Glock 17 Vs. 19 – Which One Should You Get?

Posted by Frankie Chan on 1st Aug 2022

Glock makes some of the best pistols in the world that are used by militaries, law enforcement, and civilians all over the world. Though all their pistols are very popular, the Glock 17 and the Glock 19 probably take the top spots.

Both of these pistols are very capable and effective. They are both chambered in 9mm and use similar designs, materials, and testing standards. However, they also have distinct differences, which set them apart.

So, today we will put the two of the best and most popular pistols, the Glock 17 and 19, against each other and try to answer which one you should get.

*G17 and G19 have many generation models. In this article, we will be comparing the factory GEN5 models.

Glock 17 Vs. 19: Barrel Length and Size:

In many ways, the Glock 17 and 19 are the same. However, the Glock 17 is a full-sized pistol, and the Glock 19 is more of a compact or midsize pistol. They fire the same caliber, have identical triggers, and have the same barrel rifling; however, the Glock 19, being a more compact pistol, has a shorter barrel, grip, and slide.

The Glock 17 has a 4.48-inch barrel (114 mm), whereas a Glock 19 has a 4-inch barrel (102 mm). With the shorter barrel, the overall length of the Glock 19 is also shorter. It is 7.28 inches (185 mm) compared to the 8.03 inches (204 mm) on the Glock 17.

When it comes to concealment, which is what most compact pistols are designed for, the height of the grip is a more critical factor than the length of the slide. This is why the difference between the size of the grips is more significant than the difference in the barrel length. The Glock 19 has a 5.04 inches (128 mm) tall grip, with the magazine included, whereas the Glock 17 has a grip height of 6.50 inches (165 mm). In terms of slide width and overall width, the Glock 17 and 19 have the same size.

Glock 17 Vs. 19: Recoil and Accuracy

Both felt recoil and accuracy usually depend upon the shooter. However, as far as the capability of the pistols is concerned, both the Glock 17 and 19 are very accurate in the hands of even an average shooter. Technically, since the barrel on the Glock 17 is longer, it should theoretically give the bullet more stabilization at longer distances and hence be more accurate. Still, realistically, it is tough to tell any difference between the accuracy of these pistols. They are both very accurate pistols, which is owed to many factors. However, the unique Polygonal rifling used in Glock pistols is one of the main reasons for their exceptional accuracy. Glock has modified the rifling and the crown on the Gen5 models to increase its precision further.

In terms of recoil, both pistols are again quite similar. Despite the slightly shorter grip, the Glock 19 is very easy to grip, even for people with large hands. Weight also impacts the recoil impulse of a firearm, and though the Glock 19 is lighter, there is no noticeable difference in recoil. The shorter pistol should kick harder, but the difference is so insignificant that it would take a real expert to notice it.

Glock 19 vs. 17: Magazine Capacity

In terms of magazine capacity, the Glock 17 can hold 17 rounds of 9mm in the magazine, with one in the chamber. Keep in mind that this is not why it is called the Glock 17. The “17” refers to the patent number rather than the magazine's capacity. The Glock 19 has a capacity of 15 rounds, plus one in the chamber. The shorter slide means that it carries a shorter magazine. However, if you want, you can use Glock 17 magazines in a Glock 19 or even opt for higher capacity magazines, but that would obviously decrease the concealability of the Glock 19, and it won't technically be a “compact” pistol anymore. So, in terms of magazine capacity, both models can achieve the same capacity since G19 can also use G17 magazines.

Which One Should You Get?

Both the Glock 17 and 19 are excellent and versatile pistols that can fit almost any use case. However, with their different sizes, they do perform better in some applications than others. For instance, if you are looking for a full-sized pistol, perhaps for competition shooting, or you want a home defense pistol that has a higher capacity from the box, then the Glock 17 is the better option. On the other hand, if you are looking for a concealed carry pistol, the Glock 19 is the better option. Both pistols are great for defense and are widely used by law enforcement and militaries worldwide.

Glock 17 Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Larger frame for easier control
  • Higher magazine capacity (factory)
  • The longer barrel can increase accuracy slightly
  • The heavier weight can reduce recoil slightly

Cons:

  • Not very concealable

Glock 19 Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • More concealable
  • Faster cycling rate

Cons:

  • Lower capacity (factory)

Conclusion:

So, where both the Glock 17 and 19 are among some of the best semi-automatic 9mm pistols in the world and can be used in almost any application, their slight differences do set them apart. The Glock 19 is the better option for concealed carry, with its smaller frame and overall profile. On the other hand, the Glock 17 is better for home defense, or completion shooting, since it has a higher capacity and bigger size. Still, many people use the 17 as their everyday carry pistol, and many use the 19 come home defense and competition shooting, both of these pistols are just so versatile that they could be used for any application. 

Glock makes some of the best pistols in the world that are used by militaries, law enforcement, and civilians all over the world. Though all their pistols are very popular, the Glock 17 and the Glock 19 probably take the top spots.

Both of these pistols are very capable and effective. They are both chambered in 9mm and use similar designs, materials, and testing standards. However, they also have distinct differences, which set them apart.

So, today we will put the two of the best and most popular pistols, the Glock 17 and 19, against each other and try to answer which one you should get.

*G17 and G19 have many generation models. In this article, we will be comparing the factory GEN5 models.

Glock 17 and Glock 19 Upgrades