Gen 4 Recall Explained by Glock

Christian touched base on the Glock recall back in September.  I had a chance to stop by the Glock booth at AUSA and hear firsthand about the recall from their perspective. They Glock rep said they had relatively few complaints about the recoil spring problem but it was enough to cause concern.  Even though it was most likely just a few bad springs, they decided to do the right thing, and replace all the Gen 4 springs in the 9mm and 40.  He also mentioned that they re-designed the ejector in this model, which I thought was interesting.  I’m always a fan of the saying, “If it works, don’t fix it”.  Example: The Apocalypse weapon of choice, the AK 47.

I’ve always been a Glock fan since I started carrying the 17 as my secondary in Iraq in 2006.  It’s a reliable gun, simple, single action and can take a ton of abuse. You just know the gun is going to work and that’s worth something in my book.

It’s good to see that Glock did the right thing with the recoil springs.  I just ordered a new 19 off my friend Mark who owns American Shooting Center in San Diego.  I can’t wait to get my hands on that bad boy.

Out here-Brandon

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  • FormerSFMedic

    Let’s get one thing straight right of the bat. I’m a Glock shooter, user, whatever you wanna call it. I carried a G19 through my deployments to Afghanistan, and I never leave home without my G32. But, I have a love and hate relationship with Glock. Out of the box there are certain things I can’t stand. That’s the beauty of the gun though, its engineered in such a way that i can customize it the way I need it to be.

    Now, on to the Gen 4. It is widely known throughout the community that the Gen 4 has had a lot of problems. Glock will NEVER admit fault in this, but I know several high profile industry guru’s that have explained in detail the issues. The recoil spring was causing failures in the gun from day one, and there’s been something like 4 different assemblies for the 9mm Glocks and 3 for the .40 Glocks. Many believe the switch to MIM processes lead to some of the problems. The guide rod assemblies were not the only issue. The extractor was causing FTF and FTE in many hard use guns.

    Like I said, I have a love and hate relationship with Glock. They tried to innovate and they had problems. The Gen 4 IMO is still a work in progress. Glock has to get past their pride and come up with a solution to QC/QR

    • Mike

      I just bout a glock 20 gen4, my first glock. I have had many fte s, not what i expected from a glock. I am so frustrated with this purchase. I would never trust this gun to defend my life or my family, I reserve that duty for my cz75 and my cz75 clone by tanfoglio, both 100% reliable from day one. I will never buy another glock! I already had to modify the trigger assembly with my dremmel tool and it helped a lot.

      • Mike

        Sorry about the typo.. bought. If you have any suggestions please forward.

  • Jeff

    Damn, I wish Tanfoglio/EAA would do the same thing with their Witness line, whose slide are cracking left and right. Instead they just ignore the problem. They lost a potential repeat customer. My witness, although unbroken, is sitting at the back of my vault as a reminder to buy from a company with good customer service. Its really a pity, it was one of the most accurate guns I fired

    Good to see that Glock doesn’t let their customers down

  • Brandon

    Awesome feedback. It was hard to pry anything out of them. I guess I’ll find out when I get my gen4!

    • FormerSFMedic

      Yeah, that’s just how it is with Glock. I was attending an armorers course a couple years ago and asked the Glock instructor about the issues with the slide finishes. He assured me that there was no issue even though I was holding one right in front of him!

      The GEN 3 guns are solid performers. The GEN 4 guns have been hit and miss.

  • Brandon

    Nice to see them pushing the envelope though. More then I can say for a lot of firearms companies.

  • Brandon

    Although dangerous if you go to market and have issues. You risk losing trust and customers.

  • Lew

    Not to be that guy but the AK has changed quite a lot of things since it’s creating all those years ago (Milled -> Stamped -> AKM -> AK74 etcetc). Overall shape might be more or less the same but like Glock they’ve mixed it up to simplify production and add more to the end user. Now, the question is if Glock will end up as successful in ca 40 years.

  • Brandon

    I think that was more “other people” re-engineering. And the conceptual design hasn’t really changed much. Note: the Russian forged is the way to go.

  • Lance

    Never cared for the Gen 4 don’t like the grips being to weak and modular. BUT I do like the Gen 3 Glock 23s Ive shoot time and again.

  • Lance

    Good review though Brandon. Do you prefer the 9mm or 40 S&W?

  • Brandon

    I like the 40 but choose the 9mm because I get 9mm for free ;)

  • Neal

    Single action Glock?

    • fenton

      glad im not the only one who caught that

    • Ian
    • J.R.- Long Shooter

      Technical Description:
      Single Action means that there is only one way to fire it, i.e.: cock-hammer-pull-trigger.
      Double Action means that there are two ways to fire it, i.e.: cock-hemmer-pull-trigger, or, just pull-trigger.
      So, the problem is when you say “Double Action Only” it means that you cannot cock the hammer, so there is only ONE way to fire it- pull the trigger- so that is a misnomer.
      With Glock, almost all experienced [read older than 30] shooters consider them as a Single Action.

  • AirSoftArmorer

    Brandon- What did the Glock rep say was the actual “recoil spring problem” you mention? As I understand it, the RSA recall was precipitated by the complaints of a large agency that was experiencing failures of the guide rod, not ejection/extraction problems..

  • FormerSFMedic

    I can’t speak for Brandon, but I do have some insight.

    Glock is well known for denying any claims that their product has any problems. With that said, it has also been well known by many in the tactical community that the GEN 4 Glocks have been problematic. Without going into the whole story, the problems have been traced back to the RSA, extractor, other small parts, and new manufacturing processes and materials. The RSA recall may have been put into service because of a large agency complaint, but I gaurentee Glock knew about it before then. They also know about the extractor problem.

    Glock is never going to tell you the whole story.

    • Nmate

      So for the time being…buy the Gen III guns while still available?

    • J.R.- Long Shooter

      For what it is worth:
      I have an original 1989 era Glock 17, when new I replaced the barrel [6″ w/weight’ and trigger bar for better handling. It has cycled over 35,000 rounds, everything [except Winchester & PMC which I do not allow to be fired in any handguns I own] from nearly everywhere- including cast boolets, and have never had a failure to fire or eject, and no part of the gun has failed. I also have not cleaned it since March of 1993.
      I do not like the grip on the G4, and will not own one.
      I have very little personal knowledge of Glocks that have “failed”. I keep “hearing” about problems, but the people I know that own and shoot Glocks have very little honest complaints.
      I frequent several gun shops, and, having been a previous competition & combat shooter, keep abreast of what people are saying. I hear a lot of complaints about the feel of the G4 under recoil that a LOT of people do not like, and know many who have sold their almost new G4 and bought older models.

    • J.R.- Long Shooter

      I could only find one recall notice for Glocks:

      Again, lots of annonymous complaints, but very little verifiable in-your-face facts and figures.

  • Shane

    I have a glock 17 gen 4 and have had no problems whatsoever. Is it just the model 91 that is having these pronlems?

  • Good read, and interesting comments. I recently bought a Glock 17 from my local gun range. The guys at the range told me to stay away from the Gen 4s. They said even though they didn’t have any direct complaints, its normal with any new product design to workout some bugs in the first couple years production. After reading these reviews I am glad I stuck with a Gen 3

  • Erik

    Great article. Thoughtful and well written. I just bought a new Glock 19, Gen 3 as a personal defense weapon. After doing the research my decision came down to just one thing -> will it fire when I need it. I’m a lefty and while the thought of having a left handed accessible slide release was tantilizing I just can’t believe that all the problems I’ve read about with the G4 are “shooter error”. In running the positives and negatives of going G3 or G4 I decided that I don’t want to risk my life carrying a gun that frankly hasn’t had all the bugs worked out of it yet. I had a G3 years ago, loved it. I’m sure I will love my new G3 just as much.

  • Colin

    I have about 3,500 rounds down range on a Glock 22 Gen 4.
    Only 1 FTE, which was me playing with being limp wristed. Every other shot exactly where I want it – STOCK. I’ve abused it, left it for weeks on end without cleaning it after 300-400 round range days and it still picks up and has worked EVERY TIME.
    That’s > 6 sigma!
    I’ve not called about the new spring because I don’t seem to have an issue.

  • Robert

    I just got a gen 4 glock 23. it is missing the tool and a back strap. I got it used and I have alot of gen3 models, my fave being the model 31. what am I to expect with the gen 4, I am being sent a gra to replace the one in the gun. I was unaware of the so called gen4 recall.

  • Ed

    I bought the glock 17 9mm gen 4 in december after reseaching pistols and never heard of this problem . Today while looking at ar 15teens at a gun shop I saw a poster of the glock 17 talking about all the different torture testing it went through and never missed a beat out of hundreds of rounds after each test . I pointed this out to the owner and told him that i just purchased that same gun and had four feed jams within the first 100 shots . Thats when I found about the recal on the springs . I thought the gun needed to be broke in .Now I know!

  • Mark L

    I traded for my first Glock recently. Gen 4 17. NIB. Had no failures through 900 rounds or so, but ejection was erratic. Some cases flew, some barely fell out, but no failures until I got the new RSA. Since then I`ve had 3 stovepipe jams in 250 rounds. A few people said it may be limp wristing, though that has never been an issue before with many pistols over the years. Shot the GSSF match in Griffin, GA last month where the armorer replaced the ejector. All cases now eject consistantly. No further failures through around 300 rounds.

  • Mark

    I bought a Glock 19 Gen4 last summer and have put about 2,000 rounds through it (mostly Federal Champion 115 gr ammo). The gun was working flawlessly (for me) but my daughter has been plagued with FTF and FTE jams. The gun was sent back to Glock in
    December and they replaced the ejector and trigger connector. After that, it worked with a problem for 2 trips to the range. About a 6 weeks ago, it stated jamming again on my daugher. On that same occassion, I had 3 FTF jams myself. Back to Glock. I asked them to put 1000 rounds throught it to really wring it out. They sent it back nearly 4 weeks later with just this note: “INSPECTED, MEETS FACTORY SPECS, TESTED OK. TEST FIRED 50 ROUNDS, NO PROBLEMS FOUND”.

    Not sure where that leaves me. I can try some aftermarket parts to see if that helps. The stock recoil spring might be a little too stiff for the ammo I’m using. Maybe that’s the next thing to try. Or, maybe it’s time to look for another pistol.

    • Mike

      I just bought a glock 20 gen4, my first glock. I have had many fte s, not what i expected from a glock. I am so frustrated with this purchase. I would never trust this gun to defend my life or my family, I reserve that duty for my cz75 and my cz75 clone by tanfoglio, both 100% reliable from day one. I will never buy another glock! I already had to modify the trigger assembly with my dremmel tool and it helped a lot.

      • Mike

        Wish now I would have purchased the gen3. How do you like paying overnight shipping and then they mail it back saying nothing is wrong? fu##!

  • CJacks

    I am in the process of purchasing my first handgun and have been looking at the Glock M17 9mm Gen4, I visited my local gun shop UT-Arms and they didn’t have anything bad to say about the Gen4 but after looking through this form i’m a little concerned if the M17 9mm Gen4 is the right choice. Any insight from an owner of this handgun would be greatly appreciated.

  • Thrill

    I have two Glock 17 gen 3, a Glock 17 gen 2, and two Glock 26 gen 3. Although the Gen 4’s were available, I went out of my way to find & purchase the gen 3’s for all the above mentioned problems, but ESPECIALLY the fact that Glock won’t admit to a gen 4 problem. In my experience, you absolutely cannot ever solve a problem if you won’t even admit the problem exists!!!
    Oh,… BTW, one of the 17’s and both of the 26’s are brand new, but the first two Glocks I ever owned were purchased “used” from a local armor who acquired the change-out stock from a weapons training academy. The used gen 2 17 serial # is from 1995, and the used gen 3 17 serial # is from 2000. I’ve had them about 2 years now, with absolutely no way of telling how many hundreds of thousands of rounds may have been put through them in the academy environment, but other than changing the striker pin and loaded chamber indicator extractor, they are still 100% original and still performing flawlessly! The only FTF or FTE (fail to fire / fail to eject) I have ever seen on them is when we let my 84 year old father-in-law shoot them and he had a little “limp wrist” problem shooting one handed.
    As long as there is a problem with the gen 4’s enough that people are talking/posting about it,… they are still “under development” so I would stay away from them. Get the Time Tested / Duty Proven gen 3 or even the gen 2.
    Just my 2 cents!

  • Mark

    UPDATE: Based on some YouTube video recommendations, I purchased some Ballistol to clean my gun with and followed the procedure in this video:

    I took my daughter to the range last night and we put 250 rounds though the gun (same 115 gr ammo). No FTE or FTF problems at all. In and of itself, that doesn’t prove the problem is solved but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. I’ll post another update in a few weeks.

  • Coenraad

    Have shot 200 rounds through the G19 Gen4 using the 03 recoil spring and have not had a single problem. Just bought one from a new shipment that has come in, using the 04 spring and comes with night sights as an extra bonus. Love the gun and its accuracy. (then again, I’ve been shooting a CZ100 for the past 11 years!)

  • airdiver40

    1 month ago my wife and I bought 2 new gen 4 19s we have put over 1400 rounds through them combined no problems at all and dont expect any, I have owned glocks for years and always come back to them,this time for good. Get a Glock shoot the **** out of it to satisfy your fears and carry it. note they have the newer style 03 04 springs I am assuming this spring was a final solution to any problem that may have plagued early models but I would put my life on mine and love to take them to the range or carry NOTE I always find it best to wait on a new product to let the bugs show up admit I am disappointed they ever let them leave without testing testing and testing but it happens

  • Matt

    I purchased a Glock 22 gen4 about 6 months ago and have shot many different varities of ammo through it and I can honestly say that I have not have one single problem with mine, maybe this is because they have already changed there springs out in the newer models I dont know but in any case no problems here with mine.

  • Eli204

    Just got a brand new G19 gen 4 and put 200 rounds through it at the range. When I got home to clean the gun, it was the damndest thing, the frickin’ slide lock was gone. Seriously, not in the gun! I have a G36 gen 3 and no matter how much I pull on the slide lock, pull one side and not the other, try to wiggle it, it won’t come loose. I have over 1k rounds through the G36 and never had any issue like this. I ordered a new slide lock and will install myself rather than send it back, but I am not happy and very nervous that this is a bad sign.

    I was using Federal 115gr and Hydrashock 115gr +p hollowpoints. No foreign ammo or crazy handloads. All I can think is that at some point the slide lock cracked and fell out? I can’t find the part so it must have fallen out at the range.

    Anyone else ever have this issue?

  • John

    I repair Glocks and most other guns for residents of our small Alaskan community at no cost unless a replacement part is required. I own at least one of every generation of Glock. Generation 4 Glock owners are experiencing a disproportionate share of problems right now. Returning your firearm to the Glock factory for service isn’t the experience in customer satisfaction it was a few years ago. If you want to purchase a Glock I recommend buying a 2nd or 3rd generation model until roughly the year 2015. Troopers, municipal police, rangers and other cops will help Glock service reps sort out problems by 2015. Wise Glock fans have historically benefited from the trials of public servants. If you already bought a Generation 4 Glock don’t panic. You can ask a reputable gunsmith or a friend who has taken a Glock armorer course to troubleshoot problems you encounter. Following are some facts and tips that might help; Clean your Glock after you shoot it. Avoid putting too much oil on your Glock. If you are experiencing feeding, ejection or extraction problems spend a little extra time cleaning the chamber. Use a chamber brush. Ask your local armorer or gunsmith to take your Glock completely apart and clean it for you every 500 rounds or so. If you know someone who shot their Glock 112,000 times without cleaning it they got lucky. Don’t bet your life or your family’s safety on luck. Try to explain any problems you’re having with your Glock when you drop it off for a checkup/cleaning. All guns can malfunction. The firing pin channel can get blocked. Front sights get broken. Glocks have plastic parts that will break and wear out. Your Glock is easy to work on. Glock parts are reasonably priced to include aftermarket parts. All aftermarket sights are better than the ones that come on your Glock. Most, Gen 4 specific, aftermarket recoil springs work better than the factory installed recoil spring on your Generation 4 Glock. A lighter or heavier recoil spring might be better suited to the ammo you use in your Glock. Buy good ammo. Don’t use solid lead or lead cast ammo in your factory Glock barrel. Use only magazines made by Glock. Don’t clean the extractor with anything harder than a Q-tip. Grandma’s yarn works well with a drop of Hoppes #9. If there is a chip in your extractor get it replaced. If anything breaks, stop shooting the Glock, unload it and get it fixed.

  • Ian
  • Sean

    Hi, I have used revolvers all my life until 2 weeks ago. I bought a Gen 3 21. I like it but, I am left handed and am thinking of buying a Gen 4. As of today are there still a lot of issues with Gen 4 Glocks? I am interested in a Glock 22 and 21 Gen 4’s Any help would be appreciated.

  • mike

    Are the Gen 4 glocks legal in California yet?

  • John Ortiz

    This question is for Brandon Webb. Which Sig Sauer do you recommend for CCW?

  • Tom

    Bought a brand new Gen4 21 a month ago. First chance I had to fire it was last week. First mag fed fine. Second mag the trigger was mush. The hole in the trigger block looked like it had been been filed thru, hence not holding the spring. $7 later and Glockmeister to the rescue.

    Was dry-fireing today with the meaty beavertail grip. The damned trigger assembly pin fell out. Great!

    Stay with the Gen3’s.

  • Jon Alexander

    Just bought a 23 gen4,traded an xds 45 that has been back to springfield 2 times.once for ftf,once for not going into battery.Brought the 23 gen 4 home couple drops of oil with slide removed , kapoof , 200 rounds ,ran like a singer sowing machine . keep up the good work glock.

  • Michael O

    I just bought my Glock 19 about a month and a half ago. I go to the range regularly, and practice. The first month I had not problem, however, I was buying the Federal rounds FMJ. One day I decided to use the repacks that the range was selling. Bought 50 rounds. I was having problems every other round. It would jam, and I would have to pull the slide back and eject. I went back to the Federal, and Winchester 9mm 115 rounds, and have had no problems since. I am wondering if the type of rounds you use has anything to do with it? Just a thought.

  • Tom

    I bought a glock 19 gen 4 a month ago and I have no problem with the gun malfunctioning however the problem I do have which seems to be a problem with the gen 4 is that It sometimes ejects the spent brass to my face. Has anyone else experienced this?

  • Wayne

    My Glock 21 Gen 4, blew apart in my son hand. It was 2 years old and is destroyed. Has anyone had the same issue? If so, what did GLOCK do?

  • Wondering

    How would I know, if I bought a Glock 23 Gen4 if it has been recalled ? Thanks in advance !!!

  • Harrison

    So I now assume I have to contact Glock to get a new spring or do I wait to hear from them based on the fact that they should know I have a Gen 4 40. I did fill out warranty paperwork after I bought the gun but I’m not sure how good or bad they are when it comes to things like this. I have about 2000 rounds thru the gun with zero issues.