How Does a Glock Work? | Insight Into Functioning of This Superb Handgun

A Glock is reliable, lightweight, and durable. Due to these properties, it is popular among older firearm brands. Also, a Glock has fewer parts which make it easy to use. So, how does a Glock work? This article helps you understand the functioning of a Glock.

Also, we will delve into the functions of Glock pistols. You'll learn key points to keep in mind while using it. Such points include :

  • What does Glock mean?

  • How does a Glock function?

  • What is so special about Glock?

  • Is Glock suitable for beginners?

A Glock Pistol?

Austria Glock Ges MB is the company that manufactures Glock pistols. Therefore, Glocks are semi-automatic pistols initially manufactured from scratch by Gaston Glock in 1982.

Later in 1982, the army ranked Glocks as the top-performing firearms, ideal for testing and reliability. Currently, national security agencies and police services use Glock pistol-the actual leading product from Glock Ges MB- in over 48 countries.

A Glock uses include shooting, recreation, and competition. Plus, you can carry it openly or in concealment.

What Is So Special About a Glock?

A Glock is unique because of its revolutionary system with a safe action feature that offers consistent trigger pull. Therefore, you can pull from the first round to the last.

Also, it has three independently-operating safeties that are mechanical and automatic. They are inbuilt into its fire control system, and you'll learn more about them in a few.

The combination of these features makes a Glock simple, fast and safe. Thus, it allows its users to have complete concentration while shooting. Additional safety actions before re-engaging or disengaging with a Glock pistol are unnecessary.

Additionally, a Glock is safe when dropped, and it functions perfectly in temperatures ranging from negative 40 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

a pistol

How Does a Glock Function?

Understanding how a Glock function entails understanding the safety standards and the firing mechanism called the Glock's firing cycle. Let's start with Glock's firing cycle.

A Glock’s Cycle of Firing

This cycle entails pulling its trigger, bullet release, next-bullet loading, and making the pistol ready to fire again. Here is a step-by-step process of how it goes.

Step 1

Upon pulling the trigger, the trigger bar of the Glock pulls its firing pin back. The Glock has a connector that guides the trigger pin downward.

Step 2

The downward motion of the pin frees the Glock's firing pin, allowing it to hit the firing primer.

So what's a firing primer? The part of the Glock contains explosive gasses and a powder charge that propels the bullet.

Here, the primer ignites, releasing the explosive gasses, which create an explosive charge that provides the bullet the kinetic energy that propels it to the barrel.

Step 3

The bullet spins through the barrel because its movements in the barrel assume a circular motion, propelling the shot through the Glock's mouth. The circular movement is because of the Glock's Barrel raffling.

The circular motion ensures accuracy and bullet stability during its movement.

Step 4

After releasing the bullet, the pistol firing pin pulls back, causing the removal of the spent cartilage.


When the pin recoils, it causes the barrel to tilt downward, allowing the extractor to remove used cartilage from the chamber. Thus, the extractor extracts the cartilage case and ejects the cartilage through the ejection port.

Step 5

After extraction, the Glock's bottom rail grabs another cartilage, entirely new, from the magazine, moving it to the firing chamber. This part is the end of its firing cycle.

Step 6

However, after completing the process, the trigger resets, allowing you to fire the next round.

How does the trigger reset?

During cartilage ejection, the slide moves back. This motion forces the connector hook inward, allowing an upward movement of the triggering bar.

Afterward, the forward return of the slide causes the trigger bar to retain the firing pin, releasing the trigger, which causes the firearm's connector to retreat to its place. This retreat allows another downward movement of the trigger bar, allowing the firing of another round.

The 3 Security Systems on a Glock

The security systems include:

  • Trigger (braking) safety
  • Firing (Release) pin safety
  • Drop safety system

These safety mechanisms are passively independent, and they sequentially disengage when you pull the trigger and automatically re-engage once you release the trigger.

Glock safety system

Trigger Safety

The first safety mechanism of Glock's firing cycle is the safety system in the trigger. It's a lever that, when you engage it, blocks the pistol's trigger bar from recoiling.

Therefore, you must deliberately depress the trigger and the Trigger Safety singularly to fire a Glock pistol. Failing to pull them singularly causes the frame to restrict the trigger, so you cannot fire.

Does Trigger Safety have another role? Yes. It prevents the Glock from firing if you drop it or subject the trigger to any non-direct firing pulls. However, the pistol automatically loads if the trigger is in the fore.

Firing (Release) Pin Safety

Release Pin Safety is mechanical in that during the ready-to-fire condition, it blocks the release pin from the forward movement.

The backward pull of the trigger causes its trigger bar to push the firing pin's safety up, freeing the firing pin channel. This safety system automatically re-engages when you fire and release your pistol's trigger.

Therefore, the firing pin doesn't move past this safety until the trigger bar pushes it back, allowing the release pin to pass the safety mechanism.

Trigger Reset/ Drop Safety

The housing holds the trigger in place. Therefore, the release bar cannot move forward until the trigger bar moves forward and clears the housing's ramp.

The Drop Safety allows recoiling of the trigger with limited forward engagement. Therefore, you can release the trigger halfway and fire another round. But after firing, first, you need to remove the trigger to reset. The resetting of its motivation is straightforward because you feel and hear it.

These three safety systems re-engage automatically after releasing the trigger.

Glock 19X

Upgrades for a Glock Pistol for Optimal Function

Gun users know that firing accuracy improves when the trigger is lighter and smoother. However, observing correct and proper gun safety is mandatory.

Also, you can upgrade the magazine by adding an extension or extra mags. Extended magazine releases or extended slide stop levers will make your experience exceptional because your Glock becomes friendlier because of the ease of use.

To improve shooting range and accuracy, you can mount a tactical light or a laser Glock accessory. Also, you can adjust the barrel, which helps you improve your accuracy and change some calibers.

What's more? These upgrades are simple DIY in your kitchen table at reasonable costs. So what can you upgrade?

  • Trigger
  • Barrel-(Glock marksman barrel)
  • Slide
  • Laser
  • Magazine (extended magazine release)
  • Sights

Key Differences between Glock Models

The main differences between Glock models are their sizes and caliber. The purpose of Glock is to create an affordable and reliable Glock handgun that suits most of the shooting population. Hence different models have different sizes.

Thus, the original model was 17 cm and 9mm, covering different options. If you need a sub-compact handgun for carrying concealed weapons, you can fit it with a full-sized caliber weapon (45). The opposite is possible as well. The primary pistol remains the same but evolves in generations with several subtle improvements.

Glock handgun barrels vary in caliber and length yet retain their performance and design. The grip circumference and size vary according to your preference. That is, there's a double-stacked magazine and a single-stack one.

So many variations of the Glock handguns are there? There are over 50 variations of the original G17 lineup. The general size depends on your choice as the shooter. Some choose the sub-compact handguns that fits their pockets, while others go for the long-slide models. But all the variations have the initial Gaston Glock quality and design.

a person aming with a gun in his hands

Is Glock Suitable for Beginners?

Glock is suitable for beginners because it has variations that fit your grip and are easy to operate. However, not all Glock handguns are ideal for starters.

As a starter, consider a full-size handgun with a barrel ranging between 4-5 inches because of its ease of handling. It quickly fires because this size means the gun has a mass that absorbs the recoil fast, allowing a direct firing pull.

Many law enforcers use Glock 19 9mm because of unique features and technology like the fingerprint gun lock safety and controller recoil. However, G19 isn't ideal for beginners like G49, which is perfect because it has the features above.

Wrap Up

A Glock is accurate, and it has a unique rifling technique with mechanical and automatic firearm safety. Therefore, you can aim at a greater distance compared to other handguns. And, you can always upgrade any part of the Glock to suit your need and preference. 

However, its firing cycle shows that Glock's reliability and pistol safety tests make them usable by many law enforcers. Therefore, beginner shooters and pros alike have various choices of Glock guns. Enjoy working your Glock!

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