Saturday, January 12, 2013

Tommy Atkins rocks out with his Glock out...

So the Brits have inked a deal with the purveyors of Austria's Drastic Plastic and the Glock 17 will become the standard service sidearm of the UK milit'ree, replacing a stock of increasingly decrepit Browning High Powers (which UK SOF had already ditched for the SIG P-226 some time back.)

It's a pretty big feather in Gaston's cap. Sure, the Glock is a common cop handgun, the closest thing to a universal police sidearm in the US since the K-frame Smith, but it hasn't made huge inroads as a standard service sidearm, which is what it was designed to be in the first place. Austria, a couple of smaller NATO armies, some various special ops units, and a bunch of non-aligned countries and Third World places run by guys dressed like train conductors, but never adopted as a standard issue sidearm by one of the Big Boys.

I'm surprised that an order for a tri-service general issue sidearm from the UK MOD is only 25k units, though. That wouldn't equip the whole New York City Police Department.I guess now that the sun's set on the empire, it doesn't take nearly as many pistols to man the mealy bag walls.

40 comments:

Firehand said...

Maybe the people deciding have fallen with the European Disease of thinking of it not as a fighting tool but as a rank or position badge?

After all, if you don't think of it as a real weapon, then the military doesn't need that many.

Anonymous said...

Or maybe it's 'cause they don't trust even their own military with guns....

Tam said...

Firehand,

"Maybe the people deciding have fallen with the European Disease of thinking of it not as a fighting tool but as a rank or position badge?"

Doubtful. I think it's just that there're that few slots needing a pistol on their TO&E.

I don't know how it works in the British army, but it's generally a weapon for cops and cannon cockers and assistant gunners... provided there are actually enough to go around for everyone who's supposed to have one to get one, which there never is.

John Stephens said...

Also officers and staff NCOs. I wonder if British officers still purchase their own sidearms?

staghounds said...

Ha, that's funny!

Anonymous said...

What!?!!
When did they stop using Webleys?
No wonder the empire has fallen.
Give me a good top-break every time!

Scott J said...

I owned a Glock 19 for a brief time. I sold it to raise money for a Garand since I'd added two other 9mm to the collection since acquiring it (it was my first Europellet gun).

I've since added the Springfield XD-9 to the collection so buying a Glock makes no sense.

However, sometimes I'm tempted to add one just because the things are so ubiquitous.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

The British Army is one of the 'Big Boys' still?

Now if China adopted them...

ScribblersDad said...

Love the tether in the photo of the Brit + Glock. Reminds me of those mitten keepers kids wore in first grade... pull on a kid's left mitten and he smacks himself in the face with his right. Also, nothing like training someone ad infinitum for the JMB correct grip angle of the Hi-Power and then asking them to use Glocks. Gonna be a few holes in the ceiling at the range! Not a Glock fan.

Al T. said...

The USMC has more folks than the British Army. 25K actually surprised me, must have more aircrew than I thought.

ScribblersDad, a coiled lanyard is a very handy item. My M9 wore on pretty much 24/7.

Robin said...

I'm surprised that an order for a tri-service general issue sidearm from the UK MOD is only 25k units, though

They only have to buy enough to have one to show recruits who will stand around it mouth agape.

Stephens, that was a funny line.

Michael said...

Damn, I just looked it up, and sure enough, there's only about 180,000 active duty in the UK military, including AF and Navy. Barely 105k in the Army, including Gurkas.

http://www.armedforces.co.uk/mod/listings/l0003.html

Wow. No wonder they can no longer muster an aircraft carrier, hell, it would take half their Navy personnel just to man it.

Frank W. James said...

I'm surprised they bought even that many considering all the Glocks they confiscated from British subjects back in '94 when they outlawed the civilian possession of handguns...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Anonymous said...

Wonder if those "decrepit" HP's will make their way to CDNN in this brave new world?

ZOMG, HIGH-POWER AUTOMATICS WITH HIGH CAPACITY CLIPS! MUST BE SOMETHING NEW AND DANGEROUS!

I'd swap a Glock for one...



Stretch said...

I've 2 SMLEs from a previous replacement cycle.
Hope they'll send all those lovely Hi-Power/P-35/L9A1 pistols our way.

Michael said...

So, wanting to figure out the total # of officers in the British military, I reluctantly hit the Wikipedia page and do a word search for 'officer'. Tellingly, Wikipedia informs me of the racial breakdown of the British military, but not the officer/enlisted ratio.

Is there a better example about how the hive mind of today is out of touch with what's important in the real world?

Les Jones said...

This post brought to mind the photos of Prince Harry wearing a Browning Hi-Power in his chest Molle. Somehow a Glock just isn't gonna be the same.

http://i274.photobucket.com/albums/jj246/Hoppesno10/Pistols/Screenshot2011-02-16at94454PM.png

And if something gets in the trigger guard, there goes the royal family.

Ajdshootist said...

Msg for Frank W James most of the Glocks they got in the handgun ban they were going to give to the Police
but they found that most were not usable most had been how shall i put it got at i used to work in a gun dealers who stocked and sold glocks
and most of the owners i new had got at them before they were handed in.

Al T. said...

Most were not usable. Most had been, how shall i put it, "got" at. Good for them!

Sabotage has such a lovely ring to it!

og said...

I been looking at a 21 myself, but if they dump the buyback HPs on the marketthey would be cool to have.

Bram said...

Tam is right - pistols are for pilots and such, not actual Soldiers and Marines.

Are they going to make Glock put a thumb safety on it? That was one of the traditional objections to the standard Glocks.

Odysseus said...

Oh it's Tommy this, an Tommy that.
And Tommy's tactical leet.
But it's plastic gun for Atkins,
when the rain begins to sleet.


My sincere apologies to Rudyard Kipling.

Ajdshootist said...

The best of the Brownings will be issued to Pilots and behind the lines officers the Glocks and the Sigs will go to those on the ground troops the other Browning will most likely go into storage for a few years then be sold to some backwards
country.

Grayson said...

Oh, it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that,
And, "Kick 'im out, the brute!"
But its "Where's me plastic sidearm?"
When the wogs begin to shoot!

*chucklegaspsnort!*

Apoligies to Rudyard Kipling, of course...
But I just couldn't resist.

Cheers!

Old NFO said...

Interesting, very interesting... I can't help but wonder if this is just the initial buy.

Anonymous said...

Hey!! I love the .455 webly Mk6, There is nothing so fine as knocking back a G&T wilst lobbing a great wad of lead at the fuzzy-wuzzys. But realy the damn things are bult like anvils. Hell I love the SAA .45 and the 1911 too ,don't care for them new fangled plastic sidearms.

Anonymous said...

Cue a rash of ND's in ...three...two...one...

Or maybe not. The Brits may have better training than the NYPD.

Anonymous said...

Well in terms of TOE, pistols are for pilots and cannon cockers etc. But in a real war zone, actual soldiers acquire them, however.

Anonymous said...

In a related development, Glock has made a blanket offer to all US LEO agencies to exchange their old and tired Glocks and magazines for spanking-new-gen models, one for one and even up. A Glock spokesman says this is long-standing policy and unrelated to the threatened reinstatement of magazine capacity limits.

What decade is this again? The more things change, I guess.

Still, the plastic merchants of Austria are some pretty sharp marketers/opportunists. Refurbed cop mags anyone? Just $100 a pop. Brilliant.

Firehand said...

I have to note, sons' second time in Iraq he wound up in a place/position where when you went off base you were only supposed to carry a sidearm(with the mag in another pocket, of course, can't have the damn thing loaded); and they only had, as I recall, three or four pistols, all in ratty condition.

Keads said...

If your Flagship was the HMS Ark Royal carrier and then after it was decommissioned the Flagship became the HMS Albion, a landing platform dock well Ok. As of 10/11 it could not even do that.

Glocks are fine!

Michael said...

Les,
Prince Harry seriously needs a proper holster.

Steve Skubinna said...

I trust the Brits will be trained in the proper sideways grip? Maybe the contract includes Gangsta consulting.

Ted N said...

Odysseus said...

Oh it's Tommy this, an Tommy that.
And Tommy's tactical leet.
But it's plastic gun for Atkins,
when the rain begins to sleet.

*wipes tear* That was beautiful.

AuricTech said...

When 'arf of your bullets fly wide in the ditch,
Don't call your Glock sidearm a cruel plastic bitch;
She's human as you are — you treat her as sich,
An' she'll fight for the young British soldier.

Geodkyt said...

Actually, I'd be surprised if the aviators get ANY.

Glock 17 is significantly larger than they'd like for a bail out gun that has to share real estate space with the rest of the survivial vest. ISTR that at one point in teh 1990's, they actually swapped GP35's for .32ACP PPs to save space in the cockpit.

25K is about right for the size of teh British Army as it stands, especially given when they came out with the L85, they pretty much gave everyone previously issued a Sterling SMG a rifle, just like the rest of the blokes in the section.

When everyone has a bullpup, less need for general issue pistols, except as badges of rank and bail out guns.

Windy Wilson said...

Brits with a wog* gun? It was bad enough when James Bond appeared in that film driving a BMW!

*From when wogs began at Calais. When it really was GB, not (f)GB.

On a happier note, you can sing Kiplings Tommy poem to the Irish music hall tune, "Hiring Fair".

Ed Foster said...

Gotta try the "Hiring Fair" thing for Tommy. When old Ralph McTeil did it, my girlfriend at the time told me she got automatic THO's.

I smirked knowingly, then asked my sister what a THO was when I got home.

Anybody know where I can find one of those Brit canvas P35 holsters? The ones that fit an old style American web belt?

I always drooled when the Aussies came by with their personal 1911's in the Brit rig. Pull the metal liner out and you can stick in two 1911 magazines. Pull the locking tab and everything falls away from the pistol for a pretty fast draw, and the canvas didn't jungle rot like our issue holsters did.

Pity about the Brits. A hundred thousand man army with 40% in support jobs leaves them with about two leg divisions, an armored infantry division, and some cannon cockers. And they can't even expect the territorials to be called up to reenforce them, because it's not politically acceptable.

But, as long as the Belgians continue to supply ammunition (they cut off all supplies of artillery rounds when the Brits go someplace the Belgians don't approve of) and the ever aging fleet of vehicles doesn't crap out alltogether, the Brits will show up along side us and do a really professional job.

Fine soldiers serving a sad and sucky government.

staghounds said...

Ed, I think I have one.

Ed Foster said...

Stag Old Man, we have to talk. e-mail me at work, edward@continentalmachinetool.com, and I'll give you my contact information. Money, swap, or my next born daughter?