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Delta Force and the Glock

Delta Force Glock
A Glock being fired in military training.

The following e-mail was forwarded to me by Gunner, a fellow blogger over at Gunner’s Journal.  Gunner is a 1911 expert and has contacts with various people who spent some time in the Special Forces community, including Delta Force.

A lot of what Delta does is understandably secret, and there have been much debate about the weapons and tactics they use.  There have also been questions about if Delta is still carrying the 1911, or if a complete swap to Glock pistols had been made.  Attached is some information from someone who has intimate knowledge of Delta’s operations.  None of the information is classified and it was ok’d for publication.

The Army did drop the 1911 about 3 years ago for the Glock 22 rough texture frame which was “experimental” at the time. Glock really didn’t know if they were gonna go with it commercially at the time but since others in the community liked it, they put it on some Gen 4 guns.

There was a down select to the STI 2011 and Glock 22 in .40S&W. The 1911 were costing us way to much per gun to keep them running. Parts, labor, X-rays, you get the picture. Even when Kentucky (Lexington Depot) would build a gun, the unit gunsmiths would practically and literally rebuild the gun for the individual operator during the training course. There was a contract let years ago for a select manufacturer to make the frames and slides and several different parts and barrel manufacturers to make the internals. Much like the MEU/MARSOC pistols a while ago they just got to expensive.

And we changed the way we shoot. In training Army it was two in the chest and one in skull if needed. Now, if I give you 1 you are getting 2, if I give you 2 your are getting 5, if you get 5 then you get the rest of the mag. Plain and simple I am not going to let you get up and hurt one of my team mates.

And we will put all my shots right across your pelvis and then the shoulder girdle. I don’t care if you got a trauma team on hand, 5 shots across the pelvis and you ain’t getting up. The enemy is likely to wear some kind of armor now a days just as much as we are. 2 in a 3×5 card ain’t cutting it. So there are lots more ammo expended in training, which effects how well the guns hold up also.

We went through several different down selects for a double stack auto. The STI did not hold up to OTC and the students did not want to run their go-no go shooting test with a chance of failing. One Sabre SQDN got issued both guns and the guys selected to deploy with the Glocks to Iraq. So that ended the question. Now there is a cornucopia of 22’s, 23’s and 27’s across that command. We went from the 228 to the G-19/ G-26 and G-30’s.

And I understand the Navy has dropped the Sig and now gone to the HK (I want to say the) P-30 family in 9mm. I don’t know if they are going to the .40S&W? Air Force STS went to the G-22/23/27 and HK-416 cuz their Army partners did. Really all of JSOC is following what the Army Unit does.

This jives jibes with what I have heard from other sources.

While I still teach and train for center mass shots, in the military context, the pelvic girdle shots do make sense.  If you have a reasonable expectation of encountering an enemy wearing body armor, you have to train for where the armor is not.

By Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, amateur historian and - most importantly - a dad. He's done a lot of silly things in his life, but quitting police work to follow his passion of writing about guns was one of the smartest things he ever did. He founded this site and continues to manage its operation.

19 replies on “Delta Force and the Glock”

the SEALs dont drop the P226,the drop the HK MK23 for a smaler HK45C with silencer for some black ops

They should rather adopt AP 9mm ammo like the Russians did rather than adding another feel-good millimeter of “stopping power”.

Maybe the fact that SOCOM forces are liking Glocks, even it appears, favoring them over the venerable 1911, that Glock has not been as worried with some recent trends of movements away from Glock. I had read that a few European governments were moving to H&K or Sig Sauer over Glock, and in America Smith & Wesson has made a big run at Glock’s dominance with their M&P series of pistols and rifles.

Overall, I’d say Glock is living up to their reputation of being a very reliable “combat” pistol. Maybe not as sharp or with as much finesse as their German counterparts, but still a very trusted and proven weapon.

Cool article…btw the word you’re looking for there at the end is “jibes”…not “jives”…unless you actually are referring to ’70s African-American slang. I’ll be back for more great firearms insight!

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