Another day, another Glock and another aftermarket company popping out Glock magazines. That’s not a complaint, just an observation. I think more mags and more Glocks are better than fewer Glocks and fewer mags. The late series of centerfire Glocks includes the G43X and G48 single stack firearms. The latest magazine to hit the streets is the G48 and G43X ETS Mags.
ETS made its name by producing affordable magazines for various platforms. They often provided extended magazine options for firearms that don’t traditionally have extendos as options. My G43X ETS Mags are just that, extended magazines for a single stack concealed carry piece.
Today we will be talking about G43X ETS magazines and why an extendo magazine makes sense for even the smallest of carry guns.
Breaking Down the G43X ETS Mags
The G48 slash G43X ETS Mags deliver 19 rounds of 9mm in a very curious and interesting magazine design. At the top, we get the single stack design we know and love from the G43X and G48 pistols, as the magazine reaches the portion where it extends from the grip. From there, it becomes more like a traditional double stack.
This single stack to double stack model isn’t that rare; it’s the same way Sig Sauer and Springfield Armory fit so many rounds in their compact magazines. It’s a bit odd to see the same thing applied to an extendo, but we know it’s effective.
From tip to butt, the G43X magazines measure out to 6 and 3/4s inches. The magazine extends 2 and 7/8 inches below the grip itself. The design allows capacity to nearly be doubled without having to double the length of the magazine itself. ETS designed the magazine with great efficiency.
As always, the magazines are made from an advanced polymer blend that’s resistant to cracking and breaking. It’s also resistant to chemicals and UV light. Unlike Glock OEM magazines, the ETS mags lack an internal layer of metal. This makes them non-magnetic in general, so they won’t work with NeoMag devices.
Oh, and they are clearly translucent. (Get it?) They come in clear and party time red.
Durability Testing —Do these things work?
That’s the big question most of you have. If you plan to use the G48 and G43X ETS magazines for anything beyond plinking, they need to be reliable and durable. I set out to find how much abuse one could take.
First, I dropped it unloaded—just let it clack to the ground from shoulder height on a variety of surfaces. This included hard limestone ground, sand, and concrete bricks. I let it fall from the gun and dropped it on its sides and on its feed lips.
From there, I loaded the G43X ETS magazine with 19 rounds of brass-cased 9mm and repeated the tests with a loaded magazine. I remember some of the first-generation Glock ETS magazines would eject a ton if not all their rounds when dropped.
Luckily that issue has been seemingly solved with the latest generations of ETS magazines, including these G48 and G43X ETS mags. I dropped it on its side, bottom, and tip, and only a single round would eject when the fully loaded mag hit the deck.
Shoot, Shoot, Shoot
After I dropped it, exposed it to sand, and generally beat the hell out of it, I figured it was time to see if the dang thing still cycled without issue. I popped it in the G43X, held my breath, and proceeded to squeeze the trigger as fast as possible.
Each and every round cycled without a single issue. The magazine-fed, so I decided to start the entire durability test over again. I dropped it, and dropped it, and loaded it, then dropped it again. By now, enough sand had squeezed itself in the magazine that it rattled around, and I felt the friction as I slid round after round into the gun.
The follower ground along, and admittedly I felt more resistance as I loaded it. However, it loaded the 19 rounds without issue, and I let it loose once more. 18 of the 19 rounds fed, fired, and ejected without issue. The 19th didn’t raise quite high enough for the slide to catch it.
I gave the mag a healthy slap, the follower slammed upwards, and the final round fed and fired.
Is This Realistic?
My durability testing is a bit atypical and not necessarily realistic, but it proves the magazine can take some abuse and still function rather well. Like most things, it can’t eat a healthy diet of sand and limestone and be expected to function.
I stripped the magazine down and gave it a good wash with water to clean the sand out and let it dry. Unlike Glock OEM magazines, it’s not a hassle to take apart by any means. After it was cleaned and dried, I loaded it up with 19 rounds and fired a final string. It fled flawlessly once the sand was liberated like an oil-bearing middle eastern country.
Why an extendo for a concealed carry gun?
Here is the big question. What’s the practical purpose of an extendo like these G43X ETS magazines? There are lots of reasons for extendos. Number one, this is America, so if I want, I should have it. Second, extendos are just fun to shoot with. Neither of those reasons is necessarily practical, though.
You don’t need a practical reason to own a G48 or G43X ETS magazine, but I can give you some. As always, more bullets are better than fewer bullets, especially when your firearm has tasks beyond concealed carry. For some people, one gun is all they have. It pulls double duty for concealed carry, home defense, and beyond.
In the home defense role, the 19 round G43X ETS magazine offers a heckuva lot of rounds for defensive purposes. The more you have in the gun, the better for home defense. Packing a reload isn’t likely when something goes bump in the night and a 19 round magazine grants you a good bit more firepower.
Beyond home defense, an extended magazine like the G43X ETS magazine packs a punch for traveling. A long road trip will have you packing your G43X with its standard 10 round magazine but having an extended option for emergencies is far from crazy. When you spend the night in hotels and such a 19 round magazine opens up your defensive capabilities.
Packing on the Rounds
The G48 and G43X ETS magazine is an awesome option for topping off your mag with a few extra rounds. A few extra being 9, or almost double the OEM magazine capacity. These mags can take a healthy amount of abuse and keep click-clacking, although be aware everything might need a little TLC here and there.
If you want to exercise your freedom, packing a few extra rounds for defensive purposes, or just reduce the need to reload, then G43X ETS mags keep you covered. Literally, they allow you to lay down cover fire if necessary.
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner, a lifelong firearms enthusiast, and now a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is the world’s Okayest firearm’s instructor.