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bigbore 11-21-2005 14:26

I think my 21 has proven its durability
For several years I’ve been abusing and neglecting my Glock 21. A running joke among some friends and I, nothing planned or documented. As I tell people what it has been through, most simply don’t believe me. I wouldn’t either, I guess. If someone told you their Glock has at least 150K rounds through it, and has gone almost 15K rounds with no cleaning or maintenance, would you believe them?

I want to do this so I have documentation, of what has been done, and how it worked. I don’t care about 500rds without a FTE, or FTF. Once it was buried in the mud w/a full mag, and when I dug it out the next day it went bang the first time I pulled the trigger but the weight of all the mud on the slide kept it from cycling. I scraped off most of the mud on my boot and fired the remaining 12 shots without a problem.

I want to know how much can it take and still function. If not function perfectly – what will it take to get running again.


Originally Posted By Mr45auto:
Hey partner, better you than me. I wouldnt do that test on any pistol I've gotta pay for. You do realize of course you're gonna make a $400 gun into a $100 gun?
Its all been done already, I'm just going to keep track this time. Heres a pic after around 15K rounds with no cleaning, and being buried in mud etc...
The barrel fouling was amazing, it was basically a smooth bore.


Originally Posted By dubb-1:

Originally Posted By triburst1:
Which of your 1911s are you going to put through the same tests?[;)]
I'd vote for Springfield Professional Model.

Be well!
Come on over and toss your Pro (video)out the window. Hopefully it will land on my glock instaed of the rocks.

bigbore 11-21-2005 14:27

Play Sand
Potting Soil
Baby Powder
1 bucket of water for cleaning
2 buckets for mixing ingredients.

This entire process took place over 45 minutes. The pistol was never field stripped, and the only cleaning was dunking in a bucket of dirty water.

Boring, but gotta do it. Used play sand, good consistency.

Need a little pressure so 10lb sledge was used to slightly pack it in place.

shot after buried, loaded, closed slide

shot after buried, loaded, slide open

Potting soil, a good mix various dirt and junk.

slide open

shot after buried, loaded, closed slide

shot after buried, loaded, slide open

Baby Powder, fine enough to get into everything.

slide open

shot after buried, loaded, closed slide

shot after buried, loaded, slide open

bigbore 11-21-2005 14:30

Mud (potting soil and water)
Nice sticky mess

remember this is from one test to another, it now has sand, dirt, and powder in it.

shot after buried, loaded, closed slide - started to get messy.

shot after buried, loaded, slide open

Rinse time

Paste – Baby powder and water. Stupid idea.

shot after paste, didn’t even try it with the slide open.

Needs a rinse and mag through to help dry. The mag was empty before the water quit pouring out!

Lets dump everything into one bucket and mix it together.

That’s about the limit

The mag is full of crud, the trigger must be pulling at 20lbs, time to rinse again and see field strip.
I wonder if the stone wedged in the transfer bar had anything to do with the heavy trigger?

For overnight, it will soak outside in a the rinse water mixed with a dose of rock salt.

good night

I used 1 target for the test, paced 35’ feet away. Not bad considering half the time I couldn’t see the sights. The increased weight of the trigger must have had me pulling to the right.
Need to take more than 1 magazine next time. There were a few times the mag was so full of stuff I only only fit 10 or 11 rounds. I think some of the FTF were partially the mag.

bigbore 11-21-2005 14:33


Originally Posted By M4arc:
Excellent! [}:D]

A couple of thoughts:

1) I have a spread sheet that I use to document my G17s history. If you are interested I can send it to you. I have plans to create a PockePC application if you or anyone else is interested.
Too late for that. I'll keep track of rounds fired by the case and post here from now on.


Originally Posted By M4arc:
Excellent! [}:D]
2) The same test(s) needs to be performed on another or a couple other types of handguns. Maybe a H&K or a Sig and a 1911. I know Larry Vickers did a similar test a number of years ago but the history of your G21 is simily amazing so I think you'll have a much different result [;)]
Not me. This has been going on for almost 10 years with this piece. [:)]

Not sure whats next. The large amount of rock salt kept it from freezing out side last night. What would be the best condition for corrosion? Should I leave it outside or bring it in and let it soak? Hos long? The "camera man" from the other pics is convinced the salt will turn the barrel into a rusted mess. We'll see how good the tennifer is.

As a side note - a friend who is a pilot has agreed to take me up this spring and let me throw it out the window of his plane! We'll decide on the height later, but the slowest he said he can go is 65mph.


Originally Posted By M4arc:
Here's another test: gather up dubb-1, Eric and a few other employees and just go out and run a case through it as fast as you all can. Rotate shooters every few mags to give everyone a chance to reload and see how hot you can get it and to see how many FTF/FTE you have in that 1000 rounds. See how:

- Fast you can put a 1000 rounds through it
- How how it will get
- How many failures during that time

Like I said earlier, it would be nice to see a different pistol being subjected to this kind of punishment [;)]
Yawn. [;)] Been done 3 or 4 times already. Any(quality) clean pistol, with factory ball ammo should run through 1K rounds like nothing. At this point itd be a waste of $200 IMO [:D]
I'm looking for stuff that hasnt been done, what makes it stop, and can it keap going? Like last night, it was so full of ****, the transfer bar wasnt reseting the striker after firing. After a quick manual cycling and the loss of a round - the next went off. What will make it not function, yet still be usable.
If you want to really analyze the videos from the other day, look at the length of the videos, and the number of shots fired. There were some stops, yet I was still able to get most shots on target.

I'm thinking my next plan will be to start breaking parts myself.
Will if function if the spring cups are shattered?
How much if the striker spring can be cut and still work.
Will it run without an ejector?
I'm still stoked about shooting it without the trigger spring!

I dont care so much about it working, I want to find what makes it stop and how to keep going[:)>]

Took the glock out of the salt water, and ran 500rds through it. Sorry, would have done 1K, but this was PAINFUL. No cleaning or oil, since the last tests.

I learned I have an aimed rate of fire of 100RPM :-)
Attempted to load several mags at once and blast through one at a time. After the 3rd mag my hand was almost numb, and I had to really hor at holding on. Need to shoot 2 mags rest a couple minutes and shoot 2 more.
partial video

I dont have room on my server for the whole video, but I think TheRicker may be able to host it later. The spliced together video documents every shot. Count the rounds if you want, I think he caught them all.

Time to stick my hand in a bag of ice.[XX(] Not the smartest thing I've done....

bigbore 11-21-2005 14:33

Salt water is nasty. Looks like all the tennifer pieces are fine, but untreated parts didnt stand a chance. I believe the rust on the barrel dripped down from the guide rod and should wipe right off.


Originally Posted By M4arc:
Now run a few hundred through it and retake those pictures!
I'm not physically able, my hand is too sore from the other day still. Its just discolored, everything slides, clicks, and sproings just fine. I'm going to clean everything and see what is actually rust and what is just "runoff".

I'll keep those springs until they break[:D]

Good as new, almost. The Guide rod has pitting dammage, and so does the slide lock but thats the only evidence remaining. The locking block must have tennifer along with all the pins. The sopts on the bottom of the barrel discolored the finish, but the metal is still glass smooth. The other parts must be stainless steel, as it rubbed off, but didnt wipre righ off like the barrel and slide.

I finally got a chance to see how it did with bead blasting media. If you have never felt this stuff, its really cool, so small and round, it feels almost like water. Here's a pic of the media used midex with common table salt and a dime

I put a few cups in a baggie with the pistol and shook it up good, took it out and shot the rounds I had in the mag. I repeated this three times. The video sucks, as I had to set it up to record by myself.

Bead Media Test

First time no problem, except I got a beads all over my face, so I let it run out a bit on the second. The second time a round failed to feed because the magazine was binding up. The third time, was worthless because I had gotten enough media in the mag to make it useless. The weak spot here was the magazine, the media got in there and had no where to go. A new magazine and I'm sure it would work fine. Not a flawless test, but I cant find the line until I cross it. Again, nothing that a simple field strip and shaking out couldnt fix and back into action.
After I shook it out, I put a handful of play sand in the bag and shook it up. Same old results from every other time it was full of sand. It worked just fine.

bigbore 11-21-2005 14:34

Just a .22 pistol 30' away. I didnt expect it to do any damage, if we hit where we were aiming. Hit it 10 times before I lost my nerve and didnt want to risk hitting the frame. One hit the extractor, but didnt hurt anything.

video of 1st 2 hits pictured above.


Originally Posted By M4arc:
What kind of damage did it do to the finish? Clean it up and post pictures please.
I took some degreaser and steel wool to one of the spots. It basicaly rubs right off.

Another stupid idea, but the flat slide seems fitting. hammer

Its been boiled before , no ill effect.

ever wonder what the magwell looks like after inserting hundreds of muddy magazines, and forcing mags into a muddy frame?

Over time the transfer bar and disconnect have worn grooves into each other. I guess that will happen what contacting metal parts are never oiled. This may be the reason for the 8.5lb trigger?

And for those who say the plastic mag catch will wear out..... nope, they built it plenty strong too.

bigbore 11-21-2005 14:35

A customer came to me last week with his USP .45 Compact he had just gotten it back from HK who had replaced a broken trigger bar. It has fewer than 1K rounds through it, and is well taken care of. He asked me if I would trust a pistol that broke, and was fixed by the factory. I said no. He asked me to run 500rds through it and see what happened.

I took his pistol and 8 magazines, My 21 and 8 magazines, and 1K rounds of ammo.
Both pistols were field stripped and blown completely clean and dry with compressed air.
2 mags were emptied in clean condition to make sure everything was fine.

For the fist comparison I threw a couple handfuls of play sand in a bucket.

bucket shake

I took each pistol, full mag, round in the chamber and shook it in the sand for a few seconds. I did this first with the 21 and it went bang 13 times as expected.

I pulled the USP compact out of the bucket(it was loaded but decocked), pulled the trigger, hammer falls but no bang. I pull the trigger again and still no bang. Not a squib, and not a delay. I cycle the slide and eject the cartridge, but it fails to go into battery. I repeat, while shaking out sand, until the magazine is empty. After removing the slide blowing the frame out with compressed air I repeat the test.
wont lock
Back in the bucket, shake, attempt to shoot – exact same results. Field strip and blow out with compressed air. This was attempted 4 times, with 4 different magazines. The first shot did go off once, but did not lock up for the following round. Again it required fieldstripping to function.

OK, it doesn’t work in sand. For a different twist, I took a UPS mag and a glock mag and threw them in the bucket and shook them up.

I picked up the 21 mag, loaded the pistol, pulled the trigger 13 times. I then picked up the USP mag, pulled the trigger once and it went bang. The slide failed to close on the second round. Ejecting the 2nd round partially inserted the 3rd but also a bunch of sand. The USP mags have basically a shovel extending for the slide stop, which proved them useless combined with the sand.

Sand is over, time for good old potting soil. Potting soil was basically a repeat of the sand. The USP never went bang once. Even with a round in the chamber, and numerous hammer strikes, nothing.
Cycling by hand ejected round, but would not lock up on the following round.

After that we gave up, on the USP and took turns emptying the several full 21 mags.

I’ll return the customers pistol and his 500 rounds. This USP compact went bang every time clean, so it works fine. I would never trust it though, as a carry piece.

bigbore 11-21-2005 14:35

I wanted to try another salt water test on the slide and barrel. I mixed up a good mixture of road salt and water, and poured it into a glass of water. I then took a sock I had been using as a rag, and put the slide and barrel in the sock. I then put the sock into the salt water glass. I know it needs air to rust so I poured out the access water, and set the glass on the outside windowsill where it was exposed.
Well, the sock is now dry. Will leaving it sit for a few more days accomplish anything more or has this test gone as far as it can go?

After 1 week there the rust is seeping through the once black wool sock.

I think its just runnoff rust from the sights. Its supposed to be raining for the next day here, so I'll set it on my back deck to rinse off overnight.

Time for some WD40 and a brillo pad

I learned how deep the tennifer goes. corners of the slide where it had been dropped/dinged/gouged were full of honest to goodness rust. The brillo also seemed to tak off most all of the black finish for the first time too!. I guess the concentrated salt water in the sock was the last straw for it. Other than the damaged areas, nothing rusted, so I'l sure under normal use it would have been just fin under the same conditions.
Preparation for one more test. X marks the spot. 500’ at 100PMH. Will take place as soon as can be coordinated between plane, pilot, and spotter on the ground.

bigbore 11-21-2005 14:36

I’m still waiting for the corn to come down for the plane toss, but I wanted to think of something I haven’t done yet. I never put it up against a pick up truck?

speed bump video

Dirt speed bump?
bump in dirt video?

Need to shake the dirt loose form the barrel, so I tied it to the bumper
shake the dirt out video

Run through what mags I have loaded.
function check video

May as well shake it out with one more road trip. The mag was always full, but no round in the chamber for the “draggings”.
One more trip down the street video

The rear sight took a bump to the right.

couple wacks with hammer should get it back on paper.
sight adjustment video

Looks good, lets see how it hits at 35’. (sorry for the focus was zooming in on the target)
Accuracy Video

A bit to the left, but good enough. Even after all its been, it still groups as good as it did the day I got it, well at least as well as I can shoot it!

I wondered how it shoots at 50yds with S&B ball ammo, and the filthy crunchy, heavy trigger?

First 13shot group was to the left, so I gave it another wack with the hammer. The second 13shot group was the bad guy. Good enough for a fighting .45!

bigbore 11-21-2005 14:37

I'm really running out of ideas, so decided to drop it off the roof with a primed case in the chamber to see if it would go off.
Primed brass in the chamber, and a full mag for weight in the pistol.

No surprise, it didnt go off. The surprise/scare was when I went to shoot it. the first 3 shots went off fine. The 4th failed to lock into battery, so I had to wack it closed. 5th shot went off fine, but 6th failed to go into battery. I wacked it but it was stuck. I went and got the hammer and pounded the slide back and locked it open. Everything looks ok? I put the mag back in and close the slide on the next round. Works fine, goes bang. The following shot locked the frame out of battery again with the round half way in the chamber. I opent it up with the hammer again and field strip it to see what wrong. Trigger bar bent? frame bent? I'm sitting on the ground and pick up one of the rounds that was stuck and drop it inthe chamber - it wont fit. WTF? I putt it out and its flat on one side. Bullet case and all. I grap the others and they are the same. I guess it fell hard enough to smash all the rounds staggered on that side of the magazine.
Oh well, it still works.

Just a reminder, this isnt a "test" only pistol. This is my usualy IDPA, 3 Gun, Carbine class pistol, and it does not get cleaned/lubed before use.

I used it in a 3 Gun match on Saturday, and as usual, it worked like a clock.


Originally Posted By glock23carry:
Quit babying that gun and do something nasty to it.


It gets normal use. I need the 13rd capacity when shooting at poppers set for 00 buck, that will only go down with head shots.
shot gun poppers

bigbore 11-21-2005 14:37

the video

It took me 20 minutes to find it stuck in the dirt, so its only fair for you wait [:D]

All that was visible, was the bottom of the magazinem and about 2" of grip, the rest was under ground.

Here's what the point of impact looked like.

So what do you think it will look like when I pull it out of the ground?

Recovery Video


Originally Posted By dport:
So what happened did the top soil make its way in and cause what appeared to be failures to go into battery?

There was dirt in everything. When I took it out of the dirt the slide stuck back about 1".
I had shook most of it out by the time we had walked back to the yard. It shot and functioned fine, didnt even have to field strip.

function video

Still very much minute of dead. Not bad considering what its been through and not having any cleaning or lube since page 12.


Originally Posted By jdessell:
BigBore, is the gun still accurate, how well does it group with all of this torture done to it ?
It shoots just as well as I have ever been able to shoot it. I can easily hold a fist size group at 30', which all I need.

Heres a 25' 10 shot group immediately after it was dropped from the plane, with the trigger still full of dirt.

dmarker 11-21-2005 14:47

Thanks for posting the meat of the thread from Now I get to hear people call you crazy..... and you reply - no I'm not - still is just as accurate as the day I bought it.;W

The most interesting thing from that test was the fact that dropping the pistol from the roof on the driveway impacted the frame hard enough to flatten the cases enough to prevent them from chambering. I can't remember what contract it was, but the glock failed a similar throw test (magazine inside) that other metal framed and metal magazined pistols passed. Anyone remember which contract?

OXEN 11-21-2005 14:54

But you didn't fire it out of a cannon?~shame~

Hickeroar 11-21-2005 15:36

Glad to see you bringing this over here. I read through that over on ar15 on friday for the first time. I was amazed... Makes me proud to be a glock owner...

SawgrassRaven 11-21-2005 16:06

I find it funny that alot of the "plug" fans use the argument that it keeps out pocket lint, which *may* cause a problem...

This gun survived all this, I doubt pocket lint is any threat!

Good job! ^c

CFII 11-21-2005 16:09

This test is one of the main reasons I will never get rid of my G21. That and the fact I shoot it so damn well.

PaladinX13 11-21-2005 16:15

Thanks for your work in the name of science!

cl147 11-21-2005 16:25

Great thread and videos.

Thanks for sharing your work.

BlackRifleFever 11-21-2005 16:43

Great test. You can trust that pistol.

Boondock Saint 11-21-2005 18:02


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