What can you say about the Glock 17 that hasn’t been said a million times before? The guns were so popular over the last 40 years, it seems like I can’t visit the range without seeing at least one appear on the firing line.
That’s great news if you like to dabble in the used gun market. The guns are notoriously rugged, and many have a very low round count after spending most of their lives in gun lockers or as seldom-fired duty guns for LEO. Sometimes they even come with extra perks like working night sights.
We pulled this old law enforcement Glock 17 Gen 4 from the Guns.com Vault to see how it’s held up. In complete transparency, I’ll most likely purchase this one for my personal collection now that the testing is done. Here’s why…
Navigating Wear & Tear?
First, let’s start with the obvious. Not all used guns have lived the same life, so don’t expect them to come out of the box looking factory fresh with that new gun smell. That’s really one of my least concerns when buying a gun anyway. However, Guns.com provides a Certified Used Gun Program to help take some of the guesswork out of buying used guns. These “Certified Used Guns” are only in excellent and very good condition – and they now include free shipping.
The used Glock that we pulled for this review is in "very good" condition and came from a stock of LEO trade-ins. Personally, I love these types of guns. They come with enough history to make them individually interesting and guilt-free range companions. I prefer that over relegating a fine piece of history or pristine custom gun to a sad, lonely life in my safe.
As a previous service pistol, it’s easy to assume the gun would have lived a rough life. But this pistol has less wear on it than my own Glock 19, which primarily only served as a concealed carry gun. To be honest, I probably put more rounds through the used Glock in testing than the previous owner did over the life of the gun. I can barely tell the difference between this “very good” used Glock and a brand-new gun after its first trip to the range.
Speaking of Range Time
It’s a Glock 17, so I’m not going to blow anyone’s mind when I say it chomped through 250 rounds of 9mm just fine. It almost felt criminal to try and push through any more boxes of ammo given the current shortage. Suffice it to say the gun is reliable, and it will do its part on the range if you do yours.
Because it is a used gun, I did decide to throw together some aftermarket Glock magazines for testing as well. Glock OEM mags are great, but it’s always fun to throw in a mix of “fun-sized” mags for kicks. The clear ETS Group mags were particularly enjoyable for range time.
The magazines fed – and the Glock ate – any of the mix of 9mm ammo we brought to the range: 124-grain Fiocchi, 115-grain Federal, 115-grain Blazer Brass, and even an old box of semi-tarnished 115-grain Remington. I got the old Remington ammo as a "white elephant" Christmas gift three years ago. (It came tarnished, so don’t hold that against me).
When you buy a gun, you’re really not just buying the gun, right? They have a way of becoming small money pits as you drop cash on all the extras that make them work: holsters, ammo, additional mags, upgraded sights, etc.
Luckily, this Glock came with pre-installed night sights from its past LEO service. The sights are metal and still bright. That spared me from having to pay to replace the typical polymer three-dot sights that come with most Glocks, as I did with my personal Glock 19.
The other advantage of going for a used gun can be price. If you’re going to put the gun to use anyway, it doesn’t need to be pristine and unfired. In fact, it’s somewhat freeing to know that the gun is already broken in a bit and ready for a life of actual use. Any cash you saved can now go toward the ammo, holsters, and mags you want.
From my experience – I’ve bought my last seven guns used – previously owned guns are generally worth giving serious consideration before you jump in on a brand-new firearm with both feet. This particular LEO trade-in Glock 17 was definitely well cared for before arriving at Guns.com.
Depending on how a certain department maintained their duty guns and armory stocks, that can sometimes prove to be to your advantage as well. I’ve picked up a few military surplus pistols that didn’t even have signs of holster wear. Add all that to the fact that I haven’t seen a new Glock at my local dealers for weeks with the current surge of gun sales, and I’m game for a pistol that’s lived a little already.