The world is full of such a variety of firearms, you can get literally whatever you want. Big, little, fat, skinny, large caliber, small caliber, high capacity, to derringer. What isn't always available is the flexibility of multiple categories within an affordable budget.
For instance, caliber conversion kits can be purchased for many different types of firearms, but ranging well over $100 for often times a barrel and spring, the cost per versatility can be high.
Likewise some firearms now are being designed with modular frames, so you can take your fire control group from something like your Sig P320 compact and transfer it to a full size gun. The cost of this upgrade includes a relatively cheap $30 frame.. but can be a lengthy, frustrating process depending on the frame fit, and often times they frame will not be the correct length for your original slide, incurring additional expenses.
So why focus on this? The versatility of firearms and the cost of that versatility? Simple: We pay a lot of hard earned money for these tools, and we want to get the most use out of them. And for this, versatility is a key factor.
So when looking for a firearm, do you purchase a large, full size firearm? They are hands down better for home defense. More rounds in the magazine, a better recoil impulse and firing profile. If you're an iron sights user, the increased radius will improve effective accuracy, etc. However, many full size firearms are NOT conducive to carry.
So do you go compact? A compact firearm is smaller and more concealable. This makes them easier to carry, and with the right holster, more comfortable. What you gain in concealability, you give up in shootability. Often times a trade off that many firearms owners are willing to make, as the larger, less comfortable gun is less likely to be carried... and what is the purpose of a carry firearm if you don't carry it?
Purchasing a smaller, compact firearm for carry ensures ultimate usability. The percentage of use out of a carry gun in the amount of time you're actually touching it is exponentially higher then that of a "nightstand gun". So owning this gun is a great place for your money to be spent... But how can you both own the compact gun AND get the increased effectiveness of a longer grip and increased capacity of a full size gun?
This is where Magazine Adapter sleeves, like we make at WTT3D come in.
By utilizing the adapter sleeves, you can us a full size magazine in a compact sized gun. For the Walther PDP, this brings your capacity from 15 in the PDP compact to 18 from the full size PDP magazines with only an additional 1/2" length. For the Glock 19, this gives you an additional 2 rounds, pulling you from 15 rounds to 17 rounds. And for the CZ P10c, the jump is a staggering 4 additional rounds, from 15 in the base P10c magazines to 19 rounds in the CZ P10f mags. Not only does this give you a more suitable gun for home defense, but it also increases the versatility of your firearm at the range, allowing you the use of a wider variety of magazines in a reliable way.
Now, why do we suggest using adapter sleeves over extensions OR just the bare magazine, leaving a gap in the frame:
Magazine extensions, or base pads which increase capacity, are a good, often reliable place to spend money if you're looking to increase magazine capacity. A few of the drawbacks is that now you've semi-permanently altered the size of one of your compact magazines. Your previously compact magazine, of which you received maybe two or three in your box, is now longer, unless you go through the time consuming process of taking the adapter off. Often times it requires additional components to maintain reliability, such as new springs, altered followers, etc. And more often then with stock magazines, you run into reliability issues: whether that be feeding issues or last round hold open.
Stock, higher capacity magazines are more reliable. hands down.
Additionally, cost is a major factor in this type of modification. You need a magazine, but for this case we'll assume you have a spare you're already planning to use. Reliable extensions are often $30 -$45 a piece, and sometimes take permanent modification to a magazine follower for full use.
So why not just the bare magazine? Why bother with a grip extension/adapter sleeve? The answer to this lies in two places: mechanics and ergonomics.
The mechanical aspect is in the design of most firearms, with the ejector directly above the magazine. This is a thin metal rod protruding from the frame that places pressure on the back of a bullet case as it's being extracted from the chamber. it begins the cases' sideways travel out of the chamber/slide to clear the way for the incoming round. That thin metal rod, directly above the magazine, is relatively fragile when looking at it vertically. it's made to take horizontal force, so a vertical force can damage this component. Without grip to basepad contact, as you see on properly fitted magazines, the magazine can be over inserted, contacting this part, and damaging it... often beyond repair. The grip adapter acts as an extended base pad, stopping the magazine from over insertion, saving your components.
The ergonomic factor revolves around grip, how to get a grip, what increases grip, and how that helps shootability.
Generally speaking, the longer the grip, the more controllable the gun. A confirmed concept with the popular Glock 45, a compact length barrel with a full size length grip. the 45 gives you a gun that is significantly better shooting then the Glock 19, simply by elongating the grip and allowing the shooter a better purchase on the firearm.
With this in mind, adding an adapter sleeve that flows ergonomically with the grip, allowing the user a better, more full purchase on the grip of the firearm will increase shootability. Will it increase as much as it does a full size frame? Probably not. But it will increase, and that's the goal: the best gun we can get out of the gun we have.
Using just a bare magazine in place of a magazine with an adapter means you're losing real-estate for your hands. the lack of flow and sharp ledges created by a magazine only just limits the grip potential of the increased length.
So increasing capacity, keeping stock reliability, AND adding controllability? Sounds solid, right?
Well, yes... and then is the kicker: the price. Magazine adapter sleeves from WTT3D come in betwen $13-$15, depending on material cost and machine time. Now, yes, the cost of additional magazine must be attributed for: but when you're adding overall ammo inventory to your load out capabilities, how much is that worth? for around $30 for a mid-priced additional full size magazine, and the maximum of $15 for an adapter sleeve... You're in the hole about $45 and just added capacity and a whole magazine. For extensions, you'll be in about that same price to add about the same capacity capability, but your overall load out capacity has changed relatively little.
3 Glock 19 magazines, adding a +2 for $40, gives you a single capacity increase of 2, and a maximum capacity of +2 with 47 rounds.
3 Glock 19 magazines, plus a $20 Glock 17 magazine and a $12 Glock adapter sleeve gives you a single capacity increase of 2, with a maximum load out capacity of +17, for a total of 62 rounds of capability for $33, AND stock reliability.
If you're looking for the most versatile options to get a single firearm to do as much as possible, it's hard to beat the affordability and versatility of a magazine adapter.
with the WTT3D adapter sleeves, you get to save money over the mainstream sleeves, while also maintaining the aesthetics and ergonomics of the stock pistol. Click the link below for our products.