A few years ago, in a classic case of government bureaucracy covering their ass, the Portuguese Police decided that one requirement of their future pistol is that it must have a manual external safety. They, of course, then choose the one gun which is the epitome of manual safety-less pistols, the Glock. Glock shipped them 42,000 Glock 19s with external thumb safeties, similar to the Glock 17 safety I blogged about recently, worth 13 million Euros.
The police upper management then proceeded to tell the public how wonderful their new pistols were. The cops on the street must have been given a different gun because their pistols were having all sorts of problems. They had magazines randomly falling out of the guns, magazines refusing to drop out when the mag release was pressed, brass being ejected into the shooters face and just plain failing to cycle. The Portuguese IPSC community, where I believe Glocks are popular, were not at all surprised.
A few weeks ago the Portuguese media discovered that the police have signed a contract with Glock to retrofit all their pistols with normal, safety-less, Glock 19 frames. No doubt at a significant cost to the tax payer.
The government fears that the other pistol manufacturers such as HK, Beretta, Walther and Mannlicher, who were passed over in the search for the new pistol, will sue them for choosing a faulty pistol and for stipulating that a safety was a requirement, only to drop the requirement a few years later.
Many thanks to my anonymous Portuguese source for the links and translations he sent me.