Gaston Glock, the Austrian inventor of the Glock handgun that flooded the world with millions of his durable, lightweight weapons, has died at the age of 94.
Glock’s weapons are perhaps best known for being carried by police and military personnel across the globe, and are widely acknowledged as having sparked a revolution in the firearms industry due to their affordable price and nearly indestructible construction.
The Austrian firearms magnate passed away peacefully on Tuesday, surrounded by his family.
Glock had no firearms experience or engineering background when he began work on in the early 1980s, but was an avid hunter and shooter. After learning of the police’s dissatisfaction with their then-standard pistols, Glock worked with firearms experts to come up with a handgun that could do more in less time with minimal training.
The Glock 17, unveiled in 1982, quickly caught on among civilians and in the law enforcement and military communities alike. The pistol was made of polymer reinforced with metal parts to reduce weight and production costs. It also had an innovative “safe action” trigger safety that allowed the shooter to fire the weapon without the need for an external safety.
Over the four decades that followed, Glock released dozens of iterations of the Glock handgun, and it became one of the most recognizable firearms in the world. Hundreds of millions of Glock handguns have been produced, making it one of the most popular handguns worldwide.
Glock’s impact was felt well beyond the firearms industry. His polymers revolutionized the design of lightweight and durable objects, from helmets to vehicles and more.
At the time of his death, Glock was considered one of the world’s wealthiest people, with an estimated net worth of $5.3 billion. He will be remembered for his remarkable contributions to the firearms industry.