Gaston Glock, the Austrian developer of the handgun that bears his name, died on Wednesday. He was 94.
The Glock company announced his death, the Austria Press Agency reported.
Glock, a reclusive engineer, founded the company in 1963 in Deutsch-Wagram, near Vienna. It has since expanded around the world, including a U.S. subsidiary founded in 1985.
Glock handguns are used by police and some countries’ military forces, as well as private customers. The weapon was significantly lighter, cheaper and more reliable than the models available when it was created.
Glock said on its website that its founder “not only revolutionized the world of small arms in the 1980s, but also succeeded in establishing the Glock brand as the global leader in the handgun industry.”
Glock’s company developed its first military products, including field knives, in the 1970s.
Glock “recognized his great opportunity” to design an innovative weapon when the Austrian Defense Ministry in the early 1980s invited tenders for a new self-defense pistol, with a reduced weight and safe and simple operation, according to the company.
The result was the polymer-framed semi-automatic Glock pistol. More than 25,000 were delivered to the Austrian military between 1982 and 1984, the company said.