Glock 17 vs. Springfield Echelon: A Fair Head-to-Head Matchup?

When choosing a reliable and effective handgun, the market offers a plethora of options, each with its unique features and characteristics. Two prominent contenders in the realm of handguns are the Glock 17 and the Springfield Echelon. Both firearms have gained popularity among gun enthusiasts and law enforcement agencies alike. How do they compare head-to-head?


The Glock 17 and the Springfield Echelon are full-sized handguns designed for diverse applications, from self-defense to professional use. The Glock 17, a staple in the firearms industry, boasts a standard magazine capacity of 17 rounds of 9mm ammunition. Of course, it’s a Glock, so you can get gigantic magazines of 50 rounds or more, but each size up makes it harder to conceal.

The Springfield Echelon also offers a slightly larger capacity, with a standard magazine holding up to 17 rounds of 9mm ammunition, but comes with a spare magazine holding 20. These extra rounds can be decisive for those prioritizing firepower in a self-defense or duty pistol. Springfield magazines are not as common, so there’s that.

Barrel Length

The barrel length of a handgun can significantly impact its accuracy and ease of concealment. The Glock 17 features a 4.49-inch barrel, providing a balanced combination of accuracy and maneuverability. This length is common among full-sized pistols, striking a compromise between a compact design and effective ballistics.

In contrast, the Springfield Echelon has a slightly (barely) longer barrel, measuring 4.5 inches, making the sight radius and accuracy pretty much a wash between the two. The extra .01 inch will make zero difference in the real world.

Overall Size

When it comes to overall size, both the Glock 17 and the Springfield Echelon fall within the typical dimensions of full-sized handguns. The Glock 17 measures 8.03 inches in length, 5.43 inches in height, and 1.26 inches in width. This compact yet substantial size makes it suitable for various applications, including duty use and concealed carry for those who prefer larger handguns.

The Springfield Echelon is slightly larger, measuring 8.5 inches in length, 5.6 inches in height, and 1.3 inches in width. While still within the realm of full-sized pistols, the Echelon’s dimensions may affect its concealability compared to the more compact Glock 17.


Weight is a crucial factor influencing both comfort in carrying and recoil management. The Glock 17, known for its lightweight polymer frame, weighs approximately 25.06 ounces (unloaded). This makes it a favorable choice for those prioritizing a lightweight firearm for extended carry or use. Similarly, the Echelon weighs around 24 ounces (unloaded).

When considering loaded weight, which includes the weight of the firearm with a fully loaded magazine, the Glock 17 with 17 rounds of 9mm ammunition weighs approximately 31.9 ounces. With its larger magazine capacity of 18 rounds, the Springfield Echelon weighs around 32.5 ounces when loaded. 


Both the Glock 17 and the Springfield Echelon enjoy positive reputations within the firearms community. The Glock 17, introduced in the 1980s, has become a benchmark for reliability and simplicity. It is widely used by military and law enforcement agencies worldwide, attesting to its durability and performance in various conditions.

The Springfield Echelon, a more recent entry into the market, has garnered attention for its quality craftsmanship and attention to detail. Springfield Armory has a history of producing reliable and accurate firearms. While not as entrenched in the market as the Glock, the Echelon has quickly gained recognition for its performance.


Price is a critical factor for many prospective firearm buyers. The Glock 17 is often considered a more budget-friendly option, with a price range typically between $500 and $600. Its widespread availability and large market presence contribute to its affordability.

On the other hand, the Springfield Echelon, a newer and potentially premium offering, tends to have a higher price point. Prices for the Echelon typically start at around $700 and can go higher depending on the specific model and features chosen. While it may be a pricier option, some users may find the additional features and build quality justify the cost.

Parting Shots

In the world of handguns, the Glock 17 and the Springfield Echelon stand out as reputable choices with distinct features and characteristics. The Glock 17 offers a proven track record of reliability, a compact design, and an affordable price point. Meanwhile, the Springfield Echelon boasts a slightly larger capacity, an extended barrel for enhanced accuracy, and a durable steel frame.

Choosing between these two handguns ultimately depends on individual preferences, priorities, and budget considerations. Whether you prioritize a time-tested classic or a modern contender with premium features, the Glock 17 and the Springfield Echelon have something to offer in full-sized handguns.

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David Workman is an avid gun guy and a contributing writer to several major gun publications. As an NRA-certified instructor, David trains new shooters on basic handgun skills and CCW requirements and is a strong advocate for training as much as possible. “Real-life shootouts don’t happen at a box range.”



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