I promised I’d do an after range report on the Glock 17 Generation 4 so here it is.
The gun shoots beautifully. I never fired a previous generation Glock 17 so I can’t compare mine to any other one. But the double recoil system seems to do its job well. Aimed rapid fire is very doable and the recoil is almost nothing. At 21 feet I was able to dump the 17 round magazine in very short order and keep all the rounds in the middle of the human silhouette target. Accuracy out to 25 yards (The range’s maximum) was great. Placing rounds into the head of the target was not issue at all (Not that it has been with any other gun but the groups at that range were pretty decent for me).
The gun is picky on the shooter though. I let the person I was shooting with fire a magazine out of the gun. She never made it through the magazine though because in her hands the gun kept failing to return to battery. Now she’s a small person at five feet tall but she handles an EAA Witness in .45 without a problem and has had no problem with my 1911, Glock 30SF, or Glock 21SF. But that Glock 17 would not properly operated so I’m baffled to say the least. I finished off the magazine with no issue and put about 200 rounds down range without a single failure. I’m guessing the gun requires somebody with at least a little mass to keep it stiff enough to cycle well. That could be due to the new telescopic recoil system but I’m unsure. Either way it’s something to note.
The back strap system certainly raised my ire. I’m not really a fan of the setup after trying to attach the “L” back strap at the range. Getting the trigger pin out isn’t an issue nor is clipping the back strap into place. But getting the longer pin through properly proved to be difficult. The back strap pieces don’t align absolutely perfect on my gun so you really have to push them in to get the pin through. The included tool is a joke and unusable for the task it was designed for. It’s so flimsy that when you try to push the trigger pin into the gun is bends before the pin begins to move. Do yourself a favor and get a real 3/32″ punch (Which is all the Glock armor tool is). The easiest way to get the pin in that I’ve found is to use a dramatically over sized punch to push the pin through both holes and use the 3/32″ punch to push it properly into the grip holes.
Either way it’s not a fast tool less swap like the M&P palm swell. I think Smith and Wesson had a better design as far as inserting or removing their palm swells. What I do like better about the Glock back strap is it extends the length of the entire grip not just the palm area. For me that makes it more comfortable and consistent feeling. It Also adds width where I really need it, at the top of the grip. That way my trigger finger doesn’t feel like it’s going to wrap around the trigger twice. But the execution of attaching and removing the back straps is dreadful at best. Likewise the back straps themselves feel flimsy. I’m sure they’ll stand up well but they sure feel like they could snap if you look at them wrong.
Overall I really like the gun through. It shoots well, unless of course if you’re too small apparently. Having 17 rounds in the magazine is also great (I’m coming from a .45 background where 10 to 13 rounds is impressive). Just don’t plan on swapping back straps often.