ETS 12 Round Color Coded Mags: There is a Purpose

Have you seen all those cool colors that mags come in now? I remember when guns and mags were like the Model T. Black, black, or black. The old-school gun gurus would be having a fit if they saw all the crazy colors they make them in now. My favorite color is red, so of course, I have some red ETS mags. Why not, right?

I have mentioned before that you can give a rifle or handgun to any gun guy and watch the macho tough guy act melt away. He will swoon over dressing up the rifle with his favorite accessories. Customs pins, safety, bolt stop, handrail, grip—you can go on and on. And now you can have the right color of mag to go with your gun.

ETS 12-round Mag for Glock 43 - Want a red mag?
The ETS 12-Round mag for Glock 43 is a reliable mag that doubles the capacity of the standard 6-round mag that comes with the Glock 43.

But is fashion the only reason to have different colors of magazines? Don’t get me wrong, I like having a variety of colors. But there is also a purpose to having something that stands out.

Today I’ll be looking at ETS’s red transparent 12 round magazines. I use a lot of ETS mags and have never been disappointed in them. They make a good quality product and an even better price compared to factory mags. They offer a variety of colors for the buyer. Don’t just get one that looks best with your gun, use them for other purposes like sorting ammo type.

Before we discuss things you can do with color-coded mags, let’s look at ETS and their Glock-compatible mags.

ETS (Elite Tactical Systems)

The first thing I like about ETS is that they are made in the USA. More and more of our product is outsourced to other countries so I buy US made product when I can. ETS also makes a good quality magazine. They were one of the first companies to start making clear mags, allowing you to see the ammo in them.

When these first came out, I wrote them off as cheap plastic mags that would be junk. If you remember, that is what most of the country originally thought about Glock. When they first started producing their “plastic” guns people were skeptical. Turns out, I was wrong about ETS and am now a frequent user of their product.

ETS 12-round for back-up mag
The 12-round ETS Glock 43 mag would not be practical to carry in the gun but works great as a secondary mag that doubles your ammo in a self-defense situation.

ETS produces mags for many different types of firearms, but they are well known for their Glock-compatible mags. These mags are also compatible with aftermarket Glock floor plates. They can be disassembled with ease, and they use the same spring size and material as OEM Glock mags. If that is not appealing already, they also offer a lifetime warranty on their product. You can get mags with different capacities allowing your backup mags to give you more ammo in a self-defense situation.

Why color coded?

There are several things that color-coded mags can help with, the first being ammunition type. I like to do some regular shooting at the range with any gun I may carry on or off duty. I also like to carry different types of ammo for different situations. I keep mags for range use, so I don’t have to keep taking ammo in and out of my mags. For this, I like to use clear for range ammo and red for duty ammo.

For my Glock 43, I carry a factory mag in it but carry the ETS 12-round mag as my backup. The Glock 43 holds six rounds in the standard mag. The 12-round ETS mag can be carried in a pocket and provide a good amount of ammo should it be needed.

ETES red transparent mag allows you to see ammo in the mag
The red-transparent ETS mag allows you to see not just the amount of ammo in the mag but also the type of ammo.

The longer mags will stick down quite a bit, but I don’t care about how they look if I’m in a self-defense situation. Another thing that color coding mags can help with is marking the gun the mag was intended for. I keep all my extra mags in a drawer. When I’m in a hurry and reach in to grab an extra mag for the gun I chose to carry that day, I don’t want to grab the wrong one. I use red for 9mm for my Glock 43, clear for Sig 10mm, and blue for Glock 19/17.

ETS Quality and durability

ETS has been tested to the limits by gun enthusiasts and their videos can be found online. Because of their extensive tests, I will not go too much into the details. ETS has been subjected to many torture tests over the years and overall, they perform very well.

My 1st concern with these mags being all plastic is the feed lips. Other brands have had some issues with the plastic feed lips. They crack over time from the pressure of the spring pushing up on the bullets. Stribog had this issue with their straight mags and started producing curved mags to help with the issue. After years of use, I have never had any problems with ETS mags cracking or breaking off.

Can ammo be stored in ETS mags? - Yes
The feed lips on the ETS 9mm 12 round-mag are creep-resistant, allowing ammo to be stored in them without damaging the mag over time.

ETS uses advanced polymer and has what they call “creep resistant” feed lips allowing them to be stored loaded without any damage to the mag. They are chemical and UV resistant and can hold up to extreme temperatures.

ETI advertises that the mags won’t crack or break when dropped and if they do, they have a lifetime warranty that will replace them. They have a very easy-to-find phone number on the bottom of their website for customer service. Customer service is always important to me because it says a lot about the company. If they make it hard to get ahold of them, I tend to avoid their product. I have called ETS before and had no issue getting ahold of them (this was about a product question, not a product issue).


The ETS magazine is a great product (in my opinion) and the ability to choose the color is a benefit. The 12-round mag for the Glock 43 is great for carrying as a backup mag. It has double the capacity of the standard 6-round mag making it great for carrying backup ammo.

I have used ETS mags in Glocks, Sigs, and plenty of AR Rifles and have never had an issue with them. They are light, durable, and most importantly, see-through. This allows you to glance at the mag and know the amount and type of ammo in it. I would definitely recommend ETS mags if you are looking for affordable after-market mags that have a higher capacity and can be color coded.

Sheriff Jason Mosher is a law enforcement generalist instructor as well as a firearms and tactical weapons trainer. Jason graduated from the FBI-LEEDA (Law Enforcement Executive Development Association) and serves as a Sheriff for his day job. When he’s not working, he’s on the range, eating steak, or watching Yellowstone.

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