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Glock 17: Simply The Best Combat Pistol Ever? You Decide.

Glock 17. Image: Creative Commons.
Image: Creative Commons.

Glock 17, A Short Review: Time and time again, Glock has proven it deserves to be the most popular and trusted manufacturer of handguns in the United States. It’s simple, yet tough, design is universally recognized and adored, so it’s no wonder that the Glock 17 is one of the top choices for law enforcement and home defense. How has the Glock 17 managed to stay on top all these years? Keep reading to find out.


The Glock 17 is a full-sized pistol with a full-sized grip and minimal muzzle rise, which makes it very controllable and accurate even in rapid-fire. It’s trivial to get groupings of less than 2” from 25 yards, or less than 1.5” from 15 yards. For a combat pistol, the accuracy of the Glock 17 is more than acceptable. No matter your shooting skills, this pistol will give you accuracy.


As a pistol designed for law enforcement, it would be shocking if the Glock 17 had anything less than perfect reliability. This is an incredibly reliable and durable firearm, a tried and true handgun that requires little maintenance to remain reliable throughout its lifetime. You can expect to have no issues whatsoever with sand, water, mud, or any other elements you may come across while using it! The Glock 17 has proven to have unsurpassed reliability since its introduction, which is a big part of the reason it remains popular to this day.


The Glock 17 is safe, easy, and quick to use. It’s straightforward to disassemble and reassemble, which makes cleaning and other maintenance a breeze! It’s fun to shoot and, as mentioned, you can expect complete accuracy and reliability. The grip of the Gen 3 & 4 Glock 17 featured significant finger grooving, which a lot of people didn’t like. So, the manufacturers got rid of these in the Gen 5 version, making it a lot more comfortable to grip. Shooters with bigger hands may have some difficulties using this pistol, because while the slide lock is easy to reach, it’s also quite small. It’s easy to accidentally hold down the slide lock with your thumb while gripping, which could cause some problems while shooting if you’re not careful. There’s also the issue of slide bite, but installing one of the included beavertail grips helps. While the standard plastic sights (front white dot sight, rear white U notch sight) are disappointing, the modular optics system (MOS) is a standout feature that lets you mount a plethora of different optics yourself! The rail is slightly odd, not quite Picatinny, but will still let you mount optics designed for Picatinny rails.


The Glock 17’s trigger is made with their signature “safe action” trigger system. It’s a striker-fired, double-action trigger that consistently breaks around 5.5 lbs. The safe-action trigger safety is located within the trigger face, and there are two internal safeties in the slide and the frame. It is a bit gritty, but it does get softer after you’ve broken it in! I noticed my trigger getting noticeably softer after about 250 rounds. There’s also a physical and audible click when the trigger resets, which it does quickly and consistently. It’s a decent trigger, more than acceptable for accurate shooting.

Magazine & Reloading

The Glock’s standard magazine capacity is 17 rounds, but 19, 24, 31, and 33 round capacity magazines are also available on the market. The magazines it comes with are durable, but you may have some difficulty taking them apart to clean the first time! Once you get over that initial hurdle, however, they’re pretty easy to clean and put back together. The Glock’s magazines are also made of plastic, which is a little disappointing. While plastic magazines are just as durable as their metal counterparts, they are also significantly bulkier.

Length & Weight

This pistol is universally loved for its low weight, about 22 oz without the magazine, and around 32 oz with a loaded magazine! It is also surprisingly light for its larger size, with an overall length of 8” and a barrel length of about 4.5.”

Recoil Management

The recoil on the Glock 17 is minimal and controllable, partly thanks to its low axis bore (1.26”). It also features a dual recoil spring assembly, which does a lot to reduce felt recoil! This combination of factors has allowed the Glock to maintain an edge over its competition, offering significantly less recoil than other similar handguns. However, it is still a polymer-framed handgun, and these just don’t kick as lightly as steel-framed handguns!


This is a relatively mid-priced handgun, with a proven track record in longevity. Depending on the optics you choose, the Glock 17 MSRPs for anywhere between $699-$799, but you could probably find it under $600 at most retailers! For a proven, optics-ready pistol, it’s very well-priced.

My Verdict?

The Glock 17 is one pistol that won’t let you down, and it’s perfect if you’re new to pistols and want to experiment with some that are optics-ready. Here are some of its best features:

  • Minimal recoil
  • A proven track record for longevity and reliability
  • Controllable and accurate

If you’re looking for the perfect pistol to use for home or personal defense, this could be the 9mm pistol for you.

Richard Douglas is a firearms expert and educator. His work has appeared in large publications like The Armory Life, Daily Caller, American Shooting Journal, and more. In his free time, he reviews optics on his Scopes Field blog.

Written By

Richard Douglas is a long-time shooter, outdoor enthusiast, and technologist. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at The National Interest, Cheaper Than Dirt, Daily Caller, and other publications.