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Glock 42 Problems – A 2017 Update

Glock 42 Problems
Photo by robertnelson

Many gun enthusiasts regard the Glock as the ideal handgun. When the Glock 17 was first designed for the Austrian military, Gaston Glock had no idea how popular his design would become. Currently about 65% of the handguns used by law enforcement in the United States are Glocks. Military and police forces in over 48 countries have Glocks as their primary sidearm and there are countless accessories available. The market for aftermarket parts is huge and no matter if you are looking for a holster or a laser, you don’t have to search long to find decent options. However, the most recent model gave given us concerns regarding Glock 42 problems.

Gaston Glock was a curtain rod manufacturer, and it took that type of a polymer background to create the first so-called ‘plastic gun’. This series of firearms is lightweight, accurate, customizable, and reliable. By far the most popular versions of these firearms are the 9mm models. Within this group you have pocket guns like the Glock 26 and full sized sidearms like the Glock 17.

The Hype

At the point when Glock decided to design the Glock 42, it had been a few decades since the last model was released. This created a huge amount of anticipation for this model. With very little advertising, gun buyers were drooling at the chance to see the next 9mm Glock. The ads did not give much detail about the firearm and led to the assumption that the 42 would be a 9mm. That assumption was wrong. This design change may have led to the Glock 42 problems.

Instead the firearm was designed in a smaller .380 to the dismay of thousands of Glock fans. Glock wanted to go as small as possible for a new pocket gun. They made the bold statement that the only thing smaller than the Glock 42 that fires every time is a Zippo lighter. Glock does have the reputation of being one of the most reliable handguns ever created. Why believe that this gun would be any different?

First Impressions

At first, those that purchased the 42 seemed impressed. It was not the smallest handgun ever made and was a bit longer than most .380s. However, it was easy to conceal, light on the shoulder, comfortable in the hand, and even had real, usable sights. For many people it was a great value. The reason for this reaction was that most gun buyers will not purchase a .380 unless they are already comfortable with a .380. Knowing what to expect goes a huge way towards a happy gun owner.

Despite it being a .380, this gun is definitely a Glock. It looks quite a bit like a smaller version of the Glock 19. The modification capability is a bit more limited, so keep in mind that the handle is a bit skinnier than a Glock 26. It is a bit larger than some .380s, but is still perfect for conceal and carry or as a pocket gun. So what is the problem with the Glock 42?

What’s the Problem?

Taking the gun to the range, it fires more comfortably than just about any other .380. However, firing the gun is where the problems may arise. Most Glocks are advertised to fire just about any round that you can fit in the magazine. This is not the case for the 42. High pressured heavier rounds and even some lighter rounds would not fire in this gun.

The vast majority of the rounds run through this gun fired just fine. However, we found that the 100gr. Buffalo Bore +P rounds would lock the slide back in place with rounds still left unfired. Freedom Munitions 100 grainers have exactly the same issue, whereas the much lighter Barnes XPD did not cycle the gun at all.

One of the Glock 42 problems came down to the recoil spring. It appeared to be very tightly wound compared to the 42s brother and sister models. This means that your ideal ammunition was going to fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. You did not want too heavy a round, but also needed to avoid especially light rounds.

The fact of the matter is that this is not an unusual problem for .380 handguns. Sure, it is a Glock and that may raise our expectations. The other, more pressing issue is with the barrel. Complaints have been made that their G42 shut down because of barrel damage. When the barrel was sent back to Glock, they said that the ammunition had damaged the barrel. It was just standard factory ammo.

As I have reviewed more and more complaints regarding the problems with the Glock 42, they all appear to be related to the ammunition. The rounds are catching on the magazine, or they do not eject properly. They lock the slide or they do not cycle at all. We even saw some double feeds on occasion. I believe that the use of ammunition that was not ideal for this firearm was causing further damage to it. Owners who load the gun with the right ammo the first time have no issues as long as they stick to that same ammo. Is it really the consumer’s responsibility to guess which ammunition will work best in their Glock?

The Response

The surprising part of this story is that a company as reputable as Glock was denying the overwhelmingly negative reviews of their gun. Well over half of the comments I have read about the Glock 42 were complaints. Having an issue with a firearm is one thing, but denying the problem and refusing to fix it is a whole new animal. By having problems with the 42, Glock was losing sales of the 42. By publicly saying there are no Glock 42 problems, Glock is losing lifetime Glock customers. It was disappointing to say the least.

Then comes the twist. Glock never changed their story and never admitted the flaws in the firearm, but they did secretly change the design. An associate of mine had purchased a 42 when they first because available in the US. Then after hearing rumors of small modifications being made to the design, he purchased a second 42 for a comparison.

What Changed?

One of the most obvious changes in the Glock 42 was the magazine. The original magazine had jagged, rough edges that were likely causing feeding issues. The edges of the new magazine are more subtle and rounded, and the new shape adds room in the slide next to the slide stop lever. The right side of the magazine is also shaved down where it comes in contact with the trigger bar.

The second change is in the slide stop lever. This one was obvious because of a different part number than on our other 42. The new slide stop has been rounded right where it meets the magazine follower. The previous part was much more geometric with angles and points.

The trigger mechanism housing has been modified towards the top of the part. An extended cut lip was added to the top right corner directly across from the ejector. This could potentially improve the feed of the round and its ejection.

In addition, the frame has somehow been modified. It was not obvious what changes were made, but the new frames are marked with a ‘1’ or a ‘2’ to distinguish which version the firearm has. In fact most of the modified parts are marked with these numbers. This is a unique feature you will not find in any other Glock models. It is obvious that Glock saw the need to improve their product.

In addition to these changes made to the factory design, there have been several instances where owners have now been helped by Glock. There are plenty of times that Glock has admitted the issues and either replaced parts on the gun to fix it or replaced the gun entirely. Despite the lack of a public admittance of the issues, it is good to know they are doing the right thing.

Those that have used the Glock 42 with the new modifications have been pleased. It appears that any issues with round feeding or ejection have been fixed. No longer do you have to be selective about your ammo choice, or so far that is how it seems. There is a much larger sample group of owners that are still firing the original version.

Conclusion on the Glock 42 Problems

As far as I can tell, the Glock 42 problems have been resolved. That does not help users that bought one three years ago and are still having problems. However, if you are one of those owners I would encourage you to contact Glock one more time. Tell them that you know about the modifications that have been made and would like a quality product, no more and no less. I am guessing you might find them significantly more responsive than you did the last time you called.

For those that have never owned a Glock 42, I would not hesitate to buy one based on previous issues. The fact of the matter is that overall I have been happy with about every Glock I have ever fired. The problems with the Glock 42 are in the past. If you are okay with a .380 and do not mind a two finger grip, give it a try. I think you will be impressed.

If you want to know what year your Glock was made in, check out: Stakhaus.com

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T. Price
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T. Price

Just purchased a Glock 42 in July of 2017.The worst pistol I have had in life. Feeding and stove pipe problems. Absolutely poor customer service from Glock…..can’t be contacted by phone. Will never buy another Glock. If you want to lose money buy a G42 . I did not feel safe with the gun. Please see YouTube for list of problems.

Kent
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Kent

Same exact problem here

Curt
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Curt

I’ve had a 42 going on 2 years now. Carry it every day. Put two or three hundred rounds through it on the range at least every other week. Never had a failure of any kind! Not sure why others are, but mine shoots just fine — every time. Don’t know if it’s significant, but I shoot CCI Blazer Brass for practice and Hornady Critical Defense for carry. The only other ammo I’ve put through it (again with no problems) is Precision One, Winchester white box, and Remington UMC.

Nate
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Nate

I bought a new Glock 42 from a dealer in June of 2016. I put over 200 rounds through it with constant ftf and fte issues. I called Glock and the customer service rep was a jerk blaming me for not holding it right and/or using the wrong ammo. I eventually sent it back and they supposedly fixed it. Once returned I tried it again, my son tried it again, and another friend…. SSDD. Just as bad as before. I went to the gun show and sold it to one of the snakes walking around, not my problem anymore. I… Read more »

JOE McHale
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JOE McHale

On June 5, 2017, I purchased a GLOCK G42 and the same day I fired 200 rounds through it on a range. About 150 were Speer Lawman 95 grain full metal jacket; and 50 were Federal 95 grain HP, High Shock Low Recoil rounds. The G42 performed flawlessly. I had a G19 and a G26 in the past. The G42 is as accurate and easier to shoot at the range.

Scott
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Scott

I just bought an older G42, manufactured in 2014. I took it to the range and had a failure to feed using Federal HST, 99 grain , JHP ammo. Blazzer hard ball was no issue. I would feel better if the gun would have performed flawlessly but I can accept that it did not. I will find the brands and types of Ammo the gun likes and stick to those. I’m fine with replacing magazines if those are the issue. I’m also fine with replacing the slide lock. I guess I can replace the trigger housing too. Where I draw… Read more »

Scott
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Scott

I found that the slide stop was interfering with the bullets which caused the FTFs. I corrected it and the issue is resolved. I do have to be careful with my grip though as I gave induced malfunctions by accidentally pushing the slide stop with my thumb. It’s a small gun so this is expected. I’m happy with the G42 now.

George
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George

Brand new Glock 42.. First 10 rounds went fine. After that, it will shoot one round and not feed another. I took it to the dealer, who took it home for test firing, and it worked fine for him. He said however that his wife has the same model, and has the same problem I do. I sent it back to Glock, They returned it within a week, and said it checked out fine, however, it still will not cycle. One round and done. Glock says it must be my grip. My grip seems to work fine for my other… Read more »

John
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John

Retired LEO, got the 42 for my pocket carry. Would not cycle 60 grain , try high defense 102 grain hollow points, would not cycle. Bought Federal champion 95 grain fmj. Ran two clips thru works fine.

Richard
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Richard

Military, Law enforcement and a firearms instructor. I have had the Glock 42 for 3 years now. The ONLY ammo that works with minimal issues is 95 grain. Anything below that will have constant issues. However, I still find issues when trying to chamber a round the first time on most occasions. Perhaps the magazine is at fault as I have read? I sent it to Glock to get fixed a few years ago and they said it was fine. I only carry my Glock 27 because I do not trust the 42.

R. McKinney
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R. McKinney

I am a retired Law Enforcement as of 2017. Bought the Glock 42 in 2016, qualified with it twice and have been to the range with it several times. Had one failure to feed when brand new. Have only used 95 gr ammo. Use Winchester ball for practice and carry Gold Dot .95 gr hollowpoint for carry. No issue with either round in my gun and very accurate.

Lindsay
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Lindsay

Ex military. Got a G42 a few months ago. Before firing it, I did a few mods just to ensure reliability: – High luster polish to feed ramp and chamber. – Polished slide/ frame contact points. – Vickers slide stop with pinch mod, and milled a little off the last round contact point to give clearance for the next round. – Stainless guide rod assembly to eliminate any flex. Have put approx 300 hundred rounds of various ammo through it with no issues so far. I trust it. Glock perfection? No. But it’s okay now. Maybe it would have been… Read more »

4x4
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4x4

Purchased G42 in FEB 2014. Suffered from light primer strikes. Returned to Glock three times. Finally they replaced the gun with a new one. Same problem. Threw gun in my “To Sell ” box. In APR 2017 I installed latest trigger housing mechanism and that cured my G42. Put two cases of Brazilian 95 gr FMJ through it, including my reloads, and never had a primer misfire. Deep primer indentations. The cure was totally done on my part with no help from Glock customer service department.