Barra 009 vs. Umarex G17 Gen4 Part 1

Barra 009 vs. Umarex G17 Gen4 Part 1

Parts is Parts

By Dennis Adler

On face value (and in approximate MSRPs, $159.95 for the 009 and $149.95 for the G17 Gen4) these two blowback action CO2 models are very similar guns with the obvious $10 difference in retail being the 009’s select-fire capability and Glock 18-style selector switch on the slide. Barra took a lot of liberties with the overall design of their pistol by using a non-Glock style grip design and triggerguard configuration. As for the forward slide serrations, you can get those on new Glocks as well, though in not exactly the same style. Overall, the 009 looks like a subtly customized Glock 17. But there is more to it than that.

You all knew this was inevitable. Every time someone makes a variation of an existing gun there is the inevitable comparison, it happens repeatedly in the world of centerfire guns and Glocks are no exception. With the new CO2 models, however, the parallels are more specific because the guns use the same parts manufactured in Taiwan and there is no real exclusivity beyond trademarks, because design patents expire and the floodgates open; this has been true with centerfire guns since the Colt’s patents for the revolver expired in 1857. When patents for the Colt 1911 expired it happened, and it has happened to almost every famous handgun in history. In the end all one really has as a legendary armsmaker is their name. If it looks like a Colt, shoots like a Colt but isn’t marked Colt, it isn’t a Colt. (It might be better in some ways, but it is not, nor will it ever be a Colt). Same for Glock, not legendary yet, but certainly the stuff of which legends are made, if the Austrian armsmaker continues to build guns that are used by more military, law enforcement and government agencies than almost any other in the world. Glock is going head-to-head with Sig Sauer, Beretta, FN, H&K, Colt’s, Smith & Wesson, and other acclaimed manufacturers with histories far, far older than Glock’s. Not to put too fine of a point on this, the Glock 17 is regarded among the 100 most important gun designs in the history of firearms; not bad for a company that hadn’t made a gun before the 1980s!

It’s what’s under the hood that matters, in automotive jargon, and when you look under the G17 Gen4’s hood (field stripped) you find it is very much like a centerfire Glock with a heavy dual recoil spring and guide rod design, a Glock shaped magazine and a barrel that is again very Glock-like in appearance. It’s all good for a CO2 pistol based on a centerfire gun.
And what do we have with the 009? We have the same exact thing, in a slightly different package. You can debate the grip angle and contour, some will find this more 1911-like approach more desirable. The double undercut triggerguard is 100 percent better than the Glock design for two reasons; you have two hands.

So, here we are with two CO2-powered copies of a popular design, both using almost identical internal components and the same fundamental composite polymer-like frames and cast alloy slides, with one bearing Glock trademark styling cues and the other looking like a customized version (which also exist in the centerfire world; I actually own one).

Comparisons of designs have already been done in my initial articles on the Barra 009, so now we are going to take the next step (as I suspect some of you who have both guns may have already done) and see if they shoot exactly the same. So, here we go.

While it is just a box, the Barra has a very good one to make a home for the CO2 pistol when not in use. The Umarex Glock lives in a blister pack if you can salvage it, or just spring for a gun rug or an inexpensive plastic gun case. The $10 difference in price gets absorbed pretty quickly.

Weight, ease of handling, trigger pulls

All of the guns come have factory specifications but today I am going to measure each gun myself, weight them on my scale, and measure the trigger pulls on a Lyman trigger pull gauge.

So how do these two very similar guns physically measure up? As you can see the 009 is slightly longer, and has a much longer beavertail to protect the shooter’s hand. Again, there is no downside to this.

The Barra 009 is actually a little larger than the Umarex Glock 17 Gen4 (as shown in the photo) due to the grip angle and extended beavertail. The uniquely shaped double undercut triggerguard is also larger making the 009’s better suited to holsters intended for the Springfield Armory XD pistols (the Swiss Arms Level 1 locking paddle rig sold for the XDM CO2 models fits the 009 perfectly).

Remember that the triggerguard on the 009 makes it impossible to fit it in a Glock holster. The gun actually fits most Springfield Armory XDM rigs, leather as well as this Swiss Arms XDM holster sold by Pyramyd Air. The Level 1 locking paddle rig is a perfect fit for the Barra. And as previously noted, the CO2 BB mags are the same so the Barra’s mags fit actual G17 mag pouches. Holster problem solved.
Of course, if you have a real Glock 17 Gen4 and an injected molded holster for it, the CO2 model will slip right in. One holster for two guns; great for training.

Both guns handle exactly the same (even the magazines are interchangeable as I noted in earlier 009 reviews), and aside from the select-fire lever on the Barra, feel the same in the hand. The Umarex Glock 17 Gen4 weighs 26.0 ounces (on my scale), the 009 weighs 26.5 ounces. Comparative trigger pulls averaged 4 pounds, 13.9 ounces for the G17 Gen4 and 4 pounds, 14 ounces for the 009. Trigger take-up on the Gen4 to break the shot measures 0.31 inches, and a slightly longer 0.43 inches for the 009. Both triggers feel equally smooth. The average 9mm Glock 17 (factory spec) trigger take-up is 0.5 inches, and trigger pull 5 pounds. Average weight with empty magazine is 24.8 ounces. Both air pistols are slightly heavier than the 9mm pistol, with most of that attributed to the CO2 BB magazines.

Both guns use the same sight design. The 009 has a completely different grip texture. The slide cover is the same on both guns, but pay close attention to the back of the 009’s slide and what appears to be the typical round back of an ejector found on many semi-auto pistols. Even though it is on the left side of the slide cover, and not the right where it would usually be found, (ah, but Glocks don’t have one at the rear of the slide), this is a hint at where things begin to go their own way between the 009 and the G17 Gen4 CO2 slide designs.
Internally, the G17 Gen4 CO2 frame is the same as the 009, but look under the slides. The red circles and arrows point to a very different design at the rear of the slide. This is all related to the select fire mechanism. And you were about to ask what?

While everything seems to be almost identical between the two CO2 pistols, there is a slight difference in the internal design of the 009 and the G17 Gen4 slides, while the internal design of the frames (aside from differences in shape) appears to be identical. The only difference in parts is the selector switch and its related components. What does that actually mean (aside from full auto firing capability) between the 009 and G17 Gen4?

In part 2 we will address the elephant in the room.

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