It Lives

19-Mar-11 – 22:39 by ToddG

What a difference a day makes.

When my G19 had problems its problems last month, I told Glock it was quite possibly the extractor rather than the recoil spring that caused all those stoppages. After all, the stoppages I experienced were identical to the ones folks get when they install the extractor plunger backwards, right?

Then yesterday, chuck and JodyH both made comments about possible extraction problems causing my G17 to fail.

This morning before heading out to teach a Speed Kills class in Culpeper, I also came across a post by bentbiker on Glock Talk that suggested finding an older pre-LCI (loaded chamber indicator) extractor to try in my gen4 gun. Luckily, I just happened to have a G17/T from 2003 in my collection… which uses the same extractor as a normal G17.

In less than five minutes I’d swapped the G17/T extractor and plunger into the G17/4. I dropped the gen4 pistol into my range bag and decided I’d shoot it during class today unless it became so unreliable that it disrupted teaching.

Three hundred rounds of that same American Eagle 124gr FMJ later: not a single hiccup of any kind.

While it would be easy to jump to any number of conclusions, the only thing I know for certain at this point is that one particular gen4 9mm extractor failed to run the gun, and one particular pre-LCI extractor works for now. Nonetheless, based on my G19 experience, the test gun, and the various reports from others, my gut feeling is that the changes Glock made to its 9mm extractors a while back have narrowed the margin of error for the pistol’s operation. Tolerance stacking that may have been perfectly fine a few years ago can now create reliability issues in some percentage of guns, especially when combined with the heavier gen4 recoil spring.

So the test goes on… hopefully all the way to the finish line.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

  1. 31 Responses to “It Lives”

  2. Todd, I must commend you on your openness to a different idea. The bandwagon across the internet has become so large for blaming the variability of the Gen4 9mm models on the heavier recoil spring, that few people have been willing to consider the extractor. I have PM’d armorers, emailed Hickok45, and begged others via GT posts to make the exact swap you have made (an older extractor). ‘Til now, nobody would really give it a try.

    One clarification . . . The point at which something changed with the extractors was after LCI implementation — approximately 1/1/10. The “new” extractors can be distinguished from the prior pieces by a dip in the top edge of the extractor when viewed from the side. They can also be a bit difficult to remove from their slot (at least when new).

    Your testing will be extremely informative, and I hope it is followed by Smyrna personnel. I know it will be followed by many of us owners. And just maybe, it will all be figured out by the time CA allows me to buy a Gen4. Thanks again for your efforts, and your acknowledgment of my post on GT.

    By bentbiker on Mar 19, 2011

  3. Is the primary issue the tight fit or do you think the “hook” has been redesigned?
    I just looked at the gen 3 that has given me some extraction problems and it has the “dip” in the extractor.
    I’m going to swap it out for one of my older spare extractors (and spring loaded bearing)and see how it works.
    My problems weren’t nearly as bad as Todd’s, but they are frequent enough that I never trusted the gun for carry.

    By Jody H on Mar 19, 2011

  4. that was a fun class today, Todd. I’m glad you got your gun up and running. With the amount of stovepipes and light strikes between the Glocks though(which I’ve seen in other classes as well) I’m kinda glad I didn’t buy one though. I honestly can’t figure out the reliability claims everyone makes. At first I would have rather be issued a Glock than a Beretta M9, but with all the failures I’m seeing with my own eyes, I think would indeed rather take the M9, even with its ridiculous decocker/safety clusterfuck.

    By Tyler on Mar 20, 2011

  5. Todd, would you be open to the idea of reinstalling the Gen 4 extractor and parts further down the line as a test? perhaps once you’ve “broken the gun in” around say 10,000 rounds?
    Also, a new Dead Pool for the gun with the new extractor might be interesting. No big prizes needed.

    By Rob E on Mar 20, 2011

  6. This news made me do a happy dance under the enormously bright moon! :)

    By FM on Mar 20, 2011

  7. I’ve got one of the newer extractors installed on one of my EDC guns, a glock 26. It’s never had a problem in 600 rounds.

    Knock on wood.

    By Ben M on Mar 20, 2011

  8. Good to hear, it works so far.

    By Frank B on Mar 20, 2011

  9. I must say this is a little confusing. I wish we could get to the bottom of this. I carry a glock 26 (Sept 10) that has run without a problem for around 500 rnds. Not nearly a high enough count to truly test the reliability, but I had based the reliability on the Glock name itself and the track record of my other Glocks. Now if the problem is extractors in firearms after 1/10, that would place my Glock 26 in that bad batch. So changes were made to the extractors on the Gen 3 pistols also? Why would they do that? Did they change vendors to save .50 cents or something?

    By Chris on Mar 20, 2011

  10. oh, forgot to add, see ya in College Station Todd!

    By Chris on Mar 20, 2011

  11. Once gain proving the Glock is just a machine like all other machines and can fail, can have parts replaced, and can run reliably afterwards. The PERFECTION of Glocks is that the end-user can diagnose and solve their own problems with parts on hand rather than repeated, and expensive, trips to the factory.

    By Dandapani on Mar 20, 2011

  12. I’m not going to speculate on why Glock may have changed its extractor. I’ve seen gun companies make some ridiculously stupid changes for even stupider reasons, but they also sometimes make changes in hopes of improving function. Those changes don’t always work out, but the motivations were pure, not profit.

    Given the number of gen4 9mm Glocks that are working, there clearly isn’t some kind of across the board failure. But some of the extractors are obviously not right, or some other confluence of factors is adding up to problems on enough guns that it’s more than a blip on the radar screen.

    It’s just too early to tell whether this one fix on this one gun is really “the answer” or just a random coincidence. I wish I had my G19 back now. It would be very interesting to see if the new (old) extractor would make the gun work.

    Dandapani — The problem with that definition of “perfection” is that it’s not the same as the gun working right out of the box. I don’t think anyone can deny that a higher percentage of gen4 9mm pistols are suffering problems compared to earlier generations. Also, insofar as it’s just a matter of simple end-user part swapping… do you have a source for pre-2010 9mm extractors? Because Glock doesn’t.

    By ToddG on Mar 20, 2011

  13. I have to say… this kind of issue is exactly what led to me selling my Glocks in favor of S&W M&Ps. Whether it was warranted or not, I just lost faith in the Glock reliability that the Gen2 and early Gen3 Glocks fostered.

    It makes me wonder what is really going on at Glock these days…

    By Tim on Mar 20, 2011

  14. In my opinion if a product that is used to defend a person’s life, family, country, town, etc. is knowingly being sold to the public in a unreliable format, production should be immediately stopped and all products recalled. Anything else is a farce.

    By Rodney Ledbetter on Mar 20, 2011

  15. Jody H, I don’t believe any of us know exactly what changed with the extractor. My guess is that any change was unintended, and the result of manufacturing process change. For instance, MIM production can result in slight product shrinkage. As Todd says, not all guns have the problem. If the extractor is confirmed to be the problem, it could be one bad mold, or a tolerance stacking problem with a certain percentage of guns. Please post the results of your swap-testing back here when concluded.

    As for Rob’s suggestion of reinserting the original extractor at some point to see whether issues return . . . you would have to avoid drawing false conclusions. If the gun works for 10K rounds and then fails again shortly after reinserting the original, it would provide strong evidence that the extractor is the culprit. However, if the reinsertion did NOT cause a re-occurrence, you could not conclude that the extractor wasn’t an issue — the wear-in of other parts over the 10K rds could eliminate the tolerance stacking originally encountered.

    As Dan says, it is great that the Glock affords a platform that allows problem solving by the owner. However, I think the sad part is the lack of any evidence that Glock has taken a true problem-solving approach to this issue. The first owners with problems demanded a return to softer recoil springs and Glock acquiesced. When the problem was no longer visible for most, they seem to have looked no further. It shouldn’t be left to owners to figure this out.

    By bentbiker on Mar 20, 2011

  16. “Also, insofar as it’s just a matter of simple end-user part swapping… do you have a source for pre-2010 9mm extractors? Because Glock doesn’t.”

    Todd- Midway, Glockmeister and others still offer the non LCI extractors. Not sure on their manufacture date but I ordered a couple today to try out.

    By Pennzoil on Mar 20, 2011

  17. Pennzoil — Both the Midway and Glockmeister ones (as well as all the others I’ve seen for sale so far) are the 90-degree cut extractors, not the current contour.

    By ToddG on Mar 20, 2011

  18. Dang missed that guess I have two spares for my older guns =P

    By Pennzoil on Mar 20, 2011

  19. You might try http://www.glockparts.com they list part numbers #SP00098 (old style 90 degree), #SP01895 (chamber loaded indicator)and #SP03001 (for 17T trainer).

    By Jody H on Mar 20, 2011

  20. Jody H — Thanks. Just a while ago I asked in the Glock Talk thread if anyone knew the difference between the current LCI #1895 and the 17/T #3001. Lone Wolf also makes its own LCI that may not have been affected by the Jan’10 change that Glock apparently made.

    By ToddG on Mar 20, 2011

  21. Ya know, this type of parts-swapping and tuning for reliability and “be your own armorer” requirement is exactly what Glock owners criticize about us 1911 geeks…

    Just sayin’. :-)

    By Aaron on Mar 20, 2011

  22. Aaron — Yeah, but …

    … wait give me a second …

    … I’ll think of something tomorrow.

    By ToddG on Mar 20, 2011

  23. RODNEY- I agree 100%. First off I did not realize the extent ofthis problem. 2nd, I guarentee you thatGlock is aware of the extent of the problems, but for some unknown reason is choosing not to do anything about it. That is criminal. I would be the first guy to defend glock, but this is rediculous. They need to man up to this problem right fast, or come up with a new catchy slogan for selling these gen 4’s and late model gen 3’s. Maybe something like ” sometimes dependable” or “not quite perfection, but were working on it and will get back to you”.

    By Chris on Mar 20, 2011

  24. Now I have to take all of my Glocks apart and see what the difference is between the gen 4, gen 3 and gen 2 extractors.

    By chuck on Mar 21, 2011

  25. Aaron,

    It’s a good thing I’d just swallowed my coffee. 😀

    By Tam on Mar 21, 2011

  26. Todd, I suspect the extractor supplied with the Gen4 is the current SP 01895 (15-deg with LCI) applied with the “thin” 2714 SLB (spring loaded bearing).

    Maybe worth trying the original Gen4 extractor again, but this time with the “thick” (non-LCI) type SLB SP 01176, which should put more tension on the extractor.

    By Al Stewart JM on Mar 21, 2011

  27. Belay my last post, after reading through the GT thread it is looking like a current extractor manufacturing QC issue.

    By Al Stewart JM on Mar 21, 2011

  28. Todd,

    I believe that Glock changed the extractor in the Gen 3s to the “Gen 4 style” because, in typical Austrian efficiency, carrying two different parts styles was more effort than just carrying one.

    I picked up a new Glock 19 yesterday and it has the new “dip” style gen 4 extractor. Testing it out Weds.

    By Ben M on Mar 21, 2011

  29. @Aaron … yes! LOL!

    By Tim on Mar 21, 2011

  30. all my extractors have dips/lci/15 degree breech cut and all work fine. I’m so confused as to what you all are talking about

    By dickmadison on Mar 21, 2011

  31. I have a Gen 3 Glock 19 with the Gen4 style extractor that was bought exactly a year ago.

    My Gen3 G26 bought 6 months ago has the new Gen4 extractor and Gen4 Finish which I do not like at all.

    My New 5 month old Gen3 Glock21SF has a flatter style LCI Extractor

    Each gun has 200 rounds through them, more testing to come however I am forced to ccw my g26 now as it is all I have.

    By dgbee456 on Mar 22, 2011

  32. I’m using Glock G17 for the last 10 years, and I’ve never faced any problem

    By Martin Claybold on Apr 3, 2011

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