More Glock 42 complaints


Yesterday’s column on problems with the Glock 42 produced another blizzard of correspondence.glock

I don’t get the feeling that any of the folks sending me email are anti-Glock – far from it. Most say they own at least one or two other models, in addition to the G42, and that they really value the brand.

They’re also somewhat perplexed about the poor level of the customer service they’re receiving from the Smyrna, Ga.-based firm when they contact them about issues with their pistols.

Here’s one email I had to share, from a firearms instructor with decades of experience teaching students.

He’s also a former federal agent and an Army vet:


I have had a G42 for about a month now.  In each trip to the range I have had repeated FTE’s and FTF’s.  This happens with both mags included with the gun.  It happens with two brands of 380 FMJ ammo.

What I have noticed is the problem happens when the magazine is fully loaded.  Consistent problems.  Using tap and rack clearing has produced a number of type 3 malfunctions. A type 3 malfunction is very rare in most guns and really hard to produce.  Not so with this gun.  In short this handgun is thoroughly unreliable.  This is unacceptable in a defensive handgun.  Shame on me for buying one of the early models.  My serial number is 390.  I should have known better.

I have contacted Glock and they were supposed to send me authorization to return it to the factory.  Three days have passed with no authorization yet. Based on what I am reading, I suspect if I get to send it back they will look at it and tell me it is within specifications.

I suspect several problems.  One may be with the magazine design. Single stack mags are known to be sensitive to feeding problems. Also I suspect they may have gotten the recoil spring too stiff which is not allowing the slide to fully retract.  It also could be a mismatch between the feed ramp and the magazine. 

Glock had a major problem with the GEN 4 G19 that they initially denied until they finally admitted they had a recoil spring issue.

I do not accept a response that I should  keep trying different brands of ammo to find one that works.  If they said this initially I would have never purchased this handgun.  The brands I am shooting work just fine in my two Ruger 380’s.  I have an LC380 and an LCP.

I have a number of Glocks in all calibers except the 380 and have had no problems with any of them.  Building a handgun meant for the self defense market means it should work like the other Glock models.  Press the trigger and it goes bang.  While I may appreciate the malfunction clearing practice, I cannot use this handgun in any of my classes as I do not want to expose my students to an unreliable handgun.

I have a Kahr CM9 that had to be broken in.  It took about 150 rounds to get it to smooth out and now it is 100% reliable. However, the manual indicated that a break in period was needed so I just keep putting rounds through it.  The Kahr is very tight.

Glock has published no such recommendations and seems to deny they have a problem.

Name withheld upon request.


About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1777 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.


  1. Glock has new magazines and a new slidestop shipping with the newly made G42’s, but they are continuing to deny they exist to people that have already purchased. They won’t provide them to current owners and tell them they don’t know of any new parts. Crazy.

  2. I love my 42, and have never experienced any issues described and have a low serial number as well. What ammo are you using?

  3. Glock should have gotten ahead of the problem months ago, and sent every G42 owner the new parts, mags and an apology.

  4. I have the same issues with my G42 purchased in Feb. 2014. It’s past the break-in point. I have requested that the dealer return it for warranty repair.



    BEST KEPT SECRET, BEST BUY: BERSA THUNDER .380 7-shot!! MOST RELIABLE with ‘ANY’ Ammo, ‘Fixed’ 3.5″ Barrel accurate, true DA/SA, etc., etc. & etc. PRICE: CHEAP! AND – easily handles Buffalo BORE +P!! Own 2, been shootin’ em for years. Honestly, just havent found anything to REPLACE.

    SORRY to hear GLOCK “aint cuttin it” – but this just further proves my point… ’cause I was actually thinking of buying one.

    NOT NOW, THANK U! : ))

  6. I had the same problem with a 36. It went back to Glock twice, was looked at by the staff there and sent back to me still stove piping. A friend fixed it by shortening the recoil spring. It works fine now. Do the Glock people test new designs?

  7. i rented a glock 42 at my local range, along with a box of fiocchi ammo. worked flawlessly- not a single jam or any other sort of problem. after 6 weeks of daily calls, finally located and bought a G42 of my own. i’ve put about 150 rounds through it- fiocchi, winchester, remington/umc- that’s all i’ve been able to find where i live. not a single problem. not one. i love that little pistol. and for such a small gun, it’s pretty darn accurate. i’m a glock armorer and own several glock models. never had a problem with any of them, and the G42 keeps that reputation going. at least one slipped through without flaws…

  8. I too have had “failure to feed” issues. I’ve also had issue with the slide locking back while firing.

    I know the fix. I have done the fix. And anyone can perform the fix.

    If your slide is locking back when it shouldn’t, then take a pair of pliers and crimp the part of the slide lock where your thumb manipulates the slide lock. Take your time and crimp just a little at a time. What you are trying to accomplish is making the slide lock flush with frame indentation on the side. What happens is that your thumb is coming in contact with it ever so slightly and pushing it upward which locks the slide back.

    (If you don’t believe this is happening to you, then shoot some rounds with your left hand verify the result.)

    The next thing to “fix” is to remove the slide lock. Then take a very small file or a Dremel and remove a very very small amount of material from the slide lock. It’s difficult to explain with words and I’ll try. A picture is worth a thousand words.

    Before you take the slide lock out, observe where the slidelock touches the empty magazine with its little tab that sticks out. This is the piece that needs to be filed/Dremeled just a tad. What is happening is the bullet is touching this ever so slightly on Round #2, 3, 4,5, and 6. You can verify this yourself. Observe where the bullet touches that tab. You will remove about 1/32″ of metal. It does NOT take much!! Take your time!! Take baby steps when removing some of this material. After you do these two items it will eat anything you put in there!!! (A big ammo culprit is Freedom 380) However, after this “fix” NO PROBLEMS.

  9. brandon millsaps on

    I have fired several different brands of fmj ammo thru my glock 42 all have been reliable also fired 4 different brands of jhp thru mine that I could find available only one of those wouldn’t work and that was the Barnes tac xpd 80 grain defense ammo lot#a107-3 345m-2 but this same ammo worked fine in my other 380s

  10. phillip stromer on

    consider the matrix of employee in GA. You have a bunch of people that feel smug because they’re the chosen ‘Glock’ folk to be the glorious product to us underlings. Power always suppresses reason…..

    I dealt with them when starting a Glock product based business. The most rude, standoffish, and entitled people I ever dealt with.

    Las Vegas, NV

  11. I agree with the comments. I’ve never had a single hiccup with my other 3 Glocks. I have had repeated failure-to-feed (rounds jammed between the ramp and magazine), off-center strike failures to fire, and failure to eject (stove piping or remaining in chamber). Problems with all ammunitions, especially fmj and some personal defense (except Gold Dot). Never had these problems with my ruger lcp. I emailed Glock about the problems two months ago; never received an acknowledgement!

  12. Why do people continue to refer to Glock as “Smyrna, GA BASED”? Glock is an Austrian company. They’re based in EUROPE. Let’s cut the crap here and start owning up to the fact that for 3 decades now a LOT of U.S. taxpayer dollars have been shipped offshore to Gaston Glock in Austria. A country where citizens don’t have a FRACTION of the gun rights that we have in the U.S. When I see any reference to a Glock as an “American gun” I want to PUKE.

  13. I’m a range officer and we have several G42 owner/shooters and one rental G42. To date, we have had no issues with the new G42 and everyone that has purchased one has had nothing but good things to say about it. A few are regular shooters and the others are law enforcement instructors. I’ve read similar reviews with the G42 and haven’t heard anything but the typical ammo problems that folks have with a lot of firearms. Ammo like Buffalo Bore (which is a non-typical ammo) that we sell special order, it’s not a regular “on the shelf” ammo in .380. Other brands that seem to have FTE’s, FTF’s are also non-typical ammunition that is more or less special order. Bottom line is, the little G42 eats everything we’ve put down the barrel including the cheap stuff like Wolf, PMC, TN Ammo and it really likes the performance self defense ammo like Hornady, Federal, and TAP/FPD. So, I’m curious as to what these people are shooting? I have yet to purchase one and have been waiting on the new/retro Remington R51 but I will buy a G42 and use as a CCW firearm…hopefully, the long awaited 9mm version will be available soon. Also, according to my supplier Glock is working on a state of the art rifle platform! Definitely can’t wait for that!

  14. I had similar feed problems with my G42 initially. I took it back to the shop and the gunsmith showed my why. “You are being too gentle with your cleaning” “Toss that nylon brush that Glock sent with the gun and use a good wire brush and really really clean around the breech area in the barrel”. I couldn’t seen the carbon, but he showed me that it was the problem. HE cleaned the gun with a brush, really vigorously, wiped it down, and he and I fired 20 rounds each of 5 different makes of ammo and not a single glitch. Now I make sure to clean with a good wire brush and I’m a very happy owner.

  15. Just bought a 42 and 19 for mothers day gift for the wife. 19 operated as expected. Full clips in a credit card sized target and 30 feet were no problem (and we dont shoot a lot). On the other hand, the 42 had numerous jams of all types when we tried to shoot it. The ammo we were using was Blazer which is what I thought may be the problem. Friends who have these have not had the same problem with a wide variety of ammo including blaser. I secured some other brands this week and will have to see how they work. I agree. If this is a personal protection firearm it needs to work. Glock might need to take a long look at this.

  16. Waiting on a g42 on

    You guys are scaring me. Put some $ down as deposit for a 42 thinking it might get me one sooner but my dealer has only had 6 come through since January. If there is a problem running the correct ammo through it, it is something I don’t want to have and I’ll keep my Ruger lcp. Have a G19 and I love it and was hoping to love the 42 as well. May take deposit back and wait till the Wild West settles down on the glock issue and they can make it right. Tell me I’m overthinking this lol.

  17. Bill 187th rct on

    Got my wife a Glock 42 Fri may 30 2014 fired it today Monday 270 rounds Winchester,
    magtech, hornady with no issues.

  18. I have a glock 42 an I have no bad comment very smooth shooting gun I love it first glock I have owned an wouldn’t sale or trade an about to purchase another one in this household!

  19. I just purchased a glock 42, I have two other glocks that work great. a 30 and a 21. I ran 100 rounds through the 42 and it only injected 8 of the rounds. Im not happy. I sold my Ruger .380 that worked fine because I was a fan of Glock… any ideas

  20. Bought my Glock 42 yesterday 6/10/14 went to the range worked flawlessly not one hick up. I have a p938 Zig that gams about every 10th round I don’t have much confidence it it so I bought the Glock 42 works wonderfully.

  21. daniel casher on

    My G42 has the serial number 450, so it is an early model too. I have fired many types of FMJ, HCFN, and Hollowpoint ammo in it and it has fed and fired well. I did have a problem with the slide locking back with ammo still in the mag. It didn’t happen often, and it didn’t seem to matter what kind of ammo, it just did it sporadically. I sent it back to Glock and a couple of weeks later a Glock tech called me and told me that he had modified the mags, installed a new slide lock lever, and a different trigger. He said that they fired 40 rounds with no problem and that the problem was solved. When I got the gun back, I went to the range and started firing it and it did it again 3 or 4 times out of about 100 rounds. Still, that is too much for a Glock, or any defensive handgun. I started paying attention to my right thumb, and where it was positioned when firing two handed. I came to the conclusion that my right thumb was sometimes pushing up on the slide lock lever when firing. It never happened firing one handed, so I started modifying my thumb position along the slide with my right hand, so that it didn’t come in contact with the lever. The problem ceased, but I didn’t like to have to modify my grip. I let another guy at the range shoot my 42 without mentioning the problem and when he started firing, the slide began locking back just as it had before. I stopped him and told him to be sure and keep his thumb away from the slide lock lever and the problem stopped (I don’t think the 42 impressed him though, because of that!) Anyway, I love the 42 and it fits my hand perfectly and that is what makes it so easy for me to shoot quickly and accurately. So, I removed the slide lock lever, and installed a little washer in it’s place so the retaining pin would hold right. I know, it will not lock back anymore on the last round, but I don’t care. I want it to fire every time I squeeze if there is ammo in it. And now it does, one handed or two. Reliability problem solved and that is what you must have on a strictly defensive pistol. If I ever decide to sell the gun, or if I ever have to send it back to Glock, I can always reinstall the lever. By the way, there has never been a problem with different brands or types of ammo, even the Buffalo Bore HCFN +P, which several people complained about. Also, there is a type of Barnes defensive ammo that they say is no good in a 42, but I’ll just avoid that. I carry Precision One 90gr XTP in mine and it fires it just fine.

  22. My 42 works some what like a dream, the only problem being, the first shell caseing flies back at me. From then on in all is normal. I recently questioned the Gun Store and they tell me that, I’m not alone. one of the Gunsmiths was told by Glock that the problem is the way the gun is held.

    I love my other Glocks, so maybe a trade in is in order if any more problems arise.

  23. I bought 2, one for me ( 12-26-2014) and one for the misses. 1-10-2015. Own other glock models, never a problem. These 2 little guns are nothing but a headache. FTF and FTE on both pistols. Stove piping every few rounds and double feeding. These were bought about 2 weeks apart from two different shops on two different sides of town. Very unreliable conceal carry pistol. Tried 4 different types of high quality ammo including self defense ammo. No matter what I tried on hiccup after the next. If you like extracting jammed shells and eating up your range time, this is the pistol for you. If not, don’t buy a G42. This is still a problem in 2015 not just gen1 models. Sad because I’ve been a glock loyalists for years. I will just trade them in and move on.

  24. Just bought a 42 and was having problems with the gun recycling the bullets. Realized that the way I was holding the pistol my thumb was resting on the clip release button (which pushing toward the trigger to release) and when I shot the gun the recoil of the gun coming backward caused my thumb to release the clip and it was not feeding the bullets into the barrel. Moved my thumb away from the clip release and it shot great after that.

  25. I picked up my Glock 42 on an SSE end of December 2014. I have tried every type of .380 you could imagine with that thing from cheap to whatever. It’s got over 3000 rounds through it now with not a single FTF or FTE. I’ve extended two magazines with MagGuts Kits to accept one more round and another magazine extended by two rounds from Ghost, producing the same reliability. It’s an understatement to say that I’m more than happy with its performance. So the G42 I’ve got must be from a newer batch! ^..^~~

  26. I discovered the whole solution to the problem with the 42’s!!!

    Change your ammo to winchester white box. The length of the entire cartridge is shorter than other brands.

    That was the problem my wife’s 42 was having. The cartridges were too long and getting “shifted” in the magazine. Caused many problems on her gun and even a range rental gun.

    Been through several hundrerd rounds of winchester white box without without a single problem.

    • bought 2 new G42’s. took them to the range today.. using Winchester White box 380 FMJ.
      1st. gun…. 6 in the mag, 1st shot fired, 2nd was just click….no reload into the chamber. I emptied,reloaded 6… all six fired nicely but the slide did not open afterwards…. tried the 2nd mag… after 6 shots… again the slide didn’t lock back.
      got the range master…

      with the range master shooting…2nd gun…. 6 in the mag, 1st shot… stove pipe….. really? cleared and refired…next 3 shots stove’d…OMG I’ve never seen this…

      He went and got a very well used Gen4 G42 mag, perfect…

      What’s up?

  27. Articulating that Glock customer service isn’t what it used to be is an understatement. I own Glock pistols and prefer them to other plastic guns. My first three Glocks were Gen III models. We, my wife and I, have more than a few Gen IV models but Glock has given me difficulty with every manufacturer problem since the Gen IVs came out. Glock refused to replace the trigger mechanism housing even though they’ve since admitted they were flawed. I bought new ones as they became available online and my Glocks work fine after replacing them. Glock customer service is infamously bad. Getting them to exchange a defective part is impossible. I was told one of my barrels was “shot out” worn away from normal wear and tear. The same note said that they refurbished it but they did nothing to it. There are not 25,000 rounds thru all of our Glocks combined. Properly manufactured barrels from Glock are good for tens of thousands of rounds. Glock accepts no responsibility for anything that happens to firearms that they manufacture. In effect, you have no warranty. Fortunately, Glocks are easy to repair and replacement parts are available without having to rely upon the dismal performance of Glock toward customers. I use Lenney McGills, Brownells, and Wolfe to obtain parts. Your triggers springs are going to break, the recoil springs are going to wear out then your slide lock spring will go. Your locking block pin will need replaced eventually. The little wire on your slide stop lever will get bent. All easy fixes. A friend told me that he walked into Glock in Smyrna for service and was surprisingly satisfied after multiple bad encounters through the mail and over the phone. In closing, unless I lived in driving distance of Smyrna, and I wasn’t a Glock armorer or gunsmith, I wouldn’t buy a Glock today. The options from other companies are good enough and the improvement in customer service is such a gigantic step up when you buy a plastic gun from another manufacturer.

  28. New Glock 42. Removed the slide to clean the barrel before firing. When reinstalling, as soon as rear of slide clears the front frame rails, slide veers to the right and must be maneuvered back and froth and sideways to make it align with the rear frame rails. slide locks in place and trigger works ok, but slide cannot be pulled back far enough to allow engagement of slide stop. Removed barrel and reinstalled several times, always with the same difficulty aligning the rear frame slide. Cannot fire the gun this way. This is a brand new gun, never fired. Anybody seen this problem? Anybody have an idea what is wrong?

  29. Lawrence Corcoran on

    I bought a G42 about three days ago. It’s jammed on me at the range about five times over the course of 350 rounds. It kinda leaves me wondering. I’m told the gun needs a 500 or so round break in. I really like the gun. It’s accurate and the recoil is pretty minimal. It’s also super concealable. I’m just concerned about its reliability. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like unpleasant surprises, if you catch my drift.

    • bought 2 new G42’s. took them to the range today.. using Winchester White box 380 FMJ.
      1st. gun…. 6 in the mag, 1st shot fired, 2nd was just click….no reload into the chamber. I emptied,reloaded 6… all six fired nicely but the slide did not open afterwards…. tried the 2nd mag… after 6 shots… again the slide didn’t lock back.
      got the range master…

      with the range master shooting…2nd gun…. 6 in the mag, 1st shot… stove pipe….. really? cleared and refired…next 3 shots stove’d…OMG I’ve never seen this…

      He went and got a very well used Gen4 G42 mag, perfect…

      What’s up?

  30. Is the tech that different between the 380 Glock 42 and a Glock 27 (40cal)?? I have a Glock 27 that I bought in 2004. I long ago lost track of the number of rounds I’v put through, but 3000 would not be a wild guess at all. I have never, ever had a single mis-feed, mis-fire, dreaded hang fire, loading problem….anything. I have shot target ammo including Armscore, Winchester bulk, Remington bulk, Federal, PPU, S&B, and at least another 10-15 brands of target….also shot defense including Hornady, Winchester Rangers, PDX1,Fed hydra-shoks, HSTs, Remington HTP, Barnes Tac-XPD,Gold Dots …I could go on. I That Glock would probly shoot a dog turd if I added a primer. I’m surprized the Glock 42 could be such a lemon.

    • I decided to look on my “ammo” receipt file on my PC to get an accurate number of rounds shot through my Glock 27….holy shit, the number is a little over 9,000 rounds…I may need to think about getting a new barrel.

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  32. George Gaskin on

    Purchased a G42 for my wife for Christmas. Just now got it out to shoot yesterday. It hang fired on EVERY round ( 20 ). Not a happy camper. Going to take back to dealer tomorrow.

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