Glock 17 gen4 Endurance Test: Week One

25-Mar-11 – 11:18 by ToddG

3,109 rounds

5 stoppages 0 malfunctions 0 parts breakages

What a week!

The pistol appears to be running fine now that it has the (technically obsolete) extractor and spring loaded bearing installed. Even shooting the pistol with a dramatically compromised grip weak hand only I could not induce a stoppage. The gun has now successfully performed through enough rounds, including my JHP ammo (Federal 124gr +p HST, which has never suffered a stoppage of any kind in the gun regardless of extractor or SLB), that I’m carrying it with confidence.

The pistol has not yet been cleaned, though obviously the slide was detail stripped to deal with the faulty extractor. My plan is to clean and lubricate it before the Speed Kills/Get SOM class in Seattle this weekend and use that as the start of a 2,000 Round Challenge now that the pistol is in the final configuration (hopefully) for the test..

The G17 turned in some very reasonable accuracy this week. Five 5-shot 25yd groups from a bench turned in an average of 2.52 inches shooting the 124gr +p HST, with a best of 1.89″ and a worst of 3.12″. I also shot Tom Jones’s excellent Bullseye 1000 test, scoring a respectable 835-9X.

One of the most interesting bits of data from this week was running the F.A.S.T. fifty times to create a baseline as well as to compare to last year’s HK45 test. Here are the results from the last series with the HK and the G17:


HK 45: 27-Oct-2010 G17: 24-Mar-2011
Average (total) 5.46 5.50
Average (raw time) 4.50 4.66
Best run 4.14 4.21
Worst run 8.46 8.69
Head hits 80% 83%
Body hits 98% 98%
Draw (avg) 1.43 1.56
Head split (avg) 0.45 0.45
Reload (avg) 1.94 2.01
Body splits (avg) 0.23 0.21

Of course, as I’ve said before it’s cheating to shoot the F.A.S.T. more than three times per day, but as I’ve already got my challenge coin (and I consider myself disqualified from setting the world record, not that I see myself beating Sevigny’s run any time soon) it’s an interesting way to gather comparative information. Counting only the first three runs each day, my scores were:

Monday 21-Mar

  • 4.41 (-1H): 1.50, .42 / 1.91 / .20, .20, .18
  • 4.42 (c): 1.48, .50 / 1.87 / .19, .19, .19
  • 4.38 (c): 1.52, .40 / 1.92 / .20, .17, .17

Wednesday 23-Mar

  • 4.97 (c): 1.57, .68 / 2.00 / .27, .23, .22
  • 4.84 (c): 1.68, .64 / 1.90 / .21, .20, .21
  • 4.78 (-1H / -1B): 1.65, .46 / 2.05 / .21, .21, .20

The Monday runs were trying to push myself with the new gun, and I was happy with the results. The Wednesday runs I was trying to straddle the speed limit and get a long row of clean sub-5 runs, but completely messed up on the third try.

There are three big changes for me switching to the Glock:

  1. Magazine release button on the left side of the gun (actuated with my strong hand thumb). For the past thirteen or so years, I’ve shot Berettas, SIGs, Smiths, and HKs all using my trigger finger to hit either the reversed or ambidextrous mag catch. With the Glock, the catch is too far back for me to get reliable contact with my trigger finger unless I twist the gun in my hand, while I can reach it without much movement using my thumb. It is going to take time to relearn that technique, however. A few times, I’ve failed to hit the catch hard enough and the magazine has hung up.
  2. Heavy Glock trigger. I’ve set my pistol up with the factory “-” connector and NY1 trigger spring. When mated to the gen4 trigger bar, I’m getting about a 7.5# trigger pull. That is about 25% heavier than I’d like, but it’s the lightest weight I can get using stock parts and the NY1 trigger spring. The pull is smooth, though, and rolls through the break nicely. I’m going to stick with this configuration for the first 10,000 rounds and then if I decide to switch away from the NY1 trigger spring, I’d be doing it at the same interval when the standard coil trigger spring would be replaced as part of preventative maintenance anyway.
  3. Ameriglo i-dot Pro sights. These sights are working out far better than I would have predicted. I first used them a few weeks back when Glock loaned me a pistol for the Atlanta Aim Fast, Hit Fast class and now that I’ve put another three thousand rounds downrange I’m a believer. There’s still a learning curve, though, and it’s taking some time to acclimate to the big Hackathorn front sight. Once I’ve had a few more weeks of serious shooting with them, I’ll do a separate write up all about them.

The most noticeable difference so far has been first shot speed on the F.A.S.T. Between the heavier (and much different, compared to LEM) trigger and different sights, my press outs need a lot of work.

So there you have it. Conspiracy theories and other internet lunacy notwithstanding, the test continues. See you next week.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

Previous Glock 17 gen4 Endurance Test posts at pistol-training.com:

  1. 61 Responses to “Glock 17 gen4 Endurance Test: Week One”

  2. @Aaron: “I would say my generalization that the majority of Gen3 Glocks feature the non-problematic extractor stands.”

    I don’t disagree with that, but that’s not what you said. What you said was:

    “the LCI extractor will be referred to as a Gen4 extractor”

    And that’s just wrong, not matter how you want to justify it. Saying things like Gen 3 and Gen 4 extractor is exactly how unsuspecting people get/learn the wrong thing. There is no Gen4 extractor, there is a LCI 9mm extractor, and there are many iterations of it (I have at least 3 different ones). They are present in Gen 3 and Gen 4 Glocks.

    By James V on Mar 28, 2011

  3. @ James V

    Was the current extractor on the gen4 also present on some of the gen3 pistols? or did it get revised for the gen4 rollout?

    I’m not trying to be snide, I honesly want to know if anyone knows.

    By Vargone on Mar 28, 2011

  4. I have an EXO’d Gen3 17, that I got last year. It has the EXACT same extractor as one of my Gen4 19s. Both were bought mid 2010.

    I don’t know how to identify the most current extractor, but my Gen4 19 just started having issues today. It has an extractor with a “3” on it. I swung by the gun shop and bought another one, it has a “4” on it. Some of the other ones they had didn’t seem to have any numbers on them. They may be up to a “5”, but I’m not sure.

    By James V on Mar 28, 2011

  5. Re the LCI, I´ve a Gen3 G23 with an LCI from 2004.
    Round count is well over 10.000 rounds of mostly CCI Blazer, Magtech and recently Wolf ammo. I didn´t experience a broken locking block, but nothing re the extractor.

    By Frank B on Mar 28, 2011

  6. Just to clarify one thing I said:

    “They may be up to a “5?, but I’m not sure.”

    I’m not even sure that the numbers indicate a version. They may have some other meaning, like a supplier code.

    By James V on Mar 28, 2011

  7. Re the LCI, I´ve a Gen3 G23 with an LCI from 2004.

    I was gonna say that I could swear that the LCI extractors were already on the Glocks before I quit the retail gun biz, and I stopped slinging guns across the glass back in mid ’07…

    By Tam on Mar 28, 2011

  8. “If the extractor could be readily purchased, I wouldn’t see continuing the test to be a problem. However…if the replacement extractor can’t be easily purchased, I think continued with the gen4/old extractor is a waste of ammo.

    By Wes on Mar 28, 2011 ”

    I agree with Wes

    By CrowKiller on Mar 28, 2011

  9. @ Crowkiller,

    What’s the big deal? People have been trying to make 1911’s out of the Glocks since day one. Now we’re all much closer to that, minus all the good features of the 1911. Soon some enterprising person will come out with a $50 extractor for the Glocks.

    By SLG on Mar 28, 2011

  10. @Aaron – I need to correct something I typed in my comment here: http://pistol-training.com/archives/4583#comment-11082 . I made too many edits, and it sounded right in my head, but is wrong in type:

    “I don’t disagree with that, but that’s not what you said. What you said was:”

    should read:

    “I don’t disagree with that, I’m objecting to:”

    I’m sorry about that. It’s not my intent to be overly argumentative, I’m just trying to be accurate about this because there is a lot of misinformation about the issues. There is also a lot of unknown data (still) because Glock isn’t owning up to it.

    By James V on Mar 28, 2011

  11. Just the opinion of one Glock 23 Gen4 owner who had two kinds of problems:

    1) In first few hundred rounds, a few extraction/ejection problems, with no limp wristing

    2) Until I installed Wolff +10% mag springs, feeding problems, especially with tac light (TLR1) attached

    My opinion: ALL tolerances on the Gen4 are tighter. You can tell this just by handling the gun next to an earlier Glock. I had to beat out the pins for the first few disassemblies (still need to give the locking block pin a few taps). My extractor was initially “sticky” and needed to be pried out the first couple times. Maybe the extractors themselves are not “bad,” maybe the hole they go in is now tighter or manufacturing variations result in some too-tight fits. Maybe Glock figured consumers like “tight” guns (read any gun rag article about a high-dollar custom 1911 and its tightness will be praised), and many folks do feel the Gen4s are more accurate. Also, tighter lockup in general should contribute to decreased felt recoil and decreased battering (ref broken pins etc in older Glock .40s).

    At any rate, my extractor now comes out easily. I didn’t do anything to it, maybe just the result of shooting and repeated disassemblies and cleanings. No more extraction/ejection problems.
    I’m convinced I had weak mag springs out of the box, as the Wolff springs feel more than 10% stronger. The fact that the addition of the tac light exacerbated the feeding stoppages suggests that indeed the mag springs were too weak to match .40 slide speed, even with the new dual spring (tac light adds mass hence inertia to frame, increasing speed of slide relative to frame). Since switching out the mag springs, I’ve had no more feeding troubles.

    So, knock wood, I now have a reliable Gen4 Glock, which is good because:

    1) I can do a 300-round session with full-power .40s with no bad after-effects. Earlier Glock .40s made my hand hurt after just a few rounds.

    2) Even though I don’t have short fingers, the smaller grip fits me far better. The texture is great too.

    So from my grand total sample of 1, I’d suggest that Gen4 issues may be cured by:

    1) Check extractor fit. If tight, polish until it moves freely.

    2) Check mag springs or just go ahead and get the Wolff +10% springs. In fact, replace all the critical springs with Wolff (striker spring, trigger spring, mag springs), just to ensure you have top quality rather than whatever lowest bidder Glocked farmed the springs out to.

    3) Make sure you have the right recoil spring assembly for your gun (e.g. 03 for G23, 04 for G19).

    Just one guy’s take on it.

    By AK on Mar 30, 2011

  12. Back to the future, noticing the comments pointing to a “-” connector and stock trigger spring. 😉

    By JHC on Nov 6, 2011

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