GLOCK 42 Barrel Problems?

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The Herald Tribune gun blog reports that GLOCK 42 pistols have been experiencing barrel problems. “Barrel problems” caused by the weak .380 ACP cartridge are unusual. The shooter swears they were factory rounds (but don’t they all …).

What’s sparked my curiosity lately are reports of barrel problems.

One reader’s G42 shut down because of barrel damage. His dealer sent the barrel back to Glock.

The firm said the barrel was “damaged” by his ammunition, and that it would cost $125 for a replacement barrel – a fee the dealer paid.

Replacement barrels are 6 to 8 weeks away from arriving stateside

“I spoke with a customer service person at Glock in Smyrna, Georgia and was informed that the barrel for the G42 is produced in Austria with a waiting  period of 6 to 8 weeks before barrels are shipped, and that all barrel replacements must bear the stock number in which to coincide with the stock number for the gun,” the gun owner told me. “So the G42 that I purchased back in January means that I will not have my gun back until April 2014.  I also called Glock in Austria and we’ll see if I get a call back or not.  Not very good customer service.”

It will be interesting to see what becomes of this story.

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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.


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  • Darryl

    After reading the comments on the original article it does sound like there may be a real issue with the barrels.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      One telling thing is the dealer paying for the barrel. I wouldn’t think he would pay for it if he really new it was an ammo problem.
      In addition a .380 factory round fired from a Glock shouldn’t be powerful enough to cause that kind of problem.
      Then we have the author of the article reporting being inundated with other similar complaints after his first article was published.
      We shall see—-

      • Aaron E

        Phil I think you hit the “bullet” on the head with your suggestion. It sounds a lot to me that it was an ammunition problem – ammunition likely supplied by the dealer, and possibly reloaded or off-brand.

        When the dealer learned from Glock that the barrel was damaged due to ammunition, he picked up the cost of the new barrel … that’s almost unheard of unless the dealer knew that he had some liability due to selling poor ammunition.

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

          Yea that’s about the best I can come up with without all the facts.

  • Geoff a well known Skeptic

    Have any of the high round count trainers noted this problem in their classes? Was this an endurance test? Did anyone check the hardness of any .380 Glock barrel or even see if the barrel was tested at the factory?
    Geoff
    Who notes many trainers have a 9×19 minimum.

    • Robert Ivan

      Glock owners are devoted to their brand. It is inconceivable that a Glock product would be a problem, not perfection. Well even Sig has made mistakes.

  • Marc

    What exactly are “barrel problems”? A physical damage of a steel barrel, i.e. bulging or cracking, caused by normal .380 ammo is pretty much an impossibility.

    • guest

      IMHO until there are actual details and preferably pictures of the problem, this is just a rumour.

  • SD3

    “The shooter swears they were factory rounds (but don’t they all …).”
    Somebody out there reloading .380???

    • woodman

      I know several shooters who reload .380

      • SD3

        My condolences.

        • woodman

          Do you believe there is a problem reloading .380?

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            Nope nothing at all wrong with it if you enjoy it.

    • floppyscience

      Why wouldn’t they? It’s more expensive than 9mm and plenty of people reload that.

    • Mark Are Reynolds Ⓥ

      I do, but mine is at least as hot as factory because under loading 380 can cause issues with JHP bullets having the jacket stay in the barrel.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Not me but I only own one and it’s a Walther PPK

  • Michael McKenney

    Since when does one shooter experiencing an issue with one firearm constitute a problem with the entire model line. This is hardly news worthy and is purely hearsay. There is no evidence substantiate these claims and the author cannot even provide a description of the type of damage. I would be ashamed to regurgitate this piece of trash article.

    • raven

      Couldn’t agree more.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      If you read the article the post originated from there are a good number of complaints. We wouldn’t post this over just one persons problems.
      You can do a search and find a good number of others.

      • Mkemckenney

        The article is clearly calling into question the integrity of the barrel itself. It makes no reference to any other malfunctions. The fact that users have experienced feeding and slide lock malfunctions does nothing to support the intended point of this article, which is to persuade the readers to doubt the strength of the Glock 42 barrel. To say a barrel was damaged under normal use is a far more serious accusation and should not be done frivolously with no evidence. This article based on an account of one writer who took the word of one reader. It is apparent the article was published with absolutely no due diligence.

        • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

          The video was just intended as food for thought and nothing more. What I was saying by that is it doesn’t have any bearing on the post.

          Again it wasn’t just about one persons complaints

  • Daniel Prickett

    Just spit balling here. Don’t discount the possibility that the dealer didn’t have the balls to stick the guy for $550+ for the gun and then have him pay for a new barrel. His “loss” may only be less of a profit from the initial sale. I don’t know what the guy paid so I am just throwing it out there.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Standard profit for a gun sale is lower than most people think. 10% is about average.

  • Michael

    Our local gun store has a retail price of $409, How much do other stores charge for a glock 42?

    • JamesG3

      I’m seeing $390-$450 in my neck of the woods ($450 was closer to the launch date)

      • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

        The local gunshop was selling them for $449.

    • prolife87659875

      no idea, none of my local stores have any to sell. when this thing first hit there were 10 in the area, they sold out in seconds.

  • Jeff Smith

    I always hate when someone says “their customer service is horrible.” I’ve found that the bulk of the people making that statement call a company, start yelling at someone who has absolutely nothing to do with their problem, and gets upset when that person is then less than anxious to help them.

    Sadly, my mother is one of these people and can’t understand why she gets put on hold for an hour after yelling at a person at a call center across the country because her tv reception is bad.

    • bbmg

      If it’s any consolation, that’s probably most mothers :)

      It’s the same with many people leaving negative comments on ebay…

    • dupkaman

      It is not hard to start yelling after an hour of being nice however, Comcast is famous for this.

      • Jeff Smith

        I completely agree: it is amazingly difficult to stay calm and collected under these types of circumstances, but, as the old saying goes, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Being nice many not necessarily help you, but losing your tempter will almost always result in a “dropped call” or being placed on indefinite hold.

        But I certainly agree with you about Comcast! I once had a problem that took three months and four home visits for them to fix.

        • dupkaman

          I agree. But my tongue still hurts

    • 7.62 Precision

      Yes, I find that whenever someone wants us do do something unreasonable for them, like sell them something for less than we paid, or negotiate the price of custom work that was quoted up front, agreed to, and completed, they immediately take to the web to complain about horrible customer service. In fact, if we ship something the same day it is ordered and FedEx or USPS takes longer to deliver than the customer expected, we get complaints about our customer service.

  • gunslinger

    thought glock was the end all be all? and what not?

    but who knows. sounds like there is more info that needs to be shared.

  • Michael R. Zupcak

    By “stock number” do they mean “serial number”? I always wondered why they have a serial number on the barrel when you can just swap it out for a number of different aftermarket options (maybe not for this particular model, yet, but for other Glocks).

    • Tactical Tightwad

      Glock probably serializes the barrel and the slide in addition to the frame because they sell worldwide, and in some countries the slide is considered the firearm, and in others the barrel is considered the firearm.

    • Sulaco

      In most of Europe the barrel is the controlled item like the frame is in the US. Their laws record the barrels like we do frames…

      • Dave The Great

        Which really makes so much more sense. Receivers/frames are pretty easy to make. Barrels are not.

        Barrels leave the most recent markings on a criminally-used bullet. Most receivers/frames never even come into contact with them.

        I have no idea why here in the USA I have to jump through hoops to buy a piece of bent sheet metal, but the chrome-lined specially drilled forensically significant wonder of science and engineering that is a barrel is something I can buy on eBay.

  • Steve

    There are reports of G42 issues all over. They can only handle specific ammo and hotter loads will lock the slide back frequently. Just watch Hickok45′s review. It happens to him with Buffalo Bore ammo. Other issues would not surprise

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      True and a google search will bring them up pretty quickly.

  • stealth916

    I’ve postponed my G42 purchase until this story and Glock’s response develops further.

  • Xaun Loc

    While the original report might be questionable due to scarce details and no photos, I cannot believe anyone saying that there is no problem because there was ‘only one’ instance of a barrel that needed to be replaced on a pistol as new as the G42, if the incident really did involve only standard factory loads. ONE such failure is certainly ONE TOO MANY. I would certainly want to see more details and proper follow-up among the firearms related media, but I would never dismiss a report like this based on it being about “only one” failure.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      And it really isn’t. When he made the first post he says he was inundated by calls relating the same problem type.

  • Ohiogunr

    Glock 9mm pistols can not be fired with cast lead bullets because the rifling fills up with lead and the barrel will burst! Now the .380 blows up too! Sounds to me like Glock is off of my list. Glad now that I bought a Walther! Smith and Wesson M&P looks like the one to have now!

    • prolife87659875

      i shoot lead in my glocks all the time, i just clean them every 100 rounds or so. you sound like all the other haters out there.

    • aaron

      That’s not just a glock issue. Shooting lead in any auto is risky. Without proper maintenence you will bulge most any barrel shooting lead. I have seen it on many guns of various make and model.

      • 7.62 Precision

        The problem is with polygon rifling and lead bullets. Pistols with traditional rifling can usually shoot cast lead fine. Lots of people put aftermarket barrels in their Golcks to shoot lead.

  • Willshortly

    EXACTLY which “Factory” ammunition did he use?
    I’d like to see Glocks report on wheat her the tagents in factory ammunition are present in the barrel.
    My middle name is “Skeptical”.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      I think it was Federal ball

  • Steve_7

    The only reason to be the first person to buy a gun is if you want to keep it as an investment, not to shoot it.

    “The shooter swears they were factory rounds (but don’t they all …). ”

    Who handloads .380?

  • pismopal

    There is no situation so bad that it cannot be made worse.

  • disqus_j5Nj3oxoii

    I might have to rethink my what I thought to be soon purchase of a Glock 42. Maybe that will give them time to work out any bugs.

  • Mark Are Reynolds Ⓥ

    No big deal…it’s just more of Glocks “perfection” at work. Funny how a guy who made his millions building curtain rods is thought of as being this great firearms engineer. I’m a Glock fan, but the fact they can fire from an unlocked breech is an issue. The fact that they have miss matched recoil springs is an issue. They are great pistols, but the are far from “perfect”. Why anyone would want a .380 that big is beyond me. That pistol should have been designed as a nine.

    • Geodkyt

      Agreed. As a 9x19mm, it would be interesting, and fit in perfectly with what I see as market demand. As a .380, it’s too bloody big, and there are plenty of .380s (like, anything made more than a couple of years ago) in that size range that have proven track records.

  • TexTopCat

    The story is missing something. Based on previous Glock responses to issues, if Glock thought there was a problem with the barrel they would not have tried to charge for a replacement. Now, I could see a slide lock back issue if the ammo used is outside of the test versions that Glock used. Just as with the Gen4s the recoil spring may need some adjustments, but it is a brand new gun and we all expect to see some issues addressed for the first year or so.

  • 7.62 Precision

    It’s interesting that Glock said the barrel has to be serial numbered to the pistol. When the rear frame rails broke off when I was shooting my Glock 31 (known issue, but Glock never issued a recall, just quietly replaces them as they break), I tried to get a replacement frame with the same serial number (the said they had to build the frame) but they told me emphatically that the European laws that govern their manufacturing require that they do not duplicate a serial number on any S/N part. Maybe the laws changed.

  • Boozer

    Last thing I heard was people loading the chamber by hand, releasing the slide and inserting a full mag. The problem was because most glock owners that purchased the 42 were already previous/current glock owners, they were dropping 9mm rounds into the chamber and not realizing it. Again, that’s just something I heard from a guy I was talking to at my local range who was shooting his 42, I gave him one of my 9mm Hornady 135gr critical defense rounds and he dropped it into the chamber and released the slide (with me very far away, without the range officer seeing him do it) it was obviously out of battery, but not by a lot. He didn’t attempt to shoot it for obvious reasons, but it was hard to tell if the slide had moved forward enough for the safety plunger to be engaged. I have no evidence if it’s true or not about people actually being able fire them in this manner nor have I seen anything online. If anyone else has any input or seen anything like this please share.

  • cobalt327

    I am NOT a Glock fanboi, but to say Glock’s CS is anything but OUTSTANDING hasn’t had the pleasure of dealing w/them. I showed up in person at the Smyrna, GA facility w/a second hand G22C that I wanted to have checked over before using. The armorer replaced everything in the pistol except the frame, slide and barrel- including trading out my old mags for new- for ZERO dollars. Even sent be home w/some swag (stickers, pins, etc.).
    There seems to be very few G42 problems but the few problems are being repeated by every scribe in the land. I say take a step back and let the dust settle before being swayed either way. And maybe reconsider buying ANY pistol chambered for the .380.