Glock 45 vs Glock 17

The Glock 17 needs no introduction. It is the original Glock pistol, the first one to be put into production. It has been on the scene for 40 years now. The Glock 17 literally changed the firearms world like the iPhone changed personal cell phones. The Glock 45, on the other hand, looks similar, is one of the newest Glock models…and it also looks different. What is the Glock 45, and how does it compare with the Glock 17?

What is the Glock 45?

The Glock 45 is, in Glock’s words, a “Compact Crossover” model, straddling the Glock 17 and the Glock 19. It has the full-sized grip frame of Glock 17, but the shorter slide and shorter barrel of the Glock 19. The slide has front and rear cocking serrations like the new Glock 19 models. Even though the Glock 45 isn’t technically a Gen5 gun, it comes with all the upgrades and enhancements of the Gen5 Glocks. These include a flared magazine well, the Glock Marksman Barrel, ambi slide-stop levers, and the lack of finger grooves on the grip frame.

Like most Glocks, the Glock 45 has a rail that will accept a weapon-mounted light. It is available with Glock’s standard plastic sights, with options for steel sights or Glock night sights. The Glock 45 comes in an optic-ready, MOS version, as well, for the addition of a red dot optic. The G45 comes with interchangeable backstraps to fit the gun to the shooter’s hands.

The Glock Gen5 is intended for law enforcement use, and with its full-size grip it is easy to get a firm, firing grip on. It also holds a 17-round magazine, offering excellent capacity while still being somewhat compact in size. The Glock 45 is also an excellent choice for individuals interested in concealed carry and home-defense. The short slide coupled with the long grip make the Glock 45 an excellent choice for duty, concealed, or home-defense use.

What is the Glock 17?

Gaston Glock’s 17th design was a winner and one of the most prolific handguns in history. Introduced in 1982, the Glock 17 is the original Glock. Being the first gun on themarket with a polymer frame, the Glock 17 achieved widespread appeal and shocked American sensibilities. It looked different, felt different, and was made out of different stuff. But the benefits of the Glock 17 weren’t hard to see – it’s 17 round magazine and legendary reliability to showed through readily enough. Soon the Glock 17 became the darling of US law enforcement, as well as civilian gun owners.

Being a flagship Glock model, the Glock 17 is available in a number of flavors. It is available as the standard G17 which has Gen3 features including a finger-grooved grip frame. The Gen5 Glock 17 has a non-finger-grooved frame, front slide serrations, an ambidextrous slide stop, the Glock Marksman Barrel, and interchangeable backstraps. It is also available in a MOS version, with the slide milled for red dot optics and shipping with the necessary mounting plates included.

Originally built for the Austrian military, the Glock 17 is a full-sized pistol. It is perfect for the attachment of a weapon-mounted light, and is very popular with police departments, as well. The capacity, size, and sight radius of the Glock 17 make it an ideal duty sidearm for use by military and law enforcement.

Though it is a full-sized Glock, the Glock 17 can be concealed, as well, it really shines in applications where concealment isn’t a factor. If you can’t conceal it or choose not to lug its size and weight around, it makes an excellent home defense pistol. The Glock 17 is also an incredibly easy-shooting range pistol, too.

Specs Comparison: Glock 45 vs 17

How do the Glock 45 and the Glock 17 stack up to each other? Which is better, and which should you choose? Let’s find out.


Sharing the same frame, many dimensions on these two pistols are exactly the same, save for the slide. The height of both is identical at 5.47 inches. The width of both is the same with a frame width of 1.34 inches at the magazine flare and a slide width of one inch. The trigger distance on both is 2.76 inches. Both pistols share the same magazine, so both share the same 17-round capacity.

The real difference in size lies in the slide. The slide impacts several measurements including overall length and sight radius, so let’s take a look at these two pistols. The Glock 45’s slide is a hair under one-half inch shorter than the Glock 17’s with lengths of 6.85 and 7.32 inches, respectively. Sight radius is 6.02 inches for the G45 and 6.50 for the longer G17. And overall length between the two is 7.44 inches (Glock 45) and 7.95 inches (Glock 17).

There are some fairly apparent differences in length between to the two pistols, but what about weight? The weight difference is smaller than one would expect. The smaller Glock 45 weighs in at 24.48 ounces with an empty magazine. The longer Glock 17 weighs in at 24.97 ounces – not even a half an ounce heavier. If weight is a consideration for you there is very little difference between these two pistols as they both functionally weight the same.


The performance between these two pistols is – unsurprisingly – very similar. First, reliability. Both are Glocks, so there isn’t much else to say about that. Both are best-in-class reliable, and you can depend on them. What about recoil? Being so close in weight both of these pistols have similar recoil impulse. With the same sized grip. Controlling recoil is almost identical in both. The recoil comparison is pretty much a draw.


The next comparison is in the accuracy department. With the Glock 17’s longer slide and barrel there is a slight accuracy advantage. The G17 gives the user about a half-inch of additional sight radius. At longer distances this can actually make a pretty significant difference, allowing for much more precise sight alignment. The longer barrel of the G17 should also be expected to produce slightly higher velocities, reducing bullet drop at longer ranges and ensuring adequate velocity for the expansion of hollow-point duty/carry ammunition.

Choosing Between the Glock 45 and Glock 17: Considerations

Both the Glock 45 and Glock 17 are outstanding performers as they come out of the box. Both are reliable pistols and excellent duty/home-defense options. The choice largely boils down to personal preference. With the Glock 45 having a slightly smaller profile, it may be slightly better for concealed or plainclothes carry.

The Glock 17, with its longer barrel and sight radius may be slightly more accurate and better for duty carry…but we are really splitting hairs. Neither is perfect, however. A few modifications can go a long way toward squeezing some extra performance out of these platforms, or any other Glock model.

People who are familiar with the fine details of the G45 & G17 product specs would likely choose the Glock 17 over the Glock 45. The reasoning here is that if you’re going to carry guns that weigh almost exactly the same, and also have the same grip size, an extra half-inch of barrel isn’t going to add much additional burden. On the other hand, if you like the Glock 19 but have large hands and have always wanted one with a G17-sized frame, you can have it in the G45!

The Best Upgrades for all Glock Models

Aftermarket triggers are an excellent upgrade that can improve the performance of nearly any Glock. Aftermarket, drop-in trigger kits like those offered by Overwatch Precision can decrease the trigger pull length, lighten the trigger, and make it crisper. A host of other parts to improve the action of your Glock are available from Overwatch Precision, as well, including NP3’d firing pins, connectors, and safety plungers. These will smooth out your Glock’s action and keep it running for years to come.

Factory Glock sights can sometimes leave a lot to be desired, as well. The Have Blue sights offered by Overwatch Precision offer a rugged, steel rear sight with a clean, crisp, fiber-optic front sight. The aggressive forward angle of the rear sight allows for easy one-handed manipulations, and all the angles are smoothed to be easy on the hands. With the proliferation of red-dot optics the need for taller sights has emerged, and the Have Blue MOS Sight set has got you covered. It’s the same, awesome steel sights (minus the fiber optic) as the standard Have Blue sights, just taller for a co-witness with the optic on your G45 MOS or G17 MOS.

The Glock 45 and Glock 17 are both outstanding platforms, and regardless of which you choose, you’ll be well served and satisfied. Overwatch Precision offers a host of other upgrades for your favorite Glock model, from the “Original” Glock 17 to the new crop of Slimline Nines, and new “Crossover” guns like the Glock 45.