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Posted By FFL Dealer Network on 01/25/2019 in Firearms

Glock 19 vs 17

Glock 19 vs 17

Head to Head - Glock 19 vs 17

The most popular handguns in the world are produced by Glock. Of those, the Glock 17 and the Glock 19 are contenders for the top seller.

How and why are these to near-iconic handguns so popular? What is the difference between them? Is one better than the other?

Take a look at the Glock 19 vs 17


These guns are the same in many ways. Both are the standard Glock polymer grip. Both shoot 9mm Parabellum or Luger ammo. Glock stamps the slide with 9x19 on both guns.

The 9mm has come a long way since George Luger invented it in 1902. With new powders, precision projectiles and +P loads, the 9m of today is a better round than the 9mm of WWII. 

The 9mm is easy to shoot with low recoil compared to guns like the .40 and .45 ACP. 

While not exactly the same, the 17 mags can be used in the 19, provided the correct generation magazine is used. In putting the 17 into a 19, the magazine will simply stick out a bit more. The 19's mags will not work in a 17 because of swell on the bottom prevents the magazine from seating properly. Extended mags will work in either handgun. 

The grip width is identical. 


In what does not make a lot of sense at first, the 17 barrel will not work in the 19 barrel. The difference is important. In the Glock 19 vs 17 study, this barrel difference is a matter of safety. 

The 17 barrel at 4.49 inches is longer than the 19's 4.02 inches. As the barrel in a Glock extends past the frame, longer should not matter. A longer barrel is needed for a can anyway. However, the lugs on the two barrels are different. 

It does make sense that the shorter 19 barrel will not work in the 17. And this explains why the two barrels cannot be switched out. Someone would try the shorter 19 barrel in a 17 with predictably disastrous results. 

Aftermarket slides, like the one from Brownells can put the longer 17 slide on the shorter 19's frame. It sticks out a bit, but is fully functional. 

With a shorter barrel, slide and grip, the 19 makes a marginally better concealed carry weapon v. the 17. 

The sights, naturally, are closer together on the model 19. 

The 17 has .03 inches more reach from the back of the standard grip to the trigger than the 19. 


Loaded mags make a difference in the Glock 19 vs 17 debate. As a "compact" model, the 19 holds 15 rounds. The 17 packs in another two for 17. 

Do two rounds really make a difference? 

"The average and median number of shots fired was 2. When more than 2 shots were fired, it generally appeared that the defender’s initial response was to fire until empty. It appears that revolver shooters are more likely to empty their guns than autoloader shooters," reports Claude Werner of the Firearms Safety Training LLC

Loaded up, the 17 is 32.28 ounces compared to the 30.16 ounces in the compact version for a 2.12-ounce weight difference. A hair over two ounces should not make a difference to anyone. An average 9mm round with a 115-grain projectile weighs in at .262 ounces. The 17 loaded with 7 rounds is almost identical in weight to a loaded 19. 


Really, the debate about which is better comes down to the grip and the standard mags. Barrel length does make a difference in velocity, but when shooting a 9mm at combat ranges, the difference is irrelevant. 

Some people like the longer mag. Some 19 shooters install a mag extension so the grip is able to fill their hand. Some people want those two extra shots. Some prefer the smaller size which is easier to conceal. 

It is all about personal preference. Both Glocks perform equally well under identical conditions.

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