Glock 17 Gen 5 Review: Unveiling the Upgrades and Performance Enhancements

The Glock 17 Gen 5 is the latest iteration of one of the most ubiquitous and reliable pistols ever created. Launched as an upgrade to its predecessors, the Gen 5 boasts several enhancements that refine the user experience without altering the core principles of Glock's design philosophy. The reworked frame, absent of finger grooves, offers improved ergonomics while adding a flared mag-well aids in quicker magazine changes.

Glock’s dedication to performance keeps the 17 Gen 5 as a top contender in law enforcement agencies and among firearms enthusiasts. Enhanced with an nDLC finish for increased durability and a match-grade barrel for precision, the Gen 5 model continues the lineage of being a highly accurate and resilient firearm. Ambidextrous controls also make it a more versatile choice for a wide range of shooters, adding to its appeal as a firearm suited for various roles, from duty carry to personal defense.

Key Takeaways

  • The Glock 17 Gen 5 is an evolution of its predecessors, featuring enhanced ergonomics and usability.
  • Performance improvements include a more durable finish and a match-grade barrel.
  • Versatility is increased with the addition of ambidextrous controls and a flared mag-well.

Design and Features

The Glock 17 Gen5 boasts significant improvements in design and features, enhancing its performance and versatility. The upgrades address ergonomics, durability, and overall functionality to cater to left- and right-handed shooters.

Barrel and Slide

The Glock 17 Gen5 introduces the Glock Marksman Barrel (GMB), which features enhanced rifling for increased accuracy. The slide is beveled for smoother holstering and finished with the DLC coating, which improves wear and corrosion resistance while minimizing friction.

Frame and Grip

The frame design has undergone several modifications, with the finger grooves removed to improve adaptability for various hand sizes. Customization is further supported with swappable Beavertail Backstraps. A flared mag-well facilitates faster magazine changes, improving reloading efficiency under stressful conditions.

Ambidextrous Handling

The Glock 17 Gen5 is built with ambidextrous use in mind. It is equipped with a slide stop lever on both sides, allowing it to be comfortably operated by both left and right-handed shooters. The gen5 model also incorporates an improved, more accessible magazine release that can be reversed to accommodate the user’s preferred hand.


The Glock 17 Gen 5 is a semi-automatic pistol designed for professional and civilian users who prioritize consistent performance. This model boasts notable accuracy, reliability, and user comfort improvements, making it a solid choice for various shooting applications.

Accuracy and Reliability

The Glock 17 Gen 5 has been engineered for high accuracy, utilizing a match-grade barrel that provides reliable bullet placement. Reliability is a hallmark of Glock pistols, and the Gen 5 is no exception. It functions with various ammunition types and is less prone to malfunctions, even in adverse conditions. The DLC finish on the slide contributes to the durability of the pistol, ensuring the internal components are protected against corrosion and abrasions, thereby maintaining its operational reliability over time.

Ergonomics and Comfort

The Gen 5 model greatly enhances ergonomics. Removing finger grooves allows for a more comfortable grip and accommodates a broader range of hand sizes. Adding a flared mag-well aids in quicker magazine changes, critical during high-pressure situations. For custom comfort, users can adjust the grip further using interchangeable backstraps. The pistol's weight is balanced to reduce fatigue during extended use, and the overall ergonomic design improves control and handling.

  • Grip: The new frame design allows for various hand positions, enabling a firm and confident hold.
  • Weight: It is well-distributed across the weapon, contributing to comfort and recoil management.

Combining these elements makes the Glock 17 Gen 5 a reliable and comfortable firearm suited for diverse shooting needs.

Customization and Accessories

The Glock 17 Gen 5 offers a range of customization options, catering to both functional performance and aesthetic preferences. These options enhance the versatility and operability of various user needs.

Aesthetic and Functional Upgrades

Slide Locks and Sights:

  • Slide Locks: The Gen 5 features a reversible magazine catch, making it more user-friendly for left- and right-handed shooters.
  • Sights: Several aftermarket upgrades range from standard night sights to advanced red dot sights for improved target acquisition.

Modular Backstrap System (MBS):

  • Glock's MBS allows shooters to adjust the grip size to fit their hand size, improving control and comfort.

Aesthetic Upgrades:

  • Custom slides and color modifications provide a personal touch without compromising the firearm's performance.

Holsters and Carry Options


  • Several holsters are designed for the Glock 17 Gen 5 to offer secure and comfortable carrying options. Options include IWB (Inside the Waistband), OWB (Outside the Waistband), and custom competition holsters.
  • Comfort: The holster choice significantly impacts comfort and concealability, with materials ranging from leather to advanced polymers.

Carry Options:

  • Users should select holsters that balance accessibility and retention well, with features like adjustable cant and ride height to accommodate personal preferences and situational needs.


  • Additional carry accessories include magazine pouches and enhanced slide-stop levers for faster reloads and manipulations.

Technical Specifications and Compatibility

The Glock 17 Gen5 represents an evolution in design, offering enhanced performance and compatibility features tailored for diverse operational needs. This section breaks down the technical aspects and adaptability of the Glock 17 Gen5 with a comparative analysis of previous models and insights into its caliber and magazine aspects.

Comparative Analysis

The Glock 17 Gen5, compared to its predecessor, the Gen4, includes significant upgrades. The magazine well is flared for easier reloading, especially under stress. Its DLC finish on the slide provides tougher, more durable protection against corrosion and scratching. Unlike the 1911, the Glock 17 Gen5 features a more modern polymer frame, reducing overall weight without sacrificing durability. It also retains the traditional Glock reliability while offering refreshed ergonomic features, such as a reversible magazine release button that caters to right- and left-handed shooters.

Compared with other models, such as the G19, the G17 Gen5 has a longer slide length, contributing to a longer sight radius, which may aid in accuracy. While both are chambered in 9mm Luger, the G17 offers a slightly higher capacity and a larger frame, which benefits users with larger hands or those who prefer a full-size pistol.


Glock 17 Gen5

Glock 19 Gen5



9mm Luger

9mm Luger

.45 ACP / 9mm

Frame Size




Magazine Capacity

Up to 19 rounds

Up to 15 rounds

7-8 rounds (.45 ACP)

Barrel Design

Glock Marksman Barrel

Glock Marksman Barrel


Caliber and Magazine Insights

The Glock 17 Gen5 is chambered in 9mm Luger, a widely used caliber known for its recoil and stopping power balance. This fifth-generation Glock offers several magazine configurations, allowing for different capacities, including 10, 15, 17, and 19 rounds, accommodating both duty use and jurisdictions with magazine restrictions.

Key to its functionality is the updated barrel design, the Glock Marksman Barrel (GMB), which aims to improve accuracy—a noticeable upgrade over earlier generations. The GMB, coupled with the improved magazine well design, facilitates a more reliable and consistent feeding of ammunition, ensuring that the Glock G17 remains a top choice for law enforcement, competitive shooters, and firearm enthusiasts. The technical data underscores the Glock's dedication to compatibility, as it maintains backward magazine compatibility with previous Gen4/Gen5 models, making it a versatile option for users with existing Glock accessories.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section answers some of the most common inquiries regarding the Glock 17 Gen 5, from performance upgrades to specific product characteristics.

What upgrades can enhance the performance of the Glock 17 Gen 5?

Owners often upgrade the trigger for improved pull and response, while others might add night sights for better target acquisition in low light. Some may also consider an enhanced barrel for accuracy and an aftermarket slide for customization.

What common issues do owners of the Glock 17 Gen 5 experience?

Some users report issues with the MOS (Modular Optic System) configuration, such as securing the optics firmly. Ejection issues and trigger feel are other concerns, though these can vary by individual pistol and use.

How does the Glock 17 Gen 5 differ from the Glock 19?

The Glock 17 Gen 5 offers a full-sized frame and a longer barrel, which provides a slight advantage in accuracy and velocity over the more compact Glock 19. The grip size and magazine capacity are also larger in the Glock 17 Gen 5.

What options are available for the Glock 17 Gen 5 magazines?

Magazine options for the Glock 17 Gen 5 typically range in capacity from 17 to 33 rounds. There are also magazine accessories like extensions and sleeves that cater to user preferences for grip comfort and increased capacity.

Which holsters offer the best fit for the Glock 17 Gen 5?

Holsters intended for the Glock 17 Gen 5 will vary depending on the desired carry position, retention level, and material. Options include inside-the-waistband (IWB), outside-the-waistband (OWB), shoulder, and ankle holsters made from Kydex, leather, or hybrid materials.

What are the characteristics of the Glock 17 Gen 5 in Flat Dark Earth (FDE) finish?

The FDE finish offers an alternative to the traditional black and is achieved through a process that provides durability and resistance to the elements. It is important to note that the performance and function remain consistent regardless of the finish.

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