For the longest time, I didn’t particularly care much for any part of the machined steel top and molded polymer frame that comprises what is arguably one of the most popular handguns in the world. “Too boxy,” declared I. Decided when my first held pistol was none other than the equally world-famous Beretta 92FS which, in addition to being a reliable handgun, also boast what many argue is a fine-tuned, curvy aesthetic, a stark contrast to the no-nonsense, no-need-for-the-frills box shape of every Glock in existence. It wasn’t until I became more familiar with everything that could be done and just how flexible the weapon system was, converting from a simple sidearm to almost anything one could want with only a few interchangeable parts and for the really fancy-pants crowd, a little bit of gunsmithing. Want to shoot only 22LR? There’s a mod for it. 50GI? If you have one of Gaston’s 10mm varieties, there is a mod for that too. Want a carbine to shoot longer range? Simple change of the slide can make this happen. Have crappy ammo that you got at some two bit Fuddtastic gunshow? It’ll eat it with glee and ask for more.
Circlejerk and poetic waxing aside, through exposure, education and extensive handling during my last position as a gun salesman, I knew a Glock was in my future. The only question was… which one? The newish wunderkind and every Glock EDC aficionado’s wet dream G43? The hunting sidearm, hand cannon and 50AE candidate G20? MOS or regular sights? In the end, much like any Honda fanatic who started with a Civic will tell you, it’s all about the basics. Just as Honda has their Civic, about the only real comparison that transcends audiences in terms of functionality and upgrade/modification markets are even close to that of the austrian lead flinger, most Glock enthusiasts start with the G17, first in the lineup and grandfather to everything else that bears the now-infamous moniker of Glock. Needing a firearm to fill the 9mm Luger hole I, too, chose to start with model 17.
Why a Glock? It was not an easy choice, but one that was roughly three to four years in the making. For quite a while, I wanted something that was chambered in 9mm. Not necessarily for any reason aside from cost of ammunition and magazine capacity, both of which are factors to consider when shooting in competitions, which often mandate ~150-200 rounds per match and at least for IDPA, have rounds that require more than the 8-11 rounds carried by your standard .40 S&W or .45 ACP pistols, thus requiring a time-consuming reload and degrading overall end results. Prior to the Glock, I was using my trusty Beretta 96 which, though familiar, was limited in its capacity and at least competition, not all that competitive, especially against lighter, faster and higher capacity adversaries. If it were true, I’d say it held its own against the sole revolver competitor, but he isn’t known as Master Long for nothing. A new solution was required.
Enter the search for a new contender. Now, my lackluster IDPA results didn’t spur the search for a suitable 9mm, though it definitely placed a little more urgency on coming to a suitable conclusion. Much weighing of the different features and possibilities was done. As sexy as the 96 and 92FS are, I couldn’t help but lean towards the 17, even with the shiny curves and striking, almost-obsessive familiarity with the weapon system fostered by eight years of almost daily carry. Nothing says I won’t be getting one eventually, but for the foreseeable future, the G17 will be my competition firearm of choice.
Range Report: Paper Enemies Tremble
Buying the weapon was the beginning of making the decision to use it for IDPA/Steel shooting. Two hundred rounds, five thoroughly perforated targets and one shooting lane hanger later my mind was made up. Loading the weapon’s magazine with the last two rounds is still a bit of a pain and the trigger’s slightly heavier than I’d like it (a 3.5 pound trigger kit should remedy that problem nicely), but once I became used to these minor issues, the pistol shot like a dream. Not a single stovepipe, double feed or failure to fire/eject was encountered though all two hundred rounds put through the pistol in the course of the hour. I’m sure the targets complained, but as there were quite a few others at the indoor range, no one heard their screams. Although this fine fellow on the right was but the first of many punched full of holes, I was surprised that his fellow targets all looked much the same, with variance due to my focus on certain aspects of marksmanship like only head shots, keeping the groupings as tight as I could while shooting at 5/7/15m and other self-imposed challenges.
The Future is Full of Mods
Since it is almost infinitely customizable, I do foresee many a customization coming to this pistol very soon. Almost all of them will be internal in nature, as the aesthetics have grown on me since first holding one many years ago. As mentioned above, a lighter trigger will be first, along with a polished feed ramp. Fortunately, I was able to acquire a Gen4 that already had AmeriGlo GL-201 night sights installed, so no need for new sights at the moment. I originally wanted a Gen3, as the side grip texture feels odd in my hand, but I predict it, too, will grow on me as more and more rounds are expelled from its barrel towards its enemies, paper, cardboard, fibreboard and steel alike.
TL;DR: I bought a Glock. It shoots good, pew pew.