Glock’s 33-Round 9mm Magazine — Practical and Tactical

By Bob Campbell published on in Gun Gear

As I opened the simple, gray and white blister pack holding a single magazine, I took time to read the company blurb on the back of the blister pack. Much of the words were devoted to the history of Glock firearms. These quotes stuck out:

Glock 34 with 33-round magazine and TruGlo combat light

The Glock 34, high-capacity magazine, TruGlo combat light, and Gold Dot ammo also make for a good combination.

Moving forward, our commitment to Perfection remains steadfast; we will never compromise quality.

We will continue to invest tremendous resources in the technology and talent necessary to improve our products wherever possible and we will always strive to deliver maximum custom satisfaction.

These are bold claims that no one—Glock fan or not—is able to dispute. I have often stated that Glock is a baseline in firearms. Its reliability is established and unassailable. The Glock is reliable beyond any question and this is proven in dozens of military, police, and institutional tests. If you spend less than the Glock, then the question is, “What corners have been cut?” If you pay more than the Glock, then the question is, “What is the advantage?”

Among the proven Glock accessories is the Glock 33-round 9mm magazine. While there are floor plates and such that add up to a 19-round magazine, in the Glock 9mm, the 33-round magazine is the grand daddy of them all. This magazine was developed for use in the Glock 18, a fully automatic version of the Glock 17 9mm pistol. Unlike most competitors and cheap imitations, the Glock magazine features a steel insert that promotes both strength and feeding.

Glock 33-round magazines

The Glock 33-round magazine is rugged and reliable, all we may ask.

The magazine is well finished with good quality control evident. The base pad is strong enough to withstand multiple drops and makes for good stabilization when performing a speed load. I own several that have been dropped during magazine changes and hard practice, and they run just fine. On the back of the magazine are witness holes that are marked from 5 to 31.

The magazines provide a tactical advantage in home defense—especially if the firearm is a modern 9mm carbine such as the Glock magazine-compatible Kel-Tec Sub 2000. The balance doesn’t materially alter the balance of the Glock 9mm. If anything, the piece is steadier with the magazine inserted.

The magazine weighs 20 ounces with a load of 124-grain ammunition. The proper sequence to load any high capacity magazine is to load three to four cartridges, tap the back of the magazine to fully seat the cartridge case against the back of the magazine, and to continue until the magazine is loaded. When loading the Glock magazine there is strong spring pressure at first as it should be. Junk magazines are weak at first and get harder.

Glock pistol with 33-round magazine inserted on a blue and red target

That’s a lot of holes in the target from one gun load!

The Glock is hard and gets harder. I am able to load the magazine to about 29 rounds before I need the Blackhawk! magazine loader. Fact is, the magazine loader makes it easier from the get go, but most of us— especially those younger than I—will experience little difficulty in loading the magazine to full capacity.

I tested the Glock 33-round magazine in several Glock pistols, firing at an angle and even upside down. The magazine never failed to feed and the pistols never failed to feed, chamber, fire, or eject. Ammunition used was the Federal Syntech 124-grain load—a new loading I find exceptional for practice use. I practice a lot with the Glock and enjoy firing these pistols.

The 33-round magazines have been left loaded for months at a time and they come up shooting, even though they were loaded to full capacity. If you wish to use the traditional method of downloading a round or two, that’s fine for long term use. However, with this magazine I do not see the need.

Bob Campbell shooting a Glock pistol with 33-round magazine

The 33-round magazine is well balanced. It weighs about 20 ounces with a full load of 124-grain ammunition.

I often keep this magazine in the Glock at home ready. A long slide Glock 9mm loaded with Speer Dot bullets offering a 33-round payload is a formidable home defender. Few, if any of us, will have time to grab a flashlight and spare magazine when alerted at night and home invasion teams come in pairs. The Glock 33-round magazine is an excellent option for home defense. It is also a lot of fun at the range and this means a lot of practice.

Do you keep a 33-round magazine for training of home defense? What experience do you have with the Kel-Tec Sub 2000? Share your answers in the comment section.

SLRule

Bob Campbell is a former peace officer and published author with over 40 years combined shooting and police and security experience. Bob holds a degree in Criminal Justice. Bob is the author of the books, The Handgun in Personal Defense, Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry, The 1911 Automatic Pistol, The Gun Digest Book of Personal Protection and Home Defense, The Shooter’s Guide to the 1911, The Hunter and the Hunted, and The Complete Illustrated Manual of Handgun Skills. His latest book is Dealing with the Great Ammo Shortage. He is also a regular contributor to Gun Tests, American Gunsmith, Small Arms Review, Gun Digest, Concealed Carry Magazine, Knife World, Women and Guns, Handloader and other publications. Bob is well-known for his firearm testing.

View all articles by Bob Campbell

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Comments (24)

  • C Davis

    |

    I have the Glock 17 with the Kel-Tec Sub 2000 in a lap top case. Both guns have upgrades to triggers, grips, sights, etc…In addition to the guns, I keep 4-5 (17) round mags loaded as well as the high capacity mag for a total of about 100 + rounds ready to use. I also keep an extra 50 rounds in a box and a Sog Seal Pup knife. Its a pretty good setup that is easy to carry. Just grab the case and go, it looks as if you packing a lap top and not an arsenal. Most of the time however, I just carry my Glock 43 with me most anywhere I go.

    Reply

  • larry willman

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    I see all other Glocks listed but the 43, will it fit in this as well?

    Reply

    • RKC

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      Glock 43 is a single column magazine. Glock 17, 19, etc will not fit.

      Reply

  • David K

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    Have we all forgotten the mighty Kriss vector in 9mm? My Glock 19’s 15-round mags don’t fit but the 33-round ones look cool as hell in it.

    Reply

  • jhc

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    Frankly the only use I could see for this mag is in my Ruger PC9 carbine.Having it stick out of the bottom of my Glock 19 would at the very least upset the balance of the gun not to mention the portability in a home environment.30 rounds?What the North Koren army coming to invade your house?

    Reply

  • Clifffalling

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    I own glocks and a sub 2000. I will say the kel tec is a great little gun… after about $150 of MCarbo upgrades. Stock, it is uncomfortable gritty and cheapo where it shouldn’t be. Add in better sights, fire control and some other odds and ends and you have a much better piece. Very handy and surprisingly accurate.

    Reply

  • Marlin Kimbrough

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    I am currently running the Glock 33 round mag in a Freedom Ordinance 9mm Pistol. The pistol is set up like an AR pistol with a Glock receiver. These mags run flawlessly and are extremely fun to shoot. Home defense is a must and they definitely help with that purpose and many others.

    Reply

  • Phillip Green

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    Have 5 or 6 of these mags. Couple loaded with JHP, the rest in IPSC. Use them with a G19, Palmetto State PCC and Just Right PCC. Never had an issue in any of the weapons with this mag.
    Just got a couple of them in 40 sw to use in my G35, expect the same performance.

    Reply

  • Mark Sherman

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    Hmm. Too much truth in my first comment that you won’t publish it. I’m fine with this worthless blog if you don’t post real honest full of truth comments. AMF.

    Reply

  • Mark Sherman

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    What is “Speer Dot” ammo? Where did 29 rounds come from? There are extensions that add up to 12 rounds to Glock magazines. Pay attention to detail Bob or get an editor that knows his stuff.
    To the first comment. Those pistols mentioned are in no way shape or form equal to a Glock or any modern striker fired pistol. Seriously? What are you thinking?

    Reply

    • Mark Sherman

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      The above should have read “where did 19 rounds come from”…
      An edit feature to comments would be nice.

      Reply

    • Norm Morris

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      The 19 rounds obviously came from a standard G17 mag with a +2 extension. Pay attention to detail Mark, you’re the one who made the typo.

      The author obviously knows what he’s talking about, I’ve been shooting since 1962 and reading him for years, and feel confident making that assessment.

      But as with any “worthless blog,” there’s always some Internet armchair camo commando with his one or two cheap pistols fitted with all sorts of rooney BOPOS parts and ninja devices right there to nitpick.

      Reply

    • RKC

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      Speer Dot should have been Speer Gold Dot. Excuse the error, not some new type of hollow point but the author’s mistake. As for 29 rounds, that is correct. I am able to load 29 rounds in the 33 round magazine before the springs really become stiff and I need a magazine loader.
      As for your opinion on the pistols- yeah, probably right. But this is America and lots of folks use different types of handguns.
      Best
      RKC

      Reply

    • Norm Morris

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      As to the first comment from BronzeDragon, and the “cheaper” pistols: maybe Bob is obviously thinking that they ARE the quality equal of the Glock, I know from owning three of them that those are, but you would have to actually have handled and shot any of them to know that.

      Anyone who says the GP-100 isn’t the quality of a polymer striker-fired pistol isn’t informed at all, and I own a pile of “modern striker fired pistols.”

      Reply

    • brozedragon18

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      I gather that you’ve never used any of the 7. I’ve fired plenty of Glocks plus my gf has the G19 & G27; I know whereof I speak. Accuracy and reliability, I’d put any of them up against corresponding Glocks. Moreover, most of the 7 have long and distinguished service records. Glocks are good guns, but they’re not the only ones.

      Reply

  • bronzedragon18

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    I’ve been using guns off and on for well over 20 years and from experience can say that just because a handgun is cheaper than a Glock doesn’t mean that it’s junk , as you were evidently implying Mr. Campbell. For example, I’ve O&Cd quite a diverse sextet of handguns: Ballester Molina 1911 .45 , Ruger GP-100 ( used), Taurus 85, Walther M4 , Zastava M88A , P83 Wanad and a Bulgarian Makarov . Pardon me, septet . All were cheaper than a Glock and all are its equal, I have to say.

    Reply

    • Bob Campbell

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      Thanks for reading.
      I meant what I said= the Glock is in the middle range for cost, and serves as a baseline.
      As for your pistols I would love to have another Ballester, a great handgun. The only ,357 more accurate than the GP100 is the Python, but it isn’t as durable as the Ruger.
      Best
      Bob

      Reply

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