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The VP70 really was revolutionary. As stated polymer framed, striker fired. They were plagued by horrible triggers, most likely a left over from being select-afire. The original concept used a stock that when fitted to the pistol, it was capable of full auto. A limited amount of semi only versions were imported. Besides being a bit large and the horrid triggers, they were a bit too spacey looking for American tastes.
The Glock 17 was a ground up design that took a lot of influence from the VP70. When it first came out there were doubts if it would be imported into the states. When it was, it faced some of the same hurdles the VP70 faced, unconventional in both looks and function. I think Glock did set up shop here in the US at the right time when nationally police departments were transitioning to semi-autos, particularly 9mm's. Because of their simplicity and polymer frames Glock was able to sell them for less than the competing offerings by S&W, Beretta, Sig, and HK. Sometime during this period it became common knowledge that cops accustomed to revolvers were making the switch a lot easier due to the simpler trigger system. While many were bothered by lack of a conventional external safety and there were quite a few AD's due to improper training or bad habits the G17 soon proved itself on the streets. The other thing was Glock really took charge of the marketing. During this time it's seemed the competition really had their ups and downs in the market. HK almost closed up their US support despite offering the USP which was an excellent pistol for this market. SW was bought, sold, and resold making numerous business and product mistakes. Sig ran strong for a while then became quiet as they moved shop, offered new products with teething problems and set up American manufacture. Beretta has a lousy US sales support staff. Have the Beretta salesman show up and he'll drop off a few guns and leave, the Glock man comes by and it's one of every model to try out, hats, t shirts, knives, lots of company swag. Plus the G-man will be offering armorers courses and Glock support. When a Glock does mis behave the company seems to want to get to the bottom of it. Though there were some complaints on Glock mishandling Gen 4 problems.
Now days it seems other companies are making inroads. S&W is a serious player, Sig has their US manufacture up and running and there are few complaints about the products. HK has rebuilt their US businesses and you see newer players around like FN's polymer pistols, Springfields Croatian imports and others. Sure is a great time to shop.
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