Several years ago, I posted a long-term review of KCI Glock magazines, which I purchased for $6.95 each back in the glory days of cheap mags and cheap ammo. I still have those magazines, but they rarely see use these days–partly because I shoot my Glocks only occasionally, and partly because I’ve found a better option for training mags at a decent price.
Around 2015 or so, Magpul introduced their PMag for Glock pistols. The first generation reportedly had some feeding issues–I can’t attest to this issue, as I was late to the Glock PMag party, buying several around 2017 or so. When Korean Glock mags jumped up to around 17 bucks a pop, there was no reason to buy them over OEM magazines. However, when DSG Arms started offering PMag’s at a LEO-discount of about $10-12 each, I saw no reason not to stock up on range magazines for my Austrian ammo eaters.
I have one 15-round PMag, six 17-round PMags, and three 21-round PMags, and I have fired about 3000 rounds through the lot, with a good majority of that fired through my 21-rounders in my AR9 with a Foxtrot Mike lower. Clearly, this is a small sample size and a relatively low round count, but there are several reasons I like the Glock PMags by Magpul, with their low price being the first and obvious benefit compared to OEM magazines.
First, let’s talk about the differences between the PMags and factory Glock magazines. The PMags have no metal liner, so they feel noticeably lighter than stock mags. The plastic, while similar to that of AR PMags, has a unique finish and texture, slightly shinier and smoother than OEM magazines. The baseplates of the PMags are much easier to remove than factory mags–while Glock mags generally require Herculean strength and a bit of magic, rage-filled Pixie dust to remove, the PMags merely require slight downward pressure on the retaining plate’s button, which allows the baseplate to easily slide off towards the rear. The plates feature a dot matrix-style marking grid for numbering/identification, and they have proven to be just as durable as factory baseplates, unlike the Korean mags I reviewed years ago.
The KCI baseplates were egg-shell fragile, cracking or blowing apart after only a few drops on gravel or concrete. The PMags, in contrast, have taken all abuse I’ve thrown at them, with only some scuffs and scratches to show from it. I like their design much more than the factory baseplate–mainly because it doesn’t take effort to remove them, which means I actually clean out the magazine tubes from time to time. Something I never do with factory Glock mags.
All of my PMags lock in and drop free without issue, although they seem to drop slower from the pistol when empty–possibly due to their lighter weight. Their feed lips also show now signs of wear, unlike my Korean magazines, which appeared chewed and worn after the first 1,000 rounds or so. Furthermore, I have had no magazine-related malfunctions while shooting these PMags in my Glocks or my AR9. They feed rounds reliably and lock the slide or bolt open after the last round. I know other shooters and instructors have seen malfunctions from PMags, even in high-end Zev or Shadow Systems Glock clones. My small sample has had no such issues, but take that for what it’s worth.
I routinely use the 15-round PMag in my Gen4 Glock 19, as the Zev Pro magwell I run on it makes it almost impossible to strip out a factory magazine during a malfunction clearance. I can seat OEM magazines without issue, but the baseplate is too recessed to be accessible. The PMag, on the other hand, has a slightly thicker baseplate, allowing plenty of real estate below the magwell to pull out a stuck mag, should I need to. Stuck mags in Glocks are probably as common as cases of 9mm for $180 in 2022, but I see no reason to take the chance.
My favorites of the PMags are the 21-rounders–they have round-count witness holes at 10, 15, and 21 instead of just the max-capacity holes on the 17 and 15-round models. More importantly, though, I find them to be the perfect size for a Glock magazine. When in a mag pouch, there’s plenty of magazine sticking out to grab during a reload, and they seat easily in any of my Glocks. They also load easily in the magwell of my AR9, while being short enough to get into prone or other alternative shooting positions without getting in the way–unlike my 33-round extendos, which are like sticking an axe handle into the lower receiver of my gun. The 21-rounders are also legal for most shooting competitions, which is no longer a priority for me, but might be a selling point for many.
While I certainly don’t have enough rounds through my PMags to say they are definitively as reliable as OEM Glock magazines, they are my go-to training mags. Cheap enough to stack deep, they keep me shooting with little downtime on the range, and they have performed without issue for me so far. Current prices are about $15 for 17-round mags and $18 for 21-rounders, which is hard to beat for USA-made magazines for the OG plastic-fantastic 9mm. If I were carrying my Glocks for duty or self-defense again, I might lean towards OEM magazines for that role, but my small lot of PMags have proven to be reliable, at about half the price.
I plan to return to the world of Glock shooting relatively soon, so I will post an update on my Glock Pmags after I put another few thousand rounds through them.
Pingback: Korean Glock Magazines: Long-term Review | TST