A Subjective Analysis Of Glock's Current BTF Problems
I’ve already had hot brass land on top of my eyeglass - Brass that would have hit me in the eye if I hadn’t been wearing glasses! This problem is, now, to the point where I will no longer fire my G-19 without wearing, both, safety glasses and a long-billed ball cap. (My own BTF problems didn't begin until I was well past the point of 3,000 fired rounds. Trust me! It ain't my grip.)
So, what's my latest theory on, 'Why' so many Glock pistols are throwing brass into people's faces? (No, BTF is not an imagined, 'make believe' event as some incredibly thick-headed senior board members have recently been saying. I really have to wonder, ‘Where’ these people get their incredibly screwed-up ideas from?) There are a variety of associated, but different, reasons, 'Why' Glock pistols which have been produced over the past 3 years continue to throw hot brass into shooters' faces:
(1) One part of the problem is that the extractor claws are poorly formed, and are clearly too ill-fitting and capacious.
(2) The much cheaper (MIM) extractors that Glock, GmbH has been alternately using, and not using have larger thicker bodies (By as much as fifty thousandths of an inch) and many - but, as usual with Glock, NOT all - of the slide cutouts were intermittently, ‘spot enlarged’ in order to allow these, slightly, thicker extractor bodies to move freely. (Of course, this random fitting process has completely - and I hate to say it, most likely, permanently - screwed many a recently produced Glock slide.)
NOTE: How much thicker? Thick enough to allow many - but, again, as usual with Glock, NOT all - of the new extractors to ever so slightly, 'wobble' or, ‘cant’ while their ill-fitting and too generously proportioned extractor claws try to hold onto rapidly extracting cartridge heads. So, now, you've got intermittent high speed: 'wobble', ‘cant’, and mechanical, 'slop' introduced into Glock’s new extractor design; and no new, ‘drop-nosed’ #30274 or #28926 ejector is going to, in and of itself, solve this problem.
AIN'T GOING TO HAPPEN, GLOCK-O!
Without each problem Glock being especially matched to a new individually-fitted extractor, a really permanent fix ain’t never going to happen; and these potentially dangerous BTF problems are going to continue to threaten and annoy numerous - but, once again, not all - Glock owners.
(3) The situation between different extractors, in varying thicknesses, and different slide cutouts, also in varying thicknesses, is now so completely fakakta that NO ONE REPLACEMENT PART IS GOING TO FIX EVERYBODY'S BTF PROBLEMS. THAT, also, ain't never going to happen!
Until someone finally offers a tougher, thicker, better-fitting, aftermarket, replacement extractor - One that can be especially custom-fitted into each problem Glock - these potentially dangerous BTF problems are going to continue to annoy every Glock owner/user who fields one of these problem pistols.
Then, and only then, can a more reliable and truly universal solution to Glock’s potentially dangerous BTF problems finally be found. (Custom-fitting a new extractor would not be a problem for someone like me, or for many of the other longtime Glock owners I’ve met on this board. I'm, also, certain that many of the factory armorers could do it, too.)
Failing to achieve this sort of genuinely universal remedy, Glock’s BTF problems are going to remain in existence for as long as these problem Glocks with their: enlarged extractors, enlarged slide cutouts, and poorly fitting claws continue to be used.
The trouble-free G-19's seem to be those pistols produced before early Summer of 2010 and are no higher in their serial number prefixes than, 'L'. There ARE trouble-free G-19's with higher than, 'L' prefixes; but it's, pretty much, hit or miss and depends on what extractor the factory used.
I purchased my own G-19(RTF2) in November of 2010. The, 'witness case' envelope was marked for April of that year. It had a #2 stamped MIM extractor in it that I very quickly realized was too tight to operate smoothly in the existing slide cutout. I polished it to fit and flex smoothly; and, voila, it was, 'good-to-go' for the first 3,200 + fired rounds.
It was after this that my own BTF problems began to show up. I've been screwing around with this problem for just over a year now; and, happily, I think I've finally got things straightened out. While I'm not exactly happy with the short 3 to 5 foot arced ejection pattern the pistol is giving me, (My other older 3rd gen. Glocks are able to do much better.) all of my brass is, presently, ejecting off to the right and just past my right shoulder. THIS it is, presently, doing very consistently!
So far I've been through 4 or 5 different extractors; (including Apex Tactical's older first model) and I've had to give up the original (formerly perfect) #336 ejector. Now I have the new #30274 ejector in the pistol; AND I fully understand, 'Why' Glock has had to resort to using this new, 'drop nosed' ejector in order to make their new 9mm pistols with MIM extractors in them to work properly.
The ejecting cartridge heads are not being held tightly in place, and are slipping downward on the breechface as the slide moves to the rear. Something that does not happen with the older precision-machined extractors.
As I said, it looks like my G-19(RTF2) has returned to being both safe and reliable to shoot. (Maybe one of these days I might even try a few shots with my safety glasses off!) It's been a, 'long haul' though. I'm presently running a factory-supplied, non-LCI, 'Zero Degree' extractor in this gun. It doesn't work anywhere near as well as one of the old steel extractors; BUT, at least, it does work - Sort of!
I'm responding to this question, in part, because of what I did yesterday afternoon: I sat down at the end of a busy public firing line, and watched all the people with semiautomatic pistols while they were firing. Know what? I could, pretty well, tell who had purchased their semi-auto pistol within the past two years - I really could!
So, what did I discover? I discovered that the brass ejection patterns on newer Glocks and Rugers SUCK! Walther semi-autos are OK; and anybody's 1911 continues to remain beyond fault. 'Why'? Your guess is as good as mine; but, I think this trend for gun manufacturers to use MIM parts has, now, gone too far. MIM parts with their imprecise tolerances might be alright to use for some parts on a gun; but, as we're starting to find out, NOT for all parts, and especially not for critical operating parts like extractors.
If someone doesn't want to agree with me, ...... fine! I'm just an old gunman sitting behind the firing line, watching, wondering, and scratching his increasingly graying head. (I can still outshoot (and outthink) a lot of the kiddies, though)
NOTE: There's another aspect of Glock's, 'BTF problem' which is not addressed above that I think should be mentioned:
Irregular wear on the top and bottom, 'flats' on these new MIM extractors.
I strongly suspect that the damned things either, 'wobble' or, 'chatter' whenever a problem pistol is fired. Some Glock extractors wobble or chatter more, and some Glock extractors wobble or chatter less; AND this is really screwing up BOTH how the extractor works as well as how the brass finally ejects. It produces what I'm going to call, 'erratic flyers'. Have you ever seen, 'left flying brass', been bopped right between the eyes, or noticed an EDP rod with scuff marks on its head? MIM extractor, 'wobble' and, 'chatter' (or, broadly speaking, 'uneven wear') is, I believe, the reason, 'Why' so many of these bad things are happening.
ADVISORY: I am NOT a Certified Glock Armorer! (I'm only that armorer which Gaston Glock has forced me to become.)