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About Pistol Magazines
Pistol magazines are devices used to hold and feed ammunition into a pistol's chamber. They are detachable and come in a variety of designs and capacities, depending on the type of pistol and the intended use.
The history of pistol magazines dates back to the early 20th century, when the first self-loading pistols were introduced. These early pistols, such as the Browning 1911, used single-stack magazines that held up to 7 rounds of ammunition.
Over time, double-stack magazines were introduced, allowing for greater capacity and quicker reloading. Today, pistol magazines are made from a variety of materials, including steel, aluminum, and polymer.
They come in different sizes and capacities, ranging from 6 to 30 rounds, depending on the pistol's design and intended use. Many pistols also have magazines with extended baseplates, which increase the capacity and provide a more comfortable grip for the shooter.
Common Names for Pistol Magazines
With the development of new ammunition, firearm models, and firearm manufacturers over the years, we have seen (and heard) many different name variations for their accompanying magazines. Some of the most common names include:
|• Pistol Magazines||• Pistol Mags||• Pistol Clips|
|• Handgun Magazines||• Handgun Mags||• Handgun Clips|
Purchasing a PIstol Magazine
When it comes to essential components, magazines are easily ranked among the most critical, and having the right magazine or clip for your pistol is incredibly important.
Whether for target practice, concealed carry, or home defense, having a dependable magazine can make all the difference in the smooth operation of your handgun.
Given the vast number of models, calibers, and capacities in today's market, Ammunition Depot is proud to offer high-quality Pistol Mags from the manufacturers you trust.
Shop our online catalog to find deals on Glock Mags, Taurus, and Sig Sauer, at a price point that won't break the bank.
Pistol Magazine Features
Body: The main component of the magazine that holds the cartridges. It can be made of various materials such as metal, plastic, or polymer.
Spring: A coiled spring that provides tension to the follower, pushing the cartridges up towards the magazine lips.
Baseplate: The bottom of the magazine that is usually removable for maintenance and cleaning purposes. The baseplate is also used to attach the magazine to the firearm's grip or magazine well.
Follower: A spring-loaded component that sits at the bottom of the magazine body and pushes the cartridges towards the top of the magazine as they are fired.
Lips: The top of the magazine body that retains the cartridges in the magazine and guides them towards the chamber of the firearm.
The number of cartridges that the magazine can hold. This can range from a few rounds to several dozen, depending on the firearm's design.
Most pistols sold in the United States include one, two, and in some cases three magazines that have round capacity of 6 – 20 rounds.
Pistol models with 6 – 10 rounds are generally referred to as compact, subcompact, and micro compact models.
Standard full-sized pistols, like a Glock 17, M&P 9, and Taurus G3 typically include magazines with a 15 – 20 round capacity.
Modern advancements have enabled most firearm models to upgrade various parts, and the magazine is no exception. For example, with a modified or extended floor plate, pistol magazines can achieve higher capacities or even add finger loops for quicker reloading.
With several options available, owners should review their owner's manual or magazine manufacturer recommendations before installation.
A button or lever on the firearm's grip that releases the magazine from the firearm.
The part of the magazine that guides the cartridges towards the chamber of the firearm.
Steel Pistol Mags tend to be very durable and often have reliable tensile strength springs and precision machined feed lips to aid in feeding rounds. These mags also tend to have a polymer follower, which will help keep the magazine's spring from binding inside the body.
Polymer Pistol Mags tend to be built exceptionally well and are extremely durable. Over the years, the advancements in polymer have led to numerous developments in magazines to include additional color options and replacing components like the baseplate.
Pistol Magazine FAQ
Which are the best Pistol Magazine brands?
Over the years, the firearm industry has seen numerous brands come into the market offering high-quality and reliable pistol magazines.
Although standards are measured differently by each individual, quality magazines can generally be measured by their durability and how proficiently they will continue to feed rounds.
Popular Pistol magazines and Pistol clips in the United States include products from Glock, KCI, Magpul, and Amend2.
Do all Pistols use Magazines?
Yes and no. While most pistols/handguns will utilize a detachable magazine, there are exceptions. For example, while technically considered a handgun, a revolver keeps its ammunition inside a revolving cylinder and does not require a detachable magazine.
Additionally, there are also single-shot pistols that have their round held internally until being fired.
Are all Pistol Magazines interchangeable?
Generally, no. While some handguns produced by the same manufacturer can have interchangeable parts and use the same magazine (IE) a Glock 17 and Glock 19, most pistol models cannot swap magazines interchangeably.
For this reason, the best practice is following the recommendations outlined throughout the owner's manual and only utilizing designed accessories.
Additionally, owners should be cautious of discount magazines from unfamiliar brands (generally made overseas). These mags and clips are sometimes made to different standards than brand-name pistol mags.
Can you keep Pistol Magazines loaded?
Generally, yes. Although it's a much-debated topic, many manufacturers state that leaving magazines fully loaded won't weaken their springs. Most firearm experts agree that creating a steady rotation can help avoid compromising the springs and will prolong the life of your Pistol magazines.
Another helpful practice is underloading your pistol mags / pistol clips by two or three rounds. Doing so will help reduce spring compression for short-term storage.
How should you store Pistol Magazines?
Most Pistol magazines are durable and rugged enough to be stored for short periods under reasonable conditions. However, if you plan on storing your magazines for an extended period of time, the best practice is to keep them unloaded to preserve spring compression.
For storage periods longer than a few months, you can stack polymer magazines in a sealed container without further preparation. All-metal magazines can corrode with time, so applying a thin layer of oil before storage can help prevent rust for decades.
How many Pistol Magazines should you have?
Objectively, there is no required number of Pistol magazines that an owner should have. Instead, the number depends on the needs of each individual shooter.
Most handguns today will include at least one or two magazines or clips, but most shooters will choose to add more to their collection over time.
Can I purchase a Pistol Magazine online in my state?
Nearly all local gun stores and big box retailers will carry a variety of Handgun magazines, ranging from niche models to the most popular.
Additionally, nearly all online retailers also offer Handgun mags from several different manufactures – More often than not, online retailers will even have the better selection.
The key takeaway is understanding various jurisdictions based on your residence. Some states have banned online sales or home shipments of firearm accessories, so be sure to know your local and state laws before ordering your Pistol magazine online.