Putting Perfection to the Test

11-Mar-11 – 10:13 by ToddG

The 2011 pistol-training.com endurance test gun is going to be a Gen4 Glock 17.

As many of you know, I had my hands on some of the very first Gen4 pistols (G22’s) in existence while consulting on the ATF New Weapon System contract awarded last year. At the time, the Gen4 guns seemed likely to create a renewed wave of monopoly for the Austrian firm thanks to improved ergonomics and a redesigned recoil system intended to address issues with the .40-cal pistols. Then the 9mm guns started to ship, and problems were reported by many early adopters. Even some high profile law enforcement agencies that had been long time Glock customers tested the 9mm Gen4 and found it wanting.

So Glock went back to the drawing board and tweaked the pistols. But now the seemingly unassailable reputation of the G17 has been put to question. Is it really fixed? Do they really work as well as the older Glocks which have become synonymous with the word “reliability” to many shooters?

My own Gen4 19 also had problems. At first the issue appeared to be due to improper reassembly. Then it continued to have the same type of stoppage even after the gun was put back together correctly… eight stoppages in less than 400 rounds of combined FMJ and +p JHP. So, I shipped the G19 back to Glock. After inspection, they concurred that something was in fact wrong and that a simple recoil spring replacement wouldn’t solve it. They asked to keep the pistol for further analysis and instead they would send me a new one. Due to the vagaries of Maryland law, they’re sending me a G17 instead (with my complete approval).

The gun coming from Glock won’t be the one we’re testing, though.

This year, pistol-training.com is testing a gun that came right off the rack at a local gun shop. I literally walked in, asked if they had a Gen4 17 in stock, and handed over the credit card. An absolutely ridiculous amount of ammunition is on its way from our friends at ATK. The folks at Ameriglo are sending a set of their i-dot Pro sights. Vickers Tactical is sending one of their improved slide stop levers. A couple of new appendix holsters are on their way from 5 Shot Leather and Cane & Derby, as well as some tactical gear from Safariland. Surefire even sent along a new X300 and DG switch.

But the gun… the gun is just coming from the local shop. Glock didn’t send it. Glock didn’t pay for it. Glock isn’t even involved in — or sanctioning — the test.

You wanted an independent test of a 9mm Gen4 Glock. You got it.

Look for the first “Gen4 Friday” report on 18-March.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

  1. 57 Responses to “Putting Perfection to the Test”

  2. On time too! Bravo!

    By Frank on Mar 11, 2011

  3. Does this one have the spring cut out in the slide or the 021 spring and no counter-bore.

    By Steve on Mar 11, 2011

  4. Sweet. Looking forward to the 100k round test. πŸ˜‰ Who paid for the ammo?

    By TAP on Mar 11, 2011

  5. Todd,

    Glad to see this. It will be interesting to see how the Block holds up to your testing techniques. Glocktalk will be in a state of unrest until the end of the test. Good luck!

    By Chip on Mar 11, 2011

  6. For whatever reason, Glocks never appealed to me. I will be highly interested in the holsters however!

    By Kent on Mar 11, 2011

  7. I meant Glock, not “Block”, sorry.

    By Chip on Mar 11, 2011

  8. Tell me I was right though in that you had originally planned to test the Gen4 G19.

    I recall hearing two things in the class over the weekend that stuck in my mind, “… since I would be shooting a G19 most of this year” and “I have a couple of holsters on order for a G19 and am going to have them switched to G17 if it’s not too late so I can use them with the SIRT”.

    By VolGrad on Mar 11, 2011

  9. I’ll be curious to see if you keep the protruding slide stop on for the duration of the test. I wouldn’t have volunteered to use it for fear of it interfering with my grip.

    I’d also appreciate an explanation of the Maryland law which makes it difficult for you to receive a G19.

    By Bob on Mar 11, 2011

  10. F-ckin eh. really looking forward to this test, and if we get you back up here, you can even bring this gun, unlike the 19.
    How will you rate any issues that arise from the enhanced slide stop, if any do?

    By Rob Engh on Mar 11, 2011

  11. Bravo!!!

    By Shenaniguns on Mar 11, 2011

  12. WOW, you’ve got some great people stepping up to the plate. Look forward to the testing!

    By Nelson on Mar 11, 2011

  13. Todd: You are just snake-bit when it comes to the Glock 19.

    By Daniel E. Watters on Mar 11, 2011

  14. Nice. Will you run the stock 5.5 trigger or tweak it with a “-” connector or some other?

    By JoeC on Mar 11, 2011

  15. I got a Gen 4 Glock 17 a month ago and it’s going to be my IDPA an USPSA production gun this year so I’m very interested in this test.

    By Jesse on Mar 11, 2011

  16. It will be absolutely interesting to see how the Glock does.
    You going to carry a striker fired gun in a aiwb holster?

    By Frank B on Mar 11, 2011

  17. Don’t forget, at some point you will have to bury it in sand, and then pee on it to clear it out. I hear that’s the penultimate test for the reliability of Glocks. πŸ˜‰

    By Jeremy P on Mar 11, 2011

  18. Awesome.
    I was an “early adopter” that got hosed, mine ran like crap and after 5000+rds of various types and varying pf’s from Wallymart junk to expensive +P bleeding-edge SD stuff, plus 3 different recoil springs and a round trip to Smyrna. I was utterly convinced to go back to the Gen3 model 17’s.

    Thing is, I want to like them, the improved ergos and bigger mag release on the Gen4’s are good improvements, I just want them to act like the same-old-same-old G17 we’re all used to.

    Hopefully they’ve got them dialed-in now and hopefully your testing bears that out or else the wrath of the Glock-Talk kool-aid drinkers could be fierce.

    Thanks for the very relevant test.

    By ChipK on Mar 11, 2011

  19. This will be a wonderful test for the new pistol and show everyone any issues that may arise. I look forward to the upcoming evaluation.

    By Del on Mar 11, 2011

  20. I’ll be following this with great interest, Todd. Thanks for doing it-and kudos to the companies/individuals who are assisting and supporting the endeavor.

    Best, Jon

    By Jon Stein on Mar 11, 2011

  21. Hmmm…you may want to see if you can get your hands on one of these – http://vuurwapenblog.com/2011/03/11/a-gift-from-glock/

    By DarrenS on Mar 11, 2011

  22. I am both excited and annoyed in the Gen4 Glock 17 test.

    Excited to see an objective, serious torture test. If anyone could do a serious torture test without getting emotionally involved in the outcome, it is ToddG. Really looking forward to reading about it!

    Preemptively annoyed in expectation of all the emotionally attached Glock-lovers ready to taut the miracle that is the Glock AND explain away any faults or bobbles found.

    Glock-lovers are like Florida college football fans. The MOST ANNOYING fans around. haha (Yeah, both are great, but that doesn’t mean you have to be an a–hole about it.)

    By GhettoSmack on Mar 11, 2011

  23. By the way … I came up with a good 1911 vs. modern polymer pistol analogy.

    A 1911 is like driving a manual transmission vehicle. A polymer, striker fired pistol is like driving an automatic transmission.

    It’s easy to drive an automatic. Very little training or practice is required. It allows the driver to pay attention to things other than driving. (Which can lead to accidents.)

    But a driver has to pay attention when driving a manual. Much practice is required. The driver develops a good sense of the vehicle. Many problems develop if the driver is not willing to put in the time to do it correctly.

    By GhettoSmack on Mar 11, 2011

  24. “It allows the driver to pay attention to things other than driving.”

    More like the polymer gun-driver is now free to focus on the shooting without the distraction of maintenance. If the manual driver had to pull his clutch apart every few thousand miles to make sure it was good to go, that would be a more accurate comparison. And it would suck to be him. :)

    By mark on Mar 11, 2011

  25. Todd, I do hope that you will be testing that Glock in it’s factory configuration. Changing the slide stop should have minimal effect on performance and reliability, but then you aren’t testing a current G17.

    By Tony B on Mar 11, 2011

  26. Do tell which recoil setup it has? AFAIK (from Glock armorer’s class taken last week) the G4 G17s have at least one “improvement” already.

    By SF on Mar 11, 2011

  27. Todd,

    Are you going to be OK with carrying a striker fired pistol AIWB?

    By Chip on Mar 11, 2011

  28. He has carried a M&P AIWB pretty extensively. It’s all in the archives. πŸ˜‰
    As I carry a G26, 19 or 17.

    By JoeC on Mar 11, 2011

  29. Formula 1 drive auto’s now.

    By JoeC on Mar 11, 2011

  30. The MDPD (largest police department in the southeast) have traded in their S&W revolvers and have bought Glock 17’s (Gen 4) for anyone that wants one. For practice (annual qualifications) we use the cheap under powered stuff and so far the guns have been as reliable as the Gen 3’s. I’m carrying the old glock 21 but everyone who has made the switch seems to like it. From the one I took apart they seem to have the latest springs on all the guns (as well as counter bore). Yes I’m a LEO, I’m not just posting some third party information. They even supplied everyone who took one with Henie straight eight night sights.

    By Frank on Mar 11, 2011

  31. Great news, go for it Todd! Keep it BOX STOCK! :)

    By Al Stewart JM on Mar 11, 2011

  32. I do not know what spring it has or whether the spring box was properly machined (“counter bored”). Due to Maryland law, I cannot pick the gun up until next week. I didn’t even inspect it at the shop, just bought it sight unseen.

    As for mods, while I appreciate the desire to see the gun run stock, I need to set it up for me, not for the world’s approval. If someone down the road wants to blame a problem on a different trigger spring or non-factory sights, that’s on them.

    The major components will remain stock. Any other changes will be documented. Readers can draw their own conclusions as to what if any impact that has on performance.

    We will be having another guess when the first malfunction will occur contest. More on that next week, too.

    By ToddG on Mar 11, 2011

  33. I’m really excited about this test. I don’t own a Glock and am only “kinda” interested in a G19; but have been less so lately hearing of so many Glock problems. The fact that Glock isn’t involved is even more exciting and will add credibility to the results. I did just pick up a P30 due in part to the test here so after I pick up an HK45, who knows, a G19 may be in my future. Thanks!

    By Matt on Mar 11, 2011

  34. Ameriglo Hackathorn sights, Vickers mag release and slide stop, (-)/NY1 trigger combo.
    That’s the ultimate Glock 17 (I should know, I have 2 of them set up exactly that way).

    By Jody H on Mar 11, 2011

  35. Very eager to see how it holds up.

    My prediction on the first malfunction- the first magazine!

    I’ve been using a Gen4 19. I had a stovepipe on the first mag and its been fine since then.

    By LJ on Mar 11, 2011

  36. I sooooooo called this on the forum.

    “Glock isn’t even involved in β€” or sanctioning β€” the test.”

    I said on 03-02-2011 02:44 PM: “a G4-G19 without Glock involvement / endorsement.”

    I’m awesome… I’m almost Charlie Sheen like in my winningness. DUH!

    By David on Mar 11, 2011

  37. Sweet!!! This is kinda sucks though. I have thousands of malfunction free rounds through my Gen 3 G19 and G17. Somehow I know this test is gonna make the Gen 4 look weak. I predict malfunctions within the first 1,000rds. I really wish they would have left everything Gen 3ish and just tweeked the ergonomics a little.

    By Wes on Mar 11, 2011

  38. You going to add a Grip Force adapter so it feels like your shooting a real gun .

    By charles grumbling on Mar 11, 2011

  39. Looking forward to the deadpool too.

    By Rob E on Mar 12, 2011

  40. 11.5K rds through four Gen 4 9mms and 3K through my three gen 3 9mms last year and my only 3 stoppages for the year were in the gen 3 guns. Not enough to be concerned about. No counterbore, orig 01 or 03 springs respectively. But all my 1911s always ran well too.

    By JoeC on Mar 12, 2011

  41. It might just be the sight and the slide stop lever, But you should test it Sir as STOCK.

    By Randori on Mar 12, 2011

  42. JoeC,

    Formula 1 drive auto’s now.

    Just to be pedantic, F1 bans the use of automatic transmissions. An F1 car uses a sequential manual gearbox with a mechanical clutch, in concept similar to that found on most motorcycles, with paddle shifters on the back of the wheel that fire the clutch automatically when the next gear is selected. There’s also a hand operated clutch lever on the wheel for use from standing starts.

    …not that this has dang-all to do with pistols. πŸ˜‰

    By Tam on Mar 12, 2011

  43. Tam – AWESOME pedantry!!! πŸ˜€ But to the user he pushes a button and it changes gear. I recall when it was only Ferrari. But they still couldn’t beat Alain Prost in the McClaren.

    The analogy to pistols is poor anyway. lol

    By JoeC on Mar 12, 2011

  44. @Frank –

    A major department was still issuing *revolvers* in 2010/2011? Wow.

    By commandar on Mar 12, 2011

  45. Good news! I’m looking forward to this test and to see how the Gen4 G17 does. I just picked up a Gen4 G22 and so far, so good. Next up for me is a G17 but I’ll wait until Todd gets several thousand rounds through his first.

    By MW on Mar 13, 2011

  46. @ commandar, yes and no. Most of the department buys their own guns. If you choose not to buy a gun then you could have a revolver for free. The issued glocks just started a few months ago. I don’t know a single officer that has the free wheel gun. Even the revolver guys buy their own.

    By Frank on Mar 13, 2011

  47. So far, everyone I see going to annual comes back with the Gen 4 17. I think even the glock haters appreciate the slim grip and the fact that the County is giving you a free gun.

    By Frank on Mar 13, 2011

  48. Totaly independent! Good job. That is the way to do it.

    And my old Gen 2 Glock 17, a IDPA war horse that has gone through 100,000 or so rounds, still runs fine!

    I hope the Gen 4 can beat that.

    By Paul on Mar 13, 2011

  49. To folks suggesting Todd should leave it bone stock ….

    I understand why you would suggest that. However, how many of “us” leave ours bone stock? I don’t. I generally change sights, put on Vickers or factory extended controls, change the connector to factory (-), change to a smooth factory trigger with trigger bar, etc.

    Suggesting a test that isn’t bone stock isn’t really realistic given how many folks mod their guns before ever firing a single round.

    Just my take on all that.

    By VolGrad on Mar 14, 2011

  50. The Gen 4 Glock 19 is not yet “Not Disapproved” for sale in the state of Maryland, while the Gen 4 Glock 17 is.

    By FM on Mar 15, 2011

  51. Awesome!!! was really hoping somebody would do this. I own 2 Glock’s 40’s. The 27 and 23 both are Gen 3. However I’m not blind to their faults. I never drank the “perfection” cool-aid. In fact I always say if you give yourself out as a tough guy then expect to get hit every now and again.

    Can’t wait. Both for the results and hopefully to bitter some of that Glock cool-aid. :)

    By Lin on Mar 15, 2011

  52. @ FM
    That’s odd, our local gun store in Frederick had a Gen4 19 for sale last month when I bought my Gen4 17. Perhaps it was a mixup.

    By CJ on Mar 15, 2011

  53. Todd, don’t forget a pair of Talon grips!!

    On a seperate note, I’m active duty Coast Guard and came across this site while looking for info that would help me improve in CG’s practical shooting courses. Of all the sites I came across this is the one that I keep coming back to, I just want to say thanks for such an outstanding website and to keep up the good work!

    Can’t wait to see how the G17 holds up and to get your opinion of the ameriglo sights!

    By chris on Mar 15, 2011

  54. @ CJ- That could very well be. I’ve heard conflicting accounts from several folks on this issue.

    By FM on Mar 16, 2011

  55. Gun shops might sell them, but the State Police (in Maryland) will not “not disapprove” the sale if they know it’s a gen4 19 or 23. The 17 and 22 are already on the Not Disapproved for Sale list.

    I’d be willing to bet you a steak dinner that if your shop submits paperwork that simply says “Glock 19” the State Police will call to verify whether it’s pre-gen4 or a gen4 gun.

    (of course, all of this applies only to folks in Maryland)

    By ToddG on Mar 16, 2011

  56. Another reason to love the south! You’ve got to admit that it wasn’t that bad down in Jaw-ja..

    By Sean M on Mar 16, 2011

  57. What will the cleaning/lube schedule be?

    What CLP are you going to use?

    I would like to see you use something relatively high performance and non-toxic/biodegradeable/non-stinking like SLIP 2000 EWL, FrogLube (a little breath mint smell), or Grant Cunningham’s Lubriplate oil and grease recs (for food processing equipment). Rodgers vouches for the SLIP 2000 EWL stuff (it is genuine milspec rated) and so far I have been impressed in my useage.

    BTW I’ve used Militec 1 and I think it is an ok C, a decent dry L (for dry dirt, lint, sand), and a lousy P (which makes it lousy for continuous wet conditions). Its worst property is it makes my nose itch (that wonderful chlorine compound). I dont use it anymore since getting SLIP 2K EWL.

    Since your the pistol T+E man dont you, then lets T+E some lube too. I somehow think that SLIP 2000, Frog or the like will sent a product sample along.

    By P30man on Mar 16, 2011

  58. Just got a g17 gen4 can’t wait! Hoping it holds up or reveals problems to be aware of.

    By Al LaBiche on Mar 16, 2011

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