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My Glock Keeps Locking Back: Causes and Fixes

Using a Glock is a thrill until you have some problems with the slide locking in the back position. Once the slide is back, the weapon will refuse to go through the feeding cycle, and no more rounds will be expended until the problem is fixed. So why does my Glock keep locking back, and how can I fix it?

The most common reasons a Glock will lock back is from a weak slide stop lever spring or the handgun is too dirty to function properly. Another less common reason the Glock slide will lock back on a full mag is that the mag is defective.

Glock handguns are some of the self-defense weapons you can buy. They have a mystique surrounding them that makes them desirable, and most gun owners are in love with them. However, they have some issues locking in the back position when firing. Don’t stress over it! Read on and learn all you need about your Glock locking to the back.

Why Your Glock Keeps Locking Back

One of the most notorious headaches involving semiautomatic weapons, like a Glock, are that they have jamming issues that could cause them to stall during function. The slide being locked back is a sign that the weapon could need cleaning or that hardware must be fixed inside. Often it is simply a spring or lousy magazine.

The slide on a Glock should lock back on an empty mag. If the slide stop lever is not functioning properly due to a weakened spring or carbon build up, it will act as if the mag is empty on every round fired even with more rounds left in the magazine.

Why Does my Glock Lock Back After Every Shot?

The reason that your slide locks back each time is because of a few different reasons. You should load a round into the chamber and then remove the magazine. Removing the mag forces the weapon to fire one shot at a time. If the slide locks back after the shot with nothing behind it, you have a spring issue.

A few ways that your Glock could stick to the rear when firing are as follows:

  • Slide Stop Lever – Check the slide stop lever if your weapon has fired a single shot and still locks back. You will need to remove the slide and flick the slide stop lever to check for tension. If the lever does not return to its place immediately, there is a problem with the spring, and it needs to be replaced.
  • Cleanliness – If your Glock is dirty and hasn’t been maintained, it could stick to the rear with every shot. After each range session, carbon buildup on the inside should be taken care of. If you neglect your gun, it will not work as it should. Take the time and use cleaning patches and a good cleaning kit.

Glock is a dependable weapon, but that doesn’t mean that there are things that will make it fail. To ensure it stays in working order, you must have a maintenance plan. Keeping your firearm clean is imperative to a long life and will prevent any malfunctions from occurring.

Here’s a good video showing a possible fix, with more info below:

I use either Brownells, Palmetto State Armory, or Optics Planet to buy parts, that way I always know what I’m getting and that it will actually show up.

What Causes the Slide to Lock Back?

When searching for why your firearm locks in the rear position, you often come up with the usual suspects. No matter who makes the weapon, if it is semiautomatic, there’s a chance that it will jam and could lock back.

When this happens, you must remove the mag, dump the contents of the chamber, and search for answers.

A few reasons that your slide could lock back are as follows:

  • Maintenance – The main reason weapons lock to the rear is that they must be maintained. Taking care of your gun is essential; if you neglect it, you can expect malfunctions and failures until you get it cleaned. Take a gander inside the owner’s manual, and you will see their recommended cleaning times.
  • Faulty Magazine – The magazine is another thing to check when your slide locks to the back. Mags that have weak springs will force a misfeed in the chamber. When this happens, the slide will stay back and not move forward. Test magazine springs often to ensure they feed correctly.
  • Your Grip – Like the stovepipe jam, your grip on the gun will influence whether it locks to the rear or fires correctly. Sometimes your thumb could be on the slide lock button. If this happens, your finger could prevent the slide from moving forward. If the lock is engaged, it will not unlock from the rear until you release the button.
  • Malfunctions – Semiauto guns are prone to malfunctions that could force the slide to the rear or leave the chamber open. You could see the slide lock back if there’s a hiccup in the feeding, extraction, and ejection phases.

The Glock isn’t known for being a temperamental firearm. They are easy to use and maintain and dependable when you need them. If the slide locks back, you should check the chamber, and if there is a malfunction, clear it before trying to fix the problem. Safety is critical when dealing with loaded guns.

Maintenance is the Key to Preventing Lock Backs

It isn’t the most fun part about guns but cleaning them is the most important. There are guidelines inside the owner’s manual that outline how to disassemble the weapon and adequately clean it.

You should know that the most critical time to clean a firearm is after you fired it at the range. Carbon can jam your Glock, and you should fight it.

A few ways to ensure that your Glock is clean are as follows:

  • Schedule – Keeping your weapons on a cleaning schedule is one of the best ways to prevent malfunctions. You won’t have to do it later if you have a set time after your range day that is set aside for cleaning weapons.
  • Cleaning Kit – One of the best things you can do is invest in a good cleaning kit. Kits have rods and patches that allow you to sweep out the carbon build-up and get into nooks and crannies. Lubricating the weapon is imperative, and cleaning kits should have oil inside.

Maintenance on your weapon is one of the best ways to ensure you don’t have a frustrating day on the range. Set aside the time to care for your Glock, and you could continue to carry the firearm for decades.

I use either Brownells, Palmetto State Armory, or Optics Planet to buy parts, that way I always know what I’m getting and that it will actually show up.


If your Glock keeps locking to the rear when you fire it, there could be a problem with the slide stop lever, or it could need cleaning. Another thing to consider is how you hold the weapon when firing. For example, the slide could stay back if your thumb interferes with the action, the slide could stay back.

In the end, your weapon should return to regular firing after you have adjusted the slide-stop lever and given it a thorough cleaning. Remember that if you have issues with your grip, the only thing to cure them is to adjust how you hold and work towards removing your thumb from the process.