The GLOCK Model 17L and Model 24 are two of my favorites from that plucky little Austrian company you may be familiar with. Yet they happen to be among their lowest sellers. I think GLOCK has sold more .45 GAPs over the past decade than these two models.
The G17L and the G24 never got the Gen4 treatment like the G34 and G35. Heck, the G34 even got the Gen5 treatment. And the .45 GAP G37 got a Gen4 upgrade.
The last I spoke with GLOCK, the six inchers aren’t made in regular numbers. GLOCK simply cranks out a few at a time and sits on them since orders are never very large or numerous.
When I got mine a while back, it took some time for Lou’s Police Supply in Hialeah, Florida to get their hands on one, even though they’re one of the largest Blue Label dealers in the state. But the wait was worth it.
That was over a decade ago now. If you look at the GLOCK 24, you can see that as a Gen 3 gun, it still has the original frying pan Tenifer finish they stopped using around 2010.
My GLOCK 17L was made right after they stopped the Tenifer finish.
So what’s the thinking behind these two guns? One reason and one reason only; competition shooting. GLOCK made the G17L and G24 for the gun golf matches. Folks were doing pretty well with the regular G17, so around 1987, GLOCK made the first GLOCK 17L. It was built off the Gen1 frame and came from the factory with adjustable target sights.
When GLOCK developed the .40 S&W chambered GLOCK 22 and GLOCK 23, the GLOCK 24 was made at the same time.
As the 1990s rode along, some 1911 shooters started to get angry that their $2,000 jam-o-matics kept being beaten by $600 factory plastic fantastics. So they lobbied for a rule change and the infamous “box change” happened. The GLOCK 17L and GLOCK 24 were ruled out since they no longer fit in the “box.” They were suddenly too big for USPSA and IDPA matches.
But there wre still gun golf league competitions that the GLOCK 17L and GLOCK 24 could play in…the GLOCK Shooting Sports Foundation matches. And they sure shoot great.
That’s where I shoot mine and they’re a hoot and a half. Nothing says fun like blowing through a few magazines of 9mm and .40 S&W with laser-like accuracy.
The 3.5lbs trigger connectors make them easy shooting and those long sight radiuses really help.
Even cooler — they don’t use any special parts other than the slide and barrel. The frame is a standard Gen3 and the recoil spring is the same one as the GLOCK 17 and GLOCK 22 use. This is achieved through the lightening cuts in the slide to make the weight the same as their duty size cousins.
Okay, so that’s great you say, what else can you use these six inchers for? Well, they’re pretty handy for home defense and handgun hunting, too. I keep my GLOCK 17L as my bedside gun.
My GLOCK 24 is my trusty handgun for hog hunting. A 180 grain Winchester Ranger SXT will easily put a Florida pig down if he decides to get ornery. Or just close.
The GLOCK 17L has even seen official service as a duty gun, one of its more famous uses was with the Brigada Antiteroristă, the tactical special operations unit of the Serviciul Român de Informaţii (Romanian Intelligence Service).
Other than that, the service life of the GLOCK 17L is fairly boring and didn’t see much in other nations’ main anti-terrorist units. I haven’t been able to find any reference to the GLOCK 24 seeing service with any law enforcement agency or military unit.
But none of that matters, I love both of these long slide guns and they’re a blast to shoot. The GLOCK 17L and GLOCK 24 are accurate and capable.
Because they aren’t that all common, they always seem to draw a crowd at the range. If you have one, cherish it. If you don’t, get ready to spend at least $1,000 right now since they are not easy to find.
Luis Valdes is the Florida Director for Gun Owners of America.