Category Archives: PMCS

Glock Fix, Pt. 2 – Replacing the Extractor & Spring Loaded Bearing

So after a couple weeks with no new extractor showing up at my door, I emailed the folks over at Apex Tactical Specialties to check on my order’s status. After a minimal amount of back and forth we were able to figure out what happened, and without further prompting Apex went ahead and resent the whole thing through a different carrier and forwarded me the updated tracking information (and ignored my offer to pay for re-shipping the order). I was able to track the delivery while I was out of town celebrating Thanksgiving with friends and family, and we arrived home this afternoon to find the little brown envelope in our mailbox at last.

The receipt, with a little something extra added

Something extra

I won’t go through the process of how to swap an extractor and spring loaded bearing as it’s explained in plenty of detail and probably better than I could elsewhere on the internet.

1100 rounds in

New parts on right side, old parts on the left

The new spring loaded bearing is obviously longer than the original. Less apparent from the photo is how much beefier the Apex spring is than the OEM model. The improved geometry of the Apex extractor over the Glock part is promising.

I’ve got 1k of new Freedom Munitions 115gr FMJ coming that should be here on Monday, and then I’ll be able to get it wrung out and see if this fixes my G19 issues for good.

P.S. I didn’t take advantage of any Black Friday deals, although I am sorely tempted by Geissele Automatics offering their G2S trigger for only $115.


Glock Fix, Pt. 1 – Replacing the ejector

I’ve been admittedly distracted lately since I picked up the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection for my now outdated Xbox 360, but yesterday I received a package from Brownells containing a Glock Gen 4 “Trigger Housing with Ejector” (part #30275). The other parts I ordered from different vendors are still en route, but I decided to go ahead with the ejector swap.

Google brought me here, which is pretty good for the broad strokes with the added step of switching out the ejectors before replacing the original trigger housing. Since the step-by-step details can be found elsewhere, I’ll skip through that to show the differences between the old and new ejectors (with apologies for my poor iPhone photography skills).

Old part on the left, new one on the right, connector and pin above

Note the slightly different shape between the Gen 3 housing and the Gen 4, particularly the “feet” at the bottom that prevent the newer parts from being used in an older frame. The 30274 ejector geometry looks to sit lower, more towards the rim of the cartridge, and is noticeably beefier in design. This should fix the erratic ejection issues I’ve been having, but I will go ahead and replace the extractor as well to prevent further FTEs.

PMCS Tracker

Here’s something I touched on yesterday. I keep a logbook in my range bag to note certain statistics during range sessions, and afterward I update an OpenOffice spreadsheet I keep around to track things such as:

1) Weapon Make, Model, and SN
2) Total Round Count
3) Modifications performed to the weapon, if any (e.g. replacement parts, change in sights/optics)
4) Maintenance performed, if any
5) Magazines used*
6) Round Count for the individual range session
7) Ammunition Manufacturer
8) Weight and Type of Ammunition used
9) Number of Malfunctions, if any
10) Further Notes (e.g. description of malfunctions, group size for rifles)

Tracking these numbers allows me to have a definitive answer to not only how many rounds the weapon has seen, but I can also follow performance trends like reliability, accuracy, and times across different modifications, maintenance intervals, ammunition manufacturers, bullet weights, and anything else I should care to take note of.

*In regards to #5, all of my magazines are marked and numbered with a colored paint pen. This allows me to diagnose any magazine-related malfunctions by noting the round count and number of the specific magazine in #10.

The results look something like this

In this case, we can see that the extraction/ejection issues have persisted since day one. I really should have replaced the applicable parts several hundred rounds ago, but I was interested to see if the issues would “settle down” over time. That has not been the case, as the frequency of malfunctions with my Glock 19 has drastically increased of late. It will be out of rotation until the repairs are made.

What statistics do you keep track of?

Tuesday, Range Day

Enjoying this morning’s cool weather (71 degrees! although it was 81 when I finished), I took the opportunity to drive out and do some shooting in the desert as I’ve been itching to reshoot Dot Torture.

What followed was a comedy of errors:

1) My first attempt resulted in 35/50 from ~3m. It was difficult to diagnose any specific failing over the others, but I was very disappointed with my shooting from the draw using my usual AIWB holster*, especially considering this was something I worked on last week. This was maddening.

2) I used the better part of another box of ammo to work on my draw. From concealment, my splits were hovering around 1.83 seconds. I switched to my Blade-Tech OWB holster and got down to 1.36. Still too slow, as I’d really like to get these numbers down to 1.5 and 1.0, respectfully. Something else that needs more practice…

3) I had previously used the Surefire shot timer on my old iPhone 4S. It never worked very well for me and the entire phone gave up the ghost over the summer. In need of a replacement on short notice, I got an iPhone 5C only to find that the Surefire app is no longer offered in the iTunes store. I downloaded the Innovative Applications shot timer app over the weekend and today was my first time trying it out. Performance was spotty at best, no matter how I tried to dial in the sensitivity. This was not aided by the unusually strong winds (more of a brisk breeze, really, but still sufficient to blow over my target stand in the middle of a string). TANSTAAFL, so I guess I will finally be needing to pick up the real thing.

4) Shooting the drill two more times didn’t lead to any better results, but it did burn up the rest of my ammo. Infuriated, I compounded my errors and shot even worse when I tried again. Looks like I’ll putting in my order with Freedom Munitions sooner rather than later.

5) Upon reaching the 1,100 round mark, my G19 appears to have entered the terminal stages of “late model third generation Glock extractor syndrome.” One FTE in the first 700 rounds, two FTEs in the next 200, and today FIVE more, with four of them being classic stovepipes. In all cases, the ammunition used at the time of the failures has been Federal or American Eagle 115gr FMJ. The gun will be sidelined until I can replace the extractor, ejector and spring loaded bearing. More on PMCS issues in a later post.

6) After picking up my brass and packing away my range bag and target stand, I began to drive away only to find that I had left my shooting table folded up and leaning against the passenger side of my truck. Alerted by the sound of it sliding off the rear quarter panel and hitting the ground, I saw it in my side mirror and was able to stop in time to retrieve it. It was just a little extra kick while I was still mentally down from my performance.

As much as I would like to attend some high volume professional training, I feel like there’s currently just too many things I suck at to get the most out of such an opportunity and justify the cost, both in terms of time and cash outlay. It can be difficult not to feel disheartened about shooting after days like today, but I try to stay upbeat (a day on the range beats a day spent doing most anything else), take away the things I need to work on (re: all of them) and be more diligent with my dry firing routine in order to continue showing improvement.

*I practice on the range with a Dale Fricke Archangel but I carry in an RCS Vanguard 2. I find the VG2 more comfortable for sitting, bending, driving, and other daily activities, but the Archangel allows reholstering and doesn’t risk burning my junk after a long string of fire. Both have roughly the same angle for the draw, so I don’t feel too bad about using different gear to train with, and I still practice dry fire repetitions with my carry setup.