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Old 08-07-2013, 03:47 PM   #1
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Default Actually fired a Glock 17 finally

I like researching firearms and when I talk to newbies (it's been awhile) I try to draw a distinction between what I've read, what I've heard from actual owners, and popular sentiments. Even the popular sentiments can be useful if you see patterns forming.

Still, I'm a firm believer in hands-on experience when I can get it, especially with firearms. When I had someone offer to bring their Glock 17 to the range I jumped on the chance to shoot it. Here were my impressions based on some common criticisms of the Glock. (For the Glock fanboys I believe this was a Gen 2)

The grip size/angle
I routinely shoot a CZ-75 derivative pistol so I understand what a "natural pointer" is. The Glock 17 is clearly not a natural pointer but like other handguns I've fired I don't think it makes that much of a difference. I didn't have a problem with the angle or the grip. I do possess freakishly long mutant fingers so the size is not a problem for me but if it was there is always the Glock 19. It's not the most ergonomic grip out there but I found it adequate.

The trigger
When I first started shooting my shots were all over the place. It was just really bad. In theory I understood the two-stage trigger but somehow that knowledge did not translate to action at first. Once I adjusted my pulls I was much better, though the owner was placing MUCH tighter groups than I was. By comparison, I think I did much better with the S&W Shield for a DAO weapon. The Shield was actually the first DAO trigger I had ever used and took much less adjustment. Still, the Glock design has been around a long time and that has given their competition plenty of time to come up with copies or refinements.

I never did achieve what I considered good accuracy with the Glock. Despite all the hype around simplicity and ease of use I can't honestly say it doesn't take less practice. With more time and rounds through the barrel I think I could achieve what I would consider proficiency but I shoot much better with my Jericho. For stopping an attacker my shot placement would have been fine, but I shoot for proficiency so that maybe some day I can claim to be a good handgunner.

The looks
Yes, Glocks are ugly. I own a Ruger P89. That's ugly. I'm very much in the Lockheed camp of aesthetics that said (in reference to the SR-71) is that just because something has to be functional doesn't mean the design cannot be compelling (my paraphrase). So yes, handguns can look good and be functional. The Glock is functional, but a brick. In the end though, so what? To me, guns cost too much for me to pay for looks.

What I did get out of shooting it was a reinforcement of my overall impressions. Good, solid, dependable workhorse guns. Maybe oversold by some of its fans but decent weapons that I have always recommended and feel better about recommending now that I've handled one myself. Not my personal favorite by any means but I look forward to trying some other models from the rental counter in the future.

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Old 08-07-2013, 04:16 PM   #2
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I had to chuckle when I read your review cause you posted in the Glock forum and while your impressions weren't negative, they weren't glowingly positive either. Glock seems to me to be one of those brands that generates quite a bit of polarization.

I own a Glock 35 and am pleased with the gun. One day I will get a trigger job and I am sure I will like it a bunch more. I have a few guns on the wish list, and a Glock 17 is on that list, though way down in terms of my sense of urgency. I like the Glock, but I don't love the Glock. I shoot it well enough, but again there is nothing setting it apart in a significant way from my other guns...at least yet, until I get the trigger job done.

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Old 08-07-2013, 04:18 PM   #3
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A good post. Thank you for your detailed and thorough review.

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Old 08-07-2013, 04:58 PM   #4
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Its rare that a person gets to read such a neutral review on a Glock. Most of the the time, its either hate or love. Some people forget that there is really no "1size fits all" in the firearm world. Luckily, there are lots of choices, so each person can use what fits them or they like the best. I am of the opinion that to each their own. I shoot both Glocks and 1911s, and will not say either is for everbody.

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Old 08-07-2013, 08:32 PM   #5
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I am fascinated by firearms and even though I have guns I love I also have to acknowledge that I have yet to meet the perfect firearm.

It is so easy to overlook the shortcomings of certain weapons and I suspect part of it is that no one wants to think about a "shortcoming" for a device they have to trust their life to.

Glocks get a lot of hate because of their non-traditional origins, their introduction of polymer frames, and their simplistic design.

I think some owners get a bit "Glock Blind" as well, insisting that because Glock does something that must be the way it is. For instance, some people just hate manual safeties but not all of us feel that way and may have legitimate reasons why we want a safety on a weapon.

One interesting thing about Glocks though, and this is entirely my opinion, is the price. There are some value brands that are really good buys for the money, but you sometimes compromise on quality or you risk getting a lemon. There are premium brands that you get really good quality but may have to justify the price. Glocks are very middle of the road and I think they're worth exactly what they are priced. There is no discount on a Glock but there is no premium either. For people who are looking for a solid pistol, don't want to take a chance, but don't want to pay a premium price, Glock has the market pegged.

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Old 08-12-2013, 08:05 AM   #6
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The first pistols I ever shot were a Colt 1911 and a Beretta M9, so the Glock was a little bit "different" to say the least.

I currently own a Gen 4 model 17 and it's been a great gun so far. As accuracy goes, it is superb. I've shot Glocks from a variety of generations in a variety of calibers for some time now.

Don't buy a gun you bet your life on based on aesthetics. I'm not saying don't buy aesthetically pleasing guns, just don't base life and death decisions on what's pleasing to the eye or pleasant to the touch.

FYI, the distance to the trigger is the same for the 17 and 19. I, too, have long fingers and I find the 21 the most comfortable to hold in a firing grip. The 17 is slightly too small for my hands. That said, the 17 fits my wife's hands so we have a pistol that either of us can use effectively.

Try the S&W M&P if you haven't already. The ergonomics of that line are better than the Glock, in my opinion.

Generally speaking, whatever is most ergonomic for your hands will work best for you but test things for yourself and don't take anyone's word for it or assume that something will work for you.

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Old 08-12-2013, 09:03 AM   #7
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Great job at a very balanced and fair review. You've done a credible evaluation and used a good amount of logic to explain a firearm that, in our current culture, causes far too many emotional responses. While a good firearm from a quality company, it doesn't really deserve its God-like status among shooters. Thanks to you for a dose of fairness.

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Old 08-12-2013, 02:03 PM   #8
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Glocks are great guns, but they are no longer alone in what they are. That being affordable, reliable, accurate, polymer, striker-fired handguns. With that said I will probably never part with my glock 23. May even get a 20 or 21 in the future.

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Old 08-17-2013, 02:24 PM   #9
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glocks take some concentration and getting used to with that being said after that it becomes a pretty good gun.

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