Thursday, July 7, 2011

Glock 17 vs Glock 19 vs...

                                                   Length    Height   Weight     Barrel

Glock 17                                    7.32"    5.43"    22.04        4.49"  

Smith&Wesson M&P9                 7.63"   5.5"      24oz          4.25"

Springfield Armory XD 9mm       7.3"      5.5"      28oz          4"

Springfield Armory XDm             8"         5.6"       32oz         4.5"

Ruger SR9                                  7.55"    5.52"     26.50        4.14"

Beretta 92FS/M9                        8.5"      5.4"       33.3oz      4.9"

Glock 19                                     6.85"   5.00"      20.99oz    4.02  

Glock 26                                     6.29"   4.17"       19.75"   oz    3.46
      I often hear about how big, bulky and blocky that the standard size Glocks are for concealed carry, but don't often hear the same things said about other service/standard sized pistols. If you look at the specs of the Glock 17 compared with other prominent full sized 9mms, you'll see that the G17 is actually relatively light and compact. It has a high mag capacity and long barrel length when balancing it's size and weight.Width for the Glocks are 1.18" while the Ruger SR9 is 1.27",The Smith & Wesson M & P is 1.2" and The Beretta 92FS/M9 is 1.5".So much for the Glock being wide and bulky/blocky.

            Glock 17 vs Glock 19...... I personally feel that a lot of the ideas that the G17(& other standard size Glocks) is a big gun comes from the fact that Glock offers so many different size of pistols convincing people that it is a larger gun than it is actually. People have come to look at the Glock 19 as a "mid-size" and overall balanced/total package type of gun equally capable & suitable for open or concealed carry.I'm of the opinion that this is not necessarily true and largely a marketing concept by Glock to simply sell more guns since gun enthusiasts often have to have all models or get both if undecided. I consider the Glock 17/standard Glocks to be not too big, not too small, but just right and among the 9mm Glocks,the 17 is actually the Mid-size since there are two 9mm Glocks that are bigger(the G34 and G17L) and two that are smaller(G19 and G26).  Most of the other companies offer a full/standard size and then a much smaller sub-compact only for CCW if people want a very small gun.The G19 is not substantially smaller than the G17 and just about anywhere a G19 can go/fit, a G17 can also except in a few niche exceptions, but the slight reduction in size does somewhat compromise most peoples shooting ability.

       Most Men with normal sized hands will notice it's difficult to get a ideal secure full grip on the G19.This can hinder the quickness & and efficiency of the draw and stability when firing.The 3rd and 4th Gen fingers grooves on the Glock 19 are spaced unevenly and simply don't fit most peoples fingers and force them into a awkward position(Getting rid of the finger grooves resolves this problem and Glock should do this themselves as most people want them to,but they can easily be ground off with a Dremel) . Most Men will also find that their palm will actually curl under the magazine which will slow malfunction drills/clearances as well as mag changes.Pressure/hard contact force against the magazine can increase the possibility of a malfunction albeit relatively low risk with the G19 and primarily only a problem with the G26 with extended magazines(especially the 33 rounders). You don't see competitive shooters using mid-size Glocks very often due to the reasons I just mentioned as well due to the overall ergonomics being better with the full size grip.The NYPD was plagued with Phase 3 malfunctions with their Gen 2 Glock 19's which Glock rectified with some upgrades such as the odd bevel on top of the barrel hood(only the compact Glocks have this).And the NYPD choose the G19 over the G17 simply because they wanted all their issued guns(S&W 5906,Sig Sauer 226 and Glock 19) to have 15 Round capabilities NOT because the G19 is so "overall balanced" or can be used universally for CCW/off-duty and Service. The standard Glocks also have a smooth faced trigger which allows better feel and control of the trigger compared to the ridged/stepped of the small Glocks(which is there due to some silly importation laws).

      Some will argue the G19 is more balanced in the hand and call the G17 "muzzle heavy".Yes, the 17 will feel slightly more muzzle heavy which will only enhance your shooting with less felt recoil, faster follow ups and more accuracy.These people need to take a G19 & and a G17 and run through some active movement tactical type shooting scenarios and mag change drills and actually see with which pistol they actually perform better using.* I will concede that the shorter backstrap and less pronounced "Glock Hump" on the backstrap.The curvature of hump is actually higher up on the 19 so it's more likely to hit the shallow part of the palm rather than the heel of the palm.This may make the G19 more naturally "point able" for some due to specific hand proportions/shape and size and their particular individual traits and qualities, but they need to verify with live fire to make sure it's not simply a matter of comfort and I've read where some people have stated that the G17 actually has a...."smaller feel since the widest (front to back) part of the grip (the "hump") is below the hand, not in the center of it". That too will depend on the individual and their hand size and proportions and don't really find it to be true in my case (likely due to my palm covering the whole grip on the 17) although the G17's grip is more comfortable and efficient to me and the 19's does have a more block feel as does the 26's since the back strap hump and bottom of frame are actually on different parts of my palm albeit different ones.

                 I think many people who say the G19 points better and they shoot it better is more a matter of familiarity such as them having owned it first or much longer and practiced with and shot it more and then try a G17 and say they are better with the G19 simply because they are used to the 19. Even then, they still may find if they handle and shoot the G17 better if they give it a try and practice with it a while and actually find that the hump on the backstrap actually adds in recoil control and faster follow up shots for which it was designed to do .The longer the barrel, the less muzzle flash you'll have which could be important and relevant since many home invasions occur at night and the longer barrel of the G17 will have slightly less blast, noise and flash than the shorter Glocks.              There are a few storage/carry methods/individual cases where I find the G19 can and will fit and the 17 will not, but not really that many to really be concerned about or influence choosing one of the other. Another point to consider is that when overall length is listed, it refers to the length of the slide itself, but due to grip angle of the Glock design, you'll notice in the picture comparing the G17,G19 and G26 that the larger the model, the more the back/bottom of the grip extends past the back of the slide which increases overall length and affects conceal ability and printing of the weapon during concealed carry. So, in this regard, there may some specific albeit rare in my opinion circumstances where the G19 is substantially more concealable and can serve where the G17 might not really be able to do effectively without printing.Adjustments though can almost always be made to compensate. The G34,G17L and G17 all use the same frame, so you can switch slides/get multiple slides of put a G34 or 17L Barrel in a standard 17.The G18 is also essentially a select-fire Glock 17 and there are more versions and iterations and options of and for the G17 than any other Glock.There are also more accessories,demo and training gun variations of the 17 than any other Glock model. The Glock was the original design and everything after is a compromise of that original design.The G17 is the most prolific Military/Police sidearm in the World and the flagship of Glock and almost always my first recommendation for a first Glock or semi-auto.

      There simply isn't enough difference between the size of the G19 and G17 whereas it would give one another dimension of use such as pocket carry etc.These two guns can both do what the other ones does, but the G17 just overall usually does it better and serve no critical roles that the Standard and Sub-Compacts can't cover.The Mid-Size are at best compromises and are fairly well-rounded, but do no one thing exceptionally well.The sub-compact Glocks such as the G26 are significantly smaller and could fill a pocket carry or ankle carry role that where the G17 is really not suitable although it is a bit big and heavy for that role which anyway is an assignment that is better filled with small, lightweight revolver and even with a short boot grip,the hand and all fingers usually find a home as the grip is more rounded when compared with the mini-Glock where you'll find tap-rack-bang drills more difficult with the short grip and the pinkie dangles inhibiting quick mag changes and in the case of a Kaboom/Kb,could be dangerous likely breaking the finger. A mag extension does help these problems,but adds size although still very compact and shouldn't hinder or change where it fit before or what role it was intended. I'm surprised Glock has never offered a "Glock 17S"(17 Short) which would be a full grip with a shortened slide along the same concept as a Springfield Armory XDM 3.8 or the Colt Commander.The opposite (long slide coupled with shorter grip) on the Glocks is easy with a grip chop since the frame is plastic, but you can't simply chop of a slide, so I think Glock should offer the Full Grip/Short Slide option for those that want it. The big advantage of a shorter muzzle is during contact distance close quarter defense where the assailant will try to grab the muzzle of your gun.I don't really notice a huge or whole lot of difference in force on force/FoF training between disarming the G17 and G19 although the G26 is definitely harder to grab onto and/or maintain a hold and/or disarm although still not as weapon retention capable as or as difficult to disarm as a snub revolver.

     Looking at the Chart, you see the G17 is LESS than 1/2 an inch longer and taller than the G19 and only weighs 1.5 oz more! I've often heard the expression that if you can carry a G26, then you can carry a G19 (I don't agree and there is a bigger size difference between G19 and G26 compared with G19 vs G17). So, along the same concept, if you can carry a G19, you can probably carry a G17.If concealed carry is not a consideration or priority ,then the G17 is probably almost always the better choice as it will serve you better as a Home Defense and Range Gun although the G17 makes a very fine CCW choice and very much concealable despite what many think. Massad Ayoob and Gabe Suarez both carry standard size Glocks concealed all the time without problem and neither is a large man by any measure.
       There was an article by Chuck Karwan in the 2009 Glock annual entitled concealed carry perfection in which the author argued that the Glock 19 was the best all around choice and argued that it would be an ideal sidearm for the Military in that it would replace two pistols(the M9 and M11) and be able to serve all roles of open carry,concealed carry as well as a great option for pilots. The M9 is indeed a large and heavy pistol while the M11(Sig Sauer P228) is considered a compact and boasts the following stats....

M11     Length 7.1"       Height 5.4"     Barrel Length 3.9"      Weight(with Mag) 32 oz.

        Those size dimensions match up much more closely with the G17 rather than the G19 plus you get a lot longer barrel compared to the M11 with the Glock 17 in a gun the same size.So, if the Military were looking to replace both the M9 and M11, they would be best served with the Glock 17.The recent Modular Handgun System program conducted by the Military called for both a full size model as well as a compact model.  The full size is to be no larger than 8.7" in length, 5.8" in height and 1.6" in width and weight shall not exceed 36 oz. The COMPACT version  shall not exceed 7.5" in length, 5.8" in height and 1.6" in width as well as not exceed 34.5 oz in weight. So, the Glock 17 actually fits into the compact specifications and could therefore serve both roles.The reason is that the Glock 17 although labeled a full or standard size by the manufacturer, is actually comparable to compact versions of most other designs while still maintaining a full barrel length and full grip due to functional beauty of the design.

       The Glock 19 is said to be the most versatile and well rounded, but I would say it might be the ultimate compromise in that it trades the better performance (longer sight radius, muzzle velocity, full grip which adds in draw speed and stability as well as shooting and overall handling/mag changes etc., ability to accept other slides and barrels i.e. from G34 and G17L, a grooved rather than smooth faced trigger, that annoying beveled barrel due to a history of problems i.e. NYPD's phase 3 malfunctions and less recoil control and slower follow up shot than 17) all at the cost of a slight reduction in size to gain a little bit of ease in conceal ability. Versatility? Other than slightly less printing during CCW,what can it do that the G17 can't do better for most people? If you gained pocket and ankle carry in which I would likely use a small revolver or G26 anyway for such roles, then I could see the argument, but you don't and have to go to the G26 for that and even it's a bit on the big side for that role. If your one of the rare people that the find the G19 actually points better for you and you shoot it better than the G17 for some reason *(see above), then have at it, but for most the Glock 17 is the better choice.