P30L barrel lug broken.
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Thread: P30L barrel lug broken.

  1. #1
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    Default P30L barrel lug broken.

    Hy.
    Just managed to break the under barrel lug of my P30L at exactly 30.640 rounds fired over a period of 2.5 years. Just the day I was supposed to replace the recoil assembly when I got home.
    The last 10k or so of ammunition was only SB 115 grain.

    Ammunition shot during the life of the barrel was entirely commercial(no reloads) composed of a mixture of SB 115 grain(about 75%), Geco 125 grain(about 10%), Fiocchi 115 grain and some 125 grain(about 10%. the other 5% of rounds fired where a mixture of MaxTech, MagTech and some other random brands.

    The weapon was cleaned every 2500-3000 rounds.
    Before you trash me for neglecting my gun, consider this: I shoot a lot of handgun ammunition(at least 1000-1500 rounds a month), as I am an engineer by trade I have a decent understanding of mechanics and I came to the conclusion that a dirty and lubed gun(we are talking of modern guns with surface hardening on sliding parts), while sacrificing a bit of reliability will have an easier life with full power ammunition, as more of the recoil energy is dissipated by friction and smashing trough grime and only a lesser part will have to be tamed by the recoil assembly and or slide smashing into the backstop of the frame. So I keep my guns(especially range guns that I work hard) well lubed but not necessarily sparkling clean.

    Lubrication was applied at cleaning and at half time between cleanings if necessarily(at cca. 1500 round if weaker ejection or malfunctions appear).

    P30L barrel lug broken.-left-side-barrel-broken-bit.jpg


    P30L barrel lug broken.-underside-barrel-broken-bit.jpg

    Now, I post here not to trash the brand(a bit of a fanboy myself) but to ask if any one of you can share thought on possible causes, as this never happened to me even on less "over engineered" guns.

    So far I suspect "random of spec" heat treatment and/or "hairline fractures" induced during last steps of production process as the fracture presents some strange wave like shapes and cracks within. But since I am no metallurgist, maybe someone with more in dept knowledge can help.

  2. #2
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    Hi,
    Feel bad to see a Hk broke. Just my thoughts, no bashing in anyway.
    1 I recently had some issue with s&b ammo. 1 over charged and several boxes with bad primer in 2 different lots. I am guessing that it may be caused by overcharged round? I am lucky the over charged round did not do any damage to my bolt gun.
    2 weaker barrel lug is another possibility. I did not call it a defect because your barrel had over 30k rounds. I would not call that a defect. More of a bad luck.
    My friend told me.
    Pencil does not misspell, people do.
    Gun does not kill people, people do.

    Pistols
    HKP30s HKVP9

    Rifles
    HK SL8/PSG8

  3. #3
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    IIRC HK Barrels are cold hammer forged.
    What is you est rds/min and time between firing strings?
    What is your barrel date code?

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  5. #4
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    Hy.
    I also felt bad about it breaking. Until I get a new barrel(this will take a while due to bureaucratic reasons) I am stuck shooting my Glock 17 which is not my favorite platform. Not to mention it is a striker so my DA first shot will deteriorate.
    1. S&B in my area is very consistent, albeit a bit weak and dirty.
    When the barrel lug broke I did not notice any increased recoil, muzzle blast, or anything else. Just the weapon failed to eject the spent casing and the slide remained jammed shut(as the broken lug got stuck in the recoil assembly).
    After trying to rack the slide I noticed some strange play in the barrel when it was supposed to be locked up and I imagined what could have happen.
    So I took my Balistol spray and drowned the ejection port area so that the broken piece would easily slide out of the way. After that I tried to jiggle the slide while turning the pistol up side down, to let gravity move the broken piece. And so I managed to rack back the slide.

    2. Come on! 30K rounds should be well under 1/4 of a pistol barrel life. Especially a polygonal rifled one. This type of failure I have only seen on crappier guns with much greater round count. And since I suspect that HK does not skip corners on quality, especially barrel quality, I suspect that there must be a hidden reason for this misfortune.

    This is why I ask. So that the next barrel will have a longer life.

  6. #5
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    When the barrel broke I was training my reloads so I was shooting slow aimed pairs.
    That day I shot cca. 100 rounds before the one that broke the barrel lug.
    Usually, since ammunition is not free I do not shoot my weapons until they glow from heat. Usually, after every 2-3 magazines, I lock the slide back and touch the barrel near the muzzle. If I can keep my fingers on it for more than 1-2 seconds then it is OK. Every once in a while when I train for some long strings of fire I might ignore this behavior, but I doubt that this was due to metal cooking.
    Date code: BG. That calculates to 2016 and that corroborates with the fact that I know that it shipped from the factory in October 2016.
    Last edited by serghey24; 05-17-2019 at 03:35 PM.

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    Need better pics (pic 2).
    Show both broken/separated faces of the lug, it appears to have voids in it. Place the broken piece closer to the barrel lug > shine a light (better lighting) > shoot closer.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by serghey24 View Post
    ...2. Come on! 30K rounds should be well under 1/4 of a pistol barrel life. Especially a polygonal rifled one. This type of failure I have only seen on crappier guns with much greater round count. And since I suspect that HK does not skip corners on quality, especially barrel quality, I suspect that there must be a hidden reason for this misfortune....
    It has to be QC failure in the HK forging process for the barrel. It happens. I have a friend with 50,000 rounds on his P30L (9mm), and no failures of any kind. HK CS should take care of you. I would just stop speculating on what may have happened. You'll never know for sure.

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    P30L barrel lug broken.-60320399_581281995714812_3141209436706570240_n.jpg
    P30L barrel lug broken.-60338233_513732865829675_2713120021860581376_n.jpg
    P30L barrel lug broken.-60828115_446763902551638_2112646773125152768_n.jpg
    P30L barrel lug broken.-60886150_2378864609103772_9084499148421464064_n.jpg
    P30L barrel lug broken.-60911416_2157159314403204_7411118682320928768_n.jpg

    What I can say is that every time I clean the handgun i inspect the high stress areas with a magnifying glass and the other areas just visually.
    There where no cracks that I could see at the last clean-up(close to 2000 rounds before it broke).
    Also, the parts match when I mate them.
    The shiny spots on the fracture surface on both barrel and broken piece I suspect happen when I opened the gun after the part broke(as you can imagine there was quite a bit of persuading it before I had the idea to drown int in CLP to lubricate it). Basically they rubbed on each other while I giggled it.

    HK CS might be willing to replace the barrel for free in USA, but in Europe I will definitely pay for a new barrel as their answer was quite clear(weapon has a 2 year warranty).
    And I am (borderline)fine with this but I would definitely want to prevent this happening again as the HK barrels are not exactly cheap(this will cost me 1/5 of a medium salary in my country).

  10. #9
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    Can’t see enough, your pics are not hi-res, but then again it may be a moot point. The lug breaking off in such manner is certainly a warranty/replacement condition in the US.
    Lubricating the mating barrel/recoil lug surfaces I don’t think is significant, as the cam action from the first shot would shed the lubricant. Now if the recoil spring has 30K on it (more than the recommended interval), then it puts more stress on the barrel/recoil lugs.

  11. #10
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    I was under the impression that recoil spring is to be changed at 30k rounds. More to it, since I have access to a rather precise dynamo-meter I tested it a few times(academical curiosity) and the springs weight had a sudden drop at the beginning(first 1000 rounds or so) but then it remained basically constant.
    Did HK come out with a different maintenance schedule? If so, please share a link.

    Better pictures I can not produce. Sorry.

    As for lubricating the barrel/recoil lug surfaces, my coworkers(one have been studying tribology for quite some time) recommended that since it is a high pressure high acceleration and consequently high speed sliding motion it should be lubricated with grease, NLGI 2-3, high droping point, aditivated with MoS2(not with other crap like graphite, silicone...). Especially the tip of the recoil assembly that by design makes first contact with the barrel lug.
    I concur that the soap of the grease will be blown away at the first round but, if you take the time and rack the slide a few times by hand, after you lubricate the surfaces, the MoS2 will bind to the surface and will provide a slicker contact surface(as MoS2 are basically spherical particles that provide a ball bearing like mating surface and also fill the inevitable microscopic imperfections.
    Of course that it will not provide long therm lubrication but even if a small fraction of the number of sliding motions are lubricated, it is still better than nothing.

    Anyway, as you said these are all moot points as the lug is still broken.
    Last edited by serghey24; 05-17-2019 at 06:14 PM.

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