The Exxon Valdez, My Glock and the Armorer's School

Discussion in 'Cleaning & Maintenance' started by ADulay, February 12, 2014.

  1. All,

    Well, I figured this might be the best place to start this particular thread because the main reason for the entire story is because the factory Glock armorer, who checked my G30 out last month in Tampa, basically told me he was working on the Exxon Valdez when he opened up my gun!

    I was intrigued and slightly fascinated with his speed and accuracy of taking apart, repairing, cleaning and generally putting my gun back together all the while explaining to me what he was doing and why.

    So, at that point I decided to enroll in the nearest Glock Armorer's school that I could find. As it turned out they're not as common as I had been led to believe and most of them are for LEO's and various departments, not "normal" civilians.

    With that said, if you're a GSSF member, you have the opportunity to enroll, assuming there is one that's close enough. As it turns out, there was one about an hour up the interstate from me this month. It's the only one for most of the year that I could get in to.

    Attended the school on Tuesday. It's a full 8 hour day with very little slack time. No war stories, amusing anecdotes, BS time or any of that. It's a loaded 8 hours and as it turns out, the only two "non-sponsored" pupils in the class were me and another one of my IDPA shooting friends.

    It didn't take long to dive right in and we had the slide apart during the first hour. Springs, clips, rods and all that. Did that a few times and then it was on to the frame. Same deal. Explain how to do it and have at it. The class does supply all the tools (the infamous Glock took is really all you need), the guns (pretty much every gun in the Glock inventory was there).

    By the third hour my fingers were getting pretty "raw" from taking down the slide multiple times. I don't have the callouses on my dainty fingers to keep pulling on the slide lock (not the slide stop which is another piece) all day long and it was starting to show by lunch, which was provided. A quick trip out to the Corvette for two band-aids and both Tony and myself were back in business for the rest of the day.

    After lunch was pretty much dedicated to "The Trigger Assembly" which is in reality the trigger with trigger bar, a complete unit. I never really fully understood the hows and whys of the Glock Double Action trigger, but after an hour or so of watching it move in my hands, on the screen and in the gun, I believe I actually KNOW why it does what it does!! This was a defining moment for me. Not since I had to draw the B-727 electrical system from memory (circa 1982) did I understand how something worked as completely as this.

    The differences in triggers, springs, multiple safeties and how they work TOGETHER and what happens when one or another fails. If there was a spring or piece of metal that could be removed from anything, it got pulled out and put back multiple times, all the while listening to what might be the solution to a myriad of customer problems as they come up.

    I never really understood the "New York Trigger" that needed to be manufactured specifically for the New York PD in order to get that contract back in the late 1980's I believe. What a nightmare but installing it (or removing it) is a snap, now that I know how to do it! Here's a hint, the New York Trigger sucks. We all installed it, took a lot of dry firing with it and then had the option to keep it in or take it out. EVERYBODY took it out and dropped it back in the trigger box.

    Of course the magazines were taken down, detailed, differences in years and dimensions pointed out and troubleshooting on the fly was in vogue. Once everything was put back together for the final time, all of the guns had safety checks, function checks and one gun was selected by random drawing from the class for a "Final Exam" shot. Basically, if it fired, we were all "allowed" to take the final written exam. They didn't pick mine, but the Glock 22 they did pick fired just fine.

    We all took the 25 question written exam (why of course I got 100% on it) and the course critique was filled out.

    All of the factory guns were there and I got to fondle the new Glock 41 (I really like that one!) and the Glock 42 (not bad for a 380, even if it's not my cup of tea). They even had the infamous Glock 18 with "select fire" sitting there. Nice piece of hardware and we did see a few videos of it "in action".

    Anyway, to get kind of back on track, this class, once again made me realize that I was over oiling all my Glocks and I think I got it through my thick skull to go very easy on the lube! There is a reason you can see through the slide and for that hole next to the trigger safety. Even the angle on it has a reason!!

    So, I think it was a good class and I'm officially a "Certified Glock Armorer". At least for the next three years.

  2. daniellawecki


    Sounds like a very good class to take. There are a lot of people that over do the oil. I got yelled at a couple of times from my shooting buddy. He learned that lesson 40yrs ago about oiling from his father. I still have to be yelled at from time to time. Always a pleasure to read your post.
  3. PrepperTraining


    I'm so jealous! Been meaning to take that course for a while now.
  4. No sense in starting a new thread so I"ll just tack this message here!!

    For the last two weeks, my Glock 34 has been having an occasional "light strike" on the primers. Probably once every 50-75 rounds, but it was enough to start to get my attention during an IDPA match when it would happen. A simple eject and get back in the fight got me going again, but when we picked up the unfired bullets, the light primer strike was obvious.

    So, considering that I had been shooting this particular gun for 3 years in IDPA AND I had never actually taken it completely down for a detail cleaning, I figured it "might" be time to at least take a good look at it.

    So, yesterday during the nightly Star Trek marathon on BBC channel, I laid out a towel on the wife's dining room table and grabbed the Glock tool and went to work.

    Considering that this gun has only been wiped down and lighly oiled every other week, it was it pretty good shape "deep" inside the gun. I think I spotted the problem causing the light strikes as the firing pin safety was crudded up in one corner with basically that basic sludge of dirt, metal flecks and old, burnt oil. Only lost the firing pin safety spring once (ten minutes to find it on the floor) but cleaned up the pin safety and placed it on the table, ready to reinstall.

    Then on to the firing pin channel. Dropped a slightly moist cloth down in there with a dental tool and it dragged out some more sludge. Not a lot, but if it's packed down at the bottom, it will eventually cause a problem with the firing pin. Got that all cleaned up.

    Cleaned up everything else, dried it out, used all of ONE DROP of oil to very lighly lube the trigger parts, connector, safeties, etc. Scraped out that spooge the gathers in the dry spots of the frame from burned powder and dirt.

    Put it all back together. Stuck a drop of oil on the barrel to wipe over the wear spots, pushed the three pins back in and I could hear the firing pin moving back and forth when I did that particular check. What's that loose metal noise when you shake the gun with the trigger held? That's the firing pin moving FREELY in the firing pin channel!

    So, a quick run to the range to "work on some stuff" and it fired just fine for 100 rounds or so.

    The story here is that I guess you do have to actually detail clean these guns every year or so.

    I would estimate the number of rounds through that gun, before this detailed cleaning, was around 3500-4000.

    I think I'll do that detail clean after every 10 IDPA matches for the near future. Most normal people do it after EACH match but I believe that's too much cleaning.

    Your mileage may vary.




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