In 1982, the first polymer-II-based handgun was made available. The Glock 17, designed and built by the Glock Company, was at first a laughing matter and the butt of many jokes. People called it a plastic gun, and said it looked like a toy. People said it will never last. Well, guess who is having the last laugh, after more than 30 years? You can bet your bottom dollar that it ain’t those guys.
It is understandable, though, I guess. I mean, a firearm made of a high-strength nylon? It sounds pretty “iffy”. Sure enough, that was what Gaston Glock offered the Austrian authorities, when they turned to him to submit a design for a bid. The Glock 17 became Austria’s official sidearm. It was carried by police and military, and it soon replaced sidearms all over Europe. Even NATO
took it into its ranks, and gave it a NATO serial number. Respect.
There have been four different releases, or “generations” of Glocks. The Glock 17 has also gone through these changes, with the Glock 17 Gen 4 being introduced in 2010. The Gen 4 has a new kind of ergonomic grip, and a new recoil system.
The Glock 17 is not ideal for concealment, since it is relatively large, but for open carry you can’t beat it. Here are some quick stats, from the Glock website:
Full size, semi-automatic, 9mm caliber
Gun length – 8.03 inches
Gun height – 5.43 inches
Gun width – 1.18 inches
Barrel length – 4.48 inches
Barrel height – 1.26 inches
Length between sights – 6.49 inches
Weight – 25.5 ounces (unloaded). The Glock is one of the lightest semi-auto 9mm handguns out there. Its light weight is part of what had caused it to become a joke at the time of its release. Loaded, the weight of the gun is 32.12 ounces.
The Glock 17 is used by countless law enforcement agencies and military units, all over the world. It is one of the most reliable firearms out there. Point and shoot. If you can squeeze the trigger, you can shoot a Glock. There is nothing to know or understand. That is part of the allure of a semi-automatic weapon. And one which has a 9mm round to boot? Count me in. the 9mm is one of the most popular self-defense / home-defense calibers there are. It is a very powerful round, and there are those that won’t settle for anything less than 9mm.
I happen to feel that you don’t necessarily need a 9mm round to defend yourself. If you fire a stable shot, and if the encounter is a close one (many civilian encounters are under 15 feet), you will have no problem firing any other round and neutralizing your target. Follow up shots are a different story. I guess many of us train and practice with a handgun, in order to get that recoil recovery and follow up shot business out of the way. Firing a precise follow up shot is imperative. Don’t ever lower your defenses until your target is no longer a threat.