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Color Coding Your Magazines

Being able to separate your training magazines from your operational ones is that next level of personal discipline and readiness that may make all the difference. Having your magazines numbered or marked, in our case by using different colored base plates on our Glock mags, makes a ton of sense particularly if you're conducting regular heavy training while maintaining an operational capability.

For Military and Law Enforcement personnel, this is fairly common place, mostly due to the availability and accessibility of replacement gear, especially with a robust supply system as a support mechanism.

However, for a lot of commercial end-users, training magazines end up being used as carry magazines too and if you abuse your training magazines like I do, reliability during operational service may suffer over time.

Magazines inadvertently sustain damage during rigorous training. Feed wings can crack or bend through numerous reloads especially when training is conducted on hard surfaces. The magazine body can bulge or deform. This is normally associated with overloading the magazine using mechanical loaders. Dents, chips and burs in the aluminum or plastic can occur when repeatedly dropped onto rocky or gravel covered surfaces. These breaches of integrity can foul the magazines, preventing them from being inserted smoothly or falling free from in the mag-well. Worn or rusted springs can halt the cycle of operation and prevent the weapon from feeding correctly. This is common when operating in or close to a salt water environment. These are some of the commonest issues with magazines for any weapon.

Magazines are typically the first item to be overlooked during weapon cleaning and de-service. But magazines perform a vital role in the functioning of the weapon system and should receive regular inspection and servicing. They to should be stripped, cleaned and a light coat of lubricant applied to the spring and internal wall. A trick that I use with my Glock pistols and magazines is to apply a light coat of Armorall to the inside surface of the magazine well and to the external surface of the magazines. This gives me a slight edge in reload speed but really aids the magazine falling free from the mag-well. 'Commonsense must be applied using this technique when operating in dry dusty or sandy environments.'

Magazines are an expendable item that must be discarded periodically. Unfortunately due to the expensive nature of them or because of restrictions due to State laws, magazines regrettably wind up becoming keepsakes that potentially lead to factors of poor performance.

So, when you have the opportunity, mark you magazines or procure yourself some orange base plates for your Glock mags and separate your training mags 'at a glance' from your operational ones.

It just might save your life!

Be safe, train hard.

Jason Falla
Director of Training

Posted: May 4, 2013

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