Caliber - 9x19mm
Capacity - 17+1
Action - Glock's proprietary "Safe Action" system
Barrel - 4.49 inches
Weight - 24.79 oz. with empty magazine
The G17 is chambered in 9x19mm, and is built on Glock's "full size" frame. Magazines for this gun hold 17 rounds, and will fit in other Glock 9mms. I typically carry my subcompact G26 with a 10-round magazine in place, and one of the 17-rounders as a backup. External features are typical of the Glock line, including diamond-hard Tenifer finish and "Safe Action" operation with three passive safeties.
In 1998, Glock redesigned the frames of its full-size and compact pistols, to include new features found on the "Tactical Longslide" G34 and 35. Changes included molded-in thumb-rests and finger grooves on the grip, as well as Weaver-compatible accessory rails on the dust cover (forward of the trigger guard). These enhancements have resulted in a slightly shorter trigger reach and added tactical versatility. Glock designates these 3rd Generation frames as "FG&R" (Finger Grooves & Rails).
Fit and finish
I paid $379 for my FG&R G17 at a local shop in February 2000. It was a used gun, but probably had fewer than 100 rounds fired through it. Rifling was clean and bright, the barrel exterior exhibited very little wear, and the factory copper lube was still present on the underside of the slide. The gun came with all the factory accessories one would find with a new gun, including two magazines.
Ho-hum. The FG&R G17 proved to be a solid performer out of the box, as expected. The pistol's polymer sights weren't precisely adjusted for my eyes, and it tended to shoot slightly right. Sights are easily adjusted, however, and function was perfect with factory ammo and reloads alike.
Since this G17 was to be used for home and vehicle defense, I made a few additions to optimize it for this role. All work was performed by a Certified Glock Armorer.
The Bottom Line
Not all operators' hands are going to be the same size. For this reason, finger grooves should not be molded into the frame of the gun - I would rather Glock offer the FG&R frame as a factory option. Users with small hands will appreciate the reduced trigger reach, but may have a problem with the grooves not hitting the right places. That said, they fit my average-to-large sized hands perfectly! The new frames feel slightly less blocky than the old style, but the overall feel is not significant enough for me to prefer one design over the other. The accessory rail is an interesting feature, but its potential will be better exploited by law enforcement users than the average armed citizen. Still, the FG&R G17 is a functional updating of the classic Glock design, and it sacrifices nothing of the reliability and simplicity for which the breed is known.