I generally prefer polymer framed pistols such the Springfield XD, and those manufactured by Glock. This is my review of the Glock 17, which is one of Glock’s more popular 9MM pistols.
The Glock 17 is a polymer framed pistol, chambered for 9x19MM cartridge. The Glock 17 measures 7.3 inches long, 5.4 inches tall, and almost 1.2 inches wide. Weighing about 22 ounces empty, this is a rather lightweight pistol. Magazine capacity is 17 rounds. Rather than using a traditional exposed hammer, such as the Springfield 1911 uses, the Glock 17 is hammerless with an internal striker. The build quality on this Glock lives up to what people have come to expect from a Glock.
In the past, I’ve made no secret of the fact that I generally prefer pistols chambered for .40 S&W, or other calibers larger than 9mm (actually I prefer shotguns for self defense, but they are not exactly the type of firearm one can carry down the street in most situation). That said, 9mm is an effective self defense caliber, and the 17 round capacity is nice as well.
Like other Glock pistols, the Glock 17 uses Glock’s Safe Action trigger system. This system involves a trigger safety, which requires that the trigger be pulled from the center in order to fire. This way, a trigger that is caught on a holster, clothing, etc. is less likely to result in an unintentional discharge. The Safe Action system also includes a striker block, which prevents the striker from moving forward to fire the gun until the trigger has been pulled back. Finally, the striker itself is kept only partially cocked, until the trigger is pulled by the user. There is no external safety, but I think that is a good thing.
Ergonomics & Grip Angle
The Glock 17′s design is similar to that of other Glocks, in that the grip angle is a bit steeper than that used by some other manufacturers. I don’t find this steep grip angle to be a problem, but I do prefer the grip angle on pistols such as the Springfield XD. That said, I have no problem firing the Glock 17, and there are plenty of people who feel the opposite way then me, preferring the Glock grip angle. I’ve heard some people state that the Glock grip angle makes it easier and faster for them to recover from the recoil of each shot.
Firing the Glock 17
Firing the Glock 17 is about as enjoyable as firing any of the other 9mm pistols I’ve used. Accuracy was fine, and I’m sure that for most of the people reading this review, nearly any handgun won’t be the limiting factor as far as accuracy goes. Since this is a relatively light weight pistol, the recoil was a bit more brisk than with heavier pistols chambered for this same caliber. That is not to say that recoil was in any way a problem, and I enjoy shooting the Glock 17. Even my somewhat-recoil-sensitive girlfriend enjoyed the Glock 17, as 9mm just doesn’t produce much recoil, even in a lightweight pistol.
A Supported Chamber
Unlike Glocks chambered for rounds larger than 9mm, the Glock 17 has a (nearly) fully supported chamber. This means that the suspected cause of a kB! is not an issue on the Glock 17. While the risk of a kB! seems to be pretty low, this is a benefit of the Glock 17 over other Glocks chambered for larger caliber rounds.
The Glock 17 is a fine pistol, chambered for 9MM. Those who prefer polymer framed pistols will be especially happy with the Glock 17. While I personally prefer the Springfield XD, mainly due to the grip safety and shallower grip angle, the Glock 17 is certainly worth considering for those who like 9mm.