes of Glock’s pistol were so innovative, it’s rumored that he would only fire them with his left hand in case they blew up. That way, he could still use his right hand for drawing blueprints.
Fortunately, Glock’s efforts never betrayed him. After only 1 year of development, Gaston Glock had his launching point: the Glock 17.
Welcome to America (1983-1986)
With only 34 parts and low manufacturing cost, the Glock 17 was an instant star in Europe.
A year after its creation, the Glock 17 won the bid for the Austrian contract, beating out powerhouses like Beretta, Sig, and even the local Steyr. In ‘84, the Glock 17 passed NATO durability testing with ease, so Norway bought in too. Across the West, buzz was spreading: the Glock 17 was changing the way people viewed pistols.
America was still out of the loop though. The American arms industry has always been insular, and big manufacturers like Smith & Wesson and Colt still dominated the pistol market. Breaking into America would prove to be a tremendous challenge, calling for an expert salesman.
Fortunately for Glock, one was right on his doorstep.
Karl Walter, an Austrian-born American, was visiting the homeland when he discovered Glock. He took a position as Glock’s American connection, receiving a small salary… and a percentage of sales. It was a deal that would make Walter a very, very wealthy man.
Walter wasn’t just a smart salesman, though. Many knew him for his eccentricities.
Through the early 80s, Walter rolled around with a mobile home that he converted into an arsenal. When negotiating with Law Enforcement, Walter treated decision-makers to a lovely night on the town, including bars and gentlemen's clubs. He knew when to speak—and when to listen. Altogether, Walter was an unparalleled negotiator with a gift for reading personalities.
Walter knew that selling Glock into the US would be an upward battle. The ‘shotgun’ approach of reaching out to everyone wouldn’t work, as American buyers were still skeptical of polymer handguns.
Then, in 1986, the entire industry turned on its head.
Walter’s Grand Strategy (1989-1990)
On April 11th, 1986, FBI agents tail two suspects associated with a string of car-jackings. The agents attempt a traffic stop, leading to a series of small collisions that give the suspects an opening. The two criminals got out of their car and opened fire, leading to one of the most-studied police shootings in modern history.
Everything that could go wrong… went wrong. Agents had to fire pistols and shotguns one-handed. Backup-pistols were drawn. Over four minutes, agents fired over one-hundred rounds, with several agents reloading multiple times through the fight.
When the smoke cleared, America saw the deficiencies of the once-trusted revolver. Semi-automatic pistols were faster to deploy, easier to control, and safer to reload in combat. In response, police groups at every level demanded semi-automatic sidearms, and Glock was ready to fill the need.
At the time, Glock was already in national news, as the infamous ‘metal detector myth’ put plastic pistols in the limelight. In January, a major newspaper published an article suggesting the polymer-framed Glock could slip through metal detectors and evade security. Anyone with firearms experience knew this was silly, as most Glock 17 parts were metal, but it still made for intense public debate.
Walter leveraged public awareness to his advantage, as it generated a mystique and curiosity around the futuristic Austrian pistol. This began Walter’s grand strategy for winning over Law Enforcement.
Walter assembled a team of renowned instructors and got them fully equipped with the new Glock 17 pistols. When Walter went to meet a police group, he provided training as a courtesy. In this training, his instructors would demonstrate the effectiveness and benefit of Glock pistols, earning a reputation as the ‘professional’s choice.’
By the time news came out about Miami, Walter was poised to move. Almost every law enforcement group in the country was looking for higher capacity semi-automatics, and the Glock 17 came in at just the right time. With a 17-round magazine, the Glock had higher capacity than its competitors, and the low cost of manufacture meant that Walter could underbid anyone.
Sales boomed, and Glock established their US Headquarters in Smyrna, Georgia in November 1986. By the end of the year, thousands of police officers wore issued Glock 17s, including the NYPD and Miami PD. By the end of the decade, Glock pistols were starting to show up in major TV shows and movies, including Miami Vice and Die Hard 2.
Within just a space of 10 years, Glock went from creating small plastics to being a major player in the sidearm market. The end of the 80s brought the end of the cold war… but Glock’s success still hung in the balance.
They didn’t know it yet, but they’d just been entered into a race that would come to decide the future of the pistol market.
When Polymer Pays Off (1990-1996)
The lasting result of the Miami shootout extended further than just the revolver debate. Some of the agents in that battle were using 9mm, and there were questions on its ‘stopping power’.
The 10mm cartridge was increasing in popularity, and it was clear Glock needed to adapt to the new market pressures.
By the end of the 80s, there were 3 Glock pistols: the 17, 18, and 19. The Glock 18 was an automatic machine pistol for Austrian counter-terror groups, and the Glock 19 was a compact version of the 17. All 3 pistols were 9mm. This was a problem in the diversifying market.
In 1990, Glock started development for new caliber options. The Glock 20, 21, and 22 all released over the next year.
The Glock 20 was a 15-round 10mm pistol, which was impressive compared to its competition, but it was too late to the game. 10mm’s sharp recoil and high pressure caused problems for the FBI, so the caliber lost favor. Even though the Glock 20 was named first, it was the last to be introduced in 1991.
The Glock 21 had a better fate. It used the same frame size as the 20, but it was chambered in the more popular .45ACP—an American classic. Many police groups would adopt this, as it had an impressive 13 round capacity. Still, this admirable pistol would pale in comparison to its little brother.
The Glock 22 was Glock’s pinch hitter. After the FBI ditched 10mm, federal buyers were looking for something in a new caliber: .40S&W. Across the country, manufacturers raced to have first bite of this new cartridge, but Glock’s ingenious design gave him an advantage.
The new chambering could use the same frame and dimensions as the Glock 17, and the 17’s simplicity and polymer construction made adaptation easy. Glock was first to market with their Glock 22, giving them first access to the buyers.
It was a home run.
Over the next few years, Glock pistols became a staple of police academies all over the country, but the real victory came from Quantico, Virginia.
When the FBI made their final decision on an issued .40S&W pistol, Glock came out on top. With the FBI issuing the Glock 22 and compact Glock 23, Walter’s grand strategy paid off. Buyers were flocking in to equip themselves with the latest and greatest, taking Glock to the top of the list of most popular police sidearms.
All they had to do now was survive the onslaught of new legislation.
The King’s Reign (1996-2009)
Glock navigated the 90s with expert finesse.
Even though Walter left Glock in 1992, Glock’s sales teams were well equipped. They knew their market, and they knew how to navigate choppy waters.
When the Assault Weapon Ban passed in 1994, they didn’t panic. Since the law allowed for police exceptions, they could still produce standard-capacity magazines. That’s not to say Glock forgot about the civilians, though. They still had a huge supply of magazines made before the ban started, and a bit of clever maneuvering opened a new opportunity.
Glock played the language of the law to bring ‘new’ magazines to the public. The ban grandfathered in magazines produced before the start date, so Glock bought older mags back from police and sold them into the used-gun market.
Compared to other pistols of the era, Glock was better equipped and more available throughout the 10 years of the ban. During this time, Glock released the iconic small-frame pistols, such as the Glock 26. These sub-compact handguns were perfect for concealed carry, and their small mags fell within the law without issue.
In 1999, Glock made national news when Gaston was ambushed by an assassin equipped with... a rubber mallet.
The attack came from inside the company. One of Gaston’s tax advisors was involved in an embezzlement scheme, which peaked when the advisor hired a French mercenary to assassinate Gaston. The assassin ambushed Gaston in a parking lot with a rubber hammer, hitting him across the head multiple times.
The mercenary did not expect the 70-year-old Gaston Glock to fight back. Within seconds of getting hit, Gaston spun around and punched his would-be killer across the face. When police found the pair, Glock had seven head wounds and lost a liter of blood… but his attacker was knocked unconscious. Both the assassin and the advisor were found guilty of attempted murder.
When the AWB ended in 2004, Glock was still on top. Continued development released new options to their loyal fanbase, and soon, Glock had a full line of pistols to satisfy any buyer. Competition pistols like the Glock 34 would become common at the highest level of skill, and many Special Forces groups started bringing Glock 17s and 19s into overseas operations.
With so many different consumers, Glock couldn’t satisfy everyone. Buyers wanted new sights, attachments, and accessories to further tailor their favorite pistol and elevate its performance.
An Aftermarket Booms (2010-Now)
It’s hard to pin down the exact era of the Glock aftermarket.
There aren’t many resources documenting the first aftermarket sights or springs, but we know that the aftermarket has boomed in the last decade.
With aftermarket slides and frames, we know that many products came after the prolific Roland Special. Companies like Zev and Agency have made their name off creating and upgrading Glock pistols, building on their design with enhanced materials and machining.
At the same time, competitors have released their own polymer-framed, striker-fired handguns to compete with the venerable Glock heavyweight. Smith & Wesson has its M&P line. Springfield has their XD line. H&K has their VP line (though this is technically a predecessor). There are numerous alternatives.
The most notable competitor has been the Sig Sauer P320, which competed against Glock in the Army’s M17 pistol program and won. Whether or not this upset extends long-term has yet to be determined.
Regardless, Glock remains a favorite across the globe—especially here in America, where it’s a market unto its own.
Nowadays, you can get any part for your Glock pistol as OEM or third-party. Even the frame can be exchanged with a compatible aftermarket alternative.
This brings us to today.
The Grey Ghost Giveaway
This week’s giveaway is a testament to all of Glock’s efforts and ingenuity.
The Grey Ghost Precision Combat Pistol Compact is a pistol which recognizes the significance and brilliance of Glock pistols while contributing something unique.
We’re happy to have this pistol as our send-off for Glocktober because it embodies everything we love about today’s pistol market. Companies like Grey Ghost Precision enable the public to learn more about their sidearm, inside and out. The GGP Combat Pistol keeps a door open to customization but provides the elegance of a custom handgun right out of the box.
If you want to build a pistol like the Grey Ghost Precision CPC, check out the table below. It isn’t a perfect recreation of Grey Ghost’s secret sauce, but it’ll be a great build on its own. Just plug the parts together, add a slide of your choice, and you’ll be ready to rock. Click the table below to see everything you need on the site.
And if you want to win this pistol giveaway, we’ve got good news. Entry is free, and no purchase is necessary.
You can enter to win this Grey Ghost Precision Combat Pistol Compact through our Giveaway Landing Page. Our giveaway runs from now to 11:59PM CDT on November 3rd, and the winner will be contacted next-day. Winner must be legally able to possess a firearm and pass a federal background check. Winner takes responsibility for all taxes associated. If the winner cannot meet the requirements necessary to take ownership of the firearm, the winner will be granted the total value of the prize package, $1,499.99, in cash. Exclusions apply, and no purchase is necessary. A full list of terms and conditions are available on the Giveaway Landing Page.
As a final note, thank you again to all those who took part in our Glocktober event. This was our first run on it, and we appreciate your following. If you enjoyed it, let us know by commenting our Glocktober social media posts! We’re always eager to hear your thoughts.
Until next time!