An Overview of Polygonal Rifling in Glocks
The vast majority of people who are familiar with the firearm industry know that Glock is the most popular model in the United States. Some of the reasons why Glock is so popular include the durability of their models, the lightweight design of the mold, and the reduced trigger pull weight. Another feature that people might have heard about is called polygonal rifling. Some people might throw this term around yet not truly understand what this means. Furthermore, does this different method of rifling really matter? There are a few points to keep in mind.
What Is Rifling?
When guns were first introduced hundreds of years ago, the inside of the barrels was smooth. The thinking was that the barrels had to be smooth so reduce friction and drag on the bullet. This is what most people got on muskets that were made before the Revolutionary War. In reality, these muskets were only accurate to a hundred yards or so. Something had to change.
Then, during the Revolution, rifling technology was introduced. The definition of rifling is that grooves are carved into the barrels of the gun. The grooves act as friction points. The grooves spin along the inside of the barrel spinning the bullet as well. When the bullet exits the barrel, it spins and cuts through the air. This increases its range and accuracy.
Over the years, multiple forms of rifling have been introduced. The one used by Glock is called polygonal rifling. There are a few ways that this form of rifling is different.
The traditional form of rifling that people find in pistols is called lands and grooves. Anyone who has peered down the barrel of a typical pistol will see that this type of rifling is very square, made at 90-degree angles. This is the oldest form of rifling because it simply does not fail. The deep, square channels prevent obstructions as the bullet flies from the barrel.
On the other hand, the large channels of the lands and grooves rifling method provide room for the explosive gases to escape from the barrel. This means that the bullet tends to leave the barrel with less velocity. The translation is that there is some degree of lost ballistic potential with this method of rifling.
While polygonal rifling sounds like a new idea, it has actually been around for about 150 years. It was perfected by Heckler and Koch in the 1960's. Then, Glock picked up on the benefits and made it mainstream.
In reality, polygonal rifling is popular among law enforcement pistols and has been since before Glock was the mainstay. Polygonal rifling has shallower channels. Instead of using deep, square cuts, there are shallow cuts in the channel. This means that less gas can escape from the bullet without leaving the barrel. Furthermore, this also increases the amount of surface area that makes contact with the bullet. The result is increased grip, increased velocity, and increased accuracy.
The force of the bullet matters because this allows the bullet to shoot through car doors, glass, windows, and even stiff clothing. In these situations velocity and accuracy matter.
Finally, polygonal rifling also leads to less wear and tear over time. This means that polygonal rifling, such as the models from Glock, is going to last longer than is traditional counterpart.
The Widespread Nature of Polygonal Rifling
While it is true that all Glocks use polygonal rifling, the reverse is not true. While Glock is the best-known company that uses this type of rifling, there are other companies that use this type of rifling as well. Some of the other examples include Heckler and Koch (mentioned above), Magnum Research. CZ, Kahr Arms, and Tanfoglio. Clearly, there are multiple companies that have realized the benefits of this form of rifling.
Finally, there is one other important point that people need to know about this type of rifling. It is very important not to shoot lead bullets through polygonal rifling. Lead bullets can destroy the rifling of the gun quickly. This means that before people even finish the magazine they are likely to feel obstructions start to develop in the gun. This would create a catastrophic situation.
Rely on Ghost Inc. for Glock Products
While polygonal rifling is one of the main features of Glock handguns, it is also important to know how to take care of these pistols properly. At Ghost Inc., we are one of the leaders in the industry when it comes to Glock products. We would be happy to help you with all of your firearm needs. Call us today!
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