The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Semi-automatic Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old February 3, 2013, 01:42 AM   #1
Geoff7
Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 29
New Glock 21 Gen 4 very hard to rack with a full magazine

First, let me say that I've lurked here a while, but this is my first post. I searched and didn't see any threads on this topic, but if I missed one I apologize in advance.

I'm a fairly new shooter and a brand new gun owner. I completed my CCW class last year and had long term plans over the next couple of years to buy a few guns and start to enjoy shooting them. Well, once the panic of late set in, I succumbed and bought two of the guns I knew I'd want: a Glock 17 and a Glock 21 (these were two that I'd rented previously at ranges and loved shooting both, so it was easy to convince myself that I should buy them NOW NOW NOW, seeing as they came with the 17 and 13 round magazines and all ).

Anyway, when I shot the rental 21 (gen 3, I believe) at the range, I found no real issue racking the slide. Likewise, with the brand new 21 I just bought, when there is no magazine in the gun or when the magazine has anything less than a full load (ie 12 rounds or less), the gun requires a normal amount of force to rack the slide. However, when the magazine is full with all 13 rounds and the chamber is empty and I attempt to rack the gun, it takes a ridiculous amount of effort to pull the slide back. I'm talking almost as much force as I can apply to the gun, and I'm a relatively big and strong guy. It fully chambers the round once complete, but I was very surprised to find it so difficult.

Is this something that will change as part of the break-in period? I would be inclined to think so, seeing as how the rental didn't exhibit this same behavior, but wanted to get your opinions to make sure this isn't a sign of something wrong with the gun. I haven't had a chance to fire it yet, as I only just now found some ammo locally (I won't even share the sad, sad tale of trying to find any 9mm ammo locally, which just isn't happening these days...)

Thanks!
Geoff7 is offline  
Old February 3, 2013, 02:16 AM   #2
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 18,280
The top round in the magazine pushes up against the bottom of the slide as a result of the force exerted upwards by the magazine spring. The more rounds in the magazine, the more the magazine spring is compressed and the more force it exerts upwards.

So it's normal for it to be somewhat more difficult to rack the slide with a full magazine. HOWEVER, it shouldn't be tremendously more difficult with 13 rounds than with 12.

Is the 13th round much harder to load into the mag than the 12th round? It may be that the magazine doesn't quite hold 13 rounds even though it's supposed to. I have a Glock 20 and it's quite difficult to load the magazines to full capacity. I finally quit trying and leave them underloaded by one.

They may eventually loosen up and get easier to load.
__________________
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old February 3, 2013, 02:24 AM   #3
Shoot45's
Member
 
Join Date: February 12, 2012
Posts: 72
This is normal. My Gen 4 21 does it too.
Even if you tap it of (13 in mag 1 in chamber) it still recycles the slide just fine after shooting first round, so it's not too tight for the gun to operate.

If you have a major problem with this and this is your home defense gun and you can't rack it just put one round in the mag and load the gun then put the 13 in the magazine and pop it in there.
Should be fine.
Shoot45's is offline  
Old February 3, 2013, 02:38 AM   #4
LockedBreech
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 6, 2009
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 2,999
I shot a Gen 4 G17 (awesome gun) at a range a few months ago and it was very stiff too. In my experience, new guns are always a bit stiff and grumpy for a little while.

Keep your mags loaded at all times, shoot the things a good bit, and it shold loosen up.
__________________
Beretta PX4 .40 S&W | Beretta 92FS 9x19 Para | Rock Island Armory GI 1911 .45 ACP | Colt Python 4" .357 Magnum | Colt 1968 Det. Spec. .38 Spc. | Ruger LCP .380 ACP | Daniel Defense M4V1 5.56x45 | Alpine M1 Carbine .30 | Steyr M1895 8x56 | Ruger 10/22 .22LR |1943 Izhevsk Mosin-Nagant M91/30 7.62x54R | Remington 870 12GA
LockedBreech is offline  
Old February 3, 2013, 07:26 AM   #5
thedudeabides
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 22, 2012
Posts: 981
Some, but not all Glocks, do this. My G30 is next to impossible to rack with a full magazine. I kept both mags loaded with 10 rounds for a few months and the springs eventually loosened up.

Tends to be worst with 45ACP bullets, since Glock tries to stuff as many into the mag, and they're just so damn big.

Last edited by thedudeabides; February 3, 2013 at 07:32 AM.
thedudeabides is offline  
Old February 3, 2013, 11:39 AM   #6
Uncle Malice
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 11, 2009
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 3,592
My Gen4 G21 did this for quite a while too. It's still pretty stout, but it has loosened up quite a bit. It's really just a matter of space. The 13rds are jammed into the magazine pretty tightly so there's not much more room to compress them as you bring the slide back.

For carry, I usually carry 12 in the magazine and 1 in the chamber. The Gen4 G21 has become my favorite Glock ever, and I've had most of them. Such a good gun. I'm really excited to get my hands on a Gen4 G20 now as well.
__________________
Glock 17 G4 FDE | S&W M&P 22 | Sig P226 MK25 | Sig P229 Extreme | HK P30 | HK45 | HK USP 9 | USP Compact 9 | USP 45 TACTICAL | XDM 45 Compact | XDM 9
Daniel Defense DDM4 V4 | Arsenal SGL 21 | ASA SBR | Savage Mark II FV-SR | Mossberg 590A1 20" SP | Mossberg 500 Cruiser
My Instagram (mostly gun pics)
Uncle Malice is online now  
Old February 3, 2013, 12:06 PM   #7
Geoff7
Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 29
Thanks, everyone, for the responses. I feel much better knowing this is not a problem.

I just checked it again this morning after reading your responses. It does take a lot more effort with 13 in the magazine, but knowing that this is normal I think I felt a bit more comfortable being "forceful" with it (i.e. I'm not going to damage the gun) and, while difficult, it wasn't quite as bad as I recalled.

I think the best course of action is to put a few hundred rounds through it and see if things start to loosen up.

Is the 13th round much harder to load into the mag than the 12th round?

A bit. The 1-11 were about the same level of effort. 12 was a step up, as was 13. It didn't require extreme strength, but I can see where my thumbs would get sore loading the 13th round dozen times at the range (I've since bought an UpLULA loader).
Geoff7 is offline  
Old February 3, 2013, 01:06 PM   #8
greyeyezz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 19, 2001
Location: N.E. OH
Posts: 325
Lock slide back with no magazine, insert fully loaded mag, hit slide release.
greyeyezz is offline  
Old February 3, 2013, 01:22 PM   #9
FLGlocker23
Member
 
Join Date: December 12, 2012
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by greyeyezz View Post
Lock slide back with no magazine, insert fully loaded mag, hit slide release.
Although I agree that's a sure fire way to lock n load, it Doesn't quite work like that in a SD situation which I think is his main concern.

Break in process will help. Keep all your mags fully loaded with 13 to help break in the mag spring. And if it still feels too stiff then carry with 12. You would more thank likely have a back up mag anyways so one short shouldn't be a big issue. Im sure the BGs will be hitting the deck or booking after the first 12 anyway
FLGlocker23 is offline  
Old February 3, 2013, 04:03 PM   #10
chris in va
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 26, 2004
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 12,513
My 21sf was rather hard to rack with a simulated dud in the chamber and a full mag inserted. It just takes time for the mag spring to settle in.
chris in va is offline  
Old February 5, 2013, 05:46 PM   #11
Geoff7
Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 29
Just thought I'd finish off this thread; I went to the range today. First, however, I stripped and cleaned my Glock 21 and Glock 17. Both were obviously factory lubed, but I was surprised to find the 21 seemed to kind of be "overflowing" with it, to the point where it was piled up at the base of the rails, etc. By comparison, the 17 seemed to have a normal amount of grease and there wasn't a lot for me to remove. I wiped away all the excess factory grease from the 21 and sparingly applied Hoppe's No 9 to the appropriate areas. This alone fixed most of the "difficult to rack" issue; I was amazed how much easier it was (I had tried it again just before cleaning and a couple of times after, each with the 13 round magazine full).

Went to the range and put a couple hundred rounds through the gun. I really enjoyed firing the 21; I think the gen 4 is even a better fit for my hand than the gen 3 due to the adjustable backstrap; after 200 rounds, my hands weren't even slightly fatigued and had I had the money and time, I could have put 500 rounds through it with no problem.

After I got home and cleaned the gun post-firing, I again loaded the 13 round magazine and racked it; smooth as silk and only slightly more difficult than when empty.

You guys were all spot on; it just needed some TLC and breaking in, and all is right with the universe. Thanks for the advice!
Geoff7 is offline  
Old February 6, 2013, 09:27 AM   #12
greyeyezz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 19, 2001
Location: N.E. OH
Posts: 325
Are you using Hoppes #9 as a lubricant?
greyeyezz is offline  
Old February 6, 2013, 09:45 AM   #13
eldermike
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2013
Location: NC
Posts: 545
I know this is not the subject of this thread. If that's a problem please take this down. However: If you look into it you will find there are best ways to clean and lubricate your Glock, you should follow those methods. IMHO, you should know and apply proper cleaning and lubricating procedures as if your life depends on it.
eldermike is offline  
Old February 6, 2013, 09:52 AM   #14
Walt Sherrill
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 1999
Location: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Posts: 4,365
If you left your mags loaded for a while, the springs probably relaxed a little -- as they should. Springs will take a set after they're first put into service, and Glock Mags have reputation for being VERY STIFF when first used.
Walt Sherrill is offline  
Old February 6, 2013, 11:28 AM   #15
Geoff7
Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 29
Quote:
Are you using Hoppes #9 as a lubricant?
Sorry, I mis-typed. That would be kind of insane, wouldn't it? I'm using Hoppe's #9 as a cleaner/solvent for the barrel, followed by a wipe with clean patches, then lubricated with Hoppe's Lubricating Oil.

Quote:
If you look into it you will find there are best ways to clean and lubricate your Glock, you should follow those methods.
Being new to both owning and maintaining a gun, I've tried to educate myself on how to clean and maintain them. I've picked up tips from this and other forums (i.e. over-lubricating can be as bad as under-lubricating, etc.) and I've read the Glock manual, several websites, and watched videos on how to field strip and maintain a Glock. In the end, I followed the instructions in this video, primarily because I do much better when I can watch something done as opposed to read about it.

Hopefully this is a decent approach to learning about it. The CCW class I took covered cleaning, but it was a very brief discussion of brushes and patches down the barrel and didn't touch on where else to lubricate and how much, etc. Since I don't know anyone else who owns guns or shoots, I'm kind of on my own in figuring this out. Hence, reading the Glock instruction manual and the internet...

Quote:
If you left your mags loaded for a while, the springs probably relaxed a little -- as they should. Springs will take a set after they're first put into service, and Glock Mags have reputation for being VERY STIFF when first used.
This makes a lot of sense. By the fourth re-load, I found each magazine was loading the final two rounds easier (or perhaps I had become accustomed to the force required to load them...that's actually probably what happened too).

Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond. I really appreciate the help!
Geoff7 is offline  
Old February 6, 2013, 01:10 PM   #16
pat701
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 6, 2005
Location: Beyond OZ
Posts: 234
Boudght one in Dec.2012 no problems with slide, just weak ejection.
pat701 is offline  
Old February 6, 2013, 01:13 PM   #17
Mr_Jumper
Member
 
Join Date: October 11, 2012
Posts: 76
Correct me if I'm wrong, but from reading your posts it appears you just shot the guns right out of the box, new?

It's generally good practice to clean the gun prior to shooting it for the first time. It goes for new and used, as I'm pretty sure everyone likes to check out the gun thoroughly if they bought it used.

I've never shot my guns out of the box new, simply because I know they'll have tons of factory lube and grease for preservation purposes. It has it's purpose, but i don't believe it's to shoot the gun.

I would give quick but thorough clean job where depending the area, just wipe off the excess grease, or clean with CLP and lube if necessary.

Enjoy.

*edit* Try not to go "overboard' especially with lubes. I understand Glock runs OK w/ little lube so it goes double for you probably.
__________________
Let's wait until we actually see concrete legislation before we go off half-cocked. ~ Tom Servo
Mr_Jumper is offline  
Old February 6, 2013, 04:02 PM   #18
Geoff7
Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 29
Quote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but from reading your posts it appears you just shot the guns right out of the box, new?
Fortunately, no. It was probably buried among the other stuff in one of my posts above, but I cleaned and lubed it before firing it. I used solvent on the barrel and used patches to wipe off the excess factory grease on the rails, then lightly lubed it with lubricating oil.
Geoff7 is offline  
Old February 7, 2013, 11:57 AM   #19
RC20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2008
Location: Alaska
Posts: 2,018
One of my associates was a sheriffs deputy for 5 years.

They carried glocks and they did not fill the magazine to full capacity.

Their experience was that stuffed full they got iffy for cycling once in a while (even using the procedure of getting a round in the chamber with fewer in the magazine and topping off)

I took that to heart, and while mine is not a glock I short the magazine one, get one into he chamber and carry it short one round.

As I have enough rounds to use 4 each for an perp x 3, I think thats more than adequate. If its not I doubt that one more is going to make any difference and believe its sound advice for high cap semi autos to short them 1 round

Single stack mag guns you would have to think about and weigh the risks more.
RC20 is offline  
Old July 12, 2013, 02:04 PM   #20
Smokey247
Junior Member
 
Join Date: July 12, 2013
Posts: 1
I am new to this thread and work in law enforcement. I carry a G22 as a duty weapon (15+1) and G26 fo a back-up (10+1). I have never had problems with either of them jamming or FTE on me when firing. I have tried racking the slide with them fully loaded, just curiously checking the function one day, and sometimes the round would eject and sometimes not, the slide will only go back about an inch. Needless to say, this worried me since I might have to use deadly force at any given moment and I went to my sergenat, who is a sniper on the swat team (he knows about guns wayy better that I). He said it was normal, ejected rounds out of my gun, and told me to stop being paranoid. Which I did. Until I later tried ejecting rounds again and the top live round would not eject so I went to a fellow officer on my shift, who is a Glock armoror and he said it was a little tight (racking the slide fully loaded) but said it appeared normal and nothing looked wrong with my gun. By this time, the slug (my chambered round) was falling out of the shell casing from checking it so much (I guess you can call it OCD, since I had bandaids on both hands at this point from reloading the top round of my magazine after excessively checking the ejection capabilities). When i went to our firearms instructor to get new duty ammo, who is also an armoror, we walked to the range and he pulled the slide back about an inch, to where it stuck and would not go back anymore, and said that was how much I needed to pull it back to press check it, that the blast from the gun going off is so forceful and violent that a FTE was something I need not worry about, although ejection would not always happen when i manually tried ejecting the chambered round with the gun fully loaded. He then fired 5 shots down range without any problem, gave me my ammo, and I was releived. Until my OCD got the best of me again and I took an off duty trip to the range and fully loaded my gun (+1) and manually racked the slide. Sometimes the top round would eject, sometimes not but it never failed to fire or eject after firing.


I hope this helps clear some things up. Bottom line is we all want our guns to work properly if/when we need to do the inevitable. I hope this can provide some reassurance to whoever is experiencing the same.
Smokey247 is offline  
Old July 12, 2013, 09:34 PM   #21
Noreaster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 30, 2011
Location: New England
Posts: 1,322
LEO also and we were instructed to shoot our G22s without cleaning for the first 100-200 rds. The gold stuff could then be cleaned out.
Noreaster is offline  
Old July 12, 2013, 09:47 PM   #22
Wreck-n-Crew
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 8, 2013
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,376
Quote:
Some, but not all Glocks, do this.
I can only attest to the 17, 19, and 21 and owned a 17 and 19. They both did it.
__________________
If you ever have to use a firearm, you don't get to pick the scenario!
Wreck-n-Crew is offline  
Old July 13, 2013, 12:16 AM   #23
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 18,280
Quote:
The gold stuff could then be cleaned out.
It's best to keep some sort of light grease in the area inside the slide where the "gold grease" is found on the factory new guns. If that portion of the gun becomes totally devoid of lubricant it can cause malfunctions.
__________________
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:05 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12208 seconds with 9 queries