Gaston Glock: Inventor of popular handgun dies aged 94

AUSTRALIA: Gaston Glock, the Austrian engineer who invented the Glock handgun, has died aged 94.

The Glock company said in a statement that its founder’s life’s work would “continue in his spirit”.

The weapon has been used by armed forces, security personnel, gun owners and criminals around the world.

Its rise was cemented by American pop culture and appearances in Hollywood blockbusters including science-fiction action film The Matrix Reloaded.

Despite the popularity of his creation, Glock has been described as a reclusive billionaire who spent most of his time at a lakefront estate in Austria.

He was rarely in the news, only making headlines when a book about his business was published in 2012, after a divorce from his first wife in 2011 and when a business associate tried to have him killed in the late 1990s.

In the latter incident, the hired attacker, a professional wrestler, beat him seven times on the head with a rubber mallet but Glock, then 70, fought back and managed to knock out his assailant.

“Gaston Glock charted the strategic direction of the Glock Group throughout his life and prepared it for the future,” the company said.

It added that its leader had “revolutionised the world of small arms” and “succeeded in establishing the Glock brand as the global leader in the handgun industry”.

Glock, who was born in 1929, studied mechanical engineering at a college in Vienna. He later founded a consumer goods business in a town outside the Austrian capital.

In the early 1980s, the business branched into military supplies and answered a call from the Austrian army that was looking to update its pistols.

Glock designed and patented a lightweight 9-millimetre semiautomatic handgun, which could fire 18 rounds and be easily reloaded.

The gun gained a loyal following among military and police personnel worldwide.

Paul Barrett, the author of Glock: The Rise of America’s Gun, wrote that the weapon had become “the Google of modern civilian handguns: the pioneer brand that defines its product category”.

Forbes estimated Glock’s personal fortune at $1.1bn (£863m) in 2021.

The Glock also found a place in US pop culture. “Get yourself a Glock and lose that nickel-plated sissy pistol,” actor Tommy Lee Jones said in the 1998 movie US Marshals.

American rappers Snoop Dogg and Wu-Tang Clan also worked the gun into their rhymes.


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