Shield Arms Glock G43X G48 magazines
Travis Pike for TTAG
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I wasn’t exactly impressed when GLOCK released the G43X and the G48 series pistols. I never doubted they were well-made, reliable guns that shot true and provided great concealed carry firearm options. GLOCK does GLOCK things, and they do them well.

The thing is, we now live in the age of the SIG P365 (and the Hellcat, the Shield Plus and the MAX-9), and the slimline GLOCKs were released after the P365. They were larger than P365 and nowhere near as efficient in their capacity.

Luckily, a company called Shield Arms saw the potential in the GLOCK 43X/48 and developed the S-15 magazines.

Shield Arms Glock G43X G48 magazines
This is the Gen 2 version of the S-15 magazines (Travis Pike for TTAG)

What we have in our hands here is the second generation S15 magazines. These have a mag catch on both sides to embrace ambidexterity. The Gen2 mags also feature smaller mag catch windows and improved magazine and baseplate geometry.

I don’t have a Gen1 magazine to compare them to, but these feel solid and well made. Since GLOCKs allow you to reverse the magazine catch, the new ambi magazine windows are a nice touch.

The S-15 Turns It Up

The S-15 takes the already good GLOCK 43X and 48 pistols and turns them up to 11. Or, well, maybe up to 15 is more accurate. The S-15 ditches GLOCK’s traditional polymer-coated magazines with metal on the inside and goes for an all-metal design. Shaving off that polymer opened up enough room to allow the S-15 to fit 15 rounds instead of 10 in a flush-fitting magazine.

Shield Arms Glock G43X G48 magazines
15 rounds isn’t a Joke (Travis Pike for TTAG)

This takes your GLOCK 43X and G48 and puts it in the same sphere of compact pistols (think G19) with incredibly efficient magazines. The Slimline GLOCKS are more P365 XL-sized, but having a G19 capacity in the uber-thin Glock 48 is a big plu.

The S-15 magazines are all metal outside of the baseplate. The baseplate features a dot matrix for marking. The $40 price tag puts them right in line price-wise with SIG P365 and Hellcat 15-round magazines.

If 15 rounds just aren’t enough for your GLOCK 43X or 48, then Shield makes +5 round extensions to turn things up to 20. I could see a longer mag being easily carried as a spare and allowing concealed carriers to pack 36 rounds in a subcompact handgun between two S-15 magazines.

Shield Arms Glock G43X G48 magazines
Dot matrix makes marking easy (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The S-15 really opens things up and makes it possible for you to pack a healthy amount of firepower in some very easy-to-carry guns.

But Do They Work?

I ordered two of the Shield S-15 magazines and approached with caution. Bad magazines can make the most reliable weapon a frustrating failure. These could be a finicky gimmick.

Upon loading them, I was surprised at how easy it was to jam 15 rounds of 9mm into the S-15. After loading the Hellcat and SIG P365 15-round magazines, I expected serious resistance past round number 12.

Shield Arms Glock G43X G48 magazines
The Glock 43X is carry friendly and now packs a ton of ammo (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Yet there I was, thumbs un-sore, ready to shoot. With a range pack of Winchester White Box, I went to the range and started getting my weekly practice in. A few drills, some longer range shooting, and, of course, reload drills.

I hit the ground running with both mags fully loaded, but fired the majority of 300 rounds through a single magazine.

The second magazine was loaded with a single round for reloads, and that’s was it after the initial 15 rounds. Speaking of reloads, I shoot on a Florida sandhill. Imagine fine white beach sand, but water nowhere nearby. It’s a great location for testing the sand resistance of guns and gear. When I reloaded, I let it hit the deck and splash and play in the sand.

Shield Arms Glock G43X G48 magazines
I hate sand (Travis Pike for TTAG)

Reload after reload proved that sand seemingly couldn’t shut ‘em down. Sure, the follower gritted along as the magazines were loaded, but they never failed. At the end of my shooting, I loaded them to capacity and let those steel targets have it. The magazines fed the rounds they fired and ejected with the press of the trigger.

There’s Gotta Be Downsides

There are, of course, downsides. Obviously, the S-15 mags cost more than OEM GLOCK magazines. The real downside, though, is that they’re metal and your GLOCK’s mag catch is polymer. These metal magazines will cause accelerated wear and tear on that polymer mag catch.

Shield Arms admits this and advises you to use a metal mag catch in your pistol. Specifically, they advise that you to use their steel magazine catch. This prevents accelerated wear and tear.

Shield Arms Glock G43X G48 magazines
Too many reload drills will wear away the polymer mag catch (Travis Pike for TTAG)

The standard steel mag catch costs $26.99, so you have to add that in your purchase price if you plan to run S-15 mags. It’s certainly an investment-based situation, and you have to determine if it’s right for you.

Two mags, plus the magazine catch, comes up to a little over a hundred bucks, which is close to 25% of the cost of the pistol itself for the increased capacity.

Banging Away

While the S-15 magazines have a relatively high cost of investment, I can’t help but think I need them for my G43X to be viable in the age of the P365 and the rest. It’s a real shame GLOCK couldn’t (or wouldn’t) consider the same idea.

The Shield magazines take the G43X and G48 series Slimline pistols to new heights and makes the G19 less of a prom queen and more or less a has-been for many buyers. I think the mags are well worth the cost, and helping an American-owned business is a nice side benefit.

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34 COMMENTS

  1. Companies need to step up and refuse to manufacture high capacity magazines and aid and abet mass shootings. There will be a nationwide assault weapons ban and a 10 round limit very soon once build back better gets passed. Crossing fingers

    • You can cross your fingers and shove them up your ass. (first you have to get your head out of it). They are standard capacity magazines. High capacity is made up bullsh*t by your demotator handlers. Go ask biden for a bj.

    • You are an pathetic idiot, Hogg. ENFORCE EXISTING LAWS!! Prosecute and imprison people wiho kill amd attack with ANY weapon. Stop letting criminals free! And approve universal carry so that law abiding can respond effectively to attackers. Like they do THOUSANDS of times a day. Magazine limits on limit the ability to respond to multiple attackers. Your myths are garbage. Crawl back in your hole and be forgotten.

    • Senile Puppet Joe Biden and his gender studies graduate commie handlers are failing left and right and won’t be building back anything better except maybe total economic collapse

    • I wanted extra mags for my Sar9 and the cost for 2 OEM was around $80.00 delivered. I solved the mag problem by purchasing another Sar9 as they come with 2 mags so that’s $80 towards another Sar9. Now I have 4 Sar9s giving me 8 mags that hold 17 rounds each. Put that in your nazi dope pipe and smoke it dpos hogg.

      For interested law abiding citizens on a budget place one in your cart to see the delivered price to your FFL…You snooze you lose.
      https://www.reedssports.com/firearms/sar-usa-sar-9x-black-9mm-4-4in-sar9bl

    • Work for 2-3 h0urs in y0ur spare time and get paid 1200 0n your bank acc0unt every week…

      Get m0re inf0rmation 0n f0ll0wing site… 𝐖𝐨𝐫𝐤𝐬𝟓𝟏.𝐭𝐤

    • Dave, I’m sorry that the near-retirement cop decided not to protect you from the kid who should have been a “prohibited person”, if it wasn’t for the teen “crime diversion” program that gave him an artificially clean criminal record to pass a background check. I’m sorry the system failed you and others.

      However, denying others the ability to effectively and efficiently defend themselves from hostile threats is not the way forward (especially threats that progressive policies helped create).

      This is America, everyone has the right to defend themselves and that shall not be infringed. The security of our free state depends on it. I will pray for you.

    • “build back better” is communist horse shieße. “You will own nothing and be happy”, I can see why they would push mass citizen disarmament immediately afterwards. I guess that’s the schtick they have you working on?

    • After you’re done letting Biden suck your peepee, go smoke crack with Hunter while you tag team Beau’s wife.

  2. dpos hogg…Why wait? Get yourself a cardboard box and go door to door and demand your neighbors put their guns in your box. Don’t be surprised when some housewife plants a cast iron frying pan upside your pinhead.

    • “Don’t be surprised when some housewife plants a cast iron frying pan upside your pinhead.”

      Deborah, he probably considers that foreplay… 🙂

  3. Too bad they do not make one for the straight-up G43. Still, I swapped my EDC to an M&P 9c and now my Glock is positioned in the house as a backup. I prefer the larger format.

  4. Unfortunately, I’m hearing mucho dissatisfaction from Shield mag users. These guys are recognized instructors and part time gun writers, (but I can’t remember their names right now) and after putting hundreds of rounds through many different Shield Gen.1’s, gave thumbs down on reliability. They tried new springs and/or sending the mags back to the factory, and they came back still unreliable. This was testing with both G48 and 43X. Gen. 2’s were working a little better, but not nearly enough to trust on the street. Gen.2’s had just come out when I read this evaluation on Facebook, in early August.

  5. Gregolas- I couldn’t disagree more. I’ve been running Gen1 S15s in my G48 for two years now. Lots of rounds, couple day-long classes with high round counts. The only issue I had early on was occasional failure to lock slide back on empty. Talked to Shield Arms, and they told me they switched to a 10 coil mag spring instead of 9 coil partway through the Gen1 run. They sent me new 10 coilers msg springs, free of charge. Fixed the occasional problem; 100% reliability, and still going strong. Have since added a couple Gen2s.

  6. This is literally a CZ75 Compact magazine with a different notch for the magazine release.

    I have used and fired my CZ magazines in my Glock 43X.

    You can cut a notch into the CZ mags and they fit and function the Glock 43X fine.

  7. Ya know, at some point people will get tired of the threats getting spouted by the left.

    The wannabe tyrants have addresses.

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