Wednesday, February 01, 2017

A new gun malfunction

This past weekend I went to the Greensboro Gun Show and acquired a Glock 30 Gen 4. I'd decided that I needed to up my carry gun game, and this was the gun I believed would be the current best choice for that slot, given my particular prejudices, needs and overall situation, including budget.

So, yesterday I took it to the range to begin the break-in process. Two shots and I'm getting hit in the head by flying brass. WTF? How does this happen? So I resume, and I continue to get pelted. This goes on for 120 rounds. Roughly half the rounds ping me somewhere at the shoulders or above, most of the rest barely miss me. I'm literally standing in a pile of brass.

Yeah, call me stupid, but I was wondering if it was some weird break-in issue I could shoot through.

That night, I start Googling.  Let's see, "glock ejector problems" and boom, the Intertubz unleashes. Result #2 was a GlockTalk forum post on the topic, with the instructions "Google 'Glock BTF.'"

OK, I can handle that. The Intertubz answers the query with several metric tons of "Glock Brass To Face" results. It seems that late in the Gen 3s and going into the Gen 4s, 9mm Glocks came down with some sort of extractor issue. Unfortunately, it isn't restricted to the 9mm guns (thus my Glock 30, which is a .45 ACP gun) and it appears no one, including Glock, seems to know a surefire fix. Options include polishing the factory extractor, replacing it with a new billet extractor, changing various and sundry springs, ammo changes, sending back to the factory and sacrificing a live chicken. No option or group of options are guaranteed to work. It's a case-by-case thing.

Being this was a brand new gun, I decided to call Glock rather than doing things that would void the warranty. Their first question was "Have you tried different ammo?" Well no, I hadn't--I don't normally carry multiple brands to the range.  But I had carried my other Glock, a Glock 21 Gen 4, and it digested the same ammo just fine, thanks. Still, their suggestion was to try different ammo, and if that didn't work, send it back--on my dime, of course. Aren't warranties wonderful? So I plucked two different brands off the shelf and went back to the range. Same results.

Tomorrow my new gun may well be submitted to the tender mercies of FedEx Overnight for transport to Smyrna, GA. Based on more interrogation of the Intertubz, this may or may not solve the problem.

I'm less than thrilled with that knowledge as well as the idea I have to shell out $50 or so to test the theory. The Glocks were something of an experiment for me.  I've got a number of Springfield XD pistols, and I've never had any trouble from them, despite every jackass on the Intertubz telling me what pieces of crap they are.

I may also just call the dealer I bought it from and get their take on the situation. Depending on what they say, we may bypass FedEx and just move on to different pistol, perhaps even a different brand.

Hey Glock, you want to lose a customer? Because this is how you lose a customer--for life.

Edit, 2/2/2017: Well, all said and done, the final decision was to send it back to Glock. Thank God I live in North Carolina, because that kept the FedEx Overnight bill down to "just" $75. My amusement level is at zero and threatening to hit negative numbers. I almost hope the damn thing gets "lost in transit". It would be the most financially advantageous outcome I could get at this point.

Edit, 2/19/2017: If you're interested, the story continues here.


Anonymous said...

Two of my three Glocks have BTF syndrome. My gen 3 G26 & a gen 3 G19 both had BTF once or twice per magazine at minimum-even more during the first 100 rounds. In both guns, it gradually decreased by the 500 round mark. After that I occasionally still get 1 round of BTF every hundred rounds or so.

After calling Glock and getting similar results, I have decided to just not buy any more Glocks. My Springfield XD subcompact is a nice medium between the Glock 19 & 26 and there are plenty of other brands out there that stand by their product with a less pretentious customer service experience.

Jerry The Geek said...

Point: I'm no fan of Glocks, but it seems to me that any other major manufacturer would be more responsive to what is obviously a flaw in the manufacturing process.

Point: I've had a couple of 1911's with very (shall we say) "Exuberant" Extractors/ejectors. None of them ever threw brass at my face ... which seems equally obviously a flaw in manufacturing rather than design.

Point: I admit that I'm no gunsmith, so I can't point at either the extractor or the ejector, but it seems to me that the ejector might be more likely to be 'pointing' the arc of the ejected brass, than the extractor.

Point: My Significant Other use to go to USPSA matches in summer wearing low-cut blouses; I pointed out to her that this may not have been her best-ever clothing choice in competition. It took about two hot brass disappearing down the front of her blouse to convince here to not wear a top that looks like a funnel to a lonely piece of brass.

Point: All of my former friends were quite put out at me when she quit wearing scoop-necked blouses. I will not comment on the best way to make a burn-owies "feel all better".

nickt1y said...

I had a Canik TP9SA that would eject brass to the forehead. The fix on that particular unit was to bend the ejector (piece that kicks the brass located on the frame) a tiny bit. The glock should respond similarly since the design is very similar.

The Freeholder said...

Jerry and nickt1y, you may well be correct. I'll do a full post on it after I get tot he range, but the G30 showed up yesterday, and among the work performed was a change in the ejector. The new ejector is similar if not identical to the one in my G21. I am hoping for a big difference.