Which generation Glock 17?


R H Clark
October 24, 2011, 11:31 AM
I would like to purchase a G17.I have heard that the Gen.4 may have some feeding issues.Is there a favorite Gen.17? I see several Gen 3 17's for sale locally.Is the Gen 3 17 just as good as the first two which I assume would be more difficult to find?

If you enjoyed reading about "Which generation Glock 17?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
October 24, 2011, 04:23 PM
The Gen1 and Gen2 G17's are liked because they don't have finger grooves. The finger grooves don't fit everyone. The only real advantage that Gen3 offers is the rail for mounting lights and lasers. The advantages that Gen4 offers are the rail, the bigger magazine release which is also reversible, the new grip texture which isn't so slippery, and the adjustable size of the grip. The standard Gen4 grip without additional backstraps is about 2mm shorter front to back than Gen3, and the "hump" on the backstrap is less pronounced which slightly changes the grip angle. Using the "M" medium backstrap returns the grip to the same as Gen3. Using the "L" large backstrap makes the grip 2mm longer front to back than Gen3.

If you can find a Gen1 or Gen2 in reasonable condition I see no reason not to get it if it fits your hands nicely, but some of the internal parts may need to be upgraded. There's the so-called "six part upgrade": http://www.thegunzone.com/glock/upgrade-faq.html
Basically if certain internal parts like the trigger bar are coated black, the gun should have the six part upgrade done. A Glock with the old parts isn't necessarily unsafe, but would be safer with the new parts.

A good portion of the recent production Glocks in 9mm and .40SW, both Gen3 and Gen4 have a problem with erratic ejection. Glock's newest extractors are partly to blame because they're more likely to be oversized than the old extractors. But the core of the problem seems to lie elsewhere. Whatever the cause, Glock has a new ejector for both calibers to fix the problem but they're only using the new ejector in Gen4.

If you want a Gen3, I'd suggest looking for one that has a serial number prefix of LHD or earlier alphabetically. Gen3's made up until that serial number prefix don't seem to be affected by the erratic ejection problem. If you get a Gen3 that has this problem, Glock will not install the new ejector, all they'd do is check the fit of the extractor and tell you to shoot hotter ammo, which doesn't solve the problem. But, I wouldn't buy a Gen3 that has a serial number prefix of three letters beginning with "E" on the frame because most of those frames had a problem where the rear frame rails could break. If you have a Gen3 with such a serial number prefix on the frame, call Glock and they'll tell you whether the frame needs to be replaced. If so they'll replace the frame for free but I don't know if they'll send you a prepaid shipping label.

If you get a Gen4, shoot it a few times to see if the ejection is consistent. If it is, then you have no need to worry. Also if you notice scrapes/dents at the case mouth of most of the ejected brass, that's a sign that your Glock has this problem. If the ejection is erratic you can call Glock and tell them, tell them that you heard there's a new ejector for Gen4 to fix the ejection problems. They'll want you to send the gun to them so they can install the new ejector. They usually outright offer a prepaid shipping label but if they don't you should ask for one. A few weeks from sending the gun in you should receive it back with the new ejector and it should eject fine, everyone who previously had erratic ejection and got the new ejector said it fixed the problem for them. So far I've only heard of one brand new Gen4 coming with the new ejector already installed, so it'll likely be a few months before a good number of the Gen4's you see in gun stores already have the new ejector.

Also with Gen4's, they've gone through several revisions of the guide rod assembly. The latest version for the Gen4 G17 will have the numbers 0-2-4 stamped on the metal base of the guide rod. 0 at 9 o'clock, 2 at 3 o'clock, and 4 at 6 o'clock.
See here for pictures:
http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad176/slickville/002-5.jpg (0-2-4 furthest right)
If the guide rod you get has different numbers, you can arrange to have it replaced with the latest version here: http://www.teamglock.com/customer-service/recoil-spring-exchange

I own a Gen3 G27 which has erratic ejection and I won't buy another recent production Glock that doesn't have the new ejector. Because Glock will only install the new ejector into Gen4's, I wouldn't buy another recent production Gen3.

Here are some pictures of the new Gen4 9mm ejector, it will have "30274" stamped on it. The old ejector would have "336" stamped on it.
1. http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=7572101&postcount=163 (this was an early version that didn't have a number stamped on it)
2. http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/showpost.php?p=17921092&postcount=15
3. http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1371946

R H Clark
October 24, 2011, 05:46 PM
Thank you very much for the comprehensive answer.You have done an excellent job explaining everything I need to know.

If you enjoyed reading about "Which generation Glock 17?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!