Did Gaston Glock Invent the Negligent Discharge?

A Glock pistol is as dangerous as the hand holding it.
A Glock pistol is as dangerous as the hand holding it.
Student of the Gun
Student of the Gun

Biloxi, Mississippi (Ammoland) 

(Editor’s Note: This piece was published in 2013. Given recent events, it seemed a good idea to pull it back out. Enjoy.)

“Those guns and just unsafe, you’ll never convince me otherwise.” so said a retired police officer during a recent conversation. The topic of conversation was, of course, the Austrian Wonder-Nine, the Plastic Fantastic, the hardest working pistol in show business today…the GLOCK 17.

To be completely honest, I find it a bit odd that in the year 2015 we are still having the Pro/Anti Glock discussions. GLOCK Gmbh. was founded in 1981 and the Model 17 pistol was their first offering in 1982. The Austrian military immediately saw the value of the gun and set the company in motion toward market dominance.

Not a New Design

Folks, Glock pistols have been around for over thirty years and yet some gun culture people talk about them as if they are some recent offering, somehow untested and wet behind the ears. Let’s face facts. If the Glock design was so flawed and faulty, why is it that every major handgun manufacturer in the world now has some type of polymer-framed, striker-fired pistol in their gun stable?

We can argue specifics and minute details until the cows come home, and I don’t even see them on the horizon yet, but with only slight modifications, most of the popular, internal striker-fired pistols function in a very similar manner. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the schematics.

The Creation of the ND

Let’s be intellectually honest, the negligent discharge did not begin with the invention of the Glock pistol. There have been negligent discharges since the ability to discharge a firearm came into being. Can we agree on that?  Can we agree that there have been ND’s since the invention of the firearm?

Yet, there are those malcontents that will acquiesce to the previous assertion but will point out what they feel is as an overabundance of negligent discharges where the Glock pistol was the hardware in question. This is particularly true when the subject of law enforcement using the Glock comes up. “More cops ND Glocks than any other handgun.” Said one man feeling he had put the cork on the anti-Glock argument.

If we agree with the previously presented logic, that the Glock is the least safe for police officers, then we could say that the Whitney Wolverine (go ahead, Google it) is the safest pistol available in the United States because during the year 2012 not one single police officer was reported to have ND’d said pistol.

Riddle me this Batman, if eighty to ninety percent of American police agencies issue Glock pistols in some form or fashion, with what pistol will said police personnel most likely have a negligent discharges? From a hypothetical standpoint, let’s say that males age 16 to 19 on average crash more 2005 Chevy sedans than any other single make. By that token are we supposed to believe that Chevrolet automobiles made in the year 2005 are the most dangerous cars on the road? Or, can we instead surmise that teenage boys drive more Chevy cars than any other and consequently will crash more of them?

The final more prevalent argument against the Glock, and by extension any striker-fired pistol, is that carrying a Glock pistol is akin to carrying an S&W Model 66 with the hammer-cocked back. This argument shows a critical amount of under-education when it comes to the mechanical workings of the patented Glock “Safe-Action” trigger system. Contrary to urban legend, the firing pin on a Glock pistol is not “fully-cocked on a hair trigger”.

Training, Training, Training

Several years ago a firearms instructor, for whom I have a great deal of respect, opined that police agencies will never be able to “punish away” negligent discharges. Rather than simply create greater and more severe punishments for the commission of an ND, to try and ‘scare’ them to be safe, he suggest another route….

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LASD decade long study found strikers with no external safety had higher rates of ND among both: new recruits with the striker as their first gun, and older recruits who were transitioning from DA/SA. Older recruits indicates part of problem is (re)training/habituation — but increased rate among younger indicates part of the elevated ND rate is indeed a design deficiency.

Albert Lowe

“Those guns AND just unsafe…”. Doesn’t anyone do proofreading anymore???

Tenring Rob

Amazed at how many Glocks are being sold used or in trade for 1911’s. I don’t understand why if they are so good, everyone wants to dump them for something else. Police issue Glocks because they get a massive discount on the price from Glock. The S&W M&P is a better designed pistol with a better stock trigger and has more available options I like. Adjustable grip size and a thumb safety are nice options.

pistol pete

i love when i read if glocks are so bad why do all the police use them.. it has to do with a marketing and kick backs pay offs and also that glock wanted the police market to peddle there guns they almost gave them away to police departments in trades now that everyone has fell for it well here we are are .are they a good gun? well they shoot costs glock 75 bucks each to make and your totally right they wont shoot unless the trigger is pulled but that dont take in account if something like a… Read more »

Paul L

Any one who try’s to make a fool proof device never takes into consideration the ingenuity of fools.


I am a sworn LEO that has carried a Glock for 16 years, also a Glock Armorer for 13 years. My Agency has experienced its share of NDs that I know of; 4 Glock, 2 AR, 1 pump shotgun, and several Taser. Glocks may have a higher rate of NDs because of how you disassemble. Drop magazine,rack slide making sure empty, pull trigger. Somebody always pulls trigger on a loaded gun. When agencies change to Glock from a different brand, stress the importance to clear the gun before dis-assembly. 1. Glock fired into hand. After a spouse cleaned pistol for… Read more »


Right about NYPD issuing the Glock with the “NY” triggers.

Recall the recent ND during NYPD serving warrant at residence, large dog rushed out towards NYPD supervisor in white dress shirt, patrol officer lets off a round that ricochets off the ground, nobody was injured and the dog was then controlled by family member in the home and warrant was served.


Yes, you can make it safer, keep it out of the hands of “Idiots” who cannot keep thier finger off of the trigger….


It may be a safe pistol but you can always come up with new ideas to make it safer and better.


1) Weld barrel, 2) Disassemble, 3) Place in safe, 4) Drop safe in the Mariana Trench. Safer.

Oh, and put a nickel trigger lock on it too.


These recent anti-Glock articles are idiots just looking for problems. If the Glock is not safe for cops, neither is the Springfield XD, HK VP9, Walther PPQ, Sig Sauer P320, as they all have NO external safety and have short triggers within the 4-6 lb. range just like the Glock. Some of these guns have even less trigger travel than the Glock and most dont have the trigger tab safety the Glock has which should make some of these like the Sig P320 even more “dangerous” for a cop to use. Ridiculous. Besides, didn’t the NYPD convert all their Glocks… Read more »


Just keep your finger off the trigger and nothing bad will happen. If you can’t keep your finger off the trigger of a gun, any gun, then you shouldn’t own any gun.