The first mod I did on my trusty Gen3 GLOCK 17 (after changing out the plastic sights) was to install an extended magazine release. The release button on the older (Gen3 and earlier) GLOCKs is a sad affair, a squishy little button a half-inch across that barely protrudes a millimeter from the frame. GLOCK acknowledged the design flaw by making an extended magazine release available for easy retrofitting on most of its earlier offerings.
For its Gen4 and later pistols, GLOCK completely redesigned the mag release, making it much wider, and therefore easier for it to be depressed. As a result, I didn’t bother with changing anything out on my GLOCK 43. Not, that is, until I received the package from Tyrant Designs with a shiny red metal extended release button in the mail one fine summer’s day.
Let’s make the GLOCK 43’s mag release button a little better while adding some bling to our pistol. In this case, ‘better’ means make it so that my thumb can get more purchase on it during an emergency magazine change, even if it’s wet with water, oil, or…okay, let’s just dial “B” for “blood when the balloon goes up” here.
It’s red. The red is slightly more maroon than I was expecting, but I’m a fan of most shades of color rojo, so all is good. Other colors on offer include black, gray, blue, and “machined aluminum” — a shiny silver color.
Here’s how to replace your GLOCK 43 magazine catch.
Tools needed: An awl or hook tool (like this). Needle-nose pliers. Flashlight.
(1) Unload the gun. Lock the slide back. Remove all ammunition from the room. Just do it.
(2) Field-strip the GLOCK as described in the factory manual.
(3) To remove the magazine release, you’ll need to push what GLOCK calls the “magazine catch spring” out of the way first. The magazine catch spring is the long, straight, wire-looking thing inside the magazine well as seen in this picture.
The catch spring is hooked into the magazine release as pictured here. You need to push it out of its little recess in the magazine catch, loop it around the side, then pull it out the right side with your awl or hook tool.
(4) Once the spring is out of the way, use the pliers to pull the spring out and put it off to the side. (You don’t have to remove the spring, but you’ll end up manhandling it a bit more if you don’t, for reasons that should be obvious when you see the picture showing how the spring sits in the frame with the button removed.)
(5) Push the release button out.
(6) Put the replacement button in position. (Note that on the G42 and G43, the button is reversible, so if you’re wrong-handed, put the button in the other way.)
(7) Insert the magazine spring back into the slot with the pliers.
(8) Push the magazine spring over and back under the magazine catch with the awl or hook tool – reverse what you did on removal.
(9) Re-assemble the slide and frame, and rock on.
For you visual learners, here’s Tyrant’s video explaining the process:
It’s really not very difficult.
Ratings (out of five stars):
Fit & Finish: * * * * *
No obvious flaws that I can detect. The button fits well into the slot. I noticed a slight bit of play with the button once installed versus the OEM plastic magazine catch. Correspondence with the manufacturer confirmed that this is intentional to avoid wearing the plastic. That play goes away once a magazine is inserted.
Installation: * * * * *
Like most GLOCK mods, installation is straightforward and easily accomplished either by your favorite GLOCK certified armorer, or by anyone else whose mechanical competency level is at or above “I can successfully change the oil in my car.” The ability to read and access to YouTube also help.
Ergonomics: * * * * *
The button works exactly as advertised. The chevron design on the button makes it very easy for my thumb to get traction. I tested it while covered in water, saliva, or even Ballistol, and my thumb never slipped. I tested it head-to-head against the similar OEM mag releases on my wife’s G42 and my Gen4 G26, and I was occasionally able to make my thumb slip off those two. My thumb never slipped off the Tyrant button.
Day to Day: * * * * *
I carried my G43 a minimum of nine hours a day for a full week in a White Hat Holsters Microtuck Hybrid IWB holster at the 4 o’clock position, meaning it was riding up against my Adonis-like middle-aged gut. Even though that chevron pattern looks and feels like it would have a cheese-grater effect on my side, nothing of the sort happened. Although the button appears to protrude a little but more than the OEM plastic button, it isn’t enough to be noticeable.
Overall: * * * * *
If you want a magazine catch button that adds utility and maybe a little bit of bling, this will suit your purposes just fine. Is it worth it? As the man said, “Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it.” It’s metal, it looks good, and it’s made in America – you’re going to pay more for it than some plastic bit from the Chi-Coms. I carried my G26 and a Kahr for a little while, then switched back to the 43 last week. I was impressed at how good this release feels by comparison.
Post Script for G42 owners: currently, this product is only for the G43 and will not fit the G42. Tyrant also offers a similar product for Gen 4 and 5 GLOCKs.