A couple months ago, I got the chance to try out some of Elite Tactical System’s new Glock magazines. Now, with Glock magazines, there are only so many ways you can spin them. Magpul’s announcement for their own Glock magazines centered on the fact that they were the same ol’ magazines that promised boring reliability. And in all honesty, what more can you expect from a magazine? Auto-reloading mags might be something gun nuts from the future can expect, but for 2016, we just want boring reliability.
I first heard about Elite Tactical Systems when my buddy TracerX Photography and I were taking some of those Instagram-perfect pictures, and he showed me these new see-through AR mags, that had a very unique coupling system. Integrated into the side of the mag, the system allowed mags to be joined simply by placing the next to each other and then twisting. Throughout the rest of the day, the mags performed flawlessly, and looked good doing it. So when I heard ETS Group was releasing Glock mags, it was something I definitely wanted to try.
"…the mags performed flawlessly, and looked good doing it."
So what sets the ETS magazines apart? Well for starters, they are a smoked-gray semi-transparent polymer. So you can see the bullets in the magazine- definitely some cool points for that one. While they do not have metal feed lips, like the factory Glock magazines, the follower in the ETS mag definitely feels smoother. A fellow writer for Guns and Tactics, Chris Tran, conducted a very scientific test that involved throwing the ETS Group magazines and factory Glock magazines against a wall. On the ETS mag, the follower shattered but could still feed rounds. The factory Glock magazine had the insert blow out, which rendered the mag useless. Another point to the ETS magazine.
The see-through polymer has some advantages and disadvantages. Probably my biggest (and only) frustration is that there are no number indicators for how many rounds are in the mag. While it might seem like a non-issue, I’ve gotten very used to looking at the back of my Glock mags and seeing exactly how many rounds are left at a glance. Now I have to count each round individually, which takes a bit more time. Hopefully in the next run of magazines ETS decides to add number indicators. A few people have had some issues with the magazines dropping free, although I did not experience this at all while shooting my Glock 17 Gen 4. Closer examination revealed that the ETS magazines are ever-so-slightly thicker than factory Glock magazines, and the variances in the Glock’s grip internals can cause the magazines to stick on occasion.
The best feature, and the reason I switched to the ETS mags for my every day carry, is the mag base. There are two small fins on the sides of the magazine, making the mag base just a little bit larger, and easier to grab. In my opinion, this makes the ETS magazine superior to the factory Glock mags. If you needed to "rip" your magazine from the gun, either for malfunctions or if you’re just really angry, the fins are a huge benefit. They give your thumb and finger a place to purchase and pull.
"The best feature, and the reason I switched to the ETS mags for my every day carry, is the mag base."
I’ve been carrying and shooting the ETS magazines for almost a couple months now. Competitions, training, and EDC- they seem to have the same old boring reliability that I’ve come to expect from Glock magazines, while the clear polymer, smooth follower, and base pad fins are nice additions. They come in several variations: 17-round and 15-round versions for the Glock 17 and 19, a 13-round variant for the G26, a 22-round competition version, and a 31-round extended magazine. They all retail under $20, with the 22- and 31-round mag retailing at $21.99. Made in the US, with what appears to be superior quality, and with the same boring reliability that expect from Glock magazines, the ETS Group mags are excellent choices for your Glock.
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