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Youth rifle guide

Choosing a Youth Rifle

I am often asked the question of the best rifle for a youth shooter. Like many questions, the answer is complicated. It almost entirely depends on the shooter. The short answer is, “one that fits and they are not afraid to pull the trigger on.”

There’s a lot more to consider, though. 

Youth rifle guide

Father teaching son rifle basics

The middle of summer has come and gone, and fall is right around the corner. Many youths are taking their first hunter safety course or experiencing their first time shooting and may show interest in the traditional outdoor sport of hunting. The good news is that summer is a great time to not only get your child their first hunting rifle, but to have the time to go out and shoot it, as the distractions and responsibilities of going to school every day are not an issue in June, July, and most of August.

Follow The “4 F’s”

When choosing a youth rifle, and especially a first youth rifle, you need to consider the 4Fs- fit, feel, function and fire.

The most important part of choosing a youth rifle is how the rifle FITS the child. Shooting a big game rifle that is too long or too large will not only affect the accuracy when shooting, but can have a dramatic effect on things like the ability to shoot under pressure, recoil, and, another important factor, the ability of the youth to carry the rifle by themselves along on a hunt.

Fortunately, there are many manufacturers today that make designated youth rifles that are scaled-down versions of their adult counterparts. These rifles generally have a shorter length of pull and often include a significantly cushioned recoil pad to eliminate excessive recoil. Many gun manufacturers have become wise to the fact that parents don’t want to spend money every year or so purchasing another rifle for their child, and include either a full-size stock or bolt-on spacers that allow the length of pull to be changed as your child grows. Also important to remember is that if you are buying a rifle in the summer, there will be a lot more clothing between the butt end of the rifle and your child’s shoulder come fall or winter. 

The FEEL of the rifle is also very important. Your child should be able to carry the rifle comfortably, mount it easily, and be able to put the bullet where he or she is aiming with a great degree of certainty. Their finger should be able to reach the trigger for a proper and consistent trigger pull, and the balance of the gun should be such that they should have no trouble holding it up on their own in an offhand position. In an ideal world, every shot would be taken sitting down off of a bench for steady rest. Unfortunately, the hunting world is most often not ideal. By shortening the length of the barrel, the shorter stock at the opposite end creates a better-balanced weapon. 

Youth rifle guide

Young boy shooting a youth rifle prone

The FUNCTION of a rifle is also important. For big game rifles, I am a big fan of a bolt action rifle as a first hunting rifle for several reasons. First, the action needs to be manually cycled by lifting the bolt, pulling it back to eject the spent cartridge, and then pushing it forward and back down into a locked position between each shot, leading to an extra margin of safety when it comes time to shoot. This eliminates entirely the chance of an accidental second trigger pull due to recoil, motion, or even handling while following up after the shot. Bolt actions can also be carried in a locked, but uncocked position, which will allow a cartridge to be carried in the chamber with no possibility of an accidental discharge while walking or moving in and out of a blind or stand. Yes, you could load just a single bullet in a semi-automatic, but that will cause an even more delayed follow-up shot should there need to be one. 

Perhaps the MOST important thing to do when choosing a youth rifle is to FIRE the rifle because you can never tell what the child’s reaction will be until they actually have the reaction. You may think little Johnny would be fine with a .270, but he might be a LOT better with a .243.

Some tips that will help you accomplish this are:

  1. Put a message out on social media groups stating you’re looking for someone that has XYZ firearms for your child to try, and you’d be happy to pay for range time and give them a box of ammo in order to facilitate it.
  2. Some local gun shops have “demo” guns available, either in their store or through their company representatives. Ask them if you can set up or if there will be any “demo days” in the near future.
  3. Put notes up at the range letting people know what you are trying to do. Offer the same thing as on social media.
Youth rifle guide

Young boy in the desert shooting a youth rifle crouched


I am a big fan of smaller caliber, low-recoiling rifles when it comes to youth. There is nothing worse than causing a child to become “gun shy” and have their accuracy suffer, as well as making them less inclined to want to shoot the gun in the first place because they were afraid of a big kick from their gun.

When it comes to recoil sensitivity balanced against downrange energy, there are two paths that you can take. The fact is that most kids can’t handle the recoil from a .30-06 or .308 with standard loads, so your first option is to purchase or load reduced-recoil loads for a larger caliber. The downside to this is that reduced recoil loads weren’t all that common before the shortages, not to mention the lack of powder, brass, and primers for reloading, so you may be in quite the pickle when it comes time to shoot having only full power loads to practice and hunt with.

The second option is to use a smaller, but still adequate caliber that will allow a range of ammunition to be fired through it and have high availability. As far as big game is concerned, my number one choice for youth starting out is a .243 Winchester. The .243 combines several desirable factors- a bullet large enough to kill most ungulates and every varmint in the US, yet small enough and shot at a high enough velocity that trajectory does not require much guesswork out to 300 to 400 yards. The average recoil with a 90-100 grain bullet is at the very low end of the spectrum at only 9 pounds.

Over the past several years, I have become enamored with another highly effective caliber and the relatively new kid on the block, the 6.5 Creedmoor. Designed for long-range shooting, its short case and small-diameter bullets in the 140-grain range (139-143) combine to produce only 12 pounds of recoil force. This is certainly not that much, but 33% greater than the .243, albeit with 40% greater bullet weight.

Remember- shooting and hunting are supposed to be FUN, not stressful or painful. Following the above tips will help you make sure that it is for your child.


A Standard crosshair with "diamond" reticle vs. a Duplex Reticle

In Praise of the Duplex Reticle

The first documented telescopic rifle sight was invented between 1835 and 1840. Since then, there have been numerous advances and improvements in the devices we commonly referred to as “rifle scopes.” The first telescopic sights were made with a single magnification level, usually included a simple crosshair, and were often in excess of 3 feet long.

Today, the most common rifle scope sold is still the variable magnification scope in 3X to 9X and includes either a simple fine crosshair or duplex reticle.

A Standard crosshair with "diamond" reticle vs. a Duplex Reticle

A Standard crosshair with “diamond” reticle vs. a Duplex Reticle

Noted firearms writer, Richard Mann, recently penned an article with some well-researched statistics regarding rifle scopes. (Find it here

Despite all the advances in rifles, bullets, and optics, over the past 150 years or so, The average shot a hunter takes at big game is still under 200 yards.

There are many folks out there that would have no issues taking that shot with traditional fixed metal sights. 

The average magnification used for these shots was between 5 and 6X.

What this means is that for your typical hunter or outdoorsman, the vast majority of rifle scopes on the market today are both over-magnified and over-complicated based on their needs.

Maximum Point Blank Range

Maximum point blank range is the maximum distance you can hit a game-sized vital area with the same aiming point. The typical, big game rifle sided in at 3 inches high at 100 yards has a maximum point blank range of between 300 and 350 yards, depending on ballistics and trajectory.

What this means is that anything beyond a simple crosshair would be considered superfluous up to that range. It is also well beyond the 200 yards that is the average shot taken at big game across all species and across all continents. 

Use of more complicated reticles requires some study and a great deal of practice to use them to their potential.

Use of more complicated reticles requires some study and a great deal of practice to use them to their potential.

The Advantages of a Duplex Reticle


In most circumstances, the simpler the rifle scope is, the less it weighs. That means that a 3X to 9X rifle scope with fine or duplex crosshairs, a 1-inch diameter tube, and a 40 mm objective will weigh less (and, often, SUBSTANTIALLY less) than a rifle with a 34 mm tube, adjustable turrets, parallax adjustment knobs, and a 50 to 55 mm objective lens. 


The lack of additional machining, parts, and the sheer amount of materials necessary to manufacture each of these scopes also means that all else being equal, a scope with a simple crosshair and 1-inch tube will cost less, and, sometimes, substantially less, than one with a larger tube, objective lens, detailed and/or complicated reticle, and multiple adjustment knobs. 


There is a lot less knowledge of things like wind drift, bullet drop, precise distance, and adjustments with a simpler scope shooting at the majority of big-game shot distances.

Ponder these two similar scenarios…

You are glassing from a high vantage point in the mountain west when, suddenly, the buck of a lifetime steps out into an opening in the brush. He is following some does throughout the cover and you know you may only have a second or two to take your shot. You quickly reach for your rangefinder and discover the distance is 229 yards. You glance at your ballistics table taped to the rifle of your stock and determine you need to turn your top adjustment knob four clicks to the left, adjust your parallax from 100 to 200 yards, then set your rifle on a stable rest such as a set of shooting sticks or, at minimum, your pack, in order to have a steady aim and fire. As your eye comes into alignment with the scope, you see the deer‘s hind legs disappearing in the brush to the right, never to be seen again.

Now imagine the same situation with a simple rifle scope that has a duplex-type reticle in it.

You glass that same buck in the same scenario and estimate the distance to be “about 200 yards.“ You throw your rifle onto the shooting sticks. The duplex reticle inside the scope draws your vision immediately to the fine cross-hair center. You then take careful him, let out half a breath, and fire, because you know that your rifle will make an ethical shot on that animal anywhere from 25 to 300+ yards. The buck leaps straight into the air, signaling to you that you have made a solid hit. Based on the area you were aiming at behind the buck’s front shoulder, you are confident that you hit him in a vital area. You walk to the area the buck was standing, find his tracks, see bright red blood with some bubbles in it look in the direction the buck was traveling and see him lying motionless approximately 30 yards away.

By all means, if you want to purchase the latest, greatest, gigantic rifle scope that allows you to precisely shoot out past a half mile and more, by all means, feel free to do so.

I prefer simplicity whenever I am in the field, and find myself most often reaching for my trusty deer rifle with a 3 to 9X scope.

Top 3 Best Ruger 10/22 Magazines [Updated 2022]

There aren’t many firearms that are more fun to learn with and shoot than the Ruger 10/22 .22LR rifle.

It’s one of the most versatile rimfire rifles ever made, perfect for everything from taking small game to a fun afternoon of plinking at cans, balloons, and paper targets. Many learned how to shoot on this legendary platform (my two sons and daughter included).

Whether you’re heading out into the field, or just to the local range, you want to spend as much time as you can pulling the trigger and learning/teaching the foundations…not loading magazines. That’s why it’s a really good idea to have plenty of reliable 10/22 magazines on hand and loaded to best maximize your time behind the gun.

The key, though, is to buy quality mags that won’t give you trouble while loading or reliably feeding ammo into your 10/22. The .22 LR caliber can be finicky enough – don’t lose time scratching your head if it was the ammo or a cheap aftermarket magazine.

While we’ll go into greater detail in each section, here are my favorites:

  1. Simple factory magazine – Ruger BX-1 10-round
  2. Extended factory magazine – Ruger BX-25 25-round
  3. Drum magazine – GSG Ruger 10/22 .22 LR 110-round

Ruger 10/22 with BX-1 magazines in stock

Ruger 10/22 with BX-1 magazines in stock

#1: Ruger BX-1 10-Round Magazine

The classic is one of the best options. The 10-round BX-1 is the magazine that Ruger ships with the 10/22 rifle, and it’s still one of the best choices out there.

Ruger BX-1 10-round magazine

Ruger BX-1 10-round magazine

The magazine is rugged, well-made, and supremely reliable. You’ll want to have a bunch of these loaded and ready to go in your range bag when you head out. Enjoy bulk savings with a BX-1 3-pack!

Looking for a 10-round magazine for your left-handed Ruger 10/22 rifle? Try the LX-1 magazine.

#2: Ruger BX-25 25-Round Magazine

The only downside to the BX-1 is that it only holds 10 rounds. If you want more trigger time between reloads, the Ruger BX-25 is definitely one of the best 10/22 magazines out there.

Ruger BX-25 25-round magazine

Ruger BX-25 25-round magazine

The banana-shaped BX-25 lets you pack 2.5 times the number of rounds as the traditional BX-1 with the same level of build quality and reliability. Ruger also makes the 15-round BX-15 but if you’re going to go for more rounds in your mags, why stop part way? The BX-25 is the better option.

Maximize savings with a BX-25 2-pack!

#3: GSG 10/22 SR-22 110-Round Rotary Drum Magazine

If 25 rounds just isn’t enough between magazine changes for you, you’ll want to try out the big GSG 110-round drum magazine for the 10/22 rifle. Yes, you’ll spend a little more time loading it, but with that much capacity on board, the GSG drum mag will let you shoot and shoot (and shoot some more) before you run dry. That alone makes it a contender for the best magazine for a Ruger 10/22.

Top 10 Best Smith & Wesson Handgun Options for 2021

Top 10 Best Smith & Wesson Handgun Options for 2021

Smith & Wesson makes one of the most complete lines of handguns in the world. Everything from compact concealed carry guns to long barrel hunting revolvers and easily concealed pistols to full-size competition guns. If you’re looking for a handgun for a particular need or use, Smith & Wesson makes it.

If you’re looking to add a handgun for a certain need to your collection in 2021, here are 10 of the best Smith & Wesson handgun models you’ll want to consider:

Model 642 .38 Special Revolver

The Smith & Wesson J-frame revolvers are among the best Smith & Wesson revolver concealed carry options ever made. These great little snubbies are easily concealed no matter what you’re wearing. The Model 642 fires five full-power .38 Special rounds and is as simple and easy to use as it is reliable.

Model 340 .357 Revolver

Like the model 642, the Model 340 is an ultra concealable J-frame revolver. But the beefier Model 340 can handle more powerful .357 loads for the ultimate in compact personal defense, making it another of the best Smith & Wesson revolver models.

Model 19 Classic .357 Revolver

A thing of beauty is a joy forever. And when Smith & Wesson brought back the classic Model 19 a few years ago, it brought joy to thousands of wheelgun lovers. The medium size K-frame revolver packs six .357 or .38 Special rounds and makes for a lot of fun at the range or a great home defense firearm.

Model 686 .357 Revolver

The venerable Model 686 is one of the most respected and best Smith & Wesson revolvers ever made. The bigger, beefier L-frame wheelgun handles either six or seven rounds of powerful .357 loads with ease and is a great option for hunting or home defense.

M&P Bodyguard 380 Crimson Trace

When concealment is of primary concern, the M&P Bodyguard 380 is the way to go. The ultra compact .380 ACP semi-automatic is easily concealed in a pocket, ankle holster or anywhere you choose to carry it. And with its built-in Crimson Trace laser, it’s always ready for personal defense duty.


If you or someone you know has trouble racking the slide on a standard semi-automatic pistol, the Smith & Wesson 380 SHIELD EZ is the best Smith & Wesson pistol for them. Built for personal protection and everyday carry, the M&P 380 Shield EZ is chambered in .380 ACP and designed to be easy to use, with an easy racking slide, easy-to-load magazines and an easy-to-clean design.

M&P M2.0 Optics Ready Compact

Smith’s line of M2.0 M&P semi-automatic pistols competes favorably with any other maker’s 9mm semi-automatics. And with its optics-ready slide, the M&P9 M2.0 Optics Ready Compact is one of the top Smith & Wesson pistols for home defense, everyday carry or even competition.


If everyday carry is what you’re looking for, it’s hard to do better than Smith’s ultra-popular M&P9 SHIELD M2.0. With a great trigger and a slim, single stack form factor, you’ll be happy to carry the SHIELD M2.0 on your hip whenever you leave the house.

Performance Center M&P9 M2.0 CORE Pro Series 5″ Barrel

Sometimes you want a little more. And if you’re someone who wants a full-size 9mm pistol that has every feature imaginable, the M&P9 M2.0 CORE Pro Series is the semi-auto for you. Bridging the gap between main production and the Performance Center, the Smith & Wesson’s Pro Series represents the next step up from standard production line models. M&P Pro Series pistols add numerous enhancements yet still remain true to “stock.” They have competition specifications and features in ready-to-go factory models.

M&P45 M2.0 Full Size

Sometimes you want (or need) a pistol chambered in a bitter round. For those times, the M&P45 M2.0 Full Size is one of the best Smith & Wesson pistol options. Having a full-size M&P45 with 10+1 rounds of big boy .45 ACP on your nightstand will give you plenty of peace of mind.

Shop for the Best Smith & Wesson Pistol Magazines

At The Mag Shack, we specialize in selling top-of-the-line pistol magazines for Smith & Wesson guns, along with other leading brands in the firearms industry. From .45 ACP magazines to .380 ACP mags, you won’t find better prices on these crucial components. Shop our store and add some magazines to your cart today!


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Go Big or Go Home – The Best High-Capacity Magazines and Drums for Your AR-15

Go Big or Go Home – The Best High-Capacity Magazines and Drums for Your AR-15

Any day at the range is a good day. But if you want to make a day at the range better, spend less time loading and more time pulling the trigger.

The easiest way to do that is to stock up on high-capacity AR-15 magazines. Thirty rounds are great, but 40 rounds are better. And 60 or even 100 rounds mean you’ll have more time to concentrate on your shooting between mag changes.

Here are four great high-capacity magazines for getting more trigger time out of your AR-15 rifle.

Magpul 40-Round

Magpul magazines are popular because they’re tough, reliable and affordable. You’ll see more PMags at the range than any other brand. And that’s why Magpul 40-round high-capacity magazines have been such a big hit. For only about $20, it gives you a 33% increase in capacity over a standard 30-round AR magazine.

X Products X-15 Chevron Skeletonized 50-Round AR-15 Drum Magazine

The next step up in capacity is occupied by X-Products’ X-15 50-round AR-15 drum magazine. The compact chevron skeletonized model keeps weight and bulk down.

Surefire 60-Round

Want to carry even more ammo in a single box magazine? Surefire’s 60-round high-capacity magazines let you double up on standard 30-round mags. The Surefire design packs those 60 rounds into a magazine that’s about the same length as a standard 30-rounder, and does it in an aluminum-bodied magazine for strength and durability.

Magpul D60 60-Round AR-15 Drum Magazine

If a drum magazine design is more attractive to you, Magpul offers a couple of options. Their D-50 and D-60 drum magazines are made out of Magpul’s tough and tested polymer and have proven to be reliable in heavy use. That’s not something a lot of AR-15 drum magazine makers can say.

Shop for High-Capacity Magazines for Your AR-15

The Mag Shack is home to plenty of premium high-capacity rifle magazines for AR-15 firearms. From Amend2 to Okay Industries, we only sell products from top manufacturers in the industry. Browse our high-capacity AR-15 magazines and purchase now.


Best First Handgun: Top-10 List

Best First Handgun: Top-10 List

Plenty of authors have offered their “top 10” lists of pistols and other products. Too often, these lists are nothing more than the top commission earners for the person(s) writing or publishing the story.

Instead of shilling for commission earners, this top-10 list is based upon my four decades of shooting, including more than two as an active firearms trainer of thousands of people, young and old. At the same time, I remain a busy student of gun training with a who’s who of nationally known top-tier instructors in courses and seminars.

What Qualifies as a Great Beginner Handgun?

First off, the “best” handgun to buy for one shooter may be completely inappropriate for the next person. As an example? I bought my first 9mm pistol – a Beretta 92 – based on Mel Gibson’s portrayal of Detective Martin Riggs in Lethal Weapon. “I’m a real cop, and this is a real effin’ gun!” Looking back, that was a huge mistake.

Not only was a Beretta 92 a poor choice for me, (a beginner handgun shooter) but I wasted thousands of rounds trying to teach myself how to master shooting that pistol rather unsuccessfully. In the end, nationally known trainer Mas Ayoob taught me how to shoot it, and learning those skills on that very difficult platform made me a far better shooter for every handgun.

You probably don’t want to spend 40 hours, a thousand-plus dollars and invest a couple of thousand rounds of ammo to do the same though. So, before we talk about specific guns, let’s talk about some generalities.

If you’re a beginner handgun shooter or you’re not going to practice, a revolver will likely better serve you for defensive purposes.

Revolvers are sometimes known as wheelguns and they have a lot going for them for both beginner handgun shooters and experienced pistoleros. These benefits include simplicity of use, including loading and unloading, that help make them safer for novices.

Wheelguns remain the ultimate point and click interface when it comes to defensive handgun use. Once loaded, the user points and then pulls the trigger. Malfunctions are rare, and overcoming them often involves simply pulling the trigger one more time.

What’s more, don’t get wrapped around the axle about not being able to carry half a box of ammo in your handgun. Five or six rounds will resolve most personal defense situations.

There are other pros of owning a revolver. It will reliably shoot milder ammunition for practice and recreation and hotter loads for personal defense. The only limit to light loads is ensuring the bullet will leave the barrel. Try that with a lot of semi-automatics. In fact, revolver users have been known to load paraffin “bullets” into primed cases for fun indoor practice. Again, try that with your semi-auto.

While I’ve never fired wax “bullets,” I have fired some custom .38 Special loads that clock at about 450 feet per second at the muzzle. These allow young people and recoil-sensitive shooters a very pleasant introduction to shooting a handgun.

Without further ado, let’s get into the Top 10 best, first pistol or handgun options. These aren’t presented in any particular order as they represent 10 guns that serve different purposes for new shooters.

Full-Size Revolver: Smith & Wesson Model 64/65/10/19 Classic

Smith & Wesson’s 4-inch-barrel K-frame revolvers in .38 Special or .357 Magnum are a classic that have served about 100 years or so. They are reliable, durable, accurate, versatile and ideal for beginner handgun shooters or those who aren’t going to practice. Among these are the Model 64, Model 65, Model 10 and Model 19 Classic.

For practice, these guns will provide endless hours of fun and enjoyment with practice loads. The .357 Magnum revolvers will also shoot the milder .38 Specials all day long and twice on Sunday.

Incredibly versatile, these same guns will serve faithfully for competition, recreation, even hunting — and everything in between.

And when lives are in danger, these revolvers will stop the threat and save innocents as they’ve done for decades with hotter, .38 Special +P hollow-point ammunition. The FBI carried these for many, many years because they worked well for their intended purpose. These same revolvers will still serve today for concealed carry as well as for home defense.

Don’t feel shorted if you buy one in .38 Special caliber as opposed to .357 Magnum. Firing .357 rounds out of a revolver is obnoxiously loud with very sharp, unpleasant recoil, especially for new or novice shooters. Instead of .357 Magnum loads, the FBI employed .38 Special +P 158gr. semi-wadcutter hollow points for at least a couple of decades, much to the chagrin of countless bad guys and gals.

What’s more, used S&W 4-inch K-frame guns, including police trade-ins of these models and similar ones, offer those with tight budgets or fixed incomes an affordable option as well.

Snub-Nosed Revolver: Ruger LCR

Ruger makes a very nice snub-nosed revolver that’s widely available in their LCR. Yes, Ruger uses polymer materials for a big part of the frame, but they use metal in all the critical areas.

The LCR revolver has an excellent trigger and shoots well in a fairly lightweight package. Light enough to carry it all day long without fatigue, but heavy enough that you can shoot 50 or more rounds of practice ammo in a day without crying out in pain or developing a nasty flinch.

Affordable Snub-Nosed Revolver: Taurus Model 85

Don’t have $500-$600 to spend on a small-frame revolver? No worries. Taurus makes some very good revolvers today and if you watch sales in normal times, you can find Taurus Model 85s for $300 or even less.

I’ve owned several and they’ve all had good, manageable triggers and provided flawless service and reliability. In fact, I bought my first one as a Christmas present for my first fiancée decades ago.

No, it probably won’t stand up well to shooting 100,000 rounds, but it’s a carry piece, not a plow horse.

Taurus keeps coming out with new incarnations of the Model 85. I’d avoid the exotic metal guns that weigh next to nothing. Those are quite unpleasant to fire, especially with defensive ammunition. But the blue steel or stainless 85s will serve you and your loved ones well at an affordable price.

SIG Sauer P365

This SIG Sauer pistol stands as the single-best general-purpose concealed carry defensive pistol on the market today, period. It comes with standard night sights, along with a very good factory trigger. It’s comfortable to carry and a pleasure to shoot.

Despite a very petite frame that specs out as smaller than its competitors, it packs 10- or 12-rounds (plus one in the pipe) in a very small form factor that’s easy to conceal and light enough that it remains comfortable enough to conceal 18 hours a day.

I recommend the version without the external safety, but not everyone feels comfortable carrying a semi-auto without an external safety.

Springfield Hellcat

The Hellcat is very close runner-up to the SIG P365 and many say they prefer it to the 365. Springfield’s Hellcat holds one extra round than the 365 (11+1 or 13+1 with the slightly extended magazine). It also has an option for an RMS red-dot optic which makes it probably the best handgun to buy for those who prefer red-dot sights on their carry guns.

Springfield Armory did well with their Hellcat. It garners top marks for a general purpose carry piece with a great trigger right out of the box.

For Young People or Those With Very Small Hands: Ruger SR-22

The Ruger SR-22 is a very small rimfire pistol with an equally petite grip. It’s ideal for sharing the fun and excitement of handgun shooting with small-framed women and responsible young people with small paws. I’ve used mine at youth shooting camps and kids as young as 7 or 8 years old had no problem holding this tiny pistol securely.

First-time or new shooters usually aren’t intimidated by the mild recoil and fairly mild muzzle blast. In skilled hands with good ammo, it will deliver respectable accuracy.

Insider tip: Buy four or five extra magazines, because when you hand this little gem to a beginner handgun shooter, they’re going to have a grin from ear to ear and want to shoot it — a lot. Loading magazines typically takes longer than excited shooters can empty them while they make memories that will last a lifetime.

Plus, while shooting rimfire .22s, you won’t land in the poorhouse watching kids and maybe even a few grown men giggle while shooting through 500 rounds in an afternoon with this sweet little handgun.

The Walther P-22 is a runner up in this category, but the Walther seems a lot more finicky when it comes to ammo that will make it run reliably. And nothing kills a good-time buzz faster than malfunctions.

Glock 19 9mm

The Glock 19 is a compact 9mm pistol that many today consider a full-size duty or carry gun. With its standard 15-round capacity, the G19 carried by a million or more in city, state and federal law enforcement.

Glocks run reliably. They’re simple and they’re quite durable. The other great thing: they’re as consistent as a McDonald’s Quarter-Pounder. If you borrow your friend’s Glock, you know it will handle just like yours.

Given the millions of these guns sold over the years, there are all manner of accessories widely available including an endless array of holsters and aftermarket products.

Plus, for those on a budget, perfectly serviceable police trade-ins and other used Glock 19s can be found in the wild at gun shops and from dealers on the Internet at a couple hundred bucks or more under new-gun prices.

Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 9mm Series

Smith & Wesson’s M&P 2.0 9mm line is even better than their original M&P guns, especially their double-stack 9mm pistols. These semi-autos come with adjustable back straps to better accommodate various hand sizes. The gun comes with a great, crisp trigger right out of the box, along with a pair of 17-round magazines in free states.

The M&P 9’s shoot well and have been a great seller for S&W. That means lots of aftermarket parts and accessories are widely available. That’s good news when you’re looking for a holster or two for your M&P 2.0.

While it’s a pretty fair-sized gun for concealed carry (the compact version carries more comfortably and shoots every bit as well), it also doubles as a great casual competition and home defense tool as well.

SIG Sauer P320 Series

If I was starting over today, I’d probably buy one of SIG’s P320 series guns. They have a magnificent trigger, very comfortable grips, generous magazine capacity and shoot very well. Interestingly, the actual registered “firearm” in the modular P320 is an internal “fire control unit” that you can remove from one P320 chassis and insert into another larger (or smaller) one. Yes, the chassis might even mean a different caliber in addition to a different size or type of frame.

What’s more, the 320 series runs from a standard pedigree to the high-end Legion models. You won’t go wrong with any of them.

Smith & Wesson M&P EZ .380

Ordinarily, I champion revolvers as the best first handgun for novices or those who aren’t going to practice. However I make an exception for one specific niche: those with serious hand strength issues. For those folks, the S&W M&P EZ .380 represents a huge improvement over every other center-fire semi-auto pistol on the market.

The M&P EZ shoots every bit as well as traditional defensive pistols, but manipulates easier than most rimfire semi-autos. Even my 80-year-old mother who has serious hand-strength limitations can manipulate this pistol with relative ease. The trigger is also relatively light, making it very shootable for those lacking that finger strength.

S&W offers a 9mm version of the EZ, too. While it’s easier to manipulate than pretty much any other semi-auto out there, it’s not nearly as easy as the .380. Don’t believe me? Handle both at your local gun shop and experience the difference first-hand.

Order Magazines for Your Beginner Handgun

When you buy your first beginner handgun, make sure you stock up on plenty of pistol magazines to support your new purchase. At The Mag Shack, we sell a wide variety of handgun mags, from 9mm to 40 S&W options. Check out our products and place your order now.


Best AR-15 Magazines

Best AR-15 Magazines

The AR-15 platform rifle is America’s favorite rifle for more than just its incredible versatility. Indeed, the AR platform remains the single best-selling firearm in America. Just how popular is the AR platform? Americans own more AR-15s than there are Ford F150 pickups on the road. Think about that the next time you go for a drive and see a dozen F150s.

Obviously, owners of America’s favorite rifle – a semi-automatic – need the best AR-15 magazines to feed it. But, with so many manufacturers hawking their wares online, in stores and at gun shows, what are the best AR-15 magazines?

Too many of these “best of” stories are based upon commissions rather than personal experience. This one is based upon my personal experience from nearly 20 years as an AR owner, student of many nationally known instructors and as an instructor teaching the fundamentals to everyday Americans.

Even the Best AR-15 Magazines Don’t Last Forever

Magazines wear out with use. To give you an idea, the military considers their standard-issue aluminum AR-style magazines to have a 4,000-round service life. That’s about 130 loadings. After those loading and unloading/shooting cycles, the military considers them expended, and you should too.

Why do even the best AR-15 magazines eventually fail? Primarily, because their feed lips become damaged with use. They can become deformed or even broken over time. Especially with hard use in training, typically while allowing them to fall to the ground. Springs weaken from loading/unloading cycles. Interestingly, good quality springs will not “take a set” from remaining fully loaded for years at a time.

What’s more, one of the most common causes for malfunctions in semi-auto firearms is a defective magazine. This is why you should use a Sharpie marker and number your magazines. This way, while practicing in the future, if you start experiencing malfunctions from a certain mag, you can put that magazine aside.

Whether you use it for training (after marking it prominently) or destroy it, just make sure it doesn’t remain in your defensive gear rotation.

What Are the Best AR-15 Magazines?

Gun magazines need to be reliable and dependable for long-term use. Whichever manufacturer’s product you select, buy enough to use and some spare ones, especially if you’re going to train or practice regularly. So, what are the best AR-15 magazines? Here are three types of great components to consider:

  • Magpul PMags
  • Aluminum Milspec Magazines
  • Lancer L5 Advanced Warfight Magazine (L5AWM)

Magpul PMags

AR mags typically come in the old Milspec aluminum variety or polymer magazines popularized by the PMag by Magpul. I’ve shot both and watched both take a beating in adverse conditions. Both work well, so you shouldn’t worry that a “plastic” magazine will fail because of brittleness or from use in cold weather.

Many of the cool kids choose to run with Magpul PMags. Despite an extra dollar (or five) in cost, PMags are everywhere. Even the military is adopting them, because they were some of the best AR-15 magazines of 2020. They run reliably with every rifle I’ve ever seen. I especially like the “windowed” PMags that feature a clear “window” to reveal the round count remaining from either side of the gun.

Recent generation PMags come in 20-, 30- and 40-round capacities. All run with flawless reliability. However, before you rush out to stock up on 40-round mags, be forewarned that the extra length may preclude shooting from prone with good technique. Most people aren’t going to shoot from prone recreationally, but if you’re fighting for your life, this can pose serious problems.

No Frills Aluminum Milspec Magazines

For those OK with the “no frills” magazines, the Milspec aluminum magazines remain a great deal. In quantity, you can pick up 30-round mags for $10 or less. Most come in various shades of gray, depending on the manufacturer.

These are all typically very reliable and some of the best AR-15 magazines, especially if they feature modern anti-tilt followers which have become standard in this day and age. For those paranoid about followers, Magpul makes some outstanding aftermarket followers for end users to swap out with lesser units. The Magpul anti-tilt followers work so well they have become pretty close to an industry standard.

Keep in mind that there are millions of used Milspec mags floating around at gun shows and gun stores. Avoid them. You just cannot really gauge how used and possibly abused these might be. Unless the price is stupid cheap and you want some beat-around mags, steer clear of used surplus mags.

Lancer L5 Advanced Warfighter Magazines

Looking for the Rolls Royce of AR-15 magazines? Look no further than the AR-15 L5AWM by Lancer Systems. Featuring steel feedlips and a polymer construction, these mags is in the best of both worlds. Lighter than standard aluminum mags, these Lancer L5AWMs promise unmatched durability in the polymer magazine market.

These magazines feel like they have ball bearings inside. The Germans have over-engineered these like the Swiss do their watches. Also, when loaded with 30 rounds of ammunition, these magazines will seat with 100% reliability on a closed bolt in ARs. Ordinarily, many instructors, including myself, urge our students to only load 28 rounds in their PMags or aluminum Milspec mags to help ensure positive seating on a closed bolt. With the HK SA80 mags, that isn’t necessary.

Other Magazines

Given the incredible popularity of the AR platform, there are a number of other manufacturers out there that provide good products. I just don’t have enough direct experience to put them into “the best” category of the aforementioned. Yes, I’ve seen a tiny handful of other manufacturer’s products, but the above dominate when it comes to those who are serious about shooting ARs.

One consistently poor performer for those who don’t know any better are the blue-steel aftermarket AR-magazines. These usually have prominent verbiage guaranteeing reliability and claims that they are “just as good as” fill-in-the-blank mags. In my experience (and plenty of other people I know and trust), these are consistently junk. Poor followers, soft metal, poor manufacturing tolerances and lousy springs lead to poor performance for users.

Frankly, given the high quality, wide availability (for now) and flawless reliability of Magpul products, Milspec aluminum mags and the HK SA80 mags, I haven’t felt the necessity to try other products. After all, when you find products that work exceptionally well, why stray from a proven winner?

Order the Best AR-15 Magazines from The Mag Shack

When you’re ready to add some more magazines to your collection, make sure you browse The Mag Shack’s selection first. We only carry the best AR-15 magazines at the lowest prices online to provide our customers with the best deals. And, you can order some of our magazines in bulk to save even more money. Purchase today!


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How Many Spare Magazines Do I Need?

How Many Spare Magazines Do I Need?

Ever asked a woman how many pairs of shoes she needs?  Or a guy how many guns he needs?  Both will probably earn you sour looks of derision.  Edging close to that forbidden ground: How many magazines do I need for my gun(s)?

Why You Should Have a Spare Magazine for Your Gun

Everyone will have an opinion on this, but I’ll give mine as a 22-year firearms and tactics instructor and student of a long list of nationally known firearms trainers. I won’t play hide the ball, but first let’s talk about magazines.

Magazines, unlike firearms, degrade with use. To give you an idea, the military considers their standard-issue aluminum AR-style magazines to have a 4,000-round service life. That’s about 130 loadings. After that, the military considers them expended and you should, too.

Why do magazines eventually fail with use? Primarily, because their feed lips are delicate. They can become deformed or even broken with use over time. Especially with hard use in training. Springs eventually weaken from loading/unloading cycles — but not so much from “taking a set.” They can remain fully loaded for years at a time.

One of the most common causes of malfunctions in semi-automatic firearms is a defective magazine. This is why you should use a Sharpie marker to number your magazines. That way, while practicing, if you start experiencing malfunctions from your magazine #13, you can put that one aside.

If you suffer multiple malfunctions from any magazine, mark it prominently, say with orange paint, and use it only as a malfunction clearing drill training aid. Or destroy it. Just make sure it doesn’t stay among the working gear you depend on for personal defense or serious competition.

We know that the vast majority of America’s gun owners don’t practice as much as they would like to. Fewer still train aggressively. In fact, many gun owners might not shoot more than a box or two each year. For the average gun owner, they don’t need to buy magazines by the case or even in 10-packs. However, in good times, that option remains available.

For Handguns

Semi-auto handgun owners should have at least three magazines for each semi-auto handgun. That allows your handgun to be loaded for self-defense and give you two spare reloads. Three magazines also makes a nice complement for recreational shooting as well.
Additionally, if you shoot regularly or train even occasionally, you should buy three additional new replacement magazines. These will replace any of your initial magazines that fail over time from use or abuse.

What if my magazines are “high capacity”?

Given the political climate from a potential administration change, firearm magazines may face unprecedented taxes.  That goes double if the capacity is more than 10 rounds. No one is sure when new gun control legislation is coming, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

Back in the late 1990s, when new magazine capacity was limited, standard capacity “pre-ban” Glock magazines sold for well over $100. Today you can buy yours, regardless of the make and manufacturer, while they remain relatively plentiful and affordable. It isn’t like they will go bad in the back of your closet or gun safe.

For the revolver shooters out there, you too should have “magazines” – otherwise known as speed loaders in the revolver world.  Like semi-auto pistol owners, revolver owners should own at least two speedloaders.  The good news is that speedloaders are less prone to failure with use.  For deep cover and less obtrusive carry, speed strips are available, but they are slower to use and reload your wheel gun.

For AR-15s and Modern Sporting Rifles

Owners of America’s favorite rifle, the AR-15, or other semi-automatic rifles should have at least three working magazines, along with three spares for a total of six magazines. Frankly, for those who will train or compete with their semi-auto firearms, a dozen or more would serve better in the long run.

Again, follow the US military’s 4000-round life expectancy for AR mags.  You can still use them for range practice or drills if you run them through 130 loading cycles.  Or you can sell them to someone else as practice magazines and then replenish your own stock.

Should the government enact some sort of magazine capacity ban on magazines over 10 rounds, milspec AR magazines or other semi-auto modern sporting rifle mags will become very pricey.

What about the bolt-action rifle owners?  As above, make sure you have at least three magazines.  If your bolt gun sees a lot of action, have three spares as well. The good news on bolt gun magazines is that they are unlikely to face restrictions anytime soon.

How Many Magazines Is Too Many?

I don’t know that anyone can really own too many magazines. Plenty of women would probably say the same out shoes or maybe purses. Heaven knows most men would say the same thing about guns.

Just make sure you have at least a couple of spares – bare minimum – for every magazine-fed gun you own.  You’ll thank yourself in ten or twenty years. And maybe sooner.

Shop The Mag Shack for Spare Magazines

When you need to order some spare magazines for your firearm, The Mag Shack is your go-to destination. We offer rifle magazines, shotgun magazines and pistol magazines for various models of guns, including 9mm and AR-15 magazines. You won’t find a better selection elsewhere. Order these products individually or in bulk at the lowest prices today!


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AR-15 Aluminum Magazines to Consider

AR-15 Aluminum Magazines to Consider

New AR-15 rifle owners may wonder, with all of the countless options in aluminum AR-15 magazines, which one is best for them. Actually, as someone with two decades of serious study of the AR-15 platform from nationally known instructors and teaching AR coursework for beginners myself, the answer to this question is surprisingly simple.

What Are the Best Aluminum AR-15 Magazines for You?

The AR rifle platform will run with near-perfect reliability given proper (generous) lubrication, decent ammo and good AR-15 aluminum magazines. But if you remove any one of those three components, malfunctions will plague any user, beginner or expert.

In practice, malfunctions can be frustrating and embarrassing. In life-or-death defensive situations, failures can actually prove fatal. So, selecting the right magazine is very important.

For instance, those who don’t know any better may buy some aftermarket, blue-steel magazine at a gun show, online or at their local gun shop. Yes, the packaging will often boldly and prominently proclaim guarantees of reliability. But buyer beware.

Poorly made followers can tilt inside the magazine. Followers are supposed to evenly push the ammunition up as the gun shoots and cycles new rounds. But cheap magazines tend to have poor-quality followers that may bind, rendering the magazine a trainwreck until it can be completely unloaded and cleared.

Lousy quality springs may take a set or fail to provide the necessary upward pressure to keep feeding cartridges reliably. Soft metal housings — and by extension, soft-metal feed lips — may bend or deform with use, causing additional reliability problems. Add in poor manufacturing tolerances and it’s easy to see how seemingly little things can lead to poor reliability for the end user.

So, which manufacturer’s product is right for you? Start with what the pros use. Magpul PMags dominate sales because they work and many like the “windows” in some models that show the remaining round count.

For those who like to keep things simple, Milspec AR-15 aluminum magazines offer outstanding performance at an affordable price.

Try some of each of these with your rifle and make sure they work flawlessly for you. While perfectly smooth operation isn’t necessary for an afternoon of plinking with friends, if you’re competing for bragging rights or for prizes, or you’re in a fight for the lives of you and your loved ones, you want perfect reliability and reliably perfect cartridge feeding from your aluminum AR-15 magazines.

Other Considerations

New and not-so-new AR-users should consider a couple of other points.

First, aluminum AR-15 magazines (or ones made from other materials) don’t last forever. The military, at one time, set the useful life of Milspec platform AR-15 aluminum magazines at 4,000 rounds, or about 130 full loads. Springs will eventually weaken from loading/unloading cycles, but not so much from “taking a set” from remaining fully loaded for years at a time. Also, the magazine’s feed lips can become deformed or broken from hard use.

Another consideration: make sure you use a Sharpie marker to number your aluminum AR-15 magazines. That makes it easy to identify any problematic mags so you can discard them or relegate them for training use only.

Given the wide availability of AR-15 aluminum magazines currently, now is a good time to stock up. Make sure you’ve got at least a half-dozen AR-15 magazines or more if you shoot a lot. It’s a good idea to buy now before politicians decide they want to restrict the sales of standard capacity magazines.

Purchase Excellent AR-15 Aluminum Magazines

At The Mag Shack, we specialize in selling the best AR 15 magazines online from brands that include Okay Industries, ProMag and other leading manufacturers. Whether you’re looking for aluminum AR-15 magazines in bulk quantities or individual packs, we have you covered. Browse our selection and order today!


Eight of The Best Beginner AR15s & Other AR-Style Rifles

Eight of The Best Beginner AR15s & Other AR-Style Rifles

There are dozens of reasons that the AR-15 and its variants are America’s favorite rifles. Most have to do with their reliability and almost infinite ways the platform can be customized for a wide range of uses. It’s almost like Legos for adults. There are so many aftermarket options, add-ons and upgrades, there’s almost nothing you can’t do with one. But that range of options can be confusing for first-time buyers wondering what is the best beginner AR. There are so many rifles offered by such a large number of makers, first-timers can easily get intimidated, worried that they’ll make the wrong choice with their first purchase or not know what AR-15 magazines to buy for it. We’ve put together a list of some of the best beginner AR15s you can find.

The good news is that the AR-15 is such a standardized platform that it’s difficult to make a bad choice these days. But a little guidance makes a lot of newbies more comfortable, so here are eight affordable options that constitute the best beginner AR-15 rifles that you can feel good about buying.

#1: Aero Precision AERO AC-15M

Aero Precision AERO AC-15M

The AERO AC-15 Mid-Length Rifle is a budget-friendly, high-quality rifle featuring mil-spec parts and accessories made in America. The cost-efficient AV-15M is ready to go, right out of the box and can easily be upgraded down the road.

#2: Anderson Mfg. AM-15 16” Carbine

Anderson Mfg. AM-15 16” Carbine

The AM-15 Optic Ready 5.56 16″ – M4 is Anderson’s entry-level rifle. Anderson makes all their own parts so you’re getting a quality, American-made rifle and one of the best beginner AR15s at a very affordable price. It’s ready for you to add either the iron sights or optic of your choice and head straight to the range.

#3: FN 15 Patrol Carbine

FN 15 Patrol Carbine

For those willing to spend a little extra, FN America’s FN 15 Patrol Carbine is one of the best options available. FN makes rifles and other small arms for the US military and you can see that pedigree in the FN 15 Patrol Carbine. The rifle comes with a 16” alloy steel, button broached, chrome-lined barrel, Samson flip-up rear sight for compact and reliable back-up sighting and a Midwest Industries quad rail handguard for front grip and accessory options.

#4: Palmetto State Armory PSA 16” M4 Carbine

Palmetto State Armory PSA 16” M4 Carbine

The PSA M4 is one of the best beginner AR rifles for a new owner. It features a flat-top rail to accommodate any kind of optics or sights the shooter wants, along with US-made forged upper and lower assemblies that are a step above many entry level rifles.

#5: Ruger AR-556

Ruger AR-556

The Ruger AR-556 gives first-time buyers virtually everything they need in an entry-level AR pattern rifle. From its carbine-length 16” barrel to its six-position telescoping M4-style stock, the AR-556 gives new AR rifle owners everything they need – right out of the box – to get going and then go from there.

#6: SIG Sauer M400 Tread

SIG Sauer M400 Tread

SIG’s M400 TREAD is an optics ready, aluminum frame AR platform rifle that’s ideal for the first-time AR buyer. The TREAD features a 16” stainless steel barrel with a free-floating M-LOK handguard, a single-stage polished/hard-coat trigger, ambidextrous controls and a Magpul 6 position telescoping stock.

#7: Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport II

Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport II

Smith & Wesson’s M&P15 Sport II may be the most popular entry-level AR rifle available. Built to perform multiple uses under various conditions, the lightweight, rugged M&P15 Sport II is designed for a wide variety of recreational, sport shooting and home defense applications. Best of all for the new owner, they’re easy to accessorize should you choose to down the road.

#8: Springfield Armory SAINT 5.56 M-LOK

Springfield Armory SAINT 5.56 M-LOK

The Springfield Armory SAINT 5.56 is the best beginner AR for home defense, competition or fun at the range. Springfield uses top-end Bravo Company M-Lok compatible handguards that give you plenty of space for accessories. A Springfield SAINT rifle is a great choice for the first-time AR buyer for out-of-the box fun and performance.

Get The Best Beginner AR Magazines at The Mag Shack

Even the best beginner AR-15 is nothing without ammunition. The Mag Shack has everything you need. Check out the best beginner AR magazines online now!

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What Is the Best Glock for You in 2021?

What Is the Best Glock for You in 2021?

When buyers are in the market for semi-automatic pistols, one of the first names that always comes to mind is Glock. For decades now, the Austrian-based handgun maker has been turning out some of the most reliable and popular firearms in the world. Why? Their quality and reliability are second to none.

With abnormally high demand for most ammunition calibers, we recommend Glock handguns chambered in 9mm. Put simply, it is the most used pistol caliber, and finding less popular calibers at an affordable is tricky due to the demand.

If you’re in the market for a new pistol in 2021, which one of Glock’s extensive lineup is right for you? Well, that depends. Are you looking for a concealed carry gun? A home defense pistol? A competition gun?

Glock has top contenders in all of these categories, so it’s better to focus one at a time.

Choosing the Right Glock for Concealed Carry

For many, Glock is their brand of choice when they conceal carry. The 9mm Glock 43X features a staggered-stack Slimline frame and compact size grip. For medium to large hands, you can fit all five fingers on the grip. With a 10+1 capacity, this gives carriers the perfect blend of comfort and concealment.

Glock 43X

Also, the 9mm Glock 43 features a smaller compact frame and grip with a 6+1 capacity. For those with smaller hands, or who just want something a bit smaller to conceal, this is a classic Glock to carry.

Glock 43

Choosing the Best Glock for Home Defense

While the full-size G17 has more rounds on board, the Glock G19 is the one of the most popular handguns in the world. Its more compact size is a better fit for most shooters, and the G19 will still accommodate larger Glock 9mm magazines all the way up to the large capacity 33-rounders. The Glock 19 is the ideal choice in a home defense gun that can also be comfortably carried should the need arise.

Glock 19

Choosing the Right Glock for Competition

If you’re choosing the best Glock for competition shooting, look no further than the Glock G34 long slide MOS pistol. With its long 5.3-inch barrel length and a slide cut for a pistol red dot optic, the G34 MOS is the first choice for scores of 3-gun and bowling pin shooters. And, there’s a universe of aftermarket accessories – everything from flared magwells to replacement competition triggers – that will give you the ability to make the G34 the ultimate competition machine.

Glock 34

Get Help Choosing the Best Glock Magazines at The Mag Shack

After choosing the right Glock for you, you’re going to need the best ammunition to go along with it. The Mag Shack is your go-to shop for Glock magazines that will keep you locked and loaded. Check out our selection today!

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Best Glock 9mm Magazines

Best Glock 9mm Magazines

If you have owned your Glock for any time at all, you’ve seen lots of ammunition magazines offered from various manufacturers for sale at gun shops and gun shows. Yes, factory Glock magazines are kind of pricey compared to some aftermarket products. In fact, you can sometimes buy two or even three aftermarket mags for the price of a single original Glock-branded magazine. So, what are the best Glock 9mm magazines out there? Let’s take a look.

Benefits of Factory Original Glock Magazines

Deciding which manufacturer’s product will work best for your Glock is easy. The factory Glock magazines offer bulletproof reliability and function in your Glock handgun. For personal defense or competitions with prizes (or prize money) on the line, a whole lot of prudent people use factory Glock products. I have shot over fifteen thousand rounds using Glock mags in the past ten years and can count on one hand the number of malfunctions. And none were the result of magazine issues.

But are factory originals the best Glock 9mm magazines? Even though they are factory original mags from trusted vendors, I still believe in the old maxim, “trust but verify.” I always function check the magazines before I carry them for life-saving purposes.

How do I function test them? I shoot both defensive and cheaper range ammo through them to ensure they work flawlessly in my pistols.

Best Aftermarket Magazines for Glock Handguns

For those on a tight budget or those who wish to buy some affordable aftermarket 9mm magazines for practice or training, there are a number of good non-Glock options that work well.


Probably the best Glock 9mm magazines from an aftermarket manufacturer come from Cheyenne, Wyoming. Magpul introduced their PMags for Glocks in recent years. The company had some minor issues with some of the early ones, but their current product rivals factory Glock specimens in function and reliability. I have some myself and I can’t recall a single failure in over a couple of thousand rounds.

Even better, the Magpul Glock mags come in a range of capacities, including 10, 12, 15, 17, 21 and 27 rounds. Better still, as of today, all remain priced under $20 a piece street price.

Elite Tactical Systems

Elite Tactical Systems makes a clear plastic magazine for Gaston’s pride as well. I have limited experience using them or watching students run with them, but I have witnessed zero reliability or durability issues with those I’ve seen — to the extent that they’ve earned a place among the best Glock 9mm magazines from third-party manufacturers.

The handful of students over the years using these all expressed strong satisfaction with the clear mags as well. The only thing that has scared me away from these is seeing the cartridges jumbled around inside the loaded magazine. Sometimes some things are better left unseen.

Be Picky — You Often Get What You Pay For

I’ve had bad experiences with a couple of other inexpensive, third-party makers’ magazines. Yes, they boldly claim that they guarantee reliability and offer a money back guarantee. None of them have worked reliably for me. I got what I paid for in terms of spring and follower failures or deformed feed lips. A guarantee means nothing, especially if you can’t find a replacement for a faulty product because the company has gone bankrupt.

Why waste energy and your hard-earned money on marginal performers when you can buy flawlessly-performing factory originals for a few bucks more…or excellent aftermarket products from reputable makers at very affordable, competitive prices?

Be Sure to Stock Up

Whichever brand you choose, make sure you pick up some extra magazines for your favorite Glock pistol. Whether it’s the best Glock 17 magazines or the best Glock 19 magazines, they won’t last forever. They eventually degrade with use, in part because of those delicate feed lips. With hard use, they can become deformed or broken. This can lead to malfunctions.

Also, regardless of the brand of magazine you buy, a good practice is to number them with a Sharpie marker. That way, if you have issues with a particular magazine, you can remove it from your regular gear rotation and remand it to training or discard it.

Find the Best Glock 9mm Magazines Now at The Mag Shack

Your search for the best Glock 9mm magazines is over because you found The Mag Shack. We carry factory original Glock mags, along with options from top manufacturers, including Magpul and ETS. Stock up today!

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