Glock G44 Durability test: Part Deux

Running the G44 through its paces.

Read Part 1: Glock’s G44: Tupperware Goes Rimfire

When it first came time for our G44 review, some questions have been raised by the guns already in circulation. Some decidedly un-Glock things were being alleged about the first ever “Austrian Wonder Gun” in rimfire format. So, we did what any good journalist would do. I’m just kidding, Hunter S. Thompson was the last good journalist. (Also, don’t click that link if you are easily offended.) Here at GunsAmerica Digest though, we do shoot you straight. We knew we had to run our G44 hard, to at least the same round count as others reported problems, which takes a little while. So here we are at part 2. You can catch up on the initial look right here.

To recap, the other reported malfunctions were broken/bent strikers, cracked slides, out of battery fires, and maybe it wouldn’t eat whatever brand of 22LR the new owner had on hand. So, since nearly every reported instance happened before 2000 rounds, that was the goal we set.

Brands of ammunition tested.

I would also like to point out that this was before the Kung Flu ammo crunch, which made getting bullets a whole lot easier. I regret now not telling our suppliers it was 5,000 rounds and would take all summer to complete. Anyway, we spent a couple of days at the range, to get up to the requisite number.

No slide issues on our test gun.

Let’s address the broken parts bit first, in fact, all of them at once. Because clarification is simple on that front. We saw zero broken parts, hint of a broken part, number on a bar napkin but it’s really the local weather channel cause she wanted to let us down easy but was absolutely not interested broken parts. A 1000 round tear down showed nothing, and the 2000 round teardown just showed a dirtier gun. The finish on the slide release is getting worn if you want to knit pick. But only because the G-44 goes to slide lock with such boring regularity. Rather what I expected for a gun with the big G stamped on the side. But, you don’t know until you test it yourself in situations like this.

Striker assembly, still true to factory spec.

The round count is a stickier wicket, but not much. Knowing that every 22LR firearm on the market is both a little finicky and usually has a preference, I didn’t expect miracles. But it is also made by Glock, so I kind of did. I wanted the mythical “brought up 22LR rounds from the wreckage of the Titanic, rolled them in spray glue and beach sand, put em in the mag backward, and they still shot just fine.” We decided on 8 brands of ammunition, which is a pretty good spread. We had subsonic all the way to hypersonic, and everything in between.

Dirty, but no problems.

Out of the box, our G-44 would eat everything except Remington and Winchester brands of ammo. With zero break in, it just chewed up every magazine of Federal, Gemtech, CCI, and Blazer we fed it. It was actually shocking how well it ate them. In my experience, even bolt action rifle 22’s get stoppages every few hundred rounds. You pop the case out with our pocket knife and go on, but it did still technically jam.

Slide lock assembly, a bit of wear on the finish. That is all.

Out of our first thousand rounds, I had ZERO malfunctions with anything except the aforementioned brands. After 300 rounds, I stopped even using them, to see if eventually, the others would give me a malfunction. They didn’t.

Internals, absolutely no issues.

For our second half, we switched gears a little bit. Since none of the reported breakages involved trigger parts, and we had yet to experience a light strike, we opted to test an aftermarket part as well. I am a big fan of Apex Triggers, and I know many of you are as well. In fact, when our G-44 shipped to us, the first thing I did was check to see if Apex had a trigger for it yet. Good news, they do. The same trigger that fits any other Gen 5 Glock will fit the G-44.

New Apex Tactical trigger.

Our Apex Trigger is bright red, so you can’t miss it in the gun. Not probably 100% Kosher for a purely scientific test, but again, it had nothing to do with the potential problems. Besides, if I had another 1000 training rounds to go, I wanted it to be with a trigger the same as my carry gun. This is one of the greatest benefits of the new G-44, and I’m happy it worked out. Apex dropped in, 5 seconds later put back together, and off to the range we go. It works just fine, and one I recommend for any Gen5 Glock you own.

Gen 5 Glock trigger assembly.

For our second thousand rounds, we came out of the gate with 525 rounds of Blazer. With boring regularity, our gun just kept going. It ate the entire brick with zero malfunctions. At this point, we decided to give the Winchester and Remington another chance.

Winchester still refused to run more than a few rounds without inducing a failure to feed or extract. The Remington gave me one more problem, first round out of the magazine, and then no more issues. Just to keep things interesting, we then opted to run an entire 300 brick of the Remington Golden Sabers. Proving that there is SOME break into the G-44, it magically decided to run all of those. With not one more single malfunction. We mopped up with various Federal and CCI to get to 2k, and called it a day.

The only explanation I can give for the Winchester is that it features a different shape to the bullet than the other 7 brands. Why I don’t know. But it does. I have 10/22’s that will chew it up no question, but the Glock hated it. If I only lose one brand of 22LR for the G-44, I still call that a win.

Two examples of Federal on left, Winchester on right. Note minor shape difference

Overall, I am happy to say that reports of Glock’s death have been greatly exaggerated. I don’t know what happened with anyone else’s gun, but I do know what happened with mine. It ran like a sewing machine and looked mostly factory new after it did. This is the perfect companion trainer to your centerfire duty Glock, and I recommend it highly. The only way you get better at shooting is to shoot. A lot. Now, with a rimfire version, you can afford to do so. I hope to see these at departments near me and flying off shelves. Mostly so I can have a G-44X and a 15 round magazine when Glock decides to make one.

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About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website, Off-The-Reservation.com

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Old Paul December 14, 2020, 7:56 am

    Each gun is a different individual. My G44 had to go back for warranty service due to a variety of malfunctions. It now functions fairly reliably, but not perfectly, certainly not up to the standards of its larger siblings.

    What is ominous and disconcerting is that the owner’s manual recommends cleaning every 100 rounds, virtually unheard of with .22 rimfires. Of course this gives the maker a convenient out if a customer complains. “Did you clean it after every 100 rounds as the manual recommends?”

  • LJ May 18, 2020, 2:31 pm

    First, let me say I’m a big Glock fan. I own eight models that covers all the generations. And I’ve been champing at the bit for years awaiting the arrival of a new .22 Glock. I bought one of the first model releases, but with that said, I’m not going to sugarcoat this!

    Of my Rugers, Brownings, and various other .22 semi-autos I own, the Glock was the most problematic on it’s first trip to the range. Now let me state right up front, I’ve only taken it to the range once but I did put close to 1000 rounds through it from 7 different manufacturers on that first trip. I had quite a few stovepipes, FTF’s, and about a half dozen soft primer strikes. A couple of the jams were pretty severe and a little unnerving trying to ‘defang’ it!

    I know this isn’t designed to be a target pistol like some of my Ruger’s and Browning’s, but I could barely keep it on paper at 25 yards off a sandbag. The sites are horrible and basically worthless – at least in my opinion. That’s the first thing I plan to shit-can.

    I didn’t range clean it during that shoot because I wanted to run it dirty until it failed, which it never did. But what I find out it seemed to run much better with heavier loads and higher velocity rounds. It didn’t seem to like the lighter standard or low velocity loads, however it did a pretty good job with the heavy weight subsonic loads, which is good because I plan to use my Genesis suppressor on it once I get a threaded barrel.

    I would never rely on a rimfire for self defense, so a high failure rate with this particular .22 doesn’t dissuade me, but my G44 is definitely going to need a little work to make it run better. I’ll give it a good thorough cleaning and install some better sights and put another 1000 rounds through it before passing judgement. Sounds like Clay got lucky and got a good one right out of the box. Looks like a got a turd!

    But Glock – for gawds – sake please put better sights on these things from the factory, especially since these things aren’t cheap – cost wise!

  • JCitizen May 12, 2020, 10:37 am

    I can’t attest to the earlier generation of Glocks, because I have a buddy that put 10,000 rounds of all kinds of ammo through his 9mm Glock – not sure of the generation, but it looked almost new out of the box! It was enough to convince me I need a Glock someday. I think I’d rather have a .45 cal Glock, and save the 9mm for a SIG similar to what the US is issuing to the GWOT.

  • MIGUEL B CUEVAS May 11, 2020, 11:04 pm

    Excellent

  • Jake May 11, 2020, 1:16 pm

    Back in the day when I shot Bullseye every week, everyone had trouble with Winchester T22’s. They would rarely get a guy through a string of fire without a dead primer. We would try them again or in a revolver and usually nothing. Bad priming. Same thing with Remington target .22’s. CCI was the gold standard. It always worked. We actually had very good luck with Remington Thunderbolts too. The majority were using High Standard Victors with a number of the Other High Standards and some S&W 41’s and the odd Ruger target in the mix.

    • Don Tros May 13, 2020, 1:27 am

      Well, it sounds good. Much like the Taurus TX22. Actually internally they look so similar, I’m surprised Glock isn’t going after them.
      And like this review, every review I’ve read about the TX22 has been great and mine worked great, for a while. I don’t count rounds but would guess around the 2000 mark, it began stove pipping, firing out of battery and other fun stuff. Keeping it super clean and using better ammo does help. Shows a lot of wear on the outside of barrel also!

  • Fal Phil May 11, 2020, 10:38 am

    This review sounds like what I would write about my Taurus TX22, except I had absolutely no ammo problems whatsoever after shooting 500 rounds each from 4 ammo manufacturers (Remington, Aguila, Federal, and Winchester).

  • Dan K May 11, 2020, 8:34 am

    I just have one small issue with the article – it is not KNIT PICK, it is “nit pick.” Knit is what you do with a couple of needles and yarn, nits are tiny bugs that you used to have to pick off.

    Good article, fun to read even though I prefer Sig’s to my Glocks.

  • Christopher Kennedy May 11, 2020, 8:08 am

    Glad to hear that you had such a good experience with your G44. Though I had similar results with CCI ammo, I found Federal Gold Medal match was disastrous with practically every other shot a misfire.

  • Christopher Kennedy May 11, 2020, 8:02 am

    It is interesting to read that you had such good luck with your G44. I picked one up for my wife and found that it ran flawlessly on any CCI that I fed it, but like a crappy secondhand Chinese knockoff with Federal Gold Medal match 22lr. The Federals were absolute crap in the G44. I tried three different lots. It was such a bad experience, that I called both Federal and Glock to complain about my underwhelming experience. I have No expectation that either company will or can do anything about it. I have always been a big Glock fan and an even bigger Federal fan, but this combination SUCKED big time.

    • Tj December 14, 2020, 4:57 am

      I bought (2) of the first ones #125 & 126
      My wife and I have put about 3000 round each of Aguila and CCI without a problem and I haven’t yet cleaned them. By the way I have (26) glocks in one of my safes. The darn things keep multiplying.
      Tj

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