ETS Gen 2 Glock Mags – Budget Mags Done Right

Elite Tactical Systems is a magazine company that makes a number of polymer magazines for various platforms. They’ve recently unleashed their Generation 2 series of pistol magazines. As someone always looking for an affordable option, the American-made ETS Magazines have always been of interest to me. I grabbed a couple of the ETS Gen 2 Glock mags from GunMagWarehouse during Black Friday and decided to give them a fair shake.

ETS magazines provide an interesting option for shooters. They make Glock mags, S&W mags, SIG mags, Scorpion mags, MP5 mags, AR mags, and many more at very affordable price points. Their magazines are all polymer, even when the source weapon uses aluminum magazines. ETS Magazines are famous for their transparent design and various colors. They’ve seen varying levels of success and failure.

Personally, I’ve used a series of their extended Glock 17 magazines for years without a problem. They’ve been through numerous PCCs, handguns, and more. On the flip side, the P320 magazines proved to only work in P320 polymer grip frames, and I’ve had issues with their Glcok 43X/48 magazines feeding.

The ETS Gen 2 Improvements

The ETS Gen 2 Glock magazines claim to have made numerous improvements to the design. The most important thing to me was the redesigned external geometry that would help the mags feed in PCCs. That’s what I use 32-round magazines for in the first place. The Gen 1s worked fine in PCCs, but sometimes you’d feel a hiccup as you slammed one home or even a false positive catch in some cases. Other times, they’d fail to fall free from the gun.

Beyond that, ETS claims the magazines have increased feeding reliability due to internal geometry changes, and the Gen 2 magazines use a high-tensile steel sprint and an anti-tilt follower. The improvement supposedly allows for improved feeding of steel and aluminum rounds. I had no feeding issues with my original magazines, but I do remember feeling steel cases stick as I loaded them in the Gen 1 magazines.

Sadly, in the year 2024, it seems like brass-cased ammo is all I can find. Tula costs more than Blazer Brass, and Winchester Forged has disappeared, as have Monarch steel cases. At least locally, for me, they’ve disappeared.

To The Range With the ETS Gen 2 Mags

My father-in-law has a saying I love, “There ain’t nothing left to do but do it, so I did it.” I like to be efficient, so I’ve been testing the new S&W Response and the Extar EP9 Carbine. For almost the entirety of my testing, I used my three ETS Gen 2 Glock mags. With the Extar, I used their stock magazines for a portion, and with the Response, I used the included M&P magazine well for a portion of testing.

Any shooting and testing of guns I do involves lots of live fire, reloads, and malfunction drills. How else do you get a good grip on what the gun can do? It also gave me a good idea of what the magazines can do. My reloads involve letting those magazines hit the dirt, sometimes empty, sometimes partially loaded. Malfunctions involve Snap Caps, and shooting involves…well, lots of shooting.

Between the two guns, I fired a thousand rounds, so every magazine saw something in the neighborhood of 300ish rounds, dozens of drops, and plenty of time in a mag pouch moving up and down the range. They were mostly problem-free. After a few long days on a wet range, one developed an issue where it would fail to feed partially through the magazine. It required a swift hit to work.

By then, the ETS Gen 2 mag was filthy from the nasty blowback action of the guns. I stripped it down and cleaned the spring, follower, and inside of the magazine. I pulled out plenty of carbon and dirt. After that, it had one more failure to feed but has since worked without issue. It’s marked now to keep an eye on it, but after a few drills, it seems to be working fine.

Final Word on the ETS Gen 2 Mags

I’m pleasantly impressed. The ETS Gen 2 mags were inserted and fell free without issue from my PCCs. They were reliable, and most of all, they were cheap. I paid $11 apiece for them. With that said, they aren’t steel-lined like Glock mags, and one of the three had some issues after getting some good use in. I’d regulate them to range and even comp mags. For home defense or carry, I’d stick to OEM magazines.

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.