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NAT’L – NEW PRODUCTS – What’s New in Glock-Compatible Handguns

If you’ve been following the new gun introductions the past few years, you’ve likely noticed that there are a growing number of pistols entering the market that might best be termed Glock-compatible. It’s not hard to figure out why a company might imitate the Austrian pistols, as they enjoy a significant share of both the civilian and government markets. Until recently, the newcomers have produced mostly niche items aimed at competition shooters, hot rodders and those who wanted to build their own pistol from scratch. Frequently, these alternatives were the same price or even higher than the original Glock pistol. Companies like Zev Technologies, Rival Arms, Lone Wolf and others offered updated components and even complete firearms. Most often, these components are seen as upgrades and are priced accordingly. However, there are now guns coming onto the scene that are less expensive than the Glock designs. Some significantly less expensive. What does this mean for the shooting industry? Let’s take a look at a completely different item from a completely different industry: The IBM Compatible Computer. In the early 1980s – the same time the first Glock pistols hit US shores – the personal computer industry was siloed. You could purchase a computer from one of only a few major companies such as IBM, Apple, Atari, Commodore and Tandy. When you bought one of these systems, you essentially married into that family with its specific software and hardware options. There was almost no compatibility between the systems and you had to carefully shop to make sure you were buying a software application or game that would run on your computer. By the mid-1980s, however, legal “IBM PC clones” entered the market. The clones offered complete compatibility with the IBM products when using Microsoft’s version of DOS and a third-party BIOS. The new computers were often hundreds of dollars less expensive than the IBM-branded machines. The rest, as they say, was history. Due to their attractive pricing, compatible computers quickly took over the market and squeezed nearly everyone else out of the industry. While Apple survived, nearly all the other proprietary systems eventually died or just abandoned the computer hardware market – including IBM. That may be exactly where we are today in the firearms industry.  [full article]

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