First Generation Glock 17
I have to get this outta the way first, else I know BigDan (and maybe James Yeager) will come for me.
From Wikipedia: Glock is the name of a family of pistols designed and produced by the Austrian company Glock GmbH of Deutsch-Wagram, founded in 1963 by engineer Gaston Glock to manufacture high-strength synthetic and steel components.
The Glock 17 (so named because it was the 17th patent of the company) is a 9 mm short recoil-operated locked breech semi-automatic pistol that uses a modified Browning cam-lock system adapted from the Hi-Power pistol. The firearm’s locking mechanism utilizes a linkless, vertically tilting barrel with a rectangular breech that locks into the ejection port cut-out in the slide. During the recoil stroke, the barrel moves rearward initially locked together with the slide approximately 3 mm (0.12 in) until the bullet leaves the barrel and chamber pressure drops to a safe level. A ramped lug extension at the base of the barrel then interacts with a tapered locking block integrated into the frame, forcing the barrel downward and unlocking it from the slide. This camming action terminates the barrel's movement while the slide continues back under recoil, extracting and ejecting the spent cartridge casing. The slide's uninterrupted rearward movement and counter-recoil cycle are characteristic of the Browning system.
The slide features a spring-loaded claw extractor and the stamped sheet metal ejector is pinned to the subframe. The striker firing mechanism has a spring-loaded firing pin that is cocked in two stages, powered by the firing pin spring. When the pistol is charged, the firing pin is in the half-cock position. As the trigger is pulled, the striker is fully cocked. At the end of its travel, the trigger bar is tilted downward by the disconnector, releasing the striker to fire the cartridge. The disconnector also resets the trigger bar so that the striker will be captured in half-cock at the end of the firing cycle. This is known as a pre-set trigger mechanism, referred to as the "Safe Action" trigger by the manufacturer. The disconnector also ensures the pistol can only fire in semi-automatic mode.
The Glock features a triple safety system that secures the firearm against accidental discharge and consists of three independent safety mechanisms: an external trigger safety and two automatic internal safeties – a firing pin safety and a drop safety. The external safety is a small inner lever contained in the trigger. Pressing the lever activates the trigger bar and sheet metal connector. One of the internal safeties is a solid hardened steel pin that, in the secured state, blocks the firing pin channel (disabling the firing pin in its longitudinal axis). The firing pin safety is only pushed upward to release the firing pin for firing when the trigger is actuated and the safety is pushed up through the backward movement of the trigger bar, the second, drop safety guides the trigger bar in a precision safety ramp that is only released when a shot is triggered by pulling the trigger right back. The safeties are systematically disengaged one after another when the trigger is squeezed and then automatically re-activated when the trigger is released. This triple safety system guarantees safe handling with a cartridge introduced into the chamber, reducing the time required to deploy the pistol. This allows the user to concentrate on tactical considerations, rather than manipulation of levers, hammers or external safeties found in other, conventional handguns. However, in the case of a misfire this design provides no way to re-cock the striker without manipulating the slide and ejecting the unfired cartridge.
The Glock 17 feeds from a double-column box magazine with a 17-round capacity or an extended 19-round magazine. Magazines feature a steel body overmolded with plastic. A steel spring drives a plastic follower. After the last cartridge has been fired, the slide remains open on the slide stop. The slide stop release lever is located on the left side of the frame directly beneath the slide and can be manipulated by the thumb of the shooting hand.
The Glock 17 has a fixed polymer combat-type sighting arrangement that consists of a ramped front sight and a notched rear sight with white contrast elements painted on for increased acquisition speed—a white dot on the front post and a rectangular border on the rear notch. The rear sight can be adjusted for windage as it has a degree of lateral movement in the dovetail it is mounted in. Three different factory rear sights are available apart from the standard 6.5 mm (0.26 in) height sight: a lower impact 6.1 mm (0.24 in) sight and two higher impact versions—6.9 mm (0.27 in) and 7.3 mm (0.29 in). Adjustable and illuminated night sights are also offered.
The cold hammer-forged barrel has a polygonal profile bore with a right-hand twist. The rifling's polygonal profile consists of a series of six small arcs (eight for .45 calibers) connected by flat surfaces. This provides a better gas seal around the projectile, greater consistency in velocities, increased accuracy and ease of maintenance. One problem with a polygonal barrel is the tendency of soft lead bullets to deposit lead in the bore. This has been known to cause damage to the barrel, often bursting the barrel and causing damage to the pistol and injuries to the shooter. Glock warns against using reloaded ammunition.
The Glock's frame, magazine body and several other components are made from a high-strength nylon-based polymer. The injection molded frame contains 4 hardened steel guide rails for the slide: two at the rear of the frame, and the remaining pair above and in front of the trigger guard. The trigger guard itself is squared off at the front and checkered. The grip has a non-slip, stippled surface on the sides and both the front and rear straps. The frame houses the locking block, which is an investment casting that engages a 45° camming surface on the barrel's lower camming lug. It is retained in the frame by a steel axis pin that also holds the trigger and slide catch. The trigger housing is held to the frame by means of a plastic pin. A spring-loaded sheet metal pressing serves as the slide catch, which is secured from unintentional manipulation by a raised guard molded into the frame.
The rectangular slide is milled from a single block of ordnance-grade steel using CNC machinery. The barrel and slide are finished with a proprietary nitriding process called Tenifer. Three hardening processes are applied to the slide and barrel prior to the final nitride bath. The Tenifer finish is approximately 0.5 mm (0.02 in) in thickness and is characterized by its extreme wear and corrosion resistance. The Tenifer process produces a matte, non-glare surface with a 64 Rockwell C hardness rating and a 99% resistance to salt water corrosion (which meets or exceeds stainless steel specifications).
A current production Glock 17 consists of 34 parts. For maintenance, the pistol disassembles into five main groups: the barrel, slide, frame, magazine and recoil spring assembly.
The firearm is designed for the NATO-standard 9x19mm Parabellum pistol cartridge (bullet weight – 7.5 g, muzzle velocity – 350 m/s), but can also use high-power (increased pressure) +P and +P+ ammunition with either full metal jacket or jacketed hollow point projectiles.
The Glock pistol accessories include several devices for tactical illumination, such as front rail mounted lights with optional lasers and an adapter to mount a flashlight on the bottom of a magazine. Polymer holsters in various configurations and matching magazine pouches are also available. Glock also produces optional sights, triggers, recoil springs, slide stop levers, and underwater spring cups. Three open sight systems are produced.
In 2003, Glock announced the Internal Locking System (ILS) safety feature. The ILS is a manually activated lock that is located in the back of the pistol's grip. It is cylindrical in design and, according to Glock, each key is unique. When activated, the lock causes a tab to protrude from the rear of the grip giving both a visual and tactile indication as to whether the lock is engaged or not. When activated, the ILS renders the Glock unfireable as well as making it impossible to disassemble. When disengaged, the ILS adds no further safety mechanisms to the Glock pistol. The ILS is available as an option on most Glock pistols. Glock pistols cannot be retrofitted to accommodate the ILS. The lock must be factory built in Austria and shipped as a special order.
Following the introduction of the Glock 17, numerous variants and versions have been offered. Variants that differ in caliber, frame, and slide length are identified by different model numbers with the exception of the Glock 17L. Other changes not dealing with frame and slide length are identified with suffixes such as "C", which denotes compensated models. Minor options such as frame color, sights, and included accessories are identified by a separate model code on the box and do not appear anywhere on the firearm.
Glock pistols come in three main sizes, all modeled after the original full-size Glock 17. "Standard" full-size models are designed as duty firearm with a large magazine capacity. "Compact" models are a slightly smaller with reduced magazine capacity and lighter weight while maintaining a usable grip length. "Subcompact" models are designed for easier carry being lighter and shorter and are intended to be used with two fingers on the grip below the trigger guard. .45 ACP and 10mm models are slightly larger than smaller cartridge pistols and are not offered in the 'compact' size. Glock produces a special single-stack "Slimline" .45 ACP pistol, the Glock 36. "Competition" versions have longer barrels and slides, adjustable sights, and extended slide and magazine release.
Some Glock pistols are available as "C" models (for "compensated"), which have slots cut in the barrel and slide to reduce muzzle climb and perceived recoil.
* Glock 17: Standard 9x19mm model.
* Glock 17C: Introduced in 1996 and incorporated slots cut in the barrel and slide to compensate for muzzle rise and recoil. Many other Glock pistols now come with this option, all with a "C" suffix on the slide.
* Glock 17L: Introduced in 1988 and incorporates a longer slide and extended barrel. Initially, the 17L had three holes in the top of the barrel and a corresponding slot in the slide; however, later production pistols lack the holes in the barrel. The Glock 17L is effectively discontinued, with the exception of very limited production runs.
* Glock 18: Selective-fire variant of the Glock 17, developed at the request of the Austrian counter-terrorist unit EKO Cobra. The Glock 18 is not available to the civilian market. This machine pistol-class firearm has a lever-type fire-control selector switch, installed on the left side of the slide, in the rear, serrated portion (selector lever in the bottom position – continuous fire, top setting – single fire). The firearm is typically used with an extended 33-round capacity magazine. Early Glock 18s were ported to reduce muzzle rise during automatic fire. Another compensated variant was also produced, known as the Glock 18C. It has a keyhole opening cut into the forward portion of the slide, not unlike the opening on the Glock long-slide models, although the G18 has a standard-length slide. The keyhole opening provides a venting area to allow the four, progressively-larger (from back to front) compensator cuts machined into the barrel to accomplish their job, which is to afford more control over the rapid-firing machine pistol. The compensator cuts, of varying widths start about halfway back on the top. The rear two cuts are narrow, while the front two cuts are wider. The slide is also hollowed, or dished-out in a rectangular pattern between the rear of the ejection port and the rear sight. The pistol’s rate of fire in fully automatic mode is approx. 1100-1200 rounds/min. Most of the other characteristics are equivalent to the Glock 17, although the slide, frame, and certain fire-control parts of the Glock 18 are not interchangeable with other Glock models.
* Glock 19: Effectively a reduced-size Glock 17, called the “Compact” by the manufacturer. It was first produced in 1988, primarily for military and law enforcement. The Glock 19 has a barrel and pistol grip that are shorter by approx. 12 mm (0.5 in) compared to the Glock 17 and uses a 15-round magazine (the pistol remains compatible with standard and high-capacity factory magazines). To preserve the operational reliability of the short recoil system, the slide's mass was kept the same. With the exception of the slide, frame, barrel, locking block, recoil spring, guide rod, and slide lock spring, all of the other components are interchangeable between the models 17 and 19. In 1990 the Glock 19 was accepted by the Swedish Army and entered service as the Pistol 88B.
* Glock 20: Developed for the then-growing law enforcement market for the 10mm Auto, security forces and introduced in 1991. The pistol will handle both full-power as well as reduced "FBI" loads that have reduced muzzle velocity. Due to the longer cartridge and higher pressures, the pistol is dimensionally larger than the Glock 17, approx. 2.5 mm (0.1 in) wider and 7 mm (0.3 in) longer. Though many small parts interchange (close to 50% parts commonality), the major assemblies are scaled-up and do not interchange. In 2009, Glock announced they would offer a 152 mm (6 inch) barrel as a drop-in option.
* Glock 21: .45 ACP version of the Glock 20 designed primarily for the American market. The barrel, like all other .45 models, features an octagonal bore and the slide is lighter to compensate for the lower-energy cartridge. The Glock 21 magazine is of the single-position-feed, staggered-column type with a capacity of 13 rounds.
* Glock 22: .40 S&W version of the Glock 17 introduced in 1990. The pistol uses a modified slide, frame, and barrel.
* Glock 23: .40 S&W version of the compact Glock 19. It is dimensionally identical to the Glock 19 but is slightly heavier and uses a modified slide, frame, .40 S&W barrel and 13-round magazine.
* Glock 24: .40 S&W competition variant of the Glock 22 similar in concept to the target Glock 17L model. The Glock 24 was officially discontinued upon the release of the Glock 34 and 35.
* Glock 25: A derivative of the Glock 19, adapted to use the .380 ACP (9x17mm Short) cartridge. Due to the relatively weak cartridge, the pistol features an unlocked breech and operates via straight blowback of the slide. This method of operation required modification of the locking surfaces on the barrel as well as a redesign of the former locking block.
* Glock 25 Secretara de la Defensa Nacional or Glock 25 SDN: Version of the Glock 25 used by Mexican law enforcement with S. D. N. MEXICO DF engraved on the slide.
* Glock 26: 9 mm "Subcompact" variant designed for concealed carry and introduced in 1995, mainly for the civilian market. It features a small frame with a pistol grip that supports only two fingers, a short barrel, slide, and a 10-round double-stack magazine. More than a shortened Glock 19, design of the subcompact required extensive rework of the frame, locking block, and spring assembly.
* Glock 27: .40 S&W version of the subcompact Glock 26, with 9-round, double-stack magazine.
* Glock 28: .380-caliber subcompact version of the blowback-operated Glock 25.
* Glock 29: 10 mm Auto equivalent of the Glock 26 introduced along with the Glock 30 in 1997. The pistol has a 96 mm (3.8 in) barrel and a 10-round magazine.
* Glock 30: .45 ACP version of the Glock 29.
* Glock 31: .357 SIG (9x22mm) variant of the full-sized Glock 22.
* Glock 32: .357 SIG (9x22mm) variant of the compact Glock 23.
* Glock 33: .357 SIG (9x22mm) variant of the subcompact Glock 26.
* Glock 34: Competition version of the Glock 17. It is similar to the now-discontinued Glock 17L but with a slightly shorter slide and barrel than its predecessor. It was developed and produced in 1998 and features a 21 mm (0.8 in) longer barrel and slide. It also has an extended magazine release, extended slide stop lever, 20 N (4.5 lbf) trigger pull, and adjustable rear sight. The top of the slide is milled out, creating a hole designed to reduce front-end muzzle weight to better balance the pistol.
* Glock 35: .40 S&W version of the competition Glock 34.
* Glock 36: "Slimline" version of the .45 ACP Glock 30 that features an ultra-compact frame and is chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge; the barrel, slide, and magazine, are unique to the model. It has a 6-round capacity, and is the first Glock to be manufactured with a single-stack magazine.
* Glock 37: .45 GAP version of the Glock 17. It uses a wider, beveled slide, larger barrel, and different magazine, but is otherwise similar to the Glock 17. The Glock 37 first appeared in 2003. It was designed to offer the stopping power of the .45 ACP with the frame size of the Glock 17. The concern with the size of the Glock 20/21 has also been addressed by the Glock 36, 21SF, and 30SF all of which featured reduced-size frames.
Pistolwhippeds Notes: If that is too much of a wall of text to read, then let me give you the basics. Available in numerous frame sizes and calibers, the Glock is a reliable, accurate, light, high capacity weapon, though to many, like myself, it feels a bit awkward in the hand. Still, with practice, it can be a combat or defensive pistol that is second to few.