Viewer Firearm Question: Why is the Barrel Loose on Glocks?
ATAC TV™ Firearm Reply and Answer:
This is a great question about GLOCK Pistols and shows that the viewer whom asked the question is interested in learning about the cycle of operation of his firearm. Tom Clarke and Lenny Bolton with ATAC TV Firearms Channel discuss the reasons why the barrel is loose when locked back. Understanding how your firearm works is the first step in gaining a complete outline and knowledge of the system.
Notice when the GLOCK slide is closed, the barrel is “locked up” and tight in the gun. Once the slide is pulled back, the barrel unlocks, tips up slightly and is loose. This is a huge component of the reliability of the GLOCK system. With the barrel locked up (in battery) the handgun is accurate. Lets talk about the cycle of operation in more detail.
Once the trigger is pressed and a cartridge is ignited, the firing sequence has started. The bullet travels down the barrel and exits becoming a projectile. The pressure in the chamber and bore drop and the slide begins its rearward travel. As the slide moves back, it unlocks the barrel and allows the barrel to tip back slightly as the extractor pulls the fired casing out of the chamber. The casing hits the ejector and is thrown out of the ejection port. At this point, the slide is back and the barrel is unlocked and loose. The barrel is tipped back slightly; notice that the angle of the barrel is the same as the angle of the cartridges in the magazine. The slide begins its forward movement, striping a cartridge out of the magazine and straight into the barrel or chamber. The looseness of the barrel as the new cartridge chambers makes the GLOCK so reliable. The slide completes its forward movement and locks the barrel, ready for another shot. Nice design and is used on many other handguns with a similar action.
Understanding the cycle of operation of your firearms system will make you a much better shooter and help evaluate the conditions and actions of you gun. Malfunctions are based on the cycle of operation and any situations where the system fails, is directly related to the system operation. Watch the video with Tom Clarke and Lenny Bolton to hear and see more detail on the GLOCK system and why the barrel acts as designed, and is loose when unlocked.
Watch Tom & Lenny Explain in this Firearm Video: Why is the Barrel Loos on the GLOCK Handguns?