Dry Firing a Glock - My Conversation with Glock Tech Support

Discussion in 'General Glocking' started by dhgeyer, Nov 5, 2012.


  1. Just got off the phone with Glock Tech Support. This question came up in another thread and got a little contentious. It's something that I had never heard of being an issue, and I do dry fire my Glocks sometimes, so I wanted to know.

    First, let me say that there is nothing in the current Glock Owner's Manual that says dry firing is harmful. The Tech Support (TS) person I spoke to even mentioned that.

    The specific question I asked was "Has there been a change in Glock's OFFICIAL position on dry firing their pistols in the last year or two?". The answer I got was "I recommend that if you dry fire the pistol other than what is needed for disassembly you use a snap cap.". I pointed out that I had not asked for his personal advice, and repeated my original question. Then he said "No, there has been no change in Glock's position on dry firing.". That was when he mentioned that it is not discouraged in the Owner's Manual.

    I pressed the conversation further. I asked if moderate amounts of dry firing are likely to be harmful. I mentioned that I tend to pick the gun up and dry fire it maybe 10 or 15 times every week or so. He said, emphasized really, that that is not going to cause any problems. He went on to say that damage to the breechface can occur when people dry fire their pistols for hours at a time.

    I asked if I would get the same answer from different TS reps - and specifically asked if Glock had instructed him to answer my questions as he had done. He said no. He said that what he had told me was just general knowledge among Glock TS reps.

    I don't think anything he said was unreasonable. If I dry fired my gun for hours at a time I would expect to, at least, break some striker tips. I wouldn't expect to break right through the breechface, but I guess we have to add that possibility to Glock's known "issues". But it will take a huge amount of dry firing to do that, and even then it's a rare occurrence.

    So, the Readers' Digest version is: The first thing out of their mouth is "use a snap cap" if you don't specify how much dry firing you do. If you specify moderate dry firing they will tell you it's OK. And there has been no change in Glock's official position on this practice.
     

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  3. Put me down in the snap cap camp,having seen pictures here before of broken through,cracked breach faces.

    When I am specifically dry firing my Glocks,not for five or ten dry fires but I'm talking about fifteen to thirty five minute dry fire sessions.
    As I do for all my firearms no matter the manufacture but then again that's just me. SJ 40
     

    #2 SJ 40, Nov 5, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012
  4. Based on everything I have been able to pull together, including my conversation with TS earlier, I wouldn't disagree with you. I've seen those same pictures, by the way. The amount of dry firing you do will add up. I don't do anything like that amount of it with any firearm I own. Never have. I do just enough of it to keep a feel for the trigger. For me that doesn't take much.
     
  5. My dry fire is consistant with yours, maybe a few times a week, as I'm sure like a majority of the Glocking population.

    Take this for what it's worth and I have nothing to support this other than it was from a guy (Jansen) that took the 3 day Advanced armorer's course. Here is a little tidbit I picked up from Robb Jensen at M4carbine.net 07-08-2011:

    Do the Gen3 guns have MIM parts?
    All Glocks meaning Gen 1, 2, 3 and 4 have always had cast/MIM locking blocks and extractors.

    Gen 1, 2, 3 had tool steel firing pin/strikers.
    Current 3s and 4s now MIM firing pin/strikers.

    Some firing pins both tool steel and MIM firing pins have been breaking when used with a lot of Winchester NT (non-Toxic). This ammo has a very small very HARD primer made in Pakistan. This primer is also well known for breaking a lot of decapping pins when it accidentally gets into your brass at the range when you attempt to decap the primer on your reloading press. The reason it breaks the tip of the firing pins is because it's actually almost as hard as the firing pin and on a Glock (and many other striker fired pistols) the firing pin stays forward in the slide during extraction and ejection and the case is dragged across the tip of the firing pin a little as the barrel unlocks. This is the reason why you see the drag/smear on primers from ammo shot in striker firing pistols like Glocks and Kahrs.

    NT has a long way to go.

    Glock has also seen some damage from Blazer aluminum case ammo as well. This is from flame cutting the firing pin and breach-face. This occurs because the aluminum case allows hot gases to escape around the primer which damage the firing pin and breach-face. This ammo is not recommended in Glocks.
    FWIW I've shot a lot of that through Glocks with no problems. But our instructor shot thousands upon thousands of rounds through on of his Glocks and it actually even cause failure at the breach-face and the firing pin broke through it.
     
  6. Interesting information--thanks for the posts, guys.

    I've used Winchester LPP for my .45ACP and 10mm loads without issue, and the majority of my loads have been using CCI 300 or 500 primers. Again, no issues.

    Funny to see the note about the Blazer aluminum ammo, because isn't that what Glock uses to test-fire the pistols? At least that's what I've found in the little envelopes that shipped with my pistols.
     
  7. di11igaf

    di11igaf ibew

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    1
    My thoughts exactly. They've been using it for a while to test fire guns for warranty/repair as well as new glocks sent out.
    The last 2 glocks have had these aluminum cases in the box.
    Pretty sure my older glocks were brass but its been too long.
     
  8. Many competitive shooters, me included, do up to an hour of dry fire drills, 6 days a week. This amounts to thousands of dry fires each week. Yet the instances of broken stock strikers and breech faces seems surprisingly low among the competitive crowd, AFAIK.
     
  9. When one thinks about the registration cases included with a new Glock,two rounds or what few rounds used for checking repairs done by Glock,even I don't think it's enough to cause any degree of flame cutting.

    I have a pair of colt type, 1851 navy's converted to cartridge.
    The base guns are Pietta's ,not known for hard steel used in their construction.

    After five years of constant use three times a month,50 rounds per match per gun minimum,for all but four months of winter. Are just starting to show flame cutting at the muzzle end on the arbors,where the barrel attaches.

    The flame cutting seems to go about 60 to 75 thousands into the arbor and then stop or decrease to a negligible amount there after,the arbors are .43 in diameter.
    These are shot with black powder which burns hotter than smokeless but at less pressure than smokeless.

    The flame cutting on the arbors much resembles the flame cutting that the S&W model 19's in the top straps were famous for,although my S&W 19 is now thirty five years old and isn't anywhere near cutting through the top strap.
    It too reached a certain depth and stopped cutting to any degree.
    I know flame cutting directly depends on the amount of usage but also know that once it occurs it only reaches a certain point before decreasing the amount of further cutting action.
    If you only ever shot Blaser aluminum cases out of your gun maybe it may lead to cutting but having experienced it in a couple of platforms it's not a overriding worry of mine.
    SJ 40
     
    #8 SJ 40, Nov 5, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012
  10. It's interesting that you raise this issue. In the photos that I have seen of failures that were attributed to dry firing, the damaged area was the size and shape of the case head, not the striker. Following is a photo, taken from another forum. The thread was like this one: a discussion of dry firing.

    [​IMG]

    The photo shows two examples, but both follow the case head curve. A striker poking through on its own would make a much smaller hole, obviously.

    So I think it's possible that some, or even all, of the failures attributed to dry firing are actually due to live firing. If a slide cracked in this manner from firing, the broken piece would not necessarily fall out in its own right away, as the pressure from firing would tend to push it back into the slide, where it would be pretty well supported. As soon as you dry fired it, though, it would be pushed out.

    So, I theorize, maybe there are no failures of the slide in the breech face area due to dry firing. Perhaps dry firing merely makes the problem that was already there obvious.

    I have not seen a photo of a failed breech face that looks like it was caused by the striker poking through. Has anyone else?

    Maybe this is another case of Glock blaming the user for a manufacturing defect.
     
  11. M 7

    M 7

    1,344
    21
    Very informative, thanks for starting this thread, dhgeyer.

    Looks like those of us who like to dry-fire a lot can keep on keepin' on.
     
  12. D H Geyer
    Their maybe something to this statement.

    So, I theorize, maybe there are no failures of the slide in the breech face area due to dry firing. Perhaps dry firing merely makes the problem that was already there obvious.

    I have not seen a photo of a failed breech face that looks like it was caused by the striker poking through. Has anyone else

    We don't know exactly what the direct inside surface of the breach face is machined to,square,radiuses' or what the exact finished contoured shape is or maybe some of the GT members do know. SJ 40
     
  13. I'm with you on thinking that it has to be issues with actually shooting the gun versus dry-firing. I think that it's possible that dry-firing possibly contributed to the condition but I can't imagine the breech being damaged and it breaking right at the same point as the case rim. Makes you wonder what caliber is shows up with the most. If it were something along the lines of the .40 S&W or .357 SIG that was a high-pressure round or even the 10mm where it was just punishing the breech face and after thousands and thousands of rounds coupled with the dry-fire...maybe that is what finally caused the breakage.:dunno:
     
  14. Interesting mention regarding the use of aluminum casings and flame cutting of the breach face on a Glock. The agency I work for had one Glock 22 suffer this type of wear while using Blazer aluminum ammo for qualification shoots. In the end, CCI/SPEER replaced the complete upper slide asembly, including barrel and it now has three different serial numbers for the frame, slide and barrel (I now own this pistol after LE trade in when we traded in for G21's). There was even erosion of the firing pin hole.

    [​IMG]
     
    #13 GlockWheeler, Nov 5, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012
  15. Yikes, but awesome that they bought the parts necessary to fix what their product may/could/did/allegedly caused.

    This is absolutely the first I've heard of this; I've had 7 Glocks and while I'm short a few my oldest and truest, my Gen 3 Glock 21 hasn't shown a single sign of issues. I've probably dry fired the thing about 30-50 thousand times over the years that I've owned it. Has to be a mix of ammo, caliber and the dry fire finishes it off.

    Probably time to buy some snap caps anyway; I can never get the Glock to auto-forward when I do the 'insert the mag at X-Angle to get the slide to release' trick with any sort of regularity. I can do it with any of my M&Ps but my G21 just won't do it! :crying:Practice time and maybe insurance time with the snap caps.
     
  16. Wouldn't the live firing exert rearward pressure on this area and dry firing put forward pressure on it? Looks to me to be caused from dry firing. Also, the area surrounding the cracked area is solid behind it, the dry firing induced crack took the path of least resistance. Just a thought/theory.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. got to jump on the train and ask some questions on dry firing here, hope you don't mind, but so i don't have to start a new thread:

    i don't dry fire my glocks for training purpose, i just dryfire it when putting the gun back in the case after the last round on the range and after re-assembling after cleaning.
    so to say i dryfire 2 times each range trip, after last round, after cleaning an re-assembling.
    would you recommend a snap cap?

    if yes, which kind of snap cap? A ZOOMs, isn't their case harder then bras? won't they harm the extractor more?

    or better take plastic ones, like those:
    http://www.battenfeldtechnologies.com/tipton/catalog.asp?family=snap-caps

    don't get me wrong, just don't wanna save the FP and breechface at the cost of another part suffering.

    i know this is more a kind of theoretical discussion, cause i suppose dryfiring 2 times each range trip will not harm the gun, but i'm interested in not doing more harm then good to other parts of the gun (like extractor etc).
     
  18. Nobody, not Glock or anyone else, would suggest you get a snap cap if all you're doing is dry firing twice per range trip.

    Dry firing will never in any way harm the extractor. The only parts even being talked about with respect to dry firing are the striker and the breech face.
     
  19. Well, we're all just theorizing, and yours is a theory. You could be right. But I still vote for live firing causing fatigue, and the breech face failing, or at least being fatally weakened, prior to dry firing pushing it out. Otherwise, why is the entire area the size of the cartridge case head detached? The metal isn't any thinner there than where the striker strikes. In fact it's thicker, because the striker channel isn't as big as the cartridge case head.
     
  20. @dhgeyer:
    okay, so dryfiring twice per trip wouldn't be a problem.

    with the extractor i suppose you misunderstood me, i don't meant dryfiring will harm the extractor, but the use of AZOOM snap caps, cause their material is harder than brass.
    what i wanted to say with that is, that AZOOMs may save the FP/breechface etc. but is it possible to harm the extractor and extractor spring with the use of AZOOMs?

    so will saving one part (FP/breechface) harm another one (extractor/extractor spring)?
     
    #19 dusty_dragon, Nov 5, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012
  21. Well with regards to the pictured breech face failures.
    1-I think it its a rare problem possibly combination of dry fire and weak metal on those particular guns.

    2-not sure but I don't think the firing pin or the hole for the sleeve is as large as the broken area pictured, ie size of the case head??
     

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