View Full Version : Turning a Glock 17 into a competition pistol

September 14, 2012, 12:28 PM
I am going to start shooting some IDPA & USPSA competitions, and will be using my gen 2 Glock 17. Currently, this gun is still completely stock, and I want to customize it a bit so that it is more of a competition gun.

I'd like your thoughts on what upgrades I should make (or even which ones are a waste of time/money), and how I should prioritize them. Options for both for keeping it IDPA SSP legal, but also some ESP options are welcome.

September 14, 2012, 12:36 PM
Here's an article you might find interesting. Written about the G34, but the mods ought to be similar.


September 14, 2012, 12:53 PM
get some new sights ( fiber optic front and plain adjustable rear - is my advise) dawson precision is a great source
trigger job/kit
some grip tape or stippling if you like
thats pretty much it.

lots of ammo and practice, happy shooting:)

September 14, 2012, 01:16 PM
For SSP, you really can make no external modifications, beyond the sights. You can stick skateboard tape on the frame, but no stippling, grip reduction, etc.
I'll second (or third) the recommendation of improved sights. Fiber-optic fronts are very popular, combined with a plain black rear.
Trigger parts are available from a number of sources, but some very good shooters use a stock trigger.
For ESP, you can stipple, reduce or reshape the frame and trigger guard, add a magwell funnel.
The IDPA rule book is currently undergoing revision, so I wouldn't make many changes based on what is in the current rule book. That has been revised over the years, so there are some current rules that vary from what's in the book.

Strafer Gott
September 14, 2012, 01:44 PM
Jack up the front sight, and pull a 17L under it. Another inch of slide does help the sight picture,as another inch of tube helps the bullet velocity. It's like getting +P for free.

Jim Watson
September 14, 2012, 01:45 PM
Glock 17 + FO sight + grip tape + trigger tune = IDPA SSP + USPSA Prod.

You could dress it up some more for IDPA ESP but it might push you out of USPSA Prod into Limited where you would be at a substantial disadvantage shooting Minor.

Major accessories, holster, mags, mag carriers, ammo, shooting class.

Sorry, Strafer, you can't shoot a 17L in IDPA at all or in Production.
If he doesn't mind us spending his money the only real gains in a new Glock would be with a G34 or 35.

September 14, 2012, 01:48 PM
For SSP, you really can make no external modifications, beyond the sights. You can stick skateboard tape on the frame, but no stippling, grip reduction, etc.

IDPA also permits installation of a grip plug behind the magwell, as well as the installation of the larger mag and slide releases found on the G34/35.

September 14, 2012, 02:52 PM
Hey, thanks for the ideas so far!

Yes, I'm definitely going with the Warren Tactical sight set with the fiber optic front. I believe the .215" is the proper height for the Glock 17.

Thinking about triggers, it seems like what I have seen so far is that it's really the connector and the trigger spring that make the difference? So one of the more expensive drop-in kits may not give me much extra benefit for a lot of extra dollars. If that is wrong, please let me know. Also, I realize that only a couple of the drop-in kits would be legal since an OEM trigger is required.

Grip tape is something I will need to look into--something like Falcon grip? Also, what is the benefit of using the plastic grip plug?

Strafer Gott
September 14, 2012, 02:57 PM
17L is now looking like a safe queen. Oh well, better luck next lifetime.

Pond, James Pond
September 14, 2012, 03:30 PM
I shoot IPSC. I do so with my G19.

I bought it from a policeman who had done the same. I added grip-tape, kept the tritium sights he'd added, but I did remove the only other accessory he had used: a mag release extension.

I took it off as the G19 is also an SD gun and I preferred not to run the risk of dropping the mag in a moment of stress.

However, if permitted in the rules of the IDPA & USPSA competitions, you might want to add one: makes dropping the mag much easier and may save those few extra milliseconds!

September 14, 2012, 05:36 PM
Yes, I forgot to mention that I do already have an extended mag drop on the 17.

September 14, 2012, 09:36 PM
One other question that comes to mind: is there any value to changing out the guide rod/recoil spring?

Glenn E. Meyer
September 15, 2012, 02:12 PM
When I see a customized Glock at the IDPA, they don't work! :eek:


Also, folks like to shoot IDPA with a close to carry gun.

September 15, 2012, 03:33 PM
They don't work? What problems do you see them having? Does anyone else notice the same at their matches with customized Glocks?

September 15, 2012, 04:56 PM
Nope...my G17 has over 6000 rounds of uninterrupted service in IDPA and 3-gun ...it has the extended mag release, Heinie Slant Pro sights and a nice 3 lb trigger pull with light striker that's short and smooth.


September 16, 2012, 04:42 PM
get a 34

Jesse Tischauser
September 16, 2012, 08:37 PM
Rather than sink any money into it I'd buy a G34 and customize that instead.

September 17, 2012, 03:48 PM
G17 is perfectly good gun for competition. G34 will need same upgrades as G17, only difference G34 has longer slide hence longer sight radius.

If I were you and just starting in uspsa/idpa, for starters I would only change out sights. You can add trigger kit, stippling and other mods later if you want.
Once you get more involved, you meet new people and most of us don't mind letting other shooters try out equipment. That way you can see what you like better. From personal experience I can say that equipment contributes probably 30% of you performance, rest 70% is skill. A lot of new competitors tend to get hang up on equipment ( me used to be one of them). Spend your money where it counts - ammo, training, matches.

September 17, 2012, 07:41 PM
I appreciate the suggestion, but at $600, for a guy who already owns a Glock 17, buying a Glock 34 is a pretty expensive "upgrade" (although as a justification to the wife for getting another pistol, I like how you think) But then I'd still need to change out the sights on the 34.

Sorry guys, for now I'll pass on the 34 and put a set of Warren Tacticals on the 17.

September 18, 2012, 07:32 AM
To the OP:

1) sights
2) sticky handle
3) trigger
4) practice (because you'll find it's mostly the shooter, not the gear)

To anyone who considers Glock offers "Perfection", visit any GSSF match.
Then report back.

September 18, 2012, 11:30 AM
I'll pass on the 34 and put a set of Warren Tacticals on the 17.

A good choice, IMO. Why spring for another gun before you've even started competing? Run watcha brung. Besides, a G17 is an excellent match gun, and contrary to what others and the sight radius may suggest, not everyone shoots a 34 better than a 17. I have a friend, for example, who's an ESP DM (above Master level) who chooses to shoot a G22 rather than a G35 (the .40S&W version of the G17 & G34, respectively) because he simply shoots the former better. Numerous other shooters I've surveyed have said the same.

Your G17 will be an excellent match gun and can take you far. Good luck.

September 18, 2012, 02:45 PM
They don't work? What problems do you see them having? Does anyone else notice the same at their matches with customized Glocks?

I can't tell if, or how much, they've been customized, but I generally see feed failures. I should say "usually", rather than generally.

September 18, 2012, 03:03 PM
try these out for grips they are cheap and work well, plus I like trying stuff from small hole in the wall businesses http://www.tractiongrips.com/catalog/c1_p1.html

heres mine on my glock http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/576946_3628923212742_1056775890_n.jpg