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View Full Version : Glock 40 S&W case failures? XD safer?


rideanddive
12-31-2009, 3:06 PM
I've read that because the Glock was originally designed for 9mm it doesn't do as well with the 40 S&W in regards to safety. The following is taken from Wikipedia, though I've sen the same basic information elsewhere on the internet.

"The .40 S&W has been noted in a number of cartridge case failures, particularly in older Glock pistols due to the relatively large area of unsupported case head in those barrels, given its high working pressure. The feed ramp on the Glock .40 S&W pistols are larger than normal, which leaves the rear bottom of the case unsupported, and it is in this unsupported area that the cases fail. Most, but not all, of the failures have occurred with reloaded or remanufactured ammunition. Cartridges loaded at or above the SAAMI pressure, or slightly oversized cases which fire slightly out of battery are often considered to be the cause of these failures."

Over the years I've grown quite fond of my hands and don't want to lose them to a Glock Kaboom. Does the feed ramp on the XD 40 S&W provide better support?

sierrawoodsman
12-31-2009, 3:13 PM
It can happen with any auto loader! This has been beat to death, don't use non jacketed bullets in a glock.

vta
12-31-2009, 3:14 PM
glocks unsupported chamber causes the end of the case to develop a 'belly' with a high pressure cartridge like the 40sw. A fully support chamber like the XD is better in preventing that but that only matters if you are reloading. It might not be wise to reload a 'glocked' 40sw case multiple times but people have done it without much issues. kabooms are more related to double charges than the unsupported chamber and it can happen in any gun.

Nra-Life-Member
12-31-2009, 3:16 PM
I've read that because the Glock was originally designed for 9mm it doesn't do as well with the 40 S&W in regards to safety. The following is taken from Wikipedia, though I've sen the same basic information elsewhere on the internet.

"The .40 S&W has been noted in a number of cartridge case failures, particularly in older Glock pistols due to the relatively large area of unsupported case head in those barrels, given its high working pressure. The feed ramp on the Glock .40 S&W pistols are larger than normal, which leaves the rear bottom of the case unsupported, and it is in this unsupported area that the cases fail. Most, but not all, of the failures have occurred with reloaded or remanufactured ammunition. Cartridges loaded at or above the SAAMI pressure, or slightly oversized cases which fire slightly out of battery are often considered to be the cause of these failures."

Over the years I've grown quite fond of my hands and don't want to lose them to a Glock Kaboom. Does the feed ramp on the XD 40 S&W provide better support?

I have never read about a Kaboom with any factory ammo...

PonchoTA
12-31-2009, 3:18 PM
Steyr's were designed for .40S&W, and have a fully supported chamber too.

Out-Glocks the Glock! :yes:

:D

.

Josh3239
12-31-2009, 3:33 PM
I remember there was big debate about this on ARF. Some guy who did competitions who had many thousands of rounds through his Glock put in his experience. All of these failure seem to happen with reloads, and if people are really worried Bar Sto makes Glock barrels that fully support the casing.

BlackonBlack
12-31-2009, 3:44 PM
That's really the only problem with Glocks in their design the unsupported chamber. H&K's and others have a fully supported chamber which would resuce (but not negate) kabooms. In any event a kaboom is quite rare especially if you use quality ammo.

Josh3239
12-31-2009, 3:46 PM
That's really the only problem with Glocks in their design the unsupported chamber.

Problem? More like a trade off, yes? I was under the impression the unsupported chamber is part of what made it as reliable as it is.

vta
12-31-2009, 3:49 PM
Problem? More like a trade off, yes? I was under the impression the unsupported chamber is part of what made it as reliable as it is.

the reliability has more to do with the loose fitting parts and the few number of parts that go into making the firearm. i suppose having a shorter chamber that requires less of the case to go into battery could make feeding easier but i dont know how much it contributes.

Miltiades
12-31-2009, 3:57 PM
I have a Glock 23 manufactured about 1995, and the original barrel that came with the gun. About 2005 I bought a new factory Glock 23 barrel and have been using the new barrel since then. It is interesting to compare the two barrels by holding them adjacent to each other and dropping a .40 cartridge in each one.

If you look at the "6 o'clock" position on the barrels, you will see a crescent shaped area on the old barrel where the side of the brass cartridge is less than fully supported, and a sliver of brass is clearly visible. When you look at the newer Glock barrel, you can see very little brass showing, and the cartridge is almost fully supported at the 6 o'clock position.

I have read elsewhere that Glock quietly increased the amount of metal on their .40 barrels at that position, such that the newest Glock barrels have better support than the older ones. My comparison of my old and new Glock 23 barrels convinced me of this.

Is it possible that this is no longer a consideration on a newer Glock .40? Yet the story lives on.

Rob Roy
12-31-2009, 4:01 PM
Steyr's were designed for .40S&W, and have a fully supported chamber too.

Out-Glocks the Glock! :yes:

:D

.

From personal experience, reliability is not there. Had FTEs where the casings had to be punched out with the rod!!! Figured you gotta keep the extractor very clean. I doubt I'd bet my life on it after that.

Rob Roy
12-31-2009, 4:07 PM
There was a thread a while ago about a KBed revolver, so I wouldn't worry about the Glock

vta
12-31-2009, 4:08 PM
I have a Glock 23 manufactured about 1995, and the original barrel that came with the gun. About 2005 I bought a new factory Glock 23 barrel and have been using the new barrel since then. It is interesting to compare the two barrels by holding them adjacent to each other and dropping a .40 cartridge in each one.

If you look at the "6 o'clock" position on the barrels, you will see a crescent shaped area on the old barrel where the side of the brass cartridge is less than fully supported, and a sliver of brass is clearly visible. When you look at the newer Glock barrel, you can see very little brass showing, and the cartridge is almost fully supported at the 6 o'clock position.

I have read elsewhere that Glock quietly increased the amount of metal on their .40 barrels at that position, such that the newest Glock barrels have better support than the older ones. My comparison of my old and new Glock 23 barrels convinced me of this.

Is it possible that this is no longer a consideration on a newer Glock .40? Yet the story lives on.

actually i did look at my new Glock 23 stock barrel and compared side by side with my XD 40 stock barrel. The difference in chamber support is hardly noticeable.

After each trip to the range though, i do see a difference in the fired brass from each pistol. I am having to 'deglock' about half of my brass thru my 40sw sizer die before using it.

Being there are so many older glocks out there and new gun owners are buying them used from other people, thats why the story is living on.

BlackonBlack
12-31-2009, 4:10 PM
Problem? More like a trade off, yes? I was under the impression the unsupported chamber is part of what made it as reliable as it is.

I can see how an unsupported chamber may make it easier for the gun to load and unload the road. So I bet you're right

However there are many other guns that also have an unsupported chamber and as luck would have it Glocks are still more reliable.

H&K's have a fully supported chamber and they are rumored to be on par with Glock reliability. So clearly there are other factors.

PonchoTA
12-31-2009, 5:53 PM
From personal experience, reliability is not there. Had FTEs where the casings had to be punched out with the rod!!! Figured you gotta keep the extractor very clean. I doubt I'd bet my life on it after that.
Send it to Steyr Arms, they'll work it to where it's supposed to be. You might have a previous generation extractor, whereas the newer ones are dead nuts on. I've got the contact info if you want it.

I've shot several hundred rounds (easily over a thousand) through my M40 and had exactly zero faults with it. No FTE's, no FTF's, nothing but 100% reliable, with every kind of ammo I've shot through it.

My S40 has several hundred rounds through it too, with zero problems, and I got it used with about 500 rounds stated from previous owner.

I trust my life to either of them, easily. :yes:

My 2 cents...

.

g17owner
12-31-2009, 7:03 PM
The larger than most chamber in combo with looser tolerances in the hood area contribute to its reliability. The overall "tightness" of the glock is on par with other polymer autos. However the chamber is alot looser than other brands. This does two things: makes the gun chamber anf feed rounds slightly out of spec or fire when dirty. The next thing it does is work the brass alot harder then if the chamber were tighter. So the issue of reloading comes up. If you dont use a full length resizer when prepping your brass you run the risk of leaving the bulge in there thus making a already weak spot weaker. Also if you reload to max pressure then your chances of a kaboom go up. If you dont want to worry about it then get a aftermarket barrel and be done with it but beware. Lead slugs with glock barrels increase the pressure (due to non conventional rifling) as well so use jacketed only or moly coated lead if you must. ANY AMMO LOADED TO MAX PRESSURE RUNS A HIGHER RISK OF KABOOMING THAN IF YOU LOAD IT TO MIN OR SLIGHTLY ABOVE. I use a FLR die and inspect my brass carefully. Then i use 5.3 grains of unique under a 155 grain moly coated lead bullet with no issues. All with the stock barrel. Most issues i've read about or seen are due to hot reloads with lead bullets and the gun left uncleaned for awhile. That equals pressure, pressure and more pressure. Dont do it and you'll be ok.

Afterburnt
12-31-2009, 7:21 PM
I dont shoot a .40 but I replaced my 9mm Glock barrel with a Wolf so I could shoot lead reloads without an issue. I only became aware of this thanks to you Calguns guys. Would the OP have the stated concern with a Wolf .40 barrel?

rideanddive
12-31-2009, 9:02 PM
Thanks for all the feedback. The Wiki article mentioned that it seemed to be a problem with the earlier Glock 40's, so maybe the newer barrels are providing more support.

g17owner
12-31-2009, 9:34 PM
The have marginally more supported chambers than they used to. However they still arent as good as others. The 9mm glocks arent as prone to the kabooms as others because of the chambers were designed from the ground up as 9mm.

rideanddive
01-08-2010, 10:22 AM
When did Glock start putting the better barrels in the Glock 23?

fullrearview
01-08-2010, 10:57 AM
I know people swear by glock, and Im not doubting them....Of the two I have fired, I watched them both shoot out of battery later that day, and the end result was an ugly paper wieght.

I really like Sig's and am starting to like H&K's. SA/DA or DAO is what I prefer.

SkiDevil
01-08-2010, 12:02 PM
To the OP:

I wouldn't concern yourself a great deal over this issue regarding the Glock .40 SW caliber pistols.

As other members have pointed-out, if you stick with quality factory jacketed loaded pistol ammunition, it is very unlikely you will ever have a problem with one of the .40 Glocks.

I have personally owned and fired many Glock pistols, a grand total exceeding several hundred thousand rounds. I have personally never encountered anything like this and many of the rounds fired were .40 SW.

Before standardizing on the Glock 22/23 the Federal Bureau of Investigation tested these pistols extensively. If there were any real truth to the foul-ability of these pistols it would NOT been selected as their principal sidearm. With the Budget of this agency they could have purchased almost any pistol they wanted.

The Glock .40 SW pistols are well proven.

Their only detraction in my opinion is that the .40SW doesn't penetrate into vehicles or other hard obstacles as well as 9mm rounds do (with standard ammo). The pistol in the standard capacity carries fewer rounds than a 9mm. And, the additional pressures of the round lead to more maintenance and accelerated wear on the guns.

Although, I would acknowledge that my experience is a limited sampling, common sense would dictate that if there was a genuinely inherent problem with these guns (.40 Glocks) failing it would be a widely publicized problem and promptly addressed by the manufacturer.

The bottom line is that ANY pistol of any manufacturer is capable of failure (over-pressurized) by out-of-specification loads. By far the single greatest cause of KA-BOOMS is RELOADED ammunition. Double-charging a case is almost always the culprit. I have personally seen the aftermath of this type of incident first-hand with Smith & Wesson, Glock, Beretta, and the HK USP pistols (various calibers).

The common denominator in EACH instance was that reloaded or re-manufactured ammunition was used.:eek:

For this reason, I will not and DO NOT shoot anything but factory loaded ammunition in any pistol that I own. If I want to shoot cheap, then I use a .22 pistol/ handgun.

Use factory jacketed ammo in your Glock and don't worry about it.;)

SkiDevil

P.S. FWIW the majority of the KA-BOOMED pistols that I have seen were chambered in 9mm and the injury sustained by the shooter was very minor (cuts/ bruising).

tbhracing
01-08-2010, 12:40 PM
Out of the THOUSANDS of Glock 40s in service in America's Law Enforcement community, the 40 failures seem little to non-existent.

I would not hesitate to buy, own or carry a Glock 40.

SCMA-1
01-08-2010, 6:21 PM
I shoot nothing but reloads through my Glock 22's (my carry gun) as well as all my other handguns and have reloaded probably hundreds of thousands of rounds over more than 20 years. I even use lead bullets for my loads; never had an issue, but then reloading is not for those who can't devote their full attention to the process from start to finish. The result can be out of spec rounds that can fire out of battery or overcharged rounds.

B Strong
01-09-2010, 8:01 AM
glocks unsupported chamber causes the end of the case to develop a 'belly' with a high pressure cartridge like the 40sw. A fully support chamber like the XD is better in preventing that but that only matters if you are reloading. It might not be wise to reload a 'glocked' 40sw case multiple times but people have done it without much issues. kabooms are more related to double charges than the unsupported chamber and it can happen in any gun.

Correct.

http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/4369/glockbarrels.jpg

From left: Factory G21, Factory G30, Unknown aftermarket stainless G21, Jarvis 6" G21, Wilson Combat G21.

Big difference in throats, .40, .357 SIG and 10mm barrels are similar.

I had a Kb with factory ammo (the round had been previosly chambered) in my 21 while using the unknown stainless barrel above.

rideanddive
01-09-2010, 8:23 AM
Would there be any issue with case strength if you ran the aluminum CCI 40 s&w loads through the Glock?

Mstnpete
01-09-2010, 8:40 AM
I shoot competitively in IPSC & 3 Gun. I have used Glock 24 & 22's since 1994.
I reload and never had a problem. I have placed plenty of rounds on my 40 using lead and jacketed bullets and keeps on going not once did I have any problems.

J-cat
01-09-2010, 8:48 AM
I have never read about a Kaboom with any factory ammo...

I have heard of 5.

g17owner
01-09-2010, 10:14 AM
I shoot nothing but reloads through my Glock 22's (my carry gun) as well as all my other handguns and have reloaded probably hundreds of thousands of rounds over more than 20 years. I even use lead bullets for my loads; never had an issue, but then reloading is not for those who can't devote their full attention to the process from start to finish. The result can be out of spec rounds that can fire out of battery or overcharged rounds.
this is one hundred percent true. if you dont devote all your attention to it it can kill you.

SkiDevil
01-09-2010, 12:47 PM
Another member asked about the penetration (9mm vs .40) and rationale of the general transition by LE agencies to the .40 SW. Here was my response FWIW;

SkiDevil, you stated that the 40 doesn't go through car doors as well as the 9. I'm not arguing, but that statement surprised me. Wasn't the whole purpose of the 40 to address the issue of non-penetration by the 9mm after the Miami shootout back in the 80's? I hadn't read that the 40 has less penetration than the 9. Is there somewhere that I can read up on that? Thanks for any info,

Negative.

The Miami case has nothing to do with the switch from 9mm to the .40 SW, it dealt more with the gross lack of training for dealing with rifle armed suspects in the urban environment and deficiencies in both tactics and marksmanship. There are a plethora of studies which were completed years after the shooting.

The highlight of the incident centered on the failure of the 9mm Winchester Silver Tip 115 gr JHP round to penetrate through the shoulder/ chest cavity of one suspect and sever the aorta/ heart.

The bullet failed to penetrate, just as many others could have.

The principal reason for the switch to the .40 SW was the mistaken belief that the 9mm round was under-powered/ inadequate and the lead of many agencies following the transition of the FBI to the round. Many LE agencies follow the lead of the FBI because it typically is on the cutting edge of technological developments in the equipment used for the job and it trains LE officers from all over the US in Quantico as well.

The FBI itself completed studies on the penetration and effectiveness of the 9mm from both a SubGun and Pistol. These studies/ research can be located in their publication "The FBI Bulletin" which is disseminated to the public.

Hands-down, the 9mm round penetrates better than almost any conventional pistol round. Some loadings even defeat commonly used body armor as well. [There are some other pistol calibers which are better, but I won't mention them/ nor the specific 9mm loads as well].

The .40 SW was supposed to be the answer for a more effective anti-personnel round from a sidearm. It is an effective round, but not substantially more than a comparable 9mm round. The greater problem is a lack of budget/ funding and training. The percentage of missed shots in LE shootings is generally high. Typically less than 25% as a national trend. And when rounds connect it is not unusual for extremities to be struck (arms/ legs).

Firing a pistol while defending yourself is a VERY stressful event so missing a short range target can be understandable, but proper training goes a long
way to addressing the problem.

Improvements have been made, but the number of rounds connecting with suspect is still overall very low. Some notable local exceptions are the CHP and the LAPD.

The simple fact remains that any firearm carried in a holster will never be the holy grail of stopping power.

Pistol rounds are NOT the most effective cartridge for killing another human being. The most effective small arms for anti-personnel use are the centerfire rifle and the shotgun.

SkiDevil

Publications with useful information on ballistics:
________________________________________
SWAT Magazine (search back issues)

FBI Bulletin

Search for articles written by Dr. Martin Fackler
(Army/ Widely recognized terminal ballistics expert)

Chuck Karwan - Late Author book "Combat Handguns"

Chuck Taylor - Author/ Articles "Combat Handguns 2"

Louis Awerbuck - Author/ Articles -Several books

And many others I left-out.

P.S. Do your own homework and draw your own conclusions. ALWAYS take what you read on the internet with a grain of salt because most of it is bull s**t.;)

Nor-Cal
01-09-2010, 3:44 PM
I've delt with glock 22s and xd 40s and have had no problems with facttory ammunition or have heard of any with factory ammo, but with reloads esspecially with same case reloaded many times is the fastest way to lose ur fingers regaurdless xd or glock

nitrofc
01-09-2010, 6:57 PM
Would there be any issue with case strength if you ran the aluminum CCI 40 s&w loads through the Glock?

Just went through 250 Rounds of .40 s&w 165 Grain TMJ CCI w/ alum. case this afternoon with a Glock 23.
Had one target out over 50 yards and a couple others at 20' and 40'.
Went through all of it fairly quick.

Result: zero problems.

Sinixstar
01-09-2010, 11:29 PM
I look at it this way.

If it were really an issue - don't you think the fine folks at CA DOJ would have used this as an excuse to ban the weapon of choice by rap stars the world over?

AJD
01-10-2010, 8:58 AM
but with reloads esspecially with same case reloaded many times is the fastest way to lose ur fingers regaurdless xd or glock

That's possible, but most of the time extensively fired pistol brass finally gives up, it splits near the case mouth long before you have a failure near the case head.

As far as which is safer to fire, well both should be as safe as the other. I highly doubt the more unsupported chamber makes or breaks it. Obviously, Glocks were designed to handle SAMMI spec ammo, and they do it everyday without problems. So do these guns all of a sudden become incabable of handling ammo within spec and then KB? If you have an overcharged round that's a different story. However, if that's the case I doubt you'll find any make of handgun that will contain pressures more than double SAMMI spec. And this can happen with reloads and even factory ammo. The infamous Portland PD Glock 21 KBs were determined by an independent lab to caused by factory Federal ammo that was overcharged.

supersonic
01-10-2010, 11:58 AM
I have reloaded 40S&W cases from (and FOR) my G23 for as long as I've been handloading. I would estimate the number of these reloads are approaching the 10,000-mark. Not long ago, this handy little item came out:http://www.sinclairintl.com/product/12790/ and I bought one about 6 months ago. I now run all my 40S&W cases through it, because it just makes good sense. It's now part of my case-prep routine when I do all my sizing/decapping/trimming/tumbling. I have never had a case failure with my reloads in my Glock. It's pretty simple: I only use my handloaded pistol rounds for the range. The higher-pressure, factory HD stuff is saved for its intended purpose. Of course, the HD ammo has been fired in my guns for function-testing, but that's about it. Now, since the reloads are for practice only, I rarely use anything other than starting (mild) charges. There ARE a few exceptions to that, though. Like when I am working up some 'top-gun' 10MM & 44MAG loads, but that's besides the point.;)