In the beginning, there was Gaston GLOCK. At least, as I recall. Maybe his wasn't the very first polymer pistol, but it's who I think of whenever the topic of non-steel frames comes up. Like Henry Ford, he may not have invented the thing, but they made it work... and both are stong historical landmarks (regardless of your opinion of either the "plastic" gun or the horseless carriage). And like Henry, you may have one of Gaston's products in any color you like... as long as it's black. Well, that may have changed, but so it did with the automobile. *** The old fashioned bell clamored as I shouldered my way through the glass door on a wet Thursday. But then, what day had not been wet these days? The little berg just south of Seattle had seen enough rain -- as the boys from Leonard Skinner's gym class might have said -- "to float a battleship around" . I shook the rain from my collar as I glanced around. The small pawn shop front, crowded with hand tools, gently used iPods and an eclectic display of jewels, all packed into closely spaced shelves and cases, belied the full service gunshop housed in back. I nodded politely, excusing myself, and carefully squeezed in front of a kindly woman looking wistfully through bulletproof glass at a diamond ring. Past the three-dollar DVDs was another world. Guns, ammunition and all manner of accesory, old and new, patiently awaited my arrival; it was as if they had opened for business on that particular day only on the off chance that I might stop by. I instantly felt better about being alive. The place was bustling with activity. Representatives, all conspicuously armed with fine handguns bearing the character of frequent use and resting placidly in leather glossy with wear, hustled about answering questions, casing and uncasing weapons, ringing up orders, and intermittently placing routine calls to the FBI. A small, ironic smile tugged at the corner of my mouth as I mused at how anyone could ever feel nervous or uneasy in such an environment. I was as safe as in my mother's arms. After being allowed to browse undisturbed for a few moments, I was greeted by a familiar face. "Anything I can help you with?" "Here for my Glock..." I smiled. He returned the grin at my use of his name, a senior associate and the munitions buyer, I recalled. No doubt, he was also cheered at the prospect of an imminent sale. Fair enough. He laid out the two flavors of GLOCK19, in 3rd and 4th generations, per my request and left me to make my decision. My best friend had just purchased a G23 and had been chiding me about when I was going to "get mine". Having heard that the G23 and G19 are two of the most popular semi-automatic pistols in the world right now, I saw no reason that if he had the one, I shouldn't have the other. In reality, a new (if not shiny ) Glock had been on the shortlist for some time. And 9mm family of cartridges is more my style. Besides allowing for lawful concealed carry, a CPL does have its perks. A few short minutes, a respectable hunk of my bankroll, and a Form4473 later, I was walking out with the black and gray-clasped case containing my new Gen3 GLOCK19 and a 50-count box of American Eagle 115 grain, FMJ shoot-em-ups. And a head full of questions. And I knew right away this was just the beginning... *** Been shooting for awhile. (Recently inherited Dad's old Ruger Security Six, in fact, that I learned to shoot as a youngster in crew cut and short pants -- And Dad never spared the safety lessons.) Never considered myself much of a pistoleer, but I'm intending that to change. Next on the list will be a case or two of shoot-em-ups and some trigger time with this curious new handgun. Thanks for reading. -S Wanna kill these ads? We can help!