A number of years ago, I went to the Indy 1500 Gun Show with a buddy. He was in the market for a specific rifle; I was looking to buy a .40 caliber pistol. We wandered for two hours among the booths and tables and came upon a re-seller dealer from northern Indiana who was selling almost exclusively Glocks. And they were priced very aggressively.
(Side note: If you’ve never been to a gun show, it’s truly one of the bucket experiences to complete, even if you’re not a firearms enthusiast. You have thousands of people walking around buying and selling and trading everything from firearms to ammunition to hunting and camping and survival gear to even jewelry. And every single person is on their best behavior saying,”pardon me” or “I’m sorry” or “excuse me” when they accidentally bump into you. Very polite and well-mannered people.)
Anyways, I find a nice police-trade in Glock .40 caliber pistol that I buy and I take it over to another booth at the show where Glock, the company, sets up their own booth with their own master gunsmiths to answer questions about new and used firearms. There is this fella there who literally knows every detail about Glocks, from the very first model through their current ones. He is about 60 years old, receeding hairline with slicked back hair, wire-framed glasses. As an attendee at the show, you can pay him $20 to field strip down any Glock and then add extras to it. He’ll also point out any issues and make recommendations.
So, like Ralphie in movie “The Christmas Story”, I eagerly hand him my newly acquired pistol to check out and ask him to also add a wider thumb release to it. He takes the pistol and his hands are a complete blur for the next 2 seconds. I mean he has that firearm disassembled like that. And then his eyes go as big as golf balls as he’s looking at the lower handle part. He looks up at me, then down at the part again. Oh-oh…..my mind is now wondering,”What’s he seeing? Did I buy a POS gun?”
He looks back up at me again and slowly asks,”You know what you got here?”
I quietly shake my head to say “No…”.
He pulls off his wire-rimmed glasses and pulls the lower handle part up close to his eyes, then tells me to look closely at the rear slide guides. He begins the story as such,”You have a very unique Glock. You see these extra metal flanges here and here?” I nod. He continues,”This is a Gen 3 Glock which there were only a few hundred manufactured. You see, a few years back there was a situation that almost shattered Glock’s reputation for having the best firearms for police and military use. A police officer got into a scuffle with a man and the man was able to reach and grab the officer’s Glock and strip off the slide from the gun, thus disabling it completely.”
My jaw literally dropped open.
He continued,”….of course, when Glock got wind of this issue, a massive investigation was launched internally with hundreds of tests being conducted on all their police issue firearms. Can you imagine the dangers if anyone could disarm a cop by pulling apart their gun? So even after months and months of testing, Glock decided to alter the flanges of the rear guides, which is what you have here.”
I asked him,”So what’s the big deal then about this gun as compared to the millions of others just like it?”
He responded,”Glock started manufacturing guns using the new design and issuing them to police departments. But during the trial of the perpetrator and an internal affairs investigation of the officer from his police department, Glock finally learned the truth: The officer lied about the firearm malfunctioning. It never happened.”
Again, jaw drop.
He concluded the story by saying Glock reverted back to it’s original design, certainly breathing a collective sigh of relief. He then finished the examination of my firearm and said it was in excellent condition for it’s age, added the thumb release, and handed it back to me with a smile.
1. If you find an expert in their field of study, take the time to listen to that expert when they are eager to share their knowledge with you. I could have just left the gun with him and continued shopping to pick it up later that day but I would have missed out on this fabulous historical story. Every time I handle this firearm, my mind goes back to the story.
2. Not everyone tells the truth. Yes, you know this already. But even the people who are sworn to tell the truth don’t always tell the truth, either. Trust, but verify. This goes beyond just your tenants–it includes landlords, contractors, even real estate agents.
3. Even the best protocols, plans, and preventative methods/tools sometimes fail. Humans are messy individuals–physically, emotionally, psychologically, and financially. Not every scenario can be thought of, anticipated, and blocked. But….true professionals will respond rapidly to never-seen-before scenarios with the necessary resources to fix the situation before it grows out of control and before people get hurt, either physically or financially.