A few weeks ago, a story broke in Winter Haven, Florida regarding the KABOOM of several Police Department Glock 37 pistols [see article]. While the KABOOM phenomenon has been around for many years, this is the first time I can recall it affecting a large law enforcement agency using the .45GAP. In this particular case, Speer has accepted the blame for providing defective Gold Dot brand ammunition to Winter Haven PD. The department is now in the process of liquidating the model G37 and replacing it with the venerable Glock 21-- at a slightly higher cost per unit, of course. The question is: why choose the .45GAP in the first place?
The .45GAP is an answer to a question nobody asked. The .45ACP is legendary. “If it ain’t broke—don’t fix it,” and the .45ACP is definitely not broken! Glock developed the GAP cartridge for the sole purpose of not being the only major firearms manufacturer left without their own round on the market. Sig Sauer developed the .357SIG for the same reason. “Cartridge Envy” makes companies do strange things.
Winter Haven’s decision to deploy the G37 was a mistake. Whatever short-term savings they enjoyed have long since been negated. The cost of ownership on the G37 is actually more expensive when you consider variable costs like ammo for training. Plus, you’re only getting a 10-round magazine capacity with the .45GAP model 37. Wasn’t the whole point of the .45GAP to offer a smaller profile, increased capacity, and comparable ballistics? No, that wasn’t it. The point of the .45GAP was to give Glock a caliber, however short-lived, that it could call its own.