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

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

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.

About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.

Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Rifle Magazine
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns

Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (26)

  1. I’m in Austin, Texas. Does anyone know where to buy (online or local store) and how much the glock and magazine cost? Can you even buy them online? Cheers everyone and Happy Halloween!!!

  2. Yea, probably not stronger. Arthritus has made sure of that. I just never used the Glock loader that came with my guns. I decided that someday I may need to load those mags and not have a loader handy. Those ETS mags, no way can I load them without the loader. Maybe it’s getting about time for me to look into loaders. I know this has been done allready, but how about an article on the best loaders.

  3. This is getting to be a rough house to play. Makes me leery (I hope I spelled that right) to even post, but here goes.

    I have quite a few Glock 9 mm mags. I think four 10 rounders, five 15 rounders, four 17 rounders, and two 33 rounders. I also have ten 30 round ETS mags and one 15 round magpul mag. I even have two 50 round Korean drum mags. All of them feed fine. I do have trouble loading all 30 rounds in the ETS mags though. I definately need a loader and then only get 28-29 in them. I can load all the Glock mags by hand, no problem. Even though they all work, when it comes self defence, I will stick with the original Glock mags.

    1. You may be a little stronger than I am

      I can occasionally get all 33 rounds in but the magazine loader doesn’t hurt a thing

      Thanks for reading!

  4. The subject of this blog post is an accessory to a potentially deadly weapon. Some people get hung up on words but in the end, the Glock is, after all, a gun and it and its accessories can be terminally dangerous. That being the case, words and phrases that support this gun should be ultra-proofed for accuracy. “Speer Dot” can be passed off as just a typo and besides we all know what the author is talking about. Or do we? I dare say if the same lazy attitude were applied to hand loading and the really simple typo of misplacing a decimal or even reversing the order of numerals were taken as inconsequential, the real life consequences could possible be devastating to someone who didn’t Just “know what was really meant”. It’s always just a typo, or a few MPH over the speed limit or just one small last drink before you drive off right up until the point it’s not. Hiding behind excuses is always bad form.

    1. Point take.
      My reading list every month includes Motor Trend and American Psychology, as well as American Handgunner. All have the occasional error, most more than us.

      Thanks for reading.


  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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?

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

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

    4. 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.”

    5. 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.

  13. 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.

    1. 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.

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