Best Aftermarket Glock Magazines: Max Reliability

Let’s play a game.

Name a brand that the firearms accessory industry supports more than Glock.  I’ll wait.

Naming another company as prolific in its aftermarket as Glock isn’t easy, is it?

In fact, it’s damn near impossible to find a gun that comes even close to competing with Gaston Glock’s plastic fantastic when it comes to upgrades and customization.  You can buy sights, grips, barrels, slides, triggers, and on and on to turn your Glock into something barely recognizable as a Glock.

Maybe you’re in a hurry and need some magazine options now, well these are our recommendations:

Can't Go Wrong with Stock:Glock OEM
See-Through Plastic, Because it's Awesome:Elite Tactical Systems
New and Improved:Magpul

Here at Pew Pew Tactical, we’ve talked about aftermarket slide stopsaftermarket Glock triggers, and aftermarket Glock slides that completely change the look, and in some cases performance, of the gun.  

disassembled Glock

 

But about one of the handguns most important part, the magazines?  

Are there any magazines out there that can improve on Glock OEM Mags performance, or at least match OEM performance?  

In this post, we’ll not only talk about the high-quality aftermarket Glock magazines, but we are also going to look at affordable magazines for the range, and one brand to steer clear from.

25 at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Now before we dive into aftermarket magazines I do want to go ahead and say Glock itself manufactures high quality and dependable magazines.  

They can on occasions dry up in terms of supply, and like many OEM magazines tend to be a little pricier than aftermarket.  However, they are rock solid magazines.

Best Glock Magazines

This first group of Glock aftermarket magazines is the best of the best.  You can trust these magazines day in and day out, and they are reliable, affordable, and widely available.  These magazines that are worthy of both defensive use and competition use.

Elite Tactical Systems

Elite Tactical Systems mags, aka ETS, are some very eye-catching and recognizable magazines for the Glock and AR platforms.  They stand out from other magazines because ETS produces them from a translucent polymer, which gives them a unique appearance.

Best See-Through Glock Mag
19 at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

In addition to looking cool, the clear nature of these mags provides you with a means to instantly check how much ammo you have left in the gun.  Glock OEM mags use witness holes, but ETS magazines use witness everything.  You can instantly know exactly which of the magazines in your range bag are loaded and which are not.

ETS magazines are also well known for their durability and reliability.  They can be dropped over and over, kicked, thrown and tossed and they just keep working as smoothly as ever.  The same advanced polymer that provides such an unusual appearance is, according to ETS, also resistant to feed lip creep, harsh chemicals, and both high and low temperatures.

Clear ETS Glock mag
Resilient and good looking

One of the best things about the ETS magazines is they make so many different varieties of magazines.  

Unfortunately, they only come in 40 S&W, 380 ACP, and 9mm.  No love for the 10mm or 45 ACP family.  40 S&W magazines should also work with 357 SIG, although I don’t have first-hand experience since I don’t own a 357 SIG.  

However, they have the standard Glock 17/22 19/23 and 26/27 magazines in their respective round count like you’d expect.  You also get options for the Glock 43 single stack 9mm and the Glock 42 single stack 380 ACP in their standard capacity configurations.  

Then the extenders come into play.  

ets clear mags
ETS Clear mags with a modded Glock.

The increased capacity single stack magazines are my favorite.  These mags allow you to carry 7, 9, or 12 rounds of 9mm or 380 ACP, depending on your gun.  Plus, something about seeing a 12 rounder peeking out the rear of a Glock 42 is hilarious.  

These compromise concealed carry by increasing size but can double your capacity.

When we move on to the double stacks we see a pretty big increase as well.  Everyone knows about the Glock 18 33 round magazines, and they’re lots and lots of fun at the range.  Well, ETS produces extended magazines in capacities of 31, 27, and 22 for 9mm and 30, 24, and 19 for the 40 S&W.

ETS clear double stack glock mags
ETS makes some awesome double stack mags that are great for the range, self-defense, or competition.

The 31 and 30 round magazines are designed for fun, while the other 27, 22 for 9mm and 24 and 19 for 40 S&W are designed for competition and to fit inside various rules.  The 9mm 22 round and 40 S&W 19 round are 140 mm and are legal for USPSA limited division.

The 27 and 24 round magazines are for IPSC and are 170mm.

Speaking of competitions, one final bonus for these magazines is that most Glock base plates will fit on these magazines.  This opens you up to base plates from companies like Taran Tactical.

40 at Rainier Arms

Prices accurate at time of writing

The price is also solid.  ETS magazines are available for less than $20 a piece.

Readers' Ratings

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Magpul

Magpul made a huge splash only a few years ago showing their new Glock magazines.  They had a rocky start and issued a recall pretty early on, but those problems are long gone.  

These days, everyone knows the Magpul PMAG is an amazing magazine and revolutionized the AR 15 magazine world.

Best Polymer Glock Mag
15 at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

The Magpul PMAG GL series aims to do the same for the Glock magazine realm.  At this time Magpul is only selling 9mm Glock magazines, but I imagine they will expand this as time passes.  They have expanded their 9mm line significantly, and have options for the Glock 17, 19, and a 12 round magazine for the Glock 26.

Magpul Glock magazine
Magpul 12 rounder

Magpul just recently released a 140mm, 21 round GL9 magazine, legal for USPSA limited class.  Magpul is also releasing a 170mm, 27 round magazine for IPSC.

magpul extended glock mag
Magpul 33 Round Extended Mag

The Magpul makes their magazines almost entirely out of reinforced polymer, which makes them tough and stiff.  The floor plate is interchangeable with most Glock aftermarket plates as well, like these from Taran Tactical ($40).

Taran Tactical base pad kit for Glock 19,23
TI Glock base pads

Magpul magazines drop free without issue, even when empty.  

They are also pretty dang affordable, and at only 12 bucks for a standard 17 rounder, you can’t go wrong.  

My first experience with these mags was due to the fact that Kel Tec includes them with their Sub 2k Gen 2, and I’m now a convert to the Magpul Glock magazine for my little rifle.  

Pro shooters and trainers, as well as yours truly, have given them rave reviews.  They are just too affordable and high quality to say no to.

keltec glock mag
Lots of other guns, like this Keltec Sub-2000, also use Glock mags.

There is one downside, though.

The majority do not have any kind of witness holes, with the 17, 15, and 12 rounders only having a single hole at the bottom indicating the magazine is full.  The extended magazines do feature witness holes, which make more sense because these stick outside the magazine well just a bit longer.

Overall, however, these are excellent magazines that are effective, affordable, and dead nuts reliable.

Range Mags

Not every magazine has to be used for life and death scenarios.  Your average concealed carrier doesn’t carry a spare mag, and for those that do Glocks come with 2 to 3 magazines when purchased anyway.  Sometimes you just want extra magazines for the range.

When I go to the range, I want to dedicate my time to shooting, not loading mags, especially if the range charges by the hour.  At the range, I don’t need magazines designed to go to war, so I’m willing to skimp a little to get more affordable options.

If you want some range mags that are both reliable and affordable there are options.

Some of these magazines are intended to be used for genuine training, while others are just goofy fun.

KCI USA

KCI USA is a Korean manufacturer that produces super affordable, all-polymer magazines for a very low price.

glock extended mag
KCI USA makes pretty good mags if you’re on a budget. Up to you if you want to rely on them in a defensive situation though.

Are they reliable?  Most of the time they will cycle and feed fine.  Will they stay together after they’ve been dropped dozens of times?  Maybe not.

KCI also makes your standard 15 & 17 round mags for 9mm ($8.99), as well as a 33 round magazine ($12.99).  One of their cooler, and more interesting, options are the 50 round drum.

KCI USA 50 round drum

It’s completely ridiculous looking, but it holds 50 rounds of 9mm.  It’s also quite heavy, impractical, and a little more expensive ($59.99), but sometimes ridiculousness is its own reward.  After all, who wouldn’t want a Glock drum?

KCI USA makes a 40 rounder for 40 S&W for Glocks too.

Just Say No To These Mags

Not all magazines are great, and not all have a price that reflects their quality.  These magazines are even unreliable on a static range.  They’re frustrating and are often just plain junk.

So unless you want to get really good at malfunction drills, you should avoid this magazine company.

ProMag

ProMag produces magazines for almost every gun out there, even more, obscure ones.  

The real shame is with a little quality control they could produce some awesome mags for weird guns.  Unfortunately, ProMag has gained a reputation, and not a good one.

My experience with ProMag has been with their 1911 mags, their AK mags, and one solitary 10 round Glock mag a guy at the gun store gave me.  They were all frustratingly bad.  On some occasions, the magazines may function perfectly fine, but not usually. 

Dumpster fire
Real Image of ProMag in Action

Things might be different if ProMag priced these magazines according to quality, but in a lot of cases they cost just as much, or only a hair under Magpul and ETS magazines.  Plus, you’ll just end up needing to buy a replacement, so you’re far better off just buying a decent magazine, to begin with, even if it’s quite a bit pricier

Many retailers will no longer carry them because of customer complaints, so be wary.  I’m purposefully not linking to them for the same reason.  You aren’t even saving money, just get the Magpul ones if you’re trying to save some money.

Glocked Out

glock 26 with extended slide release
Glock 26 with extended slide lock.

Glock’s Plastic Fantastic has left a mark on the world that many have tried and failed to reach.  Part of that success is due to a massive aftermarket, and the magazine aftermarket has only recently begun to grow.

I love that someone besides Glock is making high-quality magazines for the platform, especially since more and more guns are using Glock mags.

glock mag ar
AR’s like this one take the same Glock mags your favorite handgun does.

Now that you’ve gotten your mags, it’s time to personalize your Glock.  These are the 4 Glock Mods we can’t go without.

Now, am I missing any aftermarket magazines makers you’d suggest?  Have you had a good experience with ProMag?  Do you agree a drum for a pistol is completely necessary?  Let me know in the comments below.

19 Leave a Reply

  • Zorba

    I have exactly one ProMag, for my P.38 pistol. I wish all mags were made like this one - it appears to be an extrusion rather than folded sheet metal, is blued and looks real classy! I've had zero problems with it to date - BUT - I replaced the stock spring with an extra Wolff mag spring I had on hand before I ever took it to the range. The stock spring felt like it was twice as strong as any other P.38 mag spring I'd ever seen - since I had a replacement on hand, I didn't fool with it. I cannot speak about ProMag otherwise, no other experience here.

    3 months ago
  • Smoke

    ProMag = NoMag.

    4 months ago
  • Dimo

    I own a dozen ETS mags (ranging from 10-33 rounds). Initially loved them, but quickly realized that their springs are garbage!! If you leave any of my mags fully loaded they will quickly lose their integrity and reliability. Each one has proven Tubidy unreliable and I wouldn't trust them for defense. Lately I stopped bringing them to the range all together because they are just toys and novelties at best. Don't know why the editors here think they are good? They must not have enough experience or I put them through real work before posting these Stellar reviews

    6 months ago
  • MRich

    Lots of oem glock mags of all round counts in 9mm and 45 acp, the gold standard! why glock doesn't make an extended 45acp mag is beyond me. I have two magpul glock 9mm mags, a 17 and a 21, they are great, I also have 1 glock 9mm Ets 33 round mag, so far so good. I have two kci 50 round glock 9mm drums, have been totally reliable and awesome, just got an rwb glock 45acp drum, the excitement has quickly died, won't feed. .FTF FTF FTF!!!!

    6 months ago
  • G. Shervo

    PROMAG stands for "Please Remember, Our Magazines Are Garbage"

    9 months ago
  • David Jackson

    I've got 6 of the KCI 2nd generation mags and while they look well made they were a real mixed bag out of the box. I shoot a Glock 21 and a 30 so I was looking for big sticks for .45 and this was what I found. A little research on the internet led me to some basic rules regarding their products. First off stay away from the older first generation mags. They're the ones that have that stippled texture halfway down the sides. They are supposedly bad mojo. Second go out and put Wilson springs in them. While the sticks are dead-ringers for the factor Glock magazines the weakness with these things is the garbage springs. Once you remove those and replace them with the Wilson springs for 9mm/40 big sticks you go from 26 rounds of .45 that may or may not all come out of the magazine to 25 rounds of .45 that are pretty darn reliable. They went wrong saving money on the springs and its fixable. They're not going to be as cheap as you hoped though once you have to put new springs in them so unless you're like me and stuck without options in .45 I'd say talk to Magpul first or just buy the Glock factory mags.

    1 year ago
  • David M

    I bought two 7rd Promags for a Kahr P9. I thought I was getting a deal, and it was cool to see that they came finished in a dark (almost black) blue color as opposed to the bare metal of all factory Kahr mags. Being relatively new to firearms, I didn't know the rep they had. My two standard round Promag magazines are about a half inch too long and stick out the bottom leaving a healthy gap between the grip and the mag plate. They are so long that I actually squeezed another round in one just to see if it would fit (it did, although it was too tight to trust). They also bulge out a fraction of a mm in the middle of the mag, to the point that I have to pull with a little force just to remove a mag. I'm not even talking about sticky mag drops. These are plain stuck until I pull them out. Considering they are metal mags and my grip is polymer, I'm betting my grip would break in before the mag, and I'm not looking to ruin the tolerances of my pistol. Poor quality control. Months later, I was looking at the same website where I originally purchased them. The 7rd mags are oddly no longer available, but now an 8rd version is available with an extended baseplate grip. Are you kidding me? I'm betting my 7rd mag is just the 8rd extended mag with a standard baseplate and longer spring. I suppose it is my fault for not seeing the word "flush" with the 7rd purchase, but I would have assumed standard count would have been flush if there was no pinky extender. Now I'm stuck with oddly long 7rd mags. I could attempt to buy the 8rd mag plate for a more flush fit to the grip, but I really don't feel like giving this company any more business.

    1 year ago
  • Josh

    The only issue I have seen with Ets glock 43 mags is the spring tightness. If I carry with one chambered then it will fail to eject. Will have to test more

    1 year ago
  • St Nik

    I have only heard good things about Amend 2 Mags and the price is appealing. Waiting for the 40s&w to be released.

    1 year ago
  • Not Sure

    dont forget theres also SGM tactical, and RWB magazines. ive heard kci had alot of bad reviews and when kci heard about it they sent new upgraded mags to those who made reviews on youtube and it seems like they fixed them. classic firearms also had alot of bad feedback about the rwb mags they sell but later said on their website that they returned them to their supplier due to bad springs and have also received upgraded magazines that should no longer have the issues. seems like alot of companies have issues at first but its important to review how the company handles it as well

    1 year ago
    • MRich

      Just got a rwb glock 45 acp 40 round drum from classic firearms, it won't feed...no range time yet, not sure it's worth it...

      6 months ago
  • Dr.Vince

    Just one look at that transparent ETS mag, with the rounds tilting nose-down from the 4th round, will tell me enough about how it will function ...

    1 year ago
  • Bob

    I had nothing but problems with ets mags sticking not letting the rounds come up.l buy pmag or glock mags

    1 year ago
  • Gary Dumoulin

    Good article. I don't know if others have had this problem but I have found that after market mags that don't have a metal liner will expand at the top if left loaded for along time. This will allow 5 or 6 rounds to fly out of the mag at one time. This might be the elcheapo mags I bought for 10 bucks each lol. I guess you get what you pay for. I only buy genuine Glock mags now, lesson learned I suppose.

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Yea...10 buck mags might have been too good to be true!

      1 year ago
  • jrw

    Love the ETS magazines for my 9 mm Glocks, but their 40 cal 30 round magazines turned my Glock 35 into a single shot. Multiple failures to feed, where the nose of the round nosed down and jammed into the base of the feed ramp. Sometines tap, rack engage worked, other times I had to lock the slide bask and strip the mag. Talked with product development people at ETS and when this problem happens it is with the G35 only. Thye are working the issue and asked if I would be willing to help test for a solution. Korean KCI 31 round 40 cal mags for Glocks are strictly for range use to practice stoppage clearance.

    1 year ago
  • npear

    Well the drum would be nice for the Glock 18 owners. My 33 rd mag makes me have a few fliers.

    1 year ago
  • Tim McNamara

    Now if Only we can find a manufacturer that can do a G20 Mag that hold 10 rounds of .38 super. Then I will be happy. Great article.

    1 year ago
  • Michael Scheidell

    Had too many problems with pmag 12 round, g26 Gen 4. Magpul replaced them once, sent two sets of followers. Broke my glock speed loader trying to get 12th round in. Firearm won't cycle for several months with 12 rounds. (You need to JAM 12 rounds in and let sit for weeks at a time). Multiple FTL, FTE at the range, during drills and competitions. Cost me points. Can't rack slide with 12+1, FTL on first shot, and random FTL after. 15 round ok, but not 12. Springs are bad. Need to be re-engineered. Don't use for self-defense, could cost more than points.. if your 12 round mags worked, then they must have finally replaced springs

    1 year ago
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