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How Many Magazines is Enough for the Service Life of a Glock Pistol?

Discussion in 'General Glocking' started by IllinoisGun, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. IllinoisGun


    Oct 12, 2011
    I understand that one cannot have too many magazines for their pistol. But I wish to garner a collective opinion on the reasonable number of magazines one should maintain for the entire serviceable working lifetime of a single Glock 19 full capacity pistol.

    Criteria: The gun will be used for general long term target practice and conceal carry. Not a safe queen. The gun shall also be passed down through inheritance (if still serviceable) and not for extended resale value purposes.

    Also, the gun will NOT be used for extensive long term professional or recreational handgun competition, nor rugged SHTF survival applications or as a throw around handgun.

    Thank you for everyone's input and opinion.
  2. DNS


    Jun 15, 2002
    Does anyone know what the service life of a glock is? Not trying to be a smart-x, would like to know also.

  3. BMiracletx


    Aug 3, 2012
    Abilene, TX
    I know on they took a gen4 50,150 rounds before quitting the test. I believe they stated some erosion of the breechface was about the only problem. 50,150 rounds is more than the average shooter who does not compete will EVER shoot.

    Basically, as long as you aren't running around and filling your gun with sand and mud and jacking up your mags... the only thing that would be required is occasionally changing mag springs and followers.

    Personally.... I have ten 17 mags and four 19 mags. Didn't feel the need for more 19s since I sometimes use the 17 mags in the 19.

    I also have several 10-round mags that I use for only at the range. I only ever load 10 at a time anyways. the 10-rounders should always be available.
  4. Kentguy


    Nov 22, 2010
    Kent, OH
    IllinoisGun..."But I wish to garner a collective opinion on the reasonable number of magazines one should maintain for the entire serviceable working lifetime of a single Glock 19 full capacity pistol."

    I have a G19, Gen3 and I have 4 magazines, 2 with +2 round extensions on them and 2 without extensions. My G19 outside of general range/training time, is most often found next to my bed in my night stand. 4 mags seems to be plenty for my purposes, you don't want to keep reloading at the range so that seems to work for me.

    DNS..."Does anyone know what the service life of a glock is?"

    An old timer friend of my has a G17, Gen1 with (at least) 5 or 600,000 rounds through it... no kidding. If I'm not mistaken he has 6 or maybe 7 original magazines which he still uses at the range and in competition shooting. I may be low on these numbers but sufficient enough to say that your and my Glock(s) will farrrrrrr out-last us. Of that I am sure.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  5. sciolist


    Nov 11, 2009
    My gen3 G34 lasted about 55K rounds/22 months before it died. I have about 35 G17 mags in the safe, but the 6 I used with the G34 are all in perfectly fine shape.
  6. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    As long as you can get springs and maybe followers, mags should basically last forever unless you crush them with your steamroller or something.
  7. Arc Angel

    Arc Angel Deus Vult!

    Sep 20, 2003
    Penn's Woods
    It seems to me that most of the major police departments get rid of their Glocks at somewhere around the 30 to 40,000 round mark. We've got a very popular public shooting range near our home that has been running the same 1st generation G-17 for the past 25 years.

    It's had, at least, one major overhaul and had the guts replaced and a new barrel installed at somewhere between 500,000 and 750,000 rounds. It's, also, had other repairs, too; and, I think it safe to say that little or no SD/service grade ammo has been put through this pistol. It's been strictly, 'range quality' ammo all the way. The range owner has said that he's, pretty sure, this pistol has had a million, or more, rounds put through it. (I don't know?)

    Except for one or two matches I shoot every year I use the same 3 or 4 magazines all of the time. Only the springs and followers ever wear. When I was running numerous 1911 pattern pistols I always had a dozen magazines on hand. With the Glocks I've never purchased more than 8 magazines for each pistol that I own; and I'm positive that 5 magazines would be more than enough for even frequent and heavy use.

    Don't forget that a Glock frame flexes every time the pistol is fired; and 9mm Glocks are going to be able to absorb more flex and punishment than any of the other (larger) calibers. I intend to mimic the large police departments and get rid of my pistols between 40 and 50 thousand fired rounds.

    There are two other (still unknown) events that affect the longevity of Glock pistols: exposure to sunlight, and (historically verified) natural degeneration of the polymer. From the reading I've done 50 + years is a significant number of years for any plastic object to survive without showing degeneration.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  8. BMiracletx


    Aug 3, 2012
    Abilene, TX
    Arc Angel... I love the statement in your signature block.
  9. kda

    kda NRA Life Member

    Oct 4, 2009
    Tucson, AZ
    12,000 rounds and going like new. I put these 12,000 rounds through a Gen3 G26 using a single magazine. I actually kept track. I saved one box end from each box of ammo that I shot. Both G26 and magazine still shooting flawlessly. Not even a single issue. I have a couple of extra springs and a couple of followers my magazines but am beginning to wonder if I'll ever actually need them. I must admit I've never felt the need to have more than a couple of magazines for each Glock. I guess I just don't understand that urge.
  10. High Altitude

    High Altitude

    Nov 19, 2005
    I like to have 10 mags for any pistols that I train with and carry.

    You could get away with 5 if you had to.

    Glock mags are built like tanks. They last.
  11. BMiracletx


    Aug 3, 2012
    Abilene, TX
    I have heard that the 10-rounders are more durable due to the internal construction. Does anyone ahve any confirmation on that? For most paper shooting I load 10 rounds anyways. With mags practically nonexistent right now, I might get some 10-rounders for other Glocks of mine and save the standard capacity mags for carry.
  12. I doubt the 10 rounders are any stronger than the standard capacity mags. The extra metal inside is what limits the capacity. It may add a bit of structural support, but I'd wager it's negligible.
  13. Atlas

    Atlas transmogrifier

    Oct 1, 2001
    north of the equator
    I have a coupe of G17 mags I purchased used during the '94 "ban". These mags had clearly seen many many rounds... possibly police trade-ins?

    The plastic has since split open up the "spine" of the mag, all the way to the top.

    These mags were full metal-lined, but may have been 20 years old for all I know.

    And it is possible that the newer plastics are more durable. :dunno:

    For my G36 I have 23 mags.
    For the G19 I have 18 mags.

    If I had been able to foresee the present situation I would have purchased about 10 more of each.

    I'm feeling pretty comfortable though...
    I seriously doubt I'll ever be able to afford enough ammo to wear out my mags the way those old G17 mags are.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  14. Bruce M

    Bruce M

    Jan 3, 2010
    S FL
    There seem to be more than a few credible reports of 9mm Glocks going fine for more than 100,000 rounds. My guess is that at least some of them have managed that on the original magazines and maybe a handful of others.
    Especially with a supply of replacement springs I would have to guess that if someone put a hundred thousand 9mm rounds through a Glock using say six magazines that at the end most of the six magazines would still be fine.

    What happened? Have you contacted Glock out of curiosity?
  15. RWBlue


    Jan 24, 2004
    I bought some used police mags from CDNN just after the ban. Most are good, I think I had 1 that became useless.

    I say 10 mags should last a person a lifetime. I would also say the same thing for rifles.

    Then again, if you dropped one or lost one or .....
  16. Dukeboy01

    Dukeboy01 Pretty Ladies!

    Apr 30, 2000
    Lexington, KY
    Let's see:

    1 magazine loaded and in the gun

    2 magazines loaded to carry on my person for reloads

    2 magazines loaded and kept in a double mag pouch in the map pocket of my truck in case the SHTF.

    2 more for my Camaro

    2 more for my cruiser

    2 more for my nightstand drawer

    So 11 magazines loaded at all times. Double that number so there is a spare for each one.

    So, a minimum of 22.

    I have many, many more.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  17. John_NJ


    Jan 15, 2013
    I've got 4 mags for all my Glocks. I got the +2 extensions on the G26 mags. When the craziness in Washington dies down (and mags become readily available again) I'm going to get 2 more for each and have six total.
  18. Between my 2 G19s, I have 9 15-round mags and 5 or 6 10-round mags.

    The 10-round mags I purchased on the day of the AWB sunsetting, and they sold for (IIRC) $8 each or something like that.

    For the 15-round mags, I also have 6 or so springs, and 4 or 5 followers. Other than a broken mag lip, any other problem can be fixed immediately.
  19. DocWills


    Mar 11, 2012
    4 makes a nice set, 5 is better per gun of course. The followers stop holding open when they wear down but still load fine. You can extend service life by loading 2 short on 9mm. Since followerrs are the only moving part...............:supergrin:
  20. Arc Angel

    Arc Angel Deus Vult!

    Sep 20, 2003
    Penn's Woods
    :) Thank you! However I think I should add that NOT everyone on the board agrees with this point-of-view. I've already been strongly criticized on-line for holding to this opinion; and - Are you ready? - by a retired school teacher who apparently cherishes cosmopolitan secularism as if it were some sort of constitutional right! :clown:

    (America's presumed, 'religious freedom' is a persistent historical myth that - like all of the other specious definitions about, 'the right to keep and bear arms' - has been frequently presented to America's, 'plebeian masses' that, nowadays, sleep through, 'American History 101' in the same way that they've been sleeping through math and English for, at least, the past 25 years.) ;)

    All of America's, 'Founding Fathers' were TOLERANT Judeo-Christians! What they really objected to is the sort of religious persecution many of the colonists had been forced to endure in Europe. Even Thomas Jefferson, himself - who NEVER went to church and authored Virginia's, 'Statute of Religious Freedom' - publicly professed to the Christian faith, and even took it upon himself to edit the New Testament more to his liking!

    (THAT took, 'moxie' - Huh!) :freak:
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013