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Old May 14, 2010, 07:13 AM   #1
Super-Dave
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The Glock Kaboom myth!

If the so called "Glock Kabooms" are such a problem:

1) For liability reasons would not Glock redisign the G22 or discontinue it?

2) Would police departments and other departments across the nation continue to buy G22's?


For me these two above statements make me think that the G22 is good to go and not to worry.

Am I wrong?
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Old May 14, 2010, 07:24 AM   #2
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---RELOADS---

You'll soon find the inevitable correlation between the high-profile stories of Glocks exploding, and the "like clockwork" footnote at the bottom of the story that said the shooter was using "reloads" in his Glock.

This is how it happens. I'm not saying "ALL THE TIME", but I can say with stark confidence that NEARLY ALL THE TIME this is the culprit in Glock KaBooms. And I'll tell you exactly how it happens.

-Ahem- Bang, Bang, Bang, Boop...
..."Wow. That felt like a squib." -lifts up muzzle a bit to prove without a shaddow of a doubt that everything is fine; meanwhile the powder charge was so small that the bullet never made it down the barrel.
- CLICK - "Wow... guess the action didn't cycle..." -Rack the slide-

"KA-BADA-BOOM!"

The burning powder charge, the bullets making contact, and the compressed atmosphere between the rounds in the barrel all equal a bad day and the gun splits open because the frame behind the open port is weaker than the barrel that's seared shut.

This is how it happens. And it happens with all autos, not just Glocks. Glocks really just get the worst lashing for it because of their "Glock: Perfection" campaign and because of their affinity for incredible reliability.

There is no factory quality control with reloads. That's why if you are shooting reloads, and you have a problem, (Warranty=VOID). Do yourself a favor, shoot reloads at your own risk; but if you do, and you have a poorly loaded round that doesn't function correctly... STOP AND CHECK YOUR WEAPON BEFORE YOU FIRE AGAIN! or you may just loose a finger.

Happy Glocking,
The 22 is a great model.
~LT
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Old May 14, 2010, 07:25 AM   #3
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Seems like a reasonable assumption to me.
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Old May 14, 2010, 07:38 AM   #4
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There have also been reports of firing reloads in Glocks with brass that has not been properly resized.

One of the big reasons anti Glockers will point out is that Glocks have the bare minimum of case support at the rear of the chamber which leaves brass with a slight bulge at the rear. Unless this is properly resized with a die that allows the brass to go all they way through it then there is the slightest chance you can have a round fire out of battery.

Supposedly Glock has rectified this problem though and assures us that their guns will no longer fire out of battery to a thousanth of an inch or something like that.
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Old May 14, 2010, 07:38 AM   #5
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I'll never know.
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Old May 14, 2010, 07:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
The Glock Kaboom myth!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If the so called "Glock Kabooms" are such a problem:

1) For liability reasons would not Glock redisign the G22 or discontinue it?

2) Would police departments and other departments across the nation continue to buy G22's?


For me these two above statements make me think that the G22 is good to go and not to worry.

Am I wrong?
Possibly so. If Ford Pinto fire risk was real, wouldn't Ford have redesigned or discontinued it?

Would NASA have sent up the space shuttle if temps were too low for the O rings?

Would police departments continue to buy it? Sure. They are offered package deals by Glock. They do the same things with their vehicle fleets as well. Many of the typical police vehicles are not models known for their long term or heavy use durability.

Another thing to keep is mind is who is responsible for the contracts between the police departments and their vendors. More often than not, the decisions are made not by the end users, but by pencil pushing mgmt. Such decisions are often made based on economics.
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Old May 14, 2010, 07:46 AM   #7
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I personally witnessed two 40 cal Glocks blow up, both shooters were using factory loaded ammunition.
Some thought the barrels were the problem.
I'm not sure what caused the problems, however I've not heard of it happening for a long time so maybe the problem has been corrected.
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Old May 14, 2010, 07:51 AM   #8
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Myth? Not so much.

Some people just don't want to admit that their precious Glock could be flawed in any way.
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Old May 14, 2010, 08:55 AM   #9
Mike Irwin
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I saw quite a few Glock .40 KBs in the early and mid 1990s.

With one exception, every one of them was a shooter firing an early production Glock with handloads.

Early Glocks had a somewhat larger than normal area of unsupported case head, and early .40 brass had a somewhat thinner case head.

Combine those two with hot handloads, and eventually something is going to give.

I remember picking up many .40 cases from the range that looked like a small snake had swallowed a very large egg.

Since that time the unspported case head area has been reduced, and .40 brass has a thicker case head. Problem is largely resolved.
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Old May 14, 2010, 10:08 AM   #10
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There is more than one factor to infamous Glock kaboobs

1) generous chamber on older guns with less chamber support to promote reliable feeding - I believe Glock changed the chamber since and now it have more support in 6 o clock.

2) Some of the older Glocks was able to fire slightly out of battery - my G19 second edition would fire af far as 1/8 out of battery, when barrel already linked half way down. My third ed. doesn't do that.

3) Ammo - there is very small space in the .40S&W cartridge for powder charge so every slight setback raise pressure at much steeper rate than larger capacity rounds like say 10mm Auto. This is especially happening with heavy, long bullets - 180grain and more. IIRC setback of .1" raise the pressure two fold.

4) lead bullets - hotly disputed topic but lead bullets do tent to lead polygonal barrel much faster and there is possibility of leading raising pressures to dangerous levels

5) handloads - too fast powder, case not resized correctly, bullet seated too deep, loaded too hot, lead bullets ... all the above points come in play with this one

Most of design flaws was corrected by Glock, but the fact that .40 S&W cartridge require more carefull loading still remains
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Old May 14, 2010, 10:43 AM   #11
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It's not a myth, it's a fact.

I say this and I'm a fan of Glock pistols, but I'm also well enough versed in their design to know that certain models (21, 22) are prone to case failure due to a design "flaw" (depending on how you view it).

I shoot a G21 with reloads. I use an aftermarket barrel to avoid "kabooms" which are more likely to occur in my situation than they are shooting factory loads through an OEM barrel. If you shoot lead through a Glock 21 or 22 OEM barrel, you're crazy as it's not a matter if you're going to blow your gun up, but only a matter of when.

Here's why I use an aftermarket barrel:



Here's another angle:



The OEM barrel is darker around the case head because the feed ramp isn't polished like on the Lone Wolf barrel so the light isn't being reflected. But you can see a large portion of the case is unsupported in the OEM barrel whereas the Lone Wolf barrel completely supports the case.

This is what happens when the case is unsupported and pressure get too high:



That was actually with factory PMC ammo... which was known at the time for having brittle brass which in Glocks equated to a "kaboom" but worked fine in other handguns.

So, it's not a myth, it's a reality but one that can be dealt with if you're inclined to play things safe.
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Old May 14, 2010, 10:55 AM   #12
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The problem for the most part was with the then new .40 S&W cartridge.As a result Glock made some changes and Federal changed dimensions of their ammo and perhaps others. Word was passed about using lead bullets [harder lead and frequent cleaning would avoid most of the problem].

The 40 S&W cartridge is a very fine one and I have used it ever since it first came out. I've never had any problems with my P7.

Another problem is the internet - 20 year old problems are repeated again and again as if they just happened !!!
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Old May 14, 2010, 11:13 AM   #13
Sturmgewehre
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Quote:
Another problem is the internet - 20 year old problems are repeated again and again as if they just happened !!!
Total BS I'm afraid.

Here's one from 2010:
http://nky.cincinnati.com/article/C2...s-while-firing

Here's one from 2008:
http://www.theledger.com/article/200...NEWS/803130481

It has been going on since the 22 and 21 were introduced.
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Old May 14, 2010, 11:32 AM   #14
James K
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Glock KB's are not a myth, but the reason is still in dispute. The best evidence is that insufficient case support is at least one cause. Another possibility, that I don't think has been tested, is of a shooter of a .40 pistol accidentally loading a 9mm into the magazine and having it enter the barrel then go forward and not fire. The shooter, thinking the gun failed to feed, puts a .40 behind the 9mm and fires.

FWIW, a bulged or burst barrel is not caused by air compression or the rear bullet expanding. The rear bullet is moving and when it stops all its kinetic energy is instantly transformed into heat, which softens the barrel steel and allows the pressure to burst it.

Jim
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Old May 14, 2010, 11:52 AM   #15
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First, I own a Glock .45ACP.

Glock's and many other manufactures do have differing degrees of un-supported chambers. The main reason is to enhance feeding. The more material you remove in the bottom area the easier it makes for the round to feed. There is a normal pinch point between the top nose of the round and the bottom casing area as the round feeds into the chamber. My Ruger P90 also has a fairly large un-supported area.


So, many semi's have un-supported chambers, and this can contibute to a Kaboom with any gun. Glock does have un-supported chamber area, and Glock sells a lot of guns.
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Old May 14, 2010, 12:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
Some people just don't want to admit that their precious Glock could be flawed in any way.
THAT is absolutely correct sir!!!!!!!!!!

But even Glock itself is too arrogant to admit a design flaw
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Old May 14, 2010, 12:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
You'll soon find the inevitable correlation between the high-profile stories of Glocks exploding, and the "like clockwork" footnote at the bottom of the story that said the shooter was using "reloads" in his Glock.
SO what is the correlation? Is the implication that no one is safe enough to load reloads without blowing up thier guns? Newsflash, Millions of rounds are reloaded and shot without KB's each year. Of course there are a few KB's and not always with Glocks, these are real blunders that are the ammos fault. If it was always the ammo then other brands of guns would have just as high of instance of KB as the Glock. They do not! And to boot, many of the Glock KB's are with factory ammo. How do you explain that?

Simple. Glock pistols are not user friendly. 20 years is enough time to bring a lot of design flaws to the surface. Pity, because I really like Glocks concept. Who don't want a 14 rnd 45?!

Who here has the Glock flinch?
It's not anticipation of recoil, it's anticipation of KB with Glocks!
Is this the one?

Ok I'm being facetious but as an end user I can be. I don't need to know the whys of the engineering flaws, all I need to know is that Glocks are very picky about ammo even factory, and more finiky with reloads wether jacketed or lead so they lost my confidence and dollars. I tried to get reloads to work in it and it was very touchy and never did get total feed reliability.

Funny I don't need lab conditions to load good ammo for my 1911. We need to quit blaming the ammo for Glocks problems and put the blame where it firmly belongs...Glock is a poor pistol overall.
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Old May 14, 2010, 12:54 PM   #18
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Glock pistol problems, Ford Police Package Crown Victoria sedans...

In my opine; most of the Glock pistol problems or major issues come from owners not following the Glock mandated policy or manual guidelines.
If a user or Glock owner put the wrong load in or puts the wrong type of after market/custom gunsmith work then that could lead to serious problems.
I was reading over a few posted details of a Glock after market shop that made custom frames. CCR or CCF something. The company advised against metal Glock guide-rods and a few other custom parts. The more I read the more sense it made to keep a NIB(new) Glock pistol factory stock.
The late gun writer/firearms expert Robert Boatman made some of the same points in his book; Living With Glocks, www.Boatmanbooks.com .
I would however, get a NY-1 trigger system on a Glock duty/CCW pistol and 3 dot type night-sights.
As for the Ford Pinto example, I think the LE model Ford Crown Victoria sedans(also called the Police Interceptors) are a better example of US police agencies using a product that has a bad rep or major problems. A few PDs even sued Ford over the PI model's unsafe features. A sworn LE officer in AZ was killed in a traffic stop incident where a vehicle hit him, ruptured the Crown Vic's fuel tank and caused a massive explosion. The safety & design problems Ford had is why many US law enforcement agencies switched to Dodge Intrepid or Charger models or the improved GM Impala sedans. The large city where I live had the police buy 840 new GM Impala vehicles for the police dept. A few LE agencies use the Dodge Charger models or SUVs too.

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Old May 14, 2010, 12:59 PM   #19
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"Glock does have un-supported chamber area, and Glock sells a lot of guns."

But the area of unspported case head in early Glock .40s was much larger than with other guns.

Glock redesigned the barrel to tighten that up considerably after the problems began surfacing.

In the same manner, the ammunition companies redesigned the .40 case.


"You'll soon find the inevitable correlation between the high-profile stories of Glocks exploding, and the "like clockwork" footnote at the bottom of the story that said the shooter was using "reloads" in his Glock."

It's not a footnote. It's was part and parcel to the problem.

The large unsupported area of the case head, in combination with the early, thinner brass design, caused overexpansion and over stressing of the part of the case that wasn't supported.

Even when reloaders kept their loads within the standards established by the ammunition companies, the cases were prone to failure no matter what kind of bullet was being used (lead or jacketed).
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Old May 14, 2010, 01:23 PM   #20
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Does the name Dean Spier ring a bell here?

He's the guy who did all the original research and wrote a number of informative articles on the subject. He caught a lot of flack for it to (much of it right on this forum), even though he liked Glocks overall. IIRC, it wasn't just limited to the .40, there were examples in other calibers as well.

Why doesn't Glock redesign the barrel? Because that would be an admission of a design flaw (or two if you count the lead slug issue), and they might be forced to recall hundreds of thousands of pistols.

So, don't shoot reloads and don't shoot even factory rolled lead slugs.
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Old May 14, 2010, 01:50 PM   #21
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My buddy's Glock 20 has blown up a total of three times, with me in a ringside seat for the second one; whatever the problem is, it's not confined to the 22. The 10mm case is designed to work in an unsupported (unramped) barrel, but there must be a limit to "unsupported"?
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Old May 14, 2010, 02:37 PM   #22
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"There is no factory quality control with reloads"

I have officiated at monthly steel plate shoots and participated in many USPSA matches over the years and have found several cases of unacceptable set back on factory rounds. Although there may be no "factory quality control" with reloads, the levels of quality control with factory ammo can stand some improvement also. Point being, set back can occur with both factory and home loads thereby increasing pressures beyond acceptable limits.
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Old May 14, 2010, 03:34 PM   #23
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Quote:
Possibly so. If Ford Pinto fire risk was real, wouldn't Ford have redesigned or discontinued it?

Would NASA have sent up the space shuttle if temps were too low for the O rings?
Point?

I'm getting sleepy!
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Old May 14, 2010, 05:10 PM   #24
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Quote:
Glock KB's are not a myth, but the reason is still in dispute.
\

Very nice statement.

I have been present when three Glocks have kaboomed. Two were .45 acp and one was .40. I know that one of the .45 acp kabooms was with factory ammo. One of the other two kabooms (can't remember which) was due to a squib in the barrel for which lots of guns would kaboom. The last was a reload.

Quote:
Point?

I'm getting sleepy!
Sorry Elvishead, I guess that in your sleepy state, you missed the connection regarding design flaw parameters, risk, etc. The point is simply that Glock may very well have a gun that will kaboom at a rate that is higher than you would get with any other gun. While the flaw in the design may exist and may even be recognized by Glock as existing, it does not mean that Glock will necessarily make the corrective changes. Ford with the Pinto knew of the fire risk, ran the numbers on costs of a recall and of stopping production, and opted not to do either because it was cheaper to absorb the occasional lawsuit than to make the changes.

NASA knew the temps were too low for the O rings but reasoned that a failure wasn't very likely to happen as they had gotten away with below temp launches in the past and so went with the launch despite what could happen.

Both Ford and NASA knew of the problems and opted NOT to do the right thing. Just because a company knows something is wrong does not mean the company is going to fix it. That is the point.
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Old May 14, 2010, 07:32 PM   #25
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Maybe these kabooms only happen with 40's?? My 2nd gen 17 I have (since new about 15 years ago) had been fed nothing but reloads made from range-scrounged brass - it has never kaboomed or FTF, FTE, etc.
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