Pistols made by Glock are remarkable from the factory but we’re pretty sure there isn’t anyone that would argue that the best Glock upgrade that you can have is magazines. Having extra magazines not only allows you to fire more shots but it also reduces the times you need to load the magazines which allow you to make the most out of the time you spend at the range.
There is no doubt that aftermarket magazines give the best value for your money as it would only cost bare minimum but the results are phenomenal. However, before you make a selection for magazines, it is important to understand the pros and cons of having extra magazines and what to look out for when buying aftermarket magazines.
|Magazines||Name||Editor’s Comment||Rating||Get The Best Deal|
Most Recommended Option
1. Most used magazines for the AR-15
|Elitle Tactical System Glock Mags||1. Translucent design|
2. How many rounds are left in the magazine easily
3. Polymer construction
4. Offered as single-stack or double-stack
5. Up to 31-round capacity
|Glock OEM Magazines||1. Not as popular because of the price|
2. Will work best with Glock
3. Best reliability and durability
4. Has witness holes
5. 10 rounds to 33 rounds
|KCI USA Glock Drum Magazine||1. 50-round magazine|
2. Model that uses a double-stack magazine will be compatible
3. Something to have fun with
4. Polymer construction
Pros and Cons of Having Spare Magazines
With the standard capacity that comes from Glock guns, you will only be able to fire off a fixed amount. So why risk it if you can have a higher capacity and be ready for any scenarios that require you to defend yourself or your family.
Protection Against Malfunctions
With only one mag, you are bound to clear any malfunctions by ejecting, clearing and resetting your mag. It can be frustrating and can hinder your shooting experience at the range. Having a few extra magazines with you will help to enhance your overall experience and ensure that you can shoot smoothly.
Imagine having a 6-round mag and an extended mag, you will be able to swap out the magazines no matter what and when you are using those magazines for. It gives you the option to change to a higher capacity mag when you need it and to a lower capacity mag when you don’t need that much ammo.
Requires More Space
It is only logical that you will need more storage space if you have a few magazines for your Glock gun. However, it is the only downside to having extra magazines and the pros far outweighs the cons.
What to Consider When Buying Aftermarket Glock Magazines?
Since you are looking for upgrades from your OEM(Original Equipment Manufacturer) Glock mags, it is unlikely that you would be satisfied with the standard Glock magazine capacity. However, it is important for you to think about how many more rounds you want for your gun but it never hurts to have even one extra round in your mag as it can make a difference in an emergency situation.
Upgrading from the standard magazine is an indication that it should improve the performance of your firearm and if it doesn’t, then it’s not the best choice of mag. The aftermarket Glock magazines should at least be as reliable as the OEM magazine because if it’s not then what’s the point of getting a new magazine.
Even though the quality of many aftermarket parts are not as good as OEM ones, there are still some aftermarket magazines that have a high-quality build that is almost on par with the stock magazines. Picking an aftermarket mag with the best quality possible reduces the chances of any issues that you have to deal with in the future.
Another quality aspect that you need to consider is the quality of the grip surface and how much extra space you have for your pinky finger. Getting a good and improved grip on your pistol is one of the important factors that affect your performance so make sure that you can get a good grip on your pistol even with a different mag.
Having a budget doesn’t mean that you can’t get the best value out of aftermarket magazines. Although aftermarket Glock magazines are cheaper than factory Glock magazines and may seem like you won’t get much value from it, there are some that still offer great value at a reasonable price point.
Double-stack and Single-stack
These two are terms that you might come across when choosing magazines for your 9mm Glock pistols. Double or single-stack is just a description of how the ammo is fitted into the mags. Single-stack means the ammo is arranged in a vertical row and double-stack means that there are two staggered rows that are packed closely.
A single-stack mag is usually thin and has lower ammo count. Whereas a double-stack mag is thicker and holds more ammo. These two types of mags have their own advantages and disadvantages so it is up to you to decide what type of mag you want before you make a selection.
The Best Aftermarket Glock Mags
Now that you know the pros and cons of having extra magazines and what are the things to consider when choosing the best Glock magazines, here is a list of the best aftermarket Glock magazines on the market.
1. Magpul PMAG
Magpul is a well-known manufacturer for AR parts and the PMAG magazines are the most used magazines for the AR-15. Not only is the Magpul PMAG good for AR-15, but Magpul is making Glock PMAGs at the same standard as AR-15 PMAGs. Even though the Magpul PMAG didn’t start out being the best, it certainly resolved its issues and came out to be one of the best aftermarket magazines.
The Magpul PMAG is recently made to fit 9mm Glock pistols only but don’t be surprised if there are newer models in the near future that can hold other types of rounds. Just like the PMAG magazines that are made for the AR-15, it has a polymer construction. Magazines made with polymer are lightweight and the heavy-duty polymer used by Magpul for their magazines ensures that their magazines have the best durability.
Because of the polymer construction, it is offered at a lower price point than OEM Glock magazines. The Magpul PMAG has included a high-visibility orange follower for their magazines that is similar to the Glock Gen 5 magazines. This aftermarket Glock magazine has a dot matrix panel and the witness holes are at the bottom so you can only know if the magazine is full or not but not how many rounds are left in the mag.
This aftermarket magazine is offered at different capacity options from as low as 10 rounds to an extremely high capacity of 27 rounds. The things that are consistent throughout the different options are the use of stainless steel springs and floorplates that are easily removed.
You will like this if:
- You are looking for double-stack 9mm mags for Glock pistols. This aftermarket mag by Magpul will fit any model of Glock as long as it uses a double-stack magazine.
- You want an improved magazine from the OEM mags but do not want to pay too much money for it. Most of the Magpul Glock PMAGs that are on the market are offered at about half the price of an OEM magazine and the Magpul PMAG works just as well, if not, better than stock Glock magazines.
You will not like this if:
- You want your Glock to remain compact. For any model of pistols that have a small frame, you will find that the magazines extend below the grip and affect the compactness of your gun.
- You prefer to know how many rounds are left in the magazine. Not all models of the Magpul magazine have witness holes at the side of the magazine, some are at the bottom, making it difficult to know how many bullets you have left in the magazine.
2. Elite Tactical Systems Glock Mags
If you are in search of a new look for your Glock magazine, the Elite Tactical Systems Translucent Glock Mags would be perfect for you. As the name suggests, this magazine has a translucent design instead of the traditional magazine design. This innovative design makes this magazine one of the best aftermarket Glock magazines with the benefits that it brings.
One of the best benefits that you get from this see-through design is the fact that shooters are able to know how many rounds are left in the magazine easily. This feature eliminates the need for people to look through small trying to see how many rounds are left in the magazine. Plus, it is about as cool as Glock magazines get.
The Elite Tactical Systems Glock Mags has a strong and solid polymer construction that doesn’t break easily even when dropped. This is one of the reasons why this magazine is considered as one of the best aftermarket magazines for Glock pistols. Although the factory magazine and this aftermarket magazine both have a polymer construction, the durability of stock Glock magazines are still superior.
Other than its aesthetics and build, another thing that many people will find it satisfying is the calibers and capacities it is offered in. These Glock magazines are offered in 9mm, .380 ACP and .40 S&W, it is also offered as single-stack or double-stack mags and has a choice of up to 31-round capacity.
In general, this magazine will fit all generations of pistols by Glock like the popular Glock 17 and Glock 18. Reliability out of the box is also not an issue that will concern you as it’s made to be reliable. While it may not have the reliability of a factory magazine, it definitely won’t cost you as much money as purchasing stock Glock magazines.
You will like this if:
- You are looking for a magazine that gives you a clear look at the ammo count. With the translucent design, checking how many rounds are left in the magazine can be done in a breeze. Besides that, it is just cool to have a magazine that you can see through.
- You want aftermarket Glock magazines that are durable. Besides the strong polymer construction that makes it durable, it is also treated to withstand different temperatures which is a key difference from stock magazines. Even with UV exposure, the Elite Tactical Systems Glock Mags won’t break so easily.
- You do not want to worry about the compatibility between the magazines and your pistols. Since it is made for a few other rounds other than 9mm, like .380 ACP and .40 S&W, you won’t have to worry that it will not be compatible with your pistols as long as it’s by Glock.
You will not like this if:
- You are looking for a magazine that lasts as long as factory magazines. Even though it is durable and probably the coolest and best Glock magazine you can get, there is no guarantee that it will have the longevity of factory magazines.
3. KCI USA Glock Drum Magazine
This drum magazine is the one to go for when 30 rounds of capacity no longer satisfy you. The KCI USA Glock Drum Magazine is a 50-round magazine that is made for the Glock 17, 19 and 26. Besides the Glock handguns that are mentioned, any model that uses a double-stack magazine should be compatible with this magazine.
Other than the Elite Tactical Systems magazines, this is probably another one of those aftermarket magazines that you can have fun with. However, this KCI magazine is not only for you to have fun, it is actually practical for using it in the shooting range. With a 50-round capacity, it will reduce the amount of times that you need to change your magazines so that you can spend more time training rather than reloading.
Due to the capacity and the size of this KCI magazine, it is not the best option if your Glock pistol is used for concealed carry or self-defense. Since this magazine is meant to be bigger than other Glock magazines, it is constructed with polymer to keep this magazine as light as possible. There are some design implementations that allow you to keep the mag fully loaded without causing any damage to the feed lips.
Even though this may look like something that brings you joy when shooting, there are some mixed reviews about the reliability and the longevity of this aftermarket Glock magazine. So if you don’t mind having it just to try something new and enjoy a little bit, then this would be one of the best Glock magazines that you can get your hands on.
You will like this if:
- You are looking for magazines that can hold more than 30 rounds. This is a drum magazine for almost all generations of Glock guns and can hold up to 50 rounds of ammo. Compared to other aftermarket magazines, this is probably one of the best Glock magazines that you can have if you want to fire up to 50 rounds.
- Your Glock pistol uses double-stack magazines. If your Glock pistol uses a double-stack mag, you will find this drum magazine to be a perfect fit for your pistol. This aftermarket Glock mag is made to be compatible with any generations of Glock as long as the pistol uses double-stack magazines.
You will not like this if:
- You are looking for a Glock magazine that you can use for concealed carry or self-defense. Because of how big this Glock magazine is, it is impossible to use it on your pistol if it’s meant for concealed carry.
- You want high-quality aftermarket mags. With the polymer construction used to keep the weight of this magazine as light as possible, the quality of the build has been sacrificed. Which is also the reason why you will see many mixed reviews about this mag. Compared to other aftermarket Glock magazines, this one surely lacks quality.
4. Glock OEM Magazines
You may be surprised why a review about the best aftermarket magazines features the Glock OEM magazines. It shouldn’t come to you as a surprise that the OEM magazines are just as good, if not better than some aftermarket Glock magazines and it is definitely one of the best Glock magazines for your pistol.
OEM Glock magazines are not as popular as some aftermarket magazines because of the price that the factory mags are offered at. It is usually twice as expensive as aftermarket ones but the OEM performance is definitely superior. Even though the price of factory Glock magazines are higher, there is no doubt that it will work best with Glock guns.
Nothing on the market will beat the reliability and durability of OEM magazines and the only advantage that you will find in aftermarket Glock magazines are the prices that they are offered at. However, if you are looking for mags to use for training at the shooting range, cheaper magazines would be the best choice.
A benefit of factory magazines that you don’t see much in some of the best magazine options is the use of witness holes for the OEM magazine. These holes allow you to identify the ammo count left in the magazine and even some of the best aftermarket Glock magazines don’t have these holes.
This standard Glock factory magazine is also offered in a variety of high capacity options from as little as 10 rounds to 33 rounds. So, if your main goal is to have an extended capacity, the factory Glock magazines would be perfect. Since it is a magazine that is made for Glock guns, you should expect it to have no feeding issues, no jams and smooth operation.
You will like this if:
- You are looking for high-standard magazines for your Glock gun. There are very few magazines on the market that can actually match the reliability of the Glock OEM mags. Even if the mag is very similar to the factory magazine, it will still lack reliability compared to the standard mags for Glock.
- You want a reliable upgrade from the factory magazine or just have extras on standby. If the standard 10-round or 15-round Glock magazine is not enough for you, the OEM Glock magazines are available in high-capacity options and they even have a 33-round mag for your Glock guns. Since its magazines from Glock, reliability won’t be a problem that you have to worry about.
You will not like this if:
- You do not want to spend too much money on magazines. There are other polymer aftermarket Glock magazines on the market that are half the price of the factory magazines and can deliver similar levels of performance. So if you are just looking to have extra magazines for training or to practice with, this may not be the best option for you.
- You want special magazines. This is a very standard magazine for Glock guns and it’s nothing special so it may not be the right choice for you if you are looking for something cool.
Final Verdict – The Best Glock Mags Overall
Out of this list of best aftermarket Glock magazines, the mag that comes out on top would be the Magpul PMAG. The cost of this polymer mag is only half of the factory mags so you don’t have to spend too much money on extra mags. This is a good advantage as it allows you to spend on other customization for your handguns. Polymer mags that are made by this company are as reliable as stock mags so you should be expecting little to no issues from their polymer mags.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are all Glock magazines compatible?
Yes and no. All Glock magazines are made to be compatible with each other. However, the newer generation of Glock guns, the Gen 4 and Gen 5 have left-handed mag release so it won’t be compatible with older generation Glock guns.
What is the highest capacity Glock?
17-round Glock 17. The Glock 17 is the Glock gun that carries the most capacity and is a gun that is commonly used by the law enforcement.
Are Glock mags metal?
The older generations of Glock mags are made of polymer to ensure that the gun is lightweight. However, it requires more effort to release the mag so adding metal lining increases the weight by a little bit. Adding metal to the polymer construction increases the rigidity of the mag and it also makes the mag release easier and smoother.
Are Glock 33-round mags reliable?
Yes. These 33-round mags have a good finishing and are very well-built for heavy-duty use. The base pad of these 33-round mags are also strong enough to withstand abusive use so that even if you drop it, it still won’t break.
Does keeping mags loaded weaken springs?
There is no doubt that if you use the spring more often, it will wear out eventually. However, there are mags with springs that are built to last but there are also some that if you use it a lot, the spring starts to fail. So whether the mags are loaded or not, frequent use will still cause wear.
How many rounds of ammo should I have?
A general guideline is to have 1000 rounds of ammunition for every caliber. You should store these ammunition for the purpose of anything else except for practicing and have another 1000 rounds that are just for using it at the range. The bottom line is that you should have a 2000-round capacity on standby for any occasions.
How Do Aftermarket Glock Magazines Differs From OEM Mags?
Aftermarket mags have come a long way and the performance have progressed tremendously over time to enhance your shooting experience. Hence, aftermarket mags allow better grip, additional round capacity, higher level of comfort and so on. Besides that, these aftermarket mags are extremely reliable and durable but of course, you must do your part and make the necessary comparison before purchasing.
Hello there, it’s Michael here. A gun lover since young, served the country for the last 20 years. I started the blog to share my experience and gun-related knowledge accumulated throughout the years. Hopefully, you will find something useful over here or just have fun! You can learn more about me here.