I have always been a fan of Glock products, and the Glock 17 is not an exception. In fact, the G17 is one of my favorite models. It is a bit bulky for conceal and carry, but you cannot find a better weapon for home defense. Glocks are not the prettiest handguns you will find, but they are simple, reliable, and accurate. When they decided to release a line of threaded barrel handguns, we decided we must review the Glock 17 Threaded Barrel.
We have to remember that Gaston Glock was a simple curtain rod manufacturer. He had no experience working with firearms when he was approached by the Austrian Army to introduce polymers into handgun design. He did, however, have lots of experience with polymers. The Glock 17 was created and the contract was won with Austria. Since then Glock has continued to release new models in the line to help keep them ahead of the competition.
Since the release of the original Glock 17, the company has taken the handgun world by storm. Glocks are used by military, police, and civilians in over 48 countries. Currently over 65% of the side-arms used by US law enforcement are Glocks. They are the gold standard for quality handguns that must work accurately when your life is on the line.
Innovation has always been a strong suit for Glock. Would you expect anything less from the company that pioneered the ‘plastic pistol’? They have continually come out with new versions that are designed for slightly different purposes. This has helped them stay at the top of the market for decades. Adapting to the increasing demand for suppression has been no different.
It is a wonderful time in history to be a gun enthusiast. Glock says that they felt an increase in the consumer interest in suppressors and suppressed shooting. That is all they needed to develop a completely new line of firearms built to fit a suppressor. The number of suppressors purchased between 2005 and the present has increased each year according to the ATF. We are not talking about small increases either. These are jumps of over 25,000 suppressors each year. This is all despite the hassle of the process for purchasing a suppressor in the US.
The difficulty of buying a suppressor is that it falls under the National Firearms Act. This means that purchasing one requires paperwork, fingerprinting, an FBI background check, and possibly approval from local police. You are also charged a $200 tax to get a tax stamp. This is proof that you have jumped through all of the government hoops and can legally purchase a suppressor. The process can be frustrating and intimidating if you have never been through it before. Against all of this, the number of suppressor purchases keeps rising. This is a good sign for Glock and the Glock 17 Threaded Barrel.
The Glock 17 Threaded Barrel adds an additional 13.5 mm to the length of the barrel. The threading is done in the European left-handed style and is labelled 13.5 x 1. You will need to know that label for when you select a suppressor. The longer barrel also opens the Glock 17 TB to more Canadians because it is just long enough to pass the barrel length requirement for that country.
In addition to the longer threaded barrel, the Glock 17 TB has had the sights modified. They are raised to ensure that a suppressor does not impede the sight picture, and the front sight is painted neon green. Those that have read my reviews of Glock products know that I am not a fan of their sights. In fact, it is really the only complaint I have regarding Glock firearms. I am glad that the sights are raised on this model, and I think the green coloring will help with target acquisition for most people. However, they are still made from the same plastic that allows the sights to break or to become distorted if the gun is dropped. They are even more likely to be worn down from daily use as you place and remove the gun from your holster. The raised sights create even more resistance than the standard sights. It should be noted that Glock has provided a polymer thread protector to cover the threads on the barrel when not being used.
Effects of Suppressors
Obviously, adding a suppressor to a firearm is done so to quiet the sound when firing the gun. However, the sound is not solely affected by the addition of a suppressor. Use of a sub-sonic load for ammunition is very helpful. If your round is 147 grain or higher, you get the most suppression and should not have to wear hearing protection. You can still fire super-sonic rounds through a suppressor and will get significant noise reduction. However, you will still want to wear hearing protection. Different suppressors have different sound ratings, so consider this before making a purchase.
Be aware that the use of a suppressor means that a much larger amount of residue and debris is left behind after firing a gun. This means you will want to clean your gun more frequently and more thoroughly. It should not affect the reliability of the Glock, but cleaning should still be a priority. In addition, the tilted barrel of the Glock 17 Threaded Barrel will require a booster device attached to the suppressor for it to function properly.
Use of the Weapon
I guess I just sort of assumed that adding a suppressor to a Glock 17 would negatively affect my groupings at the range. I was wrong. At 25 yards we were achieving some of the tightest groups I have ever fired. It appears that the noise reduction made target acquisition after the first round much easier. This makes sense when you think about it. The loud noise of an unsuppressed firearm is distracting to say the least. It makes us jump a bit, which makes lining up your gun for follow up shots more difficult.
It addition, the extended sights ensured that my sight picture for target acquisition was not hindered. In fact, the green paint on the front sight made target acquisition a bit easier. I knew I would like the fact that the gun would have a quieter firing sound. I had my doubts about the accuracy of the gun, but I am now a believer. The suppressor on a Glock 17 TB can actually improve your groupings at the range.
It should be noted that buying a Glock 17 TB is not the only way to go. There are several aftermarket threaded barrels available for the Glock 17. It is an option to modify your standard G17, but remember that your sights would become an issue. You would have to also modify your sights to have a decent sight window, and that just keeps adding cost. Between the cost of a suppressor and the cost of your tax stamp, you may want to watch your pennies.
I think it goes without saying that suppressors are not for everybody. However, I can definitely see the benefits. My family lives outside of the city limits, so firing a gun on our property is completely legal. However, they just built an elementary school nearby. My range is setup so that safety is not a concern, but the sound of a large caliber gun will scare kids on the playground. I know I am within my legal rights, but I do not like the idea of scaring kids. That limits me to only shooting on the weekends or during the summer. A suppressor is an excellent solution to a problem like this.
In addition, we have seen that adding a suppressor to the Glock 17 TB can actually help your accuracy. The lack of noise with each shot allows the shooter to stay focused and land those follow up shots in a tight grouping. The extended sights with neon green paint allow for quick target acquisition. In addition to making the gun quieter, it can also make you a better shot.
Of course the overall quality of the Glock 17 Threaded Barrel is on par with any other gun in the Glock lineup. The only real downsides of the gun and suppressor are the additional cleanup and cost. Getting a suppressor and tax stamp is expensive and a bit of a hassle. In addition, you have to deal with the additional debris and residue that must be cleaned more regularly. In my opinion, it is worth these downsides for the benefits you receive. If you have ever considered a suppressed weapon and can afford the cost, I would highly recommend starting with the Glock 17 Threaded Barrel.