Glock 46: a new rotating barrel pistol for the German Police?

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Glock 46: a new rotating barrel pistol for the German Police?

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The German gun magazine 'Deutsches Waffen Journal' and the well-known American website Recoilweb.com first broke the news: Glock has a new handgun ready that ditches the classic tilting barrel locking system in favour of a rotating barrel. Here's what we know about it so far...

The Glock 46 pistol, field-stripped: is this the beginning of a new era for the Austrian company?

Some views of the G46, Glock's new rotating barrel pistol

Some views of the G46, Glock's new rotating barrel pistol

Photo credits: DWJ Verlags GmbH

The Deutsches Waffen Journal, one of Germany's most important gun magazines, first broke out the news on the October 2017 issue, currently available in all newsstands in Germany; while Recoilweb.com, a prominent American website, was the first to leak it to the English-speaking public and to gun enthusiasts in the United States.

And that's some important news, the kind of news that leave a deep mark on the panorama of service and defensive handguns: Glock Ges.M.b.H has a new handgun ready for 2017, and that's not the new Glock Gen5 pistols we already wrote about but a brand new model dubbed the Glock 46.
Rather than jumping on the hype bandwagon like other sources all over the Internet, we've waited a few days to get our facts straight. And now we are able to give you some much more reliable information about.

A patent diagram for the rotating barrel of the new Glock 46 pistol

A patent diagram for the rotating barrel of the new Glock 46 pistol

On the outside, the Glock 46 would seem to be a restyling of the classic Glock 19: same overall length (187 mm / 7.36"), same barrel (104 mm / 4"), same weight empty (600 grams /  21.16 oz), same caliber and capacity (9x19mm, 15 rounds).
It would also appear to include the same ambidextrous slide release lever introduced with the new Glock Gen5 pistol, as well as an extended beavertail that's integral to the frame rather than to the interchangeable grip backstrap.

Internally, however, the Glock 46 is a whole new ball game: Glock's classic, tilting-barrel modified Browning locking system is replaced by a rotating barrel system.
And we aren't even talking about a generic, tried-and-true rotating barrel system like the kind found on the Grand Power pistols of Slovakian manufacture or on other mainstream pistols such as the Beretta Cougar and Px4 Storm lines, but a new system covered by at least one of the patents filed by Glock for this new pistol.

The well-known Austrian company filed at least two patents for the new Glock 46

The well-known Austrian company filed at least two patents for the new Glock 46

A schematic of the new Glock 46 rotating-barrel pistol, from one of the patents

A schematic of the new Glock 46 rotating-barrel pistol, from one of the patents

Some details of the locking system found on the new Glock 46

Some details of the locking system found on the new Glock 46

Photo credits: DWJ Verlags GmbH

The reason for this sudden, and somewhat astonishing, change is actually pretty much straightforward: several Police forces in different Länder (Federal States) of Germany have already launched tenders and will hold trial tests in the next couple of years to replace their service pistols. And of course, Glock wants a piece of the cake.

But as the entire industry knows, not all handguns can qualify for German Police tenders and trials.
The Technical Institute of the German School of Police (Polizeitechnische Institut der Deutschen Hochschule der Polizei, PTI DHPol) is in charge of releasing and constantly updating some very specific common technical guidelines that all handguns submitted to German Police trials must comply with – aside from the specific requirements of each different solicitation.

The field-stripping of the new Glock 46 as found on the patent

The field-stripping of the new Glock 46 as found on the patent

As of today, not all Glock pistols satisfy those general technical guidelines, and none would satisfy both the technical guidelines and the specific requirements of all the mentioned solicitations. Glock could not thus take part to the upcoming German Police tenders without the new Glock 46 – the brainchild of brilliant engineer Friedrich Dechant, retired Major General of the Austrian Army, who in the past had his say in other successful designs such as the P80 pistol (Glock 17) and StG77 assault rifle (Steyr AUG).

No further information about the new Glock 46 is currently available to the general public – and there is no slated or potential availability date for commercial sales either; indeed, the Glock 46 may not even make it for the upcoming trade shows season. It's likely that we will have to wait until the German Police tenders are on their way to conclusion before we can get a closer look to it, but... never say never, and cross your fingers!