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Hands On with Magpul’s Big Glock Stick: PMAG 27 GL9

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PMAG 27 GL9 Review

With a pistol family as nearly universally accepted as the Glock 9mm models, the aftermarket accessories and equipment market is expansive. Widely known for their reliability, Glock pistols do not need modifications to run the variety of ammunition available today. A key ingredient to a reliable pistol is the magazine, and Glock OEM mags are quite good. Several years ago Magpul seized on the opportunity to provide a quality but less expensive line of Glock magazines. The PMAG 27 GL9 magazines mirror factory sizes and capacity for 9mm Glocks, along with the addition of a 21-round capacity version. The 27-round model was announced but remained listed as coming soon. Fast forward to January 2019, and the 27-round option was finally ready.


27 rounds of 9mm

Some might ask why a 27-round capacity? There could be many reasons for a big magazine, including use at shooting competitions to minimize reloads, having the extra ammo in a pistol for home defense or just for someone with an itchy trigger finger at the range. The rise of pistol caliber carbines (PCCs) using Glock magazines also creates demand for big magazines. While Glock offers a factory 33rd magazine originally developed for the select-fire Glock 18 machine pistol, it's large and has crept up in price over the years. Certain competitions, such as USPSA, have divisions that allow extended magazines but at a 140mm or 170mm overall length limit. The 21-rd option is 140mm legal, and the new 27-round complies with the 170mm limit.

Magpul’s 27-round magazine option offers extra capacity without the need for expensive extensions. With an MSRP of $19.95, several of these magazines can be purchased for the same cost as one extension. When comparing a PMAG to a Glock factory magazine, it is obvious the Magpul magazine was designed to be different. The polymer material looks and feels different, and the Magpul lacks the metal insert found in factory mags; making the GL9 lighter.

An orange follower makes it easy to tell if the magazine is empty (something now found on factory Gen5 Glock magazines). On factory mags, the witness holes are located on the spine, while the PMAG has side windows (with counts at 10, 15, 20 and 27 for the 27-round GL9). Other differences include a simpler baseplate design on the Magpul magazine, which is handy for cleaning. Additionally, the baseplate has a dot matrix pattern that can be marked up for tracking magazines. To get an idea of overall length, the 27-round Magpul magazine is about the same length as a USGI 30rd AR-15/M-16 mag.


Length Comparison: AR-15/M-16 30rd; 27-rd PMAG; 21-rd PMAG, Glock 17 OEM (17-rd); Glock 19 OEM (15-rd)


Tall Mag: 27-rd PMAG in HSGI Taco pouch between a Glock OEM 17-rd magazine and USGI 30-rd M-16 magazine

On the Range

With any new magazine, I like to load it to capacity and let it sit for a few days. This is more superstition than science, but I loaded up several magazines on hand for their first range session. There is nothing special to loading magazines, however, your thumbs will thank you for using a Maglula or similar mag loader as the spring pressure gets quite stiff after 20 rounds.


OEM 17-rd with +2 extension, 21-rd PMAG and 27-rd PMAG GL9 lined up; Gen5 Glock  34 with 27-rd PMAG inserted

My first range session burned through 250+ rounds from a Gen5 Glock 34 shooting at steel plates. The results were simple…the magazines functioned without issue. When shooting a pistol, 27 rounds takes a fair amount of time to get through. When practicing reloads (1-2 rounds in the pistol, then a slide-lock reload) the extra length did slow my reload times slightly. I found that my hand was indexing differently on the mag body. I found I would either grab the bottom of the magazine like a normal magazine reload, but it affected my index and getting the magazine into the gun, or I was grabbing further up on the mag and not getting the baseplate into my hand which affected seating. I believe it is a training issue more than an equipment problem to solve.

After several range dates and over 700 rounds between three magazines, these new PMAGs have proved to be like every other Magpul product I’ve used, well designed and manufactured. Due to the length, I wouldn’t want to carry it on a belt, but having one of these magazines as a starter magazine or as a spare stashed in a vehicle or go-bag makes a lot of sense. My preferred all-around use magazine is the 21-round GL9 magazine as I find it a good balance of size and capacity, but the 27-round version is a welcomed option. With an MSRP of $19.95, it is easy to have an extended magazine option without breaking the bank.


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