Tag Archives: Glock 17

Happy Birthday, Herr Glock

Born 19 July 1929 in Vienna during the old Wilhelm Miklas days of the original Austrian Republic, Gaston Glock purportedly served as a teen in the German Wehrmacht late in WWII (although good luck finding exactly what he did, as he has long professed to have shot a gun before test-firing his own prototypes in the 1970s). Filing his first patent in 1953 at age 24 while the country was still under Allied occupation, he founded GLOCK Ges.m.b.H in 1963 in his Deutsch-Wagram garage workshop. Reportedly started out with a Russian surplus drill press, he took it from there, eventually moving into creating injection molding parts and components, specializing in household goods such as hinges, curtain rods, and brass fittings.

Early Austrian Federal Army contracts for grenade casings and machine-gun belt links built to spec led to a bigger one for a relatively innovative polymer-handled field knife in 1978. That contract set the stage to compete against Austrian firearms giant Steyr for a contract to replace the Bundesheer’s myriad of pistols with a single, universal design in 9x19mm.

Left with the flotsam of the Imperial-Royal era (Dreyse M1907, Roth–Steyr M1907, Frommer Stops, Broomhandle Mausers and Steyr M1912) the old Republic (Frommer FÉG M37s, Browning Babys), the German WWII days (Luger P08s, Walther P38s, Radom VIS, and CZ 27), a decade of Allied occupation (Tokarev TT33s, American M1911A1s) and interwar contracts (“OO” series Browning Hi-Powers, French Manurhin-made PPKs) the Austrians had a logistical nightmare when it came to pistols (chambered in no less than seven different calibers!) and the country was sandwiched between an increasingly chilly and muscular NATO and Warsaw Pact.

To make a long story short, Glock’s new prototype 9mm 17+1 capacity pistol pulled a stunner and beat out the favored Steyr GB18– which the Army had been flirting with since 1974– (as well as 20 other designs from around the world) for the win, being adopted as the Pistole 80 by the Austrian military, winning a tender for the gun that would become the Glock 17 in the summer of 1982.

The rest, as they say…

Happy 92nd birthday, Herr Glock

40 Years O’Glock

On April 30, 1981, Gaston Glock filed for his 17th patent, a forward-looking pistol with a host of innovations. The gun at its heart is today’s Glock 17.

While Mr. Glock has over 50 patents to his name, with some filed as far back as 1953, he was 51 years old when he filed the original patent in Austria for his G17 handgun, which would be adopted first by his country’s Army before going on to what could best be described as a wild global success across the consumer, law enforcement and military markets.

Filed from a Vienna address, (Siebenbürgerstraße 16-12, A-1220) the final patent application included almost 40 drawings, making nearly a dozen separate claims.

The new handgun had largely been designed and prototyped by Glock, working out of his workshop next to his home garage in the small town of Deutsch-Wagram, just North of Vienna, where he first founded his company in 1963.

Before his handgun, the engineer had patented and sold an entrenching tool and field knife to the Austrian Army as well as lending his talent to design grenade casings and machine-gun belt links.

As detailed by GLOCK:

Mr. Glock was building the pistol for the Austrian military and law enforcement, which meant it had to be ready to fire at a moment’s notice in life-threatening situations. To address this critical need, Mr. Glock designed his pistol with three internal safeties – the trigger, firing pin and drop safeties – to ensure that the pistol would perform consistently while providing the best protection against accidental discharge.

Mr. Glock met additional requirements of the Austrian government by including a high-capacity magazine, lightweight materials, consistent trigger pull, and a hammer-forged barrel. Mr. Glock understood that reliability resides in simplicity, and therefore, he designed his pistol with as few parts as possible, minimizing its complexity. Today, the GLOCK pistol is made from an average of only 35 parts, which is significantly fewer than any other pistol on the market and makes it more durable, reliable, and easier to maintain.

On this side of the pond, the original G17 patent was approved on Sept. 10, 1985, and issued Patent Number 4,539,889.

In 1986, GLOCK opened its U.S. headquarters in Smyrna, Georgia, with what we would call today 1st Generation G17s showing up in ads in national gun magazines that July with the tagline, “Put the Future in the Palm of Your Hand.”

Today, the G17 Gen 5 is the current version of the gun in production. They come standard with a Marksman Barrel, recessed barrel crown, nDLC finish on the barrel and slide, an ambidextrous slide stop, and the same 17+1 capacity that the original did. Moreover, the profile is unmistakable from the original guns.

Today’s Gen 5 Glock 17 MOS, now optics-ready, because this is the 2020s

If you ask me, 40 years from now it will probably still look the same.

Proven handguns for tough times

While your best and most effective bet in the majority of hairy self-defense scenarios (barring something laser-guided or belt-fed) is a rifle– preferably a few different ones in a range of calibers– in a pinch a handgun is better than verbal judo, a pointy stick, or the lid off a can of sardines. With that in mind, I made a list centered on pistols and revolvers that are 1) modern, 2) accept common ammunition, 3) have spare parts that are readily available, 4) proven, 5) are simple to manipulate, and 6) easy to maintain.

Sure, each of these has their haters, but most importantly each type has a huge crowd of fans and users that have kept them in regular production for decades.

More in my column at Guns.com

Wait till you see what they look like on the inside

Robbie with Wheaton Arms sat down with the Sootch00 YouTube gun channel and contrasted the new Glock Gen 5 against legacy Gen 4 and 3 models both inside and out.

There are actually a lot of differences.

Still, as when they introduced the Gen 4 and it went through a year of teething problems and stealth fixes, I’ll wait a year for the bugs to get worked out of the Gen 5.

Call me old-fashioned, but I am still a Gen 3 guy when it comes to my combat tupperware.

Glock Gen 5 G17 and G19 drop on the market this week

It looks boringly like every other Glock out there, but when you look closely, there are actually a number of subtle differences. Most notably, the polygonal rifling is out and traditional ballard-style rifling is in. Also, the fingergrooves, standard since the Gen 3, are a thing of the past. I do like the flared magwell, though, but for the record I will likely stick to the Gen3 G19 that I have been using for years. If it isn’t broke…

From Glock:

On August 30, GLOCK, Inc. will be announcing the launch of our new G17 Gen5 and G19 Gen5 pistols.

The G17 Gen5 and G19 Gen5 pistols were inspired by the GLOCK M pistols used by the FBI and include many features the GLOCK community has been asking for. There are over 20 design changes which differentiate our Gen5 pistols from their Gen4 predecessors, including a flared mag-well, a new nDLC finish, the GLOCK Marksman Barrel, ambidextrous slide stop levers, and a grip which has no finger grooves.

These pistols will be available at your favorite GLOCK dealer beginning August 30.

A shot of the Glock M (that the FBI is issuing with a finger grip sleeve!) :

Marketing slick for Glock dealers (from my local Glock dealer).

They expect to retail these in-shop for $539

Chris Bartocci talks more about the Gen5 barrels below.

Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid

The modern equivalent of Han Solo’s DL-44 blaster, via SureFire:

The above set up consists of a Glock 17 with ALG Defense 6 Second Mount & mag well, Aimpoint T1, KKM Precision barrel & comp, and SureFire X300 U-Boat.

I prefer Inforce on my G19, as well as a mounted RMR and have always thought comps were unneeded on anything less spicy than .38 Super, but the above is still a nice blaster.

Zapping Lionfish via suppressed Glocks

One of the most controversial fish in the waters around Florida these days is the invasive lionfish. Released by aquarium owners and others who didn’t want them anymore, they can lay millions of eggs and have few natural predators in the Gulf.

Courtland Hunt, a spearfisherman with Go Fish Productions out of Anna Maria Island, documented their on-going sea hunt between man and lionfish with gently modified Gen 3 Glock 17s, lead-free ammo and underwater suppressors (which do nothing to quiet the Sara McGlockland above water).

Here’s the gist in the below video and more in my column at Guns.com

Vickers Tactical drops limited run of Gen 3 RTF2 Glocks

Partnered with Lipsey’s, Larry Vickers has talked Glock into another limited run of RTF2 two-tone grey Glock 17 and 19 pistols that bring back a rare and now much-sought after crowd pleaser.

What is RTF2?

In 2009, Glock came out with an updated version of their gun that featured better ergonomics named the “Rough Texture Finish, Version 2,” or commonly just called RTF2.

Besides the texture, along the slide, a set of scalloped cutouts replaced the strait up and down slide serrations that had been a facet of the Glock since its introduction in the 1980s. These cutouts were shaped like thumbnails and were instantly but dubbed ‘fish gills’ by those who encountered them.

Besides the slide, the entire lower frame grip surface area was stippled in fine lines. These lines worked like non-skid and gave the gun an almost instant tackiness when picked up, eliminating complaints from those who contended the Glock sometimes got slippery when wet.

While some complained that the new grip was too abrasive to their sensitive hands, many shooters took immediately to the RTF2. The Gen 3 pistols were the pinnacle of the designs to that point, incorporating lessons learned from twenty years of making the polymer guns. That, coupled with the radical new grip offered by the RTF2 seemed a winning combination and the texture was soon seen on the 17, 19, 21SF, 22, 23, 31 and 32.

Nevertheless, that wasn’t the case as the RTF3 and finally much more subtle RTF4 series of less aggressive truncated pyramids became standard on the Gen 4 Glocks when they were introduced.

Then there was trouble in paradise.

In late 2010, Glock stated though channels they would only sell RTF 2 Gen 3s (though without the gills) through law enforcement channels in the future as they weren’t selling well to the non-law enforcement market, but were still viable in the cop market.

Last November Larry Vickers and Lipseys announced that they would release a limited run of 5000 new RTF2 Gen 3s in FDE (is that enough abbreviations for you, or do you want more?) split between G17 and G19 models which shows at least that these guns were still in some form of production even after being “replaced” five years ago.

Now they are back and better than ever

Announced Dec. 15 by Lipsey’s and dropped on Larry V’s social media account, cause Larry is that kinda guy, these guns are a direct answer to how popular last year’s 5K run was. Moreover, these have lots of goodies.

rtf2 glock vickers (5)

Read the rest in my column at Glock Forum

Glock in the hunt for new Bureau contract

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is seeking to update their 1990s era pistol stocks and could conceivably go Glock to do so.

The FBI has relied on Glocks (in 7 different models) since 1997 to equip most of its agents both as primary and backup use but is now looking to change things up– and the current stable of Austrian polymer seems like it can fit the bill.


In short, the primary issue arm is currently the Glock 22 and 23 “FG&R” (finger groove and rail) with the 9mm 17/19 as an alternative. For backup and deep concealment, special agents as well as those on more administrative taskings (read= supervisors) are authorized “baby Glock” G26 and G27 subcompacts while SWAT-certified agents can carry a G21 in .45ACP. In almost all cases, those guns in service are 3rd Generation models.

Now the Bureau on Oct. 7, 2015 released a 110-page pistol solicitation request, all for 9mm semi-automatic pistols.

These are for four different guns. To make this easy, what I will do is list the guideline in bold and then list what Glock would conceivably fit the bill.

Class I Compact Pistol: One (1) Class I Pistol with a barrel length of no less than 3.75” and no greater than 4.25”, height no less than 4.75” and no greater than 5.6”, flush fit minimum magazine capacity of 14 rounds and witness holes, night sights.

Potential Winner:  Glock 19 Gen 4 with 4.01-inch barrel length, 4.99-inch height, 15 shot magazine.

G19, note that it also takes G17 mags-- which is important!

G19, note that it also takes G17 mags– which is important!

Class II Full Size Pistol: One (1) Class II Pistol with a barrel length of no less than 4.26” and no greater than 5.20” , height no greater than 6”, flush fit minimum magazine capacity of 16 rounds and witness holes, night sights. Class I & II pistols shall have the same operating system and control mechanisms with the only difference being the slide, barrel, frame, and grip dimensions. Class II magazines shall fit in Class I pistols and function the pistol as designed.

Potential Winner:  Glock 17 Gen 4 at 4.48-inch barrel, 5.43-inch height, 17 round mag that will work in the G19 that shares the same operating system and surface controls.

Soldater fra taktisk transport tropp på skytebanen utenfor Mazar E Sharif i Afghanistan hvor de trener på skyting med Glock 9 mm pistolSoldiers from tactical transport troop, on a shooting range outside Mazar E Sharif in Afghanistan where they train on

The Glock 17, seen here with Norwegian army commandos, is pretty much the go-to Western issue military handgun these days, having edged out the venerable Browning Hi-Power in the past generation.

For both Class I and II pistols, the following is required:

All magazines must have a small ledge (“toe”) on the front of the magazine to aid the shooter in rapid extraction of the magazine. This ledge must protrude forward of the grip (nominally 0.10” – 0.15”) to enable the non-shooting hand to strip the magazine from the pistol. Trigger pull weight shall be no less than 4.5 lbs. nor exceed 6 lbs. Pistol must fire with 6 lbs. of pressure and shall not fire with 4.25 lbs. pressure. The slide stop lever shall lock the slide to the rear position upon firing the last round in the magazine. No external manual safety. No magazine safety. No grip safety. 20,000 round endurance firing cycle. A minimum of three different rear sight height options are required (e.g., standard, low, and high).

Class I Inert Training Pistol (a.k.a. Red Handle): One (1) Class I Pistol, deactivated with full articulation, red frame and slide, night sights, four (4) magazines with red floor plates.

Potential Winner: Glock 17 P Practice pistol, which is fully articulated including loadable magazines, trigger squeeze, and disassembling in a completely inert package.

glock 17 red gun

Class I Man Marker Training Pistol (a.k.a. SIMUNITIONTM1): One (1) Class I Man Marker Pistol, blue slide or slide with blue inserts, four (4) magazines with blue floor plates.

Potential Winner: Glock 17T FX it is already blue and uses Simunition man -marker rounds.

simunitions glock

While other companies may be able to drop in on the Class I and II pistol categories (such as SIG and S&W with their P320 and M&P lines respectively), they may have a harder time coming up with the articulated red handle and simunitions training guns. I’m not sure they have them on tap. If they do, it could be an interesting run off between the three (or four companies if FN jumps in).

In addition to the guns themselves, there are guidelines for replacement parts enough to last 10 years, lockable and stackable plastic cases (which can be third party), weapon disassembly tools.

The winner being able to begin deliveries within 90 days after receipt of order, and be able to supply as many as 25,000 pistols per year for 10 years (although this will be less than likely as FBI only has some 13,412 special agents). The contract has a maximum of $85 million tied to it.

And here is the kicker. The contract may be extended to other federal agencies to include:

  • United States Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security
  • United States Marshals Service
  • Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
  • United States Postal Service
  • United States Treasury Department
  • Drug Enforcement Agency
  • United States Capitol Police
  • United States Park Police
  • United States Department of Energy
  • Office of Inspector General (all Federal agencies)
  • United States Department of Defense

Did you get the last one?

With the Army’s modular pistol program ramping up and Glock (along with SIG, S&W and FN) all in the hunt for that as well, the FBI contract could be a solid warm up to supplying Big Green.

Those companies wishing to submit their guns will have to send a mix of 80 firearms (20 of each class) along with holsters, Ransom rest inserts, lights, cleaning kits etc. to the Bureau who will then put them through five phases of testing (including submitting them to a 10,000 round range test each, salt water corrosion tests, drop tests, etc.) and then a winner will emerge.

Overall, interesting times ahead.

Michigan State Police ditch SIG 40s, go Glock 9mm

In another instance of large, professional law enforcement agencies going Glock, the Michigan State Police is setting aside their gently used 40 caliber Sig Sauers and, after testing 39 potential replacements, went Glock 17.

With the National Guard called up for World War I and the state militia being lumped in with that group by the Dick Act, Michigan was left without any form of state-level law enforcement as the troops marched off to France. This led the governor to establish the Michigan State Troops Permanent Force in 1917 and the 300 “troopers” were organized in units around the state on horseback, foot patrol, and using early Detroit-built Ford and Dodge autos.

Back in 1917, they were the Governor's muscle

Back in 1917, they were the Governor’s muscle

Nearing their 100th anniversary and more simply termed the Michigan State Police these days, the agency now has 29 posts and employs 1400 sworn and 850 non-sworn employees. For the past decade and change they have carried the SIG .40s (226, 229) for both uniformed and investigative (Criminal Investigation Division and Intelligence Sections) troopers since the 1990s.

Well the last part is subject to change.

128th class

Read the rest in my column at Glock Forum

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