A common question among Glock buyers is what is the best Glock? There is no right answer to that question as each gun serves a different purpose, but if you’ve narrowed down your choices and you’re deciding between the Glock 17 vs the Glock 19, then this comparison has you covered. We’re going to cover the pros and cons of each gun in detail so you can decide which gun will be the best for you.
Table of contents
- Glock 17 vs 19 Concealed Carry
- Glock 17 vs 19 Sights
- Glock 17 vs 19 Quality
- Glock 17 vs 19 Aftermarket
|Metrics||Glock 17||Glock 19|
|Weight w/ no mag (Oz)||22.2||21.4|
|Weight w/ empty mag (Oz)||25||23.9|
|Weight w/ full mag (Oz)||32.4||29.4|
|Height (top of slide to bottom of magazine baseplate) (Inches)||5.31||4.89|
|Width of grip (Inches)||1.18||1.18|
|Width of slide (Inches)||1.01||1.00|
|Width across controls (Inches)||1.33||1.33|
Glock 17 vs 19 Concealed Carry
When you look at the Glock 17 and compare it to the smaller 19, you’ll notice there is a slight difference in the lengths of the grip. You do get two extra rounds of capacity with the Glock 17, but you also gain three-eighths of an inch.
Many consider the Glock 19 to be the ultimate concealed-carry piece because it’s large enough to work as a duty gun and is very easy to shoot while also being just small enough to conceal for most body types. You can definitely conceal a Glock 17, but it is easier to conceal a Glock 19 due to the shorter grip length.
Glock 17 vs 19 Weight
When it comes to weight, the weight difference is negligible with most of the weight being in the ammo itself. The base weights of the gun without any ammo are less than an ounce apart, so your difference is going to predominantly come from the difference in the magazine (which isn’t much different either) and the weight of the ammo. Those two extra rounds in the 17 are going to weigh a little more.
A lot of people can conceal the Glock 17, but it’s on the edge of what they can reasonably conceal. When you reduce yourself to two fewer rounds of ammunition with the 19, you can gain a lot more concealment and a little more leeway. Oftentimes when you’re moving throughout the day, how your gun and holster work is much different than when you’re standing in front of the mirror at home flexed out in certain ways to make sure you’re not printing.
Both of these guns can work for concealed carry at the appendix or carrying from three to four o’clock. The Glock 17 will be a little bit more difficult at both of these positions due to the longer grip. There is no place where the Glock 17 becomes more concealable than the Glock 19 since the shape of the grip is nearly identical. They’re going to react under clothing in almost the exact same way.
Both of these guns function identically in terms of how their frames are set up. Depending on the generation of Glock you have, modularity builds will differ. Gens 3, 4, and 5 are still in current production, so we’ll cover all of those.
The Gen3 grip tends to be much larger and has no modularity whatsoever. It also includes finger grooves. The Gen4 has finger grooves but it also includes four backstraps, two of which have no beavertail and two of which do have beavertails built into the backstraps.
These backstraps’ primary feature involves changing the length of pull (trigger reach) for the shooter. If you have larger hands, these can be very advantageous. The Gen5 Glock has an identical setup to the Gen4 save for the finger grooves on either the Glock 17 or 19.
Overall, these guns feel identical in the hand when you’re holding them. The difference is going to come down to the grip length. I myself have medium-to-large hands that are about average for somebody around six feet tall and I can get my hand fully on the Glock 19.
Somebody with slightly larger hands may not be able to get a complete grip with their pinky fully on the grip of the Glock 19 while they should be able to with the Glock 17. The pinky is the strongest finger in the hand when it comes to controlling recoil, so it has the most leverage. You’re going to want to get as much leverage on the gun as possible, so this is something I would consider when you’re trying out the gun.
Glock 17 vs 19 Texture
Again, your texture options are going to be identical between all of these guns.
If you’re looking at the Gen 3 Glock, most of them have a very slick finish that is not that good. Some Gen 3 Glocks also shift with the RTF2 finish, which is a little bit rare, but that finish is arguably the best texturing that has ever been offered on a handgun. It’s very aggressive yet is still comfortable to carry concealed. Glock did an excellent job with that and I hate to see that they’ve discontinued it.
The Gen4 Glock’s texturing is not quite as aggressive as what the Gen5 has, but it’s much more aggressive than the Gen3’s. It’s good enough, but it’s not great. I really wish it was more aggressive.
The texture on the Glock Gen 5 is probably one of the gold standards in the concealed-carry handgun industry. Is it as good as something like the texturing on the CZ P-10C? In my opinion, no, but it is dang close.
The texturing is not aggressive enough that you can carry it without any discomfort, but it’s aggressive enough when you’re shooting you won’t have any problems hanging onto the gun as long as you have a tight grip. It does a good job of locking your hand in, but it’s not uncomfortable to use over time.
The slides on all these Glocks are identical. You might have some variations that have forward-cocking serrations, but the depth of the serrations themselves remain consistent across all models and variations, making the slides somewhat marginal. I really like aftermarket slides that have a lot more aggressive serrations.
This is an area I really wish Glock had improved upon as it would not be an expensive change to make these guns. They’d just have to go with a slightly deeper and more aggressive cut.
Glock 17 vs 19 Sights
Again, these Glocks are all going to come with similar sight options. All of them are available from the factory with plastic slot fillers, which we most commonly see and know as Glock sights. These are horrible and you’re best off to replace them right out of the box if your gun has them.
We’re fortunate now that Glock offers most of these guns with center Glock night sights, which are made by Meprolight and are usable but not that great. They also offer excellent AmeriGlo sights that feature a bright orange front sight with a tritium vial in the center and the square-notch AmeriGlo blacked-out rear sights with tritium vials on each side of the notch. There are still 3-dot night sights, but they have excellent front sight and a blacked-out rear that really makes for a nice sight picture during daylight hours.
These guys all use the same aftermarket sights, so you’re going to have the same amount of options for them both. There are some really great sights out there — if you can’t find sights that you like for the Glock 19 or Glock 17, then you’re not going to find sights you like for any handgun.
Glock 17 vs 19 Red-Dot Optics
Glock has the MOS (modular optic system) offered on the 17 and the 19 in both Gen4 and Gen5. These optics-mounting systems include a series of plates that will work with pretty much every handgun optic on the market, and if it doesn’t work, there’s somebody out there that makes an aftermarket plate for it.
A lot of people end up not using these plates and instead prefer to go with aftermarket options that have fixed some of the design and engineering issues that came with the Glock plates. A lot of Glock owners run MOS plates and do not have any issues whatsoever, but some of the more hard-use users have developed issues with their guns and seen optics fly off when they need them the most, so it’s always advisable to run an aftermarket plate like those from CHWPS.
One downside of the Glock system is that most of these MOS guns and all the MOS-owned guns that I have seen come with the standard Glock plastic sights. For starters, these are not suppressor-height and therefore will not co-witness with most of the optics you’ll want to mount on your Glock MOS pistol, but they’re also just horrible sights you’ll need to replace and that will add to the cost of the gun.
Now, when you’re talking about Glock triggers in general, there are significant differences between the Gen 3, Gen 4, and Gen 5 triggers. They’re all similar in that they are striker-fired triggers with very light take-up before you reach a harder point in the trigger pre-break leading to a very short reset back to that hardpoint. What I’m describing as the “hardpoint” are the areas in which these triggers will differ. I’ll go over that in detail below.
Gen 3 Trigger
The trigger on the Gen3 Glock is going to have a very stiff wall at that hardpoint with no creep before it. It comes straight up to the wall before a very heavy break. It’s a very clean trigger, but it’s also very heavy. If you don’t like a heavy trigger, this is probably not going to be to your preference.
Glock Gen 4 Trigger
On the Glock Gen 4, you have a more subtle trigger that does not have as hard of a wall as the Gen3 but doesn’t have a rolling break either. It’s somewhere in between the Gen 3 and the Gen5.
Gen 5 Trigger
This is my favorite trigger. It’s hard to describe, but it does feel and work really well on the range. This is a rolling break. Once you get to that hard portion of the trigger, you’ll start to feel creep that eventually rolls through into a rolling break. That rolling break is great for accuracy when you have time to pull the trigger nice and slow, but it also works well under speed. You have less of a tendency to slap the trigger since the amount of force you’re fighting against seems to be drawn out as opposed to being very abrupt like the Glock Gen3 trigger.
Again, the slide lock on these guns is identical. When you compare the Gen3 and Gen4, there’s really no difference. The slide lock is only on the left-hand side of the pistol and set up for a right-handed shooter. The Glock Gen5, on the other hand, is ambidextrous, so I will of course give that the advantage. All of these options have the ability to upgrade to a factory OEM extended-slide stop with a ton of aftermarket options as well.
Glock 17 vs 19 Magazine Release
The magazine release on the Gen3 Glocks are very small and sharp. I would say it’s almost necessary to upgrade immediately to a Vickers Tactical magazine release from TangoDown. Those releases are really good but they’re not what you would consider an extended magazine release — they’re what the factory mag release should have been. There’s nothing fancy or competition-like about it; it’s just a good solid mag release.
Glock Gen 4 and Gen 5
A nice thing about the Glock Gen 4/5 is that the magazine releases are reversible, so if you’re a left-handed shooter, you can switch the magazine release to the right-hand side of the gun. These are much larger than the Gen3 release and frankly, I don’t think they need to be replaced out of the box. There are definitely aftermarket replacements, but unless you get an oversized competition-style set-up, I don’t see a lot of advantage to them and you’re just spending a little more money than you wouldn’t have to otherwise.
Glock 17 vs 19 Magazine
The most notable difference between the Glock 17 magazine vs the Glock 19 magazine is the capacity.
The Glock 17 magazine holds 17 rounds where the Glock 19 magazine holds 15 rounds.
Another major difference is the Glock 17 magazine can be used with the Glock 19, but the Glock 19 magazine cannot be used with the Glock 17 because it’s too short to seat in the magazine well.
There’s not much of a magazine well or a flare on the well with the Gen3 and Gen4 guns, but the Glock 17 and Glock 19 Gen5 guns have an excellent, really large magazine well in the bottom of the gun. If you’re running the gun in a competition like USPSA, shooting a division like Carry Optics, or in a production where you can’t add an aftermarket magazine well to the gun, then this large mag well is a great factory asset. It’s really nice to have a large magazine well in the gun already without having to add an aftermarket option that adds more bulk and weight to the gun.
Glock 17 vs 19 Quality
These guns are both Glocks and are all of similar quality. I do think the quality on the Gen 5 has been upped a little bit. The polymer on the Gen 3 guns doesn’t seem as good as that of the Gen 4, and the Gen 4 guns don’t seem quite as good as the Gen 5. I think Glock has been slowly and incrementally improving in the quality of some of their components.
Glock 17 vs 19 Aftermarket
When it comes to the aftermarket, both of these guns have an extremely large aftermarket, but the Glock 19 has a few more options than the 17. There are multiple companies making aftermarket frames for both of these guns, but there are way more making them for the 19 and just a lot more support for the Glock 19 overall.
There are companies that don’t even make holsters for the Glock 17, for example, while there are almost no companies out there that don’t make a Glock 19 holster. You have the same type of components made for both of these guns on the aftermarket, but there are a lot more offerings for each component for the Glock 19 vs. the Glock 17. A lot of the parts are interchangeable between the two guns, which means that the offerings are identical there.
Personally, I think both of these guns are very good-looking guns and look almost identical from a proportional standpoint. The Glock 17 has a slightly-longer barrel, slide, and grip compared to the 19. I think the 19 is a little more attractive because it seems more balanced, but the Glock 17’s still a good-looking gun. Neither of these guns are showstoppers, but both are reasonably attractive.
Shooting the Glock 17 vs 19 is going to be pretty similar. The Glock 17 is just an oversized version of the 19 — a slightly-shrunken 17, depending on how you look at it. Assuming your hands are of the right size to fit, all of your fingers will fit on the Glock 19. You’re not going to get any extra leverage or recoil control on the 17 from the grip link, but there is a bit of difference in how the longer slide affects shooting.
The Glock 17 seems to have a slightly slower cyclic rate and the slide itself has a little more muzzle rise due to the increased mass. This means the shooter’s actually going to feel slightly less recoil with the Glock 17 vs. 19. The Glock 19, on the other hand, because of its faster cyclic rate, seems to shoot a little flatter, but imparts more vibrations into the shooter’s hand.
Personally, I like the feel of the Glock 19, but I can see how a less experienced shooter might gain some advantage from the Glock 17. The 17 still shoots really well, but the 19 is what I’m more used to. I’ve shot a lot more rounds through the Glock 19, so I’m pretty used to controlling the slightly more violent recoil. If I had a similar amount of experience with each gun, I really don’t know which one would come out on top. At the end of the day, they don’t really shoot that differently.
Glock 17 vs 19 Price/Value
Both of these guns are prices identically, so price likely won’t be a factor in your decision. As I said before, which gun provides the most value of the two is going to depend on the role you want the gun to fill.
Glock 17 Pros
- Softer shooting
Glock 19 Pros
- Faster cycling slide