Monday, March 21, 2011

Perfection.

ToddG at Pistol-Training.com, who has previously done extended (and extensively documented) tests of a S&W M&P9, an HK P30, and an HK45, decided that this year's subject would be a Gen 4 Glock 17.

Unfortunately, there were... issues.

Think about this the next time you hear someone say "I trust Brand X enough to just take one out of the box, load it up, and put it in my holster."

28 comments:

og said...

Bad stuff sneaks out of even the best places. When one of my customers was putting together a system for Buell, you'd be absolutely amazed at what went out the door as a finished bike. Don't get me started with Chrysler. So yeah, not at all surprising that the 2x4 folks would get a lemon, now and then.

Tam said...

Og,

Actually, the problems with the Gen4 Glocks appear to be due more to design and less to shoddy QC. :(

Glock's been burning the midnight oil on fixes, but it's left a bad taste in a lot of mouths.

og said...

Kraut machine tools have a tendency towards hubris. "That will NEVAH break!! and then of course it does, as is inevitable. And because everyone assumed it couldn't, no spares are available. In industry, the rule of thumb is, a german/austrian machine will run like dickens until it breaks, then you have the damnedest time getting parts, which are made of unobtanium, and carried across the himalayas by geriatric carrier pigeons with 3 pack a day habits.

I am kinda not suprorised to find that similar things are true of the firearms.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

I didn't read all the comments there, but a couple of commenters made a good point - they shouldn't have changed the internals. I'm not a big fan of Glock (for ergonomic reasons, mainly), and I'm saying this as someone who has never fired one, but even I'll admit that they seemed to be rock-solid reliable before. There didn't seem to be any need for improvement internally.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. You change a highly functional system at your own peril, and it seems Glock is learning that the hard way.

docjim505 said...

This strikes me as the sort of testing that firearms, especially those designed for personal defense / law enforcement, OUGHT to get. I've b*tched for years about "reviews" that basically have the author get a single example of the arm, spend an afternoon running a few hundred rounds through it, then pronouncing it the shizzle or a dog.

Thank you.

pdb said...

This is more than a sample of one. There's something wrong with the Gen 4 Glocks and the longer the factory is mum on the issue, the better S&W's M&P looks to me.

pdb said...

...for recommending to n00bs. My Gen 3 Glocks remain trusted daily companions.

Lewis said...

From my limited understanding of the issue, wasn't the change to the internals motivated by a desire to have a single recoil spring assembly for both the .40 and 9mm versions? I've noticed that, of the Gen4 problems I've read about, they all seem to be 9mms.

Oh wells . . . .

Boat Guy said...

Reason enough to renew my subscription to Gun Tests.
I've shot and carried Glocks over the years (though NOT by choice), but can't imagine anybody who's serious about things (like, uh, life) EVER going directly from box-to-holster.
Thankfully, my carry pieces are by MY choice now (though circumscribed by Federal fiat still).
Even the piece you just test-fired before exiting the perimeter can fail; "One is none, two is one"

Tam said...

Lewis,

"...a single recoil spring assembly for both the .40 and 9mm versions?"

They've always shared a common recoil spring. (The 10mm/.45 Glocks share a common recoil spring with each other, too.)

Tam said...

Boat Guy,

"Reason enough to renew my subscription to Gun Tests."

Gun Tests is one of those magazines that I like in concept, but I stopped reading some time back simply because... well, I wish their average writer knew as much about guns and how they work as ToddG.

Anonymous said...

I will say my Gen 3 G19 has been much more reliable than either of my M&P9s. The M&P has been back twice, the M&P Pro has been back once.

My population of pistols is probably not statistically signifi
cant so your results may vary.

Gaston, that’s what you get for improving Glock Perfection!

Gerry

CTone said...

Dang! I just recommended one of the 4th Gens to somebody this weekend. I guess this is how I find out that Glock buggered with a solid design.

Noah D said...

Dang. I was looking real hard at the Gen4 G19.

Might give the SR9C and/or M&P another glance, then.

Frank W. James said...

Generally speaking, in my experience, Glocks overall have been exceptional in terms of their reliability, but no one at Glock will even begin to discuss the .40 caliber Glocks the Indiana State Police got a few years ago.

Or what was wrong with 'em!

So this doesn't surprise me; 1st, 2nd & 3rd Generation Glocks...Yeah, 4th Gen...Not so much...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Tam said...

Frank,

Well, to be fair, there was the NYPD's frustrating experience with G19s and the phantom "Phase Three" malfs back in the late '90s, and a few others I can think of off the top of my head.

I think Todd summed it up pretty well in this piece.

Anonymous said...

Tam wrote:

"Gun Tests is one of those magazines that I like in concept, but I stopped reading some time back simply because... well, I wish their average writer knew as much about guns and how they work as ToddG."

This is, to the jot, my view of GT. I go back and forth letting my sub expire, then renewing it a couple years later, then letting it expire again.

They are honest and test interesting guns. I just ain't convinced they know their poop.

(However, I noticed that they have R.K. Campbell writing more stuff for them recently; that's a positive sign.)

Bubblehead Les. said...

Hmm. Maybe that explains why all the Gen4 Glocks in my neck of the woods are being sold for less than Springfield Xd's and S+W's.

Anonymous said...

and people wonder why revolvers are still around ?

atlharp said...

I think the Glock Gen 4's are malfing due to the design being unproven. I think it has to do with the recoil springs, but it could be a number of things. I love Glock and I wouldn't give up my Gen 3's for the world. Glock better deal with this because S&W and Springfield have models that are as good if not better.

Sport Pilot said...

First class post and comment's all Tam. You hit the mark with the comment's pertaining to the Gen IV Glock's, my agency choose not to purchase them due to the increased cost. I see some being purchased later though for officer's with small hand's. Glock's are far from being the perfect handgun so many promote them as and are far from being as corrosion resistant as I've read. I know the weapon, train with it a lot and have confidence in my ability to use it, but I'll never hold it in the same regard of a well tuned Golt 1911 or Browning High Power.maryi

Anonymous said...

Anybody tried one of these?
http://glockparts.com/Detail.aspx?PROD=155989&CAT=737

Boat Guy said...

Tam,
I'm relatively new to GT, literally just renewing my first subscription. I've found enough value in the tests - I've not based any purchase decisions on their work and don't agree with every consideration they list. I do like the fact that they will down-check something that doesn't work...

Will said...

In my experience, Glock has a company culture built around saying nothing about their products. If you were having an outdoor meeting on a sunny day, it's doubtful you could get an employee to agree that the sky is blue, let alone acknowledge that there might be a possible problem with one of their models.
One way information flow makes troubleshooting difficult at the factory.
I wonder what the pre-employment process looks like at Glock? Probably modeled on the CIA, I'm guessing. 8)

Mad Saint Jack said...

Has anyone seen problems with the gen4 .40s???

As far as I can see it is only the gen4 9mms having problem and changing the recoil spring seems be be the answer.

IIRC Michael Bane reported in his first look at the gen4 that the .40 recoil was reduced, so that would point to a stronger spring (maybe too strong for the 9).

Lastly I say a SHOT vid that said Glock was going to keep making gen3 guns FYI.

Ed Foster said...

Was it the new Lady Glock? Check the serial number in the pictures.

Anonymous said...

Frank, we've known about .40 cal Glock issues for a while (particuarly if you have a light on the gun).

Glock apparently rushed a .40 cal pistol to the market in an effort to beat S&W by chambering the 9mm guns in .40 and not doing enough research and testing to take care of all the issues.

Glocks are best in 9mm, IMHO, which is the caliber they were originally designed for. Which is just fine with me, since 9mm is my preferred handgun caliber.

parabarbarian said...

I guess it's a good thing that rental Glock my wife tried a few months ago had so many FT{F|E}'s. Otherwise I might have ended up buying her a Gen IV.