192 – Plastic Guns

I thank God for all that He has done for me this year.  I am truly thankful.

This has been an incredible year for me and this podcast.  I have learned a lot.  My son is in college.  My family is whole and happy.  I still have a job.  I am still a pastor.  I have met some great people.  I have talk to many of the people that listen to the show.  I have shared some of my whacky life experiences and you have with me.  Friends of mine have conceived babies, and some have been wed.  Babies were born.  I spoke on the grounds of the Washington Monument.  (The 1st Second Amendment Rally), .  I have been published on Human Events.com.  I have started a new book.  I have been supported by some really great people I call the Urban Shooter Association.  Corporately, Crossbreed Holsters and Lucky Gunner are helping me reach more people.  And I launched  Kenn Blanchard Promotions, a marketing business to support other small pro-gun businesses like, ESS Eyepro, SlateandJones.com.  I met Michael Bane and became a part of DownRange.TV’s blog.  I got a chance to attend the SHOT Show as a media representative.  I went to a bloggers conference sponsored by BlackHawk! and met some awesome women like Barbara Baird, Laura, and Ashley Burgess.  I learned a few things from Todd Jarrett.  Had dinner with some of my listeners and new friends.  Traveled to Hollywood, CA and interviewed some of Hollywoods’ pro-gun actors.  Got the opportunity to review guns from ISSC Austria and Sig Sauer Arms.  I got listed on IMDB.  I am watching the growth of the Gun Rights Radio Network.  I co-published my first kindle ready book to Amazon.com.  Though it makes no real money, I have an ipod ap, like I am somebody.  And through it all still growing as a person.

This week on The Urban Shooter Podcast:

  • Dr. Bruce Eimer, Personaldefensesolutions.net
  • Zombie Strike #51
  • Wanted Dead or Alive
  • Plastic Guns
  • This Year Will Be Different

Barbara  from www.womensoutdoornews.com informs us about wills, estates, how gun buybacks rip of widows and warns against predatory firearm poachers.  Good stuff!

Plastic Guns


Back in the mid eighties, the Austrian gun maker version of Henry Ford created a stir with the production of a new handgun called the Glock Safe Action Pistol.  The “Safe Action” system is a partly tensioned firing pin lock, which is moved further back by the trigger bar when the trigger is pulled.  When the trigger is pulled, 3 safety features are automatically deactivated one after another. When doing so, the trigger bar is deflected downward by the connector and the firing pin is released under full load. When the trigger is released, all three safety features re-engage and the GLOCK pistol is automatically secured again.  Without the tech talk, if you keep your finger off the trigger, the gun won’t fire.

Old timers called it ugly.  The media called it the plastic gun.  The fear was that this gun made from plastic polymers and steel didn’t have as much metal in it as a 1911 Semi auto or a traditional revolver so it would get through metal detectors.  Hollywood jumped on it.

“That punk pulled a Glock 7 on me! You know what that is? It’s a porcelain gun made in Germany. It doesn’t show up on your airport X-ray machines, and it costs more than you make here in a month!” –John McClain, Die Hard 2

The news media loved it.  It was the gun to be feared.  It was the gun that the terrorist were going to use to sneak into the White House.

Old timers didn’t help it; they trashed it on the bulletin boards.  It is what they had before forums and Facebook.  You heard jokes about Tupperware.  It was so new, the holsters that came out for it was plastic then Kydex.  Still not something you could brag about.  It wasn’t really customizable either.  But you know what?  It was reliable.  It was like a Timex

The truth was though that it has enough metal, among the 33 parts that make up the gun including the slide and barrel, springs to be detectable.  Why can’t it be plastic?  Because plastics and other synthetic material simply can’t handle the explosions, shock and pressures that the ignition of gunpowder generates. The stuff that makes it a “gun” has to be forged from steel. As such, the barrel, slide, firing pin, frame rails, screws and springs are all quite detectable, and the gun can’t function without any of those.

So, why use plastic? Because it’s lighter, and it doesn’t rust or pit like steel can. It’s a good design choice, and most modern firearms makers produce models with polymer frames.

The hysteria started with a poorly-researched Washington Post article in 1985 titled, “Quaddafi Buying Austrian Plastic Pistol.” Jack Anderson, always a paragon for journalistic integrity, didn’t bother to do any fact-checking, and the rest of the press picked up on it like jackals on a zebra. The whole silly debacle culminated in the Terrorist Firearm Detection Act of 1988, in which our leaders wasted time and money outlawing something that didn’t exist based on an unfounded rumor.

But it didn’t stop the sale and promotion of magnetometers.  Fortune Magazine in 1986

A NEW X-RAY SCANNER TO HINDER HIJACKERS

American Science & Engineering Inc.’s ”flying spot” beam can help inspectors detect plastic pistols, the newest terrorist tool.

By – Eleanor Johnson Tracy

April 28, 1986

(FORTUNE Magazine) – THE GLOCK 17 PISTOL is the latest terrorist weapon to menace air travelers around the world. The simple, lightweight, Austrian-made gun has a suggested retail price of $443 and has 32 pieces — many of them plastic, which does not show up as clearly as metal on X-ray machines. It can be taken apart or reassembled in less than a minute. Airport security officials fear that terrorists could disguise the pieces in luggage and smuggle them through X- ray inspection. Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi reportedly has ordered up to 100 Glock 17s. A new X-ray system introduced in January by American Science & Engineering Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts, may be the traveler’s best defense…..

Today is different.  Glock has been so successful; they are up to Generation Four, and making goo gobs of money.  They don’t have to advertise their products and have an air of aristocracy that is a little hard to swallow sometimes.  I am not saying they are arrogant but they are definitely not as humble and easy to get to as they were back in 1985.  They are more secretive now that there are other polymer guns and competition is fierce.  Another truth that is rarely discussed is that industrial espionage is bigger and more prevalent than the spy stuff between nations.

Twenty five plus years and counting and now Glock is no longer alone.  Polymer guns are popular now.  Smith and Wesson has its Sigma series, that looks better than the Glock but doesn’t have the reputation or reliability.  They didn’t quit though and came out with a Military and Police pistol that is liked by many, just not me, the M&P has some hardcore fans.  Springfield Armory has the XD.  Walter has a few.  Taurus is break new ground by copying and doing the best of whatever works and has a line of polymer revolvers and autoloaders.

Happy Thanksgiving and thank you all for making this a fantastic year for your friend and brother from a different mother, Kenn Blanchard.  Dr. Bruce Eimer is a guest, Thoughts about family get togethers- “this year will be different”, a joke or two, Barbara Baird, Zombie Strike #51, Wanted Dead or Alive, Shout outs.  Plastic Guns, Glocks and More.  New ad for Massad Ayoob Group.

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Shalom Baby!

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