Pictures of the rumored “fifth-generation” Glock 17M have been leaked courtesy The Firearm Blog and Primary & Secondary. Developed for FBI and other law enforcement agency contracts, the newest Glock pistol drops a lot of unpopular features and adds a few modern upgrades.
While Glock’s handguns may be the most well-known and most successful polymer-framed service pistols in the world, they’re a little dated. Even the newer generation models don’t stray far from the original design. Because of this other companies have been encroaching on Glock territory with more innovative, feature-heavy designs.
These photos indicate that the next-gen Glock 17M has come a long way, incorporating an ambidextrous slide release, reversible magazine release and a reprofiled grip shape. The new model has a straight grip without fingergrooves and an enlarged, flared magazine well. The grip looks like it can accept add-on backstraps for larger hands. It also has a cutout at the front and redesigned magazine baseplate. This is probably to make it easier to remove stuck or jammed magazines.
Other changes include a new muzzle contour and a smooth trigger. There are more than just cosmetic changes here, too, as the 17M has a different pin layout and a new, enlarged recoil spring assembly. Glock also upgraded the finish, but exact details about that remain unknown.
These changes largely conform with the FBI’s service pistol requirements. The FBI awarded Glock an $85 million contract for new handguns and parts earlier this year, and keen-eyed observers pointed out that no Glock pistol meets those requirements. These changes will open up many new markets for the Glock 17M.
It’s not uncommon for agencies to have a gun in mind when they draw up service pistol requirements. These requirements can be so specific that only one handgun can meet them all. A way to rule out Glock for contracts is to require a grip without fingergrooves.
Hopefully these photos are real and that Glock plans to make these pistols available to the general public and soon. It’s not just agencies that are turned off by fingergrooves. A lot of gun owners have sought out other designs because they dislike Glock’s love-it-or-leave-it grip.
Also these left-handed features will help draw buyers. It’s not just lefties that want left-handed and ambidextrous controls — many right-handed shooters practice shooting off-hand and one-handed, too.
Time will tell what else may be new and different about the next generation of Glock pistols. It’s probable that some parts will not be compatible with previous-gen pistols. Still, it would be surprising if major components like magazine bodies and sights are changed. With such a huge, established market and aftermarket, major accessory compatibility will be critical for rapid adoption.