Don’t Make Assumptions About Your Gear

Regular readers of this blog, especially those who might focus on my AARs and my range visit posts, might have been surprised over the last couple of years at the number of malfunctions my OD Generation 3 Glock 19 has experienced (Glock perfection?).  My black Glock 19 has suffered three or four malfunctions over its roughly 8,000 round history, I think my Glock 26 has had a couple, my Glock 17 has had one, and I think my Glock 43 has had one.  In almost every case, the issue was a failure to eject, which was as likely caused by a poor grip or bad ammunition as actual problem with the firearms themselves.

My OD Glock 19, however, was an anomaly.  Not only did it choke occasionally on range trips, but it seemed to particularly suffer in classes when the chips were down:  several times during the match at the Rangemaster Tactical Conference in 2017, at least once during the “stress course” during Bill Rapier’s Integrated Shooting and Combatives course, and during one of the “tests” at Tom Givens Two-Day Combative Pistol class earlier this year.  When it choked at the Rangemaster Conference, I mostly attributed this to an ammunition failure.  However, since then it has had issues with Sellier and Bellot, Blazer Brass, American Eagle, and Prvi Partisan 115 and 124 grain ammunition.  Oddly, the only ammunition I tried that never had issues was Blazer Aluminum.  Over the last few months, the frequency of these issues seemed to be increasing, as I was getting one failure to eject an empty casing during nearly every trip to the range.  Something was afoot!

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A reverse stovepipe issue I experienced last year.

History

It might be worth looking at a little history of this particular Glock.  Back in 2014, fresh off trying another student’s RMR-equipped Glock 19 during this class, I had the opportunity to purchase a factory Glock 19 slide milled for an RMR from a friend (at a really good price).  The slide was complete with all internals and suppressor-height sights, and just needed an RMR.  I purchased an RMR, but decided, rather than swap this slide out on my black Glock 19, to just go ahead and get another Glock 19 frame on which to put the slide.  I saw that Glockmeister, a company with which I had dealt before (and since), had various complete frames on sale.  Just for something different, I bought an OD Glock 19 frame, had it transferred to me, and life was good.  Eventually, I tired of the RMR experiment (as outlined here), and sold the RMR and slide and bought a new complete Glock 19 slide to put on the OD frame.   The pistol has existed in this form for just over two years now.

It was after this metamorphosis away from the RMR that these ejection problems started to materialize.  Because of this, my first thought (after ruling out ammunition or grip issues) was that it was something in the slide (extractor, etc.).  I detail stripped the slide, scrubbed the extractor, reassembled (all several times), and while sometimes it seemed like this “fix” would work, the problem would always return.  At some point a month or two ago I had a bit of eureka moment and decided to look at the ejector.  Having several Glock 9mm pistols, all from their third generation, gave me plenty to compare against.  And what did I find?

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Notice how the installed ejector is “bent” while the removed, .40 caliber ejector (in my hand), is straight.

Sure enough, the ejector in the OD frame looked much less “bent” than the ejectors in my other three 9mm Glocks.  Upon closer inspection, I came to see the number 1882 on the side of the ejector, confirming my suspicion.  My “OD Glock 19 9mm complete frame”, as sold to me, was not equipped with 9mm parts!  It was equipped with an ejector for a .40 Glock 23. 

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Where to find the part numbers on the ejectors. 336 is the correct 9mm part. 1882 is for the .40 caliber version.

The various Glock-centric forums are full of the Glock 23 lovers who laud its versatility.  They tend to like the fact that it can be converted to .357Sig with a simple, factory barrel swap, and also converted to 9mm with an aftermarket conversion barrel.  When asked if anything else would need to be changed, the well-versed tend to say, “I’d change the ejector as well.”  Smart.  Frankly, I feel like it is amazing that my pistol was as reliable as it was given the fact that it had the wrong ejector.

Now, $20 or later, my OD Glock 19 has the correct 9mm ejector (#336) installed and has a few hundred rounds downrange without a hiccup of any type (it has over 3000 round through it since I got rid of the RMR slide).  I have two classes coming up in the next month during which I’ll probably shoot around 1500 rounds, and my plan is to use this Glock as my primary for both classes (as I have been doing with all of my classes and most of my IDPA matches of late), so we shall see how it performs.  At this point, however, it is inspiring renewed confidence.

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All better now!

So, my advice to you if you buy a separate frame, a used firearm, or heck, even a NEW firearm, is to check it out from top to bottom to make sure it has all the correct parts.  Don’t assume anything!  I know that, in the Glock line, subtle changes have been made to items like magazine followers, extractors, ejectors, and a few other parts, but these changes are not always “announced”.  Other manufacturers do the same.  I suppose if your firearm is working with no issues that this is not a big deal, but at the first hint of an issue, I would give the gun a good once-over.  Also keep in mind that even a new gun may have been sitting on a shelf at a gun shop for a long time before you purchased it.  As such, it may not be equipped with the latest, updated parts.  Something to think about.

As always, thanks for reading.  I hope you found this article instructive or at least helpful in some way.  I like it when others can learn from my own mistakes, because I surely do!  If you have any questions or comments, please post below or on our Facebook page, as we always welcome civil discourse. 

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