World-renown handgun manufacturer Glock recently filed a series of patents on a gas-operated carbine, and no, this isn’t a late April Fool’s joke. Glock has a number of patents for a centerfire long gun, and just as surprisingly, it doesn’t look like a pistol-caliber carbine.
These European Patent Office documents are available through a number of different patent listings in a bunch of different languages, and while some of them indicate a kind of improved AR-15, there’s a standout near-complete carbine among them that looks like an original design, that’s maybe a little bit influenced by the AR-18.
Some of the design’s features are very modern, like the non-reciprocating charging handle assembly, ambidextrous controls, and a generally simplified design that has a real Glock feel to it. But other parts are pretty old-school, including an annular gas piston, action bars, and a mechanical ejector.
The bolt, bolt carrier and recoil system look like they’re straight off an AR-18 at first blush, but there are a few changes to accommodate a forward non-reciprocating charging handle assembly where the AR-18 gas piston assembly goes. Instead of using a single short-stroke gas piston, this design uses a pair of push rods that are actuated by the annular gas piston, which in turn, siphons gas from the barrel out of two gas ports, top and bottom.
These drawings look completely removed from a couple of other patents Glock put forward that do not belong with this carbine. The other drawings show what look to be an AR-15 or M-16 bolt carrier group with a different firing pin retaining system and a low-profile adjustable gas block.
The possible Glock carbine also uses an interchangeable barrel system, although it doesn’t appear to be a quick-detach mechanism. It looks more like an armor-level system, something that facilitates replacing worn barrels or swapping between different caliber barrels.
The barrel locking lever appears to require at the very least, separating the upper and lower receiver assemblies. Like a lot of modern rifles, the Glock carbine looks like it’s housed in three parts, an upper, a lower, and a forend. The lower is set up with an AR-style stock tube but it’s only used to mount a stock; it’s not part of any recoil system.
It also looks like the barrel locking system only contacts the barrel at a minimum number of points, in order to more freely float the barrel. Whether or not this works in practice the same way other free-floated barrel systems is yet to be seen. It’s hard to predict how the annular gas piston and action bar system might influence accuracy, and the same can be said for the interchangeable barrel system.
Finally, a couple of little details stand out, the ejection system and the magazine catch. The patents illustrate an ejector assembly that relies on the recoiling force of the bolt carrier to kick out a cartridge, similar to early repeating rifles including some bolt-action rifles; it might be a little complicated, but it should be robust.
The magazine catch is kind of the opposite. It’s very simple, simpler than what many of today’s rifles use, more like an ambi pistol mag release. It uses a single wire spring instead of coil springs and levers.
In any case, without a carbine in production, there’s no reason to believe that any or all of these patents are going to be used. But they do indicate that Glock is — after decades of success making pistols — putting serious thought into going after the long gun market. How they wind up doing it is the mystery.
If you think you have any ideas about what these drawing mean, let us hear it in the comments!