Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Magazine Extensions for Mini-Glocks


    There are many magazine extensions available for the mini-Glocks,but in my opinion most are not worth considering and simply not reliable. The mini-Glocks such as the Glock 26 & Glock 27 have very short grips which allow only a two finger grip and the pinkie must be left hanging (braced under or overlapped with/against the other fingers), extended (usually used during mag changes) or tucked under the magazine (most common method). Many people add a finger extension to the bottom of the magazine to give their pinkie a place to grip. A mag extension also makes it a little easier to manipulate the mags (grab,load & unload/fall free & since don't have to worry about pinkie getting in the way/pinkie not under mag etc.) and I guess might make it a little easier to identify the front & back of the mag (especially the Pearce) should you have to pick one up in a hurry and load it. One of the most common is the Pearce Grip PG-26 which is pictured above and has a distinct "swoosh" shape to it. I like the Pearce grip, but find it a bit small and my pinkie can sometimes tend to want to slide off during recoil or if I have to get a grip quickly and don't get a real solid grip. Also if the pinkie slips under the extension, it's curved/swoosh shaped somewhat acts like a hook making it a slightly more difficult & slower to get back on the front of the grip compared to the Glock Factory. One advantage to the Pearce grip is that it uses the Glock factory baseplate making it much easier and quicker to switch out compared to the Glock +2 in which you also have to change the insert and if your in a State limited to 10 Rounds, the Pearce +0 is the obvious choice.
The three mags pictured together are Glock 26 mags with a Pearce PG-26, a Glock Factory +2 Extension and the standard G26 magazine. I rarely see the Pearce and Glock +2 compared at this angle, but as you can see the Pearce is actually taller or actually longer from front to back than the Glock +2. In the pics where the mags are installed in the G26, the Glock +2 is slightly longer in the back where the Pearce swoops up to be even with the backstrap of the grip which could effect a draw from deep concealment with the Glock +2 being more likely to snag. So, overall there isn't much difference in overall since between the Pearce PG-26 and the Glock Factory +2 mag extension, it just depends where you need the extra room. Since the Pearce doesn't add any length to the backstrap, I find the gun sits deep into the middle of my palm. Some may find this to be a shooting advantage and that the gun points better for them. I do find that I seem put less torque or pressure on a mag outfitted with Pearce compared to the Glock +2 because of how it fits in my hand, which is is reported to affect reliability since putting pressure on magazines has been said to cause reliability problems although I've never experienced this and don't see how it could since the mags can only move around so far in the grip frame. However, pressure on the Pearce mag is solely on the front whereas with the Glock the palm does contact the back of the extensions, so theoretically it could balance the pressure forces. The Glock +2's seem to fit better, tighter & snap onto the mag with more authority. Pearce does make + capacity extensions, but I've read far too many reports of reliability problems for me to trust them.They also make a XL +0 and they do give the pinkie a solid home, but I feel it's a bit too large and hinders the ability to conceal it which is the primary goal with the mini-Glocks.

          The BIG difference between the Glock + 2 and the Pearce PG-26 is that the Glock +2 gets you two additional rounds in a Glock 26. Some say you get +3 in 9mm, but 12 is plenty tight IMO and I would personally worry about reliability cramming in 13rounds. You may think it makes sense that if they are roughly the same size overall, you might as well go with the one that gives you more ammunition capacity and all my G26 mags have the +2's on them as of right now. I also find Glock Factory +2 give me a better grip & draw capability overall and my pinkie doesn't tend to want to slide off as it sometimes does on the Pearce. It is slightly longer, but only very minimally, so it's more of an angle issue rather than a length one. If the pinkie was to slide off, it's also slightly quicker to re-establish a frontal grip with the pinkie since it doesn't have the hook like the Pearce. In the scenario where you have to do a Tap-Rack-Bang, the Glock +2 is much more effective in this respect since your hitting a flatter more level surface whereas the Pearce is rather pointy and difficult to make good solid contact for seating or smacking the mag. You almost really have to hold the gun and palm at a 45 degree angle(which is slower) to hit the bottom of the Pearce flush and not have the pointy front not dig into your palm and even then your hitting a curved, hollowed surface. The Glock +2 also makes more contact with the palm when taking a grip giving a similar feel to the larger Glock models while still being much more compact than even the Glock 19 or a G26 with G19 Mags. I do recommend carrying G19 or G17 magazines as a back-up however. Some say that you might as well carry a G19 if you put a mag extension on the 26, but I totally disagree since it is still shorter in the grip(overall & especially backstrap with either extension) and you might want/need a shorter muzzled gun. Where you need reduced length depends on how you carry and many times reduced length of the muzzle is needed. Plus a shorter barreled gun is quicker on the draw and to get on target as well as offering better weapon retention being harder to grab and disarm which are all desirable qualities in the sudden close quarter confines that most real-world self-defense situations usually occur. Overall though, the Pearce probably does conceal slightly better overall in most instances than the +2 as well as being sleeker and more rounded therefore minimally less likely to snag during a draw. The Pearce is also probably the easier of the two to put back into deep concealment since it is slightly shorter and more rounded in the front, but it is longer from front to back to line up with the contour of the guns grip, but this and the more hooked shaped compared to the Glock +2 which could possibly pose slightly greater chance of a snag when putting the gun back into concealment. Not a big issue since it is the draw being quick, smooth and snag-free that matters in defensive encounters. The back of the Glock +2 magazine doesn't extend any further down in relation to the frame backstrap than the flat magazine baseplate of a compact or full size glock since the sub-compact glocks(excepting the .45 ACP and 10mm Sub Glocks) grip has a cut-off recessed area where the baseplates fit.

          If deep concealment is required(which is usually the reason for selecting the G26 in the first place)the standard Glock mags with the flat base plates might be the only choice that works/fits (certain specific instances of ankle or pocket carry where there is very limited room (type of pocket or pants)and any extension would actually impede draw as well as maneuverability), but this is very rare and you can usually conceal the gun just fine using either the Pearce or Glock +2. It takes a little practice with the standard mags to find a comfortable grip and what to do with your pinkie, but it can be done. The possibility of the mag blowing during a case failure or "kaboom" is a possibility, but so very rare that I probably wouldn't be overly concerned. If someone is extremely worried about a Kb, then they probably won't carry a loose chambered, plastic framed Glock in the first place. Still, I prefer a mag extension over the standard baseplates for better draw capability, better control during shooting as well the better more secure grip for weapon retention should someone attempt a gun grab. If your going to add an extension, I recommend both the Glock made +2 and the Pearce +0 depending on your needs and preferences.