The Glock line of rugged and reliable polymer-framed, self-loading pistols have become a staple of the firearms market and community – military and law-enforcement alike – worldwide. Still, features pop up that can’t be attributed to Glock and this is true for these mystery clear-frame Glock pistols which have become available on the Pakistani market in recent years. Who makes these clear frame Glock copies though? Where did they come from? What is the purpose? Do they even work? All these questions and more have been asked by people the world over. To understand why and how these came to be, we must first look deeper.
In the video below you can see an example of a Glock 19 Generation 4 clone with the clear frame and several clear Glock-pattern magazines:
Although the Glock line is readily available and affordable in many countries, especially within Europe and North America, the demand and price for these is at least three times higher in the Pak-Afghan region. Due to the so-called War on Terror, continued anti-proliferation attempts by major world players have cut smuggled arms supplies to the regional markets and these pistols are now highly sought after due to the limited amounts available. To add fuel to the fire, the Pakistani government has halted imports of arms to the commercial market since 2014. Prices for a Glock pistol can now range from as low as Rs300,000 for a genuine used Glock and pushing higher for newer models like the Generation 4’s and the more compact Glock 26 type. Due to the extortionate pricing for legitimate Glock pistols, affordable options are needed and that is where the infamous arms manufacturers of Pakistan step in.
Fig.1.1. Left face: Glock 19 Gen4 clone with S&W barrel retrofitted, clear frame & magazine (Source: Local dealer via Khyber Armoury Database)
Fig.1.2. Left face: Glock 26 Gen4 copy with clear frame & clear 33 round magazine (Source: Local dealer via Khyber Armoury Database)
Fig.1.3. Left Face: Glock 26 Gen4 with clear frame & loaded clear 33 round magazine (Source: Local dealer via Khyber Armoury Database)
The Glock line in 9×19mm has been manufactured domestically within the KPK and FATA regions of Pakistan for a little over a decade now but recently the materials used have been drastically improved and copies of newer variations of Glock such as the Generation 4 and Generation 5 have entered the market. Although these are made by a whole slew of manufacturers, none are more interesting than the clear frame copies now available through a number of them. These frames are identical to a Glock- manufactured frame in construction yet they are clear, virtually see-through and becoming increasingly popular. These frames are produced in modern polymer moulding facilities in Pakistan’s Punjab province for arms manufacturers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The days of crude construction of polymers for the Glock clones of old are long gone.
Not only do these manufacturers have the standard white or un-coloured variant, tinted frames in colours such as blue, red, purple and yellow have also started to be churned by the moulding companies upon request of the manufacturers due to the popularity. We will hopefully feature some of those in a future article. Add to this that clear Glock box magazine copies are also made, the pair certainly are flashy. Practically, these are a sight for sore eyes and certainly much more brittle than a standard Glock frame, however, these seem to have found a market in Pakistan, most definitely just for show or as statement rather than for a more practical use.
Fig.1.4. The internals of a clear frame made for a Glock 19 Gen4 copy (Source: Local dealer via Khyber Armoury Database)
These Glocks clones are found with varying levels of quality as with many arms manufacturers in Pakistan, the grade of steel used and the technique of manufacturing differs between each of them. Some use CNC machines for the main components while some use more traditional milling machines, some use lower grades of steel and some use higher ones and even the polymer types used can differ between them.
Fig.1.5. Right Face: Glock 19 Gen4 clone with clear frame & magazine (Source: Local dealer via Khyber Armoury Database)
Fig.1.6. Right face: Glock 19 Gen4 clone with S&W barrel retrofitted, clear frame & magazine (Source: Local dealer via Khyber Armoury Database)
Fig.1.7. Left Face: Glock 26 Gen4 with clear frame, standard magazine instated & clear 33 round magazine (Source: Local dealer via Khyber Armoury Database)
The prices for these runs from around Rs30,0000 on the lower end and increases depending on the materials used for the metal components, i.e. the barrel and slide. This same price will also get you a standard Glock copy with a black, FDE or OD Green frame which are undoubtedly more robust than these and actually practical. It all depends on what the buyer wants and what their intended use for the pistol is.
Since these clear frame Glock clones have been released, we can only wonder what new fad the market will ask for and the manufacturers will be only too happy to provide next. As with all things, the trend will ultimately die out once they are in everyone’s hands. We look forward to seeing more firearms designs and unique products coming out in Pakistan, even if they aren’t all that practical like these.