Jeff Cooper was never a fan of the Glock. He considered the 9 mm caliber an antique cartridge and the Glock a disposable, plastic gun. Then, Glocks started to show up at American Pistol Institute, later to be renamed Gunsite. Cooper kept tabs on the then-new Austrian “Wonder Nine,” soon realizing the Glock was reliable, accurate, safe and worked for students. Was it a 1911? Nope. I don’t think Cooper ever warmed up to the Glock, but I think he had a momentary glimpse into the future. The Glock Gunsite Service Pistol (GGSP) embodies the modern training techniques and the combat mindset taught by Cooper then and today at Gunsite. The 9 mm GGSP is designed for the modern gunfighter. I think Cooper would agree.
As you may know, Cooper envisioned and taught the modern pistol technique and the combat mindset, meaning he was the guy who taught shooters to hold a pistol in a two-hand grip and use the sights. Sounds pretty academic, but back in the mid-1970s, when Cooper started tactical pistol instruction, these were cutting-edge techniques that have since become the bedrock of combat and defensive-pistol shooting. Cooper’s handgun of choice was the 1911 platform chambered in .45 ACP, and as the decades rolled by and Gunsite changed ownership, it has been unjustly referred to as the dinosaurs in the Southwest clinging to antique guns “chambered in .45 AARP.” This is not the case. Gunsite is the predominate firearms-training academy and is constantly evolving, hence the nod to Glock for the next Gunsite Service Pistol. In fact, they see more than half of its students using striker-fired pistols with optics.
The Gunsite Raven “Bird and Word” logo adorns the top of GSSP’s slide • Milled with an RMR-pattern footprint, the included Holosun optic doesn’t require a adapter plate for mounting • More than a standard red dot, the Holosun HE509T-RD X2 offers versatility in the form of three reticle options and a closed emitter, so weather won’t affect it • A lanyard loop offers the option of enhanced retention without being obtrusive • Suppressor-height Ameriglo sights co-witness perfectly with the GSSP’s red-dot optic • One area not consistent with a custom pistol is the trigger, which is more like a typical Glock factory unit • An improvement over an OEM component, the FBI magazine release is easy to actuate.
The GGSP starts with a stock G45 and is enhanced with Gunsite-specific modifications that make the Glock easier to shoot and manipulate. The most notable mod is the slide milled for an optic with the Trijicon RMR footprint—the GGSP doesn’t use an optic plate like Glock’s MOS variants, but has its Holosun HE509T-RD X2 optic mounted directly to the slide. The optic features three reticle options: a 32-MOA circle around a 2-MOA dot, 32-MOA circle and 2-MOA dot. The first option acts like an heads-up display. And, thanks to its closed-emitter design, it won’t malfunction if it’s raining.
The unit housing is made of titanium and I used it like a cocking lever with my hand, edge of a Kydex holster and the shooting bench. The sight is tough. It uses both a solar charger built into the top of the unit and a commonly found CR1632 battery. Expect the battery to last for about 50,000 hours using the 2-MOA dot option. The Holosun features Shake Awake, which means in practice when you draw your gun, the reticle activates. Co-witnessed with the Holosun are Ameriglo suppressor-height, steel sights. A set of back-up sights is good insurance should the battery go dead.
The recoil pulse of the compact slide is smooth and soft and the full-size grip provide plenty of texture to shoot the pistol fast. The GGSP enhancements improve the G45, and the red-dot optic allows you be surgical near and far. At 25 yards using a rest, my best group measured 1.38 inches with 115-grain Winchester Active Duty FMJ training ammo—not bad for inexpensive FMJ ammo. The smallest group fired with defensive ammo was with Remington HTP 147-grain JHP and it measured an honest 2 inches.
Performing failure drills at 7 yards always gives me a good indication of a pistol’s accuracy, ease of reloads and ability to shoot fast as well as surgically. The first two shots to the target’s center-of-mass were quick and, in some cases, overlapped. The reticle, especially the 32-MOA circle around a 2-MOA dot option, was bright, fast to pick up and simple to shoot. The trigger has a spongy take-up—like all Glocks—then you hit the wall and need about 5 pounds of trigger press to trip the striker. It is not clean nor crisp, but it is consistent. When practicing the precision part of the failure drill, the single shot to the head area was easy. There’s a harmony between the trigger and the optic that make the GGSP an forgiving pistol.
Cooper had wit and wisdom and the GGSP won’t have him turning over in his grave. It is how the modern fighting pistol has evolved, and Gunsite stacked the odds in the users’ favor with the GGSP. Cooper might wink and say it was “blast-phemy.”
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