Tyrant Designs is a manufacturer of high-quality US Made CNC machined AR-15 and handgun upgrades and accessories. Recently they sent me out a pair of their Glock 43X & 48 +4 Magazine extensions. When it comes to magazine extensions the deciding vote on whether they’re quality extensions or not usually comes down to how well they function with the gun. In addition to that metric, I will also go over how they change the carry experience in comparison to the standard capacity magazines.
TFB Review: Tyrant Designs Glock 43X & 48 +4 Magazine Extensions
My first impressions of the magazine extensions can be summed up with one word – precision. As a former machinist myself, I can spot the quality CNC machining put into these pieces. Although the magazine extensions seem to have a lot of harsh angular edges they have been chamfered down to a comfortable angle that prevents any sort of poking or scratching when handling them or holstering them.
The anodizing is very well done and is resistant to general wear and scratching actions but will come off if you put enough effort into it – by no means invincible but good enough to where you won’t be wearing away the finish with just normal use.
For appearance, I would give these a solid 9/10 – they look great when paired with the original two-tone finish of the Glock 43X and Glock 48 of which I own both. The magazines sit flush with the dimensions of the grip and only extend downward contributing to the overall height of the gun in this configuration. With other colors, I’d expect a bit more of an odd look but with the black and silver Tyrant sent me the guns look great.
This is the most frustrating part of accomodating magazine extensions for Glock pistols. For most pistol magazines all you have to do is depress a button on the bottom of the magazine and slide the baseplate off. With Glock magazines, there are two small retaining tabs on the right and left side of the magazine body that extends into the base plate that needs to be depressed in addition to the button on the bottom to push the spring base upwards.
There are tools out there to do this but I resorted to using a pair of channel locks to depress the sides. Even with the channel locks, it required a good amount of force to overcome the tiny bit of locking tab engagement to remove the original base plates.
After the original base plates have been removed the installation of the Tyrant Designs extensions is a breeze: simply transfer the follower from the old spring to the extension spring, insert the spring and follower and then cap it off with the magazine extension.
Tyrant made disassembly easier with a small retaining detent at the rear of the extension that can be depressed with a firm push of an empty casing or other solid objects – no channel locks required.
The magazine extensions work as advertised. I did have a bit of a struggle loading these all the way up to 14 rounds. With a bit of practice, it’s not a problem but that last round definitely takes a lot of pressure to get in there. Even with the extra pressure, the magazine can be inserted with the slide closed but it will not drop free when loaded to capacity.
I did a couple of tests to see when the magazines behaved with the normal operation of the gun. When fully loaded the magazines are hard to seat and won’t drop free. However, it seems like you can have the magazine loaded to 12 rounds and still have it drop free from the gun. With more rounds than that the magazine tends to get stuck inside the magazine well. This seems to be an issue with the Glock magazines in combination with the extra spring pressure causing bulging near where the bottom of the OEM Glock magazine is.
When loaded to capacity, the sides of the magazine bulge out enough to keep the magazine in the gun. This could be an issue for some but to me, it seems like a minor inconvenience as I don’t see myself dropping fully loaded magazines. When used normally, the springs provided both enough pressure to feed the gun properly and lock the slide back on the last round. Once the magazine was empty, the mags dropped free like normal – perhaps even a bit quicker than the stock magazines because of the added weight of the extensions.
One thing I noticed is that having the extensions on the gun also prevented you from pinching your palm in between the magwell and the base plate of the magazine when reloading. Overall I found the magazines easier to handle with the extensions attached.
The biggest detriment for the magazine extensions is in the concealability department. When loaded into the Glock 48 it adds nearly 2 inches to the overall height of the gun. The height of the gun is most often the hardest part to conceal as it does against the natural oval shape of your waist. When concealed under the normal shirts I wear, they produce a much more visible print which is not ideal.
Just recently James Reeves of TFBTV provided us with a scientific rating of the efficiency of concealed carry pistols. The efficiency score works as follows:
Calculated by the product of rounds per sq/in and rounds per oz. This doesn’t account for the overall length of the pistol but does account for how efficient it is. Lighter pistols with thin/short frames and higher capacity will do well here. Higher scores are better.
The Glock 48 normally gets an efficiency score of 0.79 with a magazine capacity of 10-rounds. With the magazine extension, the efficiency score is reduced to 0.76 which isn’t too much of a reduction. This puts the Glock 48 on par with guns like the SIG Sauer P228, Glock 26 Gen 3, and SIG Sauer P320 compact. The main contributing factor to the reduction in the score is because of the added height.
Subjectively, I think if I were to carry these magazine extensions I would carry them either in a pocket or magazine holster as this would reduce the negative effect they have on concealability when inserted into the gun. Of course, you could break this efficiency score by adding massive magazine extensions but it would ultimately defeat the purpose of a concealed carry gun – basically cheating the system.
I think the Tyrant Designs +4 Magazine extensions are a great addition to your Glock 43X or Glock 48 for daily shooting or as a backup magazine extension. They don’t add much weight and they do provide a bit of extra grip space for those with exceptionally large hands.
I probably wouldn’t carry these as part of my EDC kit but I will take them to the range with me and keep them loaded at home. The method I use for carrying doesn’t lend itself well to having any larger of a grip than what the Glock 48 already has. Having extra loaded magazines around with greater capacity is always a good idea and I think keeping them loaded at home or as extra magazines in your car or on your person is the best way to carry these.
If you’d like to pick up your own Tyrant Designs +4 Magazine extensions for either your Glock 43X or Glock 48 you can visit their website. Each magazine extension costs $39.95 and comes in 6 different color options and carries a 30-day money-back guarantee and a lifetime warranty.
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