If you've looked into aftermarket parts and accessories for your guns, then you've almost assuredly heard of Taran Tactical Innovations. From springs, to charging handles, to internet controversy, TTI has you covered. Step into a USPSA or 3 Gun match and nearly 50% of competitors will have Taran extensions on their magazines. With their pedigree and popularity, I decided to try them for myself.
Why Use Magazine Extensions?
Whether you're training, competing, on duty, or conceal carrying, more bullets means more opportunities. Fewer reloads on the clock to improve your score. More rounds to solve more problems (AKA put holes in bad guys). The additional weight of the extension and ammunition helps to reduce recoil and can steady your aim. The likelihood of your magazine dropping free during reloads is substantially increased with the extra weight. This prevents botched reloads, and lets you avoid the inefficient and cringe inducing 2013 style Tactical Mag Flip that used to be so popular.
Taran Tactical Innovations' extensions are fairly easy to attach to your magazine. After disassembling your Glock magazine, remove the follower from the OEM spring. Attach the follower to the longer Taran spring, ensuring that it is flipped the proper way (rounds pointing up). Compress the spring into the magazine and slide the extension onto the lips. From here just press the little silver pin upward to prevent the extension from backing off the magazine. There is a small screw on the extension that can be used to increase friction on the pin, though TTI does not recommend tightening it.
Overall, mounting is simple and requires no special tools. A small allen key may be useful to keep around to ensure your retention screw stays firmly in place. This screw is loctited in place, and shouldn't move, but you're always better safe than sorry.
Size and shape of the Taran Tactical extension is comparable to competitive options. The extension comes in at 1.6oz, and fits a USPSA 40mm gauge. This puts it roughly in the middle regarding weight for common extensions. Enough to help the magazine drop free at greater angle, but not so much to tire the shooter.
There is no texturing, leaving the surface completely smooth, with nicely de-horned corners. Despite the smooth surface, I have had zero issues acquiring a positive purchase during reloads.
Being a competition oriented extension, I thought I'd check compatibility with flared magwells. Obviously this works with larger styles from TTI, but I wanted to check a more duty oriented example. The Magpul magwell is fairly popular among law enforcement and conceal carriers I know, both due to its price and Magpul's reputation. I popped one on my G17 to give it a try for myself. The Taran extension locks in and feeds reliably with no interference from the magwell.
Before being trusted on my belt all magazine extensions endure a drop test. Parameters are simple. Each magazine is fully loaded, then dropped five times onto concrete from shoulder height. Mags are dropped straight down onto the extension as though falling from a firing pistol. After five consecutive drops, the Taran extension came away victorious. There were a few dings along the edges, and the retention screw had loosened slightly, but nothing to cause concern.
The Taran Tactical Innovations magazine extension was a fixture of my range bag for several months of 2018 and 2019. Range time consisted of standard practice, a few USPSA matches, and Shooter Symposium. In total, roughly 350 rounds were cycled through this magazine while in my rotation.
Range time was not as impressive as the drop results. The Taran extension never once succeeded in locking my gun open on empty. Despite using the Taran enhanced power spring with the extension, the follower clearly does not rise to the top of the magazine. This means that every magazine change required either counting rounds to avoid an empty chamber, or receiving a "click" and having to rack the slide on a fresh magazine. Not a huge deal, but off-putting when unexpected, and a time sink for sure. Outside of this issue, there were no other malfunctions during testing. That being said, this alone caused me to remove the Taran extension from my lineup.
The Peanut Gallery
After several attempts to remedy the issues with my extension, I sought advice from those more intelligent than me. Both the internet and other USPSA competitors confirmed my suspicions: the Taran extensions are hit or miss for reliability. About half of the shooters I spoke with had the same issues, or worse with their examples. The other half swears by them, and has never had a problem over years of hard use.
Final Thoughts on Taran Tactical Innovations Glock Magazine Extensions
Overall the Taran Tactical magazine extensions are decent. The extension itself is very well made, and eye-catching for sure. Reliability was flawless outside of the lack of lock open capability. If you have one that works, then it should serve you well. After my experience, I do not plan on buying additional Taran extensions, but I also will not be throwing mine away. Stay tuned to see how these compare to the competition, as this is the first in a 12 part series.
Taran Tactical Innovations +4/5 magazine extensions retail for roughly $42 on Taran's website, with the enhanced power spring kit adding another $5.99. You can find a complete kit on Brownells >>HERE<<
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