I was recently looking to trade an older sub-compact pistol I had used for concealed carry and training for a full-size polymer-framed pistol, and was pleasantly surprised by the Glock G17 RTF2 in the process. In the interests of full disclosure, I have not been a huge fan of Glock pistols in the past. While I have always been impressed by their reliability, the shootability of older models I had shot and handled in the past were not up to par with their primary competitors in my opinion, primarily in regards to their triggers. It had been several years since I even bothered checking out the newer Glocks in person, as I have had good results and experience with the Springfield XD/XDm pistols, Sig’s, 1911’s, etc. and far preferred their shooting dynamics over the older Glocks. While I was perusing the new and used pistols trying to decide what to trade into, a salesman handed me the G17 RTF2, and without looking at the make or model I checked out the trigger pull and reset, slide movement, magazine, etc. and was impressed. When I turned it sideways and saw it was a Glock, I was surprised given my previous experiences, so I decided to break down and give it a try.
First Impressions: One of the first things I noticed on handling the Glock loaded and unloaded was its weight. Even with a fully-loaded 17-round magazine, the G17 comes in at 31.91 oz., similar to the weight of an unloaded Sig SP2022 or Springfield XDm. While the grip angle is somewhat different to most of the pistols I have shot lately, after a couple of range sessions and approximately 100 rounds of ammunition the sight picture comes quickly and naturally. The U-notch sights are easy to pickup and even in low light the standard sights work well. The trigger pull is consistent and repeatable, with a crisp break and short reset. In my opinion the quality of the trigger is better than the stock XDm trigger and compares favorably to the Sig P229 and SP2022 triggers I have shot most recently. While the RTF2 does not have adjustable grip inserts like the Gen 4’s it works well for me, as I prefer a larger grip that fills my hands better (I use the largest grip insert with XDm’s and M&P’s). The average shooter would probably prefer the adjustability of the Gen 4’s interchangeable backstraps, but given the price difference and the fact that it fits my hands without modification I decided to stick with the RTF2 model. The RTF2 (Rough Texture Frame 2) finish on the frame is a big plus for me. I have stippled almost every pistol I have owned in order to obtain better purchase on the pistol during rapid fire drills and to reduce sweat-induced slipping in hot, humid conditions, but I don’t foresee this frame needing any such work. It’s a little early to tell, but on a relatively warm mid-80’s afternoon last week with a moderate amount of sweat I didn’t have any trouble manipulating this pistol, nor did I experience any discomfort from the rough texture.
Range Results: In the first range session I noticed the slight pull to the left that many right-handed shooters experience when first shooting a Glock. After concentrating on solidifying my grip and focusing more on trigger control, groups tightened considerably and migrated to the center of the target. Since I had been primarily shooting my concealed-carry compact 9mm over the past 6 months I had started using a higher left-hand grip with the forefinger around the front of the trigger guard. With the larger grip of the G17 I found that taking a grip with the forefinger tight underneath the trigger guard improved my point of impact and group sizes dramatically. At 10 yards my 10-round group size averaged 6″, but surprisingly at 25 yards group sizes only spread to about 8-10″ on average, which I attributed to being more attentive to sight picture and trigger control due to the increased distance.
Overall I have no complaints so far, handling and accuracy are excellent and I plan to use the G17 to shoot some local matches. The availability of affordable 17-round magazines as well as countless other accessories and upgrades make the Glock a great platform to build on whether your focus is self-defense, target shooting or competition.
Lightweight, positive grip texture, highly-customizable.
A lack of manual or grip safety is a concern for a carry pistol, however if you carry with an empty chamber as I do I consider it a very safe and efficient platform for personal protection.