Without a doubt one of the best things about Glock is the aftermarket supporting it- like the AR-15, the options for customization are nearly endless. But along with that comes a brad magazine selection. For many, and myself included for a long time, magazines were something that you stuck to OEM only. Just like parts for my diesels, it was best to stick with factory components if you didn’t want headaches down the road.
Glock mags are famous in that, like the pistol they’re designed for, they are engineered for maximum efficiency and durability. They’re a polymer-over-steel design that borrows cues from combat-grade polymer AK magazines. Why would anyone bother with an aftermarket at all, when the original is ‘good enough‘?
The Glock 18 magazine, the famous 33 rounder, for a long while was relatively rare and expensive where you found it. This led to aftermarket copies form Korea that left a lot to be desired. They’re still floating around but I always thought they were junk and never bothered with them after the first one I owned back in the mid-2000s. So I was dubious of any company building them since.
Elite Tactical Systems sought to overcome the stereotype, building inexpensive high capacity Glock magazines that are more than formidable in the durability department. Certainly a tall order. So I picked up a couple from Palmetto State Armory to run through the ringer. Two twenty-two round ETS magazines to drop the hammer on.
Why twenty two and not the normal 33? Since I have two Gen 3 Glock 19s and that size Glock is by far the most popular model for everyday carry (EDC), the twenty two round mag does not protrude too far from the bottom of the magwell- while it does print, its not obnoxious, and the magazine itself can be easily concealed as a reload once you’ve run through a 15 rounder. A few more rounds than stock without adding a lot of size or bulk. I’ve come to favor it when running through close contact drills.
The biggest thing on my mind, as most seasoned Glock shooters, is the aforementioned durability. The critical component to the design’s legendary reliability is a solid magazine. For my test I picked river sand- its loose, grainy and gets everywhere. And if anything is going to stop a magazine follower, it will. I buried the magazine completely, dug it out, pressed the follower a few times, loaded and emptied it through my 19. No stoppages or failures to feed using mixed steel and brass case ammo.
Now its time to run it over. Since OEM Glock magazines are steel lined for durability, and these are not, I wanted to test whether the feed lips or body would crack under pressure. Since my Superduty weighs somewhere around 6200lbs and 570lb/ft of torque, running them over would be a decent test. I ran the magazine over three times with rounds in it to see if there’d be any damage.
There didn’t appear to be any, so I loaded it up again and got ready to fire. This time the magazine was a bit harder to load- the follower was getting a little bound up on some residual sand. I pressed down hard with my thumb on another round and it broke free. No more issues.
I fired all 22 rounds through the pistol with no problem, slide locking to the rear on the empty mag. While I’m sure some purists out there might still scoff at the fact that its not a factory magazine, it more than passes my own durability test. I don’t have any problems running this magazine as an EDC backup, and at its cost (~$17 as of this writing) its well worth having a dozen or so stashed somewhere.