J.M. Browning is the greatest gun designer in history. The Glock safe-action pistol, by virtue of it's SUCCESSFUL combination of innovative/revolutionary features, is one of the greatest handguns in history. Right up there with JMB's 1911 and the S&W M&P revolver action (1899!).
Gaston Glock is an "idea man" who was in the right place at the right time. He had a successful plastics factory, a collection of great ideas from gun knowledgeable people, and a design team which put it all together in time to win the Austrian military contract. And, to be "stateside" in the US just in time for the start of LE's transition from revolver to semi-auto.
Even those who drink the hater-aid have to admit the Glock safe-action is nothing short of amazing. But even the best designs won't succeed unless a market is waiting to receive them. Glock couldn't have timed it better.
The "safe-action" pistol absolutely rates with the best of JMB's designs. But Gaston Glock made a different contribution to firearm's history than JMB did. Glock was highly influential by virtue of one product and his ability to insert it into the marketplace. J.M. Browning's work advanced the firearm's field into the modern era, and his designs remain in use worldwide long after his passing.
Glock 17 (Gen1), 19 (Gen2), 21SF (RTF2), 26, 39
Glock Armorer (AC), Glock Instructor (IW)
Glock Advanced Armorer (AA)
Remington 870 Police Magnum, Benelli M1 S90
Smith & Wesson 13-2, 16-3, 36, 66-3, 681-3, 3000