The Sixgun Journal

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History of Glock .40 Caliber Chamber Support

The purpose of this page is to illustrate changes in Glock .40 caliber pistol barrels over the years. Why do this?

When .40 Glocks started appearing on LE ranges, they were immediately followed by a series of NLETS teletype bulletins describing guns bursting during range exercises. During the early 90’s, the printer was spitting them out at several a month. These were detailed, specific and usually described the type of ammo being used at the time of the event. Factory loads were named in the majority of them. We were running those loads through S&W, Sig and Beretta .40’s w/o any problem at all. There definitely was a problem and it wasn’t ‘the ammo’. If patrol cars, shotguns, or OC canisters had been blowing up like that, there would have been hell to pay; MAJOR recalls, citing specific failures and serial # ranges, once the manufacturer acknowledged the problem. I don’t really know how Glock managed to dodge that bullet, but I do know those NLETS messages were not generated by ‘Glock bashers.

Just to check my memory, I bounced this off somebody who worked full time at the communications desk at that time. She says AT LEAST once a week to her recollection, from about 91-94. I don’t know if NLETS saves their officer safety bulletins from that far back. I’ve been away from uniform patrol from ’96 to ’08, so I can’t comment with any authority on what went out over the TTY during that period. I can tell you with confidence that LE KaBooms are all but unheard of since 2008. I suspected that Glock made subtle changes, w/o admitting there ever was a chamber support problem in the first place.

While reviewing a Lone Wolf Distributors barrel in 2009, I took a photo of a 1998 G23, a 2009 G23 and the LWD barrel, all lined up in a vise and with a cartridge in each chamber. The difference between the Glock chambers, 11 years apart, is readily apparent. That photo has generated quite a bit of interest and it occurred to me there should be a database of photos, showing chamber support (or lack thereof) in Glock .40 caliber barrels through the years. If you have such photos and are willing to contribute them:

1. Photos must be of original, unaltered Glock .40 caliber pistol barrels

    A. In the vertical position with the ramp toward the camera, and

    B. With a factory load in the chamber. Nickel case preferred.

(See Examples Below)

2. I need the year and model of the pistol and I’d like all but the last two digits of the serial number, which you should list as ‘XX’.

3. 600 x 600 would be an ideal size but I’ll work with whatever you send me.

4. I reserve the right to resize and/or rename them to simplify reposting and attribution.

5. Photos are submitted with the understanding that they will be used like toilet paper by every Tom, Dick and Harry on the Internet.

6. I will attribute the photo by either your screen name or your real name, your choice. Thank you for participating.

Sarge

Submitted Photos

A ‘1992 Era’ G23 Barrel, Photo Courtesy of GooffeyGuy at Glock Talk

2009 Photo by Sarge showing chamber support in a 1998 G23 Barrel, a 2009 G23 Barrel and a 2009 Lone Wolf Distributors G23 Barrel.

Footnote, 02/03/15: Once again we have inadvertently generated a shit-storm from someone unwilling to believe there was ever a chamber support issue in the first place. Sad part is that the offended party is an all around good guy and a custom gunsmith who should know better.

 Everybody asks for the ‘truth’. But damn few really want it.

 


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4 Comments

  1. I just received word from my local sherrif’s office that my Glock Model 23 .40 Cal semi was retrieved from a crime scene back in 2011, in another state. The courts just finished with the case and are now releasing any property to its rightful owner (It was stolen out of my car back in 1997)

    I think that I purchased this semi in early 1996 (as a new weapon) from a local gun store that has gone out of business since then.

    My question to you is…I believe that this is a first generation model 23. If it is, what do I need to have fixed on it as I read your article and I am a little concerned?

    • I couldn’t tell you exactly when Glock began to improve chamber support; but you will never go wrong by adding a new barrel and recoil spring assembly. In my opinion, the later factory barrels are just fine, so long as you’re going to shoot factory jacketed-bullet ammunition. If you’d like to shoot lead and you don’t require match (2″ at 50 yard) accuracy, something like the Lone Wolf barrel will suit you fine. Suggest you read this before you order from them: http://sargesrollcall.blogspot.com/2009/09/lone-wolf-distributors-barrel-for-glock.html

      If you need match accuracy, get a Jarvis or something equally precise. BTW those old pre-fingergroove 23’s feel better in my hands than any other Glock. Glad you got your gun back!

  2. So how can I tell if my Glock 22 does or doesn’t have this issue? Can it be said with some confidence that at a certain serial number and above the gun indeed has the “subtle changes” to the chamber support?

  3. Same reply as above, Eric. “I couldn’t tell you exactly when Glock began to improve chamber support” Beyond that, compare it to the above pics.

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