The combination of striker fire with a Browning-Petter-SIG locking system patented by Gaston Glock has become just as much a standard feature of pistols as the innovative grip material that opened the door to a variety of new gun manufacturers: polymer. Now in its fourth generation (Gen4), the underlying Glock design has never been afraid to evolve over time.
The second generation was released in 1988, and the third followed in 1996. Glocks acquired serrations at the front and back of the grip, recesses with a thumb rest, finger grooves on the front of the grip, an accessories rail (Universal Glock Rail), an additional pin above the trigger, a modified extractor that acts as a loaded chamber indicator and a new frame structure known as the Rough Textured Frame 2 (RTF 2).
This more or less sums up the important modifications introduced up to the third generation. The Gen4 handguns, which Gock introduced in 2010 and markets itself, come with a new recoil spring (with telescope feature). Moreover, shooters can use the two exchangeable inserts to adjust the back of the frame to suit their hand size: here, Glock responded to the trend initiated by Walther in its P99, which also allowed owners of handguns with polymer frames to change the frame size to match their hands.
The Glock 17 Gen4
The introduction of the new adjustable backstrap prompted lively discussions, and the Internet fan community soon proved equally spirited in pouring scorn on the miniature cones in the new frame structure. But that does not change the fact that this trigger frame design is simply outstanding; it is quite rightly awarded full marks. Criticism of the handling elements focused on the persistently undersized takedown slide and the slide stop that is only designed for right-handers (-2 points). At least the magazine release has become a little bigger as successive generations emerged.
There was nothing to complain about in the sights: a clear target image, acquired crisply and quickly – that’s the way it should be. Chambering/safety – this is always the most important aspect in checking how weapons perform. The Glock 17 Gen 4 did not experience a single malfunction throughout the entire shooting test, whether from an upright, unsupported position or sitting down, using a rest. Moreover, the slide returned reliably and without fail to its stop position after discharging the last shot – outstanding. The trigger characteristics were a little different. Here, the testers complained about the overly noticeable travel before reaching the pressure point (-3 points). Finishing: the Glock left an excellent impression in this section. The testers did not discover any annoying traces of machining, and the weapon showed no signs of wear at the end of the shooting test. The components looked classy and extraordinarily well matched. Finally, it’s worth mentioning the results of the precision test: the top value showed a diameter of 62 millimetres, a good result for a utility pistol (-11 points).
Summary Glock 17 Gen4
Now in its fourth generation, the Austrian Glock 17 is and remains a pacemaker, trendsetter and reliable worker in the context of the entire nine Para world – at a clearly affordable price. And beyond the indignity of collecting points in a mundane test, only one rating truly applies to an undisputed classic pistol like this one: you have to have it to be part of the club ...
Score for the Glock 17 Gen4 in 9 mm Luger:
|Precision (max. 50 points)||39 points |
|Chambering/safety (max. 10 points)||10 points |
|Trigger characteristics (max. 10 points)||7 points|
|Trigger frame design (max. 5 points)||5 points|
|Handling elements (max. 10 points)||8 points|
|Sights (max. 5 points)||5 points|
|Finishing (max. 10 points)||10 points|
|Total score (max. 100 points)||84 points|
|Rating||5 out of 6 |
Shooting test: GLOCK 17 Gen4
|No.||Factory cartridge||Group size||v2||E2|
|1.||115 grs PMC Bronze||89 (53) mm||343 m/s||438 J|
|2.||115 grs Sellier & Bellot FMJ||76 (44) mm||322 m/s||417 J|
|3.||124 grs TopSHOT Vlm. RK||62 (29) mm||326 m/s||427 J|
|4.||139 grs GECO caps. FMJ IPSC approved||111 (60) mm||300 m/s||405 J|
|5.||154 grs GECO FMJ IPSC approved||69 (39) mm||272 m/s|
Note: group size = 5/4-shot groups, fired at a distance of 25 metres from a sandbag support, stated in millimetres, measured from bullet hole centre to bullet hole centre. v2 = bullet velocity two metres in front of the muzzle, stated in metres per second. E2 = bullet energy in joules two metres in front of the muzzle. Bullet abbreviations: FMJ = Full Metal Jacket, caps. = capsulated, Vlm. RK = Rounded Full Metal Jacket.