A Glock With a Manual Safety

Photos have been released of Glock's entry in the Army's Modular Handgun System trial, and they have some decidedly non-Glock features.
Photos have been released of Glock's entry in the Army's Modular Handgun System trial, and it has some decidedly non-Glock features. photo from americanrifleman.comweb photo

Much has been made in the gun world of the Army's choice for its new M17 pistol, the SIG Sauer P320, as well as the striker-fired runners-up in the Modular Handgun System trial that didn't quite make the Army's cut (some of which are now on the market for civilians).

But one question has gone largely unanswered until now: what did Glock’s entry look like?

From this story from guns.com we know that the reason the government decided not go with a Glock pistol may have had less to do with the actual guns and more to do with the price tag.

The story says SIG's bid beat out the Austrian gunmaker's proposal by about $100 million, and price was one of eight factors on which the designs were judged. In the remaining seven categories, the story says the P320 was found to be "acceptable" in one category, "good" in three, and "outstanding" in three, while the Glock was found "acceptable" in one, "good" in five, and "marginal" in one.

It can be assumed that the Glock's modularity, which was at the core of the trial and something the design is lacking, in comparison to its competitors, is the category that garnered it a “marginal” rating.

The G19 MHS submission pictured with extended magazines.
The G19 MHS submission pictured with extended magazines. photo from americanrifleman.comweb photo

This story from americanrifleman.com reveals photos of the G19 9mm pistol submitted by Glock for the MHS trial. The story says Glock also submitted a G23 in .40 S&W for the trial. Among other things, the photos quash the silly Internet rumors that Glock flat-out refused to put a manual thumb safety on its submissions, a requirement of the MHS pistol. The photos also show frames without finger grooves, a feature the MHS solicitation specifically prohibited.

From the photos, it appears the Glock offerings have the company’s Modular Backstrap System, which allow some customization for hand size, but it falls short of the chassis and Firing Group Module of the P320 or the Beretta APX and the grips don’t appear to have any interchangeable side panels.

Those with a keen eye will also notice an added lanyard loop on the base of the grip frame. The manual safety, which looks decidedly strange on a Glock frame, is ambidextrous. A shallow paddle on the left side and a lever on the right extends from a recess in the frame around the mechanism housing pin.

This is in stark contrast to the SIG P320, which is capable of swapping both frames and uppers to become anything from a subcompact pistol to a full-sized handgun in a range of calibers, thanks to its chassis system.

The American Rifleman story says there are no immediate plans to offer a MHS version of the G19 to the public. But gun owners can get MHS offerings from other companies like the FN 509 and the APX, both of which are available with or without a manual safety.

Both sides of the Glock MHS pistol. Note the differences in the safety levers and the added lanyard loop at the base of the grip.
Both sides of the Glock MHS pistol. Note the differences in the safety levers and the added lanyard loop at the base of the grip. photo from americanrifleman.comweb photo