Glock 34 vs 17: A Comprehensive Comparison for Competition Shooting and Beyond

Welcome to this in-depth comparison of two powerhouse pistols in the world of competition shooting: the Glock 17 and the Glock 34. As a competition shooter, I understand that the right firearm can make all the difference in my performance. Whether I’m a seasoned pro or just starting my journey, choosing between these two exceptional models can be a tough decision.

In this article, I’ll delve into the nuances of the Glock 17 and Glock 34, exploring their features, advantages, and considerations that are crucial for competition shooters like me. With insights from an expert shooter’s perspective, my aim is to provide myself with a comprehensive analysis that empowers me to make an informed purchase decision.

Competition shooting demands precision, speed, and adaptability, and my choice of firearm plays a pivotal role in achieving these goals. Let’s explore the world of Glock 17 and Glock 34, unraveling their capabilities to help me discover the pistol that perfectly aligns with my competitive shooting aspirations.

Primary Differences Between Glock 34 & Glock 17?

The main difference between the Glock 17 and Glock 34 lies in their size and weight. The Glock 17 is compact and lighter in comparison to the Glock 34. Notably, the Glock 34 boasts an extended barrel, enhancing its accuracy for longer ranges. Another distinction is that the Glock 34 features a slightly elevated magazine capacity compared to the Glock 17.

Glock 17 vs 34 Comparison Chart

AspectGlock 17Glock 34
Size & WeightCompact and lighterSlightly larger and heavier
Barrel LengthStandardExtended for improved accuracy at range
AccuracyVery GoodEnhanced accuracy due to longer barrel
Magazine CapacityStandardSlightly higher capacity
Holster CompatibilityWider range of optionsSomewhat limited due to longer slide
Competition FocusVersatile for both competition and personal defenseDesigned specifically for competition shooting
ConcealmentBetter for concealment and home defenseLess practical due to extended dimensions
Shooting PerformanceWell-balanced for various scenariosOptimized for reduced muzzle flip and recoil
Suitable Skill LevelSuited for beginners to expertsIdeally suited for experienced shooters
Glock 34 vs 17 - Which is right for you? For home defense or competition

Detailed Comparison

Size & Weight

The size and weight difference between these two models can influence how comfortable and effective they are to carry and shoot, making it an important consideration based on individual preferences and usage scenarios.

Glock 17: This model is known for its compactness and relatively lighter weight. The Glock 17 is designed to strike a balance between ease of use and maneuverability, making it suitable for various shooting scenarios.

Glock 34: On the other hand, the Glock 34 is slightly larger and heavier compared to the Glock 17. While this added size may impact its concealment and handling in some situations, it comes with benefits in terms of stability during shooting, especially for those looking to enhance their competition performance.

Accuracy: The Core of Competitive Shooting

Glock 17 and Glock 34 offer respectable accuracy, but the Glock 34’s longer barrel gives it an edge for precision-oriented competitions where hitting distant targets with pinpoint accuracy is paramount.

Glock 17: The Glock 17 boasts commendable accuracy, making it a reliable choice for competition shooting. Its standard barrel length provides a balance between accuracy and ease of use, making it suitable for a wide range of shooters, from beginners to experienced marksmen.

Glock 34: Accurate shooting is where the Glock 34 truly shines. Its extended barrel increases the sight radius, which often translates to improved accuracy, especially at longer distances. For competitive shooters aiming to achieve tight groups and consistent hits, the Glock 34’s accuracy-enhancing features can be a game-changer.

Slide Length and Barrel

The most noticeable difference between the Glock 34 and Glock 17 lies in their slide length and barrel dimensions. The Glock 34 features an extended slide and barrel, offering a longer sight radius. This longer sight radius can contribute to enhanced accuracy, allowing for more precise target acquisition and improved follow-up shots. On the other hand, the Glock 17 boasts a standard slide length and barrel size, striking a balance between maneuverability and accuracy.

Competition Focus

The Glock 34 was specifically designed with competition shooting in mind. Its extended slide and barrel contribute to reduced muzzle flip and recoil, facilitating quicker target reacquisition. The added weight of the longer slide can aid in maintaining a steady shooting stance, resulting in tighter groups during rapid-fire scenarios. The Glock 17, while versatile, was initially intended as a general-purpose handgun and might require some modifications to fully optimize its performance for competition use.

Concealment and Home Defense

Due to its elongated slide and barrel, the Glock 34 can be less practical for concealed carry or home defense purposes. The added length might make it more challenging to conceal under clothing or maneuver in tight spaces. In contrast, the Glock 17’s more compact design lends itself better to these scenarios, making it a more suitable choice for those who prioritize both competition shooting and personal defense.

Holster Compatibility

Holster selection is crucial for competition shooters who need quick and easy access to their firearms. The Glock 17 benefits from a wider variety of holsters available on the market due to its popularity and standard slide length. While Glock 34 holsters are also available, they might be relatively less abundant, potentially limiting your options.

Shooting Performance

In terms of shooting performance, the Glock 17 offers a balanced and versatile experience with its standard slide and barrel dimensions, suitable for various shooting scenarios. While it might exhibit slightly more muzzle flip and recoil due to its shorter slide, it remains a dependable choice for shooters of different skill levels.

On the other hand, the Glock 34 boasts a distinct advantage with its extended slide and barrel, resulting in reduced muzzle flip and recoil. This advantage translates to quicker target reacquisition, improved follow-up shots, and better control during rapid-fire sequences. For competitive shooting enthusiasts seeking every possible edge, the Glock 34’s shooting performance enhancements can significantly impact match outcomes.

While both models have their strengths, the Glock 34’s shooting performance enhancements cater more directly to the demands of competitive shooting, offering skilled marksmen an advantage in both precision and speed.

Skill Level and Preference

Your skill level and personal shooting preferences play a significant role in determining which model suits you better. If you’re a seasoned competition shooter seeking every advantage in accuracy and speed, the Glock 34’s extended slide could be the edge you’re looking for. However, if you value versatility, ease of concealment, and a balanced approach to competition and personal defense, the Glock 17 might be the more suitable choice.

Glock 34 vs. Glock 17 Trigger

When comparing the triggers of the Glock 34 and Glock 17, both models come equipped with Glock’s signature Safe Action trigger system, renowned for its consistent performance and safety features. However, there are subtle differences that can impact shooting experience.

Glock 17 Trigger: The Glock 17 features a standard trigger pull weight that ranges around 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg). This trigger weight strikes a balance between precision shooting and ease of use, catering to a wide range of shooters, from novice to experienced.

Glock 34 Trigger: On the other hand, the Glock 34 trigger tends to have a lighter pull weight compared to the Glock 17, often falling around 4.5 pounds (2.0 kg). This lighter trigger can offer enhanced sensitivity, potentially aiding in achieving more accurate and controlled shots, particularly during competition scenarios where split-second accuracy matters.

Glock 34 vs. Glock 17 Frame: Unveiling the Nuances

The comparison between the Glock 34 and Glock 17 frames reveals intriguing insights. While both models share the same frame, the Glock 34 is intentionally designed as the target/competition variant of the full-size Glock 9mm lineup. This shared frame provides a consistent foundation for both pistols. However, it’s the subtle differences that set them apart.

Glock 34 Frame: Crafted with competition in mind, the Glock 34’s frame retains the familiar full-size dimensions found in the Glock 17. This provides ample grip space and control for precise shooting. The extended slide and barrel of the Glock 34 contribute to a longer sight radius, enabling enhanced accuracy for target shooting.

Glock 17 Frame: As the standard bearer of the Glock 9mm family, the Glock 17 frame serves as the base for the Glock 34’s design. While the Glock 17’s frame dimensions are utilized, the Glock 34’s elongated slide and barrel cater to the unique demands of competition, offering reduced muzzle flip and improved overall stability.

Glock 34 vs. Glock 17 Weight: A Comparative Analysis

Delving into the weight comparison between the Glock 34 and Glock 17 yields fascinating insights. Both models, hailing from the esteemed Glock lineage, exhibit minor variations in weight that can impact your shooting experience.

Glock 17 Weight: In the Gen3 configuration, the Glock 17 presents itself with an unloaded weight of 22.05 ounces (1 lb., 6.05 oz.). This relatively lightweight design is well-suited for comfortable carry and maneuverability, catering to various shooting preferences and scenarios.

Glock 34 Weight: Conversely, the larger Gen3 Glock 34 tips the scales at just over an ounce more, registering at 23.10 ounces (1 lb., 7.10 oz.). This marginal increase in weight can be attributed to its extended slide and barrel, which contribute to enhanced accuracy, reduced muzzle flip, and improved stability, making it particularly advantageous for competitive shooting.

Glock 17 vs. Glock 34 Safety: A Comparative Insight

Examining the safety features of the Glock 17 and Glock 34 sheds light on their shared commitment to security and user confidence, while also showcasing their nuanced differences.

Glock 17 Safety Features: The Glock 17, like all Glock pistols, incorporates a range of built-in safety mechanisms. These include the trigger safety, firing pin safety, and drop safety. These features work together to prevent accidental discharges, ensuring that the pistol only fires when the trigger is intentionally pulled. Additionally, Glock pistols have a consistent manual of arms, where a consistent draw and grip enable the user to be ready to fire while maintaining safety.

Glock 34 Safety Measures: The Glock 34 carries over the same fundamental safety features found in the Glock 17. Its emphasis on accurate shooting, particularly in competition scenarios, underscores the importance of maintaining a secure shooting platform. The longer barrel, slide, and sight radius in the Glock 34 contribute to improved accuracy, and the safety mechanisms remain consistent with Glock’s design philosophy.

Glock 17 vs. Glock 19 Recoil Difference

When it comes to recoil, both the Glock 17 and Glock 19 have earned a reputation for delivering manageable and gentle shooting experiences. Generally, users tend to find that there isn’t a substantial difference in recoil between these two pistols. However, it’s worth acknowledging the potential for individual perceptions to vary.

Gentle Recoil Shared: Both the Glock 17 and Glock 19 offer designs that effectively mitigate recoil. This is due to factors such as their polymer frames, ergonomic grip angles, and Glock’s engineering that disperses recoil forces efficiently. This shared characteristic is particularly appealing to shooters of various skill levels, allowing them to focus on accuracy and target engagement.

Subtle Variations Possible: While most users report a similar recoil experience between the Glock 17 and Glock 19, it’s essential to recognize the subjectivity of felt recoil. Factors such as grip preference, shooting stance, and individual sensitivity can contribute to perceived differences in recoil. Some shooters might find one of these models slightly more comfortable to shoot, while others might not discern any noticeable contrast.

Glock 17 vs. Glock 19 vs. Glock 34: Navigating the Distinctions

Glock 17 vs. Glock 19 vs. Glock 34

Choosing between the Glock 17, Glock 19, and Glock 34 requires a keen understanding of their unique attributes and how they align with your shooting goals. Each model caters to specific preferences and shooting scenarios, making the decision a matter of personal suitability.

  • Glock 17: Versatile Excellence The Glock 17 stands as a versatile choice, offering a balanced combination of size, capacity, and accuracy. With a standard slide length and barrel, it caters to both competition shooting and personal defense needs. It’s a favored option for those seeking an all-purpose firearm that excels in various contexts.
  • Glock 19: Compact Adaptability The Glock 19 takes versatility a step further with its compact frame, making it an optimal choice for concealed carry and personal defense. While slightly smaller than the Glock 17, it maintains a respectable magazine capacity and accuracy. The Glock 19’s adaptability lends itself well to both everyday carry and shooting activities.
  • Glock 34: Precision Focus For those prioritizing precision in competitive shooting, the Glock 34 emerges as a specialist’s choice. With its extended slide and barrel, the Glock 34 optimizes accuracy by offering a longer sight radius. Reduced muzzle flip and enhanced stability make it a top contender in target shooting scenarios, emphasizing accuracy and control.

Choosing Your Perfect Fit

The decision among the Glock 17, Glock 19, and Glock 34 hinges on your intended usage. If you’re seeking an all-around performer for various roles, the Glock 17 holds strong. For concealed carry enthusiasts, the Glock 19’s compactness shines. If precision in competition is your goal, the Glock 34 stands as the ideal companion. Each model offers distinct advantages, ensuring that your choice aligns harmoniously with your shooting aspirations and preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Are Glock 17 and 34 Parts Interchangeable?

Yes, many parts between Glock 17 and 34 are interchangeable due to shared design. However, variations in slide and barrel lengths can impact accuracy and performance. Some components may require professional fitting for optimal function and safety.

Is Glock 34 Better Than 17?

Both the Glock 17 and Glock 34 are exceptional performers, each with its advantages depending on usage. The Glock 34 offers a longer sight radius due to its extended slide, potentially enhancing accuracy. Both models excel in their own right, catering to specific needs and intentions.

Are Glock 17 and 34 Frame the Same?

Yes, the Glock 17 and Glock 34 share the same frame design. They have identical frame dimensions, but the Glock 34 features an extended slide and barrel for improved accuracy, while the Glock 17 retains standard slide dimensions for versatility.

What is the Glock 34 Used for?

The Glock 34 is primarily utilized as a competitive pistol in sports like IPSC and other shooting competitions. It also serves as a reliable choice for SWAT teams due to its accuracy and performance capabilities.

Is Glock 34 Good for Carry?

Carrying a Glock 34 concealed, especially inside the waistband (IWB), is feasible but might not be suitable for everyone. The longer muzzle can present challenges for concealment, and generally, a Glock 17 or similar firearm might be more conducive for effective concealment due to their slightly shorter muzzles.

Is Glock 34 Good for Self-defense?

Yes, the Glock 34 is a viable option for self-defense. It offers a generous magazine capacity and can be equipped with optics for improved accuracy. Its larger size helps mitigate recoil, providing better control during firing. With these features, the Glock 34 is well-suited for fulfilling home defense requirements.

Shane Watson is a Co-Founder veteran. He had served the forces for years and that makes him quite an expert. His years of handling guns of all kinds made him not only a gun enthusiast but a thoroughly experienced one too!

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