As time progresses forward, so does the "standard". The basis for which things are compared to is often a shifting goal. What was considered to be "the baseline of combat handgun magazine capacity" in 1950 is certainly not the same as in 2020, but for the recent history, some things have remained the same. Standard capacity of 9x19 mid to fullsize handguns has largely been set between 15-17 rounds for the last twenty years. However, some companies were behind the curve here, namely Heckler & Koch. HK handguns had a maximum capacity of 15 rounds for flush fitting magazines, until XTech Tactical stepped in during 2019. How well does the new and improved XTech P30/VP9 magazine stack up to their previous offerings, and to the OEM?
Making the Magazine Modern
XTech Tactical is no new company. They've been around the gun component scene for a long time, and have made many products that I have liked. I've tried their AR grip, and previously reviewed their fifteen and twenty round VP9 magazines in the past. The new magazines are very similar to the previous magazines, but hold more rounds than the previous iteration. However, there are a few other changes in design that time on the market has inspired.
Moving from the older, lower capacity magazines to the newer higher capacity meant making more space in the magazine. The three big areas to adjust were the length of the follower, the depth of the locking tab, and the baseplate size.
The follower has had a reduction in size of the rear "tail" section of the follower, and of the interior section of the tail of the follower. The prior iteration of the magazine had a follower that was much beefier, very similar to the HK factory one. A common point stressed by HK fanboys is that the beefy followers allow for better feeding, but limit round count. The new follower design is much more akin to most other followers found in the magazines of contemporary pistols.
The locking tab has also seen a size reduction. The new design is smaller, and allows for a little more spring compression, and thus, more rounds in the magazine. This has not effected the takedown of the magazines, and should not impact function.
The baseplate received an enlargement, contrary to the other components. The baseplate is now a little bit deeper, allowing for the extra rounds in the magazine. The new baseplates are not much longer, about 1/12 of an inch longer than the prior baseplate design.
With the new upgrades, the new "flush" fitting magazines will hold seventeen rounds, and the extended magazines will hold twenty-one rounds. XTech helped to allow the P30 & VP9 stay up to date into 2020, but only if the magazines work. I had nothing but positive experiences with the previous generation of XTech magazines, but do the new ones match or exceed that standard?
The Performance Evaluation
I began testing of the new generation of XTech VP9 magazines in the fall of 2019. My test gun was my ATEi milled VP9, running a combination of brass cased and aluminum 9mm, along with a smattering of Federal HST loads. Anything that I test gets thrashed with magazines being treated the worst. The magazines met the ground forcefully each time the gun ran dry. The XTech mags were also my dryfire mags during the COVID-19 dryfire season, hitting the concrete floor of my garage many times.
About 1500 rounds of live fire ammo, and 5 months of dryfire reps were run through the magazines, with ZERO malfunctions or parts breakages. These magazines just work. The magazines always dropped free, and never locked open inadvertently during usage. That's a pass in my book.
The generation 2 XTech mags wear through the black finish over time, but not to the extent of of the generation 1. Overall these are a strict upgrade over the original generation 1 XTech magazines.
Are The XTech Tactical VP9 Magazines Worth Your Money?
If you have a VP9 or P30, these should be your go-to magazines. These come in at a better price point than the OEM magazines, and run flawlessly. What more is there to say?