The Glock 44, a .22 caliber pistol similar to others in the maker’s lineup, debuted on Dec. 10. Online talk did not focus on the positives of the new model but on criticism of the launch. The Austrian gun company teased a “Legendary News” announcement, but when the news turned out to be a small-capacity (10-round) .22 pistol with a large frame size, it was met with derision and scorn. Perhaps after Glock enthusiasts get over feeling duped by the hype, the pistol’s measure will be better gauged.
A 44 Is a .22
Gaston Glock named his pistols sequentially, as he designed them, and the company continued the naming convention. That’s why this is not a Glock 22; this is the 44th firearm design from the manufacturer. The new pistol is chambered in a .22 Long Rifle, a term that is misleading on its face, because the cartridge is short, not long, and the round is used just as often in pistols as in rifles. However, it has never been used by Glock.
Glock changed the world with his use of polymer materials for firearm frames and the superior durability and performance of his guns. His Glock 17 revolutionized the sidearm market, popularizing polymer construction and the 9mm cartridge. Still at the helm of the company as managing director, the engineer has overseen the production of many different models across seven popular calibers, but this is the first .22. While the utility of a reliable small-caliber pistol is great, the gun world was hoping for much more, with expectations seeded and watered by the company.
Pistol Caliber Carbine
For a long time, enthusiasts have expressed a desire for a pistol-caliber carbine from Glock. A carbine is a short rifle that might fire a full rifle cartridge or a pistol cartridge. With Glock’s ability to produce exceptionally durable pistols with excellent cost to value, and a paucity of market alternatives, hopes were high that such a carbine was coming. Its popularity would be guaranteed for many reasons, including the lower price of pistol compared to rifle ammunition and reduced recoil, muzzle flash, and weight.
Those factors make carbines a good choice for smaller people and home defense. Glock, however, was not convinced, and the gun forum posts hoping/demanding/praying for such a product likely will continue. Others speculated the company might be ready to introduce its version of an AR-15 or perhaps a 1991-style pistol. Any of those would have been major news in the gun world. The Glock 44 announcement was not that, and, worse, the company spent months building anticipation for what would never be.
For weeks, in a video presentation, Glock billed the coming firearm as legendary. Like a discount Steve Jobs at a Macworld Expo, company President Gunter Gigacher took to the stage to speak for Mr. Glock, but instead of elevating the energy, his presentation fell flat. Not properly miked and reading from an iPad, Gigacher delivered an anticlimax. Instead of broadcasting this announcement through multiple platforms, the company required its audience to register to watch the commercial, which was then plagued by technical malfunctions.
I watched the event live-streamed from the smartphone of an attendee in Austria and broadcast on YouTube. What a fail, and for what turned out to be a minor addition to the product line. The major gun forums hurled a host of insults at the company. Some were directed at the firearm, for its large frame and low capacity; most were critical of the misleading marketing.
I visited the Glock website to confirm details before submitting this article and was greeted with the image displayed to the right.
It’s beyond parody. There’s probably nowhere in America with fewer Glocks in private hands per capita than New York City. Gun culture in the Big Apple is nonexistent, and it’s a sound wager there are more Glocks in Harrisburg, PA, than Manhattan. What are they thinking? The marketing team might want to work on their resumes.
Read more from Scott D. Cosenza.