Shooters in the United States have often noticed that the label on the Glock pistol case comes in different colors. Why? Well, with everything Glock, there’s a reason. Let’s dive into the meaning of the various colors.
It should be noted that the various colors discussed here really only started when Glock went to the clam-shell style cases. This occurred after the beginning of the Gen 3 pistol production. Early Gen 3 pistols still came in the old Tupperware style cases that were updated to fit pistols with finger grooves.
There are at least seven pistol case label colors used on Glocks seen in the U.S.:
- White: Low-capacity magazines (mags do not exceed 10 rounds). This was to comply with states with magazine capacity limitations. This includes (at one time or another):
California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont. White label pistols are often now referred to as “California compliant” pistols.
- Red: High capacity magazines (high capacity mags hold 10+ rounds)
- Blue: High-capacity magazines. The buyer must meet blue label requirements to be eligible (see https://us.glock.com/en/buy/blue-label-program). Under the right circumstances, ANYBODY can buy them unless they are in a state with magazine capacity restrictions. Can also be govt/mil contract guns.
- Purple: Contract overrun guns. Can be sold to anyone, and are not required to meet MAP pricing. Could be just overseas/export contract overruns. When Glock is building pistols to fulfill a contract, they will manufacture about 2% more than the quantity needed. This is so that if some of the pistols fail quality tests, there are still enough on hand to fill the contract. These don’t usually show the quantity or capacity of the magazines on the label in the normal middle-lower space. And they often don’t show the type of sights or trigger weight in the upper-middle space. It’s common for the SKU to not follow the typical convention that I have outlined in Product SKU Number Breakdown.
- Orange: Factory rebuilt guns. Can be sold to anyone, and are not required to meet MAP pricing
- Green: U.S. manufactured for export. These also don’t usually show the quantity or capacity of the magazines on the label in the normal middle-lower space.
- Yellow: Rebuilt (in two cases I’ve seen, Gen 4 MOS, and cutaway). I’ve heard that yellow labels are just faded orange labels, or just maybe a different supplier of labels for the rebuilt guns. That’s certainly plausible.
For Gen 3, white and red label come with 2 magazines, blue label come with 3.
For Gen 4 and later, all guns regardless of label color come with 3 magazines.
I’ve written before about how the SKU number in the upper right is broken down to signify the details of the pistol. See that info at Product SKU Number Breakdown.