One of the best things about the AR-15 rifle is the magazine. It’s a universal magazine that works in hundreds of different brands of AR-15-style rifles. This may also be the story with Glock as companies continue to produce handguns and PCCs that accept Glock mags.
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Could we be slowly moving away from the days of creating a completely new magazine with every new handgun?
When I buy a new handgun, I get frustrated if it only comes with one magazine. I like to have a minimum of three mags for each handgun, if not more, and some mags cost upwards of $50. This is one reason I gravitate towards guns that accept Glock magazines. Since I already have plenty of Glock mags, there is no need to purchase more when I buy a new gun.
The other reason I tend to prefer guns that take Glock mags is the compatibility between handgun and rifle platforms.
What is so special about Glock mags?
In 1982, Gaston Glock, a curtain rod manufacturer, invented the first Glock handgun. Originally designed for the Australian military, it has become one of the most popular guns in our history. It is a simple design, reliable, lightweight, and has a high-capacity magazine. Glock handguns are popular—used by most law enforcement in the US, and preferred by millions of citizens around the world.
More recently, however, Glock magazines have become very popular with other firearms manufacturers. The double stack magazine design allows for higher capacity with minimal mag size. Most Glock mags are smaller than their competitors while holding the same amount of ammo.
The high-tech polymer molded mags have a steel metal tube built into them to provide more durability. They have been tested with just about every assessment you can imagine, but I will not get into the details of the durability tests right now. The point is, they are very strong and reliable mags. Other mags are just as strong and reliable, but they are not as abundant as Glock mags.
Availability & Compatibility
Having a good design and being tough as nails is not enough to claim the most popular magazine ranking. Availability must also be on the list.
Because of Law Enforcement purchases and the fact that Glock is a popular choice of handgun for many Americans, Glock mags have become the easiest handgun magazine to find. They are also available in a wide variety of sizes that are all universal within the same caliber of firearm. From regular handgun mags to longer stick mags and drums, you can have multiple magazines that work in multiple weapons.
This is how Glock mags are important to me. If you have a handgun that takes one kind of mag, a PCC that takes another, and a rifle that takes a third kind, you end up carrying a lot of mags. To me, it’s a benefit to be able to load my vest with multiple mags and know they will work in any gun I am carrying.
During our last training day at the range, our tactical team trained with their Glock handguns and a variety of PCC guns to test the idea of carrying only Glock mags. Even if we want to carry an AR-15, we still only need to purchase two types of magazines—AR mags and Glock mags.
Why a pistol caliber rifle?
We have much better ammunition than we did years ago. This advancement has made 9mm not only more reliable, but a very good universal round for self-defense.
A handgun is what comes to mind when you talk about self-defense, but why? They are compact and easy to carry, making them ideal for CCW. But what about in your home or vehicle? PCCs are becoming super popular and they have their benefits in the self-defense world.
A handgun is convenient because of its size but it is not ideal in a gunfight if you have access to a rifle platform. A sub-gun or full-size rifle gives you more control, accuracy, and mag capacity. Being able to interchange mags in any weapon could have some great benefits. It can also save money when you do not have to buy additional mags for every new gun you purchase.
Price and Affordability of Glock Mags
There are many companies now making Glock-style mags, so the price range and options are nearly endless. As more and more companies make new models of PCCs that accept Glock mags, they will only continue to grow in popularity. It’s the same concept behind my choice of power tools. I purchase Milwaukee power tools for projects around the house. I have plenty of 18v and 12v batteries so I can buy any of their power tools without buying more batteries. This is how I think of Glock and AR mags.
ETS has some great prices on Glock-style mags, and they come in some interesting colors. They are also transparent so you can see the ammo inside, which can be helpful when using high-capacity mags. When you can find them on sale, you can get them in bulk and really save some money.
SGM makes some extremely durable 33-round mags for $20. I have some that have been used during tactical training on the range for years and they are still holding up great.
I am not saying that you should sell all your firearms and buy only Glock-compatible guns. I have a variety of guns that use all sorts of mags and I love them. But there is a benefit when they accept the same mag. This is just my opinion and what makes sense to me.
When you are setting up a weapons system that includes a handgun and PCC, Glock-compatible mags may be a good choice. Not only will your own guns shoot the same mags, but you may be able to shoot your buddy’s mags as well.
Companies like KCI, SGM, and ETS all make Glock-style mags that are very affordable. They are not quite as good of quality as branded Glock mags, but I have used every brand out there and have been impressed with how well they hold up for the price.
Buy the gun you like and enjoy shooting. But give some thought to the idea of using multiple weapons with the same magazine platform.