As always, I am a huge proponent of carrying and using whatever you have at your disposal. However depending on how you’re trained or how your brain works, because we are all different, certain firearms can be more conducive to your shooting skills than others. That being said I have my own personal standards for an acceptable firearm but it’s primarily broken down categorically based on the purpose of the firearm. In the case of a duty/combat pistol that would most likely serve as a secondary to a primary weapon i.e. rifle, I choose the Glock 17 given the option almost every time.
One of the boxes I check off for a duty or carry pistol is reliability because if it doesn’t work when you need it to then it doesn’t matter how accurate it is; accuracy is still relevant. Capacity comes next. Round count is more important to me than round size because shot placement is everything and multiple threats mean a need for a lot of bullets. Size is really the only difference for me when it comes down to a duty pistol versus an everyday carry pistol, for duty I prefer a full size, but for EDC I go to more compact variants.
As I wrote in my article (Top weapon modifications), tritium night sights are something I strongly advocate on any firearm intended for combat regardless of the circumstances, they give the shooter an incredible edge when it comes to low light/ no light engagements hands down. For my Glock 17 I have ghost ring tritium iron sights installed; admittedly they are a little sloppy in the accuracy department but what they lack in that category they make up for in sheer speed of sight acquisition. There are several manufacturers out there and a wide array of sight combinations to meet the end user’s needs when it comes to the Glock line of pistols.
The Glock 17 meets these requirements and then lends itself to instinctive shooting at the same time. I’m not sure if it was intentionally designed with it in mind but the pistol’s simplicity is what makes it so desirable for a combat handgun. The trigger inclusive safety makes for one less step in reacting to contact. It’s just identify, point, aim and shoot provided you already have a round chambered. Sure you can train for a manual safety but I’m all about eliminating steps in a gunfight whenever tangible.
This pistol shoots great and feels great in the hands but the trigger sucks out of the box in my opinion. Its long and creepy break creates way too much room for error when utilizing rapid fire. I spent the majority of my time shooting it practicing target acquisition and ready-up drills to get used to the ghost ring sights; they had a bit of a learning curve to them. Accuracy was as expected, excellent for what it is and the gun no doubt shoots better than I do, so there’s not a whole lot to bitch about, to be honest. Maintenance is simple and quick after a few repetitions, most of it wipes clean with a quick go-over. Changing out parts doesn’t require a gunsmith either, a few tools combined with a little elbow grease and you can do most modifications on your living room coffee table. The Glock 17 is a great bang for your buck but more important than the pistol model is that you get out and train with it!
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