By Mike Searson
Gun writer, Mike Searson, gets us our first look at the Glock 17 Gen 4 FS pistol, with the included front serrations and more…
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Recently Glock shipped us one of their latest handgun models for review: The Glock 17 Gen 4 FS. FS for Front Serrations. No, this is not the much anticipated M model, but it does come with some extra stuff.
Like the name suggests it has front cocking serrations.
But wait, there’s more.
Apart from the front cocking serrations, we noticed that this model has all the interchangeable back straps for which the Fourth Generation is known.
A few of the newer features include a set of steel sights in Glock’s traditional plastic sight configuration and an extended magazine release button and extended slide stop lever. The only things that could have completed this package would have been a threaded barrel, ambidextrous slide stop and an MOS ready slide plate.
I guess you can’t have everything, but at least they held onto the ubiquitous Glock pistol rail that we have come to love.
Glock 17 Gen 4 FS
All of these are steps in the right direction toward what we see Glock taking in their quest to build a better handgun. Ambidextrous slide stops and a lack of finger grooves cannot be too far behind!
Shooting this model was not unlike shooting a standard fourth Generation Glock 17. The trigger is the same, as is the grip angle. We did not notice any difference between the new metal sights and the standard plastic ones they have been selling for 3 decades. The sight picture is the same; the metal ones may just be more durable. Most shooters will still swap them out for tritium night sights or fiber optic light gathering sights.
What's the deal with front cocking serrations?
From an aesthetic purpose, people either love them or hate them.
One mindset is that they ruin the clean lines of a pistol slide. There may be some merit to this on a classic pistol with a high luster blue or polished stainless finish. They would look absolutely horrid on a S&W Model 52 for instance.
The other camp, particularly the folks who like having them, feels they give the handgun a more tactical or in some cases utilitarian look. What handgun embodies both of these qualities better than a Glock 17?
This is America. If you like front cocking serrations and use them, buy them. If they are not your cup of tea, there are hundreds of other firearms out there to look at.
Front cocking serrations come from the custom gun world. Back in the olden days when red dot sights were a lot bigger certain mounts often blocked the rear slide serrations. Some shooters got around this by removing their rear sight and installing a slide racker. Our problem with this method was that the aftermarket options dropped in fine for a 1911 slide cut for a Bo-Mar rear sight, which meant you had to get creative if your slide was not milled for such a sight.
Adding the forward serrations was a less expensive milling job, plus it allowed you to retain your rear sight if you decided to leave the IPSC scene.
They have some virtue on shorter barreled handguns for showing clear or performing a press check, in that it can be easier to push back through the resistance of the recoil spring, etc. as opposed to pulling back from the rear. We have not personally experienced that, but a number of shooters have mentioned it.
Aside from aesthetics, the use of an oversized sight and mount or perceived ease of push vs. pull; we do not tend to be a big fan of front cocking serrations. If they are precut in the slide we can either take them or leave them, but we can mostly do without them.
If you do make use of front cocking serrations, please do so as a pinch check from the underhand position or over hand position without letting any part of your hand or your fingers cover the muzzle.
Putting your hand in front of the bore is never a good idea and will get you disqualified or at the very least flagged as a safety violator from most matches. The worst it can do is take away part of your hand or fingers, especially if you should be trying to clear a jam and that primer strikes the edge of the extractor while you are trying to sweep that slide rearward.
Although we have not personally witnessed that act, it is in the realm of possibility.
The only other issue we see with front cocking serrations is that they tend to eat up the insides of well-made leather holsters. We personally had to clean leather shavings out of one rig that we used a Wilson CQB with over a decade ago. It was minimal but it does happen. Kydex holsters should be fine.
We suppose the serrated surface may aid some people in disassembling the pistol, but we have never had a problem taking down a Glock without them. Glock’s Tenifer surface coating has always made these pistols very easy to manipulate by the metal parts in virtually any situation.
The other upgrades to the pistol are a welcome sign of better things to come from Glock and as usual, we cannot wait to see what they roll out next.
Glock has stated that this is a limited run pistol, perhaps to test the waters to see if there is an actual demand for these features or to give Glock enthusiasts another limited edition to add to their collections. The official name is a bit wordy, we think the Glock 17 FS has a nice ring to it, though.
About Mike Searson
Mike Searson's career as a shooter began as a Marine Rifleman at age 17. He has worked in the firearms industry his entire adult life as a Gunsmith, Ballistician, Consultant, Salesman, Author and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1989.
Mike has written over 2000 articles for a number of magazines, websites and newsletters including Blade, RECOIL, OFF-GRID, Tactical Officer, SWAT, Tactical World, Gun Digest, Examiner.com and the US Concealed Carry Association as well as AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.
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