Written by Phillip Chambers

Glock 17 vs 19: Full Review And Comparison

In 1980 the Austrian army announced they would be replacing their standard Walther P38 handguns with something more modern. The army determined there were 17 criteria for the new pistol to pass in order to be selected. 

After this announcement, a man named Gaston Glock heard of the Austrian army’s plan, and decided he was going to enter the race with a brand new modern handgun. After assembling a team of expert engineers, he was able to build a working prototype within 3 months. 

He submitted his prototype – name the Glock 17 – to the Austrian army against the behemoths of gun manufacturing (like SIG Sauer, Beretta, Heckler & Koch, and many others) 

The Glock 17 won, and became an instant best seller in Europe and the United States. After its success in the mid 80’s, the Glock 17 has quickly become the most popular handgun ever produced. It’s surpassed many other well known manufacturers.

Even still, Glock has been making improvements to the original handgun with the introduction of different models like the G26, G34, G43, and of course the Glock 19. 

So, how exactly does the Glock 19 differ from the Glock 17? Is one better for conceal carry over the other? Does one have better grouping accuracy? 

These are all questions we’re going to answer right now!

Don’t make a decision on which Glock to purchase until you finish this article. We promise, the results will surprise you!

G17 vs G19 Specifications Side By Side

Glock 17
Glock 19
Glock 17Glock 19
CALIBER9×19mm9×19mm
LENGTH204 mm / 8.03 in187 mm / 7.36 in
HEIGHT138 mm / 5.43 in127 mm / 4.99 in
WIDTH30.00 mm / 1.18 in30.00 mm / 1.18 in
BARREL HEIGHT32 mm / 1.26 in32 mm / 1.26 in
BETWEEN SIGHTS165 mm / 6.49 in153 mm / 6.02 in
BARREL LENGTH114 mm / 4.48 in102 mm / 4.01 in
WEIGHT (no magazine)710 g / 25.06 oz670 g / 23.65 oz
WEIGHT (with magazine)910 g / 32.12 oz855 g / 30.18 oz
TRIGGER PULL2.5 kg / 5.5 lbs2.5 kg / 5.5 lbs
TRIGGER TRAVEL12.5 mm / 0.5 in12.5 mm / 0.5 in
BARREL RIFLINGRight Hand, HexagonalRight Hand, Hexagonal
LENGTH OF TWIST250 mm / 9.84 in250 mm / 9.84 in
STANDARD MAGAZINE1715
OPTIONAL MAGAZINE10/3310/17/33

As you can see, the two models are very similar. In fact, you would argue they’re the same gun except for one or two differences. 

And this was the point with the development of the G19. The idea was to have the beauty of the G17, but in a more compact frame for users with smaller hands and those looking to be extra secure with their conceal carry. 

There are some differences which are important to pay attention to. For instance, the two guns are different in regards to barrel length and grip length. 

Both are made from a steel underlying with a polymer on top which provides durability and lightness to the gun weight. 

However, only one is the standard for military and law enforcement across the world, and that’s the Glock 17. 

Comparison Between Glock 17 And Glock 19

Let’s take a look at a little more depth to understand the real differences between the two pistols. 

Caliber Of Bullet

As you can tell from the spec sheet, both the G17 and the G19 shoot the standard 9mm Parabellum. This is the most widely used caliber of bullet in the world.

Nearly every law enforcement agency uses the 9mm caliber (usually in tandem with Glock) as their bullet of choice. The actual statistic is something like 60% of the law enforcement agencies across the world use 9mm. 

This makes it the most widely used ammo of all time. 

Glock knew this and decided to make nearly all their firearms compatible with the 9mm cartridge. In this case, the G17 and G19 only fire the 9mm ammo. 

This is a tie between the two with no real difference. 

Accuracy

We’ve found that both models offer the same accuracy. There’s not much of a difference in terms of recoil between multiple shots. 

Although it’s important to note that the G17 is heavier by a couple ounces than the G19. With a heavier frame you can expect a slightly reduced recoil. 

The longer barrel of the G17 could provide a tighter grouping over a longer distance. Although it’s difficult to say if these differences are actually noticeable. We’ve fired both guns, using a machine as opposed to a person, and they seemed to group the same over many different distances. 

The extra half-inch is just bragging rights at that point. 

In our opinion, there’s no difference in accuracy between the two models. 

Recoil

The weight difference between the two is relatively small, but this doesn’t mean it’s meaningless. 

In fact, we would argue the recoil on the G19 is noticeably different compared to the G17. There’s just more sturdiness with the Glock 17 when it comes to firing multiple rounds at a time. You can feel it in your wrists and hands. 

In this manner, we give a slight edge to the G17.

Reliability

All Glocks are striker fired compared to hammer fired. Both the G17 and G19 fall into the category of striker fire system. 

Just for reference, a hammer fire pistol is the one you see in the movies where the actor pulls back the “hammer” as he forecasts his intent to shoot someone. The hammer is spring loaded and will literally swing into the firing pin to activate the gun powder and launch the bullet. 

In the striker fire system, the hammer has been eliminated. Instead the firing pin itself is propelled by an internal spring which strikes and ignites the propellant. 

This is important because the striker firing system is more reliable than the hammer system. In our experience, we’ve never seen a properly maintained Glock jam. 

Reliability is one of the main factors that law enforcement agencies used when determining their standard firearm, and Glock is just reliable.

You know when you pull the trigger, you’re going to get clean fire. This is generally true in nearly any condition too, even underwater (with the right adaptations). 

In this sense, it’s a draw between the two because of the same system.

Magazine Capacity

Here’s one of the main differences between the two guns. 

The Glock 17 has a larger standard magazine, which can hold 17 bullets. The Glock 19 is more compact and can only hold 15 bullets in its standard magazine. 

Most people will just shrug their shoulders and say, “Meh, 2 bullets isn’t that big of a difference.” 

In our opinion, this is wrong. Whether you’re using a handgun for competition or self-defense, every bullet counts. 

If you’re the average shooter, you probably go to the range twice a month. This just isn’t enough time to get good enough to where you only need 5 rounds to knock down an intruder. 

You have to imagine that when you need your firearm, you’re going to be disoriented and in the dark with adrenaline rushing through your veins. You’re going to forget training if it’s your first time. This means there will be missed shots. 

It’s a fact everyone needs to come to terms with. This is why every bullet counts. 

With this in mind, the Glock 17 wins. 

Maintenance

Both Glock versions are very easy to maintain. That’s the beauty of Glock. The disassembly is simple with very few parts you need to worry about. 

Look at this picture below, which is a good representation of what to expect…

As you can see, there’s not much going on here. You have really only 5 parts to the gun when disassembled.

This is true of both the Glock 17 and the Glock 19. 

Both firearms are going to be durable and last a long time. You can literally drop them from 6 feet in the air onto a steel plate, without worrying of an accidental misfire. They’re built to last. 

Trigger

Both models utilize the same trigger. Their pull weight is roughly 5.5lbs which isn’t too strenuous, but you definitely need to squeeze in order to active the firing pin. 

From field testing both, we found the Glock 17 Gen 5 trigger to be spongy and heavier than the Glock 19 Gen 5. Not sure why this is, but it’s an observation. 

Both versions utilize the Safe Action system popularized by Glock. It’s a fantastic system which has proven reliable over significant wear and tear. 

It’s a combination of 3 independent safety systems which are operating to prevent misfire. 

  1. Trigger safety
  2. Firing pin safety
  3. Drop safety

Here’s a quick picture of the system…

In this regard – we consider it a draw between the two. 

Sights

Both the G17 and G19 use a polymer sight. We’ve never been the biggest fans of polymer sights in the stock models, but that’s Glock for you. 

In the most recent generations of Glock 19 and 17, they’ve made the sights a “goal post” style which is rather new. 

Both models offer the same sights in their stock options. 

Here’s a quick comparison

It’s a tie in our eyes between the two versions. 

Cost

This is what we find fascinating about the two different versions. They’re the exact same price at nearly every retailer we can find. 

Literally, both guns are priced at an MSRP of $500 for the stock options. 

With this in mind, we actually give the Glock 17 an advantage even though they’re priced at the same price point. 

Our reasoning? 

You’re getting a slightly heavier gun with less recoil, and 2 extra bullets in the standard mag. All things being equal (because they’re basically the same gun) you’re getting more value for the price. 

Who Wins? Glock 17 or Glock 19?

Before we give you the final verdict, here’s a couple quick points on each beyond just the comparison. 

Why Choose Glock 17?

While the G17 is a full service pistol, it’s not exactly that large. It’s only 8in long and about 5.5in wide. For some reason many people seem to think it’s a very large gun and will be difficult as a concealed carry firearm. 

In our opinion, this isn’t the case. 

Yes, while the Glock 17 is larger than the G19, it’s only by an inch or inch and a half. 

You get an extra two bullets in your magazine, a longer barrel for help with accuracy, and a slightly heavier feel for reduced recoil. 

Why Choose Glock 19?

Let’s not completely dismiss the G19 though…

It is the most purchased Glock firearm in the United States, and for good reason. With the slightly smaller grip, and shorter barrel, it’s much easier to conceal carry. 

You’ll be able to produce the weapon quicker in a life threatening situation, and you still get stopping power with the 9mm ammo. 

It’s even the gun of choice with special purpose military operations like the NAvy Seals or Green Berets. 

If you’re looking for a strictly concealed carry weapon, especially in a purse, than the G19 is an excellent choice. 

Like we mentioned, there’s a reason it’s the most purchased handgun online. 

Final Verdict: Which Glock (G17 or G19) Is Better?

In our opinion, the Glock 17 is the winner between the two. 

With both guns being the same price point, you’re just getting a better deal with the G17. 

You get a full size pistol perfect for at home self-defense, concealed carry, and vehicle carry. Along with an extra two bullets in your magazine. 

Even if you have smaller hands, you’re going to love the feel of the full weight firearm which will help with recoil reduction. 

Even though we believe the G17 is the winner, you need to know that both guns are amazing choices as a self-defense pistol. You really can’t go wrong with either. 

However…

If you had to put a gun to our head (and make us choose) we’re going with the Glock 17. 

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