AR Pistol Showdown – Glock Mags or Colt Mags? The Big Debate

    In the last three or four months, I have been making an effort to go out and shoot with strangers in public ranges either outside or the various indoor ranges in Michigan. It’s fairly easy to become comfortable shooting on private land with the same group of people. In an effort to break this trend, I’ve started shooting at random indoor ranges lately and talking to people about random firearms. I was rather surprised when I took a couple AR pistol caliber carbines and people didn’t understand the difference between Colt AR magazines and Glock factory magazines. I got a ton of questions about what’s best and what one they should buy if they only have a budget to purchase one. Let’s dive into the differences between Glock mags and Colt mags.

    Colt AR Magazines

    Colt AR-pattern magazines are one of the original stick mags for 9mm ARs on the market. Some of the original Colt magazines were modified UZI magazines that were cut to fit into the colt receivers. These were some of the most iconic guns in the 1980s under the MP5 and UZI. Back in the day, the DEA used the Colt 635 which took these 9mm magazines and during the 90s and 2000s the idea of a 9mm AR kind of died off. With the revival of 9mm ARs, there has been an explosion in popularity for different magazines. Companies like C-Products and ASC have started making high-quality reproductions of the classic Colt stick magazines.

    There has been a number of guns to come out recently that use the Colt magazines. Certain guns like the Noveske Space Invader and Type-A 10.5 9mm SPR have options for Colt magazines straight from the factory. Often times, most people who use Colt pattern magazines prefer the overall look and function of the stick magazines to other magazines like the Glock mags. The standard capacity for Colt pattern magazines is 32 rounds. Typically, they cost around $15-20 per mag from places like GunMag Warehouse or other retailers. There are a number of manufacturers who make Colt pattern magazines and they’re fairly affordable in most cases.

    Glock Pattern Magazines

    Really, there’s not a lot I need to say about Glock mags. They are the universal magazine which most low to medium AR pistol caliber carbine systems use and they are everywhere. If you own a number of different Glocks it would make complete sense to build or order a gun that takes the magazines you already have. Glock mags are typically anywhere from $28-35 on for the longer 33 round magazines with the off-brand magazines being cheaper.

    The beauty of Glock magazines is the fact they are sold nearly everywhere guns and ammo are sold. You may not always find a Colt 9mm AR magazine but there’s a good chance you’ll find a Glock magazine available. Another plus is the availability of magazine extensions like Taran Tacticals plus 6 base plate. This will give you nearly 40 rounds in the weapon compared to the Colt AR mag with 32 rounds. When we look at the overall weight of both magazines, the Glock magazines tend to be lighter weight compared to the metal-bodied Colt mags.

    Overall Thoughts

    Both the Colt pattern and Glock magazines have their benefits and both have a great track record of being bulletproof feeding reliability. It’s hard to argue when people order the Glock patterned ARs if they already own a number of Glock magazines in their possession. It saves money and you can use the magazines you already own in multiple guns. Trust me I completely get it, and its honestly a smart move.

    For those of you who don’t have a number of Glock magazines laying around, I would seriously consider using Colt patterned magazines. Between the two, I personally prefer the Colt magazines for day to day use at the range. Since both are extremely reliable, I wouldn’t have any hesitations recommending either style of the magazine. Personally, I really would leave it up to a buyer’s preference and situation. I love the fact the older style Colt magazines are becoming fairly common and popular again. As a result, I cant wait to see what else comes out along the way. Let me know what you guys prefer in the comments below. If you have questions feel free to contact me on my Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there!


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    I’m an avid shooter and love educating whether it’s at my job or in the shooting community. I’m an average joe that really loves talking with other people about firearms and other passions
    .I’m active on Instagram on @fridgeoperator @just_pistols @thedailyrifle.


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