Glock 17 Review: The Original Striker-Fired Pistol

Last Updated on May 4, 2023.

The Glock 17 is the original striker-fired pistol. And, many of the things we expect from our guns now days were introduced by the Glock 17.

Although the Glock 17 has been outpaced by the Glock 19 in terms of popularity, the 17 is still one of the most popular handguns around. And, it meets the needs of most shooters.

A lot has already been said about the Glock 17, and there’s not a lot of new material to add. But, we can tell you why this is such a well-regarded gun, what’s not great about it, and give you some insight into whether or not it’s the right gun for you.

Here’s what we know from decades of Glock 17 history.

The Glock 17 is Absolutely Dependable

Glock has built a reputation primarily on one thing: reliability. There are things to criticize Glocks for. But, reliability isn’t one of those things.

Over the years, the Glock 17 has proven that it will shoot in almost any conditions. It will eat any ammunition. It will almost invariably fire every time you press the trigger.

If you’re thinking that almost every gun does that these days, you’re right. Guns have become impressively reliable. But, it’s important to remember two things:

  1. Even some modern guns aren’t as dependable a Glock. 
  2. Glock pretty much set the reliability standard. Before Glocks, handguns that malfunctioned were considered acceptable.

Regardless, the dependability makes the Glock 17 an excellent defensive or competitive gun.

But no matter how dependable it is, gun cleaning is also very important to maintain the condition of your firearm.

It’s dead simple to shoot

One of the hallmarks of Glock pistols is the absence of an external, manual safety. Some shooters aren’t fans of this design. But, whether you like it or not, removing the manual safety means the gun requires one less step in the firing process.

So, operating a Glock 17 is incredibly simple. Just aim and shoot. And, the absence of a manual safety is not an issue so long as you stage and store your guns properly, and carry your gun in a holster that covers the trigger.

It’s got a ridiculous lifespan

This is where the Glock 17 really delivers value. Some gun owners have run the same Glock for hundreds of thousands of rounds, over the course of years or decades. For $500 to $600, you’ll get a handgun that will probably last the rest of your life. That’s value.

Is there anything the Glock 17 can’t do?

Well, it won’t cook you breakfast.

But, in terms of shooting tasks, the Glock 17 fits well in most contexts. However, it is a full-size handgun. So, it’s tough to conceal. It’s not impossible to conceal. But, the majority of people will find that the Glock 17 is tough to conceal under typical clothing.

If you want a more versatile gun that’s still a Glock, the Glock 19 is the best option.

What about the trigger?

If you’ve talked to any experienced shooter, they’ve probably ragged on about the trigger on their gun. And, they’ve probably complained about Glock triggers.

The trigger might be the most disliked things about Glock pistols. Glock triggers tend to be a tad heavier than Glock’s specifications, which is about 5.5 pounds. And, there’s a bit of mush in the break, with some grittiness in the pull. Quite simply, a stock Glock trigger isn’t an awesome trigger.

However, it’s a totally serviceable trigger that you can master with a little practice. And, it’s ridiculously easy to upgrade the trigger, if you’d like to combat some of the trigger troubles that come with a Glock.

The grip is… Special

The second most disliked part of a Glock is the grip. Glock pistols have a unique grip angle and palm swell. Feelings about the grip are polarized. People tend to love the Glock grip or hate it.

First, there are benefits to the grip design. The steeper grip angle gives you solid recoil control. And, for some people, the palm swell fits perfectly in the pocket of their palm, which provides excellent lateral muzzle control.

But, if the grip doesn’t fit your hand, it’s quite uncomfortable. And, some people struggle with the grip angle, since their hands naturally sit more upright. If you happen to be one of those shooters who’s hands don’t fit the Glock grip, it will be a long uphill battle to get into the Glock 17.

Is the Glock 17 for you?

As we mentioned earlier, the Glock 17 is a full-sized gun. So, it’s most suitable for shooters who need a home defense gun. It holds 17 rounds in the magazine, and the barrel is 4.49 inches, which delivers excellent muzzle velocity for defensive rounds.

The Glock 17 is also a legitimate option for competitive shooters. The large magazine capacity, and long barrel and sight radius is good for competitive shooters. Though, serious competitors may prefer the Glock 34 as their dedicated comp gun for it’s even longer barrel and sight radius.

But, the Glock 17 tends to run a bit too large for concealed carry. Larger shooters and those who wear baggy clothing may be able to conceal a Glock 17.

However, most people will find that the long grip gives them concealment troubles.

If you’re considering purchasing a Glock 17 for any reason, you need to borrow or rent one and give it a test drive first. The grip shape and trigger don’t work for everyone. And, there are other pistols that run just as reliably as a Glock. You can go with a different gun without compromising on reliability or longevity.

But, you should absolutely put the Glock 17 on your list if you’re in the market for a new full-size handgun. The performance and value is just too good to disregard. So, give it a look. See if the Glock 17 is the handgun for you.