10 Iconic American Things With Foreign Roots
What do Arnold Schwarzenegger and Glock pistols have in common? Both came from Austria and became American icons. The latter is unofficially known as America’s Handgun, carried extensively by law enforcement, civilians and shouted out by gangster rappers.
Glock 17, the first Glock handgun was made and entered service in the Austrian army in 1982, after engineer Gaston Glock won a tender to replace their ancient World War II-era Walther P38. The company’s hardware made its way to the United States shortly after, when American police and other law enforcement agencies decided that the 75-year-old Smith & Wesson .38 revolver had run its course and needed a replacement.
One thing that helped Glock become an American pop culture icon was the second Die Hard film, where Bruce Willis said “That punk pulled a Glock 7 on me. You know what that is? It’s a porcelain gun made in Germany. Doesn’t show up on your airport X-ray machines, and it cost more than you make in a month.” None of the claims in the quote were factually correct, but got people asking “What’s a Glock ?”. That’s because much like car geeks and foodies, gun nuts, who America always had plenty of, love to point out misconceptions in pop culture.
Source: How Glock Became America’s Handgun (Popular Mechanics)