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Ejection Dejection

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I decided that I was going to do something about the Brass-To-Face (BTF) issue with my Glocks and set about learning all I can from here, other gun fora and YouTube. Then I'd go to the range to see which of my Glocks had an ejection problem and which didn't. Finally, I'd try, one at a time, applying a fix to each troubled Glock as suited its particular problem.

Ideally, the ejection should consistently be to the 3-4 o'clock position. Anything else indicates problems. Even if it's not to the face, a problem is indicated if the ejection is not consistent.

The Glocks in question are two Gen 3 G19s, two Gen 3 G17s, two Polymer 80 full size (G17 compatible) and one Gen 2 G19 (with an LCI extractor and bearing.)

It seems to be widely understood that the ejection/BTF problem is one of two things: 1) The slide cycles too slowly to mash the empty casing against the ejector properly or 2) the extractor does not hold the empty case well enough to convey it to the ejector.

The former can be caused by weak ammo or a too-strong recoil spring assembly (RSA).

The latter is caused by a bad ejector, a too-weak ejector spring or, perhaps, the wrong spring loaded bearing. Again, this is all according to what I found on line.

Some people have had luck with a pricey aftermarket extractor. Others say they have had success changing the ejector in a Gen 3 Glock to a Gen 4 ejector or polishing the extractor or installing a new extractor spring. There was no universal fix. Some people could find no fix.

There are some who, despite the widespread reports of BTF, dismiss it as operator error: "You're not gripping the gun properly." I dismiss such claims. I've seen people on Youtube intentionally limp wristing a properly-ejecting Glock in an attempt to cause BTF. It doesn't work.

One fellow somewhere claimed that the extractor isn't even necessary on a Glock to eject fired shells and that the extractor is really only there for extracting unfired rounds when clearing the weapon. Fired shells, he claimed, would be extracted by the blowback. This was easy enough to test so I did and found it to be nonsense. The extractor is very much needed.

Someone reported seeing a BTF Glock in slo-mo video that showed the empty casing striking the top round in the magazine instead of the ejector.

Prior to going to the range to test each of my seven Glocks (all 9mm), I did a test on the bench at home. I removed the RSA and inserted a clean, resized, empty case into the chamber, taking care to ensure that the case slid into place behind the extractor. With all the Glocks, I could insert the empty case behind the extractor and it would be held in place.

I then reinstalled the slide (minus RSA) and, holding the gun in an upright firing position, pulled the slide back smartly to simulate firing the weapon. I watched where the empty case went. In most cases, with every Glock I have, the case ejected to the right as it should. Only if I gave the slide a less-than-quick pull did the case drop down through the empty magazine well. So, "in the shop," the extractor held the case long enough to bang it against the ejector and cause the case to exit the slide. I was encouraged.

At the range, I loaded one round into the chamber from the magazine, removed the magazine, then fired that round and noted the direction of ejection. In each weapon, I tried 115, 124 and 147 grain ammo. Only my Gen 2 G19 (with LCI extractor and proper bearing) ejected properly (3-4 o'clock direction). In the vast majority of other cases, there was no ejection at all; the empty case fell down through the magazine well.

This tells me that, had there been a magazine inserted, the case would have been bouncing off the top round in the magazine and not off the ejector. The fired cases never made it to the ejector.

On one or two of the weapons, I got decent ejection some of the time when using 124 or 147 grain rounds. I even got proper ejection once with a single 115 grain round. But the majority of all the rounds fired resulted in the expended casing going down the mag well.

From this, I have surmised that the extractor does not in fact hold the casing tightly enough to keep a grip when in actual recoil. That is, the tests on the bench, were I manually pulled the slide back to effect ejection, worked fine. There, the receiver was not in recoil; I held it fixed horizontally. But the case does not seem to hit the ejector at all when actually firing. The only reason it would not is that the extractor loses its grip on the fired case when actually firing.

Anyway, I'm thinking that changing the ejector would do no good when, by all appearances, the case never strikes the ejector. So my thrust at this time is looking into ways to have the extractor hold the case more tightly.

Some people have "changed" the extractor spring. It was not clear whether they replaced it with another stock spring or some aftermarket spring.

One fellow said he "filed" the extractor to make it reach further and give it a better grip.

Multiple people said that the Apex extractor ($60) worked for them. Others reported that it did not work for them.

I'm thinking that, if the extractor needs to grip more tightly, it might be possible to fix this with a Gen 2 (non-LCI) Spring Loaded Bearing which is about twice as long as the standard bearing on the external part that presses against the rear plate of a Glock slide. Using one of these would put more compression on the extractor/spring and might hold a case more tightly. Might.

I'm going to put my old Gen 2 non-LCI extractor and bearing into one of the Gen 3 weapons and see what that does.

Anyway, though the BTF issue has been beat to death, I thought I'd share my experience, FWIW.
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4,593 Posts
I had two glocks that gave me BTF. My solution? Sold them. I don't need to go analyzing, troubleshooting, fixing a function that any other given pistol on the market already has perfected. Only two glocks in my safe, 30s and 43. Neither give BTF.

4,488 Posts
It is pretty standard for many pistols to drop a case down the mag well if fired without a magazine inserted. This proves nothing. Many people try to use a 1911 extractor test protocol on other guns, and this is wrong it is an apples to oranges comparison to two parts in two different guns which work in very different ways.
I guess I either got lucky or simply don’t notice when a case bounces off my forehead or hat. As long as the gun runs I don’t see what all the fuss is about

NRA Life Member
74,696 Posts
I read the beginning and end of that book. Looks like another shooter who insists it can only be an equipment problem, "The former can be caused by weak ammo or a too-strong recoil spring assembly (RSA)." :rofl:

Meanwhile, I have owned many Glocks and shot many thousands of rounds through them over the last nearly 30 years without a single ejection issue or brass hitting me. My wife has had the same experience with her 4 or 5 Glocks over the last 14 years. Most shooters I know can say the same.

But on Glock Talk, it always has to be the equipment.:upeyes:
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Constitutional Conservative
616 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I read the beginning and end of that book. Looks like another shooter who insists it can only be an equipment problem,
So you didn't read the in-between parts where I explained why I believe what I believe? That's very open-minded of you. Not. No point in reading if your mind is made up.

It seems to me more than likely an equipment problem. How else to explain that my Gen 2 G19 ejects perfectly? Am I simply unable to properly grip a Gen 3 or a Polymer 80? Izzat your position?

And my Walther, Browning, Berettas, Kel-Tec, Kahr -- apparently, I grip those properly too; it's just those danged Gen 3 Glocks I can't hold properly, eh?

Meanwhile, I have owned many Glocks and shot many thousands of rounds through them over the last nearly 30 years without a single ejection issue or brass hitting me
You sound like one very lucky hombre. Let me know when you're going to be in town and I'll let you demonstrate your superior gun handling skills on my Glocks. I'll even buy lunch.

You local friendly Skynet dealer
13,970 Posts
Early gen 4 g19 gave me a couple of BTF per magazine. I chose to get an Apex extractor and the suggested bearing change.
The result is a consistent pile of spent brass at my 4 o'clock. Life is too short to spend lots of time instead of a quick fix.

Conclusion; Apex extractor cures limp wrist.
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4,593 Posts
Or simply, "Deal with it like left-handed shooters have for decades be it Glock, Colt, SIG, HK, or whatever semi-auto that tosses brass in your direction."

There's a novel idea......
I guess you didn’t get the point of my post. Two glock pistols I had gave me brass. I sold them. No others pistols I’ve shot have done the same, regardless of make. Even when I shoot left handed with any other pistol, I don’t get pinged in the head.

I started down the rabbit hole of troubleshooting the BTF, but decided to just sell them off. Glocks are a dime a dozen. Not worth my time.

1,786 Posts
The biggest problem with Glocks that throw brass to the face is the extractor. It doesn't hold the spent casing to the breech face. I am sure you have seen the slow motion video's on line that show this taking place. Since the round is moving as it goes back where it strikes the ejector varies with each round. Thus erratic ejection.
Although this is usually solved by an extractor that,
a.) Is non-LCI since the change to the LCI seems to of effected the angle at which the round is held. Thus the round not being held at an angle that keeps it solid to the breech face.
b.) A non-LCI spring loaded bearing that increases the extractors tension on the spent case.
c.) The LCI MIM extractors especially when the problem first manifested in the then new GEN4 Glocks (which also included many of the GEN3's that had the same extractors, different ejectors) seemed to vary in fitting. As noted some of the extractors didn't work from the box but after a few hundred rounds "broke in". Or Or after a thousand rounds or so stopped working properly.
i.) Poor quality control of the MIM process. Usually a problem in the heat treating I would guess. Malformed parts with variances in shape that further effect the improper hold of the extractor on the spent case.
ii.) That is why some would "beak in" after some wear on the malformed extractors. Others would stop working after about a thousand rounds of wear from a part that started off "in spec".
Some speculated that some of the slides were improperly cut to receive the extractors. This would of course make the extractor problem not be solved by replacement of the extractor. I believe this to also be correct in the guns that some of the other changes such as a new Non-LCI extractor/non LCI spring loaded bearing, etc.. I sent several of these early guns to Glock for repair.
several of them they couldn't get to work and simply replaced the guns.
Including sending me a GEN3 hoping that would solve the GEN4's problems.
I went through the work for awhile, not work after x amount of rounds.
And yes some of the early guns were also over sprung. Glock worked on these things. Changed the RSA. Put different ejectors on some of the GEN3's. And so on. of course if one thing was wrong with the gun it threw other things off.
Tolerence stacking is the word I believed some used.
My last replacement gun I had was an American made GEN4 G19. I sent it to Randy Lee at Apex. He fitted an Apex extractor for me. It was one of the rare guns this didn't solve the problem. He put in a conversion kit that converted the gun from a dual spring RSA to a GEN3 type RSA. And lowered the ejection port. The gun has fired thousands of rounds without incident. But it had to be highly modified to work. This was one of the guns that couldn't be solved with just a new extractor/non-LCI spring loaded bearing?
Now the gun can fire with no mag in the gun with me holding it with just my thumb and first digit. Or with a mag and a again just a thumb and first digit. With any ammo. So it is not "weak ammo". Glock says in it's manual that it's guns should work with any NATO or SAMMI spec ammo. All new manufacture ammo that is made by the major U.S. makers meets either SAMMI or NATO spec ammo. Glocks have always until the early GEN4 problems shot every ammo they were feed. They built their reputation on it. Using hot ammo to resolve the problems just increases slide velocity causing more robust ejection hiding the real problems.
And Glocks don't require a special grip to function. If they did who would trust their life to the weapon? From experience lots of times under stress you only get to use one hand and far from a perfect hold. You might even be knocked on your a*& fighting for your gun. Far from a stable base or grip. You sure as hell really need it to work and in such an instance! It may be a gunfight. In other words fighting with a gun or whatever else you may or may not have.
Glock seems to of gotten a handle on most of this. I still see Glocks hitting people in the head at the range but not near as frequently as at the beginning of all this.
Is it worth going through all this to get a gun to work? No, not usually. But it became a project to me. Anyone who tells you that you it's ok to trust your lifet a gun that needs hot ammo, special grip, and that a hot piece of brass in the eye is not a problem in a fight makes me wonder what they are smoking! And taking your earlier model Glock and shooting it with your troubled Glock. And having the old gun work and the new one not with the same ammo. And have other people shoot it, with the same conditions, with the same gun, with the same ammo, tells you it's the gun with a problem. And replacing parts fixes the errant gun just tells you it was a hardware problem that needed to have a fault fixed to work.
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