I was at Spotsylvania Gold and Pawn in Fredericksburg, VA a few weeks ago and saw a brand new GLOCK pistol. It looked a bit odd to me. The model wasn't a number i was familliar with. the gun was priced at $550, which seemed like a normal glock-ish price to me, but this one was odd. Why? Because it was chambered in .45 GAP. Why would you ever buy .45 GAP? To be different? To stand out from the crowd?
When it comes to calibers, I choose guns chambered in calibers that are easy to find. 9mm and 22LR are my favorites. Every gun shop, sporting goods store, and walmart has it. Everybody and their brother makes it, and its inexpensive. On the other hand, oddball calibers such as .45 GAP are never cheap. 9mm is cheap because a huge part of the world uses it. Its a NATO spec caliber and has been adopted by most armies worth their salt around the globe. Because of this, the whole world makes ammo. You've got choices: and with choices come competition for sales. Compeittion brings the price down because people are striving to sell a lot of their product. If you sell cheap 9mm, you might only make a few cents per box on the stuff, but if you sell it by the truckload because people want cheap 9mm, you're raking in the profits.
Why would you ever get a gun in 45 GAP? There are very few guns to choose from anywya. Springfield came out with the XD in 45 GAP, but it was discontinued a short time later due to poor sales. Who else makes a gun in .45 GAP? Of course! GLOCK, because they're the ones that developed it.
New calibers are conjured up for one of two reasons: the manufacturer is either trying ot make a superior product (in size, recoil, accuracy, power...) or they're trying to make money. If they can, both of those facotrs (superiority over other calibers and a chance for profit) will be met. I'm not really sure what GLOCK expected with this one, besides to make money on the deal. By getting customers to buy their highly-revered GLOCK pistol chambered in an expensive caliber means GLOCK is making money not once, but twice. Sure they made money when they sold the gun, but they're going to make more when people go out to buy ammo. There is an Achilles heel to this situation: when people wise up and don't buy the gun.
GLOCKS sell well. Its a well-known fact. Their GLOCK pistols chambered in 45 GAP do not sell well at all though. I've seen them brand new for $400 at gun shows as well as being advertised in Shotgun News about 7 or 8 months ago. The guns must not sell. I bet FFLs who ordered them are now trying to just get them off their hands. A gun on the shelf doesn't make a penny. Selling a slow-moving gun and freeing up that cash to spend on other (hopefully faster-moving inventory) would better suit any business conscious gun dealer. I bet the FFLS that were selling off 45 GAP pistols were taking a loss on each and every one of them.
Why would anyone buy one in the first place? I don't understand why a gun owner would curse themselves with getting a gun in a rare caliber. It never took off as the designers originally intended. GLOCK wouldn't have invested millions in developing a new caliber to just have it in their gun. With offerings such as .45 ACP, .357 Sig, and .40 S&W, there's no reason to buy .45 GAP. If the ammo was as cheap as 9mm, they'd sell a ton of guns in that caliber. Sadly, that is not the case. They need to recoup their research and development costs somehow. Now, for the poor guys who actually bought guns in .45 GAP, they're stuck with buying overpriced ammo from only a few sources.
Even though they may be the cheapest deal in the GLOCK lineup, don't buy one. If you want a similar ballistic profile, get a gun in .45 ACP or .357 Sig. As far as I'm concerned, the .45 GAP is already an obsolete caliber.