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First Gear | Magazine Baseplates

First Gear | Magazine Baseplates

Blueline/HenningShop

It’s hard not to go a little overboard when we get around to HenningShop/BattleHook gear. Not only is the brain trust—Henning Wallgren himself—a thoroughly decent guy, he’s also a world-class shooter. If he’s involved, pay attention: The results will be worthwhile.

Better still, his experience and expertise in making shootin’ stuff run better (especially for mere mortals) gains him entry to the world of guys-who-shoot-for-a-living, like U.S. Army veteran (Scout/Sniper platoon leader) and Mountain Deputy and Sniper Matt Sanderson of the Boulder County SWAT team. No surprise here: In short order, out comes a product as well-thought-out and beautifully executed as the Blueline magazine extensions.Cut from a solid chunk of 6061 aluminum for both small and large frame Glocks, every elegant curve has a purpose.

Cut from a solid chunk of 6061 aluminum for both small and large frame Glocks, every elegant curve has a purpose. “The (vertical) groove offers a positive index for someone retrieving a magazine from typical tactical or duty gear, gloved or not, in rain, sleet, snow or blood-covered hands. Second, the feet give the shooter the ability to strip a magazine from the magwell while going for a fresh mag on a routine combat reload, or in a worst-case scenario allows the shooter to clear a double-feed or failure to extract without having to mess with locking the slide to the rear.” Our range tests certainly agree, though we had to rig our “double feed”: It is, after all, a Glock—you can’t count on malfunctions popping up very often.

We’d note two other benefits. Particularly on the subcompacts (G26 and G27), the feet on the Blueline base puts up-pressure on the bottom of the “pinky” finger. Especially compared to the unrested, pinky-dangling stock base plates, but also to several other extenders, Bluelines are head-and-shoulders better. We’d say the apparent grip “security” is improved by 10 to 20 percent, rendering these premier back-up/carry pistols that much more shootable with speed and precision. Benefit number two is decidedly less subtle: +3 rounds on .40 S&W calibers, +4 in 9 mm. Better and better… 

Sanderson, like Wallgren, was typically phlegmatic in the face of our praise: “(Glad you liked them, but …) We’re dedicated to designing products for the shooter whose life depends on fractions of seconds, and whose failures are measured in blood.” 

How do you add to that?   

MSRP for Blueline Mag Extension is $34.95. Visit HenningShop at http://henningshop.com/. Presently available for Glock 17/22/34/35/19/23/26/27 and 20/21/40/41 in matte black, slate grey and red. Look for them soon in Smith & Wesson M&P, Springfield HD, SIG 320 and comparable pistols. 

Arredondo Accessories

While we’re talking about baseplates, we’d be seriously remiss not to make the point that different needs have different solutions. As good as “A” may be, there are circumstances where “B” may solve a given problem better. It’s a decided glory of being an American: There are frequently multiple choices, and in this particular case, multiple good ones. 

A complete kit, and a great fit on small- and large-frame Glocks.

During a respite from single-stack USPSA competition several years ago, we ventured into Limited. To avoid a full-on re-gun, we took a superbly reliable .40 S&W and added some Arredondo “+” base pads to get capacities at least in the neighborhood of our pointing-and-giggling, STI-toting fellows. We concede their shooting remained better, but not the reliability of their magazines. The pointing and giggling, at least at our magazines, ceased forthwith. 

The Arredondo checkered magazines extender has been a mainstay for us ever since, and we use ‘em constantly—for USPSA, of course, but they also vastly simplify Steel Challenge by cutting down on reloads and mag swaps. They take a beating (even our oldest look astonishingly under-used) and they comprehensively win the “easy-on, easy-off” battle. A simple “U”-shaped tool is provided with every base, and decisively ends those unintentional parts launches: The clip retains itself and all the parts as you open up a magazine, and even a small compliment gives you enough copies of the tool for bench, bag and spare(s). In this sense, they’re the (arguable) champs of the dirty/muddy range day. 

Their polymer construction makes them the (light) weight champs, too: You may not have a reason to care about ounces here and there, but at least you know. They’re also available in red, blue or black for caliber—or other­—differentiation in small-frame Glocks, and black for large frames. They add six rounds in 9 mm, five in .40 S&W and 10 mm, and four in .45 ACP. 

MSRP for Arredondo Mag Extensions is $36.83. Visit Arredondo Accessories at http://www.arredondoaccessories.com/ 

Dawson Precision

While we’re talking about baseplates, we’d be seriously remiss not to make the point that different needs have different solutions: good as “A” may be, there are circumstances where “B” may solve a given problem better. Oh wait … we said that already.

A clever, functional and rugged design. One of many Dawson winners.

But as we also said, it’s great to have choices, and here’s another absolute peach in the base plate world—the Dawson Precision Base Plate & Extender (or here). Like the others, it’s beautifully American-made, and adds rounds (22-23 total in 9 mm, 19-20 in .40 S&W [sorry, no large frame]). Unlike the others, however, it requires no tools to get on and off. 

It’s a slick design by any measure—elegant of itself, and complete with a spring-loaded ball detent click-lock that’s tough to miss. Operation is deceptively simple: Press the left side “lock” forward (corrugated push plate machined in), slide your mag tube containing spring and follower into the machined groove and down into the base, and hold them down as you re-slide the lock/side plate rearward. If it seems just a trifle six-fingered the first time or two, that passes. Quickly. 

A hand-gunning Mercedes-Benz, if ever we saw one.

MSRP for the Dawson Extended Magazine Baseplate, available for Glock, Springfield XDm, ParaOrdnance and STI/SV mag tubes, is $32.49. Visit Dawson Precision at https://dawsonprecision.com/

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