Gen4 Glock 17 Endurance Test: Month 16

5-Jul-12 – 10:13 by ToddG
71,260 rounds 19 stoppages
(+1 w/non-LCI extractor)
0 malfunctions 3 parts breakages

It’s been a slow month ending with a difficult choice…

The Glock suffered one stoppage: the casehead of a round of 124gr Blazer TMJ Cleanfire got stuck on the breechface causing a failure to feed. Concerned that this may be related to the breechface damage detected last month I contacted a friend at Glock. Their unofficial assessment is that the breechface appears to be functionally adequate (my words) and is probably good for at least another 10,000 rounds (their words). I was told to keep an eye on it to see if it gets worse and particularly to watch out for any sign that the wear transforms into a circular crack all the way around the striker hole.

This has led to a conundrum. As much as I’d like to continue the test, a rule I’ve followed all along has been that once I no longer feel confident enough to carry the test gun, the test ends. Having talked it over with friends, experts, and a couple of department armorers the conclusion was clear: the gun is not in a condition that would be considered suitable for duty. It is probably fine, it will probably continue to work properly. But between the damage and the stoppage, it seems irresponsible to keep carrying the gun. As such, the Glock test is officially ending.

However, in the interest of giving the Glock a chance to reach its death by natural causes, I’ll continue to shoot the gun in practice and particularly during comparisons between it and the upcoming Springfield 1911s. There’s even been talk of handing it off to someone else who might continue to put a high round count through it on a regular basis…

But for now, the party is over.

71,260 rounds over 473 days.

149 range trips for an average of 478 rounds per trip.

699 hours on the range, an average of 102 rounds per hour.

The gun was fired in thirteen states: California, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.

It was only cleaned nine times during the entire test.

Next week, I write up some not-quite-final thoughts on the gun and the test experience.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

Previous Glock 17 gen4 Endurance Test posts at

  1. 11 Responses to “Gen4 Glock 17 Endurance Test: Month 16”

  2. “149 range trips for an average of 478 rounds per trip.”


    By Josh (BOM) on Jul 5, 2012

  3. When I see those numbers of how many rounds you’ve put down range it makes me green with envy. Must say, the Gen4 faired better than I initially thought it would.

    One thing though, based on your rule (“once I no longer feel confident enough to carry the test gun, the test ends”), I have a strong feeling the 9mm 1911 test may be over before it starts. That “rule”, coupled with what you’ve said in the past about how many trouble-free rounds of carry ammo needs to go through your pieces until you deem them ready to be carried, doesn’t look very good for much success with the Springer…

    By ChipK on Jul 5, 2012

  4. Very cool. Can we have a quick summary of the parts breakages? I am currently using a G17Gen4 and I keep wondering when the new guide rod design will break on me. My gun only has about 4000 rounds through it so far.

    By Shawn Knight on Jul 5, 2012

  5. 149 range trips . . .699 hours on the range

    Doesn’t that make you want to take one more trip for an hour just to round those off?

    By mark on Jul 5, 2012

  6. The final conclusion of the test: I would need to take out a second mortgage to afford enough ammo to wear out a Glock 17 Gen4. In actuality, one could purchase an aftermarket slide and give it a new lease on life. I wonder if Glock would sell just a factory slide as a replacement part. It is also notable that the steel slide wore out before the polymer frame, which were once thought to be too fragile.

    By Gary K on Jul 6, 2012

  7. Wouldn’t Glock just replace the slide under warranty?

    By Tim on Jul 6, 2012

  8. I’m certain Glock would replace the slide. But just like I kept the broken M&P9 slide and the broken P30 frame rather than replacing them, I’m going to keep the test Glock as-is in its “final” configuration.

    By ToddG on Jul 6, 2012

  9. Gary K,

    It is also notable that the steel slide wore out before the polymer frame, which were once thought to be too fragile.

    I just thought that was worth repeating… :)

    By Tam on Jul 6, 2012

  10. Well done and a smart decision.

    By DocGKR on Jul 6, 2012

  11. “‘It is also notable that the steel slide wore out before the polymer frame, which were once thought to be too fragile.’

    I just thought that was worth repeating…”

    Gary K and Tam nail it here. I’m someone who started off despising the very idea of plastic in a weapon (granted, the early M-16’s made that easy)but it has proven itself once again with this test. The question now has to be, why use an aluminum or steel frame for anything when polymer will do as well (or better)?

    Great test, Todd and as DocGKR says, you made a smart decision ending it now.

    By SteveJ on Jul 6, 2012

  12. New to this site, what do you call the difference between a malfunction and a stoppage?

    By Bill on Jul 7, 2012

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