Best Glock Magazines thumbnail image

Best Glock Magazines

80 Percent Arms   |   Nov 26th 2021

Our GST-9 MOD1 is our image of what a perfect stock Gen 3 Glock should look like. As such, it is of course compatible with all Glock OEM and aftermarket companies’ magazines. Today, we review the best Glock magazines to buy for your MOD1 and what to watch out for.

But first, a quick DISCLAIMER:

Unless specifically noted otherwise, products mentioned in this blog are not authorized, endorsed, manufactured or warrantied by GLOCK. GLOCK does not guarantee that these products are compatible with GLOCK pistols.

“GLOCK” is a federally registered trademark of GLOCK, Inc. and GLOCK Ges.m.b.H.. Neither 80 Percent Arms nor this website are affiliated in any manner with, or otherwise endorsed by, GLOCK, Inc. or GLOCK Ges.mb.b.H.. The use of “Glock” on this page is merely to advertise the sale of GLOCK-style pistol frames, components and aftermarket parts that are compatible with Glock products. For additional genuine GLOCK, Inc. parts and products please visit www.glock.com.

FAQs

Answer your burning questions about Glock magazines here:

Is it bad to leave bullets in a Glock magazine?

Technically, no. Springs don’t wear down based on the duration they’ve been compressed but how many times. Think of it like a bed’s mattress. When companies market their mattresses, they’ll tout how many times they’ve tested the bed and gotten on and off the bed. They don’t tell you how long they’ve sat or laid on the mattress.

While there may be a break in period or varying factors such as the quality of the metal... Scientifically speaking, you should be able to take a magazine from a gun loaded during World War II and if left alone, the mag and its spring should still feel brand new. The comparison could be made to a paperclip. Its shape is not going to change because it’s already bent. But once you start messing with it and fidgeting, the bonds in the crystalline start to weaken.

In fact, there’s a higher likelihood that you’ll start experiencing feeding problems due to the magazine’s feed lips and not the spring. So as long as you’re using a relatively new magazine that hasn’t been loaded several times, you will be just fine to leave any magazine loaded with ammunition, not just Glock mags.

Why is the Glock illegal?

Glock handguns are not illegal to own or sell. While some models may have certain NFA restrictions such as the G18, that’s because it’s a full automatic capable handgun. To be specific, there may be some states like California which restrict Generation 4 and 5 models for civilians to purchase brand new. Otherwise, for older folks, there may be a misconception that polymer handguns are not legal to own but… that might be the oldest piece of fake news to exist in the modern gun world which was also propelled by productions in Hollywood.

How many Glock magazines should you have?

Short answer - as many as you can afford. Long answer - depends on what you’re doing. For competitors I’ve seen anywhere between three to five mags on the belt and of course there’s one more in the gun. For law enforcement, I usually see officers carry a minimum of three magazines total but I’ve seen a Sheriff’s deputy once carry something like eight or nine mags between his duty belt and a leg rig panel. At some point you’ve got to consider if the weight you’re carrying is worth the extra weight which will inevitably slow you down. However, there’s always value in having fresh mags stocked away for emergencies or when your mags do break as they don’t last forever.

What is the largest magazine for a Glock?

The largest magazine for a Glock or our GST-9 MOD1 would be a drum mag which will usually house either 50 rounds or 100 rounds total.

Why are Glock mags so popular?

Glock magazines are incredibly popular because first, they’re cross compatible between a variety of Glock or Glock style handguns. Second, so many people in the country own Glocks already. So it stands to reason, when a company is designing a gun chambered in 9mm, they might stop to consider making it compatible with Glock magazines - and several companies have done just that.

Just as our 80% AR-9 lower receivers are compatible with Glock magazines, as are these other weapon platforms:

  • AR-9
  • Kel-Tec Sub2000
  • Kriss Vector
  • Maxim 9
  • PAK-9
  • Ruger PC Carbine
  • Ruger PC Charger
  • Wide variety of aftermarket Glock style manufacturer such as Shadow Systems or Zev

Is there a difference in Glock magazines?

Yes, there is a difference between all the different Glock magazines. Multiple magazines are cross compatible with different handgun models but they are usually caliber or length specific. For example, a Glock 26 can accept G26/19/G17/G34 magazines because of its short frame. However, a G17 frame will not be able to accept G26/19 magazines, even though it’s the same caliber, due to those magazines’ length being too short to be properly seated

OEM Glock Magazines

Obviously, we have to start with OEM Glock magazines. You may have questions about magazine compatibility between the various generations (3, 4 and 5) - we’ll get into all that and more.

Standard Magazine Capacities

So we have to clear up a terminology definition first. To the anti-gunners, “standard” capacity has been marketed as 10 rounds or less in a magazine due to capacity restriction in gun control measures. In reality, standard magazines (at least for Glock magazines) have always been 15 rounds for the Glock 19, 17 rounds for the Glock 17/34 and so on — but any magazine capable of holding over 10 rounds has been labeled as a “high capacity magazine.” Pretty ridiculous.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Glock OEM magazines. In fact, they’re great. Really the only issue is the price. Although a Glock 19 15 round magazine is nowhere near the price of a magazine from say Sig Sauer or H&K… aftermarket Glock magazines tend to be half the OEM price if not less.

Limited Magazine Capacities

With regard to what we just mentioned about magazine terminology, a limited capacity would typically refer to any mag that only holds 10 rounds or less. For example, a Glock 17 10 round magazine would fall under that category. As would a Glock 19 10 round magazine. Honestly, the only time I don’t mind a 10 round magazine is when I am appendix-carrying for less weight on my waist. Other than that I always want as many rounds as possible.

Glock Big Stick
Glock OEM big stick mag ODG

Yeah buddy, these are the stuff of anti-gunners’ nightmares. These products are colloquially known as ‘stick mags’ for obvious reasons and are great for higher round capacity, ease of reloading due to its heavier weight. For OEM mags, there are three that you can get, 24, 33 and 35 rounders. 22 round stick magazines are also available for .40 S&W. If you're lucky enough to find them, these can be found in olive drag green like in the photo above but they are very rare. 

Drum Mags

Unless you have some sort of pistol caliber carbine, SBR or full auto setup, it’s just kind of silly to be using a Glock drum magazine that holds either 50 or 100 rounds in it. You’re better off just using a few stick mags instead as it would be difficult to balance the gun while aiming with all that extra weight. I have to say, an AR-9 with a drum mag definitely looks super mean. Sometimes people just like cool looking things, even if they’re not incredibly practical. If that’s you, more power to you.

Magpul Pmags for Glock

G17 pmag

The average OEM Glock magazine is going to cost around $25 per mag, which is why Magpul’s Pmags are extremely popular. Pmags are usually half the cost, if that, of an OEM Glock magazine. Whether it’s in a ‘standard’ or ‘limited’ capacity, there are Pmags for both. (Glock 19 10 round and 15 round mags) It’s easy to identify when Glock 19 magazines are actually Pmags because they use an orange follower and the polymer it’s made out of feels thicker. Unlike the small holes in the back of OEM magazines, Pmags only have one hole on the side of the mag’s body indicating when they are full at the 10, 15, or 17 round mark.

ETS Magazines

ETS magazines are fun because they come in so many colors but they’re mostly known for having translucent Glock magazines. Although colorful, the see-through mags are helpful for immediately being able to know how many rounds are left in the magazine - rather than struggling with an OEM Glock magazine and trying to see which holes are showing the casings inside or just guessing by the weight.

Props to ETS for actually naming their magazines with the correct terminology. They list their Glock 19 10 round magazines as ETS LIMITED and the other magazines just based on how many rounds they can hold and of course what models they are compatible with. If you need help differentiating which of your mags hold what types of ammo, put that Sharpie away and try out the ETS R.R.S. instead (Rapid Recognition System). The R.R.S. is a colored follower along with a colored insert.

So say you keep your hollow points in ETS 15 round magazines with a red follower and red base insert, frangible rounds in mags with yellow followers and inserts and any full metal jacket rounds in magazines with no base insert and just a normal black colored follower… well with one look you’ll know exactly what’s in your mag and won’t have to fumble around and think too hard while closely inspecting your loaded ammo.

KCI Magazines

Kyung Chang Industry Co. (KCI) makes a lot of reproduction magazines for a variety of firearms but their magazines for Glocks are by far the cheapest on the market. So if you need to grab some standard capacity magazines to stow away for the end times, this is the company to get them from. Plus, the Brady Center is currently suing them for making “high capacity magazines” such as drum mags which only makes me want to support the Korean company even more.

Honestly, at a glance they look identical to OEM magazines with the exception that there is likely a difference in quality of springs and the KCI magazines for Glocks have a very sharp follower that’s not always fun to handle. KCI 15-round mags for Glock 19 pistols7 are currently on sale at GunMag Warehouse for only $9.99!

Best Glock Magazine Base Plate Extensions

Glock does have OEM base plate extensions but other than the newer Gen 5 G19x they’re mostly for their line of subcompact handguns so the pinky finger has something to hang onto. Those are okay, but they’re nowhere near attractive in form or function compared to these companies’ base plate extensions that you should check out:

Taran Tactical Innovations

TTI 9mm glock base plate extension

TTI, the home ground of training Hollywood actors starting with Keanu Reaves for his John Wick franchise which has taken “gun-fu” to a whole new level. To give your GST-9 MOD1 that John Wick look, grab some TTI base pads for Glock magazines that can extend your mag capacity or at the very least increase the weight of your mags for faster drops and ease of speed reloading.

Zev Technologies

Zev extension base plate for Glocks

If you don’t live in a restricted state you can also opt for a Zev extended base pad for Glock magazines which adds 5 rounds to your mag’s capacity. This one in particular only works for Glock 17 magazines but will work perfectly with the GST-9 MOD1 when the large grip module is installed.

HYVE Technologies

Hyve extension base plates for Glock handguns

Hyve makes aftermarket parts and accessories for a lot of different companies which is why they're loved by many different types of gun owners. As far as Glock magazine base plate offerings go, theirs are set aside by the wide variety of color selections which can be had at the most affordable prices compared to any other brand. They also have custom laser engravings that you can add as an option when ordering new OEM Glock 19 magazines as a combined purchase. 

GlockStore
Glockstore baseplate extensions

Based in San Diego, CA, GlockStore also sells affordable base plate extensions that are similar to what TTI has to offer but without the brand name or the hefty price tag and they come in a few different colors as well. Their brand is called Double Diamond and they carry aluminum base plate replacements which serve only to drop mags quicker. But they also have magazine extensions which add to your magazine's capacity giving anywhere between an extra two to five rounds. 

Get your next Glock mags from 80 Percent Arms!

Perhaps one of the best reasons to own and shoot a  GST-9 MOD1 is because of how it takes advantage of the Glock magazine ecosystem - which encompasses a huge selection of both OEM and aftermarket magazines. The options are endless, only limited by your wallet. Start your new MOD1 build today and let us know if you need any help along the way!