The First Glock To Enter New York.

Sometime in 1983 or 1984 I went to the Kingston, NY gun show with two NYPD gun-nut buddies, Don and Jack. We drove up from ‘da city,’ parked outside the Kingston Armory and spent the next 3-4 hours playing with hundreds of guns, talking to other gun nuts like ourselves, and having a good time.  In those days the Kingston gun show was known as a show where buying a gun and doing any kind of paperwork was considered a contradiction in terms. As for the cops, they could also ‘buy on shield,’ which meant you flashed a badge, gave the guy the cash and you got the gun.

logo glock              At some point I came across a gun I had to have. It was a 4-inch, nickel-plated Smith & Wesson Model 58 revolver, the heavy N-frame gun which shot the 41-magnum load. The 41 mag was and is a great round – not as much kick as the 44 but a real slammer nonetheless. And this gun was really mint.  I counted out $400 bucks as quickly as I could.

Now I’m walking down the aisle, Jack comes up to me, grabs the S&W blue box out from underneath my arm, puts his hands on the Model 58 and says, “I gotta have this gun!”  So we made a deal right there. He gave me what I paid for it and promised that when we got back to New York he would sell me his NYPD black leather duty jacket for $50 bucks. The cops were in the process of shifting from leather patrol jackets to the ugly, crummy velour jackets which they wear today. I think my daughter still has the leather jacket which I got from Jack.

Anyway, so now I’m walking around the show looking for another gun. All of a sudden I’m standing in front of another dealer’s table and there’s my Model 58. What the f—? The dealer said the gun would cost me $400 bucks so I ended up buying the Model 58 twice. (About a year later I traded the 58 for a Colt AR with a full-auto sear courtesy of a guy I knew who worked in the Colt Custom shop on Huyshope Avenue in Hartford, but that’s another story for another time.)

A few minutes after I repurchased the 41 magnum, here comes Jack down the aisle with a couple of other NYPD gun-nuts in tow. They are all handing a gun from one to the other, telling Jack that they don’t believe he got the friggin’ gun, Jack’s standing there basking in the adoration of his friends.

The gun was a semi-automatic pistol, it didn’t have a hammer, the finish looked painted on and was black rather than blue. The grip was some kind of plastic and the slide had these big letters: G-L-O-C-K. I had never seen a Glock before, never held one, never knew there was a pistol that held 16 rounds. And that’s why Jack dumped the Model 58 because he bumped into ‘some guy’ who had walked into the show with this Glock.

Of course Jack’s great joy at being the first member of the NYPD to own a Glock only lasted a week, because when he took the gun down to the License Division to register it (the NYPD required that the guys register all their-personally owned guns, but didn’t have to say exactly how they acquired their guns) he was told that he couldn’t keep a Glock within the city limits because it was a ‘plastic gun’ and would be a security risk if Jack wore the gun when he went through a metal detector in order to testify in Court.

So Jack told Mrs. Skeba (who ran the License Division and nobody messed with Mrs. Skeba) that he would give the gun to ‘brother-in-law’ who lived somewhere out in Jersey near the Woodbridge Mall. And that’s how the first Glock to be registered in New York City quickly came and quickly went.

The world has changed, hasn’t it?

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7 thoughts on “The First Glock To Enter New York.

  1. World has changed. I have to get over to NYS this year and rescue a couple target pistols that are sitting at my former wife’s brother’s house up in the Adirondacks. One is my stepdad’s old Hi Standard Supermatic Trophy that he sold me when he stopped shooting competitively. The other is a Ruger Mk III with the 8 1/2 in barrel that I bought to get my pistol permit up in Monroe County back in 1976. I guess my NYS permit turns to dust next year under the new SAFE Act, so I better get my stuff outa there before Andrew comes for it.

    I was not all that happy with the balance of the Ruger after handling my landlord’s version of the Mk III with the shorter (5 1/2 in ??) bull barrel, but one had to put a deposit on a handgun to get the permit processed in those days, so I bought what they had in stock up in a shop south of Rochester. It was a nice hunting gun for wabbit, with that long barrel and target sights, but never balanced as well as the bull model.

    • Khal, You said you bought a Mark III in 1976…But the Ruger Mark III didn’t come out until 2004.

      • You are right, Robert. Doing a bit of research, it must have been a Mk 1. Looks like this. http://www.gunbroker.com/item/664926672

        Admittedly its been sitting in a gun safe in NYS since I moved to Hawaii in 1987 so frankly, I’ve forgotten some of the details. When I moved back to the Mainland in 2001 I eventually got back into shooting sports, so want to go corral those beasts. 22LR is also a lot cheaper to shoot than 45ACP or 9 mm Luger.

  2. Hey Mike, I have a couple of questions about your story:

    You say this was around ’83 or ’84….

    But, I don’t believe that the Glock made its way to the United States until around 1988 (Die Hard 2 which made the then unknown Glock famous came out in 1990).

    You say that a Dealer ended up buying the Model ’58 and put a price of $400 on it…

    Why would he Buy something then sell it for absolutely no profit?

    …Or are we to believe that the DEALER was the original owner of the Mythical Glock (that wouldn’t be on the US market for at least another 4 years)….

    ….And he willing traded it for a gun valued at $400?

    • …..Also,

      You say you “never knew there was a pistol that held 16 rounds”…

      Did it blow your mind?… because apparently you must have never heard of any of the High capacity pistols that had been around since the 1930’s like the Browning Hi-Point (13 rounds), or the Astra 900 (20 rounds).

      • Robert: I wasn’t writing exact history, I was simply trying to create the mood about guns in the early 80’s before everyone got nuts, okay? Did I ever hear of the Hi-Power? I’ve only owned maybe 10, have 2 at the present time, one of them being the 50th annoiversary nickel gun that was made in 1978 or so. There were plenty of Glocks floating around in the mid-80s, how they got here, nobody knows. But they were here. In 1985, the manager of Davidson’s law enforcement division told me that they were giving up their Smith & Wesson LE franchise because all the cops wanted the DA, hi-cap European pistols, including Glock.
        I owned an original Walther TPH manufactured but not imported by Interarms. I also owned a Walther P-5 before they were imported. I bought them both from a guy who lived in Arizona. I didn ‘t ask him how he got the guns and it didn’t make any difference to me because once the guns were in the US I could buy them on my FFL.
        I don’t even know if the guy who sold me the Model 58 was an FFL dealer; nobody at the Kingston show could have cared. By the time the US army issued an RFP for Glocks in 1988 or so the fear oif it being a ‘plastic’ gun had disppeared.

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