How do you label your mags?


November 19, 2006, 09:39 AM
Anyone use a label maker? I put labels on the bottom of all my mags but for the mags that are not smooth on the bottom I threw the label on the side of the tube. (JUst the glock mags) They don't appear to make any contact where they are placed. Is this a bad idea?

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November 19, 2006, 09:57 AM
Why label a mag?

Novus Collectus
November 19, 2006, 09:58 AM
I was thinking the same thing. Even mags for other guns that look similar on first glance would probably be distinguishable to the person who uses them all the time.

Chuck R.
November 19, 2006, 10:36 AM
I don't "label" mine per-say, but I do number my magazines that are used for competition or CCW/HD. To track reliability, numbering is a good idea.

For my 1911's I've gone to TRIPP Cobra mags and number them as shown below. For non-Tripp mags with plastic base plates, I've drilled dimples in the base similar to the Tripp system.


November 19, 2006, 11:31 AM
Eh, I label some of my mags. I don't use a label maker, just write or print on a sheet, cut it out, and tape it on the side of the mag. No problems concerning reliability so far but I haven't labeled any of the tighter fitting mags. (Black or blue ink on white paper.)

For me, I prefer not to waste time examining the mag up close to see if I have the right one. With the label, I know off of the bat from a distance.

November 19, 2006, 12:02 PM
Sharpie Marker.

In the past I have had magazines engraved with a Hermes machine engraver, like a Trophy Shop uses. Again for tracking magazines for normal maintenance and all. For instance Fifty -USGI/ Colt , 7 round mags with the dimpled followers were engraved nice and eat.
Just easy to look when the last time I replaced the mag spring, if I lost that mag, loaned it to someone...

November 19, 2006, 12:39 PM
I label mine and i use a $20 label maker from wal-mart and it does great. i have a number sequence that I can look at and tell how old they are and how much they have been used. on my pistol mags i used to use, permanent marker but that comes off to easy so i have decided to label them with the label maker. my ar mags are labeled with my initals, and then a 2 digit number. this way while out at the range if i have a problem with one, i write it down and try to fix it at home, or replace it! it is very important to conduct pcc's and pci's! that's why i do it!:)

Ala Dan
November 19, 2006, 01:24 PM
Great example there Chuck R my friend~! The domino effect, uh?;)

November 19, 2006, 03:23 PM
I went to Staples. They have white metal-marking pens and silver Sharpies. I number my 1911 and HP mags in case of reliability issues.

November 19, 2006, 03:43 PM
I put small knifepoint scratches on the recessed plastic baseplates. (I) for original-with-gun, (II) for factory spare, (III) for aftermarket. I don't scatch many III's anymore.

News Shooter
November 19, 2006, 03:54 PM
At one point I had gotten up about twenty six different magazines and while I wasn't worried so much about loading the wrong one, it just made finding them in the tool box difficult, especially with my eyes.

I tried the silver paint pens, but found that wore off. So I went to ACE and bought a $15 electric metal engraver. It works great and is permanent.

November 19, 2006, 03:59 PM
I'm cheap. I use a standard address label by Avary, print a label with small numbers 1 thru whatever, cut the label up into small peices and place on the bottom of each mag. One label prints enough for about six different guns. Doesn't last forever but it works well enough for my simple uses.

November 19, 2006, 04:25 PM
Why label a mag? - Majic

Being able to tell magazines apart can be very helpful in diagnosing issues, especially feed issues. I was getting frustrated with a FTF issue on a Ruger MK III until I tracked it down to just one magazine. Wound up there was just a little plastic that needed to be trimmed on the follower.

As to how, I have an engraver (though I really like the tripp system idea)

November 19, 2006, 04:37 PM
I number the mags I use for competition only. I used a Brother P Touch machine.

November 19, 2006, 04:43 PM
Why label a mag?A couple of reasons, somewhat in order of importance:

1. In order to track malfunctions. If your gun starts to have feeding issues, does your gun suck, or does one of your magazines need to be fixed/replaced? If you don't have a way to tell one mag from another, how will you know for sure?

2. In order to keep track of magazine maintenance, if you shoot enough to have to worry about round count, etc.

3. To tell your magazines from your neighbor's on a busy firing line. This might be a non-issue for many, but for LEOs, who use firing lines with other cops, everyone shooting an identical gun and some of whom have ... questionable habits in regards to maintenance and care, it can be exceedingly important. I saw a fellow officer use his magazine feed lips as an impromptu wrench once. :scrutiny: That sealed it for me; I want to make sure the mags I get back after the relay are actually mine. :uhoh:

4. Can help just keep track of things easier in a very full range bag. "Which are the 9mm mags and which are the .40s?"

El Tejon
November 19, 2006, 04:48 PM
I use Chinese characters and a perm marker. Besides malfs, preventative care, it also helps keep track of my gear--who else is going to use Chinese characters?:D

November 19, 2006, 05:50 PM
Sharpie marker, 123 or abc, etc..etc..

good to record problems with and also for rotation.

Chuck R.
November 19, 2006, 06:28 PM
Great example there Chuck R my friend~! The domino effect, uh?

Ala Dan,

I wish I'd thought of it, that's a direct lift off the Tripp website. The only change I made is using tacticool dull red and blue instead of the white:D


November 19, 2006, 10:36 PM
Engraver initially. 1, 2, 3, etc.

The smith that built my 9x23 supplied it with 4 mags. They were stamped on the rear with the last 3 serial #'s of the gun, and a dash/number (- 1, - 2, etc.)

I like his system better, and adopted it.

Wes Janson
January 12, 2008, 02:08 AM
Sorry to ressurect a dead thread, but I've been wondering lately on this subject if anyone had any better ideas.

I tried the permanent marker route on some Wilson Combat mags, and found that the marks seemed to fade away far too quickly for my liking. I've been thinking about the electric pencil route, but would prefer something cleaner-looking. I've not tried the print-out labels, but my experience with them in other applications suggests that they wouldn't last too long on magazines, not to mention looking out of place and/or interfering with lockup.

Are there any other thoughts? I'm almost tempted to consider a DuraCoat template, but don't have the supplies to try it right now. Is electric pencil really the best option?

January 12, 2008, 02:23 AM
i label when i get a malf. if its a light color mag, sharpie. if its dark. i use one of those paint pens.

i also label them by number. so i can track multiples. like rifle mags, i can look, and see i have say, mags 1-4 then 6-10. i know im missing #5. if 5 happens to be a POS i may or may not look for it. haha

January 12, 2008, 06:10 AM
I label all my magazines, mostly to track potential reliability problems, but also for tracking time between spring replacements, etc.

Plastic and polymer mags get a small unique Roman numeral scratched on them.

Metal magazines get marked with a Sharpie, and usually need to be "repainted" occasionally.

January 12, 2008, 05:46 PM
I label my Glock and AR Pmags with a sharpie. Haven't labeled any metal mags yet. I think I'll use some of the good advice from this thread for them.

January 12, 2008, 05:59 PM
by loadin' 'em

January 12, 2008, 06:09 PM
Is electric pencil really the best option?It is if you don't want to have to do it again at some point.

January 12, 2008, 07:13 PM
I dont label my mags but it might not be a bad idea being that I have 4 identical factory mags for my M&P. An LEO friend of mine uses butterfly design stickers that are meant to stick to plastic (they are kinda like a fabric material) to mark her mags. She claims that on qual day its not hard to loose a mag and being that she is often the only female in the group "Nobody wants a purple butterfly on their mags"

January 12, 2008, 09:26 PM
I number all my mags with a cheap electric engraving tool. I also keep a written record of each of them, so I can track spring changes, problems etc.

January 13, 2008, 02:45 AM
i use my girlfriends nail polish and tooth pick.

January 13, 2008, 12:21 PM
So far, just with an orange dot (target stickie). I put it on any mag that experiences a malfunction, then compare it's future performance with an un-stickied mag.

However, the fingernail polish or model paint and a toothpick sounds promising.

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