Two Letters Re: What Are the Best Magazines for Investment?

Here’s my feeling on what pistol mags to obtain. Obviously, if you have a high capacity handgun, it behooves you to have at least ten mags for it. I actually have 30 Glock Model 19 mags since I already have one and contemplate picking up another that a friend wishes to sell.

I’m also trying to pick up Glock 17 mags, even though they stick out the bottom of my G19. I really want a Glock 34 long slide 9mm, and figure that the only way I may be able to get mags for it down the road is to have them on hand. They fit my [Model] 19, and stick out a little, but that’s okay. [JWR Adds: There are magazine “filler” sleeves made for the compact Glock pistols, making them more comfortable to hold when using full-size magazines–such as G17 mags in a G19, G22 mags in a G23, and G21 mags in a G30.]

I want to warn you folks of one thing about Glock magazines. I am under the impression that the company will be making the new Glock 21s, Glock 19s and some others in the “SF” [Short Frame] variation, which has a thinner frame, and is more ergonomic. The problem is, while he new SF mags will fit the older Glocks, the old [pre-SF] Glock mags won’t work in the newer SF models. Apparently the mag body is cut for the mag release in a different place. Thus, I’d recommend getting the older version of the model you want, or just get the new SF mags. Right now, as I said, I think only the Model 21 and 19 Glocks are made in the SF variation.

If you have an odd pistol, pay close attention to magazine availability. My favorite carry gun is my Walther P-99 in 9mm. Mags were in the $50 range, which made them hard to afford. Every now and then, a company like CDNN gets trade-in mags, which are priced affordably. CDNN were selling the trade in SW-99 mags (which are the same gun essentially as the P99 for $28. I was able to pick up two, but the company ran out the day after the election, and hasn’t gotten anymore. Since I like this handgun, I may have to bite the bullet and lay out twice as much as what I give for Glock 19 mags to get a supply for this pistol. I think the lesson is, if you have a Browning 9mm, or a Ruger P95, or a high cap handgun you don’t see every day, it would make sense to buy the mags while you can. – Lawrence K.

JWR Replies: I have been told that the SF mag catch notch (on the front of the magazine) can actually be cut by hand, with an X-Acto knife, to retrofit older Glock magazines. BTW, I’m confident that some enterprising individual is sure to soon produce cutting jigs, to make this job easier .

Mr. Editor;

How can you tell people they should ‘invest’ in magazines? That doesn’t make sense. They are a commodity, that can be cranked out in huge numbers. – E.G.B., near Atlanta

JWR Replies: Magazines were until recently a commodity but their status as a commodity is is now dubious. As I described in this article, Federal “bans” and “freezes” often spread economic chaos. When governments interfere with free markets, prices can get crazy. Just look at what happened to price of small containers of Freon, a few years ago.

Based upon our knowledge of what happened during the last magazine ban (circa 1994 to 2004, and thankfully terminated by a sunset clause), and seeing a new presidential administration with hoplophobic tendencies waiting in the wings, it is safe to assume that a new ban is fairly likely. It is therefore wise and prudent to stock up, in anticipation. My advice is to buy all the full capacity magazines that you and your children will ever need, plus a few more, as an investment. In as little as six months, you may be very glad that you did! If a new ban is enacted, it is very likely that the prices of most magazines will double, and that some may triple or even quadruple.