What Ammo Does the Glock 17 Use?

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The Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol shoots the 9x19mm or 9x19mm SD round, also known as 9mm Parabellum. This is standard issue law enforcement and military cartridges, popular and easily available around the world. 

Considered to be the best 9mm pistol ever made, the Glock 17 is your rags to riches gun, with a backstory that speaks of tenacity. 

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Features That Made the 9mm Glock 17 Pistol a Winner

There have been true and claimed capabilities attached to the Glock 17 in 9mm. This pistol is found everywhere in the world, in service with many government agencies, armed forces, and countless civilian self-defenders.

Designed by Gaston Glock in the early 80s, the Glock platform has proven an innovative handgun since being adopted by the Austrian army in 1982. 

It’s the most simplistic and reliable striker fired pistol, delivering short recoil for a hot 9mmParabellum or 9x19mm SD round. The infallibility of the safe action trigger systems present on Glock 17s makes it a dependable companion in high stress shooting scenarios. 

Tenifer Treated Frame

This handguns Tenifer treated frame is resistant to shock, extreme temperatures, or corrosive liquids. Resistance to rust and wear is further enhanced in the barrel and its milled steel slide with black Tenifer finish. 

When you carry a Glock 17 concealed close to body position, its polymer frame and Tenifer treated parts do not corrode from humidity due to perspiration.

You can hang this pistol in a holster outside its gun case for extended periods. 

Rail for Accessory Attachment

Within its frame, the striker fire action Glock 17 9mm handgun has a slide that cycles on four hardened steel guide rails. You can attach a laser or tactical lights with its front-of-trigger accessory rail, which is compatible with many aftermarket integrations. 

The 9x9mm Glock 17 features a white bracket rear and white dot front sights. This gives you rapid-fire acquisition even in low light conditions.

You can also drift adjust the rear sight, which is also dovetailed. 

Magazines and Ease of Field Striping 

Depending on your state or city’s magazine capacity restrictions, the Glock 17 out of the box offers two 10-round or two 17 round magazines. 

Another highlight that this weapon brings to the field is the ease of strip down without using extra tools. The model G17 semi-auto in 9mm Parabellum remains ultra-reliable, easy to operate, maintain, and train on.

Such attributes have made this handgun the ideal field, duty, or home defense option. 

Which Is the Recommended Glock 17 Ammo?

Call it what you shall, the Glock 17 is only restricted by your local government’s magazine round capacity regulations. Glock magazines can also take aftermarket adapters that add at least 2 rounds, so you can 19 rounds for the 17-round mag. 

Many handguns in 9mm will have chamber problems if you were to put it through all the ammo in this caliber. This is a predicament common with people who claim that 9mm Parabellum, 9mm NATO, 9x19mm, and 9mm luger is the same cartridge.

The Glock 17 has however earned the privilege of being the one dependable weapon that will shoot any standard 9mm ammunition. 

While having proven its mettle, the Glock 17 pistol can be made to maximize performance by your selection of ammunition. You may have a guarantee that this handgun will work with all loads, but accuracy and terminal ballistics will vary. 

One of the edges where the Glock 17 trumps others is in its 5-pound trigger pull, and the 17-round magazine. Mediocre shooters present in many police forces can suddenly become effectively accurate when shooting this gun. 

With its polygonal rifling along a 4.45-inch barrel, the Glock manufacturer discourages the use of solid lead slugs. This can result in unsafe pressures that lead to barrel failure. However, jacketed lead bullets are okay.

The Glock 17 will cycle any 9mm jacketed ammo, such as FMJs, expanded FMJs, and jacketed hollow points, digesting them reliably.  

Getting the Most Out of Your Glock 17 Ammo

When looking at Glock 17 ammo, it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t mention the distinction between self-defense and range ammunition. 

While you can’t consider the Glock 17 a competition target pistol, it would be self-defeatist to use target ammo for the field. This is because it’s not worth the price, considering that in the field such ammunition will offer little or no limited benefits. 

I measure my target ammo using the federal gold medal match yardstick for accuracy, but it’s not in 9mm. While the Glock 17 is a modern and target tuned handgun, it can be as good as a smith and Wesson 952, the SIG P210, or some of those STI 2011 variants.

In the 9x19mm caliber, I have always found weightier bullets more accurate. With subsonic Glock 17 ammo, you don’t have to worry about the limitations of the trans-sonic threshold.

A more consistent pressure dwell time and longer bearing surface contributes to agreeable felt recoil. This is mainly due to the characteristics of 9mm slower burning powder, and its capacity to gradually raise pressure. 

I can recommend freedom munitions and Nosler for target match 9mm Glock 17 ammo. Atlanta arms and Norma have also developed 9mm match-grade loads conversant with the semi-auto handgun.

However, Glock 17 shooters are action and range shooters, not target acquirers in competitive scenarios.  A 147 to 150-grain bullet with a brass case, whether a quality import or a domestic offering will work fine. 

Since the manufacturer advises against the use of straight lead rounds, you can find good choices in polymer-coated, or jacket plated varieties.

In my opinion, range plinking and even defense or assault scenarios don’t require expensive loads, as the cheaper options shoot surprisingly well. 

Glock 17 and Its 9mm Variants

In 2020, the French military adopted the Glock 17 Gen 5. This version was specifically for the French air force. 

It features a coyote brown grip, silencer ready barrel, front serrations, raised sights, lanyard attachment, and an optics ready slide.

Needless to say, the standard 17-round Glock 17 introduced in 1982 is the original handgun model for the 9×19 Parabellum round. Since then, several versions of this pistol have been introduced, including;

Glock 17L: 

The 17L made its first appearance in 1988 and incorporates an extended barrel with a longer slide mechanism. This limitless quantity manufactured handgun originally featured three-barrel holes and a slide slot, but later models don’t have these holes.

Glock 17C: 

The Glock 17C came into play in 1996, and incorporated the slide and barrel slots for recoil compensation. Later models of the Glock handgun come with these features and a letter C suffixed on their slide. 

Glock 17MB: 

This is the Glock 17 model that featured an ambidextrous magazine catch, and became unavailable after the 4th generation models were introduced. This has a reversible magazine catch, negating the need for the ambidextrous modification. 

Glock 17M: 

When the FBI solicited for a full-size 9x19mm pistol in 2016, Glock gave them the 17M.  A major difference between the Glock 17M and the generation four models is that there are no finger grooves on the pistol grip. 

This is also a rounded slide nose profile handgun, without an ambidextrous slide lock and has a tougher metallic parts finish. The previous model’s polygonal rifling is also abandoned by the Glock 17M for a more conventional one. 

All except the Glock 17L, the Glock 17 is the standard by which all other Glock semi-automatic handguns are modeled after. 

What to Consider When Chambering Your Glock 17 with the 9mm Round

While it’s said that a Glock 17 will cycle any 9mm round it’s chambered with, it’s not widely known that 9mm isn’t just 9mm. 

There are standardizations of pressure that you need to take note, and it’s vital to understand why not every 9mm cartridge is the best for your Glock 17. In the US, sports arms and ammunition manufacturers institute or SAAMI is responsible for cartridge pressure standardization. 

SAAMIs European counterpart is based in Brussels, and as such is the standard used in the 9mm NATO round. 

Alongside the standard pressure level, SAAMI also has a +P loading that’s one of the highest for the 9mm cartridge. CIP cartridge pressure standards are a notch higher, by about 10% than SAAMIs, but not as high as SAAMI +P. 

The Austrian designed Glock 17 was aimed at the 9mm NATO round that’s in CIP pressure specifications. As such, most SAAMI standardized and the US made 9mm’s will cycle fine, even the cheaper low-pressure varieties.

I have shot S&B Glock 17 ammo which is loaded to CIP/NATO specifications, something that my pistol truly appreciates. With such a configuration, I have yet to report having a breech malfunction after the thousands of rounds I have fired. 

Testing Glock 17 Ammo with Factory 9mm Cartridges

Testing a 9mm load before making it your go-to Glock 17 ammo is better than assuming it is. You should look out for important characteristics like an expansion on impact or accuracy before settling for any ammo type.

Together with feed reliability, keep the commercial cartridge that ticks all the three boxes with superior results. 

You can rest assured that your Glock 17 will give back as good a performance as the round you’ve chambered. The best possible results, coupled with your marksmanship, will only be available when you pair this mass-produced handgun with a versatile round.

Remember that each firearm has its traits, and can perform with any specific load while another of the same model offers different results.

First Test Group of Glock 17 Ammo

My test involved the common factory JHPs in 9mm, seeking to assess its suitability and sustainability for my Glock 17. I chambered this handgun with different weight rounds that exhibited exceptional performance, including;

  • 90-grain CorBon JHP
  • 115-grain CorBon DPX JHP
  • 127 grain Winchester ranger SXT
  • 147 grain Winchester ranger SXT JHP

I shot accurately and the shots were controllable from the sustainable viewpoint. Unquestionable results were produced among the JHPs, some better than others. 

After printing 1.5 and above at 25 yards, most shot within an inch or to point. 

I later took the best terminal ballistic performance on the field and bagged a few critters with satisfactory results. Evident among the four JHPs was bullet expansion, which was in the diameters of half an inch or more. 

The four loads didn’t exhibit any tendencies for excessive penetration at that range. 

For personal home defense in civilian situations, common and cheaply available 9mm JHPs make excellent Glock 17 ammo. These offer excellent stopping power for unarmored targets, without undue penetration with flesh-like ballistic gel. 

Such characteristics would also make these rounds unsuitable where there are obstructions, such as vehicles or other obstacles that require penetration. 

The 115-grain CorBon JHP showed noticeable expansion on impact, although I wouldn’t call it exceptional. It fed well and gave what I judged to be minimum recoil and a restricted flash.

For general purpose application, I found this round to penetrate further even with the attributed expansion. 

Second Test Group of Glock 17 Ammo

For dexterity, I gave my Glock 17 five more types of 9mm cartridges. The Glock 17 ammo magazines that I cycled included;

  • 100-grain CorBon Pow’RBall
  • 115 grain Gold Dot JHP
  • 124 grain Federal Classic 
  • 125 grain Winchester Personal Defense JHP
  • 127 grain Remington JHP

All these 9mm rounds produced well into two inches at 25 meters, which was excellent. However, I found the 124-grain federals and the 125 grain, Winchester, with reduced accuracy in the test Glock 17.

This accuracy is more than sufficient for a wide variety of high-stress tactical scenarios.

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