Shooting the Glock 17L: Part II
A few months ago I presented an initial write-up on shooting the Glock 17L. For anyone interested, here is a link to it:
The overall gist of the article was positive but I frequently revisit promising handguns that I simply do not have lots of long-term “trigger-time” with…and so it is with the G17L.
Today’s efforts were on precision shooting…despite somewhat gusty conditions. No work was done other than slow-fire bullseye shooting, using a rest in some instances and unsupported two-hand hold in others at two distances: 15 and 25 yards. The same bullseye targets were used at both distances.
Ammunition was Fiocchi 124-gr. “Extrema” XTP hollow points. It was reviewed with the Hi Power and for those who might be interested, here’s the link:
It proved accurate to be sure but was well below its advertised velocity. I am sure that with the Glock 17L, velocity was higher but I have not yet chronographed it.
The Glock 17L’s striker imprint is well-centered as can be seen in the photograph. Does this mean that this pistol’s chamber is not “oversized” as is frequently said for other Glocks or are the chambers of the 17, 19 and 26 larger than for the 17L and possibly the 34? The head stamp shows that this Extrema case was manufactured by Starline Brass Company, a well-respect manufacturer of quality firearm brass.
These targets were all shot on the same day and using Fiocchi 124-gr. “Extrema” ammunition. All groups consist of 10 shots. Top left: 10 shots within 2” fired from seated position with both wrists braced on sandbags. Bottom left: 10 shots in about 2 ½” fired using a two-hand hold from a standing position. Middle top: Best 25-yard rested group of the day…10 shots from a seated position with wrists braced just over 2” in diameter. Middle bottom: Average 25-yard group fired from a rest…10 shots inside about 3”. Top right: Worst 25-yard group of the day from unsupported two-hand hold while standing…approximately 4” group. Bottom right: Best off-hand 25-yard group fired during this session…approximately a 3-inch diameter group.
I am well-satisfied that there are 9mm pistols capable of more precise mechanical accuracy. At the same time, I do not believe that I have fired a single, solitary group with this G17L that was as small as the pistol is capable of. In other words, the human-error that I introduce in the “accuracy equation” is more significant than any lack of inherent accuracy not built into the pistol.
This STI 6” Trojan 9mm Long Slide almost certainly mechanically capable of producing smaller groups than the Glock 17L and it has proven reliable in the extreme. Some of the smallest groups I’ve ever fired in 9mm caliber were with this pistol but I believe this is as likely to be from the short, light and crisp trigger-pull on this pistol combined with its steadying extra weight compared to the Glock. Is it capable of outshooting the G17L? Probably so, but that does not equate to my abilities being up to that task! I suggest that the same will hold true for a majority of the handgunning community. The simplicity of the Glock "safe action" trigger-pull precludes having to disengage a thumb safety but it is both longer and heavier. This is just the price that is paid by folks preferring the Glock platform.
I suggest that the lightweight long Glocks were never intended to for bullseye competition but they do provide a longer sight-radius and lighter trigger-pull for competitors and since relatively few are used as police duty guns compared to the standard 17’s and 22’s.
Though not as experienced long-term with Glocks as with Hi Powers, I have seen no indication that the Glock 17L is any less durable than its shorter 9mm siblings. My eyes just will not focus on the front sight as clearly as in decades long passed but it is easier with longer rather than shorter barrels and that also endears G17L to me.
My Glock 17L is stock other than for the Arotek fixed sights. For a long slide autoloader, its light weight makes it very easy to carry while knocking about in the woods or other activities in which concealment is not a major issue. It has been fired with a multitude of different jacketed hollow points, both factory and handloaded and has never malfunctioned…which is no surprise.
It is my understanding that the G17L’s are manufactured on an irregular basis and do fetch a bit more than more commonly-seen Glock pistols. They are too long for IDPA competition so if that’s of importance to a prospective buyer, the IDPA-legal Glock 34 (9mm) or 35 (.40 S&W) might be a better choice.
I have no complaints with this pistol.