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Old 04-10-2006, 06:58 AM   #1
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Glock 20 Malfunction Question - Please Help

Hello Everyone,

My Glock 20 is having a couple of malfunctions that are occurring more frequently than I would like. Could someone give me some help in diagnosing the problem?

The gun is entirely stock except for the Arotek extended slide release I installed onto the gun when I bought it in 1999. It is one of the models with finger grooves, but no rail.

Using full capacity, factory 15-shot magazines I am having the last round and occassionally the next to last casing of the magazine either get caught on the extractor and not eject or (more commonly) wedge itself perfectly in the center part of the top of the ejection port with half of the casing in the gun and half of it out.

Last weekend out of 150 rounds fired I had 2 of the ejector style malfunctions and 3 of the wedging style. It has had this problem with a range of quality loads (e.g., Winchester, DoubleTap, etc.) and with more than one magazine. Plus, the gun was well lubricated with oil on the rails and on top of the barrel when these problems occurred last weekend.

Am I doing something wrong? Weak mag springs? Weak recoil spring?

Can someone please help?
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Old 04-12-2006, 08:10 PM   #2
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This will not be the answer that you want to hear but I can almost assure you that it is being caused by your grip. You may have heard the term "limp wristing" your gun. Make an extra effort to get a good firm grip and a solid foundation for the gun to work against and try a few rounds and see if it gets any better. Glocks generally do NOT just have ejection problems with quality ammo.

Another option would be the wrong spring-loaded bearing in it. If it has an LCI type extractor, it takes a different spring-loaded bearing than a regular extractor and this WILL cause an occassional FTE.

Additionally, check the extractor itself. If the top corner is chipped or beginning to round off, that could also cause it. One of the most common things that causes broken extractors is dropping a round in the chamber and then dropping the slide on it. This forces the extractor to bounce over the rim of the shell and under normal operation, it does NOT do that.

One last thing, if it's not the gun itself, would be a magazine failure. Buy yourself one new mag and try it. If that works, buy you some new mag springs.

I hope this helps you figure it out.
 
Old 04-19-2006, 01:40 PM   #3
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A Glock malfunctioning? Nonsense! You must be seeing things.

But seriously, if this always seems to happen toward the tail end of the magazine, the first thing to try is new magazine springs.


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Old 04-20-2006, 07:09 PM   #4
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I would bet that Cope is right....as the gun gets emptier, it gets lighter
too, and recoil 'whips' a little more and is a tad more sensitive to limp-
wristing.
 
Old 05-15-2006, 09:42 PM   #5
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I had never in my life heard the term "limp-wristing" until after Glockism had become a religion about 5 or 10 years ago. So just out of curiosity I took my Glock 20 (Bar-Sto barrel, 3.5 lb. trigger) down to the range and tried my level best to obtain a malfunction through "limp-wristing". I held the pistol as loosely as possible with three fingers of my right hand with my forearm as vertical as possible. I didn't look through the sights because I didn't want to get whomped in the forehead. If I had been looking through the sights I would now have a nice crease on my head! I can't think of any way to get my wrist any limper and still keep the pistol in my hand when firing.

Guess what? Out of three full magazines I experienced no malfunctions whatsoever! Not one. Of course I have a reasonably new magazine spring and recoil spring.

So when I hear "limp-wristing" I will take it to mean "undiagnosed pistol malfunction".


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Old 05-16-2006, 06:19 AM   #6
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The term limp wristing came out many, many years before the Glock was even invented. Just because you can't make yours malfunction doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.
As a full-time, professional instructor, I see it fairly regularly and it is monotonously simple to correct on ANY semi-auto pistol. More often than not, it is women and weak, fragile men but we see occassionally on the big guys too.
 
Old 05-16-2006, 01:03 PM   #7
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Wellll, the fact that I can't get my pistol to malfunction when holding it as extremely limply as possible tells me that if someone else gets a malfunction while "limp-wristing" less extremely then there is probably some underlying undiagnosed problem that is possibly being aggravated by limp-wristing.

If such a malfunction is caused by a spring growing weaker, or dirt accumulating, or a part wearing out or fracturing, then it would likely get worse over time, perhaps suddenly, until the malfunction will occur with even the firmest hold. The problem should be diagnosed and corrected, rather than attributed to limp-wristing, so that a serious failure will not happen at a serious time.


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Old 05-16-2006, 01:28 PM   #8
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We have NIB guns taken straight from here to my range that have done it. It has always happened and likely always will. With everything else being known new, the diagnosis and the cure is pretty predictable.
AFAIK, the major training schools teach the same thing. I have my doubts that they would teach the diagnosis and the cure if the problem didn't exist.
 
Old 05-16-2006, 01:46 PM   #9
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I've seen it quite a bit, mostly with lighter guns....
 
Old 05-17-2006, 04:27 PM   #10
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OK, so why can't I get my Glock to malfunction through limpwristing?


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Old 05-17-2006, 05:00 PM   #11
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That's one of the many, many firearms related questions that would utterly impossible to answer with any degree of certainty without seeing the gun and you shoot it.
That's kinda like askin', "Why does my gun always shoot to the left?" Well, let's see now, there's............
 
Old 05-17-2006, 05:31 PM   #12
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It would seem to me that if limpwristing is a causal variable, then it should be possible to reproduce it and isolate it from variables that inhere in the pistol.


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Old 05-17-2006, 05:40 PM   #13
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It is very possible to reproduce it but, like I said, I can't see what you're doing so I can't tell you why you can't do it. I will say that limpwristing is just that...limpwristing. You can hold it as loose as you want and it may still have a solid enough platform to function properly against. If the entire lower receiver is allowed to move rearward freely AS the upper is also trying to move, it will malfunction. If you suspend your Glock by strings tied so that the slide can freely move, it will malfunction pretty much 100%of the time as would most any other semi-auto pistol.
I don't know if I explained that very well but that's the jist of what I say in some of my classes where we demonstrate some of the causes of Type II malfunctions.
 
Old 05-17-2006, 06:18 PM   #14
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OK, so how can I hold my Glock so that I can obtain a limpwristing induced malfunction?


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Old 05-17-2006, 06:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
That's one of the many, many firearms related questions that would utterly impossible to answer with any degree of certainty without seeing the gun and you shoot it.
That's kinda like askin', "Why does my gun always shoot to the left?" Well, let's see now, there's............
 
Old 05-17-2006, 07:39 PM   #16
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But limpwristing is reproducible?


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Old 05-17-2006, 08:25 PM   #17
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Yes Sir.
 
Old 05-17-2006, 09:14 PM   #18
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But you can't describe how to get a limpwristing malfunction in an otherwise normally functioning pistol?


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Old 05-18-2006, 07:18 AM   #19
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Quote:
You can hold it as loose as you want and it may still have a solid enough platform to function properly against. If the entire lower receiver is allowed to move rearward freely AS the upper is also trying to move, it will malfunction. If you suspend your Glock by strings tied so that the slide can freely move, it will malfunction pretty much 100%of the time as would most any other semi-auto pistol.
 
Old 05-18-2006, 09:33 AM   #20
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Welll, if, as a professional instructor, you see limpwristing "regularly" and it is "monotonously simple to correct", then it should be monotonously simple to describe it clearly and succinctly enough that it could be reliably reproduced.

The fact that you seem reluctant to do so, combined with my own experience as described, leads me to doubt that the phenomenon exists.


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Old 05-18-2006, 02:52 PM   #21
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Quote:
You can hold it as loose as you want and it may still have a solid enough platform to function properly against. If the entire lower receiver is allowed to move rearward freely AS the upper is also trying to move, it will malfunction. If you suspend your Glock by strings tied so that the slide can freely move, it will malfunction pretty much 100%of the time as would most any other semi-auto pistol.
I usually don't have any trouble explaining it to someone that doesn't have such a hard time comprehending the explanation. If it never does it for you, that's great. Consider yourself blessed. You are truly an icon in the handgun world. I wish all of us could be so fortunate.

I've tried, you no savvy.

I give up.
 
Old 05-18-2006, 10:24 PM   #22
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"You can hold it as loose as you want and it may still have a solid enough platform to function properly against."

I take that to mean that you, too, have some difficulty reproducing malfunctions through limpwristing. But I do not take it as a lucid explanation of how to limpwrist a pistol into malfunction.

"If the entire lower receiver is allowed to move rearward freely AS the upper is also trying to move, it will malfunction."

I guess that is a good statement of the theoretical basis of limpwrist malfunctions, and I understand the basic idea. I really don't know how testable it is, or how true it could be determined to be, though, because there is no statement about HOW freely the receiver is allowed to move. Even the strongest, firmest human grasp will have some elasticity and will allow the pistol some movement, and even the weakest, limpest human grasp will provide some resistance, if only through inertia. There is also no mention of very relevant pistol conditions, such as slide and barrel mass vs. frame mass, recoil spring strength, bullet weight and velocity, etc.

"If you suspend your Glock by strings tied so that the slide can freely move, it will malfunction pretty much 100%of the time as would most any other semi-auto pistol."

I suspect that you meant that the frame be allowed to freely move, because the slide normally moves freely, and if the slide cannot move then the pistol will most certainly fail to extract, eject, feed, and cock, and limpwristing appears to be more of a frame movement issue, anyway. This is an interesting hypothesis, and may well be true, at least part of the time. It does not appear to be difficult to test and I may want to try it some day, just out of curiousity. However, I have not heard of anybody complaining much about their Glock malfunctioning while suspended from strings. Accordingly, I will consider the string experiment to be of academic interest only and "outside the universe of discourse". I am much more interested in how often, and under what conditions, limpwrist malfunctions can be made to occur with normal pistols in normal human hands in the real world.

I'm sorry I have had such a hard time comprehending the explanation. I can be pretty dense sometimes, but I do try. However, I think in this case that my lack of comprehension may be due more to the elusiveness of the phenomenon rather than the thickness of my skull. I rather enjoy being considered an icon, though.

Thanks for the complement, and may God bless.
 
Old 03-23-2007, 03:13 PM   #23
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recoil spring

Did you happen to install a 22# to 24# recoil spring for double tap loads and then leave it in for the standard lower pressure factory loads?

I shoot 9X25 with a 24# spring: Mike McNett recommended and sold...the other day I forgot to change out and the same thing happened...the too strong a spring is too fast on the return.
 
Old 05-07-2007, 08:03 PM   #24
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Well Anthony, I've left this alone long enough to see if anyone would give you some specific possibilities other than the "limp wrist" possibility. And, that is a problem with ANY semi-automatic recoil operated weapon. But......you may have a broken ejector. Glocks have been known to have a "partial break" of the ejector and still function. If you are not completely familiar with the weapon, how it should look, then run it by a certified Glock armorer and let them look at it. I've seen a couple of Glock 21s that had a broken ejector and both still functioned quite well, but with the occassional "stove pipe" due to the lack of force on the ejector. Best I could figure, partial loss of length in the ejector failed to start the empty casing moving toward the ejection port in enough time to clear it as the slide started forward again. Hope this helps if you haven't found the "cure" yet.
 
Old 06-19-2010, 07:07 PM   #25
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Old Post, Nothing new about the malady.

Couldn't read this and not say anything. Some years back, a female Police Officer found me and asked me to provide my "professional" services to her regarding having been fired for failure to qualify with he duty gun. Although her story contains many factors, the one that pertains to the object of this thread, "limp-wristing", was diagnosed, solved through proper training and ultimately, she won her job back through my testimony.

In her case and the majority of these that I have delt with, have been traced to two problems; not holding the pistol in a proper, firm gunfight ready grip and placing the hand to low on the grip frame. The type of ammo also greatly contributes to this phenomenon as "barrel time" ( time it takes the bullet to travel down and exit the muzzle ) contributes to inertia applied to the slide which, if too fast, leads to stove-pipes, FTFs and frustration.

The gentlemen who does not believe, understand or otherwise grasp the concept, has merely to spend time in the Weapons Instructor position where everyone EXPECTS a WISE and CONSIDERATE diagnosis and most certainly deserves one. We have the good fortune of seeing about every conceivable malfunction and a few crop up now and then that test one's talents. Limp-Wristing diagnostics are not one of them.

There, now I feel better
 
Old 08-10-2011, 04:04 PM   #26
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I'm with Trapper and Cope... Limpwristing is the most commonly encountered and corrected issue I see when dealing with polymer framed guns. I worked with an entire local department who had received an excellent deal on H&K compacts... fine guns in their own right.

More than half the officers experienced fte's through the standard q-course. The problem was especially prevalent when shooters had to engage targets from one-handed shooting positions. I had no such problems, and I tried repeatedly to "limpwrist" the demo guns to show how the stoppage was occurring. I couldn't make it happen.

That whole department traded in their H&K's for Sigs. They don't ask me to train with them anymore. They still have major problems with fte's... and I still can't make Glocks have stoppages. Ho Hum....

Anthony... try some rapid fire strings, shooting with one hand. Then try the same rapid fire strings firing with your support hand only. Finally, try some rapid fire shots holding the weapon with one hand at your hip level.... Fairbairn and Sykes called this the 1/4 hip position... If you experience a higher rate of similar Fte's, that's a pretty fair sign that "limpwristing" is an issue.

The best cure is to have an experienced firearms instructor do some shooting with you , and help you with your grip and shooting stance. If that's not an option, make every effort to NEVER LET YOUR WRIST SAG OR RELAX WHEN SHOOTING YOUR PISTOL. We like to call this a "Locked Wrist" It really does work.

Rock...
 
Old 08-10-2011, 04:35 PM   #27
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Let's take a look at that slide release.

Is it heavier in actual weight than the original? As the mag empties, the mag spring has weaker rebound. Sometimes it may work, sometimes it doesn't. Mags wear with time.

If you have the original slide release, try it.

The reason I do not believe it is a limp-wrist is because it happens when the mag is empty or almost empty. Why doesn't it happen sooner?
 
Old 08-11-2011, 08:37 AM   #28
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Hey gang, Anthony posted this question in.....2006.
 
Old 08-11-2011, 08:21 PM   #29
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Doggone..... hope he's still out there reading this....
 
Old 02-26-2012, 12:04 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
....... Using full capacity, factory 15-shot magazines I am having the last round and occassionally the next to last casing of the magazine either get caught on the extractor and not eject or (more commonly) wedge itself perfectly in the center part of the top of the ejection port with half of the casing in the gun and half of it out. .......
Wow, a question from all the way back in 2006! Still it's relevant, though. OK, a, 'Type 2 Malfunction'. There are three probable causes: (1) The slide is short stroking, (2) the magazine spring is weak, or (3) you are limp-wristing.

Here's a couple of examples of just how easy it is to, 'limpwrist' any pistol with a loose modified-Browning lockup like a Glock:




My best bet? Because it always happening with the last couple of rounds, I'm going to go with a weak magazine spring.
 
Old 03-28-2012, 07:54 AM   #31
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Great videos, I know old stuff, but still interesting to see, especially to a new G17 owner like me. I never been accused of having limp wrists or being limp wristed though, not yet.

Last edited by valvestem; 04-02-2012 at 06:50 AM.
 
Old 03-31-2012, 01:22 PM   #32
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thales, you remind me of a customer of mine. I suggested he was limpwristing, and he got all bent out of shape that I was calling him a sissy. He then went to the range and made a couple videos to prove to me that he was not ghey. I have no idea where that all came from, but it had nothing to do with what I was trying to convey.

Holding the gun as you described, with your arm as vertical as possible, does NOT necessarily mean you were limp wristing it when you did that. Limp hand-wristing it may be a more accurate description. Maybe not. This is only the 2nd customer of mine to have a never-ending nightmare of ownership with GLOCKs. Even the next one had an easy time before we modded the gun.

Another customer that had me build him a GLOCK22 that he thought recoiled far too hard for him to be able to keep it. Keep in mind this guy was probably 6-4 and 250lbs, fairly in shape and young enough that I'd NEVER expect this complaint. I put a recoil reducer in the gun and numerous other mods at his request. I shot it with Hornady TAP(His carry load) and told him I'd never seen factory ammo shoot that well in my life. It was true, too. I even gave him the target. His next trip to the range, he had malfunction after malfunction after malfunction. Every other guy(Or gal for that matter-including his girlfriend and my wife) that shot it said the same as I did. It was a soft shooter with even the hot stuff, accurate and generally a pleasure to shoot. NO OTHER ISSUES. Still, he could not get it to run. He shot weaver stance and would not even hear isosceles spoken in his presence. His Dad had been a cop, and this is how it was done. Period. He never got a magazine out of that gun without a malfunction after I "Tricked it out", and sold it a month or so after and took a beating on it after all the mods and diag time spent on the gun. He was the only one having problems with it, but swore it was the gun.

Believe me, people are not making the limp wristing thing up. I understand your rtain of thought as to it manifesting another issue that is mechanically fouled up. I just have not seen that to be the case. Granted, there is plenty I haven't seen, but limp wristing is not on that list.

Whew, that was a lot of yapping for an old thread. I still go to the normal diag for a pistol, though. Ammo and magazines(Even on GLOCKs) are the first suspects. Even before limpwristing. Especially if no other semi's malfunction for you like that. If that gun works for every one but you, you are prolly the issue. Check mags and grip. Not just grip, your entire shooting stance, position, and fundamentals.

Last edited by Alabaster; 03-31-2012 at 01:30 PM.
 
Old 05-04-2012, 01:02 PM   #33
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I suppose it "could be" from limp wristing, or as has been said - any individual or combination of things. I see many Glock malfunctions from folks shooting weak hand only around a barricade, for instance. The grip is just different. The simplest way to explain it is that their must be sufficient resistance in the frame when held for the slide to fully reciprocate. Does that make sense, or am I just re-hashing what others have so eloquently stated? If so, I apologize in advance.

FWIW, I change my mag springs annually as a course of regular maintenance.

The new slide stop tab - the part that engages with the follower of the magazine - could that be bent just slightly or could it be dragging on the occasional round? I have seen that on some aftermarket parts in the past.

If you feel confident that the frame has sfficient resistance when shot, the let's maybe start narrowing it down from a mechanical perspective:

Do a really good examination of the parts and see if the extractor is chipped or if the ejector is funky. Ruling out those, with the slide off the gun, put in the mags and look at the engagement of the slide stop tab to the follower, with a full mag, and then with fewer bullets, and then with empty ones. Does the slide stay out of the way and eventually raise on the empty mag ok? Do the same with the stock slide stop and compare your findings.

If you put the stock slide stop back in the gun, does it still produce the malfunctions?

If not, then...

As has been stated: "Another option would be the wrong spring-loaded bearing in it. If it has an LCI type extractor, it takes a different spring-loaded bearing than a regular extractor and this WILL cause an occassional FTE." It could simply be that the extractor spring is tired or the bearing is a little worn. A few years back at the Carolina Cup I had a friend whose 34 started failing in the middle of the stage. Changed out the extractor spring and bearing on a tailgate and it ran 100% for the rest of the 2 days of shooting. That is a cheap and fast fix, which might be the next step in the diagnosis.

Next I would swap out the mag springs with new ones.

Then check the recoil spring - they tend to last an awful long time, but that's also a cheap fix and it can't hurt.

At the bottom of this short list I initially think could be either the ammo ammo or how the barrel locks up and unlocks in the slide in and out of battery.

Try those and see if it continues and let us know what happens.

Good luck!
 
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