A Testament to Glock USA Customer Service

Benjamin's Gen 1 Glock Pistol

One of the best parts about working in the gun business is having friends in notable companies across the country. So when my friend Benjamin asked if I had any friends at Glock USA, I was able to reply that yes, I do.

Benjamin had recently purchased a Gen 1 Glock 17. He was elated. 1988 birthday …excellent condition inside and out … except …

Glock Gen 1 barrel with a major warning sign.

 

Benjamin’s a shooter – and he immediately recognized there was something not right about those horizontal striations. Was it a blemish? An error in the forging? He didn’t know, so he contacted me – and neither did I. Benjamin submitted the question to Glock USA customer service and I emailed my contacts.

 

Opposite view of Benjamin’s Gen 1 barrel

 

Within a day, Benjamin received an email from a Glock armorer, and I received a phone call from the Director of the Technical Service/Warranty division – both very much along the same lines: nobody had seen another one like this. Whatever it was, it was rare.

Benjamin,

The marks on the lugs are tool marks, however I have not seen anything quite like the marks on the barrel. I suggest you send it in for an evaluation. I will attach some shipping instructions.

It was sent, and within a few days Benjamin had received updates both by phone and by email.

I have looked at the barrel under close magnification and can see where the cracks go all the way through. I will replace the barrel with another Gen 1 barrel so you will at least have a barrel that will work in that pistol.

And with that, Glock sent him a replacement original part, free of charge, that hasn’t been produced for nearly thirty years. It’s important to note here that any number of conditions could have caused this flaw. I doubt we’ll ever know if it was a rare (if unheard of) defect in a Cold War era Austrian factory, or more likely in my opinion a test load from an overzealous owner. What we do know is Glock’s current employees are serious about keeping customers happy and safe. Benjamin was thrilled and, well, color me impressed.

This is what Customer Service is supposed to look like.

Benjamin has since updated the Gen 1 with an S3F barrel, Overwatch DAT trigger, Wilson/Vickers rear sight, and AmeriGlo Pro-Glo .240″ front sight.



Corey R. Wardrop

Corey R. Wardrop is the Museum Curator for the Institute of Military Technology in Titusville, Florida where he manages one of the finest, if not the finest, firearms collections in the country. Corey is a former OIF infantry Marine and has worked professionally in the firearms industry for over 20 years. In 2014 he obtained an unrelated Bachelor of Science degree from one of the nation’s leading diploma mills. Through his work at IMT he is currently studying CAD design with an emphasis in reverse engineering rare firearms.
Corey asks forgiveness for his novice-level photographs and insists they are improving dramatically thanks to certified rockstar http://nathan-wyatt.com/. Corey can be reached at coreyrwardrop@gmail.com and always appreciates suggestions for future articles.
For the record, Corey felt incredibly strange writing this bio in the third person.


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  • bert saxby

    That’s awesome! I love the Gen1!

    • Ben E

      Thanks!!

  • Ryan Meyer

    Fantastic. The gun industry has come leaps and bounds from the days of grumpy jerks that take pleasure in telling customers to bug off. I have had similar experiences with HK, Daniel Defense and FN. I buy a lot of guns and I know that the companies in today’s gun industry backup their products with amazing customer service. LaRue Tactical would be another one…..but that’s just because I love Dillo Dust and bottle openers. HA!

  • Paul

    Not only was this excellent customer service, it is also a good way to get feedback for the engineering and manufacturing team so they can improve product and process. Deming would approve.

  • it’s just Boris

    Sorry to be a cynic, but I have to wonder how good the Glock customer service would have been without the halo effect of friends in the industry who provide contact points and, in effect, references. That is the reality for the vast majority of customers.

    Perhaps a regular “unconnected” Glock owner could chime in?

    • Corey R. Wardrop

      Great question, but my personal opinion is that it would have been exactly the same. I failed to mention it in the article, but the Director of the Technical Service/Warranty division and I had a laugh because the email from Benjamin (through normal channels) and my inquiry came across his desk at almost exactly the same time with the same pictures. Also, I’m really not important enough to pull any strings.

      • it’s just Boris

        With all respect, you’re not in any position to judge. From both the article, and from what you wrote above, you were part of that process whether you want to believe it or not.

      • it’s just Boris

        (apologies, accidentally hit post before finishing)

        You entered the process before it was resolved. Don’t underestimate the effect of finding out that a friend knows the person who’s asking for help. I’ve seen that sort of thing have an impact, both positive and negative, many times in the course of dealing with both large and small companies.

        • Corey R. Wardrop

          Totally agree with you, I’m not here to defend Glock. I just had a good experience and shared it.

    • Zack mars

      Their CS is awesome

    • Benjamin E

      I don’t know that it would have been different. At first I was told that they could sell me a replacement barrel. So I told them, no need, just send me that one back. Then a couple days later they called me to say that they were able to determine that the cracks went all the way through the barrel. I think they sent me a replacement due to the fact that sending me back the cracked one might be a liability of I or anyone else ever tried to fire it with that barrel.

  • Auslander Raus

    Corey, Thanks for posting this.
    I had a nice experience back in the ’90’s when my ‘slide lock’ broke for no apparent reason (after I dropped it) on my new G20.

    All they wanted to know was my mailing address, when I asked why, I was told they needed to send me the part to somewhere so I would get it!

    Ruger did the same also many years ago with an extractor (and spring) for my 10/22 once I gave them my S/N.
    I was fully prepared both times to pay for the parts, and was refused.
    They just wanted my address.

  • Gregory

    No doubt some A-hole overloaded a reload, damaged the barrel and sold the pistol with full knowledge of the barrel having cracks.

    • Nashvone

      Quit thinking in my head.

      • Daniel Gross

        Get out if my head while Gregory is thinking in yours!

        • Benjamin E

          I’m pretty sure this is correct. However I’m not disappointed at the end of the day. I still got a Gen1 slide and frame in nearly mint condition. The barrel is a bummer because it’s value in original condition is compromised. However I bought it to shoot, not collect. And shoot like a dream it does.

    • DanGoodShot

      Dude, man… you just reached in my head and stole my comment. I feel so violated!! I’m going to my safe space now… *whimper*

  • Vhyrus

    So, Glock took care of a friend of a guy who is part of a known media outlet that could easily have wrecked their reputation had they not taken care of him.]

    Nope, nothing unusual about these circumstances…

    edit: I noticed this was broached in another post, but I am still a bit skeptical.

    • Corey R. Wardrop

      For the record, all of this happened before I wrote TFB.

      • Gary Kirk

        “for”.. Welcome to the fray brother.. You’ve done some nice articles so far..

      • supergun

        I have a Sig Sauer P-238 380. Love the gun. Probably fired it 50 times. Took it out one day to shoot the wolf 380s my friend had. It would not fire time after time. So I put some good bullets in it. It still would not fire. After several clicks, it started firing. No trouble after that. Then another day, I tried to fire it again. The first time it would not fire, but after the second time it fired all the bullets. What does that sound like?

        • Dave Parks

          Sounds like you should have bought a Glock 🙂

          Sorry, couldn’t resist. Sounds like light strikes. Send it back to Sig, take it to a gunsmith, or search for “p238 mainspring” and welcome to the world of amateur gun repair.

          • supergun

            Thats ok. I first fell in love with the Glock 40 years ago. Haven’t bought one yet, but if I buy one, it will be the 19. I would rather own and shoot Sigs, CZs, H&Ks, XDs, and Walther. They shoot better, feel better than Glocks, and if you are patient you can get them pretty close to what you pay for a Glock. All pistols are subject to mechanical failures. But thanks for the information. This would be a good opportunity to do some gun smithing. Maybe lighten up the trigger?

          • Charles Meredith

            I watched when Glock was introduced in 1980.
            Handled them, didn’t like them,,,and do not like them now.
            I’ll skip them today.

          • supergun

            Back in the 80s they intrigued me. Just never bought one. Don’t know why. But today I buy CZs, Sigs, H&Ks, 1911s, and Smith & Wessons over the Glock. Just “another man’s opinion”. You from Texas?

    • it’s just Boris

      Actually, it’s human nature to do a little extra for a friend of a friend … whether that person is in the media or not. That really was the root of my question; I don’t recall having even broached the subject of publicity. To me, this is simply a question of whether someone with zero connection to anyone in the company would have had the same treatment.

      I don’t know; which is why I’d be very curious to hear from someone with that experience as well.

    • Nicks87

      Glock owner for almost 20 years now, and couldnt say how good their customer service is, because I’ve never had to call them.

      • AK™

        Some would say thats a good sign. I would agree.

    • OODA-Loops

      I have had nothing but positive experiences with Glock and I have zero connections to anyone. During a GFFS match I had one of their armorers check over a gen 2 I purchased as a police trade in. They replaced the NY1 trigger for free and mentioned that it must have been a very old gen 2 because it didn’t have relief cuts in the frame which were added shortly after the gen 2s were produced (because the frames started to cracks after several thousand rounds. They said it wasn’t necessary unless I planned to shoot the gun a lot.) When I contacted glock about the process for sending it in they mentioned to send all of my mags as well. When I recieved my package back in the mail they had added the relief cuts, replaced trigger, and all springs. As well as the base pads, springs, and followers for all 11 mags I sent them. The only thing it cost me was shipping to Georgia. All on a gun that was over 2 decades old and which I purchased used.

    • Zack mars

      Wait, you seriously think TFB could wreck glock? Lol.

  • jdsonice

    I own lot of Glock and have never had a problem with anyone of them. The is good to know. Love the fact that the best handgun in the business i backed by excellent customer service.

    • Gary Kirk

      Wow…

  • TonyP

    >takes rare gen 1
    >mods it

    glock owners confirmed idiots

    • Patriot

      Seriously! Why even bother hording a gen1 barrel if you’re just going to mod it. Maybe someone who needs it could have used it. Your call but I wouldn’t do that. Good job on glock though.

    • mosinman

      next up? Extreme torture testing

      • Ben E

        Only of by torture testing you mean running thousands of rounds through it. I call that “day at the office” testing

    • Ben E

      “Mods it”

      Actually just installed a few drop in parts that can be easily removed, restoring the pistol to original configuration in minutes.

      Putting all the wear from shooting it, which I plan to do often, on aftermarket parts. This keeping original parts clean.

      Yep sounds pretty dumb to me too 😉

  • Skeptical

    Still nothing on Hi Point’s customer service. Whether you shot a case full of compressed red dot on a 147 gr fmj or set the gun on fire for fun, they will replace it, let alone actual innocent breakages. Isn’t this the same company that tfb recently posted an article claiming only 0.05% of customer service issues were their fault? The vast majority being blamed on the user (as if running a Glock is complex enough to screw up), that sounds like some straight HK stuff. If they are running a failure rate of .05% perhaps they are in the wrong business. They could make way more being qc consultants! One thing is for sure, with such a low lemon rate, if they were to stop doing “charity” repairs, they could staff customer servce with less than 5 people world wide.

    • neckbone

      Well to be fair, have you ever saw or ever heard of glocks having issues? They seem to be tough as a brick.

  • Gary Kirk

    You know,back in the day of Springfield being a decent company.. I bought an M-1A standard, it somehow wound up with a socom front sight on it.. Consistently shot way high.. They sent me a shipping label to send it back (insured), once they received the rifle, I got a call saying that they were going to take care of it at no cost to me.. A couple of weeks later, I get my rifle back.. And to my surprise they did the required repairs, as well as installed a national match trigger group.. All free, wish Springfield was still Springfield..

    • LGonDISQUS

      Highpoint once replaced everything but the bolt and dust cover on a 995 rifle I sent into them. They even engraved the same serial and shipped it to my house. ♡♡♡😂

      • mb

        So they replaced a gun (receiver, serialized component ?) with one with the same serial number.?? I suspect that’s highly illegal. Each receiver has to be accounted for even before serialization. That’s what got Stag Arms raided and shut down, and owner lost his MFFL forever.

        • LGonDISQUS

          It happened, newly engraved, etc.

  • John

    I once had a gun company fix the same gun FIVE times! Talk about customer service!

    (but please don’t talk about quality control).

    • Gary Kirk

      Remington? Or Taurus???

      • John

        The Taurus revolver I had in the 80s was so far out of time a bullet hit the forcing cone and knocked the gun out of my friend’s hands. Went back to Taurus never to return. S&W got the sale instead.

  • Gary Kirk

    Everyone dropping the “if it wasn’t brought to light by a “media” thing.. Except, this guy’s has only just begun writing for TFB.. Beforehand, he was a curator of a museum in nowhere Florida (no offense brother, and I know Titusville).. And an 03XX.. Semper Fi brother Wardrop..

    • Corey R. Wardrop

      Thank you Sir!

      • Gary Kirk

        Don’t call me sir.. I enlisted.. OOH-RAH!

        • Corey R. Wardrop

          You got it boss!

  • John

    I can attest that Glock’s Customer Service is top notch. I just sent mine in with a problem I noticed just a few months ago. It may have been all in my head and i told them as such. But they didn’t laugh or ridicule me. they replaced a bunch of internal parts and sent it back as good as new. They’re really top notch. I was surprised. And I’m a total nobody. And I don’t even have any friends who are somebodies. Equal opportunity top notch customer service.

    • ChupaMe

      I had a similar experience. I’d purchased a used Glock a few years ago and noticed a crack in the frame. I called-they had me send it in. They replaced the frame, all of the springs, and a few other internals. All I paid for was the shipping to them.

      I have no connections in the firearms business and no contacts at Glock-I was, and am, just another customer.

  • Raptor Fred

    This was a pretty cool story. Would be interesting to see what Glock says now about what happened to that barrel. Did they do any diagnostic testing or have any idea what pressure the cartridge was at that caused the cracking? Part 2 would be cool. Just an idea.

    • Gary Kirk

      “Keep your 300 BO separated from the rest of your ammo”..

      • Raptor Fred

        LOL

        • Benjamin E

          They weren’t able to tell me specifically. They just said that it has to have been an over pressure situation

  • PeterK

    I really feel like they do a good job about this. I need to shoot my Glock more. I haven’t been able to get out much and I need to break in the new parts they put in at my walk-in appointment in Georgia.

  • Ark

    What are the exact parameters of the Glock warranty?

    Spotted some police trade in 23s for $310 shipped the other day, and grabbed one despite .40 being a dead fudd caliber. What happens if I break something on it?

    • Raptor Fred

      I bought quite a few of these guns for handloading experimenting because of the really good deals. If you don’t do anything crazy like I do. They should take care of you. There has been some really crappy factory ammo produced in the last few years. And everyone I know that has had problems with stock guns has had no problem with Glock customer service, and helping you get your gun back to Blasty-Mode. The .40 cal police trade-ins are an awesome deal, it’s gonna be sad when they dry up.

      • Ark

        Right on. I was on the fence for a really long time, mostly because there were only full-size .40 Glocks available, but I saw the price on the 23 and decided it was time to fill that Glock-shaped hole in the collection. I’m a handy guy but it’s nice to know there’s some factory support available.

    • neckbone

      I thought those police trade ins all go back to glock for overhaul before the resell them? I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a police trade in. At $310 spipped it’s a bargain. Plus you could get a glock 19 barrel and some mags and shoot 9mm for about $150 extra.

      • Sledgecrowbar

        Don’t just get a G19 barrel. Get a conversion barrel. They’re thicker on the outside to fit the G23 slide correctly. Other than that, it’s unlikely you’ll need to swap the extractor or ejector for a 9mm version, it should run 100%.

      • Jim B

        I bought the G27 police trade in for $345 about 6 months ago. It was almost LNIB with very little wear showing. Also purchased the Lone Wolf conversion barrel in 9mm as well as some 9mm glock mags. Runs in 9 & 40 like a champ. You won’t be sorry!

  • jonp

    Glocks are Perfection Perfected. This didn’t happen, your just photoshopping a picture to try and make Glock look good.

    Actually, customer service from a firearms manu like this is not rare. The shooting industry has some of the best companies in the Country. Did the cracks come from the tool marks working their way through the barrel or were those not tool marks or any indications of where the cracks might have come from in the first place?

  • Greek Preparedness

    Is that a heat treating discoloration on the barrel I am seeing?

  • uncle fester

    Can you provide som insight about the commonality/differences in the various Gen models’ barrel? I always assumed that they could be swapped out assuming you were putting a G17 barrell in a G17.

    • Sledgecrowbar

      Pretty sure the barrels are actually interchangeable between the first three generations. Since third gen is still in production it was not actually difficult to replace the barrel on ‘a pistol that has been out of production for thirty years’. The locking block, the metal piece the barrel lug slides on, did change over those iterations but they’re not hard to find either, and you don’t hear of many parts breakages on Glocks outside of extremely high round counts, and even then it’s normally the recoil spring mount on the slide.

      • Ben E

        You can even use gen 4 barrels in all earlier gens. You just can’t use early barrels with gen4 recoil guides. The seat in the barrel isn’t large enough on the early barrels to fit the market diameter gen 4 RSA

        • Ben E

          But the barrel they gave me, was a gen1 barrel with two letter serial number and Austrian proof marks

  • Nicks87

    The Gen 1 is a work of art.

  • AK™

    Would you want to shoot out an original Gen1 barrel? I would rather save up and get another barrel and have that one sitting nicely in the safe.

    • Twilight sparkle

      Plus everything he changed can be changed back

      • Ben E

        Exactly ^

  • Kyle Blaylock

    I hate to be “that guy,” but I almost never see original gen 1 Glocks in nice condition, it’s almost a shame to drop a bunch of after-market on it.

    • Benjamin E

      Depends how you look at it. I put barrels and triggers, and especially sights, on every glock I own. Which is several. I shoot a lot, and didn’t buy this one to be any different.

      All the “mods” I added are completely reversible. And all the wear from shooting will not be on the original parts.

      Safe queens have no place in my home…lol

  • keazzy

    Wow! This sounds exactly like the two experiences I had. One with Smith &Wesson, the other with Walther. Maybe we should be telling this to car companies. I hear Hi-Point has excellent service as well.

  • Edeco

    Yep, dire warning sign. I immediately dispose of any barrels that sprout a TFB logo.

    • Corey R. Wardrop

      Haha.

  • Joseph Woods

    I had a gen 1 Model 17 that I purposely sought out. One day the frame just crumbled with a thumb sized hole in the grip. I took it to Glock in Smyrna, GA. They replaced the gun and gave me new mags.

  • DanGoodShot

    What better place to ask this question than a comment section pertaining to Glock. Money is tight right now, but I have a chance to pick up a Glock 21 gen4, mint condition, only 39 rounds down the pipe for $350. Comes with everything you would normally get with a Glock 21. I’ve yet to own a Glock or a 45acp. Like I said, money is tight. But if I eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the next month, I can swing it. Should I do it??

    • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

      I have a Gen 3 G21SF.

      Love that gun, and I’m not really a fan of Glocks to begin with.

      So yes, get it.

  • Lyman Hall

    CS like this is mandatory if we are to keep the US Government OUT of “common-sense safety regulations for firearms manufacturers.”
    I sent a Ruger SR9c back to Phoenix for a trigger problem. The replaced the reset bar and sear, which I expected. They replaced the mag release safety and adjusted the frame safety, which makes sense. Then they replaced the barrel, at less than 1,000 rounds. I can’t figure that one out, but I’m not complaining.
    Oh – and the “trigger problem” was operator error. So smooth I swore it was firing prematurely.
    GLOCK and Ruger “get it.” Their actions make them pretty damn lawsuit proof and, more importantly, demonstrate that the industry can regulate itself.

  • spiff1

    I worked at GLOCK, INC., back in its startup days and it always put customer service first, then and now.

  • TopCat_Texas

    This kind of event is exactly why I am willing to pay a bit more for a Glock rather than some other brand that is a “Glock” clone.

  • Big Pierogie

    Glock has great customer service? That’s news to me. Some years ago I bought a brand new G19 at my LGS. When I took it home I noticed an almond-size blemish on the finish. There was a spot that was slightly brighter than the rest of the slide. I got in touch with Glock to see if they could refinish it under warranty. They said no. They can refinish it, but not free of charge. I’d have to pay for it – on a new gun that was just a few days old and wasn’t even fired yet. So I said F them. I sent it to Wilson Combat instead.

    • Benjamin E

      Not to discount your issue. But finish usually isn’t a warranty item with most manufacturers. I.understand being disappointed, but I wouldn’t sell glock CS short simply on that. Guns are warrantied for mechanical function and safety, less so on cosmetics

  • wetcorps

    So Glock has good customer service if you know someone who knows someone? 🙂

  • Tim Pearce

    To be fair, this is less Customer Service and more Cover Your Ass.
    It doesn’t matter if it was their fault, that’s how it would be spun if Benjamin lost fingers when his Glock exploded. A replacement barrel and shipping, both ways, is considerably less expensive than a lawsuit, even if they win in court.
    Also, regardless of how the cracks got there, in this day and age, it could cost them business if Benjamin had just started spouting off on the internet about “how poorly made Glocks are” based on this barrel. Again, it’s less expensive to just fix it for free.

  • Mrl

    Wish I can say the same about their customer service. On my Glock 27 Gen 4, I was having lite strikes. I called and they had me take it to a Glock armorer. Note this was a new gun. (should’ve taken it back to my dealer and have them take care of it with Glock) He did a complete break down, taking out the striker, cleaning and lubing it up with a special lube. Charged me for the service, then sent me on my way. Next range visit, same thing happened. Called Glock back. This time they said I should send it in. They changed out the striker along with two other parts. Worked after that, but not after the expense of travel to the armorer (not in my area), his cost, returning it to Glock, and the weapon out of service for over a month.

  • Nick

    The Armslist ad probably read something like, “FS is my mint Gen 1 G17, this is a safe queen and has less than 100rds through it. Selling it because I never shoot it, my loss is your gain. $750 or trade for Colt Python, LWRC AR, or your first born child.”

    • Benjamin E

      $475 face to face sale

      But your guess wouldn’t be too far off normally…lol

  • Ben E

    Yep…. That was the plan from the get. I don’t buy guns to look at. I buy them to shoot

  • Go Faster

    Why waste Glock’s time and money if you knew you was going to replace the barrel and trigger? Oh yeah. You have contacts.
    Title should have read, “How we screwed Glock out of free parts”.
    Had this been someone like me I would have most likely got the ole out of warranty reply.

  • JiminGA

    Ten years ago I bought a used Gen 3 G17 at a pawn shop. A visual inspection told me it was in good shape, but I wasn’t satisfied with that. Since I live in the Atlanta metro I drove directly from the pawn shop to Glock headquarters in Smyrna. After a safety check at the gate I was directed to the building that housed service work. Within 10 minutes a Glock technician greeted me and took my gun into the workshop. Less than 20 minutes later he brought my gun back and told me he had replaced the firing pin and cleaned and lubed it, and also test fired it. He told me it was in perfect condition. Since then, I’ve fired about 5000 rounds through it and still get a 2″ group at 15 yards.

  • Go Faster

    Not silly when you planned on swapping to an aftermarket barrel as was stated in the article. Sooooooo