Glocks Don’t Have Safeties, and It Makes Them Safer

Susan Fernandez November 11 2021

For those who are familiar with the gun topic, you may wonder, why don't Glocks have safeties? Let us show you some insight on the matter. 

The history of Glock

Glock is a gun manufacturing company based out of Austria; it is most renowned for its simplistic design and durability. The first Glock was designed by Gaston Glock, who won the Austrian Army's contract to replace their outdated sidearm in 1982.

Gaston Glock modeled his design after the then-new polymer housing concept that was revolutionizing the automotive industry at the time; all previous handguns had been made out of steel or aluminum, but these pistols were made using lightweight plastics and nonferrous metals (the sole exception being the hammer). This new material allowed for weight reduction and higher magazine capacity, as well as lower maintenance requirements.

The initial idea of this polymer construction worked so well with regards to cost-effectiveness and reliability that Winchester adopted it for their new shotgun, and later on, for the new M-17 wheeled armored vehicle.

Glock 17 was first introduced in 1982. These guns incorporate three independent safeties

  1. Trigger safety
  2. Firing pin safety
  3. Drop safety

The safeties disengage when the shooter pulls the trigger. After the bullet releases, the safeties reengage back automatically. 

Trigger safety

The trigger safety is located in the trigger. 

It is an extension that sticks out from the trigger when it has not been pulled, and it goes back into the gun when the trigger is pulled. It prevents accidental pressing of the trigger. 

Firing pin safety

The firing pin safety consists of a small metal rod with a spring on either side. The lower end of this rod touches a hollow chamber inside the slide of the cartridge. When you pull the trigger, a disconnector attached to it rotates and allows for internal functioning, thus creating space for that lower end, which then disengages from the aforementioned chamber and makes sure that nothing happens if you accidentally put your finger on top of the loaded pistol while checking if it's loaded, or while you're pulling the slide manually.

Drop safety

The drop safety is a small piece of metal on top of the trigger bar. When it drops from its resting position, it allows for internal operations and activates the disconnector that disengages the hollow chamber in the firing pin safety.

How safeties in Glock work

These safety mechanisms protect the Glock from shooting in case it drops accidentally. Only the shooter can fire a bullet by depressing the trigger with force. 

Without human intervention, a Glock won't go off shooting bullets. So, it's pretty safe as long as a finger isn't pulling the trigger. 

The trigger safety is a lever integrated into the trigger. In the forward position, the lever wouldn't allow the trigger to move rearward. So, to fire a bullet, you would need to pull the trigger safety lever and the trigger at the same time.

The fire pin safety secures the bullet from releasing if you depress the trigger halfway. It won't allow the bullet to fire until you pull the trigger completely.  The Safety ramp system ensures that all mechanisms reengage after firing immediately. 

Misconceptions about Glocks' safety

Despite the three safeties, many feel that Glocks are unsafe only because they lack external safety. In other words, due to no mechanical safety device that demands to be manually disengaged, Glocks face criticism. 

One of the reasons why some strikers could feel this way is that Glocks have a "light trigger" pull.  Some double-action handguns like Bertha 92 have a super heavy trigger pull. With the initial trigger pull of 13 pounds, the gun follows many steps before firing a bullet. 

Now, one could argue that someone who has a habit of putting a lot of force and pressure on the trigger might cause a Glock to go off by mistake. But, one should consider that it is a training flaw and not the fault of Glock's design. 

Strikers accustomed to "heavy trigger" handguns can either train well or avoid Glocks. That's the best solution for anybody who feels underconfident with using a Glock. However, in reality, it is much safer than other guns that have mechanical safety disengagement. 

Why Glocks are safer? 

When the trigger safety lever has not been pulled in a Glock's mechanism, it locks in position and doesn't allow for any internal functioning. So, when you pull the trigger by mistake or if your finger slips off while re-engaging after firing, nothing happens.

The high degree of engineering precision makes Glocks highly reliable even though they lack traditional safeties. When compared to other handguns on the market today, one can see apparent performance-to-safety ratios with respect to these three different models that lack external safety devices. That's why Glocks are preferred among law enforcement officers. They're not just cost-effective but also safe. Considering their exceptional tolerances, they are the first choice for military use as well.

Glocks don't need an extra safety device because they come with greatly engineered internal safeties. So, you can handle them without worrying about accidental firing. Moreover, these models lack any levers or buttons so it's almost impossible to fire a Glock by mistake under normal conditions.

The trigger safety engaged before pulling also requires some force to move it down into the mechanism that disables the trigger from moving forward. It ensures that you won't discharge bullets unintentionally even if your finger accidentally slips off the gun during handling.

External and mechanical safeties

Not incorporating any external or mechanical safeties actually makes Glocks safer. In a life or death situation, a Glock proves to be the safest and reliable firearm. Because let's be honest, if you own a gun for protection but can't shoot when you are in genuine need, what's even the point? 

Anybody would like a "light trigger" that shoots quick at a single trigger pull in that kind of situation. That's why those who arm themselves without practicing firing a lot can make perfect use of a Glock. Also, it is super significant to remember that the gun only goes off when you pull the trigger. This is a great safety point on its own. 

Like, do not depress the trigger if you don't want to shoot. So, recklessness isn't allowed while dealing with a Glock. Proper training can prevent unwanted accidents. A well-trained striker wouldn't feel that the Glock is unsafe at all. 

Final Thoughts

Glocks are safe to use as long as the person who's handling them follows a responsible attitude.  As a striker, you need to understand all the safety details. Additionally, you should be aware of "light trigger" dangers and how to work around them. These precautions will make your Glock absolutely safe for use.

If you want a firearm that is cost-efficient as well as reliable enough to save your life in an emergency situation, go ahead with a Glock. After all, it's not just safe but also durable and tough enough to last long years even if handled roughly by its user. 

So, from now on don't say or think that Glocks have no safeties! Yes, they do have internal mechanisms including a unique design of the solid aluminum trigger which requires pressure from the middle finger before firing a bullet rather than applying side pressure that other handguns may have. Thus, the design of a Glock's trigger enables it to be safer than any other handgun on today's market.

Only a careless striker would complain about Glocks not being secure enough to carry. Because let's recall that without pulling the trigger, a Glock won't shoot. It has a lighter trigger, but that only goes to your advantage when you're in a pinch and need to fire a bullet at all costs. 

So, if you came here thinking, why don't Glocks have safeties? We hope that answers your question now.