The Glock 17 originally was introduced to the US market in the 1980s. While not the first polymer striker-fired handgun, the Glock 17 was the first massively successful polymer striker-fired handgun. It was first introduced to the US market from a law enforcement perspective. This is our Glock 17 Review.
Once law enforcement adopted the firearm, it was soon adopted by the general public. Before the Glock 17, there were a couple of 9mm double stack pistols that had higher capacity than the normal standard single stack, 45 ACP pistols of the era.
These pistols were called “Wonder Nines”. They reached varying levels of success, but there was a lot of distrust in the 9mm caliber at that time. Most of these Wonder Nines had metal frames, either being steel or have been made of an aluminum alloy. This gave trust to the old school market that wasn’t quite used to the polymer on the Glock 17. Eventually the Glock 17 reign Supreme and became one of the best-selling guns in that segment.
Table of contents
- Trigger Glock 17 Review
- Aftermarket Glock 17 Review
- Glock 17 Maintenance Review
- Glock 17 Shooting Review
The role of the Glock 17 was originally a duty-style firearm meant to be more on OWB and carried by police officers. Eventually, the role expanded into the competition and general range use. The gun became very popular with competitors and shooting sports. As well as extremely popular for people just wanting to get out and shoot on the weekends and enjoy it for fun.
Initially, the Glock 17, wasn’t seen as a concealed carry style weapon, but as holster technology has improved. The gun has become more popular for concealed carry. It is a very large gun. But it is still viable to carry the Glock 17 and the IWB, Appendix IWB, or OWB positions. You just have to make sure that your body is large enough to do so. And that you’re wearing a good holster with clothing that is large enough to not print with the firearm.
Glock 17 features a 17 round flush fit magazine. The magazine is double stack and it is a steel line magazine with a polymer overmold. The magazines themselves are fairly inexpensive costs around $25 apiece. There are a ton of accessories and extended magazines for the Glock 17. You can buy aftermarket magazines from multiple companies, including ETS and Magpul. There are also knockoffs from KCI.
You can get 33 round magazines from Glocks as well as 24 round extended magazines. These are a nice feature if you want to have a little more ammo in the gun, but still, maintain the reliability of a factory magazine. Magwell. Now when looking at the Gen5 variant of the Glock 17, the magwell is absolutely amazing. And is the only polymer frame gun in this size class that has such a large magwell. This magwell also extends the Glock 19 series, but that gun is obviously a little bit smaller.
You can definitely give the Glock 17 Gen5 the award for best-in-class magwell on standard polymer frame pistols. If you’re running a competition like USPSA, where you’re not allowed to add an aftermarket magwell in some divisions. This is going to be a huge asset. For the average person using the gun for self-defense, the magwell probably isn’t as big of an upside. But there are no downsides considering how Glocks designed it.
The grip on the Glock 17 is just your standard Glock grip. Right now, looking at Gen 5 variant, you’re going to see there are no finger grooves and it has removable backstraps.
The gun itself comes stock with no backstraps on the firearm and then you can use some of the included backdrops to build the size of the grip up. These backstraps will also change your length of pull on the trigger or your trigger reach. This is a very good feature if you have larger hands. And in fact, one of the most important things about changing the ergonomics on your Glock.
Beavertail Glock 17 Review
There is no Beavertail on the Glock 17, but you can use two of the included backstraps to add a Beavertail to the gun. The Beavertail is also going to increase your height over bore, so that’s something you want to take into account when setting up a gun, but a slide bite is an issue for you, then these Beavertail backstraps will definitely fix that issue.
The Gen 4 Glock 17 is set up identically with the exception of having finger grooves. The Glock Gen 3 has no modularity whatsoever, so you’re stuck with the grip as it is.
Now, texturing is different on all of the three different current Glock production pistols. The Gen 3 texturing is very slick unless you’re lucky enough to get an RTF2 finish Glock. Those are rare though so I wouldn’t put that in high… I wouldn’t say it’s all that likely you’ll find one. Now, when you look at the Glock 17 Gen 4, you’ll notice the texturing is a little bit better than the Gen 3, but it is not as good as the aggressive texture on the Gen 5. The Gen 5 texturing is really pretty good. You see a lot of competitors use the Gen 5 without any kind of additions to the grip itself.
The texturing doesn’t seem that aggressive when you first fill it, but when you really dig down and get a good grip on the gun, it does a pretty good job of locking your hand in place.
Glock 17 in Gen 5 is actually a very ergonomic firearm and I think a lot of it has to do with not having the finger grooves.
One complaint would still be the Glock knuckle that you can get through gripping the gun, but the Glock knuckle itself isn’t a deal-breaker for me. A lot of guns actually still have that style of undercut where your knuckle is going to rub and eventually build up a callous if you shoot the gun off. Overall, the general field, the Glock 17 Gen 3 through five is pretty good, but the Gen 5 is definitely the best variant they’ve offered to date.
When it comes to sights on the Glock 17, you’re going to have a couple of different options. You can always get a Glock with the standard slot fillers, which are your basic plastic lock sights. They’re not durable. They don’t have a great sight picture and they’re just overall really crappy sights. The good thing is Glock has updated their offerings, so they’re now shipping guns from the factory with Ameriglo night sights.
The Ameriglo night sights have a bright orange front site that is easy to see in daylight. And it’s just a really clean site picture. The rear site has tritium vials in the rear. But the site itself is blacked out. So that’s probably the best option for factory sights. You can also get them standard Glock night sights, which are just three-dot Meprolight sights, which are acceptable, but not great.
There is a large aftermarket for Glock 17 style sights. The same sights worked for the Glock 17 that worked for the Glock 19 and considering how popular the Glock 19 is almost every company that makes pistol sights makes an offering for the Glock. So if you can’t find sights that you like the Glock 17, then you likely won’t be able to find sights you like for any gun.
Red Dot Options
The Glock 17 comes in the MOS format so you can easily add an optic as long as you get the MOS gun. You can also have your gun mill by one of many custom shops out there. There are even a lot of local gun stores that have the ability to mill your Glock to accept a red dot sight. The MOS mounting pattern has some concerns with reliability. So a lot of people offer to get aftermarket plates like the one I have on my gun from chwps.com.
There are also a lot of other companies that make good aftermarket mounting solutions for the Glock 17. To sum it all up you can get pretty much any red dot you would like to fit on a Glock 17.
Glock 17 controls are pretty standard Glock if you catch my drift. There’s nothing special about them. They work and they don’t do a whole more than that. Let’s go over them in more detail.
The magazine release on the Glock 17 is mounted on one side of the gun only. The Gen 3 version works only for right-handed shooters and is on the left-hand side of the gun. The Gen 4 and Gen 5 versions are reversible so you can push them around for right or left-handed shooters. I myself, with average to medium to large size hands, do not have any issue reaching the mag release button when I press it with my thumb.
If you have smaller hands, you might have to break your grip to reach that magazine release. The magazine release itself is slightly extended from the frame, but not by much, maybe a 20th of an inch. It’s, well-rounded almost to the edges and you don’t feel any sharp points when you press the button as you did on some of the previous Glock generations, specifically being the Glock Gen 3. The Gen 4 and Gen 5 mag releases are just a lot better than the Glock Gen 3. And there are tons of aftermarket options if you want to change that up.
Glock 17 Slide Stop Review
Slide stops on Glocks are pretty much all the same. They come in two variants. One variant is your standard Glock slide stock and the other one is the extended version that comes on the 34 series of firearms.
Glocks Gen3 and Gen4 are mounted on the left side of the hand only. The left-hand side of the gun only set up for a right-handed shooter so they can access the gun with their support hand or primary hand thumb. Now the Gen5 Glocks are improving the factor ambidextrous and the slide stop is mere perfectly on the other side. It’s easy to reach with your thumb unless you have really shorthands.
In which case the Glock 17, probably isn’t going to be the gun for you, anyway, as all the controls will be a little bit harder to reach. And as always, there are a ton of aftermarket options for these guns. So you can easily find a slide stop that you can switch out if the factory one isn’t to your liking.
Trigger Glock 17 Review
The trigger on the Glock 17 is going to vary again, based on generation. The triggers between Gen 3 Gen 4 and Gen 5 are all just a little bit different.
Overall, they have standard characteristics and that you have light take-up, you hit a wall area and then you have your break and then after the break, you have your reset. They all reset to a similar point and all have the same amount of initial take-up. The difference is going to be in the actual break of the trigger. So we’re going to go through those on Gen 3 through five.
Glock 17 Gen 3 Trigger
The trigger in Glock 17 Gen 3 has your initial light take-up and then a very stiff, hard, heavy wall before an extremely clean break. There is no creep in this sugar, it’s just really heavy and it has a really hard wall.
G17 Gen 4 Trigger
The trigger on the Glock 17 Gen 4 is a hybrid between the Gen 3 and Gen 5 variance. This trigger doesn’t have what I would call a rolling break, but it’s definitely not as stiff of a wall as the Gen 3 trigger has.
Glock 17 Gen 5 Trigger
The trigger in Glock 17 Gen 5 is my personal preference, but a lot of people may not prefer it as it has a rolling break. So once you get past that initial takeout, you’re going to start to feel a little bit of creep and continue to feel creep until the trigger breaks. It’s more of a rolling break than any of the other triggers and while it doesn’t sound that good, it pretends really well on the range. Most shooters like a crisp break from a dry fire perspective, but they seem to shoot better with a rolling break. So keep that in mind.
Aftermarket Glock 17 Review
The Glock 17 has more aftermarket parts than any other gun beside the Glock 19. You can build multiple generations of a Glock firearm without using a single Glock part in the build.
The Glock Gen3 has more parts than the other gun ever made often on the aftermarket. You can also get a ton of parts for the triggers, trigger connectors, optics mounting plates, iron sights, entire slides, and frames. There is nothing you can’t get for a Glock blocks pistol to customize it. I could probably write three or four blog posts alone on the aftermarket manufacturers that support Glock.
Glock 17 Maintenance Review
Maintaining the Glock 17 is a breeze. All generations on the block takedown in a similar fashion. You’ll want to take the magazine on the pistol, lock the slide back, and ensure that the gun is unloaded. Once you’re sure the gun is unloaded, let the slide go forward pull you’re triggered to drop the striker.
When the striker has been released there to take down tabs on the side of the frame that you’ll need to pull down. And once those are down, you can release the slide for taking it off for moving your recall spring assembly and your bear from there, you can clean all the different parts on the gun and get it well lubricated so it’s clean and ready to go.
The Glock 17 is a fairly proportional firearm. As long as you don’t the aftermarket, backstraps. The backstraps make the young look a lot larger in a group than it really isn’t. Messes up for proportions on the yard. The Glock 17, isn’t a gun that you’re going to say is absolutely beautiful. You have to look at it like the lower-end trucks.
Take your favorite manufacturer of trucks. Then look at the maxed-out trim package. And you’re probably going to think it looks pretty good. And then you go and look at the baseline model that is used for commercial purposes. The trucks still look good, they just don’t look as fancy. That is the Glock 17 in a nutshell.
Glock 17 Shooting Review
Shooting the Glock 17 is probably what you would expect. It has slightly less recoil than in Glock 19 and is a little bit easier to control. The slide also seems to move a little bit slower and less snappy than a Glock 19. Overall, I like the way the Glock 17 shoots, but it’s nothing special. It doesn’t shoot great and it doesn’t shoot horribly. As long as you have a good grip and a proper understand of the fundamentals, it will track really well and stay up and down in a straight line when you’re firing it. The Glock Gen5 trigger really does help with accuracy. It’s really easy to shoot even at distance with this gun.
It’s fun to shoot and I enjoy it, but you can’t expect a Glock 17 to be anything more than a five to $600 handgun like it is. While it’s softer shooting the Glock 19, It’s not so much softer shooting that you can justify its extra size in a concealed carry situation. If you can seal the Glock 17, fine, and go for it. But most people will be better suited with a 19 size firearm for concealed carry.
Now, if you’re using it for home defense or for duty use, it’s going to be hard to go with the Glock 19 over the Glock 17. Personally, I’m really glad I purchased this firearm, but I don’t see using it for a lot of daily applications. I can see this gun being set up with a suppressor for home defense. It makes a really great suppressor host. It pairs perfectly with my Microtech defense 9mm suppressor.
This is an opinion piece, but I always aim to eliminate bias. Look, we’ve all read them before. Gun reviews that claim to be helpful, but they’re really thinly veiled hit pieces trying to get you to buy something before you’ve even started your research. Or, even worse, a review put together by a content writer who has never even held a gun.
I’ve trained with some of the best in the business to learn various shooting styles and ideologies to better serve our customers. I’ve purchased guns of all price points, calibers, and action types to build the best products for the market. I want you to walk away knowing you have the information you need to make a sound purchasing decision.