Who doesn’t like them long and loaded? Seriously what’s the point of shoving it in if it’s not long and loaded and ready for the long haul. Magazines, I mean. Many people seem to think the same way I do, and many companies are more than willing to provide you the ability to make it longer. Shield Arms is one such company. I recently got my hands on their +5 PMAG extension and their +5 Glock 17 magazine extension: here are my thoughts on ’em.
Shield Arms is a small American company that proudly proclaims they make products that certain people want to ban. Do you know what we have to say to that? Good. The Shield Arms magazine extensions take your already too-scary-for-California magazines and make them more terrifying. So, exactly why would you want magazine extensions instead of extended magazines or regular magazines?
Well, let’s see.
Why Shield Arms Mag Extensions?
More cartridges are better than fewer cartridges. Guys, I did the math, and it checks out. Adding a few extra rounds to your gun, or in this case, 5, is a pretty good compromise. These extensions bring my Glock 17 magazines to 22 rounds total.
The Shield Arms mag extensions are made with machined aluminum and are built to last. They can take a beating and keep on ticking. They are secured via a threaded bolt, so they aren’t going to pop off after your 800th reload.
Both the rifle and the pistol magazine extensions present an oversized baseplate with a heavily scalloped portion for a sure grip. The bigger baseplate makes it easy to remove from mag pouches and to get it in the gun.
Sure they add length to your gun, but less than most extended magazines. This is more important with rifles than handguns, and the Shield Arms +5 rifle extension still allows you to get nice and tight in a prone position without a magazine pushing you upwards.
On the handgun magazines, carrying a spare isn’t hard to do with an extension because it’s standing straight up, but carrying one in the gun can be a little trickier.
Also, the heavier baseplates help ensure the magazine has no issues falling out of the magazine well when you hit the evacuate button.
When it comes to pistol magazines, IDPA and USPSA both have rules regarding overall length, and with magazine extensions, you’ll be inside of those requirements. With a 30-round magazine, you won’t make the cut.
Do They Work?
None of the above matters a lick if the damn things cause your magazines to jam or are a pain in the ass. Luckily, they are not. From installation to running drills, the Shield Arms mag extensions check all the boxes.
Installation requires an included Allen wrench. A bolt holds the baseplates in place, ensuring they can be beaten up and abused without ever getting lose or risking failure. If there is a downside, it’s trying to find one specific Allen wrench in a sea of Allen wrenches to take them apart to clean them up.
There are options for both Gen-2 or Gen-3 PMAGs and uses the standard PMAG spring. With windowed PMAGs the count right of the window will be off, so you might wanna color fill the right count on the left side, or don’t — I’m not your dad. I will say squeezing that 35th round requires you to open a can of man and squeeze it in.
The Glock variants present no such issues, and I can squeeze in all 22 rounds without trouble. Installation is the same, and you could get a new spring to ensure reliability. These only fit OEM Glock magazines as far as I can tell and they work fine with flared magwells.
Over the last month or so, I’ve been splitting time between several different projects that involve AR and Glock magazines. This included a Gen-3, Gen-4, and Polymer 80 Glock, as well as a KelTec SUB 2k. The PMAG extension saw action in my Light Rifle build, as well as a BRN 180 based gun.
Choke Up On It
Neither has choked with any type of ammo, including Winchester steel, which is the grossest, most filthy junk out there. They work, and they make reloading quicker, and the mag also drops free when I hit the magazine release button.
On some double-feed practice, I discovered the Glock mags are easier to remove to clear a malfunction due to the scalloped grip area. That’s a major plus as far as I’m concerned.
The Shield Arms mag extensions are, without a doubt, an awesome and practical addition to your rifle or pistol magazines. They make extensions beyond Glock, so you CZ toting tactical hipsters have an option as well.
Check out Shield Arms and take a look at their sweet AR pistols, or if you own a G43X/G48, they have a flush fitting 15 round mag for you.
Travis Pike: read more of his articles.
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