G21 Gen3 failed one day...


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thecarfarmer
April 5, 2012, 11:30 AM
A couple weeks back, I was at the range with some friends, and my EDC Glock 21 starts failing to cycle correctly. Went home and field-stripped. Extractor seems to move okay. Barrel and recoil spring assembly look okay. Manually cycling ammo through the gun, I find that more often than not, the back of the cartridge being extracted from the chamber drags across the top of the bullet that's next in line in the magazine. And then hangs up on the front of the brass of the round underneath it. This prevents the slide from moving backwards enough to allow the round to be ejected.

By racking the slide with main force, this can be overcome. But it takes a "seriously zesty yank" to do it. I've never had to do that before.

I found this to be the case w/ my JHP reloads, my ball reloads, and some other ball ammo I have here @ the house. I loaded a magazine w/ some lead ball ammo (to manually cycle), and you can definitely see a mark on the bullet where the rim of the round being extracted has dragged across it. So the problem doesn't seem to be just with one kind of ammo.

I have 4 mags for the gun; they all perform the same.

Speaking of magazines... if you drop the mag, or if there is no round in the magazine below the one being pulled out of the chamber, the gun ejects beautifully. Every time. Put one in the mag, and one in the mag... jam on extraction.

Some backstory about the pistol... it's an ex-police gun that I was told by the seller (bought off gunbroker) had had its frame changed as part of an update. I think it was a 2002 model. Anyway, I've put probably 1000 rounds down the pipe on it over the last year, and it's been dead-nuts reliable. Came w/ 3 of the 13 round mags (plus a buddy gave me another); all of them seemed to work perfectly well. And it's been fed a number of inexpensive brands of ball ammo (I haven't kept track, but I know for sure it's eaten WWB and Magtech, probably S&B and Fiocchi as I have had good luck w/ those in my Mak pistol) and never had a problem. I started reloading, and have put one or two hundred rounds of 230g ball and about 175 rounds of 185g JHP hand loads through it. The failure occurred w/ some of the JHP; same batch as a few dozen that operated flawlessly.

So, back to two weekends ago. I'm at the range; have probably fired 75-100 rounds through the gun w/o any issue. Then, the gun jams. The round doesn't go fully into battery; the slide is held maybe 3/8" back. So, I look at the gun, grab the slide, pull it back a half inch or so, and release; the round chambers and fires. Then a couple shots later, it does it again. So, I rack the slide and the round chambers; I rack it again to eject the unfired case for inspection. Couldn't see any problems w/ it. Happened a couple more times out of several shots, but the day was winding down. After field-stripping at home, cleaning and inspecting, I didn't see any problem; took the gun out again last weekend - same problem.

As I look at the gun, I suspect that this is because the gun was jamming on extraction/ejection and eating up so much of the recoil force that it wasn't leaving enough energy to fully slam the slide all the way back. Which caused the failure to feed. Because cycling by hand, I have had no problems feeding ammo from the magazine into the gun; it's always once the slide moves back to remove the round from the chamber.

Detail stripping and cleaning the gun has not seemed to make any difference.

So, any ideas on what this could be?

-Bill

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dprice3844444
April 5, 2012, 11:32 AM
notify glock

armysniper
April 5, 2012, 11:45 AM
Here is a link to a glock armorers manual. It gives the solution to most all issues you might have with a glock.

http://stevespages.com/pdf/glock_armorers_manual_update.pdf

bergmen
April 5, 2012, 01:05 PM
Here is a link to a glock armorers manual. It gives the solution to most all issues you might have with a glock.

http://stevespages.com/pdf/glock_armorers_manual_update.pdf

Thanks for the link! This one is 10 years old, are there newer versions available?

Dan

sirsloop
April 5, 2012, 08:19 PM
<sarcasm>what is this? A glock broke? not possible! </sarcasm>

tbone1964
April 5, 2012, 08:34 PM
heres an updated link to stevepages has the 2009 glock armorers manual and update

http://stevespages.com/page7b.htm

David E
April 5, 2012, 08:42 PM
But how does it do with FACTORY loads?

Sounds like an reloaded ammo problem more than a gun problem.

bergmen
April 5, 2012, 09:31 PM
heres an updated link to stevepages has the 2009 glock armorers manual and update

http://stevespages.com/page7b.htm

Excellent, thank you very much!

Dan

4v50 Gary
April 5, 2012, 09:55 PM
Factory ammo. Try that and if after 100 rounds without a hiccup, it's the hand loads.

jad0110
April 5, 2012, 10:20 PM
Could potentially be a weakened main/recoil spring. It's an inexpensive part, and probably not a bad idea to replace it with an OEM or equivalent tension spring. They ought to last more than 1,000 rounds, but I got a bad one from Wolf once that only held up for 300. This was on a 1911, and it was doing the same thing you've described (except I didn't note the dragging issue you are experiencing).

GLOOB
April 5, 2012, 11:38 PM
My G21 also scrapes the next bullet on the way back. I believe this is just the way the gun works. And that's why it doesn't like SWCs.

The chamber on my G21 is about the tightest of any pistol I own. Uncrimped reloads will not drop freely in the chamber. And the gun will choke if I don't apply a proper taper crimp. All my other pistols will easily feed uncrimped ammo with a bit of flare left over.

Also, for most of my JHP, I try to keep 'em 1.23 or shorter. Where are you at?

Maybe double check your taper crimp and your recoil spring. My G27 started choking on return to battery when the recoil spring wore out after only a couple thousand rounds.

thecarfarmer
April 6, 2012, 06:22 AM
Thanks for the responses!

S'pose it could be my reloads.

Of course, it ate how many of 'em without a single failure, and then one day decided it'd choke on all of em. And the few rounds of my ball reloads which it had never choked on. And a few rounds of ball that weren't my reloads, which it now won't eject cleanly...

Not saying my reloading is beyond reproach - just curious that I had managed to find every good reload I've ever done before about 3:00 PM on a certain Saturday afternoon, and all the reloads I have remaining are ones which are not right. Even though they were done in the same batch as the good ones.

Makes me think it'd be too easy.

But, I could probably try some factory ammo while I wait for Glock to get back to me.

BTW, could the recoil spring really mess up the works while hand cycling ammo thru the gun? Not trying to argue here (it was actually my first guess - thought I'd find a spring that had a break); just that I'd think it'd be something that would show up when actually firing rounds but not while racking the slide by hand.

This problem is really driving me 'round the bend'... worst part is that this is a carry piece; if I can't trust it totally, it's not even worth keeping as a paperweight.


-Bill

jad0110
April 6, 2012, 01:10 PM
This problem is really driving me 'round the bend'... worst part is that this is a carry piece; if I can't trust it totally, it's not even worth keeping as a paperweight.

I know how you feel. Same with my 1911. It ate everything I fed it (except CCI Blazer), including my reloads. Then one day it started choking every 20 to 30 rounds or so. Not only did I stop carrying it, I haven't shot it much in the last couple of years. As a reloader, I kinda got tired of scrounging for my brass in the weeds. After sitting in the safe for several years, I pulled out my 1911 and took it to a friend who has a tool that measures recoil spring tension. We found the spring in my 1911 to be about 80% under strength. This is the new one I mentioned that came from Wolf (I change the spring in my 1911 every 1,000 rounds). Wolf is a good company with quality products, but just goes to show even they turn out dud springs. Put a new one in and it should do the trick, though with the weather and working a lot of OT, I've not had a chance to test it.

BTW, hand cycling isn't generally a reliable method for testing function in the first place, so I wouldn't read too much into that.

David E
April 6, 2012, 01:10 PM
Thanks for the responses!

S'pose it could be my reloads.

Of course, it ate how many of 'em without a single failure, and then one day decided it'd choke on all of em. And the few rounds of my ball reloads which it had never choked on. And a few rounds of ball that weren't my reloads, which it now won't eject cleanly...Bill

Bill, it's a variable that's easy to check . Possibly the crimp die unscrewed a bit.

But with your more in depth detail, now it's sounding like something broke on the Glock. Maybe the extractor hook. Or maybe it's cracked in the deep corner of the extractor. I had that happen once on a 645 and it caused extraction issues. Had to put pliers and pressure on it to see the crack.

Detail strip the Glock, clean and inspect every part, preferably using a magnifying glass.

Were it mine, I'd get an entirely new extractor "system," including springs, plunger, extractor, etc.

thecarfarmer
April 6, 2012, 08:57 PM
I got out the door this morning and forgot that I'd wanted to throw out a special thanks to armysniper and tbone for the manuals!

-Bill

thecarfarmer
April 30, 2012, 11:20 AM
Thread update, basically for the archives...

After fussing around with the gun, hand cycling it several hundred times, detail stripping it, cycling it more, and so on, it's the ammo.

4V50Gary and David E had it called!

Not being able to figure out what could possibly be wrong with the pistol, I put a box of some inexpensive 230g ball through it. 50 rounds; no hitches. This was a couple weeks back.

Looked closer at the ammo. Lengths okay. Turns out that there was a little flare left on the brass that the die wasn't knocking down. Tried adjusting the die in the press to add some crimp; found that it'd often start crushing the cases before I could see any crimp on 'em.

Went back to the local gun store where I'd bought the projectiles (Lynnwood Guns); talked to the owner about reloading. Set the dies back up; cranked out a hundred rounds of 185g JHP and a hundred more 230g ball (both Montana Gold projectiles). Since a Cabela's opened up a bit north of us, I stopped off over the weekend and picked up some 185g SWC Berry's projectiles (Randy didn't have any SWC in .45), and punched out 50 rounds to take to the range.

Back at the range yesterday, all the ammo I made recently worked 100%. I bought a box of Magtech ball; it worked 100% as well. Note that I tried hand cycling the SWC ammo, and one round tried to hang the extracted round up on the lip of the bullet (where the little cone part sticks out the front of the rest of the bullet); it all cycled perfectly when fired.

Then I got down to the remainder (26 rounds) of the old ammo I had: several failures to eject. Which means it almost has to be that one batch I loaded. So, I'll tear it down and measure how much powder (box was marked 4.3 grains of Bullseye, which is a very light load); and check the crimp carefully as I reassemble (with a little hotter load).

Funny how that crimp thing could change w/o having re-set the die, but I found that again when I switched from the Montana Gold FMJ to the Berrys SWC that the crimp looked different. I was using all Winchester brass (decided to run w/ one headstamp while trying to get this issue sorted out and had more Win than anything else already prepped/primed), and hadn't touched the die (not even the screw that adjusts the depth of the bullet - it came out an okay length and I just ran w/ it).

Oh, and FWIW, GLOOB, it turns out that the longest ammo I ever pressed out was about 1.275". But, that was ball; my JHP comes in around 1.220-1.230". And Glock got back to me a week or so after I emailed; the guy suggested replacing the recoil spring.

Glad to have all this over with!

-Bill

SharpsDressedMan
April 30, 2012, 07:44 PM
It may be your ammo. If you have access to someone's chronograph, you may find that even though you loaded to book specs, you are not getting book velocities, and that might mean underpowered ammo. The loading book is a reference, but is not defintive science with regards to final results. There are always variables.

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