February 21, 2012

Glock G17 9mm

Gun Tests recently shot three double-action-only pistols designed for duty or personal self defense. Medium to large in size, they carry few levers, and this snag-free characteristic also made them attractive for concealed carry. The $599 Glock G17, arguably the gun that started the polymer DAO revolution, relies on the preparation and release of a striker to impact the primer.


They began their tests from the 25-yard line supported by bench and sandbag. What better way to learn a trigger than limiting variables to grip, sight alignment, and a controlled press? They then added a second test. This would require landing rapid-fire hits on an 8.5-by-16-inch target from a distance of 5 yards, two shots at a time. Their shooter began each string of fire standing unsupported with a two-handed grip and sights on target but with finger off the trigger. They pasted a black 1-inch-wide dot in the center to provide a point of aim. Upon audible start signal from their CED electronic timer, they engaged the target as quickly as possible. Given that each stroke of the trigger both prepared and released the striking mechanism, they wanted to know how quickly and accurately they could land two hits on target one after another. They fired ten pairs and looked for a total of 20 hits on target. This test was performed twice. The second time they concentrated on applying what they learned from the first run. The rapid-fire test was performed firing one of their favorite practice rounds, Black Hills’ 115-grain FMJ ammunition sold in blue 50-round boxes. From the benches they tried Winchester’s 105-grain jacketed softpoint Super Clean NT (nontoxic) ammunition; 124-grain full-metal-jacket rounds by Winchester USA, and 147-grain Subsonic jacketed hollow point Match rounds by Atlanta Arms and Ammo. Here is what they learned:

Gun Tests April 2008


The Glock G17 ran without malfunction throughout the tests, and GT think its performance did nothing to lower its standing among the latest DAO pistols.


Glock G17 9mm, $599

Today’s G17 is likely the pistol closest to the original Glock. To date Glocks have proven durable and economical. One of the latest changes is the addition of an accessory rail along the dust cover. The initial appeal of the Glock pistol was largely based on its capacity (16+1) and simplicity. The field-stripping regimen is a good example. Retract the slide about one-quarter inch while pulling down on the slide latches. Remove the slide by pushing it forward off the frame. To reset the slide, apply it from the front and shift it rearward until it clicks into place. No tools necessary.

Gun Tests April 2008



The G17 fired from a barrel that measured just less than 4.5 inches. The trigger on this pistol was the least complicated and easiest to learn of our test guns. We measured resistance to be about 8.5 pounds, and there was little variation in feel throughout the sweep of the trigger. Glock refers to this design as the SafAction trigger, but it qualifies as being double-action design because it serves to both compress and release the spring that drives forward the striker. If we were to provide a visual image of how this differs from a hammer driven system perhaps the striker could be referred to as being a cue stick and the cue ball the primer. A hammer-driven gun might be illustrated by using a hammer and chisel to strike the primer. When the chamber is loaded, the extractor bulges outward, and this can be confirmed visually or by touch.

Gun Tests April 2008


When a round was chambered, the extractor would protrude from the right side. GT thought it was easier to feel the extractor than it was to see it bulge with the naked eye.


From the bench we discovered that the sights offered very little light to the left and right sides of the front sight blade. But we were able to print a 1.3-inch group firing the Winchester 105-grain Super Clean JSP rounds on the way to establishing a 1.7-inch average firing this new product. During rapid fire we found it impossible to track the thin cracks of light showing between the interior of the notch and the front sight blade. Instead, we tried to keep the large white dot on the front sight inside the bold white outline surrounding the rear notch. The more experienced competitive shooters on our staff said they would have preferred a more open sight picture.


Setting up for our rapid-fire test we noticed right away how much bigger the G17 was than the other guns in the test. One characteristic that added to this sensation was the square profile of the slide. The average elapsed time of our first set of ten two-shot drills was 0.64 seconds with one shot off target. We tried slowing down on our next set in an attempt to land all 20 shots. But at the end of the second set, we were still missing one shot on target.

Gun Tests April 2008


Pulling back the slide and lowering the latches (shown directly above the thumb) freed the top end. Reinstalling was simply a matter of putting the slide back on to the frame.


We would like to point out a positive to the boxy profile of the Glock slide. At closer range we experimented with using the rear profile of the gun instead of the sights. We found that as long as we saw the rear panel of the slide as a perfect square and not the sides of the gun, our shots were lined up.


Gun Tests Grade: A-. We think the G17 might be Glock’s best all-around pistol. It’s still a bit boxy in the hand, but it is very accurate, simple and economically priced.

Comments (32)

@ Anishinabi Thanks so much for your input. I'm surprised canovack has never answered. Regarding your Colt Frontier Scout, you NEVER forget your first gun, do you ? I just had the intense pleasure of firing 50 9mm rounds through a Beretta M9 at a local range a couple of weeks ago. That gun was DIVINE ! Berettas are by far my favourite semi-auto pistol. What do you think of the M9 (92FS)? I'm sure you have probably fired one. What surprised me about the M9 was the strong felt recoil. That surprised me a bit because it is a heavy steel framed pistol firing a medium caliber round. I'd love to hear your thoughts about even Berettas in general. Thanks.

Posted by: Muzzlepuncher 7 | October 31, 2012 5:26 PM    Report this comment

Re: Canovack, I wouldn't put words in his mouth, but I am willing to bet he would keep his 1911. I know I would. Revolver for me to keep, I think I would keep my Colt Frontier Scout, which I put on layaway as a minor and picked up the day after I turned 21 in Northern Michigan 47 years ago. For me, it would not be the Glock, because if the leftist retain control, they will come for the high cap handguns sooner or later. If so, will you submit?

Posted by: Anishinabi | October 31, 2012 12:12 PM    Report this comment

Wow. Such a lot of differences. Each person has their specific reasons. I deeply respect that and I would never try to convince someone any different. This is like baseball and football, but I bet most of you guys here like steak of some kind.

Posted by: no blog name | June 13, 2012 1:44 PM    Report this comment

@ canovack Okay, this might be a very tough and unfair question, but, if you had to dispose of all your pistols, except for one semi-auto, and one revolver...which two would you keep ? I really value your opinion on guns.

Posted by: Muzzlepuncher 7 | April 28, 2012 2:55 PM    Report this comment

There are many beautiful semi autos out there that are from reasonable to quit high priced. Some are just down right desirable upon looks alone. The simple truth is I rather have a Glock holstered for me and my family’s personal protection then any firearm available. I just expect one true thing in the time of need and that is my firearms total reliability no mater what the situation. Glock have literally proven themselves like no other. I’m personally a fan of the 23 but no mater what caliber you prefer they will not let you down.

Posted by: kurt1524 | April 28, 2012 2:09 PM    Report this comment

I once shot a hole in the door of my Datsun B-210 with a .22 pistol. That really scared me a lot and made me far more careful about where my finger was.

Posted by: david b | February 27, 2012 9:11 AM    Report this comment

Yes.....Anishinabi.....Everyone who routinely handles firearms will experience at least one negligent discharge at some time. It is the fool who thinks that it can never happen to him or her. We strive to be careful and safe, but there will come a time..... Even the master, Jeff Cooper, related one of his negligent discharges.....one that seemed just normal.....just rack the slide and pull the trigger.....in the living room. Some how, knowing that Cooper pulled that bonehead play made me feel a little less stupid when I put a .45 cal hole in the base board of my bedroom. It'll scare the s--t out of you, and it will definitely make you much more careful.

Posted by: canovack | February 26, 2012 7:31 PM    Report this comment

I carry a PPS, but what I like about it is it handles and functions like my Glock. Both go bang every time. The PPS has never jammed, and after 200 rounds the Glock 17 did not either. If you cannot manage to carry either one with loaded chamber without a neg discharge, you will one day blow a hole in something no matter what you carry, 1911, Sig or whatever. Probably your own foot. Cops are often the worst, because they are too lazy to practice in many cases.

Posted by: Anishinabi | February 26, 2012 7:03 PM    Report this comment

'Gotta agree with Taurian's treatise, above. I figure that any pistol that is reliant on the rearward movement of the slide to cock the action is a single action pistol. This applies to hammer and striker fired pistols. Though the Glock action is said to be in a "half cocked" mode when carried with a round in the chamber, it remains a single action mechanism due to the necessity for slide movement or, full trigger movement to the rear, to reset the trigger to firing mode.. Pistols that do not require slide movement to reset/re-cock the action present the capability of the so-called "double strike" (or more) capability and are referred to as "double action only" or DAO. It is odd that we get stuck with such misleading terminology, though, since it would be more accurate to call this action "trigger cocking" (TC), while the term "double action" can be taken to pertain to guns that can be trigger cocked as well as slide cocked, which are commonly known as DA/SA systems. With all that said, though, the world of firearms is filled with misleading terminology.....especially when referring to caliber of ammunition.

Posted by: canovack | February 26, 2012 11:15 AM    Report this comment

The only thing that I disagree with in the article is that the Glock pistol is double-action. Like the 1911, I consider the Glock to be a single-action, semi-automatic pistol with the exception of a means to safe the weapon. IMHO, I would consider the Glock, when a round is chambered, to be similar in operation to the 1911 carried in "Condition Zero: A round chambered, full magazine in place, hammer (striker) cocked, safety off." - hammer or striker operated notwithstanding.

The similarity between a single-action pistol and the Glock is that re-cocking is done automatically after firing the first shot, which is true of many pistols. Subsequently, the pistol will automatically chamber the next round and then cock the weapon for firing. That is, until all rounds are expended and the weapon is de-cocked by pulling the trigger on an empty chamber. This would be similar to operating a double-action revolver in single-action mode with the only difference in being that the hammer must be manually cocked to fire. In double-action mode, pressing the trigger sets things into motion until the hammer (striker) falls to fire the chambered round.

Posted by: Taurian | February 26, 2012 8:14 AM    Report this comment

I own six 1911s (Colt Springfield, and Caspian), and seven Glocks, in 9mm and .45 ACP, as well as several other semi-autos and revolvers. I train regularly at Front Sight Nevada. When participating in handgun training I generally use a Glock 19. The 9mm ammunition is cheaper than .45 ACP. the Glock is simple to operate. The Glock simply runs and runs and runs, dirty, dry, and under most any conditions or circumstances. Front Sight rents weapons, especially to those who fly in from other parts of the country. The rent mostly Springfield Armory XDs and Glocks. I was talking to one of the long-time instructors just this past week about the rental pistols. They have many Glocks in service since when Front Sight first started in the late 1990s, and no one has any idea how many rounds have been run through them. A four day pistol class goes through as many as 800 rounds. A two day skill builder class can approach that count. And many of these guns get rented out each week. While the range facility has a full-time armorer on staff to repair in-house weapons, he hasn't the time to properly clean the weapons on a regular basis. In other words, these guns get used to the max while receiving minimal attention. I understand that the XDs are looking to stand up as well as the Glocks. The timed skills test from concealment requires some precision defensive shooting at distances up to 15 yards and both the Glocks and XDs are accurate enough to compete with the various other pistols used by students. The Glock is what it is, but I firmly hold that if I could have only one handgun it would be a Glock 19, although I could live with other models as well.

Posted by: JonSE | February 26, 2012 3:36 AM    Report this comment

I own six 1911s (Colt Springfield, and Caspian), and seven Glocks, in 9mm and .45 ACP, as well as several other semi-autos and revolvers. I train regularly at Front Sight Nevada. When participating in handgun training I generally use a Glock 19. The 9mm ammunition is cheaper than .45 ACP. the Glock is simple to operate. The Glock simply runs and runs and runs, dirty, dry, and under most any conditions or circumstances. Front Sight rents weapons, especially to those who fly in from other parts of the country. The rent mostly Springfield Armory XDs and Glocks. I was talking to one of the long-time instructors just this past week about the rental pistols. They have many Glocks in service since when Front Sight first started in the late 1990s, and no one has any idea how many rounds have been run through them. A four day pistol class goes through as many as 800 rounds. A two day skill builder class can approach that count. And many of these guns get rented out each week. While the range facility has a full-time armorer on staff to repair in-house weapons, he hasn't the time to properly clean the weapons on a regular basis. In other words, these guns get used to the max while receiving minimal attention. I understand that the XDs are looking to stand up as well as the Glocks. The timed skills test from concealment requires some precision defensive shooting at distances up to 15 yards and both the Glocks and XDs are accurate enough to compete with the various other pistols used by students. The Glock is what it is, but I firmly hold that if I could have only one handgun it would be a Glock 19, although I could live with other models as well.

Posted by: JonSE | February 26, 2012 3:36 AM    Report this comment

My agency switched over to G17's approx. 2 years ago, ditching their S&W M-15's and M-19's which were growing a little long in the tooth and were a bit out-dated compared to surrounding states and as well as our other state agencies. Also, someone downstate finally realized that the bad guys had more firepower than we did!!! Took them long enough! (I suspect there were other reasons as well...) Haven't heard of too many AD's so far, certainly no more than you would expect normally. The grip surface on the new 17's ARE better than that of my 25 year-old off-duty G19! Wish I could swap!!! Now if we could just get personally issued Ma' Deuces.......(WITH ammo)!!!

Posted by: Tower gunner | February 26, 2012 12:04 AM    Report this comment

O-o-o-oh my, how infatuated we all are for our choices, I like Glock, simple, about 30 parts, and you can modify, customize, and adapt a Glock to however you want it to work, and yes, there are triger safeties you can purchase to put on them. I keep thinking about getting some, but yes and idiot could blow their big toe off, but who in their right mind is going to leave a loaded weapon around for someone to grab. I have nothing against any of the other firearms, except that they tend to be far more spicey dollar wise than a Glock, but whatever puts hard bullets into center mass in the end is all that counts. Isn't it great that we are not all alike. God love us all.

Posted by: no blog name | February 24, 2012 3:39 PM    Report this comment

I bought a used (Gen 2) Glock 17 from a friend largely because she included eight magazines with it (10 rounds here in Calif.). The Gen 2 is just as boxy as the Gen 4, and everything said about the newest Glock generally applies to the older ones too.
The Glock reminds me of another similar item; a car called the "Beetle" by Volkswagen. Both are less than gorgeous, and both just keep going and going and going... Another comparison is the "Upgrade Parts" available for both (yeah, even today the VW is totally supported by aftermarket providers).
Is the Glock the VW of firearms? Looks like it from here...

Posted by: KMacK | February 24, 2012 2:06 PM    Report this comment

I'll just say this. I don't own a Glock only because I already have a lot of guns. I am hardwired to the 1911 and it is hard to change after 35+ years, from active duty to concealed carry. However, I was a LEO for 17 years and the last nine of those years involved training other officers in the Glock 22 and 23, essentially the .40 versions of the 9mm G17 and G19. The Glock is a sound, reliable, tough and easy-to-teach system. I don't think that too many people, especially new shooters, will go wrong with a Glock.

Posted by: Nanjing03 | February 24, 2012 7:56 AM    Report this comment

Why I ask you should a pistol like the 1911 Colt .45 invented 100 years ago be way safer to carry than the Unsafe Glock mechanism. Lets face facts Glocks have no manual safety, until recently no loaded chamber indicator, still no decocker, and no grip safety. You cannot carry this pistol loaded except in a hard shell holster period. Anyone unfamiliar with this weapon that might pick it up will undoubtedly shoot themselves.

The New York Police department had so many accidental shootings it demanded a different trigger. Glock responded with a half backed attempt called " The New York trigger" which has a heavier pull but it still is a short stroke single action design without a manual safety.

And lets not forgt its a striker fired weapon which is way less reliable in regards to its igniton. Never shoot a reload in a self-defensive situation with a Glock because a high primer will cause a misfire. Not so with a classic hammer fired gun like the 1911 Colt or Browning High Power. Try a high primed empty case some time and you will see for yourself the weak ignition system of the Glock.

Posted by: wild romanian | February 23, 2012 11:09 PM    Report this comment

Like canovack, I have my dilikes about the Glock so I don't own one. But I also agree with the Col. about the 1911, I don't like to carry them cocked and locked, but by doing so yo can do the same thing as a double action and with some practice I found out that I could pull and cock the hammer on the 1911 a fraction slower than the others and put my first round where I wanted it more accrally than a doule action. As for fuctions I have had some darn good revolvers that I put through He__ and they never messed up one and with alittle practice you can reload them with a speed loaded almost if not as fast as you can drop a mag and reload a mag in a simiauto. I also have a S&W MP in 40 S&W and a Taurus in 40 S&W, I havn't got to shoot them yet because we don't have an indoor range where I live so have to waite for good wheather to take out where I set up for shooting and sighting in my rifles also.
God Bless America and Our Troops Past Present and Future.
Keeping to My Oath Locked Loaded and Keeping My Powder Dry.
Get the US Out of the UN and the UN Out of the US

Posted by: bear1 | February 23, 2012 5:46 PM    Report this comment

I own 20 plus handguns and have owned many more,,,out of all the handguns I have owned the Glock is not the best in a specific category but is the best overall,,,very high capacity,,,no safety to fool with,,,very reliable and accurate,,,and weighs less loaded than most pistols empty,,,very ugly and tough the Glock is my choice for a combat pistol,,,while they would work well in combat my beloved Browning High Powers,,,and Sigs and Hk's and Walthers and 1911's will sit in my safe and not suffer such abuse.

Posted by: Pointman | February 23, 2012 5:03 PM    Report this comment

I'm not a gun expert but I have owned Sig Sauer, Bersa, G17 & now a G22. I like the G22 the best. I also bought .22 conversion kit for the G22, the grip is the same, less kick, but much cheaper to shoot.

Posted by: purplefred2 | February 23, 2012 4:33 PM    Report this comment

Muzzlepuncher.....I am automatically jaded against Glocks, simply because I don't like the way they feel in my hand and because I like my guns to have aesthetic appeal. While I own several M1911 pistols, I am not really crazy about them either, because I cannot reconcile carrying a pistol in a holster cocked and locked. That said, my favorite pistols are SIG Sauers, but if I want the characteristics of a Glock, as I said above, I will still take S&W Sigmas or M&Ps over the Glocks.

Posted by: canovack | February 23, 2012 4:10 PM    Report this comment

For those who the 17 or 19 don't "fit," try a 26 or other caliber in the same "baby size." For some reason the littler pistol fits and points differently (and better) for some folks, yielding the same reliability and simplicity and (with a mag change) the same 15, 17, 19 or 33 round capacity. I'll admit the 26 with a 33-round mag is funny-looking.

Also, sanding or filing down the rear underside of the trigger guard just a little bit can help prevent "Glock Knuckle" for those whose 2nd joint of the middle finger gets painfully slammed as the gun recoils.

Posted by: David C | February 23, 2012 3:59 PM    Report this comment

It appears the Glock is winning. I am not all that surprised, because I remember when our police department retired their S&W Model 10s back in the early 90s, and replaced them with Glock 17s in 9mm. They now are issued Glocks in 40 S&W, thankfully. Before they selected the Glock 17 as their duty weapon they subjected it to numerous torture tests, such as throwing it in water, driving a vehicle over it, and the pistol passed with flying colors ! Ahhhh...Glock PERFECTION ! Mind you, the Colt 1911 A1 is the pistol that all other semi autos are measured against. It set the standard in pistols.

Posted by: Muzzlepuncher 7 | February 23, 2012 3:40 PM    Report this comment

My Glock is the best pistol I have ever owned. The only flaw I find in this weapon appears to be the latches which need to be lowered in order to remove the barrel while fighting the tendency of the slide to move forward. The latches do not act in concert which result in a "one latch down, one latch up" situation. My solution would be a "one latch" application or, if possible, to have both latches connected in some way to each other. CN

Posted by: Walakotah | February 23, 2012 2:17 PM    Report this comment

I like my G17. It's a better shot than I am. I like the fact that it has very few parts and is easy to work on. If I had the choice of my buying a 17 or 19 today, I'd probably take the 19 as it is a little more concealable. Great guns!

Posted by: David G | February 23, 2012 2:08 PM    Report this comment

Muzzelpuncher. I would go for the Glock. If you notice, you have to cock the hammer on a 1911 before it will go into auto. Glock u just rack it and you are ready to go, espec ially if you keep one in the chamber. I carry loaded all the time so all I have to do is pull it out, aim it and pull the trigger. No frills, no gimics, just plain old reliable.

Posted by: no blog name | February 23, 2012 1:27 PM    Report this comment

My Glock (older 17) did not fit my hands at all - I have normal sized palms with shorter than average fingers. I eventually went to an S&W M&P and use the smaller grip panel and it fits me much better. Other than that I loved the gun.

Posted by: TOM M | February 23, 2012 1:17 PM    Report this comment

Glock! If I could own everyone of them I would. They are a simplistic weapon and reliable beyond belife. I trust my life with a Glock before I would any other weapon on the market today. Glock set the standard and my opinion is that no other maker has been able to step up to the plate. I have observed Glocks treated horriably and continue to fire. I'v seen others malfunction to the point you would be dead by the time you managed, if you could, to rehabilitate the weapon. I am not one for cutesy looking. My Glock feels excellent in my hand. It is my opinion that everyone should own a Glock as their main go to weapon. If you like cute then please by all means get some cute ones, but be assured none will stand up to the horrors that Glocks have been trhough.

Posted by: no blog name | February 23, 2012 12:32 PM    Report this comment

I need some opinions, especially from Lt. Colonel Canovack. If you were offered a Glock 17 or a basic Colt 1911A 1 for the same price, and in the same decent condition, WHICH one would you choose ? Thanks yáll.

Posted by: Muzzlepuncher 7 | February 23, 2012 12:31 PM    Report this comment

I own several Glocks my wifes is the 17 and mine is a 19 both are easy to shoot and accurate great carry weapons!

Posted by: cisco59 | February 23, 2012 11:43 AM    Report this comment

Notwithstanding the quality of the test protocols, Gaston Glock really did set the handgun world on its ear when he came out with the Glock 17 those many years ago. Glocks are legendary for their reliability and relatively inexpensive costs. Those two attributes alone,
make Glock pistols ideal candidates for military and law enforcement applications. For me, though, while I have owned a handful of Glocks, I presently have none in my collection, because I find them odd feeling in my hand, and aesthetically unappealing. I find that essentially the same characteristics can be found in Smith & Wesson Sigma and M&P series pistols. My truly "go to" pistols, however, are SIG Sauer.

Posted by: canovack | February 23, 2012 11:40 AM    Report this comment

Just checking the box for updates.

Posted by: david b | February 23, 2012 10:11 AM    Report this comment

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