While the Glock service, compact, and sub-compact pistols
are extremely well-known and have built a substantial
following, the company's two long-slide models are known
to a smaller, more select group - mostly competitive shooters.
Because of their many performance advantages over other
pistols, however, these superb handguns deserve a lot more
The long-slide pistols I am referring to are the Glock models
G17L in 9mm and G24 in .40 S&W. The G24 comes in two
variations, the standard G24 and the G24C with compensator
ports in the top of the barrel and slide. At one time, the 17L
was also available with a compensated barrel, but it has since
been discontinued, probably because the muzzle jump of the
unported G17L is insignificant.
Compared to Standard Models
These pistols are virtually identical to the standard Glock
9mm G17 and .40 S&W G22 service pistols, except their barrels
are 6.02 as opposed to 4.49 inches, and their slides have been
lengthened to match. The slides also have windows cut into
their top, probably more to reduce weight than for any other
reason. However, the window in the G24C's slide allows the
compensator cuts to vent gas upward. In the 9mm model, the
window is predictably larger than in the .40 since the smaller
caliber would require a lighter slide for proper functioning.
As a result, when both are empty, the G24 is about three
ounces heavier than the G17L and, because of its heavier
ammunition, still another two or three ounces heavier when
There are some other differences between standard and
long-slide Glocks. As standard equipment, the long-slides
come with an extended magazine release and adjustable
rear sight. The former facilitates changing the magazine,
which is of critical importance during competition. The
long-slide sight has the elevation and windage adjusted
by two small screws (a tiny screwdriver is supplied). The
elevation mechanism has only four different settings, but
they cover most of the typical bullet weights and loads.
The G17L and G24 also differ from other Glocks in that they
come equipped with a 3.5 pound connector. The connector
and trigger spring control the weight of a Glock pistol's trigger
Glocks For Competition
Long-slide Glocks were designed for action-type competition,
a growing American shooting sport that includes International
Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC), bowling pin, Glock
Sport Shooting Foundation (GSSF), falling plate, three gun,
NRA Action as well as others. For competition where there's
no power rating, the 9mm G17L has won many times over,
thanks to its low recoil and extremely high magazine capacity.
When a match involves a power factor, which favors more
powerful cartridges, the G24's .40 S&W chambering makes
'major' quite easily Thus, the shooter will get the maximum
points for hits. The versatility edge goes to the G24. In matches
without a power factor the shooter can use light-recoiling
loads and heavier loads otherwise.
The compensated barrel of the G24C definitely cuts down
muzzle flip to a significant degree. The heavier and harder
kicking the load, the more difference it makes. However,
there is no free lunch. The penalty is an increase in muzzle
blast and flash, as well as some velocity loss. Also, it's important
to consider the disadvantage inherent with using the compensated
barrel in certain competitions. In IPSC and most bowling-pin-type
competitions, the uncompensated G24 qualifies as a 'stock gun"
or limited class gun, a class that all Glocks do well in. However,
the compensated G24 must compete in the "unlimited' or open
class with the multithousand-dollar optically-sighted raceguns
of the type used by the professional and semi-professional
These long-barreled Glocks have a number of other charms,
not the least of which is a more-muzzle-heavy balance. As
the G17L is only about 1.5 ounces heavier than the standard
G17, this is not as pronounced as with the G24, which is 3.5
ounces heavier than the G22. This extra weight and more-forward
balance help steady the gun when it's shot from the offhand
The 1.5-inch-longer sight radius of the long-slides contributes
to accuracy in two ways. First, the extra long sight radius
exaggerates any sight misalignment, which then allows the
shooter to make corrections. Second, because the front sight
is farther away from the shooter's eyes, it appears somewhat
narrower. This in turn results in more daylight visible on each
side of the front sight blade. The net effect is to make it easier
to center the front sight in the rear sight notch. This leads to
faster and better shooting.
With my personal specimens and favorite ammunition it's easy
to get groups under 2 inches at 25 yards from a supported position.
Indeed, groups under 1.5 inches are fairly common with some loads.
Since a 3-inch group at 25 yards is more than adequate for limited
class competition, the inherently better accuracy of the long-slide
Glocks is delightful.
All of the above stated advantages for the long-slide Glocks
are more than enough to justify their existence. However,
there's another advantage that comes with these guns. Their
longer-than-normal barrels give higher-than-normal velocities
with practically every load. You wouldn't think that a mere
1.5-inch longer barrel would make much of a difference, but
My favorite conventional 9mm combat load is the Cor-Bon
115-grain JHP that's loaded to a nominal muzzle velocity of
1350 feet per second (fps). In my Glock G17L it delivered a
screaming 1502 fps average muzzle velocity. Folks, that leaves
the 110-grain .357 Magnum load in the dust and nips closely
at the heels of the hot 125-grain magnum load.
My favorite conventional load in .40 S&W is the Cor-Bon 135-grain
JHP load, with a velocity of 1300 fps. When this load was fired
in my 6-inch-barreled unported G24, it averaged a blistering 1446
fps. This is well over the performance of the hot +P .45 ACP load
and matches the velocity of the hot 125-grain .357 load. It's also
ballistically well into full-power 10mm territory.
The longer barrels of the G17L and G24 ballistically turn the 9mm
+P into a .357 Magnum and the .40 S&W into a full-power 10mm
load. Of course, I fully realize that a higher velocity and energy
do not automatically make a bullet more effective. With the
.40 S&W 135-grain JHP, however, the very same bullet is used
by Cor-Bon in their full-power 10mm ammunition.
With the 9mm cartridge, the G17L's higher velocities also enable
the shooter to get better ballistics out of standard velocity loads.
Thus, the shooter can use low-recoiling standard velocity ammunition
and still get high-performance +P ballistics. Yet another advantage
of the longer barrels is lower muzzle flash and blast - the hotter
the load, the more noticeable the difference.
While some people would dismiss the Glock G17L and G24 as just
competition guns, I do not. Not only do these pistols qualify for
personal defense, and law enforcement, they also rank at the
top for overall handgun performance, with their only disadvantage
being concealed carry. However, for those situations where
concealment is not a factor, their performance advantages are
many - low muzzle flash, low muzzle blast, long sight radius,
superb pointability, forward balance, fast shot recovery, high
capacity and higher-than-normal velocity. These qualities place
the Glock long-slides in a class by themselves.