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Old June 1, 2010, 11:23 AM   #1
Super-Dave
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Glock 20 life expectancy?

If you only used full power loads what do you think the life expectancy is on a glock 20?
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Old June 1, 2010, 11:35 AM   #2
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Since you are old enough to buy it, if bought new the answer is probably longer than you. This is true of most good pistols. The only things that will need replacement every number of years are various springs and maybe the barrel.
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Old June 1, 2010, 11:36 AM   #3
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I suspect one should put in a heavy spring instead of the factory spring.



What poundage is best recommend for a glock 20?
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Old June 1, 2010, 11:39 AM   #4
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Just what the factory put in and I doubt you can afford the ammo to wear your Glock out and if you can god bless and more power to you.
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Old June 1, 2010, 12:14 PM   #5
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Seriously doubt you can afford enough ammo to wear it out I have 20lbs spring in mine but that's more because I don't wanna be walking too far to collect my brass than because it would be necessary
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Old June 1, 2010, 01:06 PM   #6
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Super-Dave

A local gunsmith, & Glock armorer, recently stated that a Glock pistol in 9mm had a "life expectancy" of about 250,000 rounds before a breakage requiring repair could be anticipated (excluding typical maintenance items such as recoil springs, etc). A similar model Glock pistol in .40 S&W had a life expectancy of 125,000 rounds, while a .357 Sig was at an even further diminshed capacity when compared to the 9mm, at an expected 25,000 rounds.

10mm was not mentioned in this particular conversation; however, it seems clear that the higher presure cartridges are much more abusive on hardware, by comparison.
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Old June 1, 2010, 01:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
A similar model Glock pistol in .40 S&W had a life expectancy of 125,000 rounds, while a .357 Sig was at an even further diminshed capacity when compared to the 9mm, at an expected 25,000 rounds.
This makes no sense to me.

The pressures of the 9mm, 40SW, 357sig and 10mm are not different enough to claim a 90% difference in life expectancy.

Besides, if it were "pressure" that were the deciding factor, the 9mm and 40 would be virtually identical, as would the 357sig and 10mm.

I'd have to see some hard evidence.


9mm and 40SW SAAMI max is 35,000psi, 10mm is 37500, 357sig is 40,000.
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Old June 1, 2010, 01:23 PM   #8
Don P
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Quote:
A local gunsmith, & Glock armorer, recently stated that a Glock pistol in 9mm had a "life expectancy" of about 250,000 rounds before a breakage requiring repair could be anticipated (excluding typical maintenance items such as recoil springs, etc). A similar model Glock pistol in .40 S&W had a life expectancy of 125,000 rounds, while a .357 Sig was at an even further diminshed capacity when compared to the 9mm, at an expected 25,000 rounds
.



Quote:
I'd have to see some hard evidence.
Took the words out me mouth. Proof!!!

The 25,000 round seems absolutely absurd wearing out 10 time faster than the 9mm. Poppy Cock I say!
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Old June 1, 2010, 03:00 PM   #9
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Perhaps "pressure" was not the best choice of wording to elaborate on the difference in what we tend to describe as felt recoil, pick any verbage you would like, but there is a substantial difference between a 9mm and a .357 Sig; which was really the point of the reply. Parts breaking in "certain" calibers before they broke in others, from similar models, from a single manufacturer was the question that lead to the reply that I chose to share.

The source in question is a reputable gunsmith in our area with a great deal of experience in the industry. I had no reason to drill him on where he got his info; however, next time we cross paths I will try to get him to elaborate on whether his comments were based on his experience, or information from some other source.
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Old June 1, 2010, 03:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn Thompson
Perhaps "pressure" was not the best choice of wording to elaborate on the difference in what we tend to describe as felt recoil, pick any verbage you would like, but there is a substantial difference between a 9mm and a .357 Sig; which was really the point of the reply. Parts breaking in "certain" calibers before they broke in others, from similar models, from a single manufacturer was the question that lead to the reply that I chose to share.
I'm not meaning to pick on you Shawn, I'm just saying that these comparisons don't makes sense to me.

Even if it were "recoil" based, the order would be expected to be 9mm, 357sig, 40SW, 45acp/gap and 10mm.

I'm sure that the guy is reputable, and I'm not saying that he's lying (or even necessarily wrong) but I'd surely want to see the evidence.

No matter how you cut it, those numbers don't make sense. PARTICULARLY the 357sig having a life span 90% shorter than 9mm, which operates at 88% the pressure and is the only major round chambered by Glock with less recoil that the Sig.
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Old June 1, 2010, 04:54 PM   #11
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the guy that introduced me to the 10mm has a g20 with a 6" lone wolf barrel. it has over 60k hand loads thru it. he shoots all the local steel and any other match he can get into with it.
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Old June 1, 2010, 05:47 PM   #12
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The wear & tear experienced by a pistol cannot be predicted by simply looking at the chamber pressures and thinking similar pressure readings equal similar effect upon the gun.

This has been expressed in different ways by different armorer instructors when I've taken a number of armorer classes over the years. The long and short of it is that .40's are generally considered to be harder on guns than 9mm and .45, and .357SIG is harder on guns than .40 S&W.

In a Sig armorer class the instructor took it a step further by way of telling us that we could expect to see evidence of peening on the barrel feed ramps caused by the greater impact forces experienced between the bottom of the feed ramp and the top of the frame's hardened steel locking insert in the .357 guns (compared to the .40 guns).

When this resulted in some raised eyebrows he went on to say that it wasn't the actual pressure levels which developed, but how those pressure levels were reached (speed of pressure spike) and how those forces acted upon the gun. In other words, while .40 & .357 had very similar ultimate pressure levels, each cartridge reached that pressure level in a different manner, and that resulted in different stresses being placed upon the guns.

The instructors in most of the other armorer classes were usually pretty much satisfied to tell the students that the .40's & .357's were harder on guns than the 9's & .45's, and that the .357's could be harder on guns than .40's.

10mm guns aren't usually mentioned in a number of armorer classes, but that's probably because it hasn't been seen as a service cartridge in LE/Gov circles for a while.

Back when I handled one of the first G20's to reach the West Coast (Fall of '90) the commonly found 10mm factory ammo was the original Norma (full power) load. It felt rather 'soft-shooting' in the stock G20, but subjective impressions of recoil forces acting on handguns can sometimes be a bit misleading, especially since folks tend to perceive such things differently.

Nowadays some of the smaller specialty ammunition companies are offering hot-rodded 10mm loads, and it wouldn't seem unexpected that these hotter loads would place more stress and general wear & tear on the guns. How this might be mitigated to some degree by the use of heavier recoil springs is anybody's guess.

I've never heard anyone from Glock try to convince me that a Glock .357 will last as long as a Glock .40, or that a Glock .40 will last as long as a 9mm model or a .45, FWIW ... and I've asked about it.

When I asked the Sig instructor what sort of service life someone could expect out of a metal-framed Sig chambered in .40 or .357SIG, he waffled a bit and said that because of their excellent engineering, that with periodic inspection and reasonable maintenance they ought to be able to provide at least a 25-30K service life. (Bear in mind that making a P-series gun chambered in .40 S&W resulted in them designing and adopting a solid machined slide instead of trying to continue using their stamped, folded & welded slides with pinned breech blocks. )

Considering that as recently as the late 80's alloy frames of 9mm pistols were often made to meet military specifications which stated that 5K rounds was an acceptable service life, we've come a long way and have some much more durable and robust guns from which to choose nowadays.

Also, you might want to take into consideration that some parts replacement is probably going to be considered normal and expected. For example, the original military specifications for the Beretta M92 took into consideration that the slide and barrel were considered replaceable parts over the course of a 'normal' service life, with slide being considered a 'disposable' part. That was when it was described that 99% of military M92's would be used to fire approx 80 rounds per year, which would allow for decent service life.

In the original FBI testing of the G22/23's, once testing exceeded the stated number of rounds fired, more rounds were fired beyond the testing purpose. As I recall, trigger bars cracked in a couple of the guns before 20K rounds were reached and it wasn't considered a potential problem.

Trigger bars, firing pins, locking blocks, pins, etc are easily replaced parts and each agency-level user can decide for themselves whether they want to replace such parts under a preventive maintenance program, or wait until a part break/fails in a particular gun. Replacement of springs, though, can help mitigate wear & tear and keep a gun running in an optimal manner ... meaning recoil, mag, firing pin, slide lock, trigger springs, etc. Or, as the Glock instructor repeatedly reminded us in my last Glock class, if we're seeing broken locking block, locking block or trigger pins ... we're not replacing the recoil springs often enough.

Look at the spring replacement intervals recommended among some of the other armorer classes nowadays, including Colt Model O Pistols (1911's). Replacing springs can be relatively inexpensive insurance when it comes to keeping a pistol up and running well.

Oddly enough, I can't think of ever hearing a Glock rep or armorer instructor ever bringing up and addressing the topic of the expected service life a G20/29. Maybe I'll try to remember to ask about it the next time I have reason to call the LE rep or take another armorer recert class.

Sorry I don't have a definitive answer for you. Just not something I've ever wondered about or thought to ask about ...
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Old June 1, 2010, 06:42 PM   #13
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I guess all this begs the question, "What is "life expectancy?"

To me, "Life Expectancy" implies "end of life and the "end of life" of a firearm is that point at which a part that is difficult to acquire, impossible or prohibitively expensive to replace or causes catastrophic failure, fails.

When speaking of a Glock, the only parts that really qualify are the frame, barrel or slide.

The failure of any other part I would consider to be "maintenance" so long as it is in the (admittedly vague) realm of many thousands of rounds between expected failures.

I mean, if your guide rod breaks on a Glock, it's a $15 part for a name brand replacement.

Every part in the trigger mechanism is $3, $8, $10? Maybe $20? Hardly a major concern.

Even the barrel, so long as the failure is not catastrophic, is $100-$150?


IMHO, even if any (or all) of these parts could be expected to fail at 10,000 or 20,000 rounds, it would hardly worry me when it came to purchasing the gun. I'll put $5 a year in a piggy bank and probably have enough to buy a whole new Glock before I go through that many rounds.
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Old June 1, 2010, 07:46 PM   #14
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Yes, it is a good idea to define the terms of whatever it is that's being discussed.

While Glock does serial number the slide and barrel (in addition to the frame), and the laws of some other countries do differ from ours in this subject, here in the US it's the frame/receiver unit that's serial numbered which is considered the 'firearm'.

Keeping the pistol up and running with a slide or barrel replacement isn't really as problematic in the same respect that replacing a frame might be. Cracked, damaged or worn slides and barrels can be relatively easily be replaced at the armorer/technician/gunsmith/factory level in order to try and keep a pistol running in serviceable condition without having to essentially replace the whole 'firearm' (meaning the frame).

Just because the military or a LE/Gov customer may consider the slide or barrel to be disposable components over the expected length of an optimal service life, that obviously doesn't mean the ordinary commercial user might look at things that way. (Although competitive shooters might not look askance at having to replace a slide or barrel under some circumstances.)

Just depends.

I've only decided to replace one slide on a service pistol over the course of many years, but I've replaced a number of barrels for various reasons. (I'm talking about a few different make/model pistols.)

Slides can be expensive (unless covered under warranty replacement), with barrels not quite so expensive.

Considering the cost of the amount of ammunition often required to place a service weapon on the far range of its expected service life, the cost of many repair/replacement parts seems like a reasonable investment. Think about the cost of parts needed to keep your motor vehicles running for 100K, 150K, 200K or more miles.
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Old June 2, 2010, 03:46 AM   #15
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hot rod ammo

Not directly related, but close enough. At least one hot rod ammo company recommends using a heavy recoil spring in the G20 to avoid premature slide unlock, resulting in lower and inconsistent velocities w/ its full bore (+?) ammo.
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Old June 2, 2010, 08:02 AM   #16
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I know you can't kill a G22, I'd imagine the 20 is tough also.
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Old June 2, 2010, 08:17 AM   #17
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fastbolt,
Great post; very informative. Have you ever spoken to an armorer concerning the SUSTAINED use of 9mm +p+ ammunition in the Glock? I'm not talking about occasional use, but rather prolonged use by law enforcement agencies. The reason I ask is that the +p+ rounds approach the pressure of the .357 Sig, which seems to impart the greatest stress on service pistols. Wouldn't that mean that +p+ ammo (say, a 115 grain bullet @ 1,400 fps, a la Buffalo Bore and DoubleTap) would reduce the life of a 9mm service pistol to something like 25k-30k rounds?
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Old August 28, 2010, 04:01 PM   #18
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how long till it dies

glocks like any other mechanized piece of equipment goes until it doesn't[over-simplification for you] maintenance of said piece will more than likely negate failures,but you just never know,i've guns with 50k rds thru them no probs.had brand new s&w .44 break a trigger spring at rd.#2,new para-ord.p14out of box with faulty trigger leaf spring[too short] factory repair at s&w said he'd never seen it happen in 20+yrs at conn. factory/para-ord. rep.in canada told me they'd had a shipment of short springs and a load of guns had been shipped before discovery,he claimed heads rolled in quality control.my point is i guess you just don't know when somethings go sideways or belly up,i had a nco in the army who's mantra was" take care of your piece,and it will take care of you".cliche i know ,but he was a very old e7 who had survived normandy,korea,and R.of V.N. twice, and was assigned to our parkerizing shop in germany to retire that lifer was sharp and correct in weapons care.but to say it's gonna fail at X rds is crystal-ball stuff.
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Old August 28, 2010, 04:59 PM   #19
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silver-bullet, didn't see your post until today.

Sent you a PM.

fb
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Old August 29, 2010, 08:37 AM   #20
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Glock will repair your pistol should it break regardless of how many rounds or who is the original owner free of charge.

The 357sig rumor is nonsense.

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Old August 29, 2010, 12:09 PM   #21
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you'll need to change out the guiderod spring every 5000 with those hot 10mm loads.

You'll need to change the barrel after about 40,000 rounds (maybe more depending on how accuracy starts to suffer).

Maybe the trigger return spring might break after many thousands of rounds?


I am NOT a Glock fan boy but, you gotta love how they are made for the everyday man to able to work on them. If anything breaks I can order a new part and repair it myself. Just a great design for self repairs. Lone wolf even makes the slides and now the frames too!
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