Written by Greg Ellifritz
Have you seen the new aftermarket Glock magazine baseplates that double as glass breakers? If not, this article will show you what I’m talking about. A reader recently asked my opinion on their utility.
There is absolutely no way I would put one of these baseplates on any of my carry magazines. They are a horrible idea.
Issue one is the potential for impaling your support hand during normal pistol manipulations. Vigorously inserting the magazine or executing a “Tap/Rack” malfunction clearance drill with this device creates the potential for a severe hand injury. Gunfights are hard enough. I don’t help myself win by creating my own disabling hand injury during the fight.
Issue Two is the fact that the baseplate is likely to tear up whatever cover garment you are wearing while carrying concealed. Guns are hard on clothes. Guns with pointy, sharp protuberances are even harder. If you want to replace your jacket a couple times a year, by all means go ahead. That’s not something I want to do.
More importantly along this line of thought is the fact that if the baseplate is tearing your clothing, it may also snag during the drawstroke. A snagged gun on a concealed draw often equals fumbling at best or a dropped weapon at worst. Don’t take the chance.
Issue Three is loss of muzzle control. When you are playing the cool guy by breaking a car window with the butt of your Glock, where is your muzzle pointing? Do you know that striking with the pistol or impacts to the gun hand are scientifically identified factors contributing to negligent discharges? When the gun “accidentally” fires, there is a good chance that it will be pointed at yourself, maybe even your own head if you strike really hard with good follow through. At best, you will negligently fire a round into the air. That bullet has to come down somewhere.
Issue Four is the most important. Magazine baseplates are not very sturdy to begin with. They are not designed to endure the shock of heavy impact. Have you ever sheared a baseplate off when dropping a magazine on the concrete floor of a range? When I was the full time firearms instructor for my police department, I saw that happen a couple times a year. A full power strike against window glass is much more forceful than casually dropping a magazine from waist height. If dropping the magazine causes a sheared baseplate, striking with it dramatically increases the chance.
An officer with a neighboring department tried to break a car window with the butt of his HK USP a few years ago. The baseplate sheared off and all of his ammunition shot out onto the street. Not good. I was asked to repair the damaged magazine for the officer. Why would I take the chance of disabling my pistol during a crisis situation? It isn’t a very good idea.
If you want to carry a glass breaker, by all means do so. Please don’t attach that glass breaker to a vital piece of emergency equipment.
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