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).
The 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 known to be extremely reliable.
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.
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.
The Glock 17L is a competition version with a longer barrel and slide. Early versions also had a ported barrel 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.
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 magazines as well.
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.
It is one of the few pistols chambered for the 10mm cartridge.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
.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).
Competition 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.
.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.