Why Is the GLOCK 17 Called 17?

Recently we have received a number of emails inquiring about the name origin of GLOCK's first pistol the G17. I think the launch of the recent GLOCK / Lipseys P80 has renewed the curiosity about how the model name came to be. As a side note, the GLOCK P80 was called the P80 by the Austrian Military.

glock g17 gen1

First let's dispel some of the myths about the G17 name:

Myth 1: The GLOCK 17 was called the 17 because the magazine capacity is 17 rounds. This is false.

Myth 2: The GLOCK 17 is called the 17 because the 1980 Austrian Military requirement for a new service sidearm had 17 criteria. This is false.

As I was researching Book Of Glock, I discovered why the GLOCK 17 called the 17. As the pistol was being developed, Mr. Glock applied for various during the process. The GLOCK 17 was named after the number patent filed by Mr. Glock during the development of the pistol.


  • Dale, by now you have surely learned of GlockTalk online. Join the forums, especially the Glock Collectors subforum. Many highly knowledgeable collectors there. One fellow posted a photo of his > 30 Glock 17s, 19s, and 17Ls, including 2 Gen. 1 G19 pistols… It sounds like you would be smart to NOT SELL your G17 (aka G17.1 in shorthand). Best of luck!,

    DC Handgun Info
  • I wondered if you could help me.

    I just bought a Glock 17 Gen 1 in the original tupperware box, with the sticker lable on the side with SN#. The barrel code is VTH (November 1986) and SN# BCxxx.

    It is the first handgun I’ve ever bought and was wondering if I should keep it or sell it? I was just looking for a good self-protection pistol and actually got this at a great price, because the previous owner didn’t think it was anything special, nor did I when I bought it from a private seller.

    I don’t know if it was ever fired and was wondering if it could be, after all these years? I cleaned it and it looks fine, but not sure…

    Any information you could give me would be appreciated, as I am learning it is one of the first Glock 17’s built. Or tell me where I could learn more on this gun.

  • I read in Robert Sadowski’s book, “Book of Glock”, around page 29, the 17 specs that the Austrian Defense Ministry issued in 1980 for a gun to replace the P38 they were using. Those were the specs that Glock’s team incorporated in the design.

    I don’t know if I read it or I think I read that is where the 17 comes from.
    John says he read that it’s from the first pattern Glock received.

    Can you help clarify?


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