You never know.


I had 5 students in my Combat Focus Shooting class this past Sunday (1-17-16).  As almost always, various levels of shooting experience, various backgrounds, various ages, etc.  Wonderful group all around.

And, as often is the case in a shooting course where you’re going to shoot more than 100 rounds or so…2 gun changes needed to be made.

The interesting case was a practically brand new Gen4 Glock 17.  Student had about 300-400 rounds through it so far, before the course.  But early on in the morning, failure to feed occurrences were popping up, ultimately with increasing frequency.  While this happily gives us the opportunity to go over malfunction clearing, to many of them indicates we have more than an occurrence, and instead may have a problem.

We checked the students stance, posture and grip.  Good to go.  While the rest of the students went to do a mag reload, the student and I and the Glock stayed on the line.  I shot the pistol and the failure to feed happened every single shot for 3 shots in a row.  Hmm.  Ok, switch mags.  Shot the mag clear, no problems.  Shot the next mag clear, no problems.  At this point I’m thinking its the mag, maybe a bad spring.

Next we tried the same mags in a different Glock.  No problems.  Maybe its the ammo (American Eagle, 124grain, FMJ)?  We try the same 9mm ammo in other mags and other pistols.  No problems.

Finally, we tried different ammo (some ammo I brought) in the original mags in the original problematic 17.  Same failure to feed problems…in all 3 mags, the same mags that worked fine in other guns.

So the common denominator was the Glock.  Was it filthy?  Nope.  Any modifications? Nope.  Hmm.  Not impossible of course, but I’ve never seen a Glock behave that way.  The student went a little longer with it, but the failure to feeds continued to the point of ridiculousness.

Luckily, another student had a spare 19 so we were covered for the rest of the day.

Moral of the story?  You never know.

I’m curious what the discussion might be from here.  If you are reading this, and this was your Glock, what would you do from here?  Go directly to a Glock Smith?  Experiment again with different ammo / mags?  Feel free to comment.

Posted in EDC, Shooting.


  1. I have a glock 23 gen 4 .40 and have never had an issue. I would reach out to glock directly and ask them for advice.

  2. Have a 19 and 26. Never experienced FTF on either weapon with a variety of mags. The early Gen 4 17’s had some issues with the recoil spring assembly. Glock will swap is out and from what I’ve seen that is typically the culprit.

  3. First of all, great class, Matt!

    This was my son’s brand new, 2-week-old G17 and we will be contacting Glock about the problems he is having. That being said, a quick Google search brings up a plethora of FTF problems with the Gen 4 Glocks. I believe we have identified the issue as shown in this video, but we will not be performing this modification on a brand new firearm. We will update you on what Glock says once we get in touch with them.

Leave a Reply