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Glock pistols have gained immense popularity over the years due to their versatility, reliability, and customizability. The brand now offers an extensive range of handguns for everyone, from bigger ones, such as the Glock 17 9mm pistol, ideal for home defense, or Glock 34 9mm long-slide competition pistol, to smaller Glocks for concealed carry ranging from the legendary G17 compact pistol to G27, G30, and G43 subcompacts. Consequently, the popularity of Glocks encouraged firearm accessory manufacturers to come up with tons of customization solutions, and obviously, magazines didn’t become an exception. So today, shooters can choose from a great variety of aftermarket Glock magazines, which is cool, but how do you pick the right one? What should you consider? In this article, we’re going to get all things clear about Glock mags. Enjoy reading!
Table of Contents
Glock Magazine Capacity
Of course, mag capacity is the first thing to consider as it can influence several aspects of your shooting experience, such as shooting and reloading time – how long you can shoot without reloading and how much time the reloading process will take. It also impacts the range of activities in which your Glock can be used. For example, the Glock 17 with an extended magazine would be quite difficult to carry concealed, but plinking with it will be a delight.
Glock magazines can be classified into standard-capacity, extended, high-capacity, and drum mags. Standard capacity magazines hold as many rounds as the grip of a pistol can cover. For example, a Glock 17 magazine holds 17 rounds, a Glock 19 mag accepts 15 rounds, while a capacity of a standard Glock 43 magazine is 6 rounds.
Then, we have extended magazines and high-capacity magazines, which are the same things, but we’d like to distinguish between them. Extended magazines have an extended floorplate allowing them to accept a couple more rounds. High-capacity magazines, though may also feature an extended floorplate, have a longer body that gives that capacity increase. So, with a high-capacity magazine, you can increase the firepower of your Glock 17 from standard 15 rounds up to 33 rounds. Obviously, you won’t be able to concealed-carry it but have a fun range time.
An extended Glock magazine starts to shine when things come to increasing the firepower of a smaller self-defense Glock without hurting concealability. With an extended Glock 26 mag, you can raise the capacity from 10 to 12 rounds.
Extended magazines also provide more grip surface for better stabilization and control, which is crucial for subcompact Glocks. As you might know, the smaller the pistol, the less recoil force it absorbs, and the more of it you get.
Lastly, there are Glock drum magazines that offer even greater capacity, usually up to 50 rounds. Drum magazines are suitable for anyone looking for long shooting without reloading. However, the downside to drum magazines is that they can weigh quite a lot and may affect the balance of your Glock.
Size (High-Capacity Glock Mags)
If you’re on the fence about whether to purchase a drum mag or a long-body increased-capacity mag, here’s what you need to know. While drum mags offer the greatest capacity (up to 50 rounds), their drum-like shape is a significant downside because it makes them wider and bulkier. If you’re engaged in tactical games and other activities that imply plenty of maneuvering and moving around, you may want to consider standard high-capacity Glock mags.
A Glock magazine is made up of several components:
- The magazine body is the backbone of the magazine and is usually made of polymer. It needs to be strong enough to withstand wear and tear over time.
- The follower is a small piece that moves up and down along the inside of the magazine’s body. It’s essential for the reliable feeding of ammunition.
- The spring is responsible for pushing the follower up when the Glock is fired to load the next round. To work reliably, it needs to be made of robust and high-quality materials.
- The floor plate is the bottom of the magazine that attaches to the magazine body. It needs to be stable and durable to prevent the magazine from accidentally disassembling itself.
- The feed lips refer to the extensions on both sides of a magazine that hold the cartridges in and release them into the chamber as the firearm cycles. The design and shape of the feed lips are critical for reliable feeding, so it is crucial to choose magazines with strong feed lips.
When choosing a Glock magazine, it’s necessary to examine each of these components for durability. For example, the magazine body should be made of high-quality materials that can withstand repeated use without showing signs of wear and tear. The follower should be smooth and sturdy enough to move freely without getting stuck, and the spring should be made with quality materials that can maintain its strength and resilience.
Body Material: Best Glock Magazines
Today, all manufacturers use some kind of polymer to make the bodies of Glock magazines. However, the techniques and polymers vary. Here are some examples of brands that make high-grade Glock mags:
- Elite Tactical Systems (ETS): ETS manufactures durable translucent Glock magazines constructed with an advanced polymer formulation. ETS Glock magazines are extremely tough and resistant to impact and heat, making them ideal for tough shooting conditions. They also feature an anti-tilt follower for consistent feeding and flawless performance.
- Magpul: Magpul Glock magazines are produced super-stiff and tough, with reinforced polymer bodies. The material is both corrosion-resistant and lightweight, making it easy to carry while providing superior durability in any environment.
- ProMag: ProMag is one more popular manufacturer of aftermarket firearms accessories, including drum magazines for Glock pistols. Its drum mags are designed to be robust and reliable over long periods of use, making them a great option for applications where extended firepower is needed.
- Glock: Finally, Glock produces high-quality magazines designed to work seamlessly with their guns. The mags feature ultra-durable construction that can withstand frequent use without losing its strength or reliability over time.
Caliber & Model Compatibility
The topic of compatibility may not be abundant for most of you, but beginners still need to know a couple of things. Glocks come in a variety of calibers, such as the 9mm, .380 ACP, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, 10mm, and others. So you must choose a mag that fits the caliber of your Glock. If you own a 10mm Glock, you need a 10mm mag. It’s very simple. But what about different Glock models that chamber the same cartridge?
For example, take the Glock 43 and 43X pistols – they share the same caliber (9mm), but their mags are not interchangeable because the magwell of the latter is slightly wider. However, a Glock 43X mag fits the Glock 48, and vice versa. So pay attention to compatibility data.
Weight is also a crucial factor to consider when selecting a Glock magazine, as it can affect the pistol’s balance when shooting. As we’ve mentioned, standard mags are lighter than drum mags (not only due to a lower capacity but also because they use less material.) It makes them more comfortable to carry and handle. They come in various sizes but are relatively thin and compact, allowing for easy handling. However, drum mags offer higher capacity. Besides, for some, the added weight helps to stabilize the pistol better because more mass means less felt recoil. But note that the heavier the magazine, the more imbalanced the whole system can be, which can potentially impact accuracy. Lightweight standard magazines allow for quick corrections if needed without compromising accuracy or harming muscle memory since there isn’t much additional bulk added onto the firearm’s frame that might throw off your precision alignment every time you shoot from different stances.
Glock Mag Features
Some features can really boost your experience, so you might want to consider spending a little more money for a more advanced Glock mag. ETS Glock mags, for example, feature translucent bodies that allow you to quickly and easily identify how many rounds are left. This is especially useful in faster-paced shooting scenarios. Anti-tilt followers increase reliability by ensuring the rounds feed smoothly even in aggressive environments. Hexmag also offers its own signature magazine feature – the HexID Color Ammunition Identification System. It allows users to easily identify what type of ammunition they have loaded into their mags with different colors for various calibers and loads.
To sum up, to choose the best Glock magazine, consider the capacity, weight, design, features, materials, quality of the internal components, and compatibility, and research trusted brands with a proven track record for reliability. For an even better experience, fit your Glock with a flared magwell and pick a quality Glock speed loader. And don’t hesitate to check out our store. We’ve gathered a great collection of top-tier mags, including Glock extended mags, Glock 33-round mags, and Glock drum mags.
If your firearm collection is more extensive than a single Glock and you have a few rifles in your disposal, we have a Rifle Magazine Review.
Do Glock 17 and 19 take the same magazine?
Yes, Glock 17 and 19 magazines are one-way interchangeable, meaning the Glock 19 will accept a standard Glock 17 mag, but the Glock 17 can’t accept a Glock 19 mag because it’s shorter.
Do all Glock mags fit every Glock?
No, there are differences between different types of Glock magazines. When shopping, pay attention to the caliber, model compatibility, and Glock Gen compatibility.
Does Gen matter in Glock magazines?
Yes, it is important to ensure that you have the correct generation. The wrong mag gen can affect critical components which can cause malfunctions or unsafe operation.
Are 30-round Glock mags illegal?
It depends on where you live; certain states and municipalities have placed restrictions on magazine capacity so it is important to look up the local laws where you live before purchasing any type of magazine.
Why do you need a 30-round extended Glock magazine?
A 30-round extended magazine increases the ammunition capacity of your firearm. If you shoot competitively or like long-range shooting sessions, having a 30-round Glock mag is beneficial in terms of extended shooting time and fewer breaks for reloading.