Have you tried taking the bottom off a Glock mag before? Some are harder than others, but I don’t think I would say any of them are easy. Glock mags are some of the most durable magazines I have ever seen, and they stay together very well. I have used screw drivers, punches, plyers, and other tools laying around to take them apart. I wouldn’t say I looked like a professional doing it though. Especially when the spring goes flying across the room and I have to say in a matter-of-fact tone “yeah, that spring is still in good shape.”
The Real Avid Smart Mag Tool for Glocks is probably one of the most underrated tools on the market. I went years without owning one of these and didn’t think I needed one. It wasn’t until I had one that I realized how handy they are and how easy they make it to work on Glock magazines.
This simple little device helps you take the bottom of the mag off and put it back on. If you flip it over, it even has a tool that helps you unload your mag. If you own a Glock and don’t own one of these, keep reading to see how it works.
Step 1: Break Open the Base Plate
One of the things I like most about this tool is how compact it is. It can be stored in a toolbox, desk drawer, or in a range bag. There are no moving parts on it, so when I say it’s simple, it really is simple. I was able to use the Smart Block with most Glock mags including the Glock 43. The Real Avid Smart Tool for Glocks also works with after-market mags like ETS and KCI.
The first step to taking the mag apart is what some refer to as “breaking” open the floor plate before removing the spring. Breaking it open is done by using the forward-facing post on the mag tool (see photo above). Place the magazine so that the back is facing up. The floor plate on the mag will have a small hole with an insert that resembles pin. This pin will line up with the post on the mag tool. You then use the post to push in the pin on the mag. Push the front of the mag down and the back of the mag will go up, forcing the floor plate to come loose. You should hear a breaking sound as the floor plate comes open a little.
Step 2: Remove the Floor Plate
At this point, the floor plate should only be open about a 1/4-inch. It will not come off yet so it’s okay to take it off the front post. The magazine can now be placed over the second post and pushed down. Once the magazine has been pushed over the second post, pull the magazine toward the back of the magazine tool. As it slides backward, the floor plate will remain on the post, and the magazine will move without it. You can now lift the magazine and the spring will come out.
A small plastic piece called the insert be on the bottom of the spring. The magazine spring will be on top of the insert and then the follower. I have used a lot of Glock 19, 21, and 43 mags with this tool and it has always opened them with ease. One of my Glock 43 mags has a grip extension on it, so I was able to perform step one but not step two. Once the base plate has been broken open, however, it was not hard to pull it off by hand. This tool does not work with the 33-round mags.
Reassembling the magazine
The mag tool can be used to reassemble magazines too. This is done by placing the follower back on the spring and inserting it into the mag. Place the insert on the mag tool and line up the spring over that. Next, push down on the mag until the magazine is all the way down on the mag tool. Then slide the magazine forward, back onto the floor plate. You should hear a “click” sound as it locks back in place. This method is easier than trying to push the magazine in by hand while holding the floor plate on at the same time. If the floor plate slips off, the spring will go flying.
The mag tool is made to disassemble and reassemble magazines, but it can also help unload the mag too. When the tool is upside down, there is a groove for the mag to slide in. Line up the mag so that the back goes in first. As you pull the mag all the way in the tool, it will push a round out of the mag. Just repeat this process until the mag is empty.
Most people clean and oil their guns to make sure they stay in good working order. But we have all been guilty of neglecting our magazines. Even though they don’t get dirty like our guns do, they can build up dirt and lint over time. This can cause them to become less reliable. They don’t need to be cleaned as often as a gun, but taking mags apart once every few years to clean and check the springs is a good idea. If you are going to take your mags apart, the Real Avid Smart Tool for Glocks is the best way to do it.