No, folks, the old guy here didn’t mess up his punctuation.  (Not this time, at least.)

Last weekend I was shooting a Glock match (Glock Sport Shooting Foundation, and when I loaded my G42 .380 to shoot the Pocket Glock division, the trigger didn’t re-set forward to ready-to-fire condition when I chambered a round. Whisky Tango Foxtrot? I cleared the gun, the range officer and I checked it, and it definitely had a dead trigger. My shooting buddy David Rodgers volunteered to take it to the on-site Glock Armorer while I shot something else, and was kind enough to do so while I shot my next division, Rimfire, with the new Glock 44 in .22 Long Rifle.

When he came back with the bagged pistol, David told me with a big grin, “Rock in the Glock.”

I heard “Rockin’ the Glock,” which is a younger shooter’s term for those of us who carry and/or shoot Glock pistols, and looked at David quizzically: Hell, everybody there was “Rockin’ a Glock.”

Dave shook his head. “No,” he said. “Rock. In. Your. Glock.” 

And he showed me the pebble the Master Glock Armorer had removed from the disconnector.

My lovely bride and I are still trying to figure out how the Hell that happened. She’s involved because she’s an Advanced Glock Armorer, and my own armorer’s certification with that platform has long since lapsed. In our house, she’s the Glock Nurse. If cars were guns, I’d be a driving instructor and she’d be a chief mechanic.

Now, the Glock pistol is one of the most reliable firearms in the history of weaponry. She and I use that little .380 these days only for Pocket Glock events, a few of which I’ve been lucky enough to win. It lives in the safe and travels to the range in a zippered case inside an enclosed roller bag. She routinely checks our competition Glocks before matches, but was absent this time caring for a sick relative.  How that pebble got in the Glock’s mechanism I’ll probably never know.

But I do know the lesson. Folks I shoot with tease me that I never clean my match guns or recreational guns until lower life forms start evolving inside their neglected mechanisms. I once let a Springfield Armory XD(m) 5.25 9mm go three thousand rounds plus without cleaning it, which it survived without mechanical malfunction, which was the purpose of the exercise.

My defense guns, however, get inspected monthly.  A trophy on the line is one thing. Life on the line is another. The defensive firearm is a life-saving emergency rescue tool. Treat it the way a firefighter treats his or her equipment: if they’re not using it for its intended purpose or training with it, they’re inspecting and maintaining it.  The Glock Nurse would have caught the pebble if she’d been home.  She wasn’t, and I didn’t take up the slack, and was lucky to have caught the problem when we did.

Don’t make the mistake I did.


  1. Mas, your a great teacher and an asset to us all. I’ve allowed my own handguns go dirty. But, it’s asking for trouble, if our lives have to depend on it. Keep it clean. I’ll go a low round count without cleaning my handguns.

  2. Mas, it’s a silly question about two shotguns. One a Benelli M-4,verses a Beretta 1301. Which has the better gas system? The beretta is cheaper of ithe two shotguns.

      • Mad, thank you, I’m cooled off now if purchasing M-4, I always liked the 1201 and 1301 shotguns very light and a little cheaper.

    • I kind of have both- my Benelli M2 has launched a lot of rounds and has been really reliable up until I tried to use some cheap low base birdshot in Mas’ reunion last December- but that was my fault for trying to cheap out on the ammo and not test its reliability before the session. I just got a 1301 upon recommendations from several trainers who, like Mas, prefer it. I got the Tactical model, which is already set up with good options. Add magazine extension, ammo carrier and maybe sling and/or RDS and it will be very serviceable.

  3. That’s the rock they took out? How could a rock that big get IN there?!

    Barring someone’s idea of “messing with Mas”, that is.

    • Jo Ann, you are to be forgiven for perhaps thinking that the rock was actually not that, but was a small wad of chewing gum, or some kind of after-market safety device. After all, it did seem to perform the safety function perfectly.

  4. I’ll throw out a possible scenario. I’ll bet that a full mag was dropped on the ground during a reloading exercise and got that rock wedged under the forward end of the top cartridge in the mag. When the slide was racked it rolled the rock forward as the cartridge above it was pushed into the chamber and then fell into the internals from there. It could have been in there for some time until gun handling finally allowed it to migrate to where it could it could cause an operation failure.

    Mas, these kind of failures fall into the category of “acts of God”. You better carry a tomahawk as a backup.

  5. Good reminders here, uncle Mas. I love the Rolling Rock reference as well, recalling you referred to that brand in a long ago article which still gives me a chuckle. But I do wonder, so either you or EP ever carry the G42 or any other .380 as CCW/backup?

    • The Evil Princess is more likely to carry her only slightly larger Glock 43 9mm. I’ve carried the G42 for backup when we were flying, had limited space for luggage, and had a Glock match on the travel menu.

  6. Mas – Do you let your magazines drop free to the ground when shooting matches with this gun? Is it possible that a falling magazine might have “picked up” the rock when it fell to the ground? Then, if you picked up and inserted the rock-loaded magazine into the gun, perhaps even racked the slide with said magazine in-place, could the rock have been transferred into the gun’s internal mechanism?

    In other words, maybe you racked the rock into your Glock! (Sorry, I could not help myself.) 🙂

    • Can’t say it’s impossible, bro, but I’m pretty sure I’d have noticed during the process of checking the magazines prior to the match.

      • Mas – As Sherlock Holmes noted and I quote:

        “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

        By any measure, finding a small rock in your Glock is an “improbable” event. So, unless you are in the habit of burying your Glock in a gravel bed as a “torture test”, I think that a transfer via a dropped magazine is the most probable rock-loading mechanism. I do grant that even this is a low probability. Still, it is not an impossibility which, as Sherlock Holmes reminds us, is the important point.

  7. Hmm. Never had a rock but done a lot of Rockin’. Started with Glocks 20 years ago. Reliability is certainly a key word here.

  8. Sometimes magazine loading gets to be a habit pattern and you do it without really paying attention. I once grabbed a handful of cartridges and loaded a magazine, glanced at the top rounds and resumed practice. Came the click several rounds later. It took me awhile, but I finally figured out that I’d somehow managed to drop an empty case in the ammo bag and loaded that case without realizing it. Embarrassing, but at least now I know that firearm will load empty cases.

    Could a rock somehow found its way into the pistol rug and, if the pistol was in there with the slide locked back, migrated into the action?

    • @ WR Moore – “Sometimes magazine loading gets to be a habit pattern and you do it without really paying attention.”

      You are sure right about that! I once took a rifle class which required burning up a lot of ammo. I was using a Ruger Mini-30 for this class (7.62 X 39 caliber). Well, during one exercise, I had a malfunction. The gun would not fire and the bolt was jammed in-battery. The instructor stopped the exercise and we managed to clear the malfunction.

      The cause of the problem was a defective round. The bullet had been jammed into the case neck with such power that the case body was badly distorted. That this was a bad round was obvious just by looking at it. Nevertheless, I had pulled this round out of the box and loaded it into the magazine without ever noticing that it was plainly defective. I had been so consumed with the shooting exercises and then reloading magazines (again and again and again) that I was in “Automatic-Mode” and I never saw the problem coming.

      The instructor made a comment about only using a good brand of ammo. Maybe he was assuming that this 7.62 X 39 ammo was cheap, foreign-made junk. I had to tell him that I WAS USING good ammo. This ammo was good AMERICAN-MADE, brass-cased stuff made by one of the big US ammo manufacturers. I won’t say who made it. After all, with mass-production, a few “lemons” will always get produced but it was from one of the “Big Three”.

      So, you are “dead on” with your point that handling and loading magazines can become “automatic”. Especially given the time pressure of a match or a training class.

      • TN_MAN,

        I once read where John Farnam said to check all defensive ammo before you use it. The best time to check it is right after you buy it.

        I don’t shoot a whole lot, so I have decided to check ALL ammo after bringing it home from the store. A few days ago I purchased a case (10 boxes or 250 cartridges) of #8 bird shot. This will never be used for self-defense, but I checked it anyway. No problems found, but I feel pretty good when loading my guns. A problem may still arise, but it won’t be an obvious, preventable problem.

        If I did a lot of shooting, checking all ammo may become a time problem. But it would still be a good idea to check ammo which will specifically be used for self-defense, as opposed to target practice.

      • @ Roger Willco – “I don’t shoot a whole lot, so I have decided to check ALL ammo after bringing it home from the store.”

        Checking every single round of ammo is not an option for me. Given the anti-gun political climate in this country, I have been stockpiling ammo since Obama’s first term. I now have enough ammo stockpiled to re-fight the Battle of Iwo Jima! 🙂

        So, hand-checking every single round of ammo is not a practical option for me. I do agree, however, that defensive ammo should be carefully inspected before being loaded into magazines, cylinders or speed-loaders. I do hand-check that subset of ammo and I have confidence that those cartridges will go BANG in the event of a defensive emergency!

  9. Better check all your guns for invaders, Mas. Next time, there may be a bug inside one of them, especially if your palatial home is not regularly inspected by the Orkin man.

  10. Funny coincidence.
    I was doing the weapon check before my students fired the practical in my January License to Carry class, and I caught a student’s Glock with a trigger that wouldn’t reset. I didn’t have time to disassemble and check it out, so I never knew what the gunsmith he took it to found.
    He had just had his Glock checked over, and practiced with it a couple of days before. Funny what otherwise-reliable guns will do during a test.

    I lent him the pistol I bring for just such situations, and he scored 250/250 with it.

  11. Mas,

    What are your thoughts on the Striker Control Device, from TAU, as an additional layer of safety when holstering Glock pistols?

    • I’m a big fan. Adds one more layer of safety, never a bad thing, and no downside. Tau Development Group in New Mexico, Google will get ya there.

  12. My guess is that it got in the zippered case at the last match and the gun picked it up from there. I have pulled all kinds of things out of my range bag after an outdoor match, but rocks and casings different from my caliber is the most common.

  13. Mas, please heed this friendly advice from a fellow husband who has experienced such suspicious events. Check to make sure your life insurance coverage has not increased substantially without your knowledge. After all, she’s not called the EVIL Princess for nothing. If something does happen to you, she may even change her nickname to the Black Widow ;-).

  14. Back in the 80’s when stone washed denim was a fad I found a small “stone wash” pebble in my pocket holster s&w 36.also found them in denim jacket pockets.
    We’re you rockin’ some vintage wear?

  15. Mas, Can you please tell me if you recommend Ruger SR9c as CC and Home defense gun? Do you think its trigger is too light for that? Asking as its on sale right now.

    • We’ve had several come through the school and they all worked fine. I don’t recall the trigger pull weight offhand, but if YOU think it’s too light for your taste, it probably should give you pause.

      • I am new to guns.And I have been to range only 4 times and tried different guns and only 2 guns I shot in center bulls eye each time at 15 yards (maximum shooting lenght of that shooting range) were glock 19 gen 4 and Ruger SR 9c.

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