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In the interest of bringing my GLOCK 19MOS a step closer to perfection, I’ve added an extended magazine release from CruxOrd. It’s a machined, billet aluminum job that directly and easily replaces the polymer, factory unit.

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This model fits all of the GEN4 small frame (9mm, .40 S&W, .357 SIG, .45 GAP) GLOCKs. CruxOrd also makes an extended mag release for the G43, G42, and GEN4 large frame (10mm, .45 ACP) GLOCKs.

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OEM on top, CruxOrd on bottom.

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CruxOrd on top, OEM on bottom.

The magazine release is particularly simple to swap on a GLOCK; a matter of pulling the mag release spring out of the L-shaped notch in the release and then sliding the release out, followed by reversing the process. A dental pick or the like makes it even easier.

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Seen above is the OEM release. Its face is flat and it starts, at its rear, relatively flush with the grip frame. One’s thumb must reach to the front of the release and depress the front fairly straight into the grip frame in order to effectively activate the release.

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The CruxOrd unit is rounded, and extends farther above the surface of the grip frame at its rear and middle but less at its front. It actually follows the shape of the grip curve much more than the factory piece does. Interestingly enough, this makes it significantly easier to use.

Had my experience been limited to the factory piece, I would have said it was fine. Not the nicest to look at, not the nicest feel on the thumb, but it works as you’d expect and I can’t say I thought it fell short anywhere. My interest in trying out the CruxOrd piece was mostly curiosity mixed with a bit of mass-produced GLOCK boredom, but there’s no denying that it makes for a functional improvement.

Mostly, this is due to the fact that pressing on basically any part of the release button — whether pressing straight in, mostly forwards, or mostly rearwards — results in the magazine being released. I can push forwards on the rear half of the button, and due to its serrations and its shape it depresses into the frame and releases the mag. Because the highest part of the button is closer to the rear than the front (whereas it’s the extreme front edge of the OEM piece) one’s thumb does not have to reach as far to operate the control. For those with shorter thumbs or less hand strength, this is a huge plus.

However, I believe the ease of activation will be appreciated regardless of hand size or strength. Extended, my thumb wraps over the front, following the curve of the frame around, and the CruxOrd release is easy to activate whether pushing with the pad of my thumb right there on the front of the button, on the middle, or on the rear, or even with the first knuckle (that is, closest to the tip) of my thumb pressing on the highest part of the button.

Additionally, the shape of the button not only feels a lot nicer on the thumb, but it makes the button easier to find. It stands out from the side of the grip frame and, because it’s generally rounded front-to-rear and on its edges — plus it’s aluminum rather than polymer — it jumps out compared to the general GLOCKiness surrounding it.

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All that said, I don’t believe it’s a “competition-only” magazine release and I don’t think it’s even quite toeing that line. It isn’t so extended or so large that accidental activation is a concern (plus it retains the fairly stiff, factory spring). In fact, it still fits nicely under the molded protection of the kydex holster I use to EDC this pistol. That said, your mileage may vary if you use a holster that covers the mag release and is molded even more tightly to the factory shape than mine.

Although I’m a big proponent of holsters that protect the mag release from accidental activation — meaning that possibility is a real concern of mine for a carry piece — I find myself unconcerned with any increased risk of this from the CruxOrd unit as compared to the factory unit. If there’s a sweet spot or an ideal balance between low-profile and competition-style extended/oversized that makes the control easier to find and use yet still safe and appropriate for carry use, I think CruxOrd has found it.

Conclusions

Having previously found nothing really wrong with the factory piece I was more than a little surprised to like the Crux Ordnance magazine release so much. In point of fact, it improves on every last aspect of the GLOCK magazine release. It is significantly more ergonomic and feels great on the finger, its wider, deeper serrations grip better and feel better, and most importantly its rounded shape with its raised portion closer to the rear rather than at the front edge is vastly more effective and more foolproof.

The margin for error for properly releasing a magazine regardless of where on the control one’s finger ends up and in which direction one’s finger presses is widened immensely. Despite this functional improvement and ease of activation, I believe the design remains appropriate for concealed carry and other self-defense use. I like the anodized aluminum construction, and at an MSRP of $24.99 it strikes me as a good value.

Specifications — Crux Ordnance CG-050 Extended Mag Release:

Material: 6061 aluminum
Finish: hard coat anodized
Origin: made in the USA
MSRP: $24.99

Ratings (out of five stars):

Quality * * * * 
Sharp, although not flawless, machining and even, albeit not perfectly even, finish. Fit is spot-on.

Comfort * * * * *
Ease of use has always made my checklist for magazine releases, but “ergonomics” were never really prominent on there. However, the noticeable improvement in comfort and ergonomics brought to the table by the CruxOrd piece compels me to add this category to its listed ratings. It really does excel here.

Function * * * * *
Meaningful improvement in function over the factory piece. It’s easier to find and easier to activate thanks in a big way to its shape and texture greatly reducing the need to press on a specific part of it in a specific, controlled direction. Despite this, the risk of accidental activation remains low.

Overall * * * * *
I struggle to find anything I can really nit pick here. If forced to find something, the machining of the serrations and rounding of the edges around the control surface creates basically infinite angles into the aluminum, which seems to have caused very slight differences in the hue and sheen of the anodizing. Additionally, the edges of the serrations have very minor “walk” to them — possibly the bit or jig was wobbling a few thousandths. It cannot be felt (not even close), and can’t be seen unless you’re up-close-and-personal and really looking for it. None of this adds up to enough of a fraction of a star rating to drop the CruxOrd mag release down a point. It’s a solid five-star product.

18 Responses to Gear Review: Crux Ordnance GLOCK Extended Magazine Release

  1. I was wondering how this widget works with us left-handed shooters. If the release will drop the magazine with virtually just a touch anywhere, would it be possible for a lefty to drop the magazine at a very inopportune moment?

    • It’s for the GEN4 guns, so you can turn it around and have the button on the right side of the gun instead.

      More importantly, though, while the button allows it to be activated by pressing on basically any part of it and makes it much less sensitive to having to press it perfectly perpendicularly into the frame, it still takes the normal amount of force. “Just a touch” doesn’t describe it. You need to push it just as hard as you push the factory release, you just don’t have to push on one specific part of it and push it exactly inwards. I think the margin of error it adds is a good thing. I don’t think it adds much more risk of accidental activation…a little bit in some specific scenarios, sure, but much less than I expect to find in a typical “extended magazine release.”

      BTW if I’m a lefty, when taking a full firing grip the mag release is just above my middle finger and is below my trigger finger, which also tends to be slightly off the frame rather than gripping hard against the frame like my other fingers. The mag release really doesn’t get touched by any part of my hand at all no matter how hard I’m gripping the gun.

        • Getting old sucks, but it’s better than the alternative! …I don’t believe CruxOrd makes mag releases for previous gen GLOCKS (GEN4 only). Looks like they make guide rods and other things for GEN3 (and prior) though.

  2. Makes me wish Glock would bring back the non drop free magazines, anything less than ten rounds or so and the mag would not drop completely out.
    Just in case of an accidental mag release bump.

    • If you don’t want ’em to drop free, you could always pad a bit with a piece of electrical tape (or similar), single-layer wrap of it, or whatever amount it takes so they’re just thick enough that they don’t drop out without being pulled out. These days the overwhelming preference is for drop-free mags, though.

  3. “Having previously found nothing really wrong with the factory piece…”

    Yeah, me neither. Not that you can’t improve on perfection. But if you’re going to drop $25 to make your Glock more perfecter, get a Ghost trigger connector first. That will actually make it a better gun.

    • This thing makes a better gun. It does. On the trigger thing, my personal choice is not to modify the trigger system or safety mechanism(s) on a gun that I use for self-defense use. Opinions on the subject vary and I’m totally happy for everyone to make that decision for themselves, but suffice it to say that that’s my decision for my own guns.

  4. Glocks may be perfect but I have stubby thumbs. Long fingers that are perfectly at home wrapped around the grip of a G21, but stubby thumbs that struggle to reach the mag release.

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