ETS Magazines Offers Tritium Insert Followers

Hot off the heels of their recent (and welcome) expansion into Glock 43 magazines, ETS otherwise known as Elite Tactical Systems has yet another trick up their sleeve – tritium-infused followers for their AR-15 magazines. Partnered with Advanced Combat Solutions, the new magazines feature the same radioactive inserts as popular night sights.

Tritium is unique for its radioactive decay, which produces a mild visible glow, often a fluorescent green. This decay allows tritium to “glow” in low and no-light situations without the need for an external light source to “power” the glow feature. Tritium does this by itself. It’s the primary technology powering many of Trijicon’s offerings (which takes its name from the material).

The new follower is largely identical to the standard follower, sans a color change and the tritium insert. The ACS follower features a blue color with green tritium. The magazines are the same standard ETS offering, translucent with integral coupling capability. ETS magazines are ribbed and tout a variety of improvements over standard magazines.

The new follower if offered by itself for $15.99/unit or included in a magazine at $33.99 for the standard magazine or $35.99 for the integrally coupled version. No word yet on the option for tritium inserts for other platforms from ETS, specifically the Glock magazines which are similarly translucent.





Nathan S.

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • USMC03Vet

    Still waiting for integrated digital display counter on firearm saying how many rounds left until magazine empty.

    • Paul Epstein

      They’ve demoed them, but as usual the durability problems with the electronics involved have kept them from mass market. Reducing the points of failure tends to mean reducing the accuracy- going from checking how many rounds are in the magazines to assuming 30 and the like.

    • RSG

      Well, if you’re in a “situation” where you’d have to know, just run tracers at the 23 and 24 round mark in your mags (if you download to 28) or 25 and 26 if you load to 30. A box of 20 tracers let’s you fill 10 mags. For civilian defensive purposes, that’s a lifetime supply. But in the unlikely event that there’s a defensive firearm usage, the distances will probably be less than 25 feet (meaning the tracers won’t trace) and require less than 8 rounds. The bright side is that if you’re involved in a justifiable civilian defensive shooting where it’s necessary to utilize a mag change because you went Winchester, we’ll, you’ll be famous in the morning.

      • Ced Truz

        This is actually what I do.

    • noob

      or even a glorified tape measure that unwinds as the follower rises, revealing progressively lower numbers.

      • flyingburgers

        They have those. Command Arms Accessories Countdown Magazine

    • Ebby123

      IT’S 2017!! WHERE ARE MY FLYING CARS AND DIGITAL ROUND COUNTERS!!

      • USMC03Vet

        Where is the Moon base skeet range?!

    • B. Young

      Bluetooth!

    • Ced Truz

      I’d be happy if we just had space marines killing off aliens.

  • Julio

    Interesting. But re. “The new follower is largely identical to the standard follower, *sans* a color change and the tritium insert.”, you do know that “sans” means “without”, i.e. the opposite of what you mean to say, which is “except for”? #there’salwaysone

    • Cory C

      Que? If he had said, “The new follower is largely identical to the standard follower, without a color change and the tritium insert,” that would be a perfectly valid statement. His use of sans appears to be appropriate.

      Alternatively, consider that sans could mean “minus.” Thus, his statement would read, “The new follower is largely identical to the standard follower, minus a color change and the tritium insert.” Also grammatically correct.

      I think you’re overthinking it.

    • Ebby123

      It is identical to a standard follower [except for] the color and tritium insert.

      Does that make more sense?

  • Hans

    Gah, I had this idea a few years ago. My first thought was glow in the dark paint on the rear of cartridges but I figured a tritium dot on the follower would work with any cartridge and probably be cheaper over the long run.

  • Going to have to do this for my AUG mags now.

    • FightFireJay

      So your armpit can see the mag level?

      • camosoul

        Don’t assume his armipt’s pronouns, guhh…

  • Giolli Joker

    This will get you killed when the enemy ninja sees the green dot in the darkness where you are hiding.
    If you get killed remember I had warned you.

    • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

      Well if hes behind you youve got bigger problems

      • noob

        If he’s behind you he can’t see the light because your body should be tight over the weapon (no chicken wings!)

        If the ninja can see the light, then the ninja is in the 13 inches between your body and the magazine that is out of the pouch and in the magwell.

        And then there is even money that he’s gonna either stab you or marry you by morning.

        • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

          I think my odds would be a little better if you used “she” instead of “he”

          • noob

            You might think to yourself “But I already lost my virginity.” You are DEAD WRONG.

          • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

            Well if death is my other option…

          • Klaus Von Schmitto

            Death by bunga!

          • Giolli Joker

            Death by snu-snu.

      • AK™

        “Nothing personal,kid..”

  • R. Kenneth Thorstenson IV

    Correction: Tritium tubes glow because the electrons emitted by it’s radioactive decay interact with phosphorus paint in the tubes. Tritium by itself does not glow or have any luminescent properties.

    Nate, you should know better.

    • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

      Given that 80% of these readers have no idea what “radioactive decay” even is, I would say the simplified answer is more than sufficient.

      • FightFireJay

        So it’s okay for the media to present incorrect information if it thinks it’s audience is to stupid to understand the truth?

        Thanks for the benefit of the doubt, Doc.

        • Ebby123

          That’s OK, your virtue signaling will save us from the horrors of simple truths like “The sky is blue”… because clearly that is a devious and malicious lie.

        • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

          To be fair the media can say whatever the heck they want.

          With that out of the way, science has layers. The physics you learn in a freshman level general physics class is not the same that a physics major learns in his senior level classes. In fact, its quite common for the professor to say “You know all that stuff you learned last year? Its all wrong. This is the way it actually works. What you learned last year is simply a close enough way to get a decent answer.”

          Why do they do that? because you dont immediately try to teach senior level physics to a freshman. It just doesnt take.

          A firearm blog is not the proper forum for a lengthy lesson on physics. Firearms not Physics, right? That is the phrase that the miserable nitpicky types love to use on this site.

          Sometimes good enough really is good enough.

          • I don’t think saying that it is wrong is the right way to phrase, highly simplified would probably be more correct IME. But I never went beyond Physics w/ Calc 2, 3 and 4 weren’t required for my major.

            It is like the physics of flight. There is the simply way we explain it at the low levels (typically just the Bernoulli principle). The slightly more complex way that is actually closer to the truth that pilots learn (which includes Newtonian lift, and other more complex principles of drag). And then there is there is the oodles of formulas that engineers use to design airplanes.

          • Tom Currie

            I don’t see anything wrong with saying that the tritium insert glows without external power or an external light source.

            BUT I have to agree with the original poster, that when the author went beyond “it glows” and started giving an explanation of why/how this occurs, THAT explanation was wrong. The article had no reason to discus electrons being emitted etc., and it equally had no reason to include unnecessary and inaccurate ‘information’ such as saying tritium is “unique for its radioactive decay” (ALL radioactive materials decay).

      • Dietrich

        As a retired English teacher, can we just say it glows in the effing dark and move on?

    • Came to say this.

      AFAIK there are no forms of radiation that is visible to the naked eye. We only see radiation when it interacts with other things.

      • flyingburgers

        Sufficiently high energy particles, such as from cosmic rays, will be seen as flashes to your eye. Astronauts notice this when their eyes are closed.

        • Cosmic rays themselves are probably not visible. I believe the current hypothesis is that the rays interact with the nerves in the eye causing the flashes of light.

      • kurzweilfreak

        Since everyone here is being completely pedantic, visible light is just the portion of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum that triggers our cones and rods between 380 nm and 760 nm wavelengths. So yes, we can see radiation of certain wavelengths.

  • noob

    It sure looks badass. Any chance we can see this in John Wick 3: The Wickening?

  • Edeco

    I need this for their glock stick mags. Don’t care if it costs a few bullets of capacity, but hey, have trijicoms all around, so it glows from the front and sides.

  • George Smythson

    Why?

  • Hoplopfheil

    Oh my, that’s extravagant.

    The GLOCK version would work best if somebody could give a GLOCK the ASP 9 treatment. Replace the backstrap with a clear acrylic… ?

    • abecido

      And replace your hand with a clear acrylic?

      • Hoplopfheil

        You wouldn’t have to.

        There is a modded GLOCK out there that has clear grip inserts to use with the clear ETS mags. That would be a sweet mod.

        • camosoul

          But, my hand still isn’t transparent…. Oh, nevermind, he already said it…

  • Spencer

    Nyet! Rifle is fine. -Eugene Stoner’s ghost

    • Gary Kirk

      The rifle is fine.. It’s the mags that used to have a tendency to suck..
      Still, these just look gimmicky..

  • Jonathan Page

    Alternatively you could just change mags when you’re able to or when you have to. And team leaders should check on the mag status of their guys at the ORP/FOB before SP. Even if it means you do it by feel in the dark. But this requires discipline and a modicum of knowledge, so screw it let’s just buy some stupid product.

  • Darrell Elmore

    Don’t care, I always knew how much I had fired and see no real reason to have a light source on my rifle. Cute but of little value IMHO