Uruguay Adopts Glock 17, Bizarrely They Will be Supplied As Kits

Jane’s reports that The Uruguayan National Army will be replacing their 9mm Browning Hi-Power pistols with 9mm Glock 17 pistols. In what is a bizarre twist, Glock will supply Uruguay with 1,500 pistol kits which will be assembled at Army workshops.

This screams of clever procurement hack. No doubt each pistol at the Glock factory will be assembled, tested, then disassembled, shipped, then reassembled in Uruguay. The Uruguayan politicians can claim they are creating local jobs, when in fact they are just needless tax payer subsidized jobs.

Uruguay claims that once they have assembled all the 1500 pistols they are procuring, which can’t take very long, they hope to export Glocks to other South American countries, possibly with locally manufactured parts. I think it is safe to say that this is more political BS. Sometimes it is comforting to know that politicians are the same the world over.

Many thanks to Albi for the tip.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Esh325

    The Hi Power is a great pistol, I’ve shot quite a few of them, but it is surpassed by newer designs.

  • Giolli Joker

    The move might even be related to some legal reasons in Uruguay.
    I know, for example, that there’s a limit (2.5″?) of barrel lenght of firearms that can be imported to the USA, this, other than forcing in the past Walther to manufacture a PP (or PPK…) specific for the American market, has led Chiappa to ship it’s shortest Rhino (2″ barrel) from Italy to the USA as a disassembled product, to be assembled locally.

    • floppyscience

      I doubt Uruguay put “sporting purpose” import prohibitions on their own military’s weaponry.

      • Giolli Joker

        Yep, didn’t mean it had to be the same law, but there still might be something else behind it…

  • floppyscience

    “Sometimes it is comforting to know that politicians are the same the world over.”

    Not particularly.

    I do hope they send us some of those surplus Hi-Powers, though. Can’t have enough Hi-Powers.

  • Andrew Tuohy

    As I recall, DSA had a problem with FALs in (also bizarre) .260 Rem that were going to be sold to one of the “guays” but there was some sort of paperwork issue and they ended up sitting in a container for a long time.

  • gallannd

    Glock test fires their pistols? I doubt it.

    • floppyscience

      Of course they do. Why wouldn’t they? Most if not all of their pistols even come with fired casings for those “ballistic fingerprinting” locales.

  • Vermin.308Winchester

    So foreign politics are ok? I apologize had to be said please don’t hate. Where the hi-powers domestically manufactured or imported from FN? Hopefully some enterprising individual can work out an import deal. Definetly a “JOBS” scam. So will these be American Austrian or Russian glocks?

  • A.K. for T-7

    Uruguay will not export Glocks to South America because the new Glock factory will be in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

  • Raoul O’Shaugnessy

    Here’s to hoping the P35’s wind up on the surplus market.

  • Lance

    Many nations still use Hi Power beat Glock gets many contracts to replace the older pistols because Glock makes a good pistol cheap.

  • DougE

    I just figured it was a way for the armorers to dig right into getting to know the pistol. You’re probably right though, it’s probably just political BS.

  • Hinermad

    A lot of nations have import duties that make it much cheaper to import parts kits than assembled products. You’d think there’d be exceptions for the military, but laws don’t always make sense.

  • Maxcoseti

    “Uruguayan politicians can claim they are creating local jobs”
    May I ask? How many jobs can they claim to be creating by assembling 1500 guns?

  • ArmandoBronca

    Not all politicians are the same. José Mujica, the President -Uruguay has two centuries as an independent Republic, with elections, democracy, longer than most European countries- spent 14 years in prison -he must have done something…- carries several bullets inside his body from encounters with the Police and the Army in his guerrilla past, and before being elected he was a modest flower grower.
    He still is a flower grower, in fact, and lives very modestly in the same ranch he used to live before, with his wife who is President of the Parliament, she also has a very violent past.

    The Minister of Defense is another ex-guerrilla, and MP of course. When asked about what to do with the criminals he answered: -Carry a gun like I do, and shoot them if they try to rob you. He is probably the one behind this change in weapons.


    I’m late to the party, but as an Uruguayan, I feel obliged to chime in.

    My guess is that this a move to circumvent neighboring countries’ import duties. Uruguay by itself is irrelevant as a market for Glock. However, by placing a “Factory” here, it’s very likely that they can take advantage of local trade agreements (MERCOSUR), and export pistols to other countries in the region, mainly Brazil and Argentina. In exchange for their “work”, the military will get a small cut of the profits.

  • Andy

    firearms, not politics?