Chad Perrin: SOB

23 May 2009

How reliable is your handgun, really?

Filed under: Miscellaneous,Review — apotheon @ 10:52

Glock 21 in Bucket of Mud How badly can you treat your handgun and still expect it to fire reliably? The owner of a very unfortunate Glock 21 (.45 ACP) decided to find out. The results are reported at the Glock 21 Torture Test. The image I provide here is not even close to the worst that was done to this poor Glock in the course of the torture test — and this guy takes the words “torture test” very seriously.

I don’t have a Glock 21. I do, however, have a Glock 22 (.40 S&W). I like my Glock. It is, in fact, the only Glock I’ve ever held that felt this good in my hand. In general, I find the wide, blocky grips of a Glock (necessary for the double-stack high capacity magazine that comes standard with almost all Glock models) uncomfortable to hold, especially when firing. There’s something odd about this particular Glock 22 that makes it feel different, though. It’s probably some kind of factory “defect”, I guess, but to me it feels like a 50% improvement. I’ve wondered in the past whether I could make another Glock as comfortable through the judicious use of a nail file, but haven’t bothered to find out.

Even so . . . it’s a Glock. Even my Glock 22 isn’t my all-time favorite handgun, even if it’s my all-time favorite Glock. I don’t like the width of the thing in my holster, the width in my hand is still short of ideal, and it’s a fugly piece of gear. I’ve heard Glocks are remarkably reliable, that they can be cleaned in the dishwasher and used again without oiling (or even drying) without any problem (though I’ve never tried it myself), and I know they’re the favorites of a lot of firearms connoisseurs. I tend to prefer DA/SA handguns with a manual external safety over something like a Glock, where the only external safety is a switch in the trigger, for most purposes. It gets a bit punishing on the hand after firing for a bit, being a somewhat beefy .40 S&W on a wide-grip ergonomically kinda neutral design, with basically everything below the slide being plastic so that felt recoil isn’t reduced the way it would be with a firearm that was heavier overall (there’s a reason people call Glocks “combat tupperware”).

After reading about this torture test, though, I have a newfound respect for the Glock design. I may actually get another one some day, in a different caliber.

For the record, the only time I’ve ever had a problem with a failure to feed with my Glock was when I limp-wristed a shot — so that was my fault. Otherwise, it has always worked perfectly.

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All original content Copyright Chad Perrin: Distributed under the terms of the Open Works License