Glock 19 Gen 3 Erratic Ejection, a/k/a Brass To Face. *FIXED 5/20/2014

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So, yet again, I’d intended to do a primer on getting a maintenance kit up and running with all kinds of fun links, opinions on products, and pictures- but yet again, something came up that I thought I’d address immediately.  I still may make this a bonus post, however, and still do the post I’d orginially planned, especially as this one will likely be a to-be-continued as I wait for parts and test solutions at the range.

Right, so on to business- I’ve fallen victim to a problem that seems pretty widespread in late Gen 3 (~2013) and Gen 4 Glock 17s and 19s.  Begin typing “Glock 19 er” into google, and it’ll go ahead and complete that thought for you.

It would seem that many people with these guns are getting the original Glock Perfection(tm) experience for the first 600-1000 rounds, but then, startingly, began experiencing extremely erratic ejection behavior along with several flavors of FTEs.  Mine began at about 600 rounds right on the nose- opened the box of the same PMC Bronze that I’d had zero problems with for more than half of the previous 600 rounds (I’ve been talking this G19 up like crazy, seriously, 0 issues with anything I wanted to feed it, it felt like this thing was magic up until this point).  Was all poised to take this thing up to 650 rounds, and within the first 2 magazines I experienced 2 FTEs and noticed some brass marks on the front of the ejection port.  Made it through 40 rounds with no additional problems before handing the Glock off my lady friend, who, upon commencing firing, was greeted by a hot case-mouth to the cheek, followed by a strike to the forehead.  After clearing and checking the weapon, nothing seemed broken or out of place (aside from previously noticed brass marks on the front of the ejection port), so I loaded another magazine and tested it.  4 of the 15 rounds struck me in the forehead or landed on the top of my head.  1 of the rounds FTEd, and they all seemed to be ejecting fairly weakly.

For reference, here’s the information on this weapon:
Glock 19 gen 3
S/N range: VEX***
Test Fire Date: 6/5/13

So, after taking it down and having a look, then quite a bit of research, and quite a bit of ignoring the fanboys at Glock Talk who will blame any and all malfunctions on sissy wrists and not shooting like a man, I’ve learned the following:

  • At or around Oct. 2010, Glock began to use a different process to manufacture internal parts including the locking block, firing pin, and of note to us here, the extractor.
  • The manufacturing process in question is “MIM” or Metal Injection Molding.  This is in contrast to the previous machined/tooled parts which were of much higher quality.  This was clearly done as a cost-cutting measure.  There have been cases of other manufacturers switching to MIM parts and also having severe quality problems.
  • The QC on the LCI (loaded chamber indicator) extractors, specifically the 9mm ones, seems to have suffered to the point that they’re out of spec, though Glock wont admit it, and many of them have been measured and shown increased distance between the Breech Face and Extractor Claw, allowing too much play with the case as it’s being extracted.
  • This problem, combined with the fine-pointed shape of the original ejector pin (marked 336), has caused the erratic ejection pattern, mostely due to the round bouncing around haphazadly around between the breech face and interior of the slide before finding it’s way out, or not, in the case of the FTEs experienced.
  • Glock has been rather cautious to not put out any direct statements about the problem, but have redesigned the ejector to a more broad shape (now marked 30274), and have been replacing the older ejector on Gen 4 pistols sent in for service that were having this problem.  Sadly, it usually takes a couple of round trips before any progress is made, and even after all that, many people report the problem is not solved.

So, that being said, I’m going to work this out myself, and avoid several months of thumb twiddling each time wondering if my gun is going to come back from Smyrna, GA in working condition, or if it’s just going to nail me in the forehead and/or try to burn my SO’s cheek off again.  I’ll start with the cheap (and in this case, the most widely reported solution), and work my way from there.  First stop, replacing the 336 ejector with the newer 30274 ejector.  Now, since you can’t just buy the ejector, as that would be WAY too easy, you have to buy a replacement trigger housing.  But- they don’t make a gen3 trigger housing with the 30274 ejector (they probably they don’t want to admit there’s a problem), we need to order a gen 4 trigger housing, extract the ejector pin, and swap it into my gen3 trigger housing.  Luckily, it’s an easy enough job, and the new trigger housing is only $9.95.  You may want to go ahead and order a new gen3 housing with the 336 pin in it, and swap those, just so you’re not altering your original in any way, but I’m not going to worry about that.

*UPDATES TO COME*  The first part is in the mail, later updates will come.  Just in case you’re following along and want to go ahead and get all parts in one go and not have to play the waiting game in case the ejector doesn’t fix your problem- my plan B is either swapping in a Lone Wolf Extractor or (more interestingly) swapping in a .45ACP extractor used on the G21/30.  This has reports of being a good fix, because the parts are dimensionally similar enough to fit, and the .45 extractor has a slightly shorter gap between breech face and claw.  It also holds the case at a slightly different angle, more reminicent of the older non-LCI (loaded chamber indicator) extrators on gen 2 Glocks (back when they worked like a charm).

UPDATE #1

Thanks to Mr. Humke at GlockParts.com, LLC, I received my new Gen4 Trigger Housing with the 30274 ejector within 3 days.  The difference between the new one and the older 336 ejector was pretty huge.

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Sadly, due to my schedule, I haven’t been able to get back to the range to test it just yet, but hand-cycling snapcaps produced a perfect pile at the weapon’s 4 ‘o clock, so we’ll see.  *UPDATES TO FOLLOW*

As for the installation, I’d say if you’re comfortable field stripping, this isn’t too much of a stretch.  The Glock is easier to work on than I thought, they weren’t kidding when they say how few parts there are.  The only tools you’ll need are a punch, preferrably a Glock Disassembly Tool (pictured below) and a tiny flathead screwdriver. After removing the slide from the frame, you’ll need to use the tool to push out the marked pins from the frame.  These are different sizes, so be sure to keep track of which one’s which (though it’s easy, big, medium, small, from front to back).

glock toolpins

After this, you’ll need to use something to pry up the Locking Block (pictured below).  It should come right out rather easily.  When removing this, note the position of the Slide Catch Lever, you’ll need to put this back in afterwards.

Locking BlockAfter the Locking Block is out, you’ll be able to remove the Trigger (along with the Slide Catch Lever) and Trigger Housing out of the frame.  You can disassemble further, but this is really as far down as you need to go.  The Ejector pin simply pulls forward out of the Trigger Housing, though you’ll likely need to use the flathead to push it from the rear to get it started (you can see rear of the Ejector pin at the rear of the Housing).  After getting it far enough out, either pull out with your hand, CAREFULLY use the screwdriver to pry it out from the front, or use a pair of needle nosed pliers (you’ll want to wrap cloth or electrical tape so as to not scratch) to pull the pin out the rest of the way.

Once you have both pins out, push the 30274 ejector into the Gen3 housing, making sure it’s fully seated, and reassemble your weapon in reverse order.  The only tip I have here is to get the Slide Catch Lever in place after the trigger, then put on the Locking Block, which compresses the spring.  Use your Glock Disassembly Tool to help align things when reinserting the roll pins.

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UPDATE #2: Confirmed Fixed.

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Well, there we have it folks.  Fired 65 rounds today, nearly all perfect 4-5 o’clock ejections with one stray towards 6 o’clock, but soared a few feet over my head.  I think we have a winner.  Time (well, a few hundred more rounds) will tell, but based on how miserable the last 35 rounds were prior to replacing the ejector, compared to how it performed today, I’m going to have to call this one a win.  GLOCK- please start using the 30274 ejector in all current production 9mm models, not just the Gen4 models.  That is all.

42 thoughts on “Glock 19 Gen 3 Erratic Ejection, a/k/a Brass To Face. *FIXED 5/20/2014”

  1. I too own a Generation 3 G19 and absolutely hate when the slide jams half open. FTE, I believe you called it. Not too reliable! But it’s a Glock. Indestructable Glock. Another thing that I hate is hot brass binging me in the face. Now I find out that Glock KNOWS about this failure in design and practice.
    I also have a XDS 45. No one enjoyed the recall on their XDS, but they recalled them and they got repaired, the 1st time.
    Why can’t Glock stand behind their products?

    1. I’m with you Kevin, I’m not sure why they wouldn’t just recall these, seeing the amount of reports of this problem I’ve run across, especially since they seem to have addressed the cause in their Gen4 guns, and it’s a cheap, easy fix at that. I’ve even seen reports of people having it sent to Glock, and a return trip with no changed parts with a “no problems found.”

      Lucky for us, the fix is cheap and fairly simple. Did you manage to try the fix mentioned above on yours? Seems to have fully cleared up the problems with mine.

    2. I wish I could tell you, but in all honesty, and I hate to say it, this tends to happen any time a european manufacturer starts making their products in the United States (Sig and Beretta, for example).

      As mentioned in the article, it seems to have started around the time they started cheaping out on the parts and going with MIM vs. forged. Cut corners and you’ll lose quality, simple as that.

  2. Have the same problem.. Can’t wait to fix it because I really like the G19. But just found out the Gen 4 part is on back order. I guess there are a lot of G19s out there with the same issue.

    1. Looks like Lone Wolf has them in stock at the moment- http://www.lonewolfdist.com/Detail.aspx?PROD=123268

      Part number mentioned is different, but that may just be their internal part number. This is the same Gen 4 trigger housing with the 30274 ejector as the one linked in my original post. If you haven’t found it elsewhere yet, this may be your best bet.

      Since writing this article, I’ve had ~600 rounds through the same G 19 with no problems, so this definitely fixed the issue for me.

      Good luck, and let me know how it turns out!

  3. I have the same problem with my gen3 19, serno XFGxxx, from late Aug, 2014. I’ve swapped the ejector AND the extractor but still have the problem. In fact, I’ve been dodging hot casings all morning. Have no idea what to do next.

    My old gen 2 from 1998 still purrs along just fine.

  4. I have a G19 RTF2 gen 3 and the 30274 housing does not seat in the frame. The housing is deeper on the 30274 opposed to the 336.

    1. As was mentioned in the guide, you’re not putting the 30274 housing in, you’re pulling the ejector pin out and seating it into the 336 housing in order for it to fit.

  5. I just purchased a gen 4 19 and it has the new 30274 ejector and I still get brass in the face and to my Leeds shoulder..WTF! Any one have any ideas? I have 400rds through her! And I have watched video of extractor change not fixing it either..and help would be greatly appreciated

    1. Yeah, get rid of it- I tried all that with my G19 Gen3 and none of it worked- called Glock they were and still are extremely rude and talk down to you denying the problem even exists- I fixed the problem alright, I got rid of it and bought a Beretta 92FS-

  6. Try a Lonewolf extractor which in a non dipped extractor and a lot better fit and finish than the OE one and a sp01176 loaded bearing non LCI style
    Has been known to solve the problem.

  7. Same problem with my Gen. 3 19.
    99% cure with the 30274 ejector.
    Final 1 % was cured by installing a NON- SLB which puts a tad more spring pressure on the original extractor that came on the 19.

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  9. I just picked up a Gen 2 Glock 17 with a lot of miles on it.

    Its ejection is wimpy at best, with several different brands of 9mm 115gr FMJRN practice ammo, and I get brass to the face 50%+ of the time. A Glock armorer has looked at it and said there isn’t anything obvious wrong with the extractor, spring, plunger, or ejector. Any suggestions on where to begin? One of the Lone Wolf extractors, maybe? Replacing the extractor spring?

    1. Honestly it’s a bit surprising hearing of problems with a Gen 2, those things tend to be the standard by which others are judged and found wanting.

      As you mention, miles on it, so obvious things to do would be change out the springs, and maybe try the fix posted here if that doesn’t clear things up.

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  13. Brand new G34 Gen4 MOT, has brass to face problem out of the box and glock changed the followers under warranty which made it into a brass to shoulder problem. Customer service representatives were rule and dismissive, blaming the ammo and the shooter.

    Seems like the only fix is to take a loss and trade this piece of trash for something else. My first and last Glock. So much for their “perfection”.

  14. The second trip to the factory made it much worse. The brass now hits head, shoulder and chest. It comes straight back ever shot!

    I bought it new in July, used it twice in a range, got peppered with hot brass and it spend more time at the factory then in my possession. Glock customer service is rock bottom bad. I took a loss of $350 and traded this piece of complete garbage and bought a new Dan Wesson .357 revolver. It

    1. Sorry to hear it, especially this late into the release of the Gen4 guns. I’d love to know what internal changes they made for the “M” models that passed FBI trials and are slated for adoption, but that they still have frequent reports of erratic ejection on new guns is unforgivable, especially since this all started when they cheaped out and started using MIM parts instead of forged.

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  16. Sorry about the delay. There was some miscommunication with someone about sending the gun back to Glock.

    Anyway. I sent that Gen 2 G17 back to Glock a couple of weeks ago, and it looks like they received it on February 7th, and–if I am reading the letter that came with it correctly–replaced the extractor plunger, the striker, the firing pin, the disconnector, and the magazine (!) and shipped it back to me the same day.

    I took it to a range Saturday morning… and nothing has changed. It is still smacking me in the face with ejected cases. I’ve tried brass case and steel case, hollowpoints and ball, factory and reloads, and it happens with all of them.

    To say that I am a bit frustrated now would be an understatement.

    1. Status update.

      500+ rounds later, it’s not changed. Several times in every mag it throws the ejected cases right at my eyes. It matters not whether I hold the gun in a death-grip or deliberately try to limp-wrist it by shooting it weak hand only, whether the ammunition is Winchester White Box 115gr that barely cycles the slide, or hot Israeli SMG ammo. Brass case or steel, bullet weights from 115gr to 147gr, it’s all the same, standard pressure, +P, or NATO.

      I am greatly annoyed because otherwise the gun has not had any failures to feed, extract, or eject, and I shoot it fairly well.

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  18. Just purchased g19 gen3 one month ago.
    Within two mags brass to face 3 times 2 to shirt pocket. Two purchases in one.
    First and last.

  19. just purchased a gen 3 g19. I have the same 336 ejector, my s/n is all i have since no fired casing was included in my purchase. can anyone advise what year this gun was made, BEBA896. its pretty sad to purchase a 500.00 dollar firearm just to hear it may be JUNK right out of the box .fingers crossed .

    1. That’s a pretty early S/N, so you may be okay. Even if yours is one of the affected ones, replacement of that ejector shown above is pretty easy, and in *most* cases clears up the issue. Since correcting it, this is one of my go-to EDC guns, and brass-to-face issue aside, I’ve never experienced a failure of any kind. Be sure to let me know how it goes when you get a chance to shoot it!

  20. Well,heck, I was about to order a G 19 but after reading this,I think I’ll pass. Thanks for saving me the trouble

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