Glock 17 gen4 Endurance Test: Week 8

13-May-11 – 15:24 by ToddG

11,406 rounds 5 stoppages
(+1 w/non-LCI extractor)
0 malfunctions 0 parts breakages

After a week’s hiatus the G17 is back to work with no problems to report.

A couple of important milestones were reached this week. First, the pistol surpassed the 10,000 round mark… the last 7,990 of which have been trouble free since installing the latest extractor from the Extractor Fairy. Second, we broke the 5,000 round mark on “the gadget,” with absolutely no signs of wear or deformation. As you can see in this picture (left), I have performed a far less than professional krylon paint job on my sample so it would not be so noticeable. All of the other prototypes were anodized, but I was not patient enough to wait and started shooting with mine the day after it came off the CNC machine.

All of the shooting for this week’s update was done in one weekend leading up to and then participating in the great SLG Mini-Class in Culpeper. (pictured right, courtesy JV)

As discussed back in Week 5, I was struggling with the Ameriglo Hackathorn front sight when trying to shoot low-probability targets at speed. As you might be able to tell from the photo at the top of this post, I’ve gone back to using a Heinie front sight that is just painted orange around the tritium capsule. As one very astute shooter pointed out to me, with the Hackathorn front if you try to put the orange ball in the notch it will actually be pointing high… the bottom edge of the ball needs to be below the rear notch to get a proper sight picture. The result for me had been shooting high on tight shots under time pressure.

The tall Heinie front combined with the ultra-wide Ameriglo rear comes with its own problems, of course. “Front post anywhere in the rear window” leads to extremely wide arcs. However, there is so much light on either side of the front sight that it is easy to go fast and be accurate. For example, I shot a 48 out of 50 on Dot Torture at ten yards. We also shot three attempts at the infamous “$20 F.A.S.T.” and my results were pretty good:

  1. 4.68 clean
  2. 4.81 -1 Head
  3. 4.87 clean

To the best of my knowledge, that’s the first legitimate witnessed “coin winning run” of the $20 F.A.S.T.

We also shot the Triple Nickel where the G17 turned in a respectable 4.47 clean.

However, the next day I shot the worst 99 Drill (3×5) of my life with a total of 78 points. More time on the range is the only thing that can to improve a showing that bad.

Week 9 will kick off with a day-long practice session with some friends and hopefully a chance to run some good drills, possibly even the Hackathorn Standards again. It would be interesting to see how the results of the current setup (NY1 trigger and Heinie front sight) compare to the run a few weeks ago (288 with standard trigger spring and Hackathorn front dot).

I’m not yet ready to declare a favorite between the big orange ball of the Hackathorn sight and the thin hand-painted blade of the Heinie sight. Each has its definite strengths. Now it’s just a matter of finding the setup that works best for me given my shooting technique and my personal shooting priorities.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

Previous Glock 17 gen4 Endurance Test posts at

  1. 12 Responses to “Glock 17 gen4 Endurance Test: Week 8”

  2. I like very low (close to the slide) rear sights and have been using the Ameriglo .180″ GL-405L low rear sight (they have different height rear sights) with their GL-112 tritium front sight. (.140″ wide x .165′ tall) for a few years.

    I like the light in the notch and haven’t had an issues with accuracy…

    Was curious if there was a substantial difference in heights between the Hack-rear and the 405L’s – i.e. the height of the bottom of the notch.

    By Les on May 13, 2011

  3. I have experienced that hitting high fast with an XS BD paired to a Warren rear but I’m not seeing that with a Hack front and a Warren rear. Fast and spot on for cold FAST drills so far (sub 6.0). I’m tellin’ ya 😉 somebody else try tightening up the rear window with the Warren Sevigny Comp or Carry rear and the Hack front and see if precision is improved with great speed maintained.
    So get your Gen 4 running and its a runnin’ fool. Luckily, all mine ran like that out of the box.

    By JoeC on May 13, 2011

  4. Good to see the Glock has been running without any further parts swapping, still think it’s a shame that it wasn’t able to do it without the tinkering though.

    I find it interesting that you’ve gone to a different (and thinner) front sight. I was shooting nearly the same Ameriglo set-up ( .140″W pro-glo front, .180″W wide-notch rear) for about 6 months, back almost 2 years ago now before they were dubbed the “Hackathorn set” and ended up doing the exact same thing in my own progression… Eventually, I ended up changing out the rear sight too, because while it was accurate and fast as you mentioned, I found that in my case that accuracy fell off substantially as speed and distance increased. After going to a rear with a more conservative, but still fairly wide-open .150″ rear notch I decided that for me a .180″ rear notch just gave too sloppy of a “window” where the front blade could “swim” and I’d break shots that would look and print fine at 7 yards but sometimes be off the paper at 25 (that arc you were talking about).

    I played around with a couple different fronts and rears and quickly ended up settling on a .115″W front with a .150″ rear notch, incidentally and interestingly, exactly the same ratio as that Glock-shooting-android’s sights, hmmm…. made me start to wonder if there really are some unwritten parameters that work best for the type of combat shooting as discussed around here..?

    Also, kind of interesting, since it doesn’t seem to hold the android back, I also decided to give plain all-black irons a try, and low and behold over a year later they’ve solidly become my preference. While slower at first, took me only maybe a matter of days to get back up to the same speed as with fancy high-visibility orange dot or FO sights, but my consistent accuracy has increased 10X what it was… instead of looking for a glowing dot I look for the top of the front blade now and unconsciously my brain seems to perceive the light-bars around the front blade and the overall alignment much more acutely, I only break a bad shot if I fail to stay honest and see my front sight, forget hard to see or inherently slow, most of the time I can see the serrations.

    I mention it because if you ever decided to, I think it would be cool and pretty interesting if you were to run some testing of different and varying pistol sights and sight-pictures to see what you might find ( say a week or so between changes)? I’ve read some about Kyle Defoor’s findings with red dots vs. irons on carbines and the findings are pretty interesting and not necessarily what one might expect, don’t think anyone has done similar with pistol sights.

    By ChipK on May 13, 2011

  5. I played around with a couple different fronts and rears and quickly ended up settling on a .115?W front with a .150? rear notch, incidentally and interestingly, exactly the same ratio as that Glock-shooting-android’s sights, hmmm…. made me start to wonder if there really are some unwritten parameters that work best for the type of combat shooting as discussed around here..?

    I think the bullseye shooters have done a lot with this – I recall there being a huge section in Yur Yev’s book on what types of sight combinations work best for the various ISSF disciplines…

    By Les on May 13, 2011

  6. Todd,

    Why not just throw a Heinie rear on the G17 to match the height of the front Heinie sight?

    By Nick D. on May 14, 2011

  7. Todd- I don’t recall seeing anything on this but have you tried the other grip sizes? I’m curious if you would see real differences in your drill times.

    By LJ on May 14, 2011

  8. Todd,

    What was the reasoning for painting only the area around the Trit on the Heinie and not the whole sight?

    By John R on May 16, 2011

  9. John — I’ll tell you when I get my holster. 8)

    Actually, it’s a very good question. What I have found, at least for myself, is that if I paint the entire front sight I’ll get a false positive sight picture while the gun is pointing too high. If the idea is that orange means shoot then you have to make sure you only see orange when you’re going to get a hit.

    By ToddG on May 16, 2011

  10. ToddG, I have a question about the definitions.
    How do you define a “stoppage” and how do you define a “malfunction”?

    What kind of stoppages are there and what kind of malfunctions?

    Parts Breaking kinda speaks for itself.

    Thanks in advance.

    By Cme on May 18, 2011

  11. Another very timely discussion on I too have been playing with different sight width combos lately. I’ve been using the .140 ProGlo and .180 black serrated rear for a while and really like it. However, I have noticed once my targets reach out past 15 yards or so I have too much target obstructed and feel this has really hindered me, esp in IDPA. I ordered a box full of different width fronts and rears from Ameriglo recently and ended up setting up two guns differently for some comparisons and can’t wait until I can get some more trigger time with them to see if it makes a difference. One is all black and has a .090 serrated front and a .180 black rear. The other has the same rear and a green painted .125 (their $9 sale front sight). No, I wouldn’t carry either as I feel a front NS is a must but for games we’ll see if it makes a difference. If it does then I will find a NS with the same dimensions and go forward from there. Sad too as I have a parts box full of the HACK setup already and they are on all my carry guns.

    I was particularly interested in the comment about the orange “ball” throwing off the sight picture. I too find this is odd and really wish Ameriglo would have stuck with a orange square like the original ProGlo had. I have exactly one of them. All the rest of mine are round. I have asked a couple of times if the squares would ever come back but can’t get a clear answer from Rick. Maybe if enough people ask ……

    Off topic …. I gave up on the P30 experiment. I am a GLOCK man. I can’t fight it. O well.

    By VolGrad on May 19, 2011

  12. I have 5 sets of Hackathorn sights on various Glocks and have not had these issues. YMMV of course.

    By Darwin on May 28, 2011

  13. Who makes that orange and black kydex holster in your pic.


    By Jose on Oct 22, 2011

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