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'Progress Gives Us New Handgun'

April 10, 1986

In Josh Sugarmann's article (Editorial Pages, March 24) "Progress Gives Us Great New Handgun--Hijacker Special," about the new Austrian Glock pistol, a source is quoted as stating that an all-plastic version of the Glock pistol will be made in the United States of America. A brief call to Glock's U.S. headquarters confirmed that this is completely false. Glock has no plans to make an all-synthetic pistol in the foreseeable future, and it is highly doubtful that anyone else has the technology to do so either. Nor is there anything particularly revolutionary or sinister about using a plastic frame or receiver--one popular .22 rifle has done so for more than 20 years.

The entire upper half of the Glock pistol is steel. The magazine is steel-lined. Loaded, it would be filled with cartridges made of lead, brass and gilding metal. It is very doubtful that it would be a bit easier to get a Glock through a metal detector than any similar pistol with a metallic frame. This ignorant hysteria about the Glock's potential misuse by terrorists is totally unwarranted!

Granted that columnist Jack Anderson may have smuggled a Glock through airport security checkpoints while it was disassembled and distributed throughout his luggage, it is highly likely that he could have done the same thing with a pistol using a metallic frame. That he was able to get away with it is probably more the fruit of the airlines' willingness to wink at inconsiderate travelers taking vast quantities of luggage with them as carry-on baggage than of any inherent abilities of the Glock to evade detection.

Unless there is a very dramatic and unforeseen breakthrough in firearms technology in the near future, Sugarmann's jeremiad about "terrorist guns" will remain nothing more than a false alarm.

JAN M. LIBOUREL

Los Angeles

Libourel is executive handgun editor of Guns and Ammo magazine.

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