Glock 17 Review

What We Think of the Glock 17:

A standard sized beauty that ALWAYS gets the job done.  This is the #1 best selling law enforcement handgun in the world.  Civilians like us love it too.

What Its Good For:

Shooting with accuracy, speed, never-fail reliability, and have we mentioned the large standard magazine capacity?  This is Glock's standard (full sized) 9mm and the magazine holds 17 rounds.  The minimal recoil and "love your Glock" tight grips keep the pistol tightly bound in your hand while firing.  That means control.  

Glock 17 Details:

Standard G17 Specs and photo's (click for larger view on each)

glock 17

Glock 17 Specifications

Caliber: 9mm
System: Safe Action
Length: 7.32 in. (186 mm)
Height: 5.43 in. (138 mm)

Magazine Capacity: 17 (standard) | 19 / 33 (optional)

Trigger Pull: 5.5 lbs. (2.5 kg)
Trigger Travel: 0.5 in. (12.5 mm)
G17 Size: Standard (Full Sized)

G17 Hands On Editor and User Review:

Low weight, huge magazine capacity, and unsurpassed reliability.  The Glock 17 pistol listed by Glock as the single best selling handgun in their arsenal, though that sales figure is surely boosted by bulk sales to law enforcement agencies and country / state / local cops.  

This is the full sized "standard" 9mm handgun from Glock, rather than the slightly smaller "compact" G19 model that is sometimes more popular for civilians.  

Going with the larger sized G17 gives you a few advantages, the first being a slightly longer (height) grip, which for those with very large hands may be the way to go.  Personally, I prefer the compact G19 for it's grip but I am envious of the gigantic 17 round magazine capacity that comes standard.  That's the benefit of a full sized standard Glock with a modest sized 9mm round — more rapid firing fun before reloads!

Glock does offer optional oversized magazines that boost the magazine capacity up to 19 and a kind of silly looking (uzi' like) 33 rounds.  Not terribly practical but that's a lot of lead to have fun with at the range.

Hand on shooting with the Glock 17 is a dream, with a smooth firing process and minimal blowback.  Since these are 9mm rounds rather than .45 or .40 caliber, there's less recoil and you have the ability to group tighter target zones in less time.  What you may lose in raw stopping power with the smaller 9mm caliber you make back with the ability to double tap or put multiple rounds on target.  

We we're comparing a G17 to a Sig and a Beretta and while the Sig Sauer had slightly less recoil the Glock had a far superior grip, which for most users may translate to better control — whether in pleasure firing or in defense.  Plus the Sig had a puny 8 round magazine, which the G17 laughs at.  The Beretta was fine but like a lot of Beretta's was tempermental about the manufacture of ammo used, whereas the Glock (like all Glocks) seems to chew thru whatever you feed it.  No problems.

Glock 17 Reliability

Glocks are famous for their reliability, and I doubt if any single model of Glock has been put through more torture tests than the Glock 17.

The G17 is not only the top selling model to local law enforcement groups in the States, but it's also the top seller Internationally.  

Field testing under duress of extreme heat, rapid firing, elements including rain and dirt, even tests after being submerged reflect the unparalleled reliability and flawless design that is in the Glock.

Gen 3 or Gen 4 Glock 17 Models

With the flood of local law enforcement usage, it's easy to get either the Generation 3 or Generation 4 version of the G17.  

The Gen 4 of course come with more grip add ons and  small back straps, there's also a magazine release catch magazine that's a little different.  Gen 4 models use a dual recoil spring.  

What does all this mean?  Not a lot of difference for most, and both the Gen4 and Gen3 models are still produced and some users have a slight preference.  I'm happy with either model personally.

GlockYourself Final Thoughts

If you're looking for a 9mm and want the most reliable, high capacity magazine you can buy this is the weapon you're looking for.

For those that know they are curious about a Glock and think the 9mm is right caliber for your needs, you may want to consider the slightly smaller G19 compact model as it has the same general performance (13 round magazine though) but can also work much more easily as a conceal & carry weapon as well.  I'm 6'2" but prefer the G19 compact size over the standard but you'll just have to decide for yourself.

Either way, the Glock 17 is a hard working 9mm that will never let you down.  You can't go wrong with this one…

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Brian Erwin June 26, 2011 at 4:26 pm

I'm going to buy my first handgun and have 2 questions. First, how can I decide between the G17 and G19? Also, what modifications do you recommend (sights, barrel, recoil spring, magwell, trigger etc? Thanks.


dave June 26, 2011 at 6:54 pm

G17 or G19 – depends on your intended uses. The G19 will be easier to use as a conceal weapon and has the same performance as the Glock 17. As for modifications, that too depends on your preferences and uses but the most common mods are to change out the plastic spring with a titanium spring (get the same tension strength) as it cuts down slightly on recoil (not bad anyway but nice to have) and will provide for longer life — cheap too at only about $25 at or other outlets. We don’t touch the barrel (but do sometimes recommend opting for the .40 caliber instead and then swapping out the barrel to modify it as a 9m). My wife and others are longing for modified sights or even a laser, mainly for target acquisition speed or night uses. We don’t really bother with the trigger or other mods. Don’t forget getting a good fitting holster too, and extra magazines (only go with Glock brand, no generics…)


Ken August 3, 2011 at 6:21 pm

I had a hard time deciding which Glock to buy, either the 17 or the 19 and I spent alot of time in the gun store holding first the Glock 17 and then the 19 trying to decide which felt best in my hand. I have small hands but I got the Glock 17 anyway because of 2 main reasons..The 17 just felt better in my hand and it holds 2 extra rounds which could be a life saver in some situations.. 17 +1 = 18 rounds and that is a lot of firepower. The size difference between the 17 and the 19 is almost to small to make any difference but the 17 is more accurate and seemes to have less recoil than the 19..Also I was watching the Glock films on u-tube and it seemes there is some problems with the generation 4 because of the new tension spring ( same spring as used in the 40 cal and is a little too strong for the 9 mm round and causes bad ejections ) so I stayed with the generation 3 for perfect operation..


Sam October 30, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Should have read all the comments first.  This is turning into a thesis!  I did not notice any problems with the recoil spring hampering ejection – no malfunctions.  However, the ammunition I use is pretty stiff with most of it being +P+.  And this +P+ is hot and provided only on special contract as far I as I know.  Now, I need to leave to pick up my next Glock.  It came in!


Officer Jon September 19, 2011 at 10:15 am

I am a Correctional Officer so I qualified for the GLOCK LEO (Law Enforcement Only) program or "Blue Label Glock". and it's a Gen 4. I carried the Glock model 22 Gen 3 in .40 S&W for  the last 3 years of my police career and loved it right up until I got the Gen 4 Mod. 17. I have always despised the 9mm and never took it all that serious until I saw a gun shot victim who was downed and stone cold dead with one neat little 9mm hole in his chest that blew his heart to mush. I challenge any 9mm nay sayers. Most civilians who tell you the classic "I only carry handguns in a caliber that starts with a 4" have usually never had to resort to deadly force and most of the time base it all on downing a deer or an elk or the ever so over inflated ego. Animals have unbelievable adrenalin stores and can try to escape with half of their body blown off so that doesn't make for a good example. Seen it! Humans are close. Shot placement is the key and a good quality handgun helps. The 2 things I do for my own piece of mind is have tritium night sites and a 2.5 lb trigger installed. Comes out to $130 bucks for both in most places. I do want a laser/flashlight combo in the future. A gun mounted flashlight can be dangerous though. I've been in armed confrontations where I've heard "Aim for the light" yelled out by the suspects. When in the Weaver stance that light is about 2 feet from your heart. I would use it for the house only. I don't carry a weapon at the prison anyway so I could get away with the weapon mounted light behind the cover of my own home. Another factor is good training and lots of practice. Real world situation training, although not available to everyone is a Godsend. I have 21 years of law enforcement training as well as 5 years of SWAT training with 24 Swat calls under my belt. I have alot of confidence and many thousands of rounds sent down range as an officer and a police instructor.


Kent Bailey December 15, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Jon:  I appreciate your observations regarding the 9mm load and specifically the Glock 17. I was involved in law enforcement for fourteen years and was introduced to Glock weapons as the result of such. While I never did work full-time as an officer, as a reserve officer I spent a great many hours doing patrol work. The firearms training that we received was excellent and a great emphasis was placed upon shot placement. I have carried Glocks in 9mm, .40 cal, and .45 ACP. I never was uneasy about my Glock 17 providing for me adequate protection. I presently own five Glock weapons with three of them being Glock 17s. The next purchase I plan on making will be a Glock 19.


Glock maniac September 19, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Guys what do you think about the new G17 gen.4!!I bought one ,want to hear your opinions about it!?


Kent Bailey December 15, 2011 at 4:30 pm

The G17 gen. 4 is a great weapon. The new spring has given some of the 17s some problems with ejection. However, Glock has corrected the problem and will replace any of the springs that does not function properly.


GunTotinLiberal October 23, 2011 at 10:52 am

Are there any after market additions for the Gen 3 Glock 17 that will increase the size of the weapon's grip?


LA Gordon October 26, 2011 at 10:04 pm

The age old debate on 9mm, .40, .45. There is NO answer as to which is 'best' but depends on several things. First, I own all 3 calibers. For self defense, any would do. Shot placement is paramount to down a suspect. The 9mm is by far the least expensive and therefore you can practice allot more. I would NOT want to be hit in chest or head with one. The .40 is obvious standard for alot of the police dept. There is a difference in recoil not a huge difference but some. Ammo in .40 is more expensive. I have nothing but good so say about the .45. It's been around for a LONG time and has proven itself in several wars. For carry purposes, I carry each of them at different times. When I'm in the woods, I like the 9mm because of the high mag capacity against wolves and other critters. Once again, with well placed hits, the 9 will take down smaller animals. The .45 is great for shear knockdown power. I'm new to the .40 but really like it. I can hit as well with it as a 9mm. Bottom line is, what is your intend for carry, what is your budget and most important, what FEELS good in your hands?


Sam October 30, 2011 at 8:31 pm

I have not used the new Gen 4 17 a whole lot yet.  About 3,200 rounds by rough caculation.  But it IS a Glock and I believe it does have changes that are improvements.  I do have one observation and two complaints.  For a lot of bare handed shooting, I do not like the grip roughness.  After a day of shooting for accuracy testing, at steel plates and at rifle plates up to 250 yards, my hands were very sore.  Yeah, hands.  I shoot both right and left handed.  BUT for a gun carried for self defense use I belief the tactile grip balances out to an advantage.  Now, one complaint is one I have had for YEARS.  The grips need to be reshaped, PERIOD.  The new Gen 4 doesn't go far enough.  Similar guns like the XD and the newer MP9 have far superior hand fitting grips.  Second complaint:  Why Glock has settled on a 5.5 lb. trigger as their "duty" or "average" trigger weight is a frustration for me.  4.5 Lbs would be better.  As to my opinions,  I base them upon a long relationship with Glocks.  I HATED the first Glock  shown me by a gunsmith who sponsered me.  Since then I have owned, shot, carried and instructed with Glocks since shortly after  the first ones came into the States.  I have carried one off duty constantly.  Now I have owned every model in 9, every model in .45, two models in .40 and one in 10 mm.  I have shot all of them, including the 18.   The only exception being the .380 Glocks made for Europe.  I have one Glock 17 that has a total of over 60,000 rounds through it.  Replacing worn parts is one thing BUT it has never failed to work.  Even when I finally broke the one part, a trigger return spring.  Don't know exactly when I broke it because, if you hold the trigger back through the shot as you should, it will reset anyway.  So I didn't discover the breakage while shooting.  Took maybe 10 minutes to replace it because I was talking to somone and not in a hurry.  Regarding that spring, I can not remember if I had replaced it as a worn part previously.  And I have had people tell me it IS one part you have to watch and replace.  As far as accuracy and recoil impression, the Gen 4 I have is not any less or more accurate.  However, this is very much an individual gun and ammo issue.  The recoil FEELs different – To me, at least.  However, I don't find it any less or more controllable.  For its intended purposes, a Glock is hard to beat.  As a cvilian rangmaster. LE instructor and tactical team commander my experience with firearms started for over 40 years, I have seen about every common and non common firearms in heavy use.  The Glocks have been the most reliable and the least breakable.  Time will tell but how can a Gen 4 not be great, too?


Kent Bailey December 15, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Sam: I would appreciate your feedback one one point. Have you had much experience with Sig Sauer? When I began LE work as a reserve officer about 20 years ago I carried a 9mm Sig. Finally, I switched over to Glock because I preferred the Glock trigger pull.
Sig Sauer weapons are excellent–I wouldn't knock them at all and still enjoy firing them. However, because of my preference for the Glock trigger I always scored higher on the range with Glocks. Have you had any experience as a range instructor where officers adapted to Glocks in a less amount of time than making a transition to Sigs?


John Thompson January 23, 2012 at 7:17 pm

I have a Glock 17 which has only about 100 rounds through it. I has "stove piped" on me several times after about 15 – 20 rounds. After cleaning no problem until another 15 – 20 rounds. The ammo appears good and I have used more than one brand.
I would like some suggestions to resolve that problem.


David Stone May 24, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Assuming that the gun is held FIRMLY (because limp-wristing can cause stove pipes), stove-piping is very simply the result of an improper recoil spring tension vs. ammunition recoil energy relationship. Simply put, if the round being fired lacks the energy to force the slide FULLY back then the spent case may not be ejected properly. You can lighten your spring tension, or you can use more powerful ammunition. In my case I found that cheap 115 grain walmart ammo would sometimes stovepipe, where as the full power NATO ammo I am using now gives no problems. Full power duty / defense rounds shouldn't have issues, you will most likely find this problem on cheap target ammo. I carry a buffalo bore 124 grain +p+ load that is over 1300 fps out of a G17 and I can assure you it has NO problems ejecting with authority. The 124 grain NATO ammo is not quite as hot, but isn't too far off, so it is the closest thing to my carry load I can get that is affordable to practice with.


FL C.O. April 1, 2012 at 10:09 pm

John Thompson:
Assuming the Glock is in good condition, the problem could be that you're not "pushing" back on the gun hard enough when the gun recoils.  The Glock needs that resistance in order for the spring to work properly and push the slide back to eject the casing.
Try borrowing a Glock from someone else if you can, or rent one at a range.  If it happens on that gun also, that's probably the cause.  If it doesn't, it's probably a defective spring in your gun, or possibly a bad ejector.  Hope this helps.


toto July 17, 2012 at 11:40 pm

i own a glock 17 gen 1 and gen 2. both have serial and patent numbers.  i just recent purchased a glock 17 gen 3 usa, i was alarmed to find out that it has no patent number. any idea on this? thanks


Smbrown October 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Love them both, so my choice was to buy one of each. Want the extended magazines now!


frank t November 5, 2012 at 8:29 pm



northstar19 November 9, 2012 at 10:29 pm

"Hi, I AM SO CONFUSED OVER HEARING THAT THE 9X19 VIRTUALLY HAS NO STOPPING POWER"  frank t Please don't listen to such nonsense.  The 9 mm is a perfectly able manstopper.  The Navy Seals, for instance, use the Sig P226 9 mm.  And they can choose any caliber they want.  Do you think the Seals would choose a weak cartridge for combat?  Their lives depend on it.  Even a .22 can be used for defense if shot accurately.  Therefore, any 9 mm round would be fine, but for defense, you can beef up with 147 grain hollow point.  The Glock 17 may be the best all around handgun in the world.  If you have a chance to buy one, do so. And consider yourself lucky.


dave November 10, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Guys – I own all of these, the 9mm, the 40, and the .45 Glocks.  Let's be real here, shot placement is your biggest contributor to man stopping power.  I have no problem whatsoever carrying a 9mm and have full faith in it (and my) capabilities as a fully capable defense weapon.  Plus you have the benefit of having an extra couple of rounds with you from higher mag capacity.

I do agree with northstar19, if it's for a personal carry / conceal carry purpose, I always buy the more expensive, higher grain high quality hollow points.  Ya it will cost you $20 for a small pack of 20 rounds, but seriously, unless it's that once in a lifetime (barring an economic collapse scenario) scenario where you're actually having to use it you won't care and you'll be glad you have them.

Feel confident with your 9mm.  Practice with it so you have reflex like, reliable groupings and target skills with good shot placement.  Buy top of the line ammo for the actual carry purpose.  And be glad you chose a Glock — because it will always work and will never let you down…!


ELG December 10, 2012 at 8:25 am

I just got my second G17 after having previosly owned a G17 second gen and 2 2n gen G19. For the most part I made the purchase as Glocks are easy to shoot and accessories are abundant and lastly they are easy to work on. They are accurate especially once you get rid of the 5lb connector they come standard and a changing out of the firing spring. The 17 rd mag is a plus as well, and overall I am pleased with my new purchase. I do think however your comment about Sigs was kinda silly and fan boyish. Sigs are excellent weapons I own several myself and they more than hold thier own with Glocks in fact they probably on the accuracy side out of the box better. There is no round disadvantage with the G17 vs the 226 as you can get Mec Gar mags for the 226 that hold 18 rds. Durability wise Glock wins and it the SHTF my G17 would be a definite go to gun especially if I have to hit the road. But my SIg isnt too far behind in that race.


Johnny Nightrider December 26, 2012 at 11:57 pm

I went with the glock 19 and bought a Fobus holster for it.I have the stock barrel,though I bought a storm lake stainless steel barrel and I'm using that right now.When I sell the firearm I will put the barely used stock barrel back in.I also bought a recoil reducer kit.Its from SPRINGCO USA and it comes with a stainless steel recoil rod and a heavy duty spring.When I wear out the stock spring I will put the SPRINCO USA recoil rod and spring in.The storm lake barrel is a little bit more accurate than the stock barrel.Also I bought a Glock green laser to put on the rail of my Glock19.Though I haven't used it yet.What I really want is a FFL and a class 3 license so I can own a Glock 18.A Glock 18 is select fire,full auto or semi auto with the 33 round magazine attached.Like turning your Glock into a full auto uzi pistol when needed.I've seen Glock 19's fire full auto cause they do something with the sear but thats illegal and not for me.Do it legally or not at all.


rjslb82 July 14, 2013 at 5:58 pm

I owned a g17 many years ago and regret getting rid og it.  looking at a gen4 now but I am concerned about the spring problems.


P I Teddy September 12, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Lots of chatter here.      Great opinions on which is best or mine is better than ……. !     I want to add to the pie a bit of info that I learned in my fireamr training that may be of use to you.     The first thing is you are in a situation that requires you to unholste that weapon, you must be prepared in that micronanosecond to place a kill shot !   If you aren't prepared to do so, then leave it at home for your wife to use.
I qualified at training on a Beretta 96 40SW.     Borrowed the gun to use, then bought my G17 later which I currently open or conceal carry.    I have well made leather for each situation and that makes a big difference.      
The point of the post is to say that I was trained to be able to draw, find target, fire 3 rounds at one of 2 mass areas, ( the 4" heart/lung area and the 3" center of forehead shot in less than 3 seconds!       Both are kill shots and are guaranteed to keep the target down for a long time.     Do not let anyone tell you that 9mm is too light to be a serious defender.   If you are still not sure what caliber to get, may I suggest buying a judge and loading 2- 410/00 buck , and the other chambers with cartridges.     If that won't stop your target, you need to move. 


mike w. November 14, 2013 at 12:40 am

this short comment is not positive on the glock. I just tried a gen2 g17 at the range and i was very disappointed. Shot a box of 9mm. Very few of my shots were close to a bulls eye. After having both sig 226 and 229 (both are all metal) and getting bullseye after bullseye, i was thinking about getting a polymer gun such as a g17 or a sp2022. Even my xd 9mm does better. Looks like im going to go for a sig again.  


Emma Lechtenberg December 19, 2014 at 2:19 pm

I purchased a grand new glock 42 .380. My first time firing it every round jammed, and after having four different people and over 40 rounds fired I brought it in. After about a week Glock said they fixed it and sent it back, but when I went to fire it again the same problem according. I am incredibly disappointed and frustrated with both this gun, and with the company itself. I've called several times and have gotten the same answer for what the problem was and what they did to fix it. I bought this as a conceal and carry, and I can't rely on it at all. I don't trust this gun, I don't trust this company, they refuse to give me a new one or reimburse me in anyway. I would highly recommend any different company besides Glock. 


Chet Ziebka February 7, 2015 at 5:41 pm

I read a great deal about Glock 17 and purchased one because of what I read. I have nothing but feed and extractor issues. I have used Federal, PMC, and American Eagle ammo. Talking to several police officers they said only high end ammo should be used for a Glock. The other issue is out of the box the G17 missed the target left on every shot. I am awaiting a response from Glock.


Ken S. April 8, 2015 at 10:26 pm

Had a gen2 Glock 17 I bought in the middle 90's.  Love it and never ever a failure of any kind.  I was stupid and traded in around 3 years ago.  I've since bought 4 other Glocks, but nothing can take the place of that G17 gen3.  I just ordered a Glock 17 gen4 in fde and plan to do some practicing for a GSSF later on in the year.


Guy R DeZanet August 18, 2018 at 8:47 pm

I have owned a Glock 22 for several years now. I’ve had a CCW for years now. But I want 9mm is it hard to convert 22 to 9mm which I am thing about getting the conversion . Is it hard to convert ? My house gun is a 1945 Walther P38 which got in 1955. Don’t know it’s history, but it is like new.Supposedly my Grandfather found A dead German office in the Alp’s behind his house . It was reblued
with nickle control’s. My Father brought back to the states .It had no grips so were replace with a pair of plastic grip.s from a gun shop in Chicago . It is still a very accurate pistol and still looks new.


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