The Glock 17 was the pioneer pistol manufactured and designed by the Austrian gun company Glock. The pistol is a semi-automatic short recoil, locked breech, 9 mm Parabellum pistol with a standard ammunition magazine capacity of 17 rounds.
The Glock 17 uses a slightly modified Petter/Browning barrel locking system. The G17 first showed up in the early 1980s for use with the Austrian Army weapons trials. The G17 then entered full service use under the naming designation P80. In 1988, the Glock 17 entered full service in the Swedish Army under the name designation Pistol 88. The Glock 17 is also used by the Norweigen police and army. The numerical designation 17 is because of the gun's being Gaston Glock's 17th patent, as opposed to its magazine capacity. Like all Glock pistols, the Glock 17, has a well known reputation for being exceptionally reliable and rugged.
The Glock 17 uses the "safe action" fire control system. Additionally, all others that Glock has since produced use the same system. This system is a single-action mechanism that uses a striker instead of a hammer and firing pin. Similar to most other striker-fired pistols, the Glock pistol mandates the trigger to pull the striker back the entire rest of the way, and then to release it. In its hot or ready-to-fire state, the pistol could be thought to be "half-cocked". This unique arrangement translates to highly consistent trigger pulls which may make training easier. Notably absent from the purchase of any Glock 17 is any manual user safety, although additional internal measures and a trigger safety prevent accidental discharge. The Glock 17 frame is constructed out of an advanced polymer.
Glock made a special 20th Anniversary edition in 2006 Glock of the model G17. On the slide, founder, Gaston Glock's signature is custom engraved above an individual number "XXXX of 2006" and adjacent to the words "20 Years of Perfection 1986 to 2006". Only 2006 20th Anniversary edition Glock 17's were made that year.
The Glock stirred up quite a scare when it was revealed to have a polymer frame. Some people thought that, based on early reports, the whole gun was plastic and/or ceramic, and therefore undetectable by metal detectors. In fact, the slide, barrel and many other internal parts, comprising about 80% of the gun's mass, are made out of metal. The slide and barrel are QPQ Tenifer treated, a process that makes their steel more durable to wear and tear as well as to corrosion.
The Glock 17 has become very popular because of its simple controls, high durability, and moderate price. It is also reported to be highly reliable in extreme environments like desert, jungle, and arctic regions.
The Glock 17 enjoys widespread use in law enforcement, but is also a very popular military, sports, and self-defense pistol. More than 50 countries use it for law enforcement or military service.
The Glock 17 has undergone three major revisions since its introduction and therefore there are four generations commonly recognized:
* Gen 1: Wraparound texturing on the sides, back and front strap of the pistol grip. Plain dustcover.
* Gen 2: Checkered front strap and serrated back of the pistol grip. Plain dustcover.
* Gen 3: Added finger grooves to the front strap. Thumb reliefs on the sides of the pistol grip. Universal rail added to the dustcover.
* Gen 4: As Gen 3 but with the addition of an ambidextrous magazine catch.
There have also been internal changes (most notably of the locking block and the extractor); however, common practice is to separate the various generations based on the frame design as described above.
Glock has produced several variants on the 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 created after the Monash University shooting. 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.
o There is also a version of the Glock 17 outfitted with a M1911-style safety specifically for the Australian Tasmania Police.
* The Glock 17T is a training weapon that fires paint or rubber rounds for force-on-force training scenarios. There are two versions and they are both easily recognizable from their bright blue frames:
o Glock 17T 9mm FX, which fires Simunition FX cartridges
o Glock 17T 7.8 x 21 AC, which fires paint and rubber rounds with replaceable air pressure cartridges.
* The Glock 17P is a training weapon for practicing hand-to-hand combat, loading and unloading of the weapon. The G17P is identical to a standard Glock 17 except for its red frame, an inert barrel (without a chamber, thus preventing the accidental chambering of a live cartridge) and no firing pin hole in the breech face (thus preventing someone from using a live barrel with the training slide).
* The Glock 17Pro is a special version produced only for the Finnish market. It has the following improvements over the standard Glock 17:
o Glock factory tritium night sights
o Glock factory threaded barrel, about 1/2" longer than the standard one
o Factory marine spring cups
o Factory modified magazine release
o Extended slide release, (factory standard in newer models)
o Extended +2 magazine base plates
o Glock factory gun pouch
o 3.5 lbs connector
* The Glock 17P80 is used by the Norwegian armed forces
* The Glock 17DK is a special version for Denmark, where handguns must, by law, be 210mm long. The Glock 17DK has a 122.5mm barrel, making the gun 210mm long overall.
* There are Mariner and Tactical versions available in the Philippines.
* In 2006 Glock made a special 20th Anniversary edition of the model 17. On the slide Gaston Glock's signature is engraved above a unique number "XXXX of 2006" and besides the words "20 Years of Perfection 1986 to 2006". Only 2006 were made that year.