Despite their well deserved reputation for reliability, on occasion a Glock will break. The good news is that they’re easy to repair!
It’s fashionable amongst certain members of the shooting fraternity to spout “all guns break eventually.” That’s true, but the trouble is that it’s often used to justify owning guns which break all the time!
Like automobiles, there are some firearms which are generally regarded as very reliable and some which are not. Those very reliable arms are like a very reliable car: they can still break, just a whole lot less often than others.
Glocks are often held up as the epitome of firearm reliability, and with good reason: they’re rugged, feed just about anything, and don’t break very often. That isn’t to say they’re indestructible, however, because on occasion something will go wrong. Luckily, they’re easy and cheap to fix!
Greg Ellifritz at Active Response Training is a certified Glock armorer as well as a busy shooting instructor. He’s seen Glocks break enough to be able to put together a list of the most common problems and how to fix them. It’s a good article, and if you’re a Glock owner you should read it and save for future reference.
I, too, occasionally see a Glock fail. It’s pretty unusual though, and when it happens the event is usually accompanied by jeers and catcalls from any and all 1911 owners in the vicinity! In most cases the repairs are accomplished quickly and the gun is back to its reliable, predictable self.
Greg says that the trigger spring is the most commonly broken part, but that hasn’t been my experience. The failed part I see most often is the spring on the slide lock lever; when it breaks the lever is free to flop around and the result is the slide locking back on every shot fired.
The other issue I see fairly often (and this is more maintenance than repair) is a weak recoil spring. The recoil spring needs to be replaced every so often (around 5,000 is a good time), and if it isn’t it can damage the locking block or (very often) result in firing while slightly out of battery. If you see “smeared” or off-center hits on your primers, that’s a sign that the recoil spring needs replacement immediately!
(Greg makes a good point about the slide lock spring being worn by improper assembly of the recoil spring. That’s something to check when you put your Glock back together after cleaning.)
No, Glocks aren’t perfect. Nothing ever is, and you’ll never hear me claim that they are. They’ve done a pretty good job, though, of putting together a gun that’s in the upper tier of reliability.
-=[ Grant ]=-