The original Glock 17 remains one of the most popular handguns on the American market. Although current-production Glock 17s constitute the fifth generation of the iconic pistol, the basic principles that made the G17 successful remain unchanged.
It was, and still is, a full-size 9mm pistol, suitable for civilian, police, or military applications, with a lightweight frame and a high-capacity magazine.
Whether you own an all-original Gen 1 G17 or prefer one of the latest-generation variants, finding a suitable holster can be more challenging than it seems. Follow these tips to choose the best Glock 17 holster.
Knowing Your Glock 17
If you want to find out how to choose the right holster, you must first check which features and accessories your pistol possesses. Ever since Glock first entered the U.S. market in 1986, the company’s flagship pistol, the Glock 17, has gone through five generations and multiple versions and variants.
Glock pistols are one of the most popular handgun platforms in the United States, with extensive support from third-party manufacturers. The sheer quantity of available parts allows you to modify your Glock so thoroughly, you can assemble a complete, 100% functional pistol entirely from third-party parts, leaving little to no OEM parts.
You can even 3D print your Glock frames, making it possible to assemble complete pistols from home.
With so many possible configurations, it is fair to wonder about holster compatibility. Here’s a breakdown of the features to look for when choosing a Glock 9mm holster.
Although there are five different Glock generations, Glock 17 pistols from Gen 1 to Gen 4 have virtually identical external dimensions. Most of the features that matter for a holster are identical. These are barrel length, slide length, slide width, frame width.
Generation 5 pistols have introduced the most significant changes to the G17’s dimensions. One of these changes was the inclusion of an ambidextrous slide release, which made new Gen 5 pistols incompatible with legacy (Gen 3-4) holsters. If you own a G17 Gen 5, ensure your holster fits Gen 5 pistols.
If you own Glock 17s of multiple generations, consider updating your legacy holster with a modern, Gen 3-5 compatible model capable of accepting all of your pistols.
What about home-built or home-finished frames?
If your Glock frame was 3D-printed or finished from an 80% receiver kit, it is probably compatible with standard holsters. The compatibility depends on the frame dimensions being identical to that of an OEM pistol.
Few holsters support non-standard or homemade Glock frames due to the potential variances in dimensions and build quality. However, if you built your Glock 17 frame from a Polymer80 PF940 kit, We The People Holsters offers holsters compatible with this configuration.
Glock 17 MOS and Other Red Dot-Ready G17s
Red dot sights (RDS) are an excellent alternative to standard iron sights that can help you improve your aim and target acquisition. Although aftermarket solutions for installing a red dot on your pistol have existed for several years, their popularity exploded soon after Glock began offering Modular Optic System (MOS) versions of their handguns, including the Glock 17.
The Glock 17 MOS is one of the most accessible ways to install an RDS on your pistol. If a G17 MOS with red dot sight is part of your daily carry, you need a holster with a feature the industry calls a “red dot cut” or “optic cut.”
Under normal circumstances, if you try holstering a pistol with an optic into a standard holster, the sight prevents you from fully seating your handgun. The purpose of the red dot cut is to remove enough material from one of the holster’s sides to clear your optic and let you seat it correctly.
In the past, this type of holster was reserved exclusively for OWB holsters oriented toward competition shooting. Today, you can find modern Glock holsters with red dot cuts in both IWB and OWB configurations, letting you conceal carry your G17 MOS comfortably.
Additionally, red dot cuts are universal. As long as your red dot sight is mounted on the rear of your Glock 17’s slide, your gun should be compatible with a holster featuring a red dot cut, regardless of the make and model of your optic. The same holster will accept a G17 fitted with a Trijicon RMR, Burris FastFire, SIG Sauer RomeoZero, etc.
Glock 17 Pistols With Lights or Lasers
Many concealed-carrying citizens find it advantageous to use a pistol equipped with a tactical light or a laser sight. Lights improve visibility at night and in other low-light situations. A laser sight can help you aim if you can’t get a full-sight picture. Some attachments can even serve as dual light/laser units, letting you benefit from both.
Regardless of your preferences, if you carry a Glock 17 with a light or a laser module, it is imperative to select the correct light-bearing holster. The principle is the same as standard holsters; each light-bearing holster is constructed to fit a particular combination of handgun and light or laser module. You may have some wiggle room between subvariants of the same module, but you must ensure your holster can accept it comfortably.
For example, a holster designed for a G17 equipped with a Streamlight TLR-7 will not fit a G17 with a Surefire X300. However, it may accept a G17 with a TLR-7A, as it has the same overall dimensions as a G17 with a standard TLR-7.
If you take off your light or laser module, such holsters will not provide your Glock 17 with adequate retention. Switch to a standard, non-light-bearing holster instead.
My Glock 17 has both an RDS and a light or laser. Can I still use a holster?
Yes, there are holsters designed to accommodate an optic and a light or laser module simultaneously. These holsters simply feature both a red dot cut and an appropriate light-bearing molding.
Shop 100% American-Made Hand-Crafted Holsters
Whether you carry a 1980s-era Glock 17 or one of the latest Gen 5 MOS models, We The People Holsters offers an extensive selection of everyday carry holsters compatible with your favorite pistol.