Not an April Fool’s gag: After 26 years Glock is finally releasing the Glock 28 to the American public. Reportedly, the Glock 25 will also be released. Here in the States both the Glock 28 and 25 are sort of mythical creatures, that exist almost everywhere else in the world … except for the U.S. civilian market.
What are the Glock 28 and 25? Imagine the Glock 26 9mm subcompact, but only in .380 ACP—that’s basically what the “new” G28 is. The G25 is a 380ACP G19 compact service sized pistol. Both are Generation 3 Glock pistols, meaning that most parts will be interchangeable with parts that are abundant. Also since both pistols exactly match the outside dimensions of Glock’s current bread-and-butter offerings, accessories like holsters, sights etc., are already readily available.
Let’s take a trip back in time to 1992. Die Hard 2 was on the big screen and was one of the first examples of a Glock pistol in cinema. That was the foundation of the Glock mystique in American culture. Americans gobbled up Glock pistols and police departments switched over to the Glock offerings by the bucketloads. Glock as a company saw what sales were possible and wanted to expand that to different markets around the world. One easy way to do that was to take two of their most popular pistols but re-chamber them in the smaller and less powerful .380ACP cartridge.
Re-chambering the G19 and G26 for the less-powerful round is not as easy as it sounds. Because the. 380 does not have the power the 9mm does, it will not reliably function in a locked breech pistol. Glock had to change the platform to a blowback operation. On a blowback firearm, the only thing that keeps the slide closed is the recoil spring. Since the .380 does not have as much power as a 9mm, the slide does not need to stay closed as long. By 1995 Glock released the G25 (G19 but in 380ACP), followed by the 1997 release of the G28 (G26 but in 380ACP).
In an ironic twist of fate, while more of the world was able to own these two new Glock variants, they were actually illegal for a civilian to own in the United States due to importation restrictions. Remember the first U.S. manufactured Glock in Smyrna Georgia was not until 2013. Up until then all Glocks were imported and had to pass importation rules. Since all other caliber Glocks were able to meet the minimum qualifications, the G25 and G28 instantly became unicorns…in the American market anyway.
As Americans in general we want what we can’t have and for decades Glock fans coveted the forbidden pistols. EVEN if the pistols do not make any sense. Why would you want a pistol that’s the same exact size and capacity as its counterpart? There are no clear advantages in a .380 caliber Glock. Glock agreed with that analysis: Even after 2013, when Glock started manufacturing in Smyrna Georgia, Glock US produced a single-stack ultra-compact pistol platform for its .380 pistol, called the Glock 42 Series. The only drawback of the 42 series is ammo capacity due to it being a single stack pistol. Some larger-handed shooters (like myself) find it too small to comfortably operate.
The days of .380 ACP being a substandard round are over. First developed in 1908, about 120 years’ ballistic development have created rounds specifically designed for hollowpoints to perform with lower velocities and shorter barrels for devastating defensive performance at short ranges.
The “new” Glock 28 and 25 are coming to U.S. as Talo exclusives (they do a bunch of custom guns). Current speculation is that the production run is 5,000 units, the same as they did with the retro Gen 1 Glock they released a couple years ago. A limited run means limited supply and high demand. Remember this is the pistol American Glock collectors have been denied up until now; my prediction is that inventory will go quickly. The G28 is actually already shipping, and customers are buying them. Even though these are a Talo exclusive, the dealer pricing is pretty much in line with its 9mm counterparts. If I can can find one one locally, I am probably going to have to get one just to say I own a real-life unicorn.
–James the “XDMAN” Nicholas, Mr UnPewFessional himself
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