Glock 34 vs 17: Comprehensive Comparison Guide

When deciding between the Glock 34 and the Glock 17, it's essential to understand the key differences and similarities that might influence your choice. Both pistols are popular in the shooting world and are known for their reliability and performance. Full-sized, striker-fired handguns chambered in 9mm make them versatile for various shooting activities.

The main distinction lies in the barrel length and sight radius; the Glock 34 has a longer barrel and sight radius than the Glock 17. This makes the Glock 34 more suitable for competitive shooting, where precision is paramount. On the other hand, the Glock 17, with its slightly shorter barrel, is often preferred for law enforcement and personal defense due to its balanced handling and quicker draw time.

Both models excel in their respective areas when it comes to performance. Whether you're looking for enhanced accuracy on the range or reliable performance in high-stress situations, understanding these subtle differences can help you make a more informed decision about which model meets your needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Glock 34 has a longer barrel and sight radius for better accuracy.
  • Glock 17 offers balanced handling that is ideal for personal defense.
  • Both pistols are reliable and versatile for different shooting activities.

Glock 34 vs. Glock 17 Overview

When comparing the Glock 34 to the Glock 17, it is essential to understand both their design intentions and their common usage scenarios. Each model has unique features that cater to different shooting needs.

Design Philosophy

The Glock 34 and Glock 17 share the same frame design, providing a consistent feel and ergonomics across both models. The Glock 34 was created with competition shooting in mind. It features a longer barrel and slide, which improves accuracy and sight radius. The slide has cut-outs to reduce weight and enhance balance.

In contrast, the Glock 17 is designed as a general-purpose service pistol. It maintains a shorter barrel and slide, making it more compact and accessible. While both firearms utilize the same 17-round magazine capacity, the Glock 17 focuses on versatility and reliability for law enforcement and personal defense.

Intended Usage

The Glock 34 is ideal for target shooting and competitions. Its extended sight radius and barrel length help shooters achieve better precision over longer distances. The modifications in the slide design also make it suitable for rapid shooting events where balance and control are crucial.

Meanwhile, the Glock 17 is widely used by law enforcement and civilians for everyday carry and home defense. Its design allows for quick drawing and handling in high-stress situations. The firearm's reliability and ease of maintenance make it a popular choice for those who need a dependable, all-around handgun.

Both models offer excellent performance, but their different design philosophies cater to distinct shooting environments and preferences.

Physical Characteristics

The Glock 34 and Glock 17 each have distinct features that cater to different shooting needs. The following sections provide a detailed comparison of their dimensions, barrel lengths, sight radii, magazine capacities, weights, and handling characteristics.

Dimensions Comparison

The Glock 17 has a length of 7.95 inches. It’s designed for versatility, making it popular among civilians and law enforcement.

By contrast, the Glock 34 measures 8.82 inches, adding more to its overall length for improved stability and accuracy.


Glock 17

Glock 34


7.95 in

8.82 in


1.26 in

1.30 in


5.47 in

5.47 in

The extra length makes the Glock 34 slightly bulkier but offers better control and precision.

Barrel Length and Sight Radius

The Glock 17 has a barrel length of 4.49 inches. This makes it more suitable for close-quarters engagements and more accessible to conceal.

The Glock 34, however, boasts a 5.31-inch barrel. The extended barrel aids in accuracy, while the longer sight radius of 7.5 inches helps with precise targeting.

Comparison Table


Glock 17

Glock 34

Barrel Length

4.49 in

5.31 in

Sight Radius

~6.5 in

7.5 in

These differences in barrel length and sight radius make the Glock 34 preferable for competitive shooting, while the Glock 17 is better for everyday carry.

Magazine and Capacity

Both Glock 17 and Glock 34 share the same magazine platform. They come with a standard capacity of 17 rounds. This makes them reliable for various applications, from home defense to duty use.

Extended magazines are available for those looking to maximize their capacity, providing up to 33 rounds.


Glock 17

Glock 34

Standard Capacity

17 rounds

17 rounds

Extended Capacity

Up to 33 rounds

Up to 33 rounds

This shared capacity ensures that users of either model can enjoy high-volume shooting without frequent reloads.

Weight and Handling

The Glock 17 weighs 22.04 ounces (unloaded). Its lighter weight makes it easier to carry concealed and manage recoil.

In comparison, the Glock 34 weighs 23.10 ounces (unloaded). Although it’s slightly heavier, the extra weight can aid in reducing muzzle flip and improving follow-up shots.


Glock 17

Glock 34

Weight (Unloaded)

22.04 oz

23.10 oz

Both models have ergonomic grips and customizable backstraps, ensuring a comfortable hold for various hand sizes. The Glock 34’s additional weight and length can provide a steadier aim, which is practical in competitive shooting settings.

Performance Factors

The Glock 34 and Glock 17 each offer unique performance characteristics. These differences can be seen in their accuracy, velocity, and trigger mechanism.

Accuracy and Precision

The Glock 34 is known for its enhanced accuracy due to its longer barrel of 5.31 inches. This longer barrel provides a greater sight radius, helping improve aiming precision.

In contrast, the Glock 17 has a shorter barrel of 4.49 inches, making it slightly less accurate at longer distances. However, it is still highly versatile and performs well in various shooting situations.

Both models maintain a reputation for reliability with minimal misfires or jams. Their polymer frames and ergonomic designs contribute to consistent shooting performance.

Velocity and Barrel Performance

The longer barrel of the Glock 34 also leads to higher bullet velocity than the Glock 17. This increased velocity can enhance the handgun's impact force and effective range.

The Glock 17's shorter barrel slightly reduces velocity, which may impact performance in certain scenarios but makes it more suitable for close-quarters use.

Both pistols use the same caliber, typically 9mm, ensuring reliable performance and ease of handling. The choice between them often depends on whether the user prioritizes higher velocity or maneuverability.

Trigger Mechanism

The Glock 34 typically features a lighter trigger pull than the Glock 17, making it favored by competitors and enthusiasts who require rapid, precise shots. The lighter trigger pull reduces the effort needed to fire, contributing to increased shooting speed.

Conversely, the Glock 17 has a standard trigger pull, which some shooters may prefer for its consistent, predictable feel. This can be particularly useful for new shooters or those needing a more controlled firing experience.

Both models maintain the Glock Safe Action System, ensuring safe handling with every trigger pull. This system includes three independent safety mechanisms that prevent accidental discharge.

Use Case Scenarios

The Glock 34 and Glock 17 are versatile firearms catering to different user needs, such as concealed carry, home defense, law enforcement, and competition shooting.

Concealed Carry

The Glock 17 is often preferred for concealed carry due to its compact size and lighter weight. The more petite frame makes it easier to disguise under clothing and more comfortable for all-day wear. Using an appropriate holster further enhances concealment and comfort.

On the other hand, the Glock 34, with its longer barrel and slide, might be less ideal for concealed carry. The added length can make it challenging to hide effectively and limit comfort when worn for extended periods. Holster selection becomes crucial for those who choose the Glock 34.

Home Defense

For home defense, both the Glock 34 and Glock 17 are excellent choices. The Glock 34's longer barrel provides a slightly better sight radius, which can enhance accuracy in high-stress situations. The added weight also helps reduce recoil, allowing for more controlled shots.

The Glock 17's balance of size and maneuverability makes it easy to handle in close quarters, such as in a home environment. This model's lighter weight might suit various users, including those less experienced with firearms. Both models offer standard capacity magazines, ensuring sufficient rounds in a defensive scenario.

Law Enforcement Use

Law enforcement officers often need a reliable and versatile firearm. The Glock 17 is commonly used due to its reliability, balanced design, and ease of use. It performs well in various situations and suits regular patrol duties and close-quarter situations.

Some specialized units, like SWAT teams, prefer the Glock 34 due to its improved accuracy and longer sight radius. Its longer barrel can provide better performance in high-stress, high-precision operations. Both models are compatible with various law enforcement holsters, improving access and functionality.

Competition Shooting

The Glock 34 shines in competitive shooting. Its more extended slide and barrel contribute to greater accuracy and stability, which are crucial in these settings. The reduced felt recoil allows for quicker, more accurate follow-up shots. Competitive shooters often favor the Glock 34 for its precision and control.

While the Glock 17 is also used in competitions, it's less specialized than the Glock 34. The shorter barrel and slide may not offer the stability and accuracy required in high-level competitive shooting. Nonetheless, the Glock 17 remains a versatile option for those who want a dual-purpose firearm.

Ergonomics and Comfort

Glock 34 and Glock 17 are praised for their design, making them comfortable to handle and shoot. Their build provides a firm grip and reasonable control, reducing fatigue during extended use.

Grip and Control

The Glock 17 features a balanced design that fits most hands comfortably. It has a shorter slide and barrel, which makes it less front-heavy. This balance allows for easy gripping and control, even during rapid-fire situations.

The Glock 34's slightly longer slide may feel front-heavy to some shooters. However, its more extended grip offers ample space for a full handhold. The textured surfaces on both models ensure a secure grip even under sweaty or wet conditions.

Recoil Management

Regarding recoil management, the Glock 17 shines due to its balanced design. Its shorter slide reduces muzzle rise, making follow-up shots quicker and more accurate.

The Glock 34's longer barrel and slide help manage recoil better by distributing the force more evenly, although its heavier front can be a drawback for some. However, many professional shooters prefer the Glock 34 as it offers a more controlled shooting experience due to its design.

Adjustable Features

Both models come with adjustable backstraps, enhancing their ergonomic features to fit different hand sizes. This customization is beneficial for shooters looking to improve grip comfort and control.

Additionally, the Glock 34 often includes adjustable rear sights, allowing for fine-tuned aiming preferences. These adjustments make it a favorite among competitive shooters who need precision in their sight alignment. The Glock 17, though generally fitted with standard sights, can also be upgraded to include these features if required.

Ammunition and Caliber

The Glock 34 and Glock 17 both use 9mm Luger ammunition, but their performance and usage differ based on their design. Each model has unique features that impact how it handles and the variety of 9mm ammo it can use.

Caliber Specifications

Both the Glock 34 and Glock 17 use the 9mm Luger caliber. This type of ammunition is favored for its balance of power and manageable recoil.

The 9mm Luger is widely available and offers many bullet weight and design options. This makes it a versatile choice for both models. Whether used for target shooting, self-defense, or competition, the 9mm Luger provides consistent performance.

  • Glock 34: Known for its extended barrel and slide, the Glock 34 offers improved accuracy and a longer sight radius. This enhances the handling of 9mm rounds during precision shooting.
  • Glock 17: As a full-size pistol, the Glock 17 provides a stable platform for 9mm ammunition, suitable for various scenarios from general use to tactical purposes.

Ammo Capacity and Usage

The standard capacity of magazines for Glock 34 and Glock 17 is typically 17 rounds of 9mm Luger ammo, though extended magazines are available.

Glock 34 magazines have a subtle advantage in competition settings due to their compatibility with extended base plates. This allows for carrying additional rounds without drastically altering the pistol's balance.

Most shooters find that both models function reliably with standard 9mm ammunition offerings. However, due to the Glock 34's design focus on competition, users might prefer higher-grade performance ammo for competitive accuracy.

  • Standard Capacity: Both models generally support a 17-round magazine, providing ample capacity for most needs.
  • Usage Scenarios: The Glock 34 excels in competitive shooting due to its longer barrel and sight radius, while the Glock 17 is versatile for both professional and casual use. Users can find ammo deals and practice with affordable 9mm rounds in both models.

Safety and Reliability

Glock firearms are known for their safety features and long-lasting reliability. Glock 34 and Glock 17 incorporate these qualities, making them suitable for various shooting conditions and user needs.

Safety Features

Glock's Safe Action System is a crucial feature of Glock 34 and Glock 17. This system includes three automated safeties: trigger safety, firing pin safety, and drop safety. These mechanisms work together to ensure the gun only fires when the trigger is deliberately pulled.

The trigger safety is a small lever on the trigger that must be fully depressed to fire the weapon. If this lever is not pressed, the trigger will not move. This prevents unintentional discharges if the gun is dropped or if something snags the trigger.

The firing pin safety adds another layer by blocking the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled to the rear. This mechanism further ensures that the gun cannot discharge accidentally.

The drop safety is designed to prevent firing if the gun is dropped or receives a strong impact. This is especially crucial for users in active or rugged environments where the weapon might be subjected to rough handling.

Durability and Maintenance

Glocks, including the 34 and 17 models, are known for their robustness and ease of maintenance. Both models are built from high-quality materials that withstand wear and tear, even under harsh conditions.

Polymer frames make the Glock 34 and 17 lightweight yet durable. This material resists corrosion and extreme temperatures, making it reliable in various environments. Additionally, steel components in the slide and barrel offer strength where it matters most.

Glocks are user-friendly when it comes to maintenance. Field stripping these pistols is straightforward and requires no special tools. Regular cleaning and proper lubrication will keep both models in prime working order.

Generation differences (Gen3, Gen4, and Gen5) include improved ergonomics and modular backstraps for the Gen4, enhancing comfort and grip. The Gen5 models introduce a smoother trigger pull and flared mag-well for quicker reloads.

Overall, the safety features and durable construction of Glock 34 and 17 models make them reliable options for enthusiasts and professional users. Regular maintenance ensures they perform consistently under various conditions.

Modifications and Accessories

Glock 34 and Glock 17 offer various modifications and accessories to enhance performance. These include accessory rails for attachments, various sight and optic upgrades, and numerous aftermarket enhancements.

Accessory Rail Options

Glock pistols, including the 34 and 17 models, feature accessory rails for mounting attachments. These rails allow for the addition of lights, lasers, or vertical grips. The Glock 34, often used for competition, benefits from attaching tactical lights for low-light shooting. Similarly, the Glock 17, widely used in law enforcement, can be equipped with lasers to improve target acquisition in training and real-world scenarios.

Sights and Optics

The Glock 34 has a more extended slide and barrel, providing a greater sight radius than the Glock 17. This extended sight radius improves sight alignment and accuracy. Both models can be equipped with a variety of optics and iron sights, including red dot sights and tritium night sights. The MOS (Modular Optic System) options for these models simplify the process of mounting mini-reflex optics, giving shooters a significant advantage in speed and precision.

Aftermarket Enhancements

Aftermarket support for Glock pistols is extensive. Users can upgrade triggers for a lighter, crisper pull, which is particularly beneficial for competitive shooters using the Glock 34. Both models can benefit from aftermarket, slide, and extended magazine releases. Barrel upgrades are another common enhancement, improving accuracy and reliability. Custom grips are also popular, offering better control and comfort for different hand sizes while shooting.

Generational Differences

When comparing the Glock 34 and Glock 17, it's crucial to understand the changes across generations.

Comparing Gen3, Gen4, and Gen5

Gen3 models introduced finger grooves on the grip and an accessory rail for mounting tactical lights or lasers. Glock 34 and 17 share these features, making them fit for various accessories.

Gen4 upgrades include modular backstraps to adjust grip size and texture for better control. Glock introduced a dual recoil spring to reduce recoil and increase lifespan. These enhancements apply to both models, improving accuracy and user comfort.

Gen5 brought more significant changes, such as the DLC finish for improved durability, a flared magwell for quicker reloads, and removing finger grooves for a universal grip. The Gen5 barrels, often called Marksman barrels, provide enhanced accuracy. Both Glock 34 and 17 benefit from these updates.

The table below summarizes key features in each generation:





Finger Grooves




Modular Backstraps




Dual Recoil Spring




Flared Magwell




DLC Finish




Marksman Barrel




Cultural and Market Impact

The Glock 34 and Glock 17 have had a significant cultural and market impact in civilian and professional sectors. Their influence can be seen in their popularity with competitive shooters and the widespread adoption by law enforcement agencies.

Popularity Among Shooters

The Glock 17 and Glock 34 are favorites among many competitive shooters.

Glock 34:

  • Known for its longer barrel and slide, offering improved accuracy.
  • Preferred in shooting competitions due to its precision and longer sight radius.

Glock 17:

  • Popular due to its balance between size and performance.
  • Well-suited for both competition and self-defense.

Both models maintain the key Glock features of reliability and ease of use, making them attractive choices for serious shooters. Their versatility and performance have ensured a solid fanbase among gun enthusiasts.

Usage by Law Enforcement Agencies

Law enforcement agencies globally trust Glock firearms. The Glock 17 and Glock 34 are particularly noted for their reliable performance in high-stress situations.

Glock 17:

  • It was widely adopted by police forces thanks to its standard size and reliability.
  • We are recognized for our ease of maintenance and ability to perform under harsh conditions.

Glock 34:

  • It is used less frequently by patrol officers but is familiar in tactical teams.
  • It is valued for its precision, making it suitable for special operation units.

Glock pistols' durability and trustworthy design have made them a staple in the equipment of law enforcement agencies, enhancing overall team capability in various scenarios.

Purchase Considerations

When deciding between the Glock 34 and the Glock 17, it's important to weigh cost differences and personal preferences. Both models serve specific needs, with varying prices and features catering to different shooters.

Cost Analysis and MSRP

The Glock 17 generally has a lower MSRP than the Glock 34. A new Glock 17 typically starts at around $500. In contrast, the Glock 34 can start closer to $600, reflecting its enhancements for competition shooting.

For budget-conscious buyers, the Glock 17 offers considerable savings. These savings can be significant, sometimes up to $100, which could be used for practice ammunition or additional accessories. Buyers should also consider daily deals and discounts that retailers often offer, which might reduce the effective price differences.

Choosing Based on Individual Preferences

First-time buyers might choose the Glock 17 due to its simpler design and ease of handling. It is compact yet reliable, suitable for both home defense and everyday carry.

On the other hand, experienced shooters might prefer the Glock 34 for its longer barrel and greater accuracy over longer distances. The model’s features, such as a different grip shape and higher magazine capacity, cater to competitive shooting.

Personal comfort and intended use are crucial. Some may prefer the ergonomic grip of the Glock 34, while others may find the Glock 17 more practical for daily carry.

Both models are widely available for sale and are frequently compared for their distinct advantages.

Product Specifications

The Glock 34 and Glock 17 share many similarities but differ in key areas such as size, barrel length, and intended use. Both offer robust features that cater to different shooting needs.

Manufacturing Details

The Glock 34 and Glock 17 both use high-quality materials in their construction. They share the same frame but have differences in other components. The Glock 34 has a longer barrel (5.31 inches) than the Glock 17 (4.49 inches).

These guns are manufactured in Austria but also in America, ensuring they meet rigorous quality standards. The Glock 34 is specifically designed for target/competition, whereas the Glock 17 is a standard-duty pistol. Both models feature polymer frames and are constructed to withstand harsh conditions.

Warranty and Brand Support

Glock provides solid brand support for both models. They offer a standard warranty covering material and workmanship defects for one year, but many dealers extend this to lifetime warranties.

Glock's customer service is known for being responsive and helpful. Both the Glock 34 and Glock 17 benefit from a wide range of aftermarket parts and accessories, ensuring that users can customize their firearms to fit their needs. Glock’s reputation for reliability and support is a key selling point for these models.

Comparative Summary

The Glock 34 and Glock 17 are well-regarded full-sized pistols, each with unique strengths and ideal uses. The Glock 34 is optimized for precision and competition shooting, while the Glock 17 is a versatile, reliable option.

Pros and Cons

Glock 34 Pros:

  • Precision: With a longer barrel and sight radius, the Glock 34 is excellent for accurate shooting.
  • Competition Ready: Its design makes it a top choice for competition handgun events.
  • Customization: Available in various generations, offering options like Gen3 finger grooves or Gen5 interchangeable backstraps.

Glock 34 Cons:

  • Heavier: The longer barrel and slide add weight, which may be noticeable during extended use.
  • Size: Its larger dimensions can make it less suitable for concealed carry.

Glock 17 Pros:

  • Versatility: The Glock 17 is an all-rounder suitable for personal defense and duty use.
  • Lightweight Design: Lighter than the Glock 34, it’s easier to carry and handle.
  • Reliability: Known for its durability and consistent performance.

Glock 17 Cons:

  • Sight Radius: Shorter than the Glock 34, slightly affecting long-range accuracy.
  • Competition Use: Less optimized for competition shooting compared to the Glock 34.

Final Thoughts

The Glock 34 excels in scenarios requiring precision and is favored by competitive shooters. Its longer sight radius enhances accuracy, making it ideal for skilled marksmen.

The Glock 17, on the other hand, is a robust, reliable full-sized pistol. Its balanced design suits a variety of applications, including personal defense and law enforcement. It’s lighter and easier to handle for daily use.

Choosing between the Glock 34 and Glock 17 depends on the user’s specific needs, whether it’s for precision in competitions or a versatile, reliable sidearm. Each model delivers its respective strengths.

Additional Resources

Both the Glock 34 and Glock 17 have gained popularity in different shooting circles. For a deeper understanding of their differences and benefits, several resources can provide valuable insights.

Related Comparisons

Comparison charts and side-by-side reviews give clear visuals. These charts often compare barrel length, magazine capacity, and overall dimensions. Websites such as Lunde Studio and various blogs publish detailed comparisons. They discuss aspects like barrel lengths—5.31 inches for Glock 34 and 4.49 inches for Glock 17. These comparisons are beneficial for self-defense, concealed carry options, and target shooting.

Additionally, users appreciate drag-and-drop tools on some websites, which help them see differences in a highly interactive manner. These resources focus on varied applications, from competition shooting with the Glock 34 to the versatile usability of the Glock 17.

Expert Reviews and Opinions

Experts offer nuanced views through video reviews, written articles, and hands-on testing—websites like host expert opinions that delve into ergonomics and usability. For instance, the Glock 34’s longer barrel is often praised for enhanced accuracy in competitions, while the Glock 17’s compact nature is touted for duty use.

Blogs and forums provide platforms where expertise is shared. Reviews often highlight features like the adjustable backstraps in newer models or the price differences between these firearms. Video reviews on platforms like YouTube also offer tabletop reviews, where each gun's features are discussed in minute detail, aiding informed decision-making.

Frequently Asked Questions

Both the Glock 34 and Glock 17 serve different but overlapping purposes, making them suitable for various users. Key differences can be found in their size, barrel length, and specific uses such as home defense or duty carry.

Which is more suitable for home defense, the Glock 34 or the Glock 17?

The Glock 17 is generally more suitable for home defense. Its shorter barrel makes it easier to handle in close quarters, and it still offers a high magazine capacity of 17 rounds. The Glock 34, with its longer barrel, could be advantageous for precision but may be harder to maneuver quickly indoors.

How do the Glock 34 and Glock 17 compare when equipped with a compensator?

Equipping either the Glock 34 or Glock 17 with a compensator reduces muzzle rise, improving shot accuracy during rapid fire. The Glock 34, already designed for competition, benefits slightly more from a compensator due to its longer barrel, further enhancing its precision. The Glock 17 also sees improvements, making it better suited for tactical uses.

Which model is favored for duty carry, and why?

The Glock 17 is favored for duty carry. Its balance of size, weight, and versatility makes it ideal for law enforcement and military use. It is easier to carry and draw quickly, which is crucial for duty scenarios. The Glock 34, while precise, is bulkier and less convenient for everyday carry.

In terms of size and frame, how do Glock 34 and 17 differ?

The Glock 34 is larger and heavier than the Glock 17. The Glock 34 has a barrel length of 5.31 inches, while the Glock 17’s barrel is 4.49 inches. The overall length of the Glock 34 is 8.82 inches compared to the Glock 17's 7.95 inches. These differences make the Glock 34 more suited for competitive shooting and the Glock 17 better for general use and carry.

Can you contrast the Gen 5 versions of Glock 34 and Glock 17?

The Gen 5 versions of the Glock 34 and Glock 17 include upgrades like the Marksman Barrel for improved accuracy, a flared mag-well for quicker reloads, and removing finger grooves for better grip adaptability. The Glock 34 Gen 5 includes a cutout on the slide for optics, catering more to competitive shooters, while the Glock 17 emphasizes versatility.

Which offers the most advantages for general use between Glock 34, Glock 17, and Glock 19?

The Glock 19 offers the most advantages for general use. It strikes a balance between size, capacity, and ease of carry. With a barrel length shorter than the Glock 17 and Glock 34, it is more compact and more accessible to conceal, making it a versatile option for self-defense and everyday carry. The Glock 17 offers higher capacity, and the Glock 34 offers greater precision, but the Glock 19 is the best all-around choice.

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