Glock 17 vs Glock 19 – A Comparative Guide

When finding the right gun for you there are so many things to consider: price, capacity, power, weight, or even style. But what happens when you settle on the brand you want? 

Picking a Glock is a good, safe, choice. But which Glock is best? 

This article is going to take a look at two of the most popular models of Glock, the 17 and the 19, and see which might be best for you.

So, in the battle of the Glock 17 vs the Glock 19 what are we going to compare? They vary greatly in popularity even though their specs are reasonably similar. 

For example, the Glock 19 is slightly smaller and far more compact. Might this be good for you? It’s certainly good for the police. 

Hopefully, by the end of the article, you will have a clear idea in your head which of these two phenomenal sidearms might be the right one for you.

glock 17 vs Glock 19 at a glance

The Glock 17 vs The Glock 19 – At A Glance

Both guns are pretty similar since they are both designed and manufactured by Glock themself you know you are getting reliability and accuracy. 

But how do they differ? The Glock 17 has a longer barrel, and the gun itself is slightly taller. 

However, the Glock 17 can hold more 2 more rounds of ammunition. It has a capacity of 17 plus one in the chamber, the 19 can hold just 15 (plus one). 

The Glock 17 is slightly heavier than the 19, less so when it isn’t loaded but there is still a noticeable difference. However, it is much lighter compared to its competitors.

Glock 17 Glock 19
Caliber 9mm 9mm
Capacity 17+1 15+1
Weight (unloaded) 625g 600g
Weight (loaded) 915g 855g
Overall length 204 mm | 8.03 inch 187 mm | 7.36 inch
Barrel length 114 mm | 4.49 inch 102 mm | 4.02 inch
Trigger pull 28 N 28 N
Muzzle velocity 1200 fps 1150 fps
Trigger distance 72 mm | 2.83 inch 71,2 mm | 2.80 inch

The Glock 17

The Glock 17 is a very reliable lightweight sidearm. It is made of a polymer plastic which is why it so lightweight compared to its fully metal counterparts. This plastic does not make the weapon any less reliable or sturdy. 

It has a very light trigger pull weight, of just 28 newtons. Meaning it is very easy to fire without losing accuracy recoil is also minimum. 

The Glock 17, like most Glocks, has a 3 fold trigger safety making it one of the safest guns on the market. Despite not having a standard safety switch. The Glock 17 can’t fire without the trigger being forcibly pulled.

A Glock 17 side view

The Glock 19

The Glock 19 has arguably improved in some ways over its predecessor, the 17. 

The gun holds fewer bullets but is a lot lighter in weight and a whole lot smaller. If you are looking for a compact pistol, look no further. 

The 19 also has a 28-newton trigger pull just like the predecessor, but since it weighs even less the recoil is even more. 

This makes the Glock 19 one of the easiest weapons to fire. Just like the Glock 17, the 19 has a three-fold trigger safety making it just as safe. 

The Glock 19 is capable of working with an extended magazine, up to 33 rounds, so magazine capacity shouldn’t factor into it too much.

A Glock 19 side view

The Glock 17 vs The Glock 19 – How Popular Are They?

The Glock 17 and 19 are extremely similar guns. The outlined differences above are minor at best and most people find this a nonfactor. 

However, there are some glaring variances in popularity. 

The 19 being the smaller and most compact of the two is easily more popular. Until recently, it was also the primary weapon of choice for most militaries and police forces. 

Since the 19 is the most compact people who need a concealed weapon choose to use them. Whether they are doing this professionally or for their protection.

Glock 22 is interestingly the most popular model of Glock when you consider all of the sources of people purchasing it. 

It is estimated that between 60-70 percent of the US police force use this exact model. So does the Australian police force. 

That alone accounts for half a million units circulating each year. The Glock 19 was originally used by those entities before it was phased out for the newer and arguably better model.

The Glock 19 is used far more frequently for private use. 

If you are someone who carries daily, then you will want a lightweight gun that is easy to conceal but still gets the job done should you need to use it. 

The Glock 19 has an incredible fire rate, so you are getting the speed and accuracy of a light machine gun in a handgun. Perfect for self-defense in almost all situations.

The Glock 17 vs The Glock 19 – Who Uses Them?

The Glock 17 has begun to be phased out from use by most industries or entities. 

The US special forces, including the marines, has begun to start using the Glock 19 as their primary sidearm. Its size, ease of use, and reliability have made it an easy choice for them. 

Both models are extremely resilient to the most intense and over the top forms of stress testing that you can imagine. 

Hours of constant fire without cleaning followed by drowning, freezing, filling with sand, or being thrown off a building has failed to make these reliable weapons malfunction. It barely even affects accuracy. 

What more could a marine ask for in a weapon?

The Glock is used by private security firms more than the 19 would be, for a few reasons. First, you likely want to show the gun off. Intimidation and show of force are key for private security. It is one of the biggest deterrents. 

Plus, if you are only carrying one weapon on you the magazine volume matters. The extra 2 rounds could be the difference between life and death. Furthermore, you are only carrying one weapon so the weight doesn’t truly matter all that much. What’s another couple of ounces?

a man firing a pistol on a firing range

The Glock 17 vs The Glock 19 – For Self Defense?

Finding the right weapon for self-defense is not easy. 

There are some nuances to consider before arriving at the right weapon for you. Unfortunately, many of these factors are situational. 

For example, are you trying to hit a target at a distance? Then you will want the Glock 17. It is bigger and has a longer barrel, greatly improving accuracy. 

But, how many self-defense scenarios play out at long range? Very few. But, then again, the Glock 17 does have a bit more stopping power.

However, the Glock 17s benefits only seem to shine when you are being reactive. Not proactive. Meaning you choose the 17 when you know you will need it, but you would choose the Glock 19 for everyday carry. 

Walking around with a bulkier more obvious 17 is going to perhaps attract unwanted attention. 

Whereas no one will know that you have the 19 on you unless you want them to know. 

Furthermore, what if you have an open carry license but not a concealed one. Then the 19 loses its edge. If everyone knows you are carrying, why bother trying to hide it.

The Glock 17 vs The Glock 19 – Who Might Prefer Each Pistol?

Who would prefer which model is, of course, hugely circumstantial – not just preferential. 

If you are going to be using the weapon the Glock 17 is arguably the best choice. But, most days you aren’t going to be using it. 

The mere presence of the gun alone is enough to make you feel safe. So the 19 would be fine. If you are a store clerk, then the 19 will be good enough. 

If you are working event security then you may do better with the 17. If you are in the police force, which weapon you use is up to you. You will probably go for the 19 because of the convenience factor but of course, you don’t have to.

If you are looking for a pistol to take down the range for fun, not for self-defense, then the 19 is going to win the day. 

Since it is lighter and easier to use and is effective up to 30 yards for very beginners, then you are going to get maximum value. 

Hitting a target at a range is pretty easy compared to an attacker. And since you only need to hit the target, not stop the target, then power us not as much of a problem. 

Since the 19 is so light, hitting the target needs far less experience. The heavier the gun is, the harder it is to shoot it from a standing position.


As you can see, there are some distinct differences between these two very similar models. Both are great choices for anyone, be you, beginner or veteran shooter.

What you are looking for in a gun will probably draw you to one or the other. For most people, the 19 is far better than the 17. 

The price is similar, the gun is better, its far lighter, and most people don’t need it to stop an attacker. They take it down the range now and again and like to have it for peace of mind. Sure, you could go with the Glock 22. 

But you aren’t using your weapon in a combat situation daily. For most of us, the Glock 19 does just fine. 


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