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 Glock 34 vs Glock 17

Glock 17 vs Glock 34: Battle Of The Big Glocks

If you want a big 9mm Glock, should you get the Glock 34 vs Glock 17? Both are excellent pistols, without doubt, but does the extra 0.8 inches of barrel make enough of a difference?

It depends a whole lot on what you're going to use it for.

Just like in debating whether to get the Glock 17 vs Glock 19, you need to consider what you're going to use it for. A gun is a tool, and both of these tools are best suited to certain uses that the other may not be.

Glock 34

Glock 34

The Glock 34 is a competition and target gun, through and through. If that's what you're looking to get, the Glock 34 vs 17 is your best bet. In fact, the 34 shares the frame with the 17. The major difference, of course, is the slide.

The 34 is an extended-barrel version of the 17, featuring a 5.31-inch barrel. That increases sight radius to about 7.5 inches, depending on what kind of sights you get. (The 34 Gen 4 is available with polymer, steel or the Glock GNS sights.) Longer sight radius, longer barrel, more accurate gun.

The longer slide brings overall length to 8.82 inches. The gun is 1.3 inches wide at the controls and stands 5.47 inches tall. Unloaded weight, without the magazine, is 23.10 ounces, which is rather trim for such a big gun.

The trigger is slightly lighter than the stock 17, at just under 5 lbs. Standard ammunition capacity is 17 rounds, though it will run extended magazines up to 33 rounds, if so desired.

Alongside the standard version, the Gen4 variant adds Glock's modular backstraps. The Gen4 can also be ordered with Glock's MOS package, allowing for the installation of a reflex sight. The Glock 34 Gen5 includes the MOS as standard, along with the other Gen5 improvements.

If you want a big striker-fired competition gun, this is about as good a starting point as it gets.

Glock 17: The Original Plastic Fantastic

Glock 17

The Glock 17 is one of the all-time great handguns. They are accurate enough for government work. Very, very few are ever lemons...though even Glocks have been recalled, so don't drink too much of the Kool-Aid...so you can definitely count on one to work. Aftermarket support is incredible, and a lot of cops and civilian carriers trust their lives to one.

The standard barrel length is 4.47 inches, which brings dimensions to overall length of 8.03 inches, standing 5.47 inches tall and 1.26 inches wide for the standard model. You can also order the 17 Gen4 with or without the MOS package and get modular backstraps. The Gen5 - with the Glock Marksman Barrel and wider slide - can also be had, of course.

Capacity is the same as it's a full-size Glock 9mm. The sight options are the same, and weight comes down to 22.05 ounces without a magazine in the base model.

Since the Glock 17 is so much more common, you can expect to part with a little less at the gunshop. Glock doesn't advertise MSRP, but you can expect to get into a 17 for about $500 in many cases; a Glock 34 will probably run closer to $600.

Glock 17 vs Glock 34: By The Numbers

Glock

Wondering how these two ostentatious Austrian small arms compare side by side? Here are the Glock 17 vs Glock 34 and the tale of the measuring tape.

Glock 34 (Gen 3/Gen4) Glock 17 (Gen3/Gen4)
Capacity 17+1 17+1
Barrel Length 5.31 inches 4.49 inches
Dimensions (LxHxW in inches) 8.82x5.47x1.30 7.95x5.47x1.26
Sight Radius (est.) 7.5 inches 6.45 inches
Unloaded Weight 23.1 oz 22.05 oz
Estimated Price $550 - $650 $450 - $550

But bear a few caveats in mind when you look at these. First, Glock doesn't advertise prices, so what you'll pay depends entirely on where you get it from. We had a look at a few online retailers at what Glock 17 and Glock 34 pistols were going for, depending on options. This figure is ballpark, but hopefully not too much of (seventh inning) stretch.

Yes, that was a baseball pun and we aren't going to apologize for it no matter how...BAT...you think it was!

But we digress. Second, don't get too hung up on the sight radius as these figures - which are direct from Glock - may not be what you measure on YOUR pistol, should you buy a 17 or a 34. Generally speaking, the sight radius is "the distance between the sights." How that's measured, though, matters. Some folks measure from the front of the rear sight and the rear of the front sight, some from the rear of the rear sight to the front of the front sight and some folks measure from the rear of the rear sight to the rear of the front sight.

Sight radius also varies depending on what sights you're measuring. You can buy Glock 9mm pistols with standard Glock polymer sights, Glock steel sights, or even some distributor specials with aftermarket sights such as TruGlo sets and so on and those will all be different.

So, while there's the estimate that appears on Glock's website, your mileage shall vary, just like the sticker price.

Glock 34 Vs Glock 17: What Will You Use It For?

Glock 17 vs 34

Ultimately, the on-paper battle of Glock 34 vs Glock 17 comes down to what your intended purpose for the gun is. Both are great pistols, no doubt about it. If you want a big Glock 9mm, these are two of the models to have if you aren't after one of the Baby Glocks.

However, there are a few things that one is better at than the other.

The Glock 34 is one of the best guns for when you don't give a darn about concealment. It's one of the best competition platforms out there, full stop. It's one of the best home defense pistols you could have. A number of SWAT teams issue them to their officers, so it is a good fighting pistol.

A few outliers carry them on the daily...but most people won't.

However, the Glock 17 is the better all-arounder. A lot of people compete with them too, and you can trick it out just as much and add anything your heart desires. Though it is a service pistol through and through, it's just slim enough and just light enough to be decent for concealed carry IF you want to CCW a full-size pistol. Some people, after all, won't conceal or carry anything smaller.

Then again, the Glock 19 or Glock 26 are much better for that. It has to be said.

Ergonomically, there's not much difference though the 17 has an ever so slightly narrower frame (1.26 inches vs 1.3 inches) which on paper is basically negligible but might make a difference when you handle it. You'll have to figure that out for yourself.

Ultimately, it's up to you. Handle both, shoot both if possible. You'll probably find one you like better, but very few people will find either hard to be very accurate with. You should get the one you like the most and are best with, but you'll probably know which is better suited to the application you have in mind.

About The Author

Writer sam hoober