The Austrian army announced in 1980 that they would replace then-standard Walther P-38 with a new weapon. A competition was held to select one of the best candidates, which included the Glock 17, Beretta 92S, SIG-Sauer P220 and P225, Heckler & Koch P7M13, and Steyr GB. The then-unknown Glock 17 eventually emerged victoriously and was soon adopted in 1982. Official production did not commence until 1986, though. The Glock 17 was so ahead of its time that other manufacturers tried to copy its design, chief among them was the Sigma line of Smith & Wesson. The gun was notable for being an original design instead of a result of the development of another weapon. The weapon’s highly successful sales were to be attributed to its lightweight, inexpensiveness, reliability, and simplicity. The simple design of the gun is supported further by the minimum amount of parts involved in its assembly. Including the magazine, there are only 33 parts constituting the Glock 17. The gun’s light weight is a result of using polymers for most of its parts.
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Metal only constitutes its trigger mechanism, slide, and barrel. As such, the pistol is resistant against rusts; even the metal parts of the gun are coated with rustproof layers.
The Glock 17’s barrels are said to be able to withstand 360,000 shots. For comparison, modern pistols can only withstand 40,000 shots. The pistol is compatible with a double-stack magazine of 17-round capacity, which is also constructed out of polymer material. Instead of conventional manual safeties, the Glock 17 uses a trigger system of “safe action”, a patented technology, which eliminates accidental shots and self-action shots. The Glock 17 typically comes with fixed sights. Adjustable sights are only available in special target models, which are used for competitive purposes.
There have been numerous iterations of the Glock 17 since its introduction. First, gen was produced during the period of 1986-1990, all of which meant for 9 x 19 mm ammunition. Second gen began production from 1990 to 1998, which is compatible with various calibers. Third gen was introduced in a period of 1998-2010, which included under barrel accessory rail and some new improvements. Fourth gen, the current version, began production from 2010 onward. Pistols of this fourth-gen come with a bigger button for magazine release, improved ergonomics from replaceable back straps, and some other new improvements. The Glock 17 comes in standard, compact, subcompact, and target models.
|Country of origin||Austria|
|Caliber||9×19 mm Parabellum|
|Weight (unloaded)||710 g|
|Weight (loaded)||910 g|
|Barrel length||114 mm|
|Muzzle velocity||360 m/s|
|Muzzle energy||490 Joules|
|Magazine capacity||17 rounds|
|Sighting range||50 m|
|Range of effective fire||~ 50 m|