Rusty Range Find: Will it Work?
I was tempted to call this piece GLOCK Archeology, but I was afraid that was too esoteric. That’s what this is, though. I was on a range outside Wichita, Kansas, this past August, and I kicked up this GLOCK 17 magazine. It was filthy, and rusty. But it is a GLOCK magazine, and I figured it would work. So I knocked off the dirt, loaded it up, and ran it through my 19.
To begin, I simply wiped down what I could. I knocked the dirt off on the bench. It was filthy, inside and out, and had been out in the elements for some time. Even with the follower in place at the top, and the mag extension in place at the bottom, dirt had come in through the witness holes.
The dirt inside was dry. I banged it out to clear it, and to free the debris from the witness holes on the back. Quite a bit shook loose.
The plastic body of what I think is a Gen 4 mag was chewed up from the modifications. That Taran Tactical mag extension is milled aluminum, and unforgiving. Even so, there was enough plastic left on the magazine’s body to hold everything in place.
On the other end of the mag, the stainless feed lips were badly rusted. I wondered if this would bite into the brass, but didn’t have any way to polish them up.
I loaded up the magazine and ran it dry. It performed exactly like every other 9mm GLOCK mag I’ve ever owned. Every round fed perfectly. I ran a second magazine, just to confirm the results. No issues.
I’m not surprised that the magazine ran as well as it did. I don’t know how long it sat exposed to the elements, but it had to be months, at least. I don’t think CM meant to leave it behind. If nothing else, that mag extension isn’t cheap.
I’ve owned a number of GLOCKs in the last decade. I’ve shot and reviewed many more. In all that time, there was only one magazine that I had issues with, and it was for a GLOCK 23. I loved that gun–until I put 500 rounds through it in an afternoon. One of the mags I had on hand that day had issues. After one troublesome drill, I dropped the mag and threw it over the berm. Oddly, it was on the same range where I found this one five years later.
But this one works.
In the end, I can’t stop thinking about this question: does this mag still work becasue it is a die-hard design, or does this mag work because of the GLOCK?
David Higginbotham is a writer and editor who specializes in everyday carry. David is a former backcountry guide in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Boundary Waters Canoe Area who was a college professor for 20 years. He ultimately left behind the academy for a more practical profession in the firearms industry and was (among other editorial positions) the Managing Editor for a nascent Mag Life blog. In that Higginbotham helped establish The Maglife’s tone and secure its early success. Though he went on to an even more practical firearms industry profession still, he continues to contribute articles and op-eds as time and life allow.