Analysis of a faulty Glock

Last year Glock was successfully sued over a faulty G36 pistol which Glock refused to admit was faulty. Chris advertised the gun for sale (for parts) and it was purchased by a gunsmith named John.

Round failed to extract

John has done his own thorough analysis of the pistol to determine if it was indeed faulty or, as Glock and some fanboys claimed, Chris just did not know how to use a pistol correctly. His results were very similar to Chris. On average about 5% of rounds either failed to fire or failed to extract. Unfortunately it is still a mystery why this is happening.

Read John’s analysis here (The website takes a while to load).

[ Many thanks to Chris for emailing me the link. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • shane

    WHAT A GLOCK THAT FAILS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • improbable

  • Obviously he was limp wristing.

    At least that’s what all the people on Glock Talk tell those who have problems with Glock pistols.

  • Spiff

    There have been over 2.5 million Glocks produced and sold world wide, why does one possible problem pistol gather so much attention? The Glocks ability to withstand human misuse and abuse is legendary! Tell me something about the new Remington 1911 – is it entirely made in the US? How come we never hear about the Steyr AUGs, only about more AR-15 clones…How many are there now, 20 or 30? And the only successful one was the original Stoner model! Too bad the military got their hands on it…Reminds me of the Naval engineers designing a new destroyer, then the Navy adding so much stuff to it that it sank upon launching!!

  • jpcmt13

    I know why it fails. My glock 36 pissed me off and quickly was removed as my trusted carry gun because I couldn’t trust it. Didn’t matter what ammo it was..just didn’t get through 200 rounds without a FTE. My theory is that the G36, and the other glocks with short frames (21 and 30) have lost a lot of their recoil absorbtion ability because of the redesigned frame. The G36, being a unique single stack configuration definitely has even more of a redesigned frame than the SF models which are rumored to have FTE issues (my G21sf did).

    If you consider the overly heavy slide on Glocks, then realize that the frame is designed to manage recoil and that heavyass’s no wonder their small frame models (or single stack frames with less flex) are FTE’ing like they do in that youtube limp-wrist demonstration video where most glocks FTE when limp wristing. But this is my theory.

  • jdun1911

    I have a Glock 30 and it is reliable. My friend have a Glock 26 and it is also reliable. I have no experience with Glock 36 so I can’t said what’s going on with that handgun.

  • Xstang

    Hmmmm, a CCW size glock in .45 acp…. I don’t think I’d want to deal with that any more than a snubby in .357mag… frankly, I think the problem is with the gun itself-too much recoil! Who in the world CAN keep a firm grip on a thing like that?

    On the opposite side of things, what have people heard about the 4th gen Glock 17 and the dual recoil spring being problematic?

  • Fred Johnson

    Thanks for posting the follow up on that problematic G36.

    I bought a new G36 in January 2010, serial number NZ****. It has the inward bent slide stop release, but has the “older style” recoil spring assembly. Per SiGlockBoy’s report it’s the older style, I personally wouldn’t have known otherwise.

    The other thing interesting in that report is the recoil differences between the two G36s. My G36 recoils more softly than my alloy framed .38 snubnose with +P ammo.

    SiGlockBoy also mentions the loose magazine fit, which I’ve read elsewhere on the net. My G36 has this same situation with the 4 mags I have for it. The only trouble it has caused me is the skin on my pinky will sometimes get in between the mag extension and the grip frame while firing. When that happens the mag moves with so much force under recoil (with my firm grip) that I will get a blood blister on that part of my pinky. Nothing to whine about, but it does pinch the snot out of my pinky.

    I’ve only put about 800 rounds through my G36 and it has no FTF, FTE issues, yet. Time will tell if I have a good one or not. 🙂

  • SiGlockBoy

    Seems some have read the report and some haven’t. If you haven’t and aren’t bored by details, read it and then recomment. I’ve been shooting and loving Glocks since they came into the country. Saw the 1st one from a LEO friend who bought one and we laughed him out of the place. Now 2 dozen Glocks later for me and countless sold, I still carry a G30SF daily. Even with all the bad examples of that model that exist, my G30 and G30SF have been flawless as well as all my other GLocks I’ve owned. So be careful before you can claim no bad GLocks exist in this world. I bought the “BAD” G36 and another thought to be bad G36 at the same time. As you can read, the G36 of Chris’ did the same thing to me and another Glock shooter/carrier. The other G36 I shot seemed to function fine even though I didn’t shoot too many rounds through it, I will as time permists to see if it remains good. People get their feathers ruffled when someone says a Glock doesn’t function. They get mad like you attacked their grandma. They say you must have limpwristed it. If I limpwristed it and every other person that shot it did to, why do all my other Glocks function 100%. We need to step back here and look at the Why, not the who. I love Glocks and have found nothing finer to carry and maybe won’t ever. That coming from the type that started out with 1911s and Browning HPs. 2 classic guns with a huge history. My theory was and is that the gun is short stroking to some extent and that causes the round to not get fully ejected while trying to load another in the pipe. Wether it be from light target loads or slide to recoil assembly mass or magazines, I have not determined yet. Out of 15 mags, it doesn’t seem to change the issue. I will say, the G36 is one of the most finicky Glocks towards correct grip and ammo selection there is. Also remember, the defensive loads that have been run through this gun function 100%. You tell me if my theiry might hold some water. Together, the mass of Glock shooters can figure this out. This isn’t the only G36 with this issue. If I were to guess how many threads I’ve read where G36 owners have come forward and expressed the same error experienced by them, I would say 100+ guns have been affected. That could go out to many more examples from all forums and owners that don’t say anything. Don’t shoot the messanger. Anyone know about Italian electrics? Yes, I still love my Ducati motorcycles as much as my Glocks even with their tempermant. Thanks for posting and I hope it helps a few. My G30SF is by far my favorite, but I have to say, the G36 is on hell of a gun. I want to get it fixed as I would love to carry it when a little lighter and thinner might tweak my interest. Thanks SiGlockBoy

    • ^^^^ SiGlockBoy is the gunsmith who wrote the report.

  • fred johnson

    Correction. My above statement about the recoil spring in my G36 is incorrect. It does have the new style shown in the report.

    I was thinking of the view out of the front of the gun, not inside. I took the slide off a few minutes ago to double check.

    SiGlockBoy, I’m looking forward to your findings on further reports.

  • fred johnson

    Another thought on the loose mags in how they rock fore and aft. I too read on the net about reportedly using a piece of trimmed cardboard to shim the back of the mag. That sounds like a reasonable test, but if Glock decides to do nothing about that (presuming it is an issue), I would want to do a more permanent fix.

    Perhaps “bonding” on a thin piece of “plastic” shim stock inside the mag well on the back side. Just a thought for now.

  • Cymond

    Spiff, people are interested in this case because a Glock pistol failed to function AND the Glock company failed to recognize the problem. People are concerned because the pistol is completely stock (except sights) with no apparent physical defects. They worry that there might be a problem with the G36 design and Glock refuses to resolve it.

    SiGlockBoy, maybe buy/reload some really light ammo to intentionally induce a short stroke situation and compare the results to the current problem. Also, maybe pull out a micrometer and start comparing dimensions/proportions to a known reliable G36 (painstaking and tedious).

  • gunner”

    i can’t comment on glock, never owned one, never shot one, handled one when they first hit the market and just didn’t like the feel of it, or its trigger, so i’ll just say i didn’t have any issues with SiGlockboy’s report page loading. it came up within a couple of seconds, and his report was clear, understandable and factual.

  • SiGlockBoy

    Fred – Another suggested replacing the magazine catch and spring to see if that would hold the magazine more efficiently. I will try the cardboard and new parts to see if any changes occur. I would hate to think we would have to apply anything inside the magwell to fix it, but whatever needs to be done to correct the issue. SOme have claimed the extra power Wolf magazine spring forces the new cartridge up and eliminates the issue. The G36 mag springs compared to the G30 mag springs are by far much softer. Could be something there.

    Cymond – I could try to reproduce some light loadvs as close to the WWW ammo as possible and see what happens. I have reloaded for years but do not currently have 45Auto dies. With my Chrony, I could step them down very incremental until something changes. I could also step up in the same fashion to see if I could overcome the short stroke.

    The measurement option has been asked by another also. I have digital micrometers and calipers to 5/10,000″ making a little more accurate than just normal 1/1000″ measurements. I think this might show some variations, but unless grossly different, it might be a hard sell as most variations in manufacturing has a +/- .005″ plus tolerance stacking. I would love to have a true blueprint of the pistol to compare against.

    I appreciate all the good comments and suggestions. Please keep them coming. If we were talking of just 1 gun here, This would be nothing more than an excercise in problem identification in a oops. Since this affects, I suspect hundreds of pistols of this model and some of the newer Gen4 models experiencing the exact failure cropping up on forums, I tend to look at is as a challenge to find the needle in the haystack. That to me is fun. The hard part comes in as many thousands of this model run like a top. That leads me to believe out of tolerance parts from suppliers or possibly some employee/machine doing something a little bit different.

  • Freddy Glock


    I compared felt recoil in my new Glock 30 subcompact .45 side-by-side with my nifty HK P7PSP 9 mm. The G30 was much easier to shoot. It absorbs the recoil quite well and I’d much rather shoot it.

    The Glock boys know what they’re doing.


  • Anecdotal

    Anecdotal reports are anecdotal reports and here are mine. My friend purchased an early Glock 22 (I believe 1st gen) in teh 1990s and immediately had failure to feed problems with it. It went back to Glock and apparently they repaired it. I never thought much about it but years later, I purchased a 2nd generation Glock 22. To this day, I do not trust it because it would occasionally fail to feed only on the very last round of the magazine. I changed springs (Wolfe) and it never helped. After a few hundreds rounds, it seems to have stopped doing this but, frankly, I don’t trust it. Third anecdotal reports: My brother in law carries a Glock 27 (LEO) and everytime we go to the range, it’s exhibited failure to feed issues too.

    I know plenty of people who have very reliable Glocks but frankly, I do wonder how I can know experienced that many people who have had issues with Glocks.

  • Interesting thread. I’ve been considering the G36 for concealed as I’ve wanted a Glock in .45 ACP. I currently have a G19 and love it.

    SiGlockBoy – thanks for your analysis and time to publish the results.

  • Steve Slade

    I decided to upgrade my carry weapon from 9mm (Kahr P9, that runs like a swiss watch, with never a failure after several thousand rounds. Yes all the springs have been replaced more than once, to a 45. I don’t want to carry a 1911. Too many times in tight timed competitive situations, I don’t take the safety off. When there is a life and death adrenalin rush I don’t want that to be an issue. So I went to a range and rented a Glock 30 and Glock 36. The 30 worked just fine but the 36 exhibited failure to feed issues. I chalked it up to, range gun = dirty, weak springs in mag and recoil. Now I read that this is not uncommon with the 30 and 36. And a utube video show a guy taking a nib 36 and having a failure to feed issue on the 4th round with Winchester white box ammo. No issue with the JHP ammo, but that was only one mag. Not a test that increases my faith in a tool that I may rely on to save my life. What is the fix for the 36 and 30?

  • William

    Actually there have been over 8 million glocks produced

  • TJ hawkins

    Fellows. My experenice with 1st Gen Glock 23’s. Purchased two,bran new 23 glocks the same day. The 6th round through one of the weapons and I experenced the famous KB. Gun destroyed. After emails, phone calls and finally snail mail back and forth with Glock I except the fact that I will receive no help from Glock. I then purchase a replacement barrel for the second weapon that fully supports the round. A must. Watch your brass. If you see the smile,, replace the barrel. Now the second weapon will not feed a full clip. With 4 different original clips and feed issues with all four clips these two Glock weapons have left a sour taste in my mouth that will not go away.

  • Hogan

    Better late than never…

    I recently picked up a G36 and it double feeds pretty often. A quick google search will reveal this is a pretty common issue, and the g36 is a problem child.

  • Lee

    Just brought a new glock 36 home, am taking it back in the morning.

    Reason; with a full magazine sometimes it will lock and load a factory round, sometimes the cartridge gets hung up 1/2 way into the chamber.

    with just 5 rounds in the magazine it feeds OK

    This is my 1st and last glock.