This pistol called the glock became the number one gun choice in the United States for criminals and law enforcements. This weapon was made in 1982 and was adopted by the Austrian army. Before making this gun Gaston asked what they wanted to see in a gun for improvements. The improvements that they wanted to see were that it had a larger ammunition capacity, more durable, reliable, and easy to use. This gun consisted of 36 parts and could hold 17 bullets. This gun is a great gun and easy to use which also became a problem for the United States.
In 1992, a man from Killeen, Texas named George Hennard opened fire at a cafe after crashing is pick-up truck into the building; twenty-two people died and many more were injured from Hennard’s rampage. This was an instance that showed that the Glock pistol could be obtained by a citizen, the pistol was legal to buy. Gaston, a native of Austria invented the Glock in 1982.
Samples of the pistol were used for the Austrian army for ample and reliable use. In 1986 the shoot-out in Miami brought the awareness of the resources that criminals could obtain weapons that proved to be stronger than the law enforcement.
What makes the Glock different than what the other guns were manufactured out of was the special plastic that Gaston used. Polymer plastic is a very strong plastic that is resistant to corrosion which differed from traditional steel guns. The guns made of steel were heavy and the bullets were loaded individually.
With the Glock, the clip held seventeen bullets which was a greater number than a regular steel gun. Gaston wanted the most powerful gun to be the product of this idea. Gaston had begun making knives and clip belts for the Austrian army.
All these inventions were made in his work shop which was his garage. He would study and analyze what the army was starting w for instance a knife and he would construct a blade and handle that could adapt ore to an ever evolving military strategy. Gaston’s Glock was put through rigorous tests of heat, ice, sand and mud. Experiments were conducted to test the durability of the pistol; other guns such as the H&K failed to the comparison of the Glock 17. In Spring 1984, Gaston traveled to the town of DeutschWagram where he bought property to have his workshop expanded.
He had hired 3 dozen Turkish immigrants but as his gun and company grew, his contract and business plan only expanded to the Austrian army. As more countries learned of the capability of the Glock 17, they nquired more information and wanted the product. Gaston had little income and didn’t know how to manufacture his product with an increasingly growing market. Gaston’s entrepreneur acquaintance, Karl Walter suggested that Gaston should expand to the United States. This was not only a good marketing approach but what would be a large investment for the United States for the high demand for a gun such as the Glock 17.
Gaston and Walter traveled to the United States to seek perspective customers, such as different military branches and to see what other guns were as sophisticated as the Glock 17. The American police departments were the first to get the opportunity of using the Glock 17. The tasks of an officer and the weapon that an officer used had to be reliable, quick and powerful; the pistol provided all three attributes and clearly made an indent to the efficiency of the squads. In 1985, Gaston made the transition to Georgia from Austria.
Walter and Gaston began to write up prices and a full commercial whole sale price which was $360. 00 and a recommended resale price of $560. 00. Each gun sold brought Gaston $260. 00, the easier and simpler design allowed for a larger profit. The two men began anufacturing and the beginning estimate compared to the actual selling of the guns far surpassed what Gaston and Walter estimated. They sold 20,400 pistols within the first year, going far past what they had initially thought. Trade shows of the pistol became popular; along with the gun being legal it was very attainable by anyone.
As the company and brand grew, more criminals saw this gun as the opening to a wider door. With the special product of plastic that Gaston used in the Glock 17, the gun was to be outlawed because the plastic would not be shown on a metal detector where a steel gun would. It was making it past airport authorities and even through the Pentagon. In regards to the Pentagon, an experiment was conducted where an agent had taped a Glock 17, and the H&K to the bottom of his briefcase; it did not show up in the screening. This was a growing concern for hijackers to be able to sneak a Glock 17 past officials.
It became a threat to the innocent. But instead of the gun being on the chopping block, it was the mechanics and machinery that the security systems were made of. The Glock 17 did not get banned and continued to grow as a powerful and popular weapon. Although Gaston eengineered the gun to be more detectable through these new security systems so that a gun like the Glock 17 could be detected. Some of the opposing forces of the gun called it the “invisible gun” and samples were given out to law enforcement to test the gun.
Thus bringing in a larger scale of customers; 9 out of 10 officers said that they would like to keep the sample Glock 17 they were given. Karl and Pam, Karl’s wife, were the driving force behind the gun gaining as much hype as it would of if Gaston was working alone. The Walters would stay at the warehouse over night tor the lack of security. They would repackage, record serial numbers down and send the products out to United Parcel Services. Karl Walter began to make discounts to law enforcement, making the gun more desirable and more appealing.
The Glock 17 then became and still is today the most popular gun used in law enforcement. The Glock 17 even transitioned into Hollywood, being used as a super gun that made the bad guy look tough and powerful. In 1990, one movie specifically, Die Hard 2, actor Bruce Willis holds the Beretta while the terrorists are armed with the Glock which brings back the US subliminally places the idea that the Glock is a ‘hijacker special’. Bruce Willis lied about the Glock 17, saying that the gun was made in Germany and that it was more than what a police officer makes as a monthly salary.
This all being false, Hollywood was painting an image of the gun which had the media talking about the gun again and as Karl Walter said it was fabulous publicity. Any publicity is good publicity. As Gaston Glock started with the worldwide manufacturing of the Glock 17, his director of Glock trustee, Charles Ewert, who was a trustee of 15 years and a very close friend of Glock’s exhibited the wrongs that can happen between a business and the people involved. Ewert had been taking money from the company and had planned the assassination of Glock.
In Luxembourg 1999, Ewert had hired a man to attack Glock in a parking lot. Ewert and Glock walked together, eventually the assassinator Jumped out as Ewert ran away. Glock was badly injured, the plan that Ewert had been that Gaston would die from this ‘random attack and he would take over the company. Ewert had estimated around 100 million dollars in funds to an off shore account. Gaston’s lawyer quickly noticed a large amount of money missing from specific funds. Paul Jannuzzds, who was Glock’s CEO was charged with embezzlement nd racketeering. Ewert and Jannuzzo both attest that Glock was no victim.
Glock made personally around $200,000 a day. With all that money flowing in and out of the company the men thought that ‘no one would notice. ‘ The money was described as monopoly money, constantly flowing in, the company growing so quickly and funds growing every day. Over the course of the fifteen years the production in the US and Austria had been producing, Ewert was extracting from the 14% that was going into Gaston’s funds. 14% of that 100 million were going straight into Gaston’s accounts and then being moved to Ewert’s off shore accounts.
With this, both Ewert and Jannuzzo fell from grace, Jannuzzo spent 7 years in a prison with 13 years of probation. Other employees contributed over $80,000 to congressional candidates at the company’s own expense. These are the very hard down falls that large amounts of money bring; it can potentially ruin a company, turn a CEO into a theft and corrupt. With Gaston Glock starting with a simple idea, expanding it into a larger scale in Austria then transitioning into America makes his Glock 17 a very successful product. The pistol far surpassed any test and expectation that either Karl Walter or
Gaston had. As any successful company, the opportunities for destruction and greed can determine whether a company floats or sinks. With the Glock Inc. in 2013, the gun is still popular and still easily grossing Gaston on an average of $200,000 a day. Gaston Glock worked hard for his achievements. Gaston started off as a small business man and turned himself into a giant company. He had to work through many ditterent marketing strategies to make his business grow to where it is. He nad a lot of downfalls come along with his business, negative publicity, bad rep, and employees stealing.
When it comes to owning a business you have to be prepared because it can make you or break you and Gaston showed that he had what it took. He went through a tough time marketing his new product the Glock 17. Not a lot of people were interested because he was a no name trying to sell this plastic gun. He got his name out there and showed that his product was the best product and that it was worth the cost.
Barrett, P. (2012). Glock The Rise of America’s Gun. New York City: Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved from http://www. businessweek. com/authors/1989-paul-m- barrett
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