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Glock 17

The Glock 17 has a very interesting history as it was the first Glock model ever produced and marketed to the public. The G17 is considered to the be one of the most popular handguns in history internationally with sales in 45 different countries.

Glock 17 History

In 1980, the Austrian Army announced that it was seeking a new handgun to replace its supply of aging Walther P38 handguns, some of which dated back to WWII. The Austrian military created a list of criteria and then began taking samples and bids for replacement handgun. Glock’s founder, Gaston Glock, had no formal firearms design or repair experience, got wind of the Austrian government’s plan to procure a new handgun, and saw an opportunity. His plan was to use his company’s knowledge and experience in synthetic polymers to manufacture a modern handgun that would meet all the criteria laid out by the Austrian government, while being as cost effective as possible.

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Click here to see all the Glock 17 holster & Mag carrier options that we carry

During the R&D process, Glock had become aware that, even highly trained police officers and military personnel, sometimes tried to fire their pistols without first releasing the manual safety when they were in stressful situations. This led them to make the decision for their prototype pistol to have no user operated safety.

The G17 was born from that plan and submitted as for consideration in the Austrian Armed Forces trials in 1982. The Glock 17 was selected over a number of well-known brands and model such as the Beretta 92SB-F (a variant of the ever-popular Beretta 92), Sig Sauer P226, and H&K P7M8 and P7M13 models.

The success of the G17 with the Austrian Armed Forces caught the eye of other nations, and Glock was contacted about possibly submitting a prototype handgun for the 1983 Joint Service Small Program. This program was based in the U.S. military and was a pistol trial and evaluation to determine the US military successor for the classic M1911 45 ACP.

Although Gaston Glock was keenly interested in submitting a Glock model for the US handgun trials, it was determined that, in it’s current state, the Glock 17 would not meet the requirements without a number of changes. Given the short time frame before the trials started, Glock did not believe that it could make those changes in time, so they opted to not formally participate in the trials. However, rumor has it, that Glock did send a few “unofficial” samples to the military group overseeing the trials.

G17 Details

As mentioned before, the Glock 17 is a breech locking, short recoil, striker fired handgun that is built on a polymer frame. It uses a slightly modified locking cam system that was loosely adopted from the Browning Hi-Power design. The Glock 17 is only chambered in 9mm and has not ever been offered in another caliber.

According to Glock, the G17 (and most all other Glock handguns) is equipped with 3 passive safety systems, with passive meaning that that they do not have to be engaged by the user. Those safeties include the following:

(1) An external trigger safety consisting of a lever integrates into the trigger. When depressed the trigger lever activates the trigger bar and connector.

(2) A firing pin safety – This safety is only disengaged when the trigger level is depressed.

(3) A drop safety – This safety is designed to prevent the firearm from firing if dropped, and it is only deactivated when the trigger lever is depressed.

Since it’s official debut in 1983, the Glock 17 (along with most Glock handgun models) has undergone some changes and enhancements over the years. These changes and enhancements are rolled out in changes that Glock labels as “generational changes”. The original Glock 17 models were the 1st generation, and Glock is currently up to a 5th generation version (commonly called a Gen 5 series). Each generation features changes or evolutions are both internal and external. However, the overall size and length of the Glock 17 has basically remained the same over the years.

The “17” number in the name comes from the Glock 17 being Glock’s 17th patent.     The Glock 17 became a huge seller for Glock and served as a springboard for the many other Glock models that are currently on the market. The Glock series as a whole has been extremely popular in law enforcement with an estimated 60+% of all the law enforcement agencies in the US carrying a Glock handgun of some caliber. Rumor has it, that the very first US law enforcement agency to adopt the Glock 17 was the 12 officers of the Colby Police Department in Kansas in 1986.

Glock 17 Variants

Over the years, the Glock 17 has been offered (and is still offered) in a few different variants, including the following:

Glock 17L – The “L” designation refers to a “Longslide” as the 17L version is equipped with a longer slide and barrel (compared to the standard Glock 17). Originally introduced in 1988, the first few versions of the G17L featured holes in the top of the slide, but Glock removed those holes in later versions.

Glock 17C – The “C” designation on this model stands for “Compensated” and refers to this model being equipped with slots cut into the slide and barrel to reduce recoil and muzzle flip. Introduced in 1996, the success of the G17C led Glock to offer a “C” version in other popular Glock models.

Glock 17MB – Only available in Europe, this version was introduced in 2011 and featured an ambidextrous magazine release.

Glock 17M – This variant was introduced in 2016 in specific response to the FBI’s solicitation for a new handgun. Glock made several subtle changes for the 17M, but the most significant was the conversion from polygonal rifling over to traditional rifling, an ambidextrous slide release, and flared magwell for easier reloads. Rumor was that the FBI was looking very hard at the Sig P320 as a new duty pistol, so Glock had to make some outside the box modifications to win that contract. To date, the Glock 17M series has not been available for sales to civilians.

Here are some of the more common Glock 17 related questions that we see regarding Glock 17 holster styles:

I have a Glock 17 Gen 4, but don’t see that you offer any Glock 17 Gen 4 holster models? Why not?

Great question. So, even though Glock has rolled out a number of generations of the Glock 17 series (currently at 5), the frame size and width has basically stayed the same (presumably by design at Glock). As the frame and slide have remained the same, most any Glock 17, regardless of the specific generation version, fits into a holster made for a Glock 17. Now, this response typically triggers a follow-up question as the Glock 17 in the 1st and 2nd generations did not have an accessory rail, while the 3rd generations pistols and forward, are equipped with an accessory rail. That being said, how can a version with an accessory rail fit into a holster molded for a Glock 17 without an accessory rail? The short answer is: it won’t.

But, that’s not an issue as most holster makers use a holster mold built on either a 3rd or 4th generation Glock 17 series with an accessory rail as the non-accessory railed version will fit into a holster made for a model with an accessory rail, but not vice-versa. Sorry if that sounds confusing, but the thing to take away here is that the G17 holster models listed below will fit any Glock 17 model regardless of the generation. So, you don't really have to have a specific Glock 17 Gen 4 holster to fit your Glock 17 Gen 4.

I have a Glock 17 and have mounted a Streamlight TLR-3 to it. Do you have a holster that will fit it?

We can help. Most any of the MTR holsters that are listed below are available in a version made for the Glock 17 with a number of different lights or lasers attached, including one for the Streamlight TLR-3. Now, to be clear, these are not a “one size fits all” type of holster. In your case, the holster would be made specifically to fit a Glock 17 with a TLR-3 mounted so that’s all it would fit.

Do you offer any IWB holster models to carry a Glock 17 in the appendix position?

Given the size of the G17, appendix carry (also called AIWB) can be a great option for concealing it. While we don’t actually offer a dedicated appendix carry IWB holster yet, here are the most popular holster models we carry for carrying a Glock 17 AIWB:

Don Hume H715M WCS Clip-on IWB Holster

MTR Custom Adversary IWB

MTR Custom Tuckable Adversary IWB

Do you offer a G17 holster with a light?

Like we mentioned before, most of the MTR Custom holster models listed below are available in versions for the Glock 17 with a light mounted. They support a number of popular weapon light model models including:

  • Glock Tactical Lights
  • Streamlight Lights
  • Surefire Lights

To give you an idea of what one of the holster models looks like, here’s a sample picture of an MTR Custom holster made to fit a Glock 17 with a light attached.

I carry a Glock 17 and ride a motorcycle quite a bit. Do you have anything or make any Glock 17 holster models with added retention or maybe a Glock 17 Level 2 holster?

We do carry a number of holster models with a thumb break or models where a thumb break can be added. If you carry while riding, the added security of a thumb break is always nice, especially in the event of an accident. It’s important to under that a holster with a thumb break is considered a Level 1 holster in terns of retention. A Level 2 holster will have both a thumb break and another internal retention device of some sort. Typically, Level holster models are only found on law enforcement style or duty style holsters.

I have a Glock 17 Gen 4 MOS model with a Trijicon RMR Type 2 mounted. DO you have any OWB holsters to fit that?

Actually, we can offer holster options for that Glock 17 set-up. Any of the MTR Custom models below are available in a version made for the Glock 17 MOS with an RMR mounted. Those holsters feature a slot cut out in the holster to fit the RMR sight.

I'm in the market for a Glock 17 paddle holster? What do have that would work?

We offer a number of different paddle holster models that are available in a version to fit the Glock 17. Those models include the following:

MTR Custom Paddle Holster - Available as a Glock 17 paddle holster either with or without a retention strap

Don Hume H720-OT Paddle Holster - Available in a version for the G17.

So what would you recommend as the best G17 holster?

Well, the "best" term is really subjective, and honestly depends on how you plan to carry the Glock 17. What one person considers the "best Glock 17 holster" may work terrible for another. We suggest giving some thought about how to plan to carry the G17 (such as inside the waistband for CCW, or outside the waistband) and then research gun holster models specific to that style of carry. That should narrow down your version of "best". Most of the staff here that own a Glock 17 carry them outside the waistband (if that helps any).

Can you recommend any Glock 17 Gen 4 concealed carry holsters?

Typically, when you are describing concealed carry holsters, the IWB (inside the waistband) style of holsters tend to work best. We aren't saying that you can't carry a G17 concealed in an outside the waistband (OWB holster, or belt holster), but the overall size of the handgun could make that a challenge depending on variables like climate and body type.

Based on that, for customers who are shopping for a Glock 17 concealed carry holster, we generally steer them towards the inside the waistband style of holsters. Most any inside the waistband holster listed below would be a good option for concealed carry with the G17.

I read online that a Glock 17 would fit in a holster made for a Glock 22? Is this correct?

Technically, the Glock 17, Glock 22, and Glock 31 are all part of the same Glock family, and are close enough in size that all 3 Glock models will fit into the same holster. So, to answer your question, a Glock 17 with fit into a Glock 22 holster.

Where can I find a Glock 17 gen 5 holster on your web site?

The Gen 5 version of the Glock 17 has the same dimensions as the previous G17 generations so it will fit any Glock 17 holster regardless of the specific generation. Any holster you see listed below will work as a Glock 17 Gen 5 holster.

If this page is about Glock 17 holsters, how come there isn’t a single Glock 17 pictured in any of the holsters on this page? The holsters pictured looked like they fit everything but a Glock 17?

A fair question, and one that we get from time to time. Here’s the answer: The holsters pictured below are samples to give you an idea of what the holster looks like and how it functions. The holster models listed on this page are made to fit the Glock 17 series even though the Glock 17 is not pictured in the holster. We try to photograph as many gun/holster combinations as possible, however we do not own every single handgun model on the market. As a result, we are not able to show every possible combination.

Any of the models listed below are available for the Glock 17.

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