Glock 22 KABOOM

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

This Glock 22 (.40 S&W) blew up while firing reloaded ammunition.


Was at the range with some friends today, and a friends glock 22 grenaded with some commercially reloaded .40. This brand is really popular up here for idpa and ipsc as well as plinking.

The trigger, mag release, and slide stop disintigrated, but were recovered amongst the rubble around the range. The head of the case was found about 20 yards downrange.
Also, the top of the chamber took a chunk out of the ceiling. not to mention the slide coming off of the rail on one side, and the frame being completely warped in that area.

his hand is alright, no cuts, but will probably be bruised soon.

[ Many thanks to jdun1911 for emailing me the link. ]

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Stephen Stephen on Jan 28, 2012

    Mystery Ammo Fail!

    I used to own an old, somewhat beaten-up .45 1911. I was shooting some 'old' ammo that hadn't seen the light of an outdoor range for aeons, so I thought I'd 'get rid of' the ammo by discharging it at the local club.

    I'm holding the thing two-handed, with my palm *underneath*, 'cupping' the bottom of the magazine, my hand, and the gun.

    First round, KABOOM! The KB happened in about one second or less (or so it seemed), and something felt different. For one, my left 'cupping' hand, was somehow 'away' from the gun. For another, something about that left hand felt kind of 'airy,' meaning I could feel air moving along my palm area a bit more acutely than usual.

    The gun is still in my right hand, and I'm pointing it down range the whole time, waiting. I can see that the slide is slightly out of battery, so I'm just holding the thing there, tightly, and pointed downrange, just in case it might be a hangfire.

    Well, after about 3 full minutes of waiting, I finally decided it's not going to go off, so I carefully--while still keeping it pointed downrange--pull the slide back to eject the case.

    This yielded up some interesting revelations. One, the case ejected; and when I picked it up, it did, indeed, show evidence of case malfunction; toward the back of the case was a small hole, just forward of the rear --evidence of a weak sidewall.

    Having found out the root cause, I began to assess the damage: It struck me odd, at first, that I could look straight down through the opened breech and *see all the way down to the dirt!* So I thought "my magazine was blown out the bottom. "Okay," I thought to myself, "It's an old magazine, so it's not a problem there, at least it wasn't one of my Wilson Combat Stainless 8-Rounders!"

    Looking a little closer at the ground, I realize that a lot of unfired .45 cartridges are 'lying around' near my feet, splayed all around me, circumferentially. "Weird," I'm thinking to myself. So I look at the 1911 a little more closely, and am just dumbfounded!

    Whilst being dumbfounded, I also *finally notice my left palm!* It's covered in blood, and there's a big gash from about the center, to the edge of my hand; not very deep, but still deep enough to warrant attention. So I bandage it up, then take another look at the gun.

    It appeared that when the case burst out the sidewall, it fired the bullet downrange, but didn't cycle the slide all the way; the force that would usually be committed to cycling the slide back for an eject, was instead redirected in the direction of the remaining 7 rounds (I was shooting 7+1), blowing off the magazine's bottom piece (and this is a carbon steel fixed base, not a removable plastic one, like on the Wilson's), and the entire shebang making a huge gash in my left palm!

    I learned many things from this incident. One, learning to handle my 1911 the way I did was definitely from my earlier training in my youth, essentially from my father; also formative, was by reading the magazines of the day, studying the techniques of the world's master shooters, law enforcement professionals, and military shooters.

    I decided then and there to alter my handhold technique. I now make sure to keep my left palm off the bottom of the magazine, using instead a modified 'side hold' technique that still allows me to maintain control of the firearm, but gives the mag-base a 'clear view' if it ever decides to go flying again.

    Because of my previous studies, and practicing for just such a 'hangfire,' with a 'dry' firearm beforehand, I automatically proceeded to hold the firearm well away from my body, keeping the barrel pointed downrange, and not moving that radius anywhere for three full minutes, before doing anything.

    Also, I was listening for any telltale 'hissing' sounds that might indicate any type of 'fusing,' in which I was thoroughly prepared to hurl the thing away from me, downrange, and away from the main shooting area. Luckily, this didn't happen.

    Now, having shared this story, and having read the comments above, I can say this: Glock should have completely redesigned the Glock 22 *for the .40 S&W cartridge from scratch* from the beginning! Granted, they 'fixed' the issue (so I surmise from reading the comments above), but, to me, it was negligent to not do so in the first place.

    Also, I remember working in 1990 at Steamboat Lake State Park, north of Steamboat Spring, Colorado, during the summer. It was a 5-day-work-week, minimum-wage state summer shindig, working in the mountains. There was a nearby quarry where informal shooting was done. I had just purchased a stainless steel Ruger GP-100 and the head ranger had just gotten the new Glock 19.

    He let me shoot the Glock, and I let him shoot my GP-100. The 19 shot okay, but I really wasn't impressed by it very much, as it just didn't fit my hand very well. For a 9mm, it also seemed to be louder than other 9's I had shot prior to that day--and this was outside, wearing ear protection! This, as opposed to being inside with ear protection--his 19 still seemed louder, somehow.

    Since that time, I've owned 2 Sig-Sauer P229, one without a rail, and one with a rail. Both functioned flawlessly, and having shot many Glocks on the range (rented), and my Sig's (now sold), I can say that, for me, the P229 rocks!

    I'd also recommend the Kimber Classic II Stainless, which was the gun I utilized for my local CCW qualification, twice! That was probably the 'realest' gun I ever owned.

    Ciao for now, folks!
    Good Shootin' To Y'All!

    --Stephen, Outta Missouri

  • John S John S on Feb 07, 2012

    Food for thought: I have noticed on my Gen. 4 G-22 and G-27 that if I carry a round in the pipe on my carry gun, I have to rotate that round when I unload and reload the weapon. The reason is that If I use the same round in the barrel several times and close the slide on it, the force will cause the bullet to get pushed back into the case. When you look at the case you will see a ring around it and this can cause an increase in pressure. I intend to contact Glock about this and see what they have to say. Has anyone else noticed this problem?