Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Glock G30--the results are in

This afternoon, I took my Neighbor and Daughter to the range. I also took the replacement Glock 30 and the gun that I'd purchased as Plan B, a Springfield XD Mod. 2 in .45 ACP. When I first got the word from Glock that they were going to warranty replace the G30, I felt a little foolish that I had jumped the gun with Plan B. After this afternoon, I don't feel so foolish.

I'm forced to the conclusion that there is something about the G30 Gen 4 that simply doesn't work with certain shooters. I find it difficult to believe that two guns produced at two widely different times would have the same malfunction. I also find it difficult to believe the gun is a "bad gun"; if it was the Intertubz would be lit up with that news, and it isn't. The gun may be stupidly ammo sensitive and it wouldn't be the first or the last. Whatever it is, I'm over it.

This particular example is both better and worse than its predecessor, if that can be said. Between myself and Neighbor, we managed 100+ rounds through it before calling it quits. With RWS Match ammo, it functions fairly well--I only took a single piece of brass, and that was off my right shoulder.  Neighbor took none. The PMC Bronze was a disaster when I shot. Nearly every round resulted in the brass hitting me before it hits the ground. Neighbor did better with perhaps 3 in 10 impacting him.

We videoed this from the start, slow motion on an iPhone 7. For the life of me, I can't see anything other than my oddball shooting stance that could be an issue. I'm doing a good job of controlling the recoil, not limp-wristing and so on. But from some of the video, shot from dead behind, if I had my head in a "normal" position, I'd be complaining about the RWS Match ammo as well, as I would have caught a significant fraction of it in my face. I doubt I would have caught much less of the PMC in that position.

The video shows both types of ammo ejecting in roughly the same patterns. There appears to be a difference with the force of the ejection--the PMC seems to eject less forcefully. I noted a distinct difference in the sound of the report between the two, with the PMC being a much sharper crack than the RWS. These two observations made me wonder if the PMC was loaded significantly differently, but a quick Google search shows that the manufacturers are claiming a muzzle velocity of 850 fps for the PMC and 853 for the RWS. While I could chrono examples to be sure, I doubt the difference is going to be that drastically different, so that's probably a wild goose I don't care to chase. I could try other brands of ammo, but I've done that before and I don't think this will make any more difference now than it did then. If this ammo was a problem, it should have showed up earlier with other guns--I've nearly finished off the case of PMC and I'm halfway through the RWS, and most of it was shot in other guns.

The Springfield, on the other hand, digested both types of ammo and performed with the sort of competence that I've come to expect from their pistols. The gun just runs.

I have three other Glocks, a 19, 21, and 23, that I have zero issues with and that I plan on keeping. This one, unless I have some moment of epiphany in the very near future, is going to be on the "thinning the herd" list. I hate it, because it's a very likable gun, if you leave out the whole brass in the face thing. It shoots well, the recoil is easy to manage and the size is easy to conceal. But when you keep getting brass in the face, you develop ugly flinch, and that's not an advantage in self defense situation.

Sorry, G30, you're getting kicked to the curb. I hope your next owner has better luck with you.


Alien said...

If it were a geometry problem involving the spacial relationship between extractor, ejector and port location, I'd think it would have been more frequently reported; after all, your 30 is not the only one in the universe. Same holds true for ammunition choice; someone must be using the same brand, bullet weight - and, probably, the same lot number - as you.

Which makes me wonder if everyone with a 30 suffers from "forehead brass' and just thinks that's the way it's supposed to be (were the sales of 30s predominantly to newbies - which may be the case - Not Knowing Any Better could be a contributing factor, but even virgins usually know someone who's had sex and sometimes even associate with them).

Wonder if: 1) there's something about how the brass is/is not supported by the chamber upon extraction, and/or; 2) slide velocity issues, and/or; 3) some sort of interference from the next round in the mag exerting upward pressure (feed lip design/shape, magazine angle in relation to the bore?). #3 could be tested by not having a next round (or, even no mag inserted), but as for #1 and #2, that's lab work for Glock to perform.

Robert said...

Nothing intelligent to add other than my G17 has managed to insert brass (HOT!)in between eye pro and eye brow. Luckily(?) it was the non-functioning eye. Gunz r fun.

The Freeholder said...

Alien, I've considered trying a less stout recoil spring, and I've considered reshaping the ejector. I've also considered some of the things I've seen about polishing the extractor. I may try the latter as it's a no-cost thing, but I've put enough money into this project already, especially since I have a viable alternative in the Springfield.

I'd love to know the sales figures on the G30. It may be that it simply doesn't sell enough that the problem gets a lot of publicity.