Glock mags - "drop free" and "non drop free"
As a new G17C owner, I have to ask what the difference is between the "drop free" and "non drop free" magazines. Mine came with two 10rd mags that drop freely from the gun when I press the mag release button. Therefore, I can only suppose that the "non drop free" mags do not do this when the mag release button is pressed. Is this what is meant by "drop free" and "non drop free" magazines? If so, why did anyone make "non drop free" magazines? Can they be modified to make them drop freely? Is there a benefit to NDF mags? Are they difficult to get out?
Sorry if I am way off, and thanks for the help!
The "Original" Glock 17, bought back '85-86 came with NDF mags. These put simply did not have the metal lining that the "drop free" mags of today have, so mag sides swelled, due to rounds loaded in it and became NDF.
FWIW, most of my original NDF G-17 and G-21 mags, would after being emptied from shooting drop clear after round pressure was removed.
Believe this issued came up as more and more PDs began using Glocks and issue of "tactical reloads" came up....., a NDF mags (not empty) would not drop, resulting in manual extraction.
I prefer the Non-Drop Free mags for conceiled carry. When I carry my Glock 22 I only carry one mag. (Hey if 15 rnds of 40 S&W won't get the job done you probably need to start running.) OK the ND free mag won't accidently get ejected from the gun as easy. If you're carrying inside the waist band as you move about there's a chance of having accidental mag ejection with the drop free mags.
European doctrine (I think from the Nazis) was that pistol magazines should NOT drop free as ammo would be easy to find on a battlefield, while magazines would not be as easy to find, so the first Glocks were made to generally not drop free.
As Mr.-wilson states this is not the procedure with US police departments and glock started making metal lined mags that would more reliably drop free, though Glock does not guarantee that even the metal lined mags will drop free. The metal lined mags have a square cut out at the top rear of the magazine (where the primer on a round is located if there is a round in the magazine) on the non drop mags the cut is round. You can see the metal lining through the holes next to the markings for the number of rounds in the pistol anyway.
Most non metal lined mags drop free if they are not completely loaded. You can sometimes get non metal lined mags to drop free by spraying Armor All on them. The non drop mags will still come out a little bit, then you rip them out.
With 18 rounds I don't think it's too likely to come up, but I think a spare mag is worthwhile in case the magazine in the pistol malfunctons.
To be honest I think drop free mags have the most benifit to a competition shooter. I shoot USPSA/IPSC matches and need drop free mags.
In a real life defensive shooting you'll most likely shoot to slide lock (empty the mag) before you do a mag change. The reason being you got other things to think about besides counting your rounds.
In a pistol match when you examine a stage you do count your rounds and plan you mag changes. I figure out where I can mag a mag change without losing time on the stage. Usually it is running between 2 different arrays of targets. Often I drop the mag with several rounds still in it. If it were a non drop free mag I would have to pull the mag out with my weak hand. Thus losing a split second on that stage. I need that mag to drop free the second I hit that mag release even if I only fired one round out of that mag.
Not all FML mags actually drop free and you may have to tune them until they do.
One other point concerns those of us who are left handed. The mag release buton is right near my index finger.
I shoot only drop free mags in competition, but only carry non drop free mags "in real life".