Glock Magazines: Some Other Options (and why)

Since my retirement from the Marine Corps, my job has largely consisted of training law enforcement personnel, responsible armed citizens, and the occasional military unit. I see a lot of Glocks in classes. In fact, at least half or more of any given class will be running Glocks (and thus of course Glock magazines). The range of mags used in all those Glocks is wide and diverse, so I am able to get a pretty good picture of what works well and what doesn’t.

One of the most common questions asked about any non-OEM magazine, much as with any new firearm or firearm accessory is – is it reliable? This is obviously a valid question, particularly when we are talking about concealed carry, duty use, or a military application. For these uses, I recommend and use factory Glock mags (scroll down to see list by model). I and many others have found that factory (OEM) Glock mags are flat out more reliable.

But reliability is not always a requirement. 

Glock magazines.
OEM Glock clipazines. The author prefers them for serious use like duty or concealed carry, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look at “off-brand” versions.

And that’s why so many other mag options still have their place in your range bag.

Glock Magazine Options

Mags for the Range, Training, and Practice

Let’s say I am going to go take a high round count handgun class. Maybe I’m just planning a long trip to the range. Having numerous mags filled beforehand makes the time much more enjoyable because I’ve decreased the time spent filling magazines — though, like the water cooler or coffee pot at the office, many good conversations have been had while thumbing bullets into clipazines.

I usually carry a Glock 19 magazine in my Glock 19 and have a spare Glock 17 magazine in a pocket to serve as a reload or, as is more likely to be needed, for problem-solving a stoppage. Most of the time I also use Glock 17 during training or while instructing. You may do the same. However, for every couple Glock 17 magazines you buy, you could have purchased several so-called “off-brand” (non-OEM) mags and put them to good use. And given that your supply of the more expensive mags will eventually suffer the attrition of loss, breakage, or eternal loan, it just makes sense to rotate less expensive magazines into your lineup.

Plus, there are training benefits to be gained by using the less expensive, often less reliable, magazines — handling stoppages in particular. None of the after-market mags I’ve used have been so bad they constantly cause malfunctions but cause them they mostly do. This gives the shooter a periodic, unpredictable opportunity to practice solving those problems.

Some brands you might consider include the following. Remember that even with this the extent of reliability (or lack thereof) varies widely. One may never cause a problem. Another may make you want to smash it with a hammer. YMMV.

One day I will invent a magazine that causes random stoppages. Or that can be remote-controlled to cause specific problems.

Until then, however, I see absolutely zero downside to having segregated magazines. Use factory Glock mags that you have tested and confirmed for reliability on duty and in your concealed carry weapon, but use the ones that are a heck of a lot less expensive for at least part of your training and practice.

Save money and keep your factory mags fresh for work and defense. Use the leftover $$$ to take a class or buy ammo.

non-OEM Glock mags have their place in your range bag

Glock Factory Mags

Glock PMAG magazines with base plates.

Gunmag Training's Chief Instructor Daniel Shaw is a retired US Marine Infantry Unit Leader with multiple combat tours and instructor titles.  Since retirement from the Marine Corps, Daniel teaches Armed Citizens and Law Enforcement Officers weapons, tactics and use of force. Daniel takes his life of training and combat experience and develops as well as presents curriculum to help Law Enforcement, US Military and Responsible Armed Citizens prepare for a deadly force encounter.  When he isn't directing marketing for Gunmag Warehouse, Daniel travels the US teaching and training under Gunmag Training, and discusses all things hoplological and self-defense related on The MagLife Podcast.

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