By Patrick Sweeney, Gun Digest
If you were going to own only one Glock, only one handgun, and you were not going to be packing it concealed daily, then the G17 would be the Glock for you.
Glock 17 (G17) 9mm for Concealed Carry
Personally, I’d go with a first or second-Gen G17. At the last GSSF match I was at, the armorer, as he checked out the suitcase full of Glocks I’d brought, commented, “The second-gen Glocks are real workhorses. Replace a few worn parts here and there, and they just keep on running.”
You can use whatever 9mm ammo you want, from the softest factory ammo or reloaded equivalent (keeping in mind that using reloaded ammo voids the warranty), to the hottest +P+ factory ammo you can find. As big as it is, and with the mass balance of the slide and recoil spring, it will work forever, work with whatever and, in due time, your skills will surpass the accuracy potential of the G17.
Surpass? Aren’t Glocks supposed to be amazingly accurate? Alas, no. Oh, I’m sure that, if you were to clamp each barrel into a firing fixture and fire it on its own, it would deliver brilliant accuracy. But it was designed as a combat pistol, and the very things that make it durable, rugged, and everlasting work against accuracy. Not much, but just enough to keep it from being a bull’s-eye-level pistol.
If you have doubts, amble off to a local PPC match, the police-only precision shooting competition; most local clubs that hold them will allow anyone to shoot. You will not find many Glocks in the winners’ circles of those matches, even at the club level. And you will not find them at all in the winner’s circle in a seriously contested match.
The Gen 4 Glock 17 9mm, which features replaceable grip inserts to fit a variety of hand sizes.
Also working against it is the trigger. Yes, you can swap parts to get what you want, even do some tuning, but you’re still crushing a sloppy trigger assembly inside of a squishy polymer frame. It is not ever going to be clean and crisp like one in a metal-framed pistol can be, let alone a single-action like the 1911.
The big problem with the G17 as the all-around, does-everything pistol is its size. A G17 is as big as they come, matching a 1911 or a Beretta 92 in size. While it would be just fine for most in a duty holster (the shorter-statured among us would find the muzzle poking the seat cushion in a patrol car), it is just a bit big for daily concealed carry. Which leads us to the G19.