Remember our Reader? The one who claims to own an ‘All Plastic Glock’ – one that in their words “is all plastic except for the 3 little metal tags imbedded that hold the serial number”. Well, let’s put to rest once and for all, the myth of the ‘All Plastic’ handgun!


Scribe knows Firearms!


First, let me say that when it comes to Firearms, I am not without knowledge. For the last decade, it has been my hobby (My Wife might call it an Obsession)! I am a long time (7+ years) subscriber to 7 Firearms Publications (ie: Guns, American Handgunner, Guns and Ammo, Shooting Times, Combat Handguns, American Rifleman, Shotgun News). I read Every Issue from cover to cover! I also have an extensive Library, with books such as: Gun Digest (Editions - 1997 thru 2004), Handguns (Editions - 1998 thru 2003), Guns Illustrated (Editions - 2000 thru 2002), Modern Gun Values, Military Small Arms Data, ect. While I am no Expert, I am no idiot, either! I read extensively; it’s the only way to learn!


When it comes to Firearms, SAFETY IS ALWAYS FIRST! Having 2 teenage sons, I utilize Gun Safes and Trigger Locks (you can never be too careful). All ammunition is locked away separately from all firearms (required by law)! This has nothing to do with whether my sons have been properly trained, or whether they can or can not be trusted. They have, and they can! Both Boys have been through the “4-H Firearms Safety Course”. They have been properly trained, from very early on, in the Safe use of, and the proper respect for, Firearms! Again, it is about Responsible Firearms Ownership!


Advancements in Firearms Technology


We have come a long way since the days of the Matchlock Musket. In fact, Firearms technology has made huge advancements over the past 50 years! New Metals, including Titanium, Aluminum Alloy, and Scandium, along with new Plastics, such as Polymers and Carbon Fibers, have revolutionized the Firearms industry! Handguns have become significantly lighter and smaller. Yet at the same time, these new materials are just a strong, if not stronger, than the steel that they have replaced! There are Polymer Framed Handguns, like the Glock 17, the Taurus Millennium, and the Kel-Tec P-11. And there are Rifles that utilize Carbon-Fiber and Polymer Receivers, such as ArmaLite’s AR-180B, Remington’s Model 710, Professional Ordnance’s Carbon 15-Type 97, and Cavalry Arms CAV-15.


Steel is Still a Necessary Component!


Notwithstanding the use of Polymers, Nylons, and Carbon Fibers, Metal (Steel in particular) is still a very necessary component in the production of any Firearm! Barrels, for instance, must still be made from Steel! (There is experimenting now going on using new types of Ceramics for handgun barrels, but this is yet in the future!) Smith and Wesson utilizes Stainless Steel Barrel Liners on all their Titanium, Aluminum Alloy, and Scandium framed Handguns. Why? Because only Steel can withstand the heat generated from repeated firing. None of the above mentioned plastics could withstand the heat generated by the continued firing of a handgun or rifle.


Do a test. Load a 30 round magazine into an AR-15 (or any semi-auto), and fire off all 30 rounds in succession. Now place your hand close to the barrel, but do not touch it. Feel the heat? If subjected to continuous fire for a long period, the barrel can become so hot that it will glow red, and even start to melt. This is the reason many Machine Guns have the capability of quickly changing the Barrel. Even the strongest Steel can not hold up to the continuous rapid fire of a machine Gun for extended periods. I know that this is an unlikely scenario on most semi auto rifles, but I am just trying to make a point! No Polymer or Carbon Fiber could withstand even a fraction of the heat exposure that Steel can! This is one reason why there are NO COMPLETE PLASTIC RIFLES OR HANDGUNS!


Smaller Internal Parts, such as the Firing Pin, Sear, Small Springs, ect, must also be made of 4140 heat treated Steel. While these parts theoretically could be made from polymers, they would not hold up with repeated use over time, thus causing excessive failure of the firearm. What Firearms manufacturer wants to be known for excessive mechanical failure of their products?




Today, I called Glock-USA to ask if Glock has EVER produced an ‘All Plastic’ Handgun; and if so what model. I already knew the answer, being a Knowledgeable Firearms Enthusiast. But for the sake of setting things straight, I gave Glock a call. I spoke with Fred, a Service Technician at GLOCK USA, in Smyrna, GA. According to Fred: Glock does not now, nor has Glock ever produced an all Plastic Handgun. Every Glock handgun contains plenty of Steel parts, including the Slide, Barrel, and Springs”. Fred went on to say that he “would pay $10,000.00 to anyone who could bring to him a Glock Production Pistol made completely of Plastic”! When I informed Fred of what our “Reader” had claimed, to have a Glock handgun that in their words “is all plastic except for the 3 little metal tags imbedded that hold the serial number”, Fred simply laughed! If there is any doubt as to what I have said here, call Glock-USA for yourself at - 1-(770)-432-1202.


The Myth of the “All Plastic” Glock


There is no such thing as an all plastic Glock! And there is no such thing as a porcelain or ceramic Glock. All Glocks are made from polymer and steel, and always have been. This rumor might have gotten started (or maybe fueled) by a line from Bruce Willis in the movie 'Die Hard 2: Die Harder': "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 cost more than you make here in a month." This is, of course, complete nonsense. A word to the wise: Don't believe everything you hear in a movie!


Here is a quote from the Book “Handguns 2000”, in an article entitled “The Century’s 10 Most Influential Pistols” (naturally, the Glock made the list), starting on page 30: “With the Glock’s introduction came an outcry from stupid politicians and ignorant news reporters that this was a ‘Plastic Pistol’ designed to defeat Metal Detectors and Airport X-Ray Scanners. The Slide, Barrel, and Springs used to build the Glock Pistol are ALL made of STEEL, and will set off a metal detector just as surely as any other firearm”.


Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 - Public Law 100-649; 18 U.S.C. 922


This 1988 legislation banned the production and sale of any guns that are undetectable by metal detectors and X-ray machines (ie: the mythical all plastic gun). The NRA helped to rewrite this law so as to narrow its scope, and exclude detectable polymer framed handguns like the Glock 17, the Taurus Millennium, and the Springfield XD. These pistols are now in common use throughout America by police departments, and civilians for concealed carry. So, even if there were an ‘all plastic’ gun somewhere out there, it would be totally ILLEGAL to Own!


TITLE 18 - PART I - CHAPTER 44 - Section 922:


(P) (1) It shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer, or receive any firearm -


(A) that, after removal of grips, stocks, and magazines, is not as detectable as the Security Exemplar, by walk-through metal detectors calibrated and operated to detect the Security Exemplar; or


(B) any major component of which, when subjected to inspection by the types of x-ray machines commonly used at airports, does not generate an image that accurately depicts the shape of the component. Barium sulfate or other compounds may be used in the fabrication of the component.


(2) For purposes of this subsection -


(A) the term ''firearm'' does not include the frame or receiver of any such weapon;


(B) the term ''major component'' means, with respect to a firearm, the barrel, the slide or cylinder, or the frame or receiver of the firearm; and


(C) the term ''Security Exemplar'' means an object, to be fabricated at the direction of the Secretary, that is -


(I) constructed of, during the 12-month period beginning on the date of the enactment of this subsection, 3.7 ounces of material type 17-4 PH stainless steel in a shape resembling a handgun; and


(II) suitable for testing and calibrating metal detectors:


Provided, however, That at the close of such 12-month period, and at appropriate times thereafter the Secretary shall promulgate regulations to permit the manufacture, importation, sale, shipment, delivery, possession, transfer, or receipt of firearms previously prohibited under this subparagraph that are as detectable as a ''Security Exemplar'' which contains 3.7 ounces of material type 17-4 PH stainless steel, in a shape resembling a handgun, or such lesser amount as is detectable in view of advances in state-of-the-art developments in weapons detection technology.


(3) Under such rules and regulations as the Secretary shall prescribe, this subsection shall not apply to the manufacture, possession, transfer, receipt, shipment, or delivery of a firearm by a licensed manufacturer or any person acting pursuant to a contract with a licensed manufacturer, for the purpose of examining and testing such firearm to determine whether paragraph (1) applies to such firearm. The Secretary shall ensure that rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this paragraph do not impair the manufacture of prototype firearms or the development of new technology.


(4) The Secretary shall permit the conditional importation of a firearm by a licensed importer or licensed manufacturer, for examination and testing to determine whether or not the unconditional importation of such firearm would violate this subsection.


(5) This subsection shall not apply to any firearm which -


(A) has been certified by the Secretary of Defense or the Director of Central Intelligence, after consultation with the Secretary and the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, as necessary for military or intelligence applications; and


(B) is manufactured for and sold exclusively to military or intelligence agencies of the United States.


(6) This subsection shall not apply with respect to any firearm manufactured in, imported into, or possessed in the United States before the date of the enactment of the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988.



Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 – UPDATE:


In the house, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced H.R. 3348 – the “Reauthorization of the Ban on Undetectable Firearms”, a bill to extend the prohibition on plastic firearms. The current ban was scheduled to sunset in December. Sensenbrenner brought H.R. 3348 directly to the floor of the House, having skipped the committee process after successfully urging the House leadership to allow the rules of the House to be suspended. Sensenbrenner managed to get H.R. 3348 passed on a voice vote, with fewer than 30 Representatives voting (those who happened to be on the floor at the time). Is this how government is supposed to work? The bill now moves to the Senate as - S. 1774 - a bill authored by Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA).


What makes up a Glock?


All Glocks feature polymer frames made out of a high-tech plastic polymer called Nylon 6. Glock barrels and slides are made from quality 4140 Steel which has been treated with a special "Tenifer" process, which is a diamond hard coating that seals out moisture and corrosion. This colorless carbo-nitrate formula enriches the steel with oxygen, sealing its pores. Tenifer makes the steel extremely hard (as hard as industrial diamond on the Rockwell scale) and corrosion resistant. The surface you come into contact with the most (the outside of the slide) is actually a plastic coating over the Tenifer.


Glock handguns all have three safety mechanisms: 1) the trigger safety, 2) the firing pin safety, and c) the drop safety. The only way a Glock handgun will fire is for the trigger to be pulled fully to the rear. The Glock is neither a technically true Single Action, nor a Double Action. Glock calls its action the "Safe Action", which is close to a Double Action.


Some of the Steel parts used in EVERY GLOCK:


01 - Slide - Steel

02 - Barrel - Steel

03 - Recoil spring assembly - Steel

04 - Firing pin - Steel

05 - Firing pin spring - Steel

06 - Firing pin safety spring - Steel

07 - Extractor - Steel

08 - Extractor depressor plunger spring - Steel

09 - Magazine catch spring - Steel

10 - Slide lock spring - Steel

11 - Slide lock - Steel

12 - Trigger spring - Steel

13 - Slide stop lever - Steel

14 - Magazine spring – Steel


Current Glock Models Available:


Glock 17 - Standard 9mm, 17 round magazine

Glock 17L - Competition 9mm (long barrel), 17 round magazine.

Glock 18 - Select Fire 9mm (full-auto capable - LE or Military Only) 33 round magazine

Glock 19 - Compact 9mm, 15 round magazine

Glock 20 - Standard 10mm, 15 round magazine

Glock 21 - Standard .45-cal., 13 round magazine

Glock 22 - Standard .40-cal., 15 round magazine

Glock 23 - Compact .40-cal., 13 round magazine

Glock 24 - Competition - Long Slide .40-cal., 15 round magazine

Glock 25 - Compact .380 auto, 15 round magazine (not available in US)

Glock 26 - Sub-compact 9mm, 10 round magazine

Glock 27 - Sub-compact .40-cal., 9 round magazine

Glock 28 - Sub-compact .380 auto, 10 round magazine (not available in US)

Glock 29 - Sub-compact 10mm, 10 round magazine

Glock 30 - Sub-compact .45-cal., 10 round magazine

Glock 31 - Standard .357 Sig, 15 round magazine

Glock 32 - Compact .357 Sig, 13 round magazine

Glock 33 - Sub-compact .357 Sig, 9 round magazine

Glock 34 - Practical-Tactical 9mm competition pistol, 17 round magazine

Glock 35 - Practical-Tactical .40-cal. competition pistol, 15 round magazine

Glock 36 - Slimline .45-cal., 6 round magazine

Glock 37 - Standard .45 GAP, 10 round magazine


This is a complete list of ALL Glock Models available. EVERY SINGLE GLOCK MODEL contains the Steel parts mentioned above!


The Toughest Handgun Ever Made?


Glock Pistols are some of the most extensively tested handguns in the world. Glocks have been frozen in ice, buried in mud, sand, and dust; immersed in salt water, heated, dropped out of aircraft, run over by vehicles, fired un-lubricated; fired underwater, thrown against steel and concrete; and have been soaked in corrosive chemicals used in nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare. Glocks have been fired tens of thousands of times without malfunction. In all these cases, the Glock used did not rust, prematurely discharge, or experience any major parts breakage. Because of its reliability under extreme conditions and abuse, the Glock has become one of the most popular handguns in the World!


To Wrap Things Up

There is nothing worse in my opinion, than a Firearms Owner who does NOT KNOW their Firearm, inside and out! And, it is obvious by their continued claims to have an ‘All Plastic Glock’, that person known as “Reader” has not taken the time to properly understand the Handgun that they own. This is irresponsible behavior! Any one who owns a Firearm, should KNOW that Firearm Thoroughly; ie: parts composition and their required cleaning, safe handling, proper ammunition specs, ect… All this can usually be found in the Owners Manual; which by the way, comes with every Firearm! You just need to take a couple of minutes to read it! It is the FIRST thing I do when I bring any newly acquired Firearm home! We have the Constitutional RIGHT to own Firearms. We have the OBLIGATION to be Responsible and Safe Gun Owners!


2003 - 2004 Northwdsnh

Back to: Live Free Or Die