Glock 17 vs 19 (2023 Comparison)
If you’ve been in the world of handgun ownership for any amount of time, you’ve heard the debates about the best makes and models. One specific debate is the contest between the Glock 17 and its more compact version, the Glock 19. Which gun comes out on top?
The main difference between a Glock 17 and 19: the Glock 17 is superior as a home defense or competition/target shooting weapon, while the Glock 19 is superior as a concealed carry weapon. Both the Glock 17 and the Glock 19 are well-regarded for their accuracy, reliability, ease of use and maintenance, and concealability.
Stick around as we completely break down Glock 17 vs 19, starting with the technical specs…
Expiring Gun Giveaways
Enter your email for instant access to all gun giveaways (updated )
Glock 17 vs 19 Technical Specifications
For starters, let’s break down some of the key specs for each of these pistols. This information is taken from the official Glock websites for the 17 and the 19 pistol models.
|Category||Glock 17||Glock 19|
|Standard Magazine Capacity||17+1 rounds||15+1 rounds|
|Overall Length||204 mm/8.03 in||187 mm/7.36 in|
|Slide Length||189 mm/7.32 in||174 mm/6.85 in|
|Barrel Length||114 mm/4.49 in||102 mm/4.02 in|
|Line of Sight (Polymer Sights)||165 mm/6.50 in||153 mm/6.02 in|
|Overall Width||32 mm/1.26 in||32 mm/1.26 in|
|Slide Width||25.5 mm/1.0 in||25.5 mm/1.0 in|
|Height (including Magazine)||139 mm/5.47 in||128 mm/5.04 in|
|Raw Weight||625 g/22.05 oz||600 g/21.16 oz|
|Loaded Weight||915 g/32.28 oz||855 g/30.16 oz|
|Trigger Distance||72 mm/2.83 in||71.2 mm/2.80 in|
|Trigger Pull||28 N||28 N|
As you can tell right from the jump, many of the stats for the two pistols are identical. Several of the specs that are different are still so close as to be nearly identical.
For example, both weapons are chambered for 9mm rounds and have equal widths. The trigger pull is identical, and the trigger distances are so close to being the same that any difference won’t affect use.
There are a few notable differences that will factor into our analysis of which pistol is better. The two biggest differences between Glock 17 vs 19 are:
- The Glock 17 has a superior magazine capacity
- The Glock 19 has a shorter barrel and grip
One of the two most important distinctions between these competing pistols is the magazine capacity.
The Glock 17 can hold two more rounds than its compact competitor. Many shooters prefer a larger capacity both for concealed carry and target shooting applications.
Glock offers extended-capacity magazines for both weapons. Users can purchase a magazine that can hold 19, 24, 31, or 33 rounds. These extended magazines are compatible with either the Glock 17 or the Glock 19.
Plus, Glock 19 pistols can also fire using a standard-size Glock 17 magazine (i.e. a 17-round magazine). By contrast, the Glock 17 cannot use a standard-size Glock 19 magazine (i.e. 15 rounds) because it’s too small to fit the 17’s magazine well.
Size and Concealed Carry Application
The Glock 19 is technically a lighter-weight weapon, being smaller in size than duty guns like the M1911. Despite being designed as a compact version of the Glock 17, the Glock 19 is still considered a duty weapon in its own right.
The Glock 19 is certainly not a small gun, with its weight coming in at only about an ounce less than the Glock 17.
On the other hand, neither the Glock 17 nor the Glock 19 are so large that they can’t comfortably be carried daily. Both guns can be and frequently are used by both civilians and military/LEO professionals for concealed carry.
The Glock 19 is easier to conceal thanks to its shorter barrel and shorter grip. In addition, its overall smaller profile makes hiding the Glock 19 on different parts of the body easier.
Both the Glock 17 and the Glock 19 can be concealed with the appendix carry or at the three or four o’clock positions. Due to its smaller size, concealing the Glock 19 is an easier task to pull off in different outfits and weather conditions. Plus, its slightly shorter barrel means that the Glock 19 is easier to present from concealment.
Meanwhile, the Glock 17’s longer grip makes it somewhat harder to conceal, especially at or behind the hip (as in the four o’clock position). The longer barrel also means that presenting from concealment (especially from four o’clock) is going to be trickier with the Glock 17.
Accuracy and Recoil
Both the Glock 17 and the Glock 19 enjoy the same trigger pull and have virtually identical trigger distances. This means there is no noticeable difficulty in getting shots off with either pistol.
Since the guns have only a negligible difference in both weight and barrel length, there is minimal (if any) effect on recoil. The difference is much less than if you were to compare shooting a Colt .45 and a .357 Derringer.
In terms of accuracy, the Glock 17 and the Glock 19 are once again neck-and-neck. Since both barrels are above 4 inches in length, the difference in barrel length doesn’t greatly affect shooting accuracy.
In addition, the pistols have comparable effective firing ranges. The Glock 17 has an effective accuracy of up to 55 yards, while the Glock 19 has an effective accuracy of up to 45-50 yards.
Finally, both pistols are considered easy to shoot by any pistol user, including novice shooters and women.
Both weapons are used by both the military and law enforcement agencies, so each model is expected to meet high functionality and durability standards. Glock has established a reputation for producing weapons that continue working well despite negative environmental conditions.
Ultimately, there is no difference between the general reliability of the Glock 17 vs. the Glock 19. Both are solid, well-made guns that can handle abuse and punishment in the field.
Both the Glock 17 and the Glock 19 use Glock’s proprietary Safe Action System.
Essentially, each Glock pistol includes one external safety (located on the trigger) and two internal safeties. Each of these three safeties operates independently from the others.
While we’d recommend against dropping your gun or getting into a fistfight while carrying, either pistol has enough safeguards to avoid going off accidentally.
Both the Glock 17 and the Glock 19 are safe to operate under concealed carry, sport shooting, and home defense conditions.
Ergonomics and Shape
These two pistols have virtually identical frames. The major difference is that the Glock 19 is slightly shorter both at the grip and at the barrel.
If you have larger hands, it may be harder to get the pinky finger of your dominant hand around the Glock 19’s smaller grip.
Since your pinky finger is essential for managing recoil, this is a point in favor of the Glock 17 for larger-sized shooters.
Glock pistols are a good mix of value and affordability. Both the Glock 17 and the Glock 19 typically cost about $500. Of course, the price will vary depending on the individual seller.
In any case, neither gun is likely to cost more.
Since both weapons are chambered for 9mm, the price of ammo also isn’t a factor in deciding between the two pistols.
Generation 4 and 5 Glock pistols of either the 17 or 19 variety can be purchased in a Modular Optic System (MOS) configuration. The MOS setup is Glock’s way of making it easier to mount optics and other accessories to their weapons.
Remember that more attachments mean a bigger visual footprint. You can mount large optics, flashlights, and other accessories to either a Glock 19 or a Glock 17. However, a tricked-out Glock 17 is going to be harder to conceal since it’s already a larger gun.
Law Enforcement and Military Preference
As mentioned above, the Glock 17 and the Glock 19 are each used by both law enforcement and military personnel around the world.
The advantages of the two guns make each of them better suited for different types of duty.
Since the Glock 17 has a slightly greater magazine capacity and a slightly longer grip, it is a popular standard-issue service pistol.
The Glock 17 is well-suited as a duty sidearm for patrol officers, deputies, and the like. These factors also make the Glock 17 suitable for open carry by civilians.
On the other hand, the Glock 19 has greater concealability and a slightly lighter weight. These factors make it a great choice for plainclothes officers and off-duty LEOs who want to keep their weapons out of sight until needed.
This includes plainclothes FBI agents and CIA operatives who likewise need to remain armed while maintaining a formal business dress code. The Glock 19’s smaller footprint makes it easier to conceal in a suit or blazer.
On the military side of things, the US Navy SEALs have shown a clear preference for the Glock 19. Beginning in 2016, the SEALs began phasing out their well-known official sidearm, the Sig Sauer P226, in favor of the Glock 19.
The SEALs selected the Glock 19 for multiple reasons, some of which could apply to the Glock 17 as well. These include:
- The Glock brand’s famous reliability
- The ability of the polymer frames to stand up to saltwater
- The gun’s ease of maintenance
In addition, the Glock 19’s compactness and concealability were likely important considerations for special forces operators such as Navy SEALs. It’s not just the SEALs who prefer the Glock 19, either. Green Berets, Army Rangers, Delta Force, and specialized USMC units all carry the Glock 19 as their preferred sidearm.
Overall Advantages of the Glock 17
Thanks to its larger grip, modularity, and superior ammo capacity, the Glock 17 works well as a home defense weapon that you can trick out.
For the same reason, the Glock 17 is suitable as a competition shooting, general target practice, or open carry pistol.
Overall Advantages of the Glock 19
With a shorter grip that leaves a smaller footprint while maintaining accuracy and a decent ammo capacity, the Glock 19 works great for tactical purposes.
The Glock 19 is a fabulous concealed carry weapon that is easy to carry and fast to produce in time of need.
Conclusion: Glock 19 vs Glock 17
Whichever of these Glock pistols you choose is going to be a reliable gun with good accuracy, concealability, and ease of maintenance. Still, you’re going to have to choose one over the other (unless you can afford both at once, in which case, knock yourself out!).
For some people, the decision comes down to personal preference. While your choice may be determined by preference or desired application (competitive shooting vs. home defense vs. CCW), the Glock 19 is ultimately more versatile.
It hits the so-called “Goldilocks” zone of a carry pistol. It is large enough to serve as a duty gun, yet it’s small enough to conceal comfortably, all while remaining easy to shoot!
If you can only choose one, the Glock 19 makes the cut.