The Glock pistols are semi-automatic, polymer-framed striker-fired pistols. They are chambered in several calibers, and are designed and manufactured in Austria (with some manufacturing plants in USA as well).
HistoryThe Glock 17 showed up in the early 1980s for the Austrian Army weapons trials. It entered service under the designation P80. In 1988, it entered service in the Swedish Army under the designation Pistol 88. It is also used by the Norwegian Army and police, The designation 17 is derived from the gun being Gaston Glock's 17th patent, rather than its magazine capacity.
The Glock line of pistols has been redesigned several times over their lifespan, and have been shown to be extremely reliable.
The Glock is also very popular with civilians for protection and sporting purposes.
The Glock pistols are all striker-fired, short-recoil operated, locked breech designs. The Glocks utilize what Glock refers to as the "safe action"; a system of safeties built into the weapon itself to prevent accidental discharges. These include a trigger safety (a lever built into the trigger itself that prevents the trigger from being depressed unless the lever is depressed first), a striker safety (a spring-loaded pin attached by an extension bar to the trigger assembly, which blocks the striker from striking the primer of the cartridge until the trigger is pulled), and a drop safety (The far end of the extension bar locks the striker into place from the rear until the trigger is pulled).
The safe action does not interfere with normal operation of the weapon; if the trigger is depressed, the weapon will fire.
Differences between Generations
Glock has updated its basic design several times throughout its production history. Commentators had long separated the large changes into generations. Glock eventually accepted this nomenclature with their "Gen4" models.
The "Gen 1" Glocks are the original models, produced from 1982 to 1991. These models featured a smooth grip and a very dark black frame. Later models would lighten the tint of the black polymer frame. Total only 115,000 Glock models from 17, 18 and 19 were produced. As a result, they are tough to find today and though they are a hot collector's item, they are still the least expensive of all the generations.
A mid-life upgrade to the Glock pistols involved the addition of checkering on the front strap and serrations to the back strap. These versions were introduced in 1988 and were informally referred to as "second generation" models. To meet American ATF regulations, a steel plate with a stamped serial number was embedded into the receiver in front of the trigger guard.
In 1991, an integrated recoil spring assembly replaced the original two-piece recoil spring and tube design. The magazine was slightly modified, changing the floorplate and fitting the follower spring with a resistance insert at its base.
Being more common than the Gen 1s, the Gen 2 Glocks enjoy popularity but are less desirable to collectors.
In the late 1990s, the frame was further modified with an accessory rail (called the "Universal Glock rail") to allow the mounting of laser sights, tactical lights, and other accessories. Thumb rests on both sides of the frame and finger grooves on the front strap were added. Glock pistols with these upgrades are informally referred to as (early) "third generation" models. Later third generation models additionally featured a modified extractor that serves as a Loaded chamber indicator, and the locking block was enlarged, along with the addition of an extra cross pin to aid the distribution of forces exerted by the locking block. This cross pin is known as the locking block pin and located above the trigger pin.
The polymer frames of third generation models can be black, flat dark earth or olive drab. Besides that, non-firing dummy pistols ("R" models) have a bright red frame and Simunition-adapted practice pistols ("T" models) – a bright blue frame for easy identification.
In 2009, the Glock 22 RTF2 (Rough Textured Frame 2) (chambered in .40 S&W) was introduced. This pistol featured a new checkering texture around the grip and new scalloped (fish gill shaped) serrations at the rear of the sides of the slide. Many of the existing models became available in the RTF2 version, including the 31, 32, 23, 21, 19. Some of those did not have the fish gills.
The Gen 3 Glocks were produced in the millions, and are the most common of all the Glock generations.
Many of the models come in a 4th-generation version. Most others are Gen 3 versions. The "Gen 4" versions have a few notable differences. The primary differences are the presence of interchangeable backstraps (to make the grip thicker or thinner for shooters with various sized hands) and a reversible magazine release which allows the mag-release to be swapped so that a left-handed shooter can more easily eject a magazine.
Gen 4 Glocks have received mixed reactions, with most criticisms focused on the rough grip texture and the changed recoil spring, which have led to some recalls.
The Glock 17 (G17) is the full-size 9mm variant and the first Glock model produced, so named because it was the seventeenth patent for Glock. It features a 4.5-inch/10.1-cm barrel and the standard magazine capacity is 17 rounds.
There are several variants of the Glock 17.
The Glock 17C (for "compensated") has a ported barrel and slide to reduce muzzle climb while shooting the pistol. Although a production Glock, it cannot be used in the Production Division in either USPSA or IDPA matches.
The Glock 17L is a competition version with a longer barrel and slide. Early versions also had a ported barrel (compensated) to combat muzzle flip. The 17L has been largely replaced by the Glock 34 due to post-introduction restrictions on overall length in many popular competition categories. It is NOT LEGAL for PRODUCTION DIVISION in either USPSA or IDPA competition due to it not fitting in the "IDPA BOX" due to the length.
Used by anti-terrorist and hostage rescue units.
It is usually made every few years by GLOCK in 3- to 4-year runs. Doesn't fill a niche market anymore but is highly desirable for its better sight radius and low muzzle flip due to the weight, as well as higher velocities due to the longer barrel.
The Glock 17A is a variant produced for the Australian market, to conform to local laws regarding barrel lengths. The only differences between a Glock 17 and a Glock 17A is that the 17A has a 120mm long barrel which protrudes from the frame visibly, and the magazine can only hold 10 rounds.
The Glock 17Pro is a special version produced only for the Finnish market. It has the following improvements over the standard Glock 17:
- Glock factory tritium night sights
- Glock factory threaded barrel, about 1/1" longer than the standard one
- Factory marine spring cups
- Factory modified magazine release
- Extended slide release, (factory standard in newer models)
- Extended +2 magazine base plates
- Glock factory gun pouch
- 3.5 lbs connector
The Glock 17P80 is used by the Norwegian armed forces.
The GLOCK 18 (G18) is a full-size 9mm variant of the Glock; however, unlike all other Glock models, it is a select-fire machine pistol, and has a selector switch on the slide. The select-fire parts are not interchangeable with any other Glock variant. This variant can take either Glock 17 magazines or 33-round magazines.
This variant was developed at the request of the Austrian counter-terrorist unit EKO Cobra.
Compact 9mm variant. It features a 4-inch barrel and a standard magazine capacity of 15 rounds. The Glock 19 can take Glock 17 and Glock 18 (33 round) magazines.
The full-size 10mm variant. The frame of this Glock (and the Glock 21) is a bit larger than other Glocks to accommodate for the size and power of the cartridges fired. The Glock 20 features a 15-round standard magazine capacity and a 4.5-inch barrel.
The SF version (short frame) has a smaller grip for shooters with smaller hands.
It is one of the few pistols chambered for the 10mm cartridge and has a 6" barrel available for purchase.
The full-size .45 ACP variant. Like the Glock 20, the frame of this pistol is larger to accommodate for the size and power of the cartridge fired. The Glock 21 features a 4.5-inch barrel and a standard magazine capacity of 13 rounds.
The SF version (short frame) has a smaller grip for shooters with smaller hands.One variant of the SF version, sometimes informally referred to as the 21SFP, included a standard Picatinny rail instead of the Glock rail, as well as an ambidextrous magazine release. This variant was manufactured for a specific customer.
The full-size .40 S&W variant. It features a 4.5-inch barrel and a standard magazine capacity of 15 rounds. It is the same overall size as the Glock 17.
The compact .40 S&W variant. It features a 4-inch barrel and a standard magazine capacity of 13 rounds. The Glock 23, like the Glock 19, can use the full-size variant magazines (in this case, Glock 22).
This is the competition variant of the Glock 22. It has similar features to the Glock 17L, and like the Glock 17L, was dropped from regular production upon the release of the Glock 34 and 35.
These are still produced occasionally.
This is the compact .380 ACP variant, adapted from the Glock 19. Unlike the other Glocks, the Glock 25 (and the Glock 28) is a blowback-operated weapon. It features a standard magazine capacity of 15 rounds, and a 4-inch barrel. Along with the Glock 28, this model cannot be imported into the United States.
This is the subcompact 9mm variant. It features a 3.5-inch barrel and a standard magazine capacity of 10 rounds. It can take both Glock 19 and Glock 17 magazines, and there are spacers available to improve ergonomics when gripping these magazines while shooting this weapon.
This is the subcompact .40 S&W variant. It features a 3.5-inch barrel and a standard magazine capacity of 9 rounds. It can take both Glock 22 and Glock 23 magazines, and there are spacers available to improve ergonomics when gripping these magazines while shooting this weapon.
This is the subcompact .380 ACP variant. Like the Glock 25, this is a blowback-operated semi-automatic pistol. It features a standard magazine capacity of 10 rounds, and can use Glock 25 magazines. This model, along with the Glock 25, cannot be imported into the United States.
Subcompact 10mm variant. It has a standard magazine capacity of 10 rounds, and can also take Glock 20 magazines. The barrel length is 3.8 inches. The SF version (short frame) has a smaller grip for shooters with smaller hands.
Subcompact .45 ACP variant. It has a standard magazine capacity of 10 rounds, and can take Glock 21 magazines. The barrel length is 3.8 inches.
The 30S has a 30SF frame and 36 slide.
The SF version (short frame) has a smaller grip for shooters with smaller hands.
.357 SIG variant of the Glock 22. The magazines for the Glock 31 are the same as the Glock 22 (15 rounds).
.357 SIG variant of the Glock 23. It can use magazines for the Glock 31 as well as the standard Glock 23 magazines (13 rounds).
.357 SIG variant of the Glock 27. It can use magazines for the Glock 31 and 32 as well as standard Glock 27 magazines (9 rounds).
Variant of the Glock 17. The barrel is 5.3 inches long, and the slide and barrel are slightly shorter than that of the Glock 17L. Uses Glock 17 magazines, and is chambered in 9mm.
Competition, practical/tactical USPSA/IDPA-production division legal, whereas the 17L is not due to its length being too long to fit in the IDPA "box" used to determine legal size for competition pistols.
.40 S&W variant of the Glock 34.
Subcompact slimline .45 ACP variant. It uses single-stack magazines, and thus it is the only Glock that cannot take the magazines of its larger variants. It has a magazine capacity of 6 rounds.
Full-size .45 GAP variant. Unlike the .45 ACP Glock 21, this Glock can use the similar-sized frame as the Glock 17 and 22; there are subtle differences, however, such as the slide being wider. The magazine capacity for the Glock 37 is 10 rounds.
Compact .45 GAP variant, using a similar-sized frame as the Glock 19. The standard magazine capacity is 8 rounds, and it can take Glock 37 magazines.
Subcompact .45 GAP variant, using a similar-sized frame as the Glock 26. The standard magazine capacity is 6 rounds, and it can take Glock 37 and Glock 38 magazines.
This is a competition or target version of the Glock 21 in .45 ACP. Much like what the G34 is in relation to the G17; it features a 5.3 inch barrel and an elongated slide to accommodate for it. Used for "MAJOR" caliber competitors in PRACTICAL/TACTICAL divisions.
Note: "Gen4" only.
Subcompact slimline .380 ACP variant produced in the USA, which unlike the Glock 25 and 28 allows domestic sales in that market. Uses a staggered-stack magazine with a capacity of 6 rounds, plus one in the chamber. Introduced at the 2014 SHOT Show, the Glock 42 is an all-new locked-breech "slimline" (83 mm (3.3 in) barrel) design. The single-stack magazine is unique to this model, with a capacity of 6 rounds. It is Glock's smallest model ever made. The Glock 42 introduced several significant design changes relative to all prior Glock models:
- Redesigned firing pin safety - Wider non-rotating firing pin safety.
- Slide stop lever coil spring - Coil spring eases assembly, changes order of assembly and disassembly, eliminates possibility of misaligning slide stop lever spring.
- Reconfigured trigger return spring
- Length (overall): 151 mm / 5.94 in.
- Length (slide cpl.): 146 mm / 5.75 in.
- Width: 24 mm / 0.94 in.
- Height (with magazine): 105 mm / 4.13 in.
- Barrel length: 82.5 mm / 3.25 in.
- Length of twist: 250 mm / 9.84 in.
- Trigger distance: 61 mm / 2.40 in.
- Trigger travel: 12.5 mm / .49 in.
- Barrel distance: 18 mm / 0.71 in.
- Line of sight (polymer): 125 mm / 4.92 in. Weight
- Pistol without magazine: 350 g / 12.35 oz.
- Magazine std. empty: 40 g / 1.41 oz.
- Magazine std. full: 57 g / 2.01 oz.
- Magazine Capacity (rounds): 6
- Barrel Profile: right hand twist; hexagonal
- Standard Trigger Pull: ~5.62 lbs.