Do GLOCKs Have Safeties? GLOCK Safeties Explained

The GLOCK series of pistols have been a firearms success story if ever there was one. Originally developed by Gaston Glock in response to specifica­tions for a new Austrian military pistol, the pistol is revolutionary.
The use of polymer, as a material for the frame and certain internal parts, while not new, was certainly never pop­ular prior to GLOCK introducing the Model 17. When police departments began the switch to semiautos in the eighties, many departments wanted a pistol that combined the simplicity of a revolver with the efficiency of the semiautomatic pistol.

The most misunderstood safety on the GLOCK is the trigger safety

Thus, a new breed of pistols, which had internal, but not external, safeties was born. Police ad­ministrators could understand internal safeties because the tried and true revolver had one. Safe if dropped, but not if the trigger is pulled. So it is with the GLOCK.
There are three passive, automatic safeties designed into each GLOCK pistol, the trigger safety, the firing pin safety and the drop safety.
The most misunderstood safety on the Glock is the trigger safety. Most "gunwriters" do not truly understand this safety, or if they do, they do not seek to explain it fully.
Everyone knows that inertia can fire a pistol dropped on its muzzle if the firing pin is not secured by a safety be it manual or a firing pin block e.g. Se­ries 80 Colt. What most people haven't thought of, however, is that a striker fired pistol can fire from inertia if dropped on its rear end, unless the trig­ger is secured in some fashion.
The ingenious solution incorpo­rated by Gaston Glock in his design is the trigger safety, the main purpose of which is to prevent inertial firing if the pistol is dropped or receives a hard blow to its rear.


  • Robert: Good little article. If you go to the Glock site, you can read the following regarding the trigger safety:

    “To fire the pistol, the trigger safety and the trigger itself must be deliberately depressed at the same time. If the trigger safety is not depressed, the trigger will not move rearwards and allow the pistol to fire.

    The trigger safety is designed to prevent the pistol from firing if it’s dropped or if the trigger is subjected to any pressure that isn’t a direct firing pull."

    The trigger safety fills the purpose of preventing it from firing if dropped as you described as well as the more obvious purpose of offering some protection against an inadvertent trigger pull.

  • glocks are reall plian looking gun. but they are exstreamly efficient weapons and are tough as nails. that are very fast to get into action.

    art. diaz
  • In my opinion, they meant “passive safety”. They said automatic, meaning that you don’t manually engage the safety. But they should have used the word “passive”.

    Personal opinion on the G18 is that it is a waste. Military would use a rifle for automatic firing, and law enforcement would never use the G18, full auto from a handgun would likely hit a non-intended target. (Beside the fact that it would be a mag dump in less than 2 seconds.)

  • Joyce: A GLOCK fires with each press of the trigger. It is not fully automatic. The only fully automatic GLOCK in the G18, and this gun is for military and law enforcement only.

  • does this article mean that the GLock gun is automatically ready to fire rapid shots?

    Joyce B Trawick

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