Written by Phillip Chambers

Glock 17 Gen 5 Review

The fifth generation of the Glock 17 is the latest and greatest of the G17 lineup. It has the newest goodies internally and externally and I’m here to break it all down for you.

Piggybacking off the success of the addition of backstraps on the fourth generation, Glock decided to take things a step further with the Gen 5 frame by deleting the finger grooves.

This is a welcome change for many, as the inability to fit your hand properly into the grip was a common complaint about the molded finger grips in Glocks of the past.

I am happy to say that the frame on the new Glocks has departed from the blocky look that Glocks were known (and cursed) for.

The finish steers away from matte black nitride to a new nDLC coating that more closely resembles the color of the frame. I welcome this change and believe it complements the pistol much better than the previous finish did.

One of the core features Glock has been known for is its polygonal rifling. In this generation, they took it one step further by redesigning the barrel and releasing the Glock Marksman Barrel.

Both barrels new and old perform similarly from my experience and I wouldn’t say one is clearly better than the other.


Caliber: 9x19
System: Safe Action
Magazine: Standard 17 Optional 19, 24, 31, 33
Barrel Length: 114 mm | 4.49 inc
Weight (without magazine): 630 g | 22.22 oz
Weight (with empty magazine): 708 g | 24.97 oz
Weight (with loaded magazine): 945 g | 33.33 oz
Trigger Pull: 5.5lbs
Length (Overall): 202 mm | 7.95 inch
Slide Length: 186 mm | 7.32 inch
Width (Overall): 34 mm | 1.34 inch
Slide Width: 25.5 mm | 1.0 inch
Height (incl magazine): 139 mm | 5.47 inch

Changes from the Glock 17 Gen 4

With the addition of the magazine release being interchangeable from left to right, for the fifth generation, Glock added an ambidextrous slide release.

This gives it major usability points, especially from left-handed shooters.

Although Glocks have always been good at smooth magazine swaps, the magazine wells on the Gen 5 are beveled and flared making it even easier.

When testing both side by side I found I could maintain technique, even when moving faster.

All fifth-generation Glock magazines come with orange followers. Which makes it a lot easier to visually confirm that the mag is empty.

mmm, orange.

Many internal parts have been re-engineered so those extra parts you have sitting at home from your previous generations won’t necessarily fit.

If you are planning on purchasing aftermarket parts make sure you check compatibility with this specific generation.

Why is the Gen 5 Glock 17 a Good Choice

Gen 5 is the youngest child that Glock has produced. As such it gets all the attention and praise. They really packed a lot into this new pistol.

With many welcome changes, it’s easy to see why the Glock 17 Gen 5 is so popular.

How Does it Compare to Other Glock Models?

The Glock 17 is the big boy full-sized offering from the fifth generation that doesn’t have the added flair of the model 34.

The compact Glock 19 has a smaller slide and frame making it easier for concealability and is also a very popular pistol.

If a single stack is more your style the G48 will fit your needs very well and is about the same size as the 19.

Then there is the lil' baby model 26.

A subcompact that is even smaller than the G19. There is also a single stack offering in the Glock 43 for those who prefer the slim profile.

The Best of Both Worlds.

I love the idea of having a full-sized frame on a compact pistol.

Luckily for me, Glock offers a few mutant variants to their handgun lineup.

If you are a tan man (or woman) then feast your eyes on the 19x.

This hybrid uses features from both fourth and fifth-generation Glocks as well as utilizes a G17 frame with a G19 barrel and slide.

They come out of the box with steel night sights and a lanyard loop, not found on any other Glock model.

The tan man, The Glock 19x

Staying in Gen 5 there is the Glock 45.

No, it's not chambered in 45 that's just the name. Similar to the 19x, the G45 uses a G17 frame and a G19 slide and barrel.

I’d say it has the edge using the latest tech but I gotta say the tan color would be a welcome factory option in my books.

Glock 17 Gen 5 Competitors

The Smith and Wesson M&P9 2.0 is in direct competition with Glock for service pistols in law enforcement.

With the 2.0 update, they changed the texturing on the frame and slide making it much more aggressive. The trigger also saw a much-needed upgrade as I was unsatisfied with the original, to say the least.

These can be found at a lower price than the Glock and are also offered in a range kit package that comes with a lot of extra goodies.

Can you see how this is a Glock competitor?

If a Glock was the everyday clothes you wear the HK VP9 would suit and tie. These guns sell for a higher price than Glocks but also include some extra features like adjustable side panels, better sights, a fantastic trigger, and are fully ambidextrous.

A great competition gun alternative at the same price point would be the Sig Sauer P320 XFull.

It comes equipped with factory night sights. The upgrades X series straight trigger feels great throughout trigger pull.

This is a hefty gun coming in almost 5oz heavier than the Glock 17 so it wouldn’t be ideal for carrying but a solid contender for deleting the middle of a target.

Love the flat trigger.

Who Uses the Glock 17?

Many government agencies and military units around the world throw the Glock into the ring for a service pistol.

With the popularity of .40S&W fading and 9mm climbing back on top we are seeing the trend for more units switching to the Glock 17 and 19.

How Does the Striker Fire System Work?

You may be wondering what the heck is this striker fire system and how does it work?

Well, we start off by removing the hammer and the mainspring from the frame. From there the mainspring is put inside the slide and the firing pin instead of being transferred from the hammer does the striking itself.

So it has simply been renamed the striker.

Why is it Beneficial?

With fewer moving parts you end up with a gun that is much more reliable than a traditional hammer system. I love me a 1911 but if I am being honest I have seen more failures with them than I’d like to admit.

Where are Glocks made?

Glocks come in two different flavors. You can find them made in Austria and the land of peaches, Georgia, U.S.A.

What Finish is Used on the Glock Gen 5?

New for Gen 5 we have the nDLC coating. It boasts increased protection against corrosion and scratching while allowing the handgun to perform well in less desirable considerations.

Beyond that, I personally feel that it looks better than the older nitride coating that was used on the third and fourth generation.

Customization for the Glock 17 Gen 5

If personalizing your guns is up your alley then buying a Glock will leave you with endless options.

Yes, not all aftermarket is available yet on the newest generation but you can trust that there will be full support from your favorite brands in time.

The new trigger on the gen 5 feels different from the Glock of the past. It almost feels more like an M&P trigger now which I am not a huge fan of.

There is a lot of trigger upgrades available on the market and they really add a lot of support for accurate shooting.

A crisp, consistent trigger with a great break and short reset will go a long way in terms of center punching targets.

New sights are a must in my opinion if you have the basic polymer ones. There are tons of choices but something in metal, fiber optic, or tritium are all solid alternatives.

If you want a cheap custom job then there is no better price than free.

Stippling your frame will give it a rough texture that is super easy to keep hold of. You can also change the overall feel grip using this method.

If you are not comfortable doing this yourself you will be able to send the frame somewhere to get it done for you or if you’d rather keep the factory frame stock there are aftermarket options available.

Best Ammo to Use in a Glock 17 Gen 5

I’d recommend sticking to a 115 or 124gr bullet in your G17.

They feed reliably and are effective. I have personally seen people use up to 147gr but finding heavier weights can be a challenge and it’s always best to keep things consistent.

Range Ammo

My go-to round for range shooting is CCI Brass Blazer.

You can find it commonly in most shops and in either of the grain weights I recommend. There is nothing special about it just cheap fun.

Yes, it can be dirty but you are reading a Glock review so you know disassembly isn’t going to be a problem.

PMC Bronze is another option that I have been using a lot lately.

Since ammo can be scarce at times beggars can’t be choosers. I see this mostly in 115gr but I know that it also comes in the 124-grain weight.

I like the compact boxes they come in, it makes it easy to cram extra ammo in your range bag and ammo can.


I’d trust the power of Federal HSTs any day for defensive purposes. I was blown away when I witnessed firsthand the stopping power they distribute on impact.

These can be found in both 124 and 147 grain and I would recommend keeping your grain weight consistent throughout your firearm use.

Best Accessories for your Glock 17 Gen 5

It’s one thing to watch someone draw a gun from a holster on TV and another thing entirely getting used to it yourself.

If there is ever a thought that you may want to carry the gun or might try shooting competitively then getting a holster is a must.

Depending on what your needs are there are a ton of options on the market and it doesn’t hurt to have a couple to suit different requirements.

You can never have too many mags. Especially Glock mags since so many other guns use them.

The gen 5 offering is great with the orange follower and the slightly extended base plate but if aftermarket is more your style Magpul makes fantastic mags that are lightweight, reliable, and come in different capacities.



Reliability and Glock go hand in hand. You will be hard-pressed to find something as reliable as this gun at this price point.


Disassembly is a breeze and putting it back together again is just as simple.

There really isn’t much to taking this gun apart.

The new Glock Marksman barrel that is used on the fifth generation is fantastic and allows you to take consistent accurate shots.

If durability is what you are after look no further. This thing will take any abuse you can throw at it and keep on ticking.


has been upgraded even more from the previous generation and now is free from the finger grooves of old. The Gen 5 has a half-moon cut out near the mag well to help with stubborn mags by allowing you more leverage to pull them out.

Additionally, the magwell itself is flared to make reloads faster and easier.

You still get the benefit of the changeable backstraps and you can further texturize the frame with stippling.

An example of what Zev Tech can do to stipple your frame. Some of these designs can get very intricate.

With the addition of the ambidextrous slide release, paired with the previous generations’ swappable mag release, the Gen 5 has truly become an excellent option for left-handed shooters.


Pretty much everything was changed on the Gen 5 trigger from the previous generation. Out of the box, it seems heavier and more “spongy” but it is crisper, consistent, and reliable.

The safe action of the Glock is a great system. You don’t need to worry about any mechanical safety on the gun, just pull the trigger and BANG!


A gun is only as good as its magazine and this has been upgraded with some quality of life upgrades.

The orange follower makes it easier to determine if the mag is loaded or not, and the base plate has been slightly enlarged to make it easier to grab.

Like before, these Glocks will work with older mags AND older generations will work with the newer mags.


I can confidently say that Gen 5 will have the best ergonomics for most people. With the changes to the frame and having the edges of the slide shaved down, it is simply better than the previous generations.



Some old habits die hard, and the polymer sights included with the base model still leave a lot to be desired.


Sure there’s the option for metal sights from the factory, but with the base price already being a lot higher than the previous models it’s more cost effective to purchase new sights aftermarket.

I’m not a big fan of the “goal post” style sights or the polymer

That being said, the aftermarket for these Glocks is going to take some time to include all the goodies that you are used to on your older generations and models. Some parts, especially internals, are not cross-compatible so you may need to wait a bit
to get some of the crazier accessories that you are looking for.

Glock 17 Gen 5 Overall Review

Gen 5 Glock 17 is a solid option for any would-be handgun owner.

It takes another step forward in the right direction for making it user-friendly for everyone. The new barrel is just as good as the previous years and I think the metal finish is superior to what it was before.

The polymer sights still leave something to be desired but can be changed out and with some parts not being interchangeable with older models we will need to wait to see full aftermarket support.

Official Rating: 4.5/5

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