Bang, Bang, Click?

I finally made it out to the range for the first time in (mumblemumble). Had fun, but of the 100 rounds of 9mm Remington UMC expended, I had 3 failure to fire. The weird thing is, they all happened out of the same string in one magazine (of the 10 rounds loaded, 7 went bang, 3 went click), were not adjacent, and the next 10 rounds out of the same magazine were fine. I recovered the rounds and took a picture.IMG_20150923_152859017

Since I’m actually somewhat inexperienced at actually shooting, I figured I’d ask here: did I just get unlucky, or is there something I did or failed to do here?

Pistol is a G17L, with probably somewhat less than a thousand rounds down the pipe since I’ve owned it, and it was allegedly new when I purchased it. I’ll run a boresnake after a range session and usually take the slide assembly apart and scrub the places the book says I should – range sessions are 100-150 rounds. It’s sat unfired for a couple years since last session. Magazine is OEM 10-round.

22 thoughts on “Bang, Bang, Click?”

  1. Go run another hundred rounds. If it’s really a problem and not just crap ammo, it’ll happen again. Besides, it sounds like you’ve been slacking. :)

  2. The bottom two firing pin hits look really off-center. Could the chamber end of the barrel be not moving all the way back up sometimes? The firing pin missing the anvil in the primer would explain those two.

    1. I noticed the strikes were off center, wasn’t sure how significant that was. I regret not getting a picture of some fired cases.

  3. It doesn’t look like a primer strike from my Glock. Have you cleaned out the striker mechanism? Still, a Glock should be able to do 1000 rounds without cleaning if nothing else is wrong.

  4. Clean striker channel very well. Leave clean and dry. Try a new striker spring, perhaps a 10% extra power.

  5. Ya. Doesn’t look like typical square Glock firing pin hit, and way light if it is. I’d keep trying it and with another brand of ammo, just to see if the problem is limited to Rem UMC. I’d at least pull the striker spring and inspect it if I didn’t replace it. Springs are cheap; a life lost because a gun doesn’t fire when you need it to is not.

  6. Light strikes in a gun that’s sat for years can often be gummed up lube. Even Glocks and Sigs will FTF with gummy oil. As noted above, completely disassemble, clean well, clean again, and reassemble with a high quality lube. The moral of the story is don’t leave guns sit so long; get out and shoot more often!!

    1. This. The main reason your gun didn’t fire is because you weren’t paying enough attention to it. When that happens, they get sullen and occasionally refuse to go “BANG” when you want them too.

  7. The thing that makes me wonder about stuck striker issues is that I had run 100 rounds prior to the malfunctions (I started the session by emptying the magazines of the ammo in them, and another 10 rounds of whatever hollow point I had last bought), with no malfunction. I agree the dimples the primer don’t look right, though.

    1. I’m not a Glock owner, but I own multiple semiauto handguns and do much of my own work. The offset strikes look like you aren’t getting complete ‘lockup’. As noted above, the barrel drops, engages the ammo, moves back and up as the slide comes forward, and the rim of the brass engages the extractor as it lines up with the striker /firing pin hole. If the extractor is dirty or not moving enough, or if the groove corners on the slide with the firing pin hole are dirty, than the round can’t move all the way up (with the barrel) and the strike is off center. Technically a gun shouldn’t fire without the barrel and round exactly in place, but tolerances add up and you don’t want a jambed gun with just a grain of sand in the way.

      One other thing that causes the round not to fully move up is a worn slide spring on the guide rod. As springs wear they shorten. A short spring doesn’t have enough length or energy to ‘push’ the slide forward that last 1/4″ where the barrel is transitioning upwards to its lockup position. Usually momentum can carry the slide all the way forward, but toss in enough resistance from dirty parts and gummy oil and friction is hard to overcome! I stick to my good cleaning recommendation, and at 3000 rounds switch to a higher quality Wolff spring. In fact, lay the new spring next to the old and see the difference.

  8. As stated, clean and lube with good stuff.

    My version of good stuff is Mobil Jet 254 oil. A quart will last the rest of your life.

  9. Probably bits of french fries and onion ring breading floating in the FIREClean you’re lubing the gun with.

    1. Man, they’re going to be the butt of jokes from now till the heat death of the universe, aren’t they?

      I’m pretty sure they hadn’t even thought of putting crisco in sample bottles the last time I lubed this piece, and I used Tetra Lube at the time, since that’s what was in the cleaning kit on shelf closest to the register when I bought it.

  10. I’ve had failures to fire from UMC in the past, so I don’t use it any more. My trouble was in a Ruger SR9, which has never had trouble with any other ammo brands.

  11. Broke down the slide assembly for a cleaning. The extractor and firing pin safety had some gritty-looking buildup, but the firing pin itself was pretty clean. New post has some more details

  12. Most likely the barrel was not fully into battery. There is a range of slide/barrel movement in the Glock, where the trigger will release the striker even though the barrel is not raised up to the fully locked position. When this happens, the energy of the striker is divided between punching the primer and pushing the barrel. Since about half of the movement of the barrel is vertical and half of it is forward just before full lockup, the striker is getting pinched a bit as the primer face is sliding upward.

    The combination of all this makes primer ignition a bit iffy. If a Glock is not fully into battery when you pull the trigger, lots of luck!

    tl;dr: The primer/cartridge must be immobile when the striker hits, or you may get a click.

    1. Forgot to mention, besides being dirty, a slightly out of dimension cartridge can cause the barrel to hang up a bit before full lock.

      I’m measuring about .050″ below full lockup at the rear of the slide, where my G27 will first release the striker. There is about .090″ forward slide movement from this point to lockup.

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